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The Democratic Register Newspaper – May 26, 1917 Edition




A regular meeting was held at the Ossining Boat and Canoe Club Thursday night at their clubhouse, and a large number of members were present. Besides the regular order of business considered, two new members were elected in and one new application received. Despite the late season, plans are being made to whoop things up and make the club better than ever. Owing to the celebration and parade to be held on Decoration Day, it was deemed advisable to hold the club’s regular “opening day” a little later in the season.


The newly elected officers of the club gave the boys a “treat” in the way of “chowder” and all the things that accompany it, and many thanks are due Mrs. James T. Crane who was the master hand at preparing it goes without saying that the “food” was extra good.


Commodore Reed saying he will not be satisfied until he gets a 99 percent attendance – he’ll get them even if he has to go after them with his truck

Citizen-Sentinel Newspaper – March 13, 1925 Edition




The Ossining Boat and Canoe Club will open the season’s activities by giving a dance and reception to their friends and public on Thursday, March 19.


A new dance floor was installed during the winter and other improvements have been made. It is now an ideal place for a dance and run under careful guidance. Everything is provided for the comfort and pleasure of those in attendance.


Citizen-Sentinel Newspaper – March 20, 1925 Edition




The spring reception and dance of the Ossining Boat and Canoe Club was held at the boathouse last evening. A capacity crowd was in attendance. The new dance floor in the reception room was used for the first time, and it was most satisfactory. It is one of the best dance floors in this section.


Louis Toub’s orchestra furnished excellent music, giving a regular Vincent Lopez program of latest hits.


Toub’s orchestra will be a regular feature at coming dances at the clubhouse.


Former Commodore George Romaine and Harry Haines was the committee in charge under Commodore Johnson.


Citizen-Sentinel Newspaper – March 28, 1925 Edition





Commodore Michael Johnson of the Ossining Boat and canoe Club looked the part of a jovial buccaneer Sunday, as he whistled and sang in his voluntary labor of installing a retiring room in the 60x40 modernized Colonial design clubhouse on the river front, opposite the station of the New York Central Lines.  Commodore Johnson has a drooping, heavy black mustache, which looks piratical, if one does not understand that he is the personification of good cheer, and his merry crew, consisting of the 60 and more members of the lively aquatic organization, swear by him and not at him in their loyalty to his interests to one and all of the personnel, not to mention his ever dominant desire to have the commodious clubhouse as near perfection they make ‘em. Indeed, it is Commodore Johnson’s practical and energetic work that the home of the Ossining Boat and Canoe Club was reared. At his suggestion – for he never orders – the membership jumped in and the clubhouse was built entirely by the boys.


And, it is a right smart and comfortable clubhouse at that, provided with every necessity for things nautical, social and other attributes of a life on the ocean waves, which in this instance means the noble Hudson and adjacent waters. Upon the first floor is a canoe storage room, provided racks for 40 craft, with locker rooms for boating devotees and canoeists, augmented by a work shop and heating plant room and toilet.  In front, facing the river, of course, is a wide porch, extending the full length of the building, from which a runway leads to the landing float in the good old summertime.  Upon the runway swing is block and tackle for emergency repairs to motor craft, so the gay Corinthian have no cause to patronize neighbors and friends here and in other parts when anything goes wrong with their craft.


Upon the second floor is ensconced the meeting room 38 x 40 feet, recently improved by a conventional Georgia pine flooring, greatly to the delight of those who foregather for dancing, with a kitchen, boatkeeper’s room, and the embryo retiring room mentioned aforesaid. So, here we have all the comforts of home, plus a broad piazza from which the far reaches of the Tappan Zee may be enjoyed as one tilts back to capacious rocking chairs. The joiner work in the-dance room is done in hard wood and beaver board paneled in tasty design. From the center is suspended a lighting fixture as novel as it is reminiscent. The mahogany steering wheel of the hay barge Caledonian which went to pieces at Sparta Dock a number of years ago is made to do duty as a circle upon which to hang a number of pendant electric light bulbs, the center being a dome light of 100 candle power.  It was on the main deck of the barge Caledonian that the late John L. Sullivan really began his pugilistic career, engaging in a contest with one flood upon the waters and netted Sullivan $1,000.


The building is located upon filled in and leased property from the New York Central Lines, the plat being sufficiently ample space upon which to store motor boats during winter time.  At present there are about 30 boats upon “the hard” which means Mother Earth all taken from the water last fall via a marine railway, provided with all the facilities of a miniature shipyard. The ways are provided with a winch, and has a turn table, thus affording opportunity to run craft off upon lateral tracks, obviating the first boat out in the fall, being the last out in the spring.  In all, there are over 300 feet of trackage, enough and sufficient to put a large fleet in ordinary.


Ossining Boat and Canoe Club was organized about 8 years ago, having quarters in what is now the Naval Militia boat house on the Charles G. Washburn property. Here the Shattemuc Yacht and Canoe and the Ossining Yacht Club had their respective first home and grew to be flourishing institutions in the days of sail boat racing, the Shattemucs surviving the coming of motor boats.


John T. Hyland preceded Commodore Johnson reigning for four years, during which the club abandoned swaddling clothes and branched out into water sports galore.  Ernest Rydell, a member living in New York, holds the championship of the Atlantic Division of the American Canoe Association, won at Sugar Island in the St. Lawrence last year, proving his prowess as a single paddler.  During “Johnny” Hyland’s command, the organization flourished like a green bay tree, and is now free from all debt.  Johnny retired in January last, leaving the helm to Commodore Johnson, who has a spirit emulating his predecessor. Other officers are: George Romaine, vice commodore; Harry Haines, rear commodore; Wilbur Horton, secretary; Timothy Brosman, treasurer; George Woolsey, fleet captain; Albert Gustin, rear fleet captain. Committee chairmen are: John T. Hyland, regatta; Wilbur Horton, house; George Romaine, entertainment; John H. Bar…


This section is missing a part of the paper in the corner and this is all I can make out.


... whether eye to windward… The red, white and blue...Ossining Boat and Canoe Club…enjoy of particular...when it is May.

The insignia…at the field is …being a blue…shaped plot of…

Citizen-Sentinel Newspaper – February 1, 1926 Edition




The Novelty Dance given by the Ossining Boat and Canoe Club last Saturday evening, in their club house was well attended and enjoyed by all. So much so that a large number of those present suggested that the club hold them weekly for awhile. It was announced before the dancers left that another dance would be given next Saturday evening. February 6th, to which the public is invited. Music was furnished by Ralph Davis’ orchestra and needless to say it was good.


Many comments were heard relative to the fine dance floor the club has, as well as the splendid heating plant, which is capable of doing good service in the coldest weather.


The room was tastefully decorated to suit the occasion, and the dancers on leaving at midnight complimented the committee in charge for the pleasant time enjoyed, and they promised to make next Saturday’s dance as pleasant.


Citizen-Sentinel Newspaper – February 27, 1926 Edition


O.B. & C.C. broadcasting dance Saturday night, February 27th, $1.00 per couple.


Citizen-Sentinel Newspaper – August 16, 1926 Edition


Commodore Johnson Enjoys Clam Bake Despite a Plunge


Falls Into Hudson With a Big Splash When Pole Snaps


Commodore Michael Johnson of the Ossining Yacht and Canoe Club was still able to care for his full share of the club clambake held yesterday despite an involuntary 18–foot plunge in to the Hudson River Saturday afternoon.


The Commodore who is of generous build, was on a “Jim Pole” assisting in making some repairs to the float, when the pole broke and with it, the Commodore fell into the water.  Mr. Johnson hit the water first and the pole fortunately fell to one side so that he was not injured beyond having the wind knocked out in the fall.


Club members state that the Commodore hit the water first because of his superior weight but students of the law of gravity claim that this could not be so.


Hudson River fisherman dies at 80
By Brian J. Howard

(Original publication: July 21, 2006)



The rare times Thomas Crawford wasn't fishing on the Hudson River, he could often be found staring out the picture window of the Hardie Street home his father built, studying the tides and aching to get back out there.

Crawford, who died Saturday of heart failure at age 80, had many nicknames, the Sturgeon General and King Crabber among them.

But most knew him as Tucker, a legend on the river who plied his craft long after a 1976 ban on commercial fishing for striped bass choked the life out of a centuries-old industry.
"He loved the river," said his son, Thomas Crawford Jr. "He grew up in the Depression. They had no food, so during the winter they cut through the ice and fished to have something to eat."

Relatives and friends crowded Steamboat Dock on Wednesday to watch Crawford's family fulfill his last wish by sprinkling his ashes on the river from the boat "Sole Mate." Longtime friend John Vargo thought to tow Crawford's empty fishing boat behind.
Born Jan. 6, 1926, to John A. and Claire Kall Crawford, he attended school in Verplanck until the sixth grade. Despite his lack of formal education, he was sought out by state environmental officials, Cornell Cooperative Extension and others for his expertise, his family said.

Environmentalist and Hudson River advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. called Crawford a champion of the river and an icon of the commercial fishing industry
"And he was an encyclopedia of knowledge about commercial fishing on the Hudson," Kennedy said yesterday. "He knew more about the Hudson River than any scientist in the state."

An infantryman during World War II, Crawford was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge. He operated Tucker's Barber Shop in Verplanck from 1953 until 1974 and was a member of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Society, the Verplanck Fire Department and the Hudson River Fisherman's Association, later renamed Riverkeeper.

But nothing he did on land defined him the way fishing did.
"There was such an aura about him when you went out with him and watched what a master he was at what he did," said his grandson, Michael Crawford, 37, whom he raised from the age of 2.
He said his grandfather taught him to appreciate the river and to live life to the fullest.
Crawford, a lifelong Verplanck resident and contemporary of renowned Ossining fisherman.


Henry Gourdine, who died in 1997, seldom took a vacation or even a sick day, family members said, and never found it too hot or too cold to fish.
He was among a handful of fishermen featured in "The Last Rivermen," a 1992 documentary produced by Riverkeeper and narrated by actor Alec Baldwin about the decline of commercial fishing on the Hudson River.

Besides his son, Crawford is survived by two daughters, Marilyn Rush of Surprise, Ariz., and Deborah Crawford of Verplanck; a son, Abram Crawford of Verplanck; a brother, John "Sparky" Crawford of Fishkill; and two sisters, Adele Matthews and Joan Villetto, both of Cold Spring; seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and dozens of nephews and nieces.

He also leaves behind his river.

"He loved the river," Thomas Crawford said. "The river was his life. You couldn't keep him off it."