It turns out that, far from being a bizarre novelty, paper boats, made from a form of papier-mache, were very popular in the latter half of the 19th century. Before there was fiberglass and composite plastic, paper was used to build light and fast racing shells, canoes, and rowboats, and the leading manufacturer of paper boats was E. Waters & Sons, Paper Boat Builders, just up the river in Troy.
You can learn much more about the Waters paper boat factory and about paper boats in general at an amazing website called Ken's Paper Boat Page. This is all by way of introducing the news that a flotilla of paper boats from Troy is due to visit our part of the river on September 1 and 2 as part of a collaborative art and activism project called SeaChange.
On Monday, September 1, the SeaChange crew will be guests at Publication Studio Hudson in Catskill for dinner and a movie. Dinner is fish stew; the movie is The River Twice, a documentary by Meryl O'Connor about floating on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. The event starts at 7 p.m. Publication Studio Hudson is located at 460 Main Street in Catskill.
On Tuesday, September 2, the paper boats will be on our side of the river for a Riverside Party for Climate Justice at Rick's Point in Henry Hudson Riverfront Park. Paper boats from Kite's Nest and the Hudson Sloop Club will join the SeaChange paddlers on the water, while on land, there will be food, ice cream, and live music. Hudson Praxis, Hudson Community Garden, and Publication Studio Hudson will also be part of the event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. and goes on until 8 p.m.
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