A History of the Fall River Line

March 26, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 5:30pm

Fall River Line
By Fred Pansing, from the collections of the Newport Historical Society

This program will offer a brief history of the Fall River Line steamships, highlighting Newport’s involvement with the Fall River Line from its founding in 1847 through its demise in 1937, and use in the 1937 America’s Cup spectator fleet. 

The Fall River Line had the largest side-wheel steamboats in the world starting with the steamer Baystate (1847) and ending with the steamers Priscilla (1894) and Commonwealth (1908). The Fall River Line was a night line carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers yearly between New York City and Fall River, MA with a stop at Newport in each direction. Most passengers left Fall River for Boston by express train. The interiors of these vessels were some of the most spectacular on any steamboat. Long Wharf and the large repair facilities for the steamboats in Newport will also be discussed. 

This 45 minute program will also feature images from the 1937 America’s Cup spectators’ fleet off Newport. The fleet consisted of Coast Guard vessels, private yachts, large passenger liners and excursion boats used to shuttle spectators out to view the races up close.

Andrew Lizak is a retired Commonwealth of Massachusetts employee. He has been a member of the Steamship Historical Society of America for over 40 years and has discussed steamships in many venues from Southeastern Massachusetts to Florida.

Admission costs $5 per person, $1 for Newport Historical Society members. Reservations requested. Persons with mobility issues should call in advance. 401-841-8770