The History of and Potential for Hart Island
Barbara Burn Dolensek in conversation with President of the Hart Island Project, Melinda Hunt.

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2021 Zoom Webinar Series

The Museum’s popular Zoom Webinar Series held earlier this year is now available on YouTube.

City Island’s Artists
Cheryl Brinker in conversation with local artists Marguerite Chadwick-Juner, Mary Colby, and Ron Terner

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The History of
City Island

Hear from City Island Nautical Museum President and Curator, Tom Nye, on the History of City Island. He will show pictures of City Island from its origins to today, spending particular time on the history of City Island's yacht industry. 

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P.S. 17

Join Ena Ellwanger, Karen Rauhauser Nani, and City Island Nautical Museum Board Members Judy DiMaio and Barbara Harrison to discuss memories and highlights from the school. 

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The America’s Cup, Past and Present

Join Dick Sadler and Tom Nye in a discussion of the America’s Cup past and present. Many America's Cup yachts were built on City Island, and the race continues this year in New Zealand, although the boats are quite different now! Dick Sadler was on Ted Turner’s crew when Courageous (built on City Island) successfully defended the cup in 1977.

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Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Nautical Museum will remain closed until further notice, and we won’t be hosting special tours. However, If you would like to buy gifts from our shop, call 718-885-1616. In the meantime, take a look at our Facebook page for some wonderful albums of historic photographs. And if you want to make a year-end donation to the City Island Historical Society or purchase a membership ($25 for individuals and $35 for families), you may do so by PayPal.


The Board of the City Island Historical Society voted unanimously on September 22, 2020, to postpone the museum’s opening until May 1, 2021, pending future state and city Covid-19 restrictions.   


The City Island Nautical Museum

  • There will be no visits to the museum by the public.

  • Special requests for research can be made for 2-3 people by calling 718-885-0507.

  • All visitors and contractors must abide by current Covid-19 virus sanitary rules.

  • Walsh Library is not available for community meetings.

  • Shopping for museum items can be done by calling 718-885-1616.

We are delighted to introduce you to one of the most interesting communities in New York City, City Island, a small island with a rich nautical history. Much of its colorful past is preserved in the Nautical Museum, and during most of the year we are open every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Museum will remain closed because of the coronavirus epidemic until further notice and possibly for the rest of the year. In the meantime, we have been hard at work repairing damage in the Community Room, installing new objects in the Nautical Room, and preparing an exhibit of the works of Mark Whitcombe for our Gallery. Work continues on the Oral History Project, which will be launched next year. If you have any questions, please email or call 718-885-0507.

In the meantime, we have posted a brief illustrated history of City Island based on a webinar that was presented on June 15 . Another webinar, City Island, the "Cape Cod" of New York will be presented on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 5:30 p.m.  Visit for more information. There is a small fee for admission to the webinar, half of which will be donated to the Nautical Museum.

Visit Facebook for a look at hundreds of photographs of City Island Then and Now, posted by Tom Nye, the museum’s president.

City Island’s Boat-Building History Exhibit

At the turn of the 20th century, City Island was a major center for wooden boat building with a worldwide reputation for the highest quality. This exhibition of photographs and commentary focuses on the extraordinary period in City Island’s history when yacht and shipbuilding were at their peak. Here are all the old yards, the brilliant craftsmen who worked there, the methods of construction they used, and the famous sailing and motor yachts they produced. Also highlighted are the military vessels that were built here during the war years and the brilliant 12-meter sloops that successfully defended the America’s Cup seven times.

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Did You Know?

…that a yacht built on City Island in 1930 won a major race in December 2017 as the oldest boat in a fleet of 87? click for more

This is a great place to tell your story and give people more insight into who you are, what you do, and why it’s all about you.

The next time (and every time) you shop at Amazon, go to 


select the City Island Historical Society as your charity of choice, and 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases will be made to the Nautical Museum.


The City Island Nautical Museum is proud to be a Distinctive Destination of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We welcome all all National Trust members to receive half-price

admission ($2.50) when visiting our site. Visit distinctive-destinations for more information.

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The museum's programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, thanks to Council Member Mark Gjonaj, and by the Bronx Council on the Arts through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Greater New York Arts Development Fund Regrants Program, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Bronx Delegation of the City Council. The City Island Nautical Museum was granted a permanent charter by the Board of Regents of the New York State Board of Education on January 11, 2012. And, on the basis of a careful consideration of the history and the architecture of the building at 190 Fordham Street in which the museum is housed, the Landmarks Preservation Commissioned Public School 102 (later Public School 17, The City Island School) a landmark because of its “special character and a special historical and aesthetic interest and value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of New York City.

The City Island Nautical Museum wishes to thank the following City Island businesses that have become Corporate Members.


A-Quality Glass

The Black Whale

CI Construction

City Island Diner

Consolidated Yachts, Inc.

D & D Bowne Realty

Fordham Marine Service

John Douglas Forrest

KEE Electric

Leonard Hawkins American
Legion Post 156

Maria Caruso Travel, Inc.

Morris Yacht Club

Seafood City

Tered Realty LLC