Last updated: 5/12/2013
Clayton, New York
Street Address
750 Mary Street
Clayton, NY 13624
Mailing Address
750 Mary Street
Clayton, NY 13624
phone: 315-686-4104
fax: 315-686-2775
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Frederick H. Hager, Executive Director

Antique Boat Museum Statement of Purpose:

To collect, preserve, study and interpret objects related to the fresh water nautical history of small craft (less than 100′) of North America, with emphasis on the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding area.

The Antique Boat Museum is the premier fresh water nautical museum in North America. Located in the 1000 Islands on the St. Lawrence River, the ABM’s galleries overflow with over 300 unique and beautifully-preserved boats and thousands of recreational boating artifacts. From May through October, our 4.5 acre campus comes alive with speed boat rides, boat shows, educational programs for all ages, special events and more.

Please allow 1.5 hours to visit the Museum. The Museum campus and exhibit buildings are wheelchair-accessible, with paved paths meandering between our buildings across beautifully landscaped lawns and gardens. A limited number of complimentary wheelchairs are available at the Museum.


In the 1960′s a small nucleus of people who were determined to preserve the nautical and cultural heritage of the St. Lawrence River established the 1000 Islands Museum on the St. Lawrence River in Clayton, NY. Within the museum, a group concerned with preserving the area’s rich boating heritage formed the Antique Boat Auxiliary and organized a show of antique boats in 1965.The boat show became an annual event and grew steadily in size. Under the auspices of the Antique Boat Auxiliary, a small group of supporters acquired several parcels of waterfront property in the early 1970s and established a permanent museum to host the annual boat show. The new institution received a provisional charter from the NY State Department of Education as the 1000 Islands Shipyard Museum in 1980 and was granted an absolute charter in 1986. A 1990 amendment to the charter changed the institution’s name to the Antique Boat Museum.

In the 40 years since its founding the Museum has built up a substantial waterfront campus that encompasses 4.5 acres of public program space, 1900′ of dockage and 1300′ of St. Lawrence River shoreline. The 10 buildings on the campus contain 29,000 square feet of exhibit space and 33,000 square feet of public program, collections storage, archives, library and administration space. The exhibits and programs are supported by 20,000 square feet of boat collection storage located a short distance from the Museum’s main campus. In the last decade the Museum has undertaken a substantial capital expansion program to consolidate its real estate holdings and construct buildings and infrastructure worthy of its collection and programs.From humble beginnings as a riverside gathering of antique boat enthusiasts, the Antique Boat Museum has evolved into a national institution which makes substantial economic and cultural contributions to Clayton, the North Country region and the preservation of North America’s maritime heritage.

Educational Programs

Whether you are six or sixty, new to the River or have spent every summer here since you were born, we’ve got something for you and your kids to learn. What can you do with us? Learn to sail, get your captain’s license, build a boat with your family, or get your NY State boater safety certificate… There are a lot of fascinating opportunities to learn at the Antique Boat Museum. All courses have a low instructor-student ratio, and are taught on and around our beautiful waterfront campus. New classes are constantly being posted throughout the year so check back often.


La Duchesse is not wheelchair-accessible or available for group tours.

Wheelchair Accessible




Gift Shop

Online Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

Group Tours

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Richmond, Virginia

Riggs Ward Design (RWD) is an award-winning experience planning and design studio headquartered in historic Richmond, Virginia. Over the past 24 years, we have provided experience design, strategic master planning, interpretive planning, research, content analysis, and storyline development for museums, universities, corporations, and cultural institutions. RWD’s services also include exhibit ephemera, books, and fundraising campaign materials.

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