The Hudson River Day Line was a commercial steamboat line on the Hudson River active from 1863 through 1962; with a brief period of inactivity in the late 1940s. While the company was not officially incorporated until 1879, the company had already been in operation since 1863 when it was founded by Alfred Van Santvoord and John McB. Davidson.[1] The company operated continuously until 1948 when it went out of business. The company was then sold to a group led by businessman George Sanders, and passenger service resumed but with Albany service eliminated and the northernmost stop being Poughkeepsie, New York. In 1962 the company was sold again but this time absorbed into Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, and under that organization the final travels of the Hudson River Day Line's steam boats occurred in 1971.[2][3]

During its history, the Hudson River Day Line transported millions of passengers between the cities of Albany, New York and New York City. In its peak year of operation in 1925 the line had seven active steam boats and transported more than two million passengers. The line also made stops at tourist destinations in the Catskill Mountains, and at parks like Bear Mountain State Park and Kingston Point Park; making the line a popular travel tool for vacationers and day picnickers from New York City. The line was known for its reasonable prices and its comfortable and elegant environment on board gained the ships of the line the monicker "floating palaces". The ships were equipped with live orchestras and bands to entertain passengers, and had both a high end restaurant and a more affordable cafeteria on board for meals.[3]

Partial list of steamboats edit

  • SS Chauncey Vibbard
  • SS Daniel Drew
  • SS Albany
  • SS Hendrick Hudson
  • SS Robert Fulton
  • SS Washington Irving
  • SS Alexander Hamilton
  • SS Peter Stuyvesant

In popular culture edit

The SS Hendrick Hudson was the setting for Philip Bartholomae's 1911 Broadway play Over Night.[4] The Broadway musical Very Good Eddie (1915) takes place aboard the Hudson River Day Line boat "The Catskill".[5]

Citations edit

  1. ^ Blume, p. 228
  2. ^ Ewen, p. 51
  3. ^ a b Hudson River Maritime Museum staff. "The Hudson River Day Line - 1863-1971". Hudson River Maritime Museum. Retrieved June 15, 2023.
  4. ^ "STAGE FRIGHT SEALS YOUNG AUTHOR'S LIPS; Bartholomae Is Dumb Before Plaudits Marking the Success of "Overnight" at Hackett". The New York Times. January 3, 1911. p. 12.
  5. ^ Bloom, Ken; Vlastnik, Frank (2004). Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of all Time. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. ISBN 1-57912-390-2.

Bibliography edit