Celebrating ‘Iron Men In Wooden Boats’

By Nicholas Cafalone, Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY –   This weekend, the H. Lee White Marine Museum will be hosting two replicas of the ships used by Christopher Columbus to discover the New World.

Replicas of the Nina and Pinta are on site at the marine museum for visitors to view and even climb aboard and look around.

“We are floating museums. We celebrate the technology of 500 years ago and iron men in wooden boats,” said the captain of the Nina, Kyle Friauf.

The ships’ last stop was in Bridgeport, Conn., from there they traveled up the Hudson River and along the Erie Canal to make their way into the Oswego Harbor.

The Nina is an exact replica of the one used by Columbus and the Pinta is about a dozen feet longer than the original.  Both are surprisingly small, the Nina is only 65 feet, for vessels that were used to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

“The things they had to go through and the things they had to bring. There is a lot of that involved there that people don’t really grasp until they come here and can see it and feel it and touch it,” said Captain Friauf.

The Nina was built by hand and without the use of power tools and considered to be the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.

Some visitors climb aboard the Pinta on Thursday
Some visitors climb aboard the Pinta on Thursday

The Pinta was built in Brazil and is a larger version of the archetypal caravel and has a 900-squre-foot main salon down below to view slide shows of the ships’ construction.

Friauf added, “You don’t get this from a history book until you stand on the deck and realize what people were doing and what it took to do that.”

The ships will be in Oswego’s Historic Maritime District (north end of West First Street) for the public to visit, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., through Sunday.

The museum and its vessels will be open the same hours.

Friday will be Kids’ Day with activities geared towards youth.

While the ships are in port, the public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard self-guided tour.

The prices are $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and $6 for students.

Children under 4 are free.

The ships are open every day from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Marine Museum will also be open for tours during these same hours.

A separate admission will be charged.

Free off-site parking will be available before entering the west pier near the Oswego Railroad Museum.

The Oswego Railroad Museum will be open for guided tours all four days from noon until 6 p.m. The exhibit, “American Freedom Train” will be featured. A nominal charge is requested.

Contact the museum at [email protected] or 315-342-0480 for further information or to schedule a group tour.

Also check www.hleewhitemarinemuseum.com