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Splash Into Summer at the Antique Boat Museum in the Thousand Islands

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2019-05-20 09:34:00

It’s impossible to talk about the Thousand Islands without talking about boats. From transportation to tourism, boats are as prominent a fixture in the region as the islands themselves, and they have a special place in its history and heritage. You can experience that history yourself with a visit to the Antique Boat Museum.

 Located in the riverside town of Clayton, the Antique Boat Museum pays tribute to the full history of boating on the St. Lawrence and beyond, from Native American dugout canoes to the iconic St. Lawrence Skiff to the big-money-built masterpieces of mahogany that dominated during most of the twentieth century. The museum is home to the largest collection of antique and classic boats in North America, and it’s the perfect place to step back into the past and look at the traditions of boat building, on-water living, and recreation that started it all.

 Various indoor exhibits tell the story of boats and boating throughout the centuries, including a kid-themed exhibit featuring Dr. Seuss characters. Outside, you can explore the 106-foot-long houseboat La Duchesse, formerly owned by George Boldt, the famed Gilded Age icon responsible for the construction of nearby Boldt Castle.

 A treasured fleet of antique boats also waits at the museum’s dock slips, and you can experience the thrill of a jaunt in these classic craft yourself with a Ride the River experience, which allows you to become a passenger for a 45-minute excursion along the St. Lawrence.

 Aside from all the exhibits and attractions, the Antique Boat Museum is also home to some big events throughout the summer season.

July marks the annual Festival of Oar, Paddle and Sail, paying tribute to all kinds of non-motorized watercraft with activities, demonstrations and workshops, and the chance to get out on the river in a historic sailboat or a St. Lawrence Skiff. And then there’s the biggest event of all, the annual Antique Boat Show and Auction, which boasts the distinction of being the longest-running annual boat show in North America. Typically held the first weekend in August each year, the Antique Boat Show and Auction celebrates antique and classic boats and features food, music and more entertainment, as much of the town gets in on the fun.

 Take note, the Antique Boat Museum is open from May to October each year; hours, admission prices and other details can be found on their website.


Antique Boat Museum aerial view photo credit Antique Boat Museum
Antique Boat Museum National Motor Boat Show exhibit photo credit Antique Boat Museum
Boats docked and La Duchesse photo credit Antique Boat Museum
Pardon Me on the water photo credit Antique Boat Museum
Miss 1000 Islands II photo credit Antique Boat Museum

posted at: 2019-05-20 09:34:00, last updated: 2019-05-20 09:43:19

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