John J. HarveyRetired New York City fireboat John J. Harvey has been recognized as a national treasure with a $165,000 “Save America’s Treasures” matching grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The grant will be used to make urgent repairs needed to stabilize the fireboat. The nonprofit Save Our Ships New York needs to raise funds for the match.  Make a donation at

The North River Historic Ship Society, founded in 1994, is a state-chartered nonprofit organization that supports and encourages the restoration of historic ships, advocates for free dockage so that these ships can be open to the public, and it sponsors public programs.

What's the North River? "North River" is the historic name of the Lower Hudson River (from the Battery to the northern tip of Manhattan). It dates back to the 17th-century Dutch who called the Hudson the "North River" and the Delaware (along New Jersey’s southern shore) the "South River." Today’s professional mariners still call the Lower Hudson the North River.

Click here to join our mailing list.

Donate to all the historic ships through
Donate to all the historic ships through NRHSS!
Hold Fast These Dates!
The 2014 North River Historic Ship Festival is June 19 to 22, 2014.

Last Year's Festival

Free boat rides, dockside ship tours, a circus on a barge, fishing on the river, knot-tying and more drew more than 1,000 people to Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 for the Sixth Annual North River Historic Ship Festival, June 19–22.

Tug Pegasus and John J. Harvey

Tug Pegasus, left, and fireboat John J. Harvey were two of the five historic vessels that participated in the Fifth Annual North River Historic Ship Festival.

Click here to download a full report on the 2013 and previous festivals (Adobe .pdf file).

4th of July Fireworks Fundraiser

Fireworks over the North River
Photo by Betsy Frawley Haggerty

As of March, it is still unclear whether the 2014 fireworks will be displayed over the Hudson River. Please join our mailing list for updates.