The Keuka Maid at Hammondsport, NY has been purchased by the Fields Construction and Excavating Inc. Company of Canandaigua, NY. It was about 10 years ago when Jeanette and I had lunch on board the Keuka Maid while we were on a day trip with the Centerfield Homemakers Travel Group.
The Keuka Maid has been around for about a quarter of a century. She was built in the late 1980’s from two WWII barges, and she seems to me more like a floating hotel than a real boat. I remember our lunch on the Keuka Maid. It was pleasant enough and certainly the leisurely tour around Keuka Lake was most enjoyable. I do remember that the boat did not steer very well and the Captain had all he could do to get the Maid turned around and headed back to Hammondsport, NY.
In recent years, the Keuka Maid has fallen in disrepair. A few years ago, the present owner tried to have the boat moved and beached in Penn Yan, only to be ordered to have the boat returned to Hammondsport. Every now and then, the Keuka Maid takes on water and the Hammondsport Fire Department comes to her rescue and pumps out the water. It’s doubtful that she could sink very far as the water where she is docked in Hammondsport is only a few feet deep.
Last Monday on the 22nd of October, the Keuka Maid went on the auction block and was purchased for $26,000 by Jeremy Fields of the Fields Construction and Excavating Company Inc. of Canandaigua. The Fields Construction Company does have some experience in restoring boats as they did the work on the Canandaigua Lady at Woodsville, NY a couple of winters ago when her hydraulic lines needed to be replaced. According to Jeremy Fields, he would like to restore the boat and return it to her former glory, but it will depend if such is project is even feasible or not. Otherwise, the Keuka Maid will be scrapped.
I really don’t have an opinion one way or another, but I do have to agree with the Urbana Town Supervisor John Webster when he said, “I will feel a lot better when it’s gone.” But maybe the Keuka Maid has finally found someone willing to give her a new chance on life.