On September 28th, 1918, the car ferry, Rye Cliff, burned and sank into Hempstead Harbor while docked at the pier in Sea Cliff. Originally named the General Knox, the RyeCliff carried tourists from New York City, Katonah and Brooklyn to summer in Sea Cliff, Long Island. As it was being prepared for the end of its seasonal service, the 137 foot long steam driven ferry caught fire, burned to the waterline and sank. The conflagration resulted in the complete devastation of the pier and boat. Years later its remains are a favorite dive site for both amateur and professional divers.
The East End Seaport Museum is pleased to display items salvaged and raised from this area of underwater ruins by Brett Curlew and his crew.
The Small Ships AT the East End Seaport Museum!
Small ship building has been a maritime tradition for thousands of years, with model ship building finding its roots in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. Ship models have been used as burial offerings, household articles, artistic works and toys. We invite you to explore this ancient tradition at the Seaport Museum.