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clearwater barnraising 06 -- Pete Seeger "If I Had A Hammer" with Bruderhof children's choir

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Published on Sep 15, 2012

Pete Seeger "If I Had A Hammer" with Bruderhof children's choir

Pete Seeger performs at Clearwater's Rondout Landing barn raising ceremony

Folk icon Pete Seeger was the showcase performer at Clearwater's barn raising ceremony, held Saturday afternoon at Rondout Landing.

Scores of volunteers from the Timber Framers Guild toiled since early sunrise to build the Kingston Home Port and Education Center, located at the Hudson River Maritime Museum on Rondout Landing.

The shared facility will shelter Clearwater's flagship and crew members during cold weather, and be used by the museum during summer months to build smaller boats, among other functions.

The Amish-style construction took place as thousands of weekenders gathered to watch, entertained by musicians throughout the day.

Wearing bright yellow shirts and hardhats, the workers crafted thick beams out of oaken lumber salvaged from last year's hurricane treefall. Placement of the finished pieces was assisted by a modern crane.

In July, Clearwater and HRMM announced their mutual decision to build a berth in Kingston for the historic 19th Century sloop, which over 40 years has spearheaded ecological awareness and river preservation.

Since that time, millions have toured the Hudson River aboard this unique vessel, touched by the inspiration of Pete Seeger's longstanding community spirit.

"It's the beginning of a momentous and historic partnership," said HRMM executive director Patrick McDonough. "It's just a perfect combination, and we're really happy to have them here," he remarked.

"We've got this beautiful boat, we've sailed in every harbor," noted Jeff Rumpf, Clearwater's executive director. "We realized we better get a home port to fix it, because these sloops can't last forever unless you really take good care of them," he said.

"It's a big deal for Clearwater, and we're hoping that it will bring an economic jolt to Kingston," Rumpf added. "That's what it's about -- symbiosis, working together, making good things happen at the waterfront," he said.

"Every person here, every member of this community, deserves access to the river, and clean air and water," observed Clearwater board president Alan Shope, project architect. "As a group, we owe it to them, we have to do it together. 'No' isn't an option," he said.

"Clearwater is not the only group waiting 40 years for a great situation to occur," indicated state assemblyman Kevin Cahill. "This area here just about 40 years ago was seeing the end of its life as the commercial center of Kingston," he said.

"From that time forward, and I would dare say until today, the future of this area was not certain," Cahill said. "But now with the Home Port of the Clearwater, with the enthusiasm that we're feeling down here, so many attractions that are developing, the bustling business all over the place, we can say the Rondout has arrived."

Cahill continued, "Now every Spring, we will wish the crew and the ship farewell for a wonderful season plying the Hudson River, educating people. And, every late Autumn, when this boat comes cruising down that inlet, we will say, 'Welcome home.'"

Clearwater HRMM Hudson River Maritime Museum 2012 Kingston home port ceremony

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