A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Steamboat Dock Museum - Keyport

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My daughter and I just visited the Steamboat Dock Museum, which is located at the foot of Broad Street at the corner with First Street and American Legion Drive on the Keyport waterfront.

The museum has been operated from this wonderful spot on the Raritan Bay since 1974 by the Keyport Historical Society, according to Keyport: From Plantation to Center of Commerce and Industry, by Jack Jeandron (2003).

The museum is free but has limited hours of operation: Sundays 1 pm to 4 pm (June to September), Mondays 10 am to noon, and by appointment. Nola, one of the museum's volunteers, happened to be inside and opened the place for us this afternoon (Saturday). She was kind enough to explain a few of the exhibits for us.

The museum has original artifacts and lots of pictures of Keyport from the 1917-1936 period when Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company was a thriving transport business. Jeandron devotes a whole chapter to that era. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum mentions Aeromarine in its America By Air exhibit (see Early Airlines and Who Flew?). Check out a picture of the Aeromarine hangar on Flickr.

The museum also covers Keyport's days in the shipbuilding business, including the Civil War era. Locally made ships made their way to New York and down the coast to the Carolinas delivering agricultural goods from the region's farms. Lincoln used a Keyport-manufactured ship as his naval base of operations during the Civil War. Jeandron devotes a chapter to local shipbuilding.

The Keyport Historical Society has a speakers series you may wish to attend. All events begin at 7:30 pm at the museum.
  • 3 August: Olav Olson and Keyport Boat Builders, by John Olson
  • 14 September: Trains and Trolleys, by Tom Gallo and Bill Longo
  • 5 October: Identifying the #9 Wreck, by Dan Lieb
Other major events, also at 7:30 pm at the museum, include:
  • 24 October: Tea and Fashion Show
  • 5 December: Candlelight House Tour
  • 7 December: Covered Dish Supper
The Society can be reached at 732-739-6390.


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