Replica Of Hudson’s Half Moon To Visit Westchester
On Thursday, October 16th, a plank-for-plank replica of discoverer Henry Hudson’s “Half-Moon” will arrive at the Yonkers City Pier at 2:30 p.m.
The ship’s crew will include students from the Master’s School in Dobbs Ferry. The event is planned as a preview of New York State’s upcoming Hudson-Fulton-Champlain-Quadricentennial celebration in 2009. Cultural organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions are in the process of planning events to mark the 400th Anniversary of Hudson’s first voyage.
Locally, Westchester County Government will play a key role in the Quadricentennial festivities, coordinating all the local events so that our residents as well as tourists can participate. “You can’t speak about the history of Westchester County, or its future for that matter, without considering the centrality of the Hudson River,” says Westchester County Executive Andy Spano. “That’s why Riverwalk, the pathway we are creating along the Hudson from Yonkers to Peekskill, is so important. It will give people the opportunity to see and feel the majesty of the River and at the same time visit the communities that have grown up along side it. The Half Moon’s arrival on October 16th is a fitting prelude to the many wonderful festivities that are being planned for 2009.”
County Executive Andy Spano, along with Yonkers Mayor Philip Amicone, fellow students, teachers, Public Officials, Hudson River Museum Junior Docents, and representatives of several local Towns and Villages, will be on hand to greet the Masters School students when they arrive at Yonkers City Pier.
The Half-Moon’s educational and public programs in October are a collaboration between (listed alphabetically) the City of Yonkers, the Hudson River Museum, the Westchester Arts Council, the Westchester County Office of Tourism, and the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Improvement District (BID).
Mayor Amicone touts the Hudson River as a beacon from economic development. “It is a tremendous asset for Yonkers to be situated on the banks of the Hudson River,” says Amicone. “In recent years, our city has worked to make the most of this asset. Our city planning and economic development efforts have been guided by the belief that the natural beauty of the River would be a magnet for people looking for places to live and enjoy recreational opportunities. The Quadricentennial celebrations will be another way for all of us to recognize the value of this precious resource.”
Sailing for the Dutch East India Company, the original Half-Moon was the first European ship to document exploration of the navigable limits of the now named ‘Hudson’ River. The Half-Moon replica is a ‘floating museum and classroom’ operated by the New Netherland Museum, a non-profit organization which provides educational programs about sailing, navigation, ecology, astronomy, 17th century New Netherlands history and other related topics.
For two weeks the Half-Moon will remain at the Pier in Yonkers as students from schools throughout Westchester take part in educational programs on the boat. Each school group of about forty-five students will tour the ship and learn about early 17th century America. Later, during the weekends of October 18th and October 25th, the ship will be open for public tours.
The student voyage and two-week educational program on the Half Moon is sponsored by Peckham Industries, a Westchester-based paving company along with the Hudson River Museum, Westchester Arts Council, Westchester Office of Tourism and the Yonkers Business Improvement District.
Incorporating the Half-Moon as part of Westchester County’s 400th Anniversary celebrations was the brainchild of Westchester Arts Council Board President John R. Peckham. The Peckham Family Foundation and Peckham Industries are underwriting a portion of the Half-Moon’s educational programs in the County.
“When we first met Captain Chip Reynolds and boarded the Half-Moon near Kingston, we immediately realized how fitting it would be to have this ship as part of our celebrations here in Westchester,” says Peckham. “The ship brings history and culture alive in ways that few other programs can. Being on board is like being on a time machine—seeing the world through Hudson’s eyes, looking up at the stars and imagining sailing the world on the strength of the wind. It all just stirs the imagination and the senses.”
“John Peckham’s idea of bringing the Half-Moon here was an inspiration,” adds Westchester Arts Council Executive Director Janet T. Langsam. ‘Through the Westchester Arts Council’s education programs, we are hoping to have as many Westchester students experience a day on the Half-Moon as possible.”
The Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Improvement District (BID) will be hosting the Half Moon at Yonkers City Pier. “The Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Business Improvement District is very proud to be the host site for the Half Moon ship to kick off the Quadracentennial Celebration,” says Steve Sansone, the BID’s Executive Director. We plan on marking this historic moment by presenting several festive and free events to be enjoyed by residents and visitors to the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront over the two special Half Moon weekends in October.”
Westchester Arts Council, founded in 1965, is the largest, private, not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to provide leadership, vision, and support, to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts. In 1998, the Arts Council purchased 31 Mamaroneck Avenue, now known as the Arts Exchange, and has since developed the building as a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations, and the community.
Posted by Westchester.com