Replica Half Moon Leaves NY Waters

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Half-Moon-at-Hoorn-IllustrationCiting financial hardships, the Board of Directors of the New Netherlands Museum is moving the Half Moon replica ship to the City of Hoorn, The Netherlands. On Saturday night the Half Moon arrived in New London, Connecticut in preparation for it’s departure.

A petition to Dr. Andrew Hendricks, Founder and Chairman of the New Netherland Museum has been established, but has drawn little support, garnering less than 600 signatures. The ship leaves New York with nary a word from the state’s history community or its leaders.

The Half Moon was built in 1989 by the New Netherland Museum, but failed to find a supporting home port in America according to its owners and operators. It is a replica of the Halve Maen, which Henry Hudson sailed up the river that now bears his name in 1609.

The Half Moon is expected to arrive tomorrow in Lynn, Massachusetts, to take part in filming the HBO mini-series “New World”. It will then travel to Newport, Rhode Island to be loaded on a transatlantic cargo ship in early April. Half Moon is expect to land in the Netherlands on May 23rd and spend the summer visiting maritime history festivals there.

The City Council of Hoorn voted in December to adopt the Half Moon for inclusion in a 17th century historic site under the management of the Westfries Museum.

Illustration above, an artist’s rendition of the Half Moon in the harbor a Hoorn.

10 thoughts on “Replica Half Moon Leaves NY Waters

  1. Paul Stewart

    I’ll be the first to admit there’s a lot that I don’t know about this situation. I would like to think that someone deciding to build this ship would have first taken a lesson from the Clearwater. What makes the Clearwater’s success is the large environmental community, a popular singer (who passed away at this point) and a lot of dedicated people in “sloop clubs” all up and down the river. Where are these elements for the Half Moon? They never existed and so the support that so many have for the Half Moon has never been mobilized. Those who had the strongest interest in mobilizing it never tried to mobilize that kind of support. A boat is an expensive venture plain and simple. Without that kind of support it is likely that it will not make it. What will be the next chapter on this story?

  2. Gabrielle Pierce

    I’m just shaking my head in disbelief over this. It reminds me of the time several years ago that the air museum in Elmira, NY sold its finest acquisition, the Fuddy Duddy B-17 WW II bomber in order to boost the museum’s finances. Uh, when you sell THE most vital aspect of the museum—-??? Yeesh.

  3. Dorothy Heller


    NYS History Blog Staff,

    I could not belileve this whole situation. I agree with Paul Stewart. As a matter of fact from the articles written about it, I thought the ship was already in Hoorn. Many asked me how it was transported to Holland. Sailed across the Atlantic, on a large ship or flown across in a plane? I have saved everything about the Half Moon since it was first mentioned on the blog. And of course their newsletter. All of a sudden it was decided to give it away? Is New York State so poor that it couldnt take the time and make th effort to save something so valuable to the history of New York and America? The ancestors of the people who settled Clay were settled for a short time in Camps on the Hudson when they were evicted from German, the Palatines. Henry Hudson and the Hudson River are deeply ingrained in our Town of Clay’s heritage and Immanuel Lutheran Church. The pastor who served for 47 years at this oldest Lutheran Church in Onondaga county grew up along the Hudson and wrote a book, SHADOWS OF THE HALF MOON, a story of his youth. The Hudson River was a segment of the way west.

    My husband and I made a trip to Albany to visit the ship and take photos, and how thankful we are, although I do make trips to Holland so I will undoubtedly visit it next time I go.

    It’s too late to save it for America,, right?

    Dorothy Heller, Historian
    Town of Clay

    1. Martin Bonne

      Hello Dorothy Heller,

      Maybe you already found some videos of the arrival of the Half Moon (Halve Maen) in the Netherlands, but here’s a link to a video from the Half Moon arriving in IJmuiden In The Netherlands.
      The ship is now build up again en cleaned so it will be ready on may 23 when she sails into the harbour of Hoorn.

      Regards, Martin Bonne
      Volunteer at the Westfries Museum

  4. Chris Philippo

    A little bit of history repeating, albeit with a better outcome for the ship. This is why we can’t have anything nice.

    “Half Moon Replica Sunk in Harbor.” Evening News [North Tonawanda]. August 5, 1925: 1 col 6.

    “The vessel, built originally for participation in the Hudson-Fulton celebration in 1909, has been badly damaged during the past few years by souvenir hunters.”
    “Half Moon’s Replica Is Being Overhauled.” Brooklyn Standard Union. September 4, 1926: 10 col 8.

    “Halfmoon Replica Is Fire Damaged.” Troy Times. April 6, 1928: 12 col 6.

    “Dutch Embassy Seeks Information of Halfmoon Replica.” Troy Times. July 8, 1929: 3 col 2.

    “Half Moon Replica May Go to Albany.” Troy Times. July 18, 1931: 5 col 8.

    “Preserve Half Moon.” Elmira Star-Gazette. July 31, 1931: 6.

    “Historians End Session In This City; Re-elect Officers, Indorse Historical Work, Plan Washington Celebration at Final Meet; Urge Repair of Half Moon.” Schenectady Daily Gazette. September 28, 1931: 11 col 8.

    “Half Moon Afire.” Niagara Falls Gazette. December 22, 1932: 3 col 4.

    “Poor Halfmoon; Replica Again Suffers From Ravages of Fire.” Albany Evening News. January 4, 1934: 1 col 2.

    “Fires Rob Fair of Exhibit.” Salem Press. April 26, 1934: 2 col 1.

    Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. 11 col 5.

    Sanzone, Danielle. “Eric Markiewicz on a voyage to find information about the 1909 Half Moon replica.” Troy Record. December 8, 2011.

    1. Chris Philippo

      “Mort Grant, executive secretary, Research Foundation, State University of New York” says “one can only sorrow that the sole remains of the burned ‘Half Moon’ replica are a pair of iron hinges. Thousands upon thousands of children could have loved that ship.”
      Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. September 27, 1957: 11 col 5.

      1. Chris Philippo

        “NEWBURGH, Jan. 25.—The Half Moon, the reproduction of the ship in which Henry Hudson sailed up the North River, has sunk at her moorings off Mountain Park.”
        “Half Moon Replica Sinks.” Hudson Evening Register. January 24, 1917: 1 col 4.

        “Governor Smith has signed the Byrne Bill which gives to the City of Cohoes possession of the vessel Half Moon” … “Enactment of the bill into law brings to a close a controversy between Cohoes and Albany started early this year as to which should have possession of the boat.”
        “Cohoes Gets Half Moon, a Duplicate of Hudson’s Boat.” Yonkers Statesman. April 19, 1924: 11 col 1.

        “the ship fell into a state of disrepair, and dry rot and several fires took their toll. Finally, after an unsuccessful effort to raise funds to recondition the ship, some remaining timbers were salvaged and incorporated into a local memorial.”
        “‘Half Moon’ Replica Not Available for River Fete.” Kingston Daily Freeman. February 26, 1959: 1 cols 1-2.

        “After the 1909 celebration, no one seemed to know what to do with the Half Moon. It finally was given what seemed likely to be its last resting place in Popolokin Creek on the west side of the Hudson River opposite Peekskill.
        “A West Shore Railroad trestle was across an inlet to the creek and the Half Moon seemed securely land-locked for all time. Then in 1924 Mayor Cosgro and a number of residents of Cohoes got the idea of bringing the Halfmoon to Cohoes where it was planned to moor it as a permanent historic relic.
        “John E. Matton & Son, Inc. was given a contract to bring the Half Moon to Choes. A large tug went down the river to retrieve the replica. It was necessary to temporarily remove a portion of the railroad trestle to get the Half Moon from its mooring place. Before that, however, the craft had to be repaired for holes had been made in its bottom and the boat was resting in the mud.
        “Man Drowned
        “Then, when a railroad crane sought to lift part of the trestle and move it to one side, the weight of the object caused the crane to tip over into the water. The operator was drowned.”
        Calkins, Herbert. “Hudson Fete Recalls Cohoes Half Moon Replica.” February 27, 1959: 19 cols 4-5.

        Thanks to Tom Tryniski for making it so easy to find articles such as these!

        1. Peter Mulder

          …The operator was drowned…..

          This appears to be a nice example of making an event from the past more dramatic than it actually was. This horror story keeps repeating itself .
          The text in a newspaper of 1924 was…. The engineer shut off the steam engine and crawled out of his cab of the crane , but was slightly hurt. ….
          That is probably much closer to the reality!

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