Thursday, June 28, 2012

☞ REMEMBER: Boating on the Harlem c. 1899

Another photo from the late 19th century shows the new Harvard shell being hauled over at the collegiate boating houses that used to exist on the east side by the Harlem River.  Boating apparently was a popular activity back in the early days before industry polluted much of the waterways of Manhattan.  Nowadays, kayaking has made a return on the west side over at the Hudson for those who dare brave the waters of New York City.

Photo via the digital collection at the Museum of the City of New York


  1. Its not boating guys. Seriously. It's sculling. Doubt very much these guys were from Harvard as that's all the way up in Cambridge. If they were hope they capsized. We're Yale. Harvard colours are Crimson and white. Yale blue and white. Princeton yellow and black.

    But seriously. Sculling. And we're half Harvard.

  2. Actually SM,

    Princeton's colors are Orange and Black (hence the Tiger mascot).

    It also looks like a men's 4 crew team, likely Harvard (from the caption,) there for a race since Columbia's boathouse was and remains up in that area (the person walking behind the shell also looks like a coxswain). Another possibility is that it is, in fact, a Princeton team since the old crew teams used to keep a boathouse up here before Lake Carnegie was built. And if you look closely, the name of the boathouse over the entrance to the ramp has the word "Nassau" on it. Could refer to Nassau county, or could refer to Princeton since P-ton, endowed by William III, Prince of Orange of the House of Nassau, is affectionately known as "Old Nassau".

    The boat being carried is clearly a crew racing shell since it has single oar brackets for sweeping. Sculling is a single or doubles activity where the rowers use two oars, not one. A related, but different, activity altogether.

  3. Wow Max. Seriously. I was totally faking it except for the half Harvard half Yale part. That's no joking matters I love learning stuff.

  4. Btw. I'm from Nassau county. And I know Princeton has been called Old Nassau but never knew why bthanks again.

    Did you by chance go to Hill ?

  5. Some people would tell you that crew is no joking matter. I'm by no means an expert, but I know enough to be dangerous. :)

    Not sure what you mean by Hill, so I think the answer is no...