Columbia County Historical Society Free Lecture, “Steamboat Days on the Hudson River”, Nov 20


The Columbia County Historical Society presents a Free Lecture – “Steamboat Days on the Hudson River” with Captain Stanley Wilcox, on Wednesday, November 20.

In those (Steamboat) days, it was a special occasion to take the eight hour trip from New York City to Albany on a magnificent vessel adorned with chandeliers, oil paintings, and brass rails.

Multi-level, three and four hundred foot long vessels churned up the Hudson River at nearly twenty miles an hour with paddle wheels slapping, steam billowing from their stacks, with thousands of people gathering at the rails to view the passing scenery. While these grand boats have long since vanished from the Hudson, they epitomized an era that for many made the Hudson River the center of the universe.

A story filled with greed, frustration, and courtroom drama may be found between the first steamboat’s appearance on the Hudson to the era of grand and opulent vessels. It began with the New York Legislature granting Robert Livingston a 30-year steamboat monopoly and ended with a decision from the US Supreme Court argued by none other than Daniel Webster.


U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Master Capt. Stanley Wilcox holds a Coast Guard Master’s license and has served as Senior Captain on the Spirit of Hudson for the past 12 years. He is co-author of Capt Stan’s Hudson River Book, with foreword by Riverkeeper. The book, now in its fourth edition, has stories and history on more than 120 sites along the Hudson River, with 200+ color photos. The Albany Times Union review described it as “..a beautiful book”. Capt Stan has taught “Hudson River Boating and Seamanship” for many years at Columbia-Greene Community College, and has been guest speaker on American Cruise Lines.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019: 7pm – 9pm

Free and Open to the Public

Van Buren Hall
6 Chatham St.,
Kinderhook, NY 12106


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