NMHS 59th Annual Meeting – Staten Island, NY 3-5 June 2022
The Trustees of the National Maritime Historical Society are delighted to invite members to join us for our 59th Annual Meeting the weekend of 3-5 June 2022 on Staten Island, New York.
We will be hosted by our friends at the Noble Maritime Collection, an extraordinary museum interpreting the life and art of marine painter John Noble (1913–1983). Alexander Hamilton himself drafted the will of Robert Richard Randall in 1801, in which he bequeathed his New York property to create a retirement home for “aged, decrepit, and worn out seamen,” to be known as “Sailors’ Snug Harbor,” one of the first retirement homes established in the United States. Today the site is the home of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens, which includes the Staten Island Museum and the Noble Maritime Collection on its campus.
John Noble was passionate about saving the ruins of this once great institution that had served some 10,000 mariners over the years. Sailors’ Snug Harbor was a self-contained community with a farm that produced its own food and tobacco and included a 400-bed hospital and a sanatorium. The late NMHS president emeritus Peter Stanford, a friend and admirer of John Noble, worked for decades with Noble Maritime Collection founder Erin Urban to repurpose one of the buildings on the Snug Harbor campus into a museum honoring the artist. It was a herculean task that Erin undertook, and she credits Peter with much of its success, including saving Noble’s houseboat studio; it has been restored to its 1954 appearance and today serves as the centerpiece of the museum.
Annual Meeting Weekend Schedule
Friday, 3 June
Kicking off the weekend on Friday, attendees will arrive at Staten Island’s National Lighthouse Museum at 11 AM for a three-hour boat tour of the lighthouses around New York Harbor, viewing Sandy Hook Light, the Twin Lights in New Jersey, Battery Weed Light, Coney Island, West Bank, and Romer Shoals lights, with a casual lunch served on board. After the tour, enjoy the afternoon at your leisure—while you are on the north shore we recommend a visit to the nearby Alice Austin House or historic Fort Wadsworth.
Saturday, 4 June
On Saturday, members will board a coach at 8 AM from the Hilton Garden Staten Island, arriving at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens for continental breakfast at 8:30 AM. The annual Business Meeting will commence at 9:00 AM, followed by maritime heritage presentations and lunch at beautiful Celebrate Snug Harbor at 12:30 PM.
Ciro Galeno Jr., the executive director of the Noble Maritime Collection, will share insights on this extraordinary museum. Susannah Abbate, director of education and engagement at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, will highlight the fascinating history of historic Sailors’ Snug Harbor. Stefan Dreisbach-Williams, local writer, educator and a member of the Robbins Reef restoration crew, will share with us the mysteries of this New York Harbor lighthouse. Peter Malinowski, executive director of the Billion Oyster Project, will discuss his organization’s mission to restore New York Harbor’s ecosystem. Victoria Munro, executive director of the Alice Austen House, will tell us about Austen, the pioneering photographer whose legacy includes thousands of photographs of New York Harbor from the late 1800s.
After lunch, we’ll split up into smaller groups and revel in fascinating tours of the Noble Maritime Collection, historic Sailors’ Snug Harbor and the Staten Island Museum. At 5 PM, the coach bus will return members back to the Hilton. Enjoy dinner on your own or in the company of member friends new and old—we’ll provide a few recommendations for a great meal on Staten Island, or enjoy a trip across New York Harbor on the iconic Staten Island Ferry and enjoy dinner in Manhattan!
Sunday, 5 June
To wrap up the weekend, at 10:30 AM on Sunday, attendees will enjoy a two-hour guided tour of Caddell Dry Dock with its president, Steve Kalil. One of the oldest shipyards in the New York Metropolitan Area, Caddell’s impressive resume includes repair and restoration work on the Staten Island Ferry fleet, US Coast Guard barque Eagle, Gazela Primeiro of Philadelphia and the tall ships Wavertree and Peking, to name a few! Members are then invited to climb aboard the Brooklyn-launched 1931 fireboat John J. Harvey and—if you’re heading back to Manhattan after the tour—to catch a ride to Pier 66 (on the Hudson River at 26th Street).
For NMHS to flourish and grow, it is important that its leaders and members gather to share ideas to chart the Society’s course into the future. Click here to register online, or call headquarters at (914) 737-7878 ext. 0 to sign up. You can register for the full three days, or by the day.
All Annual Meeting Weekend Activities: $240 per person—includes Friday boat tour and lunch; Saturday coach, continental breakfast, business meeting, presentations, lunch, and tours; and Sunday tour of Caddell Dry Dock.
Single Day Activities:
Friday, 3 June: $75 per person—includes lighthouse boat tour and lunch.
Saturday, 4 June: $155 per person—includes coach transportation, breakfast, business meeting, presentations, lunch and tours.
Sunday, 5 June: $10 per person—includes tour of Caddell Dry Dock and John J. Harvey.
If you can join us as a Donor, Sponsor, or Underwriter, we would be grateful:
A $500 Donor contribution includes one place for all weekend events, Donor recognition, and a half-page in the NMHS program.
A $1,000 Sponsor contribution includes two places for all weekend events, Sponsor recognition, and a full page in the NMHS program.
A $5,000 Underwriter contribution includes two places for all weekend events, Underwriter recognition, and a full page in the NMHS program.
The official hotel of the NMHS 59th Annual Meeting is the Hilton Garden Staten Island (1100 South Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10314). To make your reservation, visit the hotel website or call (718) 477-2400 between 9 AM and 5 PM EST
With great thanks to our sponsors
William H. White
Dr. Deborah & Dr. Clarel Antoine
VADM Al Konetzni, USN (Ret.)
CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.)
Ronald L. Oswald
RADM Joseph Callo, USN (Ret.) &
CAPT Sally McElwreath Callo, USN (Ret.)
Dr. William S. Dudley