Sometimes, from up on Walkway Over the Hudson or anywhere along the Hudson shore, you can watch the passage of a lovely wooden vessel, its gracefully curving sides decorated with a brightly colored border and its sails billowing. It seems to arrive out of the past and sail on until it disappears into the unknown. Indeed, that’s almost what it is doing. It is the replica ship Half Moon, an exact copy of the Dutch East India Company vessel that Henry Hudson sailed up the river in 1609. When you see it you can’t help wondering what it must have been like to be on that ship 400 years ago, traveling an uncharted river, its banks untouched by industry, trains, tall buildings or elegant mansions.
William T. (Chip) Reynolds, guest speaker at the upcoming program of the Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society (TOLHPS), did more than just wonder about it. As captain of the replica ship and director of the New Netherland Museum, he comes closer than anyone else alive to have replicated Hudson’s experience. Sponsored by TOLHPS, he will share his research into early Hudson River Valley history and his experiences aboard today’s Half Moon on Monday, April 1, 7:30 p.m., at the Vineyard Commons Theater in Highland.
Reynolds is well recognized for his expertise in the early history of the Hudson River Valley, with particular emphasis on the meeting of the Native and European cultures. Reynolds has been awarded the Order of the Orange by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands and the Gold Medal of the Holland Society for innovative programming with the Half Moon. He is a native Floridian whose professional education is in environmental sciences. His professional work has included field and policy-based assignments on ecological issues and nuclear non-proliferation. His parallel career in the maritime field has included work with commercial fishing, tug boat operations and square-rigged sailing ships.
Vineyard Commons, where the April 1 program will take place, is at 300 Vineyard Avenue. For more information, call 255-7742 or visit www.tolhps.org.