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Kingston in Ulster County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Cornell Steamboat Company

 
 
The Cornell Steamboat Company Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, August 18, 2022
1. The Cornell Steamboat Company Marker
Inscription.  
Thomas Cornell came to the Rondout and began shipping with a sloop in 1837. His first cargoes were coal from the D&H Canal. Steam came to dominate freight transport as it had already taken over passenger transport. Cornell's business grew as more coal and other products such as wood, stone, plaster, tanning bark, animal hides, millstones, glass, charcoal, lead, and stoneware were brought to the Rondout to be shipped by steam towboats and barges.

Rondout became the main port between Albany and New York with coal the leading product being shipped. Despite the competition of at least ten steamboats, Cornell continued and eventually prevailed against competitors in towing freight, while giving up passenger service, except for the ferry service between Rhinecliff and Kingston Point, which he soon moved into the Rondout.

After the 1830s, there was great demand in the New York metropolitan area for coal from the D&H Canal for fuel, common brick from the many brickyards lining the Hudson to build houses and factories, Ulster County bluestone for sidewalks and curbing, Rosendale cement to build buildings and bridges (1880s), grain
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from the Midwest via the Erie Canal for food, as well as hay for the thousands of horses on the city streets. Later natural ice became a major cargo, as well. All, except for perishable food products which traveled by steamboat, were towed in barges or scows.

Thomas Cornell and his son-in-law S.D. Coykendall pursued the opportunities in a highly competitive business with enterprise and vigor. This resulted in a virtual monopoly of towing on the Hudson River which included buying out smaller firms or driving them out of business. At its peak, the Cornell Steamboat Company owned more than sixty towing vessels and was the largest towing company in the nation.

Funding for this sign was provide by a grant from the Hudson River Estuary Program, part of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. For more information, visit www.dec.ny.gov
Text and images for this sign were provided by the Hudson River Maritime Museum of Kingston, New York. For more information, visit www.hmm.org
The City of Kingston supports the creation and use of these interpretive panels on public and private property for the public good. Visit www.kingston-ny.gov


( photo captions )
—   Cornell tugs in front of company workshops, c. 1940s. Cornell had a fleet of up to 62 tugs at one time. These are some of the larger ones. From the
The Cornell Steamboat Company Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, August 18, 2022
2. The Cornell Steamboat Company Marker
Hudson River Maritime Museum archives.
—   The Cornell Steamboat Company building located at the foot of Broadway on the Rondout Creek, c. 1900. Other businesses of Cornell like the Ulster & Delaware Railroad, and company lawyers also had offices there. From the Hudson River Maritime Museum archives.
 
Erected by Hudson River Maritime Museum.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1837.
 
Location. 41° 55.144′ N, 73° 58.832′ W. Marker is in Kingston, New York, in Ulster County. Marker can be reached from Broadway near Rondout Landing, on the left when traveling south. Located at the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston NY 12401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Kingston-Rhinecliff Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker); Fulton’s Playground: Fun with Steamboats (within shouting distance of this marker); Rondout-Sleighsburg Ferry: Riverside, a.k.a. Skillypot (within shouting distance of this marker); Mary Powell Bell (within shouting distance of this marker); Sections of the “Old Stone Road” (about 300 feet away,
The Cornell Steamboat Company Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, August 18, 2022
3. The Cornell Steamboat Company Marker
measured in a direct line); 1898 Mathilda Steam Engine (about 300 feet away); The Tugboat Mathilda (about 400 feet away); Romer & Tremper Steamboat Dock (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kingston.
 
Also see . . .
1. Hudson River Maritime Museum. (Submitted on August 23, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. Cornell Steamboat Company - TugboatInformation.com. (Submitted on August 23, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 23, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 162 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 23, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.

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May. 27, 2024