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Interpreting the Evidence

Ice Boating on the Hudson River near Hyde Park, c. 1900

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Turn of the Century and WWI (1890 - 1930)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    Mid Hudson
    New York State

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Ice Boating on the Hudson River near Hyde Park, c. 1900 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
An ice boat sailing on the frozen Hudson River near Hyde Park in Dutchess County, New York, circa 1900.
Historical Context
Iceboats were first invented around the mid-1600s in Holland. They were sailboats fitted with runners. They were designed to carry goods over the frozen canals of Holland. In 1790, Dutch settlers introduced the iceboat to the Hudson River. Soon iceboating became a popular sport. The Poughkeepsie Ice Boat Club was the first iceboat club in the United States. It was founded in 1861. Iceboating quickly spread across the United States, and it remains popular to this day.
Essential Question
How does the existence of leisure time influence culture and economy?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain how the existence of leisure time changed the American culture and economy.
Historical Challenges
Who started the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club in 1869?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: Which would travel faster: an iceboat or a sailboat? What would speed depend on?