Greenwich Historical Society to open maritime exhibition

"Narcissus," a 10-meter yacht owned by Frank Page, photo from the Greenwich Historical Society Library and Archives.

“Narcissus,” a 10-meter yacht owned by Frank Page, photo from the Greenwich Historical Society Library and Archives.

Through paintings, photographs, maps, charts and instruments, Close to the Wind: Our Maritime History will explore the rich history of maritime Greenwich, sharing the myriad stories that link the community to its coastal roots. With 36 miles of coastline, the sea has always played a significant role in the history of Greenwich. Since the town’s founding in 1640, boats plying Long Island Sound were a regular and reliable means of commercial trade and passenger transport. Yet by June 1896, signaling the end of an era, the last market sloop sailed from the Lower Landing in Cos Cob to New York.

With the rise of pleasure yachting, new maritime pursuits appeared on the horizon. Yachting became both a sport and a leisure activity associated with the grand lifestyle of the wealthy tycoons who built the great estates. Over time, as boating became more affordable, Greenwich once again witnessed a proliferation of boats of every size and description as well as the establishment of many organizations dedicated to boating.
Enthusiastically endorsing the new show, Exhibition Committee Chairman Jessica Guff noted, “We wanted to honor the unique relationship of Greenwich to both the Long Island Sound and our many local rivers and waterways. Recreation and commerce on the water transcend social and economic distinctions. Our waters are open to everyone and unite us in enjoyment and appreciation.”
The Historical Society plans a number of lectures and programs in connection with the show including a talk by sailor, author and historian John Rousmaniere, a Story Barn program featuring personal stories with the theme “Any Port in a Storm,” a lecture on Revolutionary War-era coastal charts and maps, and a cruise highlighting the historic features of Captain’s Harbor. Visit www.greenwichhistory.org for information and program reservations.
Generously supported by a gift from TransAtlantic Lines, Close to the Wind: Our Maritime History opens to the public on March 30 and will run through September 4, 2016.
Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4:00 pm at the Greenwich Historical Society Storehouse Gallery and Bush-Holley Historic Site, 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and is always free to members and students and on the first Wednesday of each month.

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