Monday, July 16, 2012

The Wreck of the Swallow

Every time I scroll through the historic photographs in my keeping, looking for a particular image, and come upon this print of the steamboat Swallow, I resolve to do a post about the wreck of the Swallow and the house in Valatie that was built from the steamboat's salvaged ruins.

This morning, while searching through the old issues of Columbia County History & Heritage available online, I rediscovered an article about the Swallow in the Spring 2005 issue, written by Dominic Lizzi, Valatie village historian. It includes a dramatic account of the wreck of the Swallow, which occurred in the west channel of the river, opposite Hudson, on the evening of April 7, 1845. Lizzi's article, entitled "The Swallow House of Valatie," appears on pages 38 and 39 and is recommended reading.        


  1. Gossips has many historical artifacts in its possession as do other Hudsonians.
    Do you believe that it's time to bring the History of Hudson under one roof & ask for recommendations as to how & where a City of Hudson Museum can be established?
    Is the building (former factory) located near the North docks by the Furgarian Club available?
    I'm interested in input from Gossips' readers.

  2. Nice idea. You might want to talk to the Columbia County Historical Society first. CCHS has a collection, a professional director and a first-class curator (which defines a Museum -- one cannot have a museum without a curator). Having been on that Board, I know that they would be receptive and helpful. It is not a small undertaking to care for objects of value into perpetuity.

    -- Jock Spivy

  3. I've heard tell that some of the remains of the Swallow are still visible beneath the surface when the water quality permits (or were still visible in the memory of people who are still living).

    The claim is even specific to the steamboat's paddle wheel.

    It's something I've always hoped to to check out for myself someday.

  4. Is it possible to get a copy of any image of the wreck of the swallow? I had two ancestors, sisters, who died in the wreck. I would love to be able to give it to my 93 year old father who has been fascinated by this because of what is recorsed in the family bible. Thank you,
    Wendy Freeman

    1. You can copy the image that appears in this post, or contact the Columbia County Historical Society: