112 year old artifact headed to Kingston, Ontario
CLAYTON, New York (May 6, 2015) – The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America’s premier freshwater nautical museum based in Clayton, New York, announced today that its largest collection artifact, La Duchesse, will head to drydock at MetalCraft Marine in Kingston, Ontario for routine inspection and hull maintenance.
La Duchesse is expected to depart the ABM on the morning of Friday, May 8 and float across the St. Lawrence River, with assistance from Patch Seaway International, to Kingston. The boat will likely remain for at least 10 days before its return trip to Clayton.
Patch Seaway International, based in Clayton, will act as the towing service since La Duchesse does not have an engine. This trek across the international border for maintenance marks the second time in the past 10 years since becoming a collection piece of the Museum.
The 106-foot houseboat is an iconic piece relating to river lifestyles from more than one hundred years ago. Built in 1903 for hotelier George Boldt, manager of New York City’s famed Waldorf-Astoria hotel, the houseboat had once been owned by E.J. Noble and later acquired by the McNally family. The houseboat was the first planned gift made to ABM and was received as a bequest from the late Andrew McNally, III, who lived aboard during the summer months. The vessel opened for visitors at the Museum in July of 2005 and each year more than 10,000 visitors enjoy the opportunity to climb aboard to see her luxurious interior and one-of-a-kind furnishings, while hearing the story of this unique two-story summer home.
In recent years, local contractors, ABM staff, and multiple volunteers have worked to rebuild stairwells, refinish flooring, clean the interior, and work is currently being completed on a second floor balcony. Over the course of this past winter, all window casings were rebuilt in the ongoing effort to restore the boat to her original glory.
La Duchesse will reopen to visitors at the ABM later this month. Tours of the houseboat are included with the price of Museum admission.
Located on the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York, the ABM features a collection of over 300 antique and classic boats, among thousands of recreational boating artifacts, including the world’s largest runabout, Pardon Me. In 2015, the ABM will host the 51st annual Antique Boat Show and Auction, the longest running such show in North America. For more information, please visit the Museum’s website at abm.org.