Sea History 178 - Spring 2022

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A CAUSE IN MOTION National Maritime Historical Society 59th Annual Meeting 3–5 June 2022 • Staten Island, New York The NMHS Board of Trustees and program chair Walter Brown are delighted to invite members of the National Maritime Historical Society to join us for a lively and informative weekend on Staten Island, the “unexpected” and “greenest borough” of New York City, for our 59th Annual Meeting on Saturday, 4 June. Join us in the Great Hall at “Celebrate,” a beautiful and historic venue situated in the middle of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens, original home of Sailor’s Snug Harbor.

(l-r) photo of snug harbor cultural center by jim henderson via wikimedia; john noble’s houseboat studio courtesy noble maritime collection; shipyard photo courtesy caddell dry dock

After registration and a continental breakfast, we’ll start the annual business meeting, followed by presentations from leaders across the local maritime heritage community. Ciro Galeno Jr., executive director of the Noble Maritime Collection—our host— will share insights on this extraordinary museum interpreting the life and art of marine painter John Noble (1913–1983). Susan Abbate, director of education at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, will highlight the fascinating history of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor, which opened in 1831 as one of the first retirement communities for sailors in the country. We will also hear from Erin Urban, founder of the Noble Maritime Collection, who will share with us the mysteries of Robbins Reef Lighthouse, and the challenges of its restoration. Peter Malinowski, executive director of the Billion Oyster Project and a recent NMHS Seminar Series speaker, will discuss how adding oysters to New York Harbor—more than 75 million of them since 2014—is helping to restore its ecosystem and minimize flooding and erosion along the shorelines. Victoria Munro, executive director of the Alice Austen House, will tell us about the pioneering photographer and Staten Island native, whose legacy includes thousands of photographs of New York Harbor from the late 1800s. The late NMHS president emeritus Peter Stanford was a longtime champion of Austen, referring to her as an “indomitable genius” with a “blazing determination to get at the truth of things through her camera.” After lunch in the Great Hall, we will take guided tours of the Noble Maritime Collection, the grounds and buildings of historic Sailor’s Snug Harbor, and the Staten Island Museum, which has been dubbed a “mini Smithsonian” for its vast and eclectic collection. The tours will also give us the opportunity to

enjoy the seasonal beauty of the botanical gardens, including the lovely Tuscan Garden with its olive and lemon trees and the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, one of just two authentic classical outdoor Chinese gardens built in the United States. Registration for the Saturday annual meeting is $155 per person and includes transportation from the hotel and back, breakfast, the business meeting, presentations, lunch, and tours. We invite you to join us a day early on Friday, 3 June, at Staten Island’s National Lighthouse Museum for a three-hour boat tour of the lighthouses around New York Harbor, viewing Sandy Hook Light, the Navesink Twin Lights in New Jersey, Battery Weed Light at Fort Wadsworth, and the Coney Island, West Bank, and Romer Shoal lights, with a casual lunch served on board. Registration for Friday’s visit to the museum, boat tour, and lunch is $75. On Sunday morning, 5 June, join us for a guided tour of Caddell Dry Dock, led by its president, Steve Kalil, who will share the history of this full-service shipyard, in operation since 1903, and the unique concerns restoring historic sailing ships. The cost for the Sunday tour is $10. Newly elected board chair Jim Noone encourages all NMHS members to join us. To ensure that the organization continues to flourish and grow, it is important that its leaders and members gather to share ideas and chart the Society’s course into the future. For more information and to register, please see the magazine wrapper, visit us at, or contact Heather Purvis via email at administrator@seahistory. org or by phone at (914) 737-7878 ext. 0. Sponsorship opportunities are available; if you can join us as a Donor, Sponsor or Underwriter, we would be grateful.

NMHS has taken a block of rooms from 2–5 June at the Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island at 1100 South Avenue, Staten Island, NY, for $169/night, plus taxes, including complimentary parking. To make your hotel reservation, click on the booking link on our website or call (718) 477-2400 and use the group code “National Maritime Historical Society.” The rate is available until 3 May, or until the reserved block is full. Please note that proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (original vaccination card—no reproductions—or NY Excelsior Pass) is required for all visitors ages 12 and above entering all indoor spaces, as mandated by the City of New York. 8


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