1971, Peter Hornbeck, Olmstedville, NY, started making small boats in
his shop when he was on break from his job as an elementary school
teacher. Inspired by Canton's 19th century boatmaker J. Henry Rushton,
Peter aimed to make small, light boats that would allow paddlers to
explore the small ponds, streams, and backwaters of the Adirondacks. In
the 1990s, with the partnership of his wife Ann, that interest in boats
became a full-time occupation. Hornbeck Boats became the epicenter of a
vital and growing community of recreational paddlers, assuring
Hornbeck's place in the history of small craft.
died in December 2020, leaving the company he founded in the capable
hands of his son-in-law. To honor Peter's work and his influence on
recreation in the Adirondacks, TAUNY Executive Director Jill Breit and
boat historian Hallie Bond are teaming up to develop an exhibit that
will open at The TAUNY Center in 2022. We'd love to hear from people who
have and love Hornbeck boats and hear stories of your adventures in
them. Please contact Jill, firstname.lastname@example.org, with photos and any stories
you have to share.
Photo Caption: Peter's
friend and former neighbor Dan Berggren spends most of his time in his
Hornbeck boat on a chain of small quiet ponds near his home.