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A Beacon of
Maritime Heritage

The City Island Nautical Museum is housed in a historic school building designed by C.B.J. Snyder and built by the City of New York. Originally built in 1897, this handsome structure served as a vital educational hub for generations of City Islanders. Today, it stands as a beacon of maritime heritage, preserving the rich history of our island community for all to explore and enjoy.

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Our Story

The story of the City Island Nautical Museum is deeply intertwined with the seafaring legacy of City Island itself. Founded in 1976, the Historical Society has been dedicated to celebrating and honoring the maritime traditions that have shaped our island's identity for centuries. Through captivating exhibits, engaging programs, and a treasure trove of artifacts, we invite visitors to embark on a journey through City Island's nautical past.


Transported Back In Time

As you step inside our museum, you'll be transported back in time to an era when shipyards, sail lofts, and bustling waterfronts defined daily life on City Island. From the craftsmanship of boat builders to the bravery of Hell Gate pilots, our exhibits showcase the diverse stories and experiences that make up our maritime heritage.


Join us in celebrating City Island's rich history and discover the wonders of the sea at the City Island Nautical Museum. Whether you're a longtime resident or a curious visitor, there's something here for everyone to enjoy. Come explore, learn, and be inspired by the tales of our seafaring ancestors. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

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Our Mission

The City Island Nautical Museum is operated by the City Island Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) organization; all donations are tax deductible. The mission of the City Island Historical Society is to promote and encourage original historical research; to disseminate and encourage a greater knowledge of the history of City Island, New York, and its environs; to gather, preserve, display, and make available for study artifacts, relics, books, manuscripts, papers, photographs, and other records and materials relating to the history of City Island and the surrounding area; to administer the Nautical Museum to meet educational and interpretive goals of the society, and to offer leisure time activity for the community and visitors.

Our History

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, after careful consideration of the history and the architecture of the building at 190 Fordham Street in which the museum is housed, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated former 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 is proud to be a Distinctive Destination of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We welcome all National Trust members to receive half-price admission.

The museum's programs have been supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, City Council Members of District 13, and New York State Assembly member Michael Benedetto.

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Board Members

Tom Nye, President (third from right)
Barbara Dolensek, Vice President (far left)
Lauren Nye, Secretary (far right)
Frederick W. Ramftl, Treasurer
Wendy Yang Clark (second from left)
Barbara Dennis
Barbara Hoffman (third from left)
Dot Payne
Elinor King (second from right)
Stephanie Ribaudo

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