The Ships at South Street Seaport Museum

The Ships at South Street Seaport Museum South Street Seaport Museum is home to a fleet of five historic vessels that typify ships that made New York City a global commercial and cultural capital.
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Operating as usual

Ten years before Rosa Parks, young student Sarah Elizabeth Ray fought segregation after being removed from the ship SS C...
10/11/2020

Ten years before Rosa Parks, young student Sarah Elizabeth Ray fought segregation after being removed from the ship SS Columbia in Detroit, MI. Learn more about the tenacious Sarah E. Ray who joined forces with #NAACP and Thurgood Marshall in her fight against injustice with the SS Columbia Project.

The struggle for desegregation in the US has touched every aspect of American life, including waterfront work, shipping, and passenger travel. Even when state and city laws prohibited racial segregation, many businesses would continue to discriminate without worrying that the laws would actually be enforced. It would take individuals willing to fight against these injustices to bring about meaningful change. One such person is Sarah Elizabeth Ray who, ten years before Rosa Parks, fought against segregation after being removed from the passenger steamer SS Columbia in Detroit, MI.

In June 1945, Sarah Elizabeth Ray was a 24-year-old secretarial school student graduate on a trip to the popular amusement park on Boblo Island with her classmates. Ray was the only Black student in her class on board the SS Columbia, and before the vessel departed, the ship’s manager threatened to have her forcibly removed. After being escorted off SS Columbia, Ray decided to contact the NAACP. The NAACP legal team, lead by Thurgood Marshall, sued the Bob-lo Excursion Co. for breaking Michigan’s civil statute barring racial discrimination in public spaces. The case made it to the US Supreme Court which ultimately ruled in Ray’s favor, upholding the laws against segregation.

Desegregation was fought on numerous fronts on an individual, local, and national scale. It is the responsibility of all history institutions in the US to preserve and share these stories. Learn more about Sarah Elizabeth Ray at the SS Columbia Project, which aims to restore the 118-year old vessel and share Ray’s incredible (and long overlooked) act of resistance.

#FromTheArchives #maritimehistory #americanhistory #blackhistory #SSColumbia #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

While things have been made difficult by Covid-19, progress on the restoration of #schoonerPioneer continues to be made!...
10/08/2020

While things have been made difficult by Covid-19, progress on the restoration of #schoonerPioneer continues to be made! Check out a recent #blog post and program that Capt. Martin, Fleet Captain and Master of Pioneer, created for the Museum.

Hi Folks, Capt. Martin, Fleet Captain and Master of Pioneer, here. I think a lot of people have been wondering, “What is going on with our beloved schooner Pioneer these days...?” While things have been made difficult by Covid-19, progress continues to be made!

The Museum is determined to see Pioneer sailing again as soon as possible, and to keep her doing what we know she does so well, for another five decades and beyond. Check out a recent blog post and program I created for the Museum: southstreetseaportmuseum.org/what-is-happening-on-schooner-pioneer/

#schoonerPIONEER #historicship #restoration #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #OurCityOurSeaport

With safety always in the forefront of our minds, we paused shipboard volunteer projects when the Museum closed to the p...
10/03/2020

With safety always in the forefront of our minds, we paused shipboard volunteer projects when the Museum closed to the public in March due to COVID-19. After months of careful planning, we are thrilled to announce that yesterday we welcomed back a handful of volunteers for shipboard projects for the first time since March 7, 2020!

We are implementing CDC guidelines to reduce exposure and transmission of COVID-19 and slowly resuming weekly volunteer work, so if you want to learn more, visit goo.gl/3SE4S5

#SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #southstreetseaport #lowermanhattan #volunteering #OurCityOurSeaport #WhereNewYorkBegins

Today, we launch a campaign – Our City, Our Seaport – to engage our friends and neighbors to save the South Street Seapo...
09/29/2020

Today, we launch a campaign – Our City, Our Seaport – to engage our friends and neighbors to save the South Street Seaport Museum. Read Capt. Boulware’s op-ed in AmNewYork about the future of the Museum at https://bit.ly/3l1MVEp & join the campaign at ourcityourseaport.org.

Seaport Museum President, Capt. Jonathan Boulware, penned this op-ed that just ran AmNewYork: https://bit.ly/3l1MVEp It details where we are financially as a result of COVID (as well as the many other crises that have befallen downtown, from 9/11 to Sandy and the 2008 crash). We’re not going to sugarcoat it, it’s tough stuff.

We’ve survived and thrived through it all, thanks to our dedicated community that sees the importance of the South Street Seaport Museum to connect New Yorkers and visitors to our city’s complex history, to the enterprising people who built our nation.

Our collections and archives are a treasure trove that connects us to where we came from; it’s too important to fall by the wayside now. Today, we’re launching a campaign to save the Museum, and hope you’ll join us. This is our City. Our Seaport. Together we can save the South Street Seaport Museum. Sign up to learn more at ourcityourseaport.org

Photo by James Keivom

#OurCityOurSeaport #WhereNewYorkBegins #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

#OnThisDay in 1909 the Hudson-Fulton Celebration naval parade was in full swing!The festivities commemorate the 300th an...
09/25/2020

#OnThisDay in 1909 the Hudson-Fulton Celebration naval parade was in full swing!

The festivities commemorate the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the river & the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s invention of the steamboat Clermont.

The Hudson-Fulton Celebration was held from September 25 through October 11, 1909 to commemorate two separate but related events: the three-hundredth anniversary of Henry Hudson (ca.1565–1611)’s exploration of the river that came to bear his name, and the hundredth anniversary of Robert Fulton (1765–1815)’s invention of the steamboat Clermont.

The festivities were organized in New York City and in cities and towns along the Hudson River. They included a wide variety of events including nighttime electrical displays, a series of biplane flights along the river by Wilbur Wright (1867-1912), swimming and boating contests, and special exhibitions at various New York City institutions. The Staten Island Shipbuilding Company built a replica of Fulton’s Clermont, and the United States Postal Service issued 50 million Hudson-Fulton commemorative stamps, which were sold in New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Saint Louis, and Washington.

These four photographs are part of a larger series taken by amateur photographer, silver manufacturing executive, and civic leader Cleveland Arthur Dunn (1873-1956), donated to us by his granddaughter. Mr. Dunn was able to accompany the large fleet of ships that navigated the Hudson from New York City to Troy. The fleet included 80 American and foreign warships, including Italian cruisers and French pre-dreadnought battleships.

#TodayInHistory #nychistory #SSSMcollection #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

One of the #AmericasCup yacht race matches was actually captured as an Edison short film. Visit The Library of Congress ...
09/23/2020

One of the #AmericasCup yacht race matches was actually captured as an Edison short film. Visit The Library of Congress to watch this 121-year old moment in sports history!
📽️: loc.gov/item/00694180

#OnThisDay in 1899 Harper’s Weekly published a series of illustrations depicting the crew of racing yacht Columbia and their intense training regime. From 1870 to 1920, yacht clubs from around the world raced for America's Cup in New York Harbor. For the 10th America’s Cup, Columbia was challenged by Sir Thomas Lipton’s yacht Shamrock in a highly anticipated contest.

Columbia would go on to win and keep America’s Cup for the New York Yacht Club. One of the matches was actually captured as an Edison short film. Visit The Library of Congress to watch this 121-year old moment in sports history! https://www.loc.gov/item/00694180/

Image: Thomas Dart Walker (American, 1868-1914), "Aboard the Cup-Defender Columbia: Drilling the Crew-Taking in the Balloon-Jib" published in Harper's Weekly on September 23, 1899. Gift of Leo Hirschkowitz, South Street Seaport Museum 2006.049.0184

#TodayInHistory #americascup #yachtrace #NewYorkHarbor #SSSMcollection #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

South Street Seaport Museum
09/15/2020

South Street Seaport Museum

Today is the beginning of #HispanicHeritageMonth (September 15-October 15), a month-long celebration honoring the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans and the heritage rooted in all Latina American countries.

This photograph from our archives depicts several men dancing the cueca, also called zamacueca or marinera, a folk dance of northern Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. This type of courtship dance is danced with the rhythmic music of guitars, usually in couples, passing and circling each other. Chilean sailors took the dance to Mexico eventually, and there it’s called chilena.

The image was taken in 1929 by Rafael Osvaldo Cabrera Majoral, a member of the Punta Arenas Rowing Club, which used to row out to the ships anchored offshore in the Strait of Magellan. The ship the group is dancing on our very own Wavertree, which at the time was “just” a dismasted hulk used for offshore storage.

If you’re feeling inspired to pose on Wavertree’s deck yourself, you can visit our flagship during the Museum’s free Wavertree Open Days on select days in September and October, 11am-5pm ET! More information and timed-entry pass reservations at: seaportmuseum.org/visitwavertree

Image: Rowing club members visiting Wavertree in 1929, Punta Arenas, Chile. Gift of Senor Rafael Osvaldo Cabrera Majoral, 1976. South Street Seaport Museum Archives.

#SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #fromthearchives #maritimeheritage

South Street Seaport Museum
09/11/2020

South Street Seaport Museum

Today we join our neighbors at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and all across the city and the world, in reflecting on the World Trade Center tragedy and remembering how New Yorkers came together to help one another heal and rebuild. #Honor911

Image: Lightship Ambrose being towed to Staten Island for restoration, April 22, 1989. South Street Seaport Museum Archives

The next virtual sea chantey is this coming Sunday, September 6, and it will be hosted from Wavertree’s foredeck, coinci...
09/05/2020

The next virtual sea chantey is this coming Sunday, September 6, and it will be hosted from Wavertree’s foredeck, coinciding with Wavertree’s Open Day!

Good news! Our monthly sea chantey virtual singing events will extend through December! Over the past four months, at each Zoom two-hour online gathering, we’ve sung with over 100 guests from all over the world, with voices ringing out from living rooms, kitchens, and gardens.

These online maritime music gatherings happen on the first Sunday of each month, with the next one this coming Sunday, September 6! This month’s virtual Chantey Sing will be hosted from Wavertree’s foredeck, coinciding with Wavertree’s Open Day!

Register online, download a Zoom virtual background, and join us! seaportmuseum.org/chanteysing/

#chantey #maritimesongs #maritimeheritage #WavertreeShip #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

Check out the visit experience details, our new health and safety guidelines, and book your tickets today! seaportmuseum...
09/02/2020

Check out the visit experience details, our new health and safety guidelines, and book your tickets today! seaportmuseum.org/visitwavertree

Timed tickets are going fast! Have you reserved your spot for our free Wavertree Open Days this weekend, 9/5 and 9/6?

President and CEO, Capt. Jonathan Boulware says, “The Seaport Museum is thrilled to welcome back visitors to our historic ship Wavertree on select days in September. The COVID-19 pandemic has kept New Yorkers at home for the last five months, and now we are pleased to safely open the outdoor spaces of our flagship at no cost to our community, which has been so steadfast in supporting our work during this time. With new protocols in place to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff, we look forward to welcoming you on board in the coming weeks.”

Check out the visit experience details, our health and safety guidelines, and book your tickets today! seaportmuseum.org/visitwavertree

#WavertreeShip #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #nycmuseums #southstreetseaport #lowerManhattan #tallship #historicship #maritimehistory #nyhistory #WhereNewYorkBegins

#OTD in 1970 we welcomed our 1885 #schoonerPIONEER! She was the third vessel addition that year, after the steam-tug Mat...
08/30/2020

#OTD in 1970 we welcomed our 1885 #schoonerPIONEER! She was the third vessel addition that year, after the steam-tug Mathilda, and just a few weeks after the arrival of our flagship Wavertree.

What are your best memories of her first 50 years at South Street?

This is a busy month for us, but we can’t even imagine what it would have been like back in 1970! On this day in 1970, the Seaport Museum welcomed our 1885 schooner Pioneer. She was the third vessel addition of the year, after the steam-tug Mathilda, and just a few weeks after the arrival of our flagship Wavertree.

Pioneer is representative of the type of small coastal cargo vessels that were the delivery trucks of their era, carrying various cargoes between coastal communities: lumber and stone from the islands of Maine, brick on the Hudson River, and oyster shell on the Chesapeake Bay. She was the first of only two cargo sloops built of iron in this country and is the only active iron-hulled American merchant sailing vessel still in existence.

Relaunched in 1968 after an extensive refit, she was donated to the museum in 1970. Since her first day at the Museum, Pioneer’s mission has been “to introduce city kids to the wide horizon of the sea, and to carry the Seaport Museum story to each port at which she called.” --South Street Reporter, Fall 1971.

After 50 years of service to the Museum, Pioneer is currently in shipyard, undergoing some maintenance and restoration, like all historic vessels require from time to time. We are looking forward to continuing and expanding education and sailing programs next year as we celebrate her half-century anniversary at the Museum and her 135 year career!

What are your best memories of her first 50 years at South Street?

#schoonerPIONEER #sailingship #historicship #schooner #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #southstreetseaport #sailing #NewYorkHarbor #newyorkcity #WhereNewYorkBegins

UPDATE: Tomorrow’s Membership and Volunteer Preview Day is rescheduled to Sunday, August 30 due to heavy rain!
08/28/2020

UPDATE: Tomorrow’s Membership and Volunteer Preview Day is rescheduled to Sunday, August 30 due to heavy rain!

UPDATE: Tomorrow’s Membership and Volunteer Preview Day has been rescheduled to Sunday, August 30 due to heavy rain! We look forward to welcoming our Members and Volunteers back onboard this weekend.

Whether you plan to visit our tall ship Wavertree as a member on Sunday, or later in September, please note that we’ve made some changes during our time away. The visit to Wavertree will be self-guided, along a set route, and will include access to just the outdoor areas of the vessel, including main deck and quarter deck. Additionally, the Museum will allow no more than 35 guests on board the ship at any time to encourage social distancing from different households.

Your health and safety are our top priorities, and we have implemented health and safety procedures following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York State, and New York City. To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for all, we strongly encourage you to read through our new guidelines before you head down to Pier 16: seaportmuseum.org/visitwavertree

#WavertreeShip #historicship #maritimeheritage #nyhistory #newyorkcity #southstreetseaport #lowermanhattan #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #WhereNewYorkBegins

Take a peek at a few images from our archives to celebrate #NationalDogDay!
08/26/2020

Take a peek at a few images from our archives to celebrate #NationalDogDay!

Happy #NationalDogDay! Pets, and specifically dogs, have been going to sea, accompanying seafaring men and women, since the beginning of time. Domesticated animals have functioned as mascots, messengers, companions, pest controllers, hunters, rescuers, and even working animals on exploration vessels!

In 2019, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, UK, hosted a two-day international conference on maritime pets to “shed fresh light” on traditional maritime narratives which regarded animals “too often absent, or marginalized in passing references.”

So for today’s #DogDay we looked into our photo archives and came across many photographs, especially for the traditional sailing ship era, where dogs were portrayed in “official” crew photos. Below you can see a short selection of them. Enjoy!

#fromthearchives #sailingships #dogs #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

Seaport Museum Members will be among the first to visit Wavertree and our outdoor exhibition on Member & Volunteer Previ...
08/25/2020

Seaport Museum Members will be among the first to visit Wavertree and our outdoor exhibition on Member & Volunteer Preview Day this Sat, Aug 29, 11am-5pm. Read through our new guidelines before you head down to Pier 16 at seaportmuseum.org/visitwavertree

We’re kicking off our Wavertree Open Days with Member and Volunteer Preview Day this Saturday, August 29th!

We’re thrilled to welcome back to Pier 16 our active Seaport Museum Members and Volunteers who will be among the first to visit Wavertree again and to check out our new outdoor exhibition right in front of it.

Memberships start at $50 and help support Museum’s exhibitions, preserve the ships and the collections, grow public programs, and serve over 12,000 students annually through education initiatives. Availability of some benefits is subject to temporary COVID-19 restrictions, but Member support will truly go a long way to ensuring that the Museum weathers this storm. Become a Member, renew for another year, or buy a membership for a friend at seaportmuseum.org/membership and join us on Saturday!

#WavertreeShip #historicship #maritimeheritage #nyhistory #newyorkcity #southstreetseaport #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #WhereNewYorkBegins

Address

89 South St
New York, NY
10038

Opening Hours

Wednesday 11:00 - 17:00
Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 11:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 17:00

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(212) 748-8600

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Museum’s Ships

South Street Seaport Museum is home to a fleet of 5 ships including the 1907 lightship Ambrose, a “floating lighthouse” to guide ships safely from the Atlantic Ocean into the broad mouth of lower New York Bay; the 1885 ship Wavertree, one of the last large sailing ships built of wrought iron; the 1885 schooner Pioneer, an authentic 19th Century Schooner, with public sails daily from May thru October; the 1893 schooner Lettie G. Howard, one of few surviving examples of the fishing schooners once in wide use in the North Atlantic; and the 1930 last surviving, New York built, wooden steam tugboat W.O. Decker.

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