Waterfront Museum

290 Conover St. Brooklyn, NY 11231, Brooklyn, NY 11231 - United States




Free Everyday

The Waterfront Museum is housed aboard a 106 year old wooden railroad barge that once shuttled cargo from ships in the NY Harbor to the railroad terminals lining the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. Rescued from the mudflats by founding president David Sharps in 1985, the barge represents the only surviving example of the Lighterage Age (1860-1984), a period in transportation an commerce history that was replaced by today's containerization and use of trucking, bridges and tunnels in distribution.


The Museum houses artifacts from The Lighterage Era including signboards, bells and tools from tugs, barges, ferries, tankers. and ships. The Museum provides school class visits, open hours and showboat performances all year round. An audio-kinectic ball machine by George Rhoads is a popular favorite for kids of all ages. Staff is on hand to interpret the barge, captain's quarters and the families that lived on the barge and cared for the vessel.

Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.