The Hudson River Dayliner Sylvan Shore signed lower right: "J. Bard" oil on canvas 17-1/2 x 44 in. (44.4 x 111.7 cm.)
The Sylvan Fleet operated in and around New York Harbor with occasional trips up the Hudson. This fleet consisted of five small side-wheelers, all trim, fast and efficient. They were, in order of acquisition: SYLVAN SHORE, SYLVAN STREAM, SYLVAN GROVE, SYLVAN GLEN, and SYLVAN DELL. These steamboats compared with today's Rapid Transit System and served faithfully in such capacity until the advent of the steam elevated railroads.
Owned and operated by the Harlem and New York Navigation Company for many years, running on schedule from lower Manhattan to landing along the Harlem River from 125th Street and Mott Haven to High Bridge and Spuyten Duvil, they occasionally ran intermittently to Astoria on Long Island and to Shady Side, now Fort Lee, New Jersey. In all weather they adhered to their schedule and invariably made better time than could be made by the horse cart and stages of that period.
The SYLVAN SHORE was built by F. Boode of Morrisiana, NY. She had a wood hull weighing in at 217 tons, and with principal dimensions of 136ft LOA, 23ft beam, and a draft of 7 ft-6in. Fletcher & Harrison vertical beam engine # 2, having 30 inch cylinder with 8 foot stroke. The SYLVAN SHORE was the pioneer of the fleet and when finally sold by the Harlem New York Navigation Company was taken south and ran on the Savanah River several seasons and then, in 1877, the vessel was dismantled and the engine placed in the new ferryboat ANNEX #1.
Exhibited: The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York: J. & J. Bard Picture Painters, June 4, 1977 - September 11, 1977.
PROVENANCE: Collection of Arthur H. Fletcher of the W.A. Fletcher Company Hoboken, NJ Jesse L. Fletcher, and thence to the Steamship Historical Society of America.
LITERATURE: Anthony J. Peluso, Jr., J. and J. Bard: Picture Painters, Hudson River Press, New York, 1977, pg. 32 for a mention of the Sylvan Shore
The Mariners Museum in collaboration with Anthony J. Peluso, Jr., The Bard Brothers: Painting America Under Steam and Sail, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1997, pp. by 58 and 146 for mentions of the ship, and pg. 77 for a watercolor example in the collection of the New York Historical Society.