Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hudson River Day Line

After reading "Port of Call," a reader questioned the notion that there was no place for small cruise ships to dock in Hudson, pointing out that the steamboats of the Hudson River Day Line stopped regularly in Hudson, right up until the mid-1950s. These were boats of significant size. Where did they dock? Why isn't that space available anymore?

The Hudson River Day Line provided passenger service between New York City and Albany. This picture, found in A Pictorial History of Columbia County published a few years ago by Hudson-Catskill Newspapers, shows one of these steamboats, the Alexander Hamilton, docked in Hudson. The Alexander Hamilton became part of the Hudson River Day Line fleet, "the largest and most elegant fleet of steamboats on the Hudson," in 1924.    

If any readers know where exactly this dock was located on the Hudson waterfront, please satisfy our curiosity and share that information in a comment.     


  1. Carole
    I have a hand drawn survey map - 1870's - of part of the waterfront. I see a pier with dock and large flight of steps. You or anyone else interested are welcome to check it out here in my shop.

  2. While it is difficult to tell from this photo exactly where the ship was docked, one thing is very clear: It is well out into the river, where the water is deeper.

    When the SLC Greenport issue was raging, the company had to propose "breasting barges" between the existing docks and the cement barges, so as to put their ships far enough out so they wouldn't touch bottom. Otherwise, they would have to dredge, which (as we know from the G.E. controversy) involves tremendous expense and difficulty.

    Once again, this puts the lie to one of the slogans of those cheerleading for the LWRP—that Hudson has a "deepwater port." It's not a deepwater port by Federal definitions, and I've confirmed that directly with a top State expert. We discussed this in some detail several months ago at the Valley Alliance's website:

    In short, the fact that this ship pictured above appears to be docked at the end of a long pier sticking out into the river further emphasizes that the Waterfront plan is built on half-truths and empty slogans.

    —Sam P.

  3. A reader has responded with an answer to my question about the location of the Hudson River Day Line dock. According to my source, the Day Line dock was located where the Hudson Power Boat Association is now. The building that is now the HPBA clubhouse housed the ticket office and the waiting room.