The weather vane out by the road:
From a handout at the museum...
We will endeavor to guide you through more than 165 years, from 1832 to 2000, starting with pianos made by Henry Hartge, circa 1836. The Journey from pianos to boats reflects the craftsmanship, integrity and entrepreneurship that seems to repeat itself.
Henry's grandson, Emile Hartge, moved from their enormous waterfront property in West Shady Side to build a new home and business in this house in 1879.
He and his wife, Susan, raised ten children who grew up here. Old photographs show their lives in this water oriented 17 acre home place. The steamboat EMMA GILES played an important part in all our lives as it plied its journey to and from Baltimore.
Bateaux, log canoes, and boats are all types were created by Captain Emile. Models of log canoes and bugeyes he built and sailed are also on display.
Ernest (Dick) Hartge joined his father in the business in 1920. He designed and built, sail and power, work and pleasure craft in sizes from 10 to 50 feet. One of his best known is the Chesapeake 20.
In 1934 he converted two older hulls, for the State of Maryland, into sailing replicas of the Ark & Dove, the ships that had brought the first settlers to Maryland three hundred years earlier.
Also in 1934 Dick asked his brother, Captain Oscar, to assume the business of hauling, painting, repeairing and docking while Dick stuck to the designing and building of new boats.
In time the family business became the Hartge Yacht Yard, Inc., and grew into a rather large yard with the amenities of a marina. From the years 1952 to 1963 eighteen of the 26 foot Quadrants were built here.
The West River Sailing Club was almost an integral part of the yard, especially during the 40's and 50's. During this period, the office of Commodore was often held by the Yard's customers or Hartge family members. Elsie Hartge Wallis was the first female elected to the honor.
The modern HYY has come a long way since the family left Baltimore to live and work on the waters at West River. Captain Emile Alexander would be proud of his namesake, Emile Alexander Schlegel, in whose capable hands the Hartge Yacht Yard moves into the new millennium.
LAURENCE HARTGE, Museum Director
PETER D. TASI, Exhibition Director
In 2000 the Museum starting a walking tour of the yard with signs to indicate more of the history. Click here to see images of the signs. Be patient -- they're large files so it takes a while to load them, but they're as small as I could make them and still have them be readable. ENJOY!