Paddle-Wheeling through Hudson Valley History

It didn’t take long to fill seats for both tours of “The Tappan Zee Experience: Past, Present and Future,” presented by the Historical Society of Rockland County on August 12 and September 4 (second date added because the first sold out).

Genuine Mississippi-style paddle wheeler/© 2014 Hudson River Sightseeing Cruises Aboard The River Rose

Genuine Mississippi-style paddle wheeler/© 2014 Hudson River Sightseeing Cruises Aboard The River Rose

Within one week of opening respective ticket sales, both boats were filled, HSRC Executive Director Susan Deeks said, crediting feature stories in the Journal News. “We are maintaining waiting lists for both August 12 and September 4.”

When Board President Larry Singer proposed the idea for a tour, it caught on, and he began looking for charter boats. Once he learned about the paddle-wheeler, “I know this was going to be the choice,” Singer said. “The beauty of the boat, and what HSRC wanted re space (for 140 or 150 people) . . . We have to do this.”

What a cool way to see the Tappan Zee Bridge, and learn about its history!

“The boat is leased out of Newburgh, and is open for charter during the week,” Singer said of the River Rose, whose owner, Captain John “Duke” Panzella, has been around boats throughout his lifetime. Overwhelmingly positive feedback included comments like “Great idea,” and “Should be fun/interesting.”

President since April, he’s has been an active member of our Bus Trip Committee, “a group of amazing volunteers who produce a dozen offsite bus and walking tours each year under the Historical Society’s banner,” Deeks said.

An HSRC historian will be on board to discuss the Tappan Zee Bridge’s past, the construction and all that entailed in 1955. Project officials from the Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) will talk about the New NY Bridge project.


Places of interest along the shorelines will be pointed out in passing: Hook Mountain, the village of Nyack, the former General Motors plant and Sing Sing prison in Ossining.

The Rockland County Sheriff’s Marine Unit will escort the tour, (which is) “another plus,” Singer said. Throughout the summer, the Marine Unit will be coordinating additional patrols to raise awareness of potential hazards.

For the first time, the unit is patrolling the Hudson River and its 26-mile Rockland County shoreline with three vessels: two from a marina in Stony Point, and a third from a dock beneath the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The Westchester County police department marine unit patrols the eastern 43-mile area from the Bronx border to just north of the Bear Mountain Bridge. Both divisions are coordinating their efforts with the U.S. Coast Guard.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

2 comments so far

  1. The Nothing Expert on

    I can’t wait to go!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: