Connecticut River Museum Steamboat & Launch Show

The Connecticut River Musem Steamboat & Launch Show took place August 14-15, 1999 on the weekend immediately prior to Mystic Seaport’s annual Antique Marine Engine Show. (Many participants in CRM show went on to participate in the Mystic Show.)

Weather was marginal to poor. It was humid, hot, showers with periods of heavy rain. River tide was unfavorable to boat-exhibitor launching (dead low tide at Main street ramp). Nonetheless, the show appeared to be very successful. Approximately 50 targeted invitations were mailed, 26 exhibitors responded, and most showed up despite the weather.

This steamboat event as an interesting show and received much favorable commentary.

Exhibits within the CRM Boat Shed included: 45 working-model and full-size steam engines, most of which were operating throughout the show dates (on compressed air). Three large steamboat models (the 53′ Mount Washington, the Vivian Louise steam launch, and the 1890 Boucher).

Launches at the CRM Floating Docks included: Five steam launches (20′ Firefly-S. Clogston;. 25′ Osprey-CRM; 22′ Kate-B. White; 23′ Wahkeena-G. Rietze; 24′ Charlotte Ann-E. & C. Russell). Two gas launches (Keeper-Mowry Mann; Excelsior-David Williams). One electric launch (23′ Elco -Elco Electric Launch Company)

Three launches did not show up due to the threat of storm.

A parade of steaming launches and the gas and electric launches received good waterfront attention and applause on Sunday afternoon.

CRM admitted 493 paying visitors over the two-day period. This is approximately three times the average weekend CRM ticket gate, and does not include the many non-pay CRM members and show guests attending.

CRM’s steam launch Osprey was made fully operational just prior to the show by Barry White, George King III, helpers, and D.G. Fitton. Great help in set-up and operations was received from Tobacco Valley Flywheelers Association.

Virtually all volunteers showed up on time, and did a great job of helping make the show a success, especially D. G. Fitton. Ditto for the museum staff, particularly Shannon Burk and Laura Kruszewski.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
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