Sarah Kuse

SHS Museum

On display in our main entrance hall is this Skaneateles Boat & Canoe Leisure Hour Cat-Boat.

In 1926 this custom-made boat was given to William J. (Bill) Clapper, Jr. of Wolcott, NY, upon his graduation from Syracuse University. It is an 18’ gaff-rigged cat-boat, part of the Leisure Hour line of boats. She was sailed out of Port Bay, north of Wolcott, on Lake Ontario.

It is said that Bill Clapper and his wife Nettie often sailed Sarah Kuse formally dressed: he in a suit and tie and she in a fancy dress and hat, with a parasol. That scene was vividly remembered by the neighboring Pasco family who rescued the Sarah from near ruin, and Phil Pasco brought her to Cambridge, NY.

She was then given to Bob Clay, also from the Cambridge area, with the stipulation that she be fully restored and put on display, which is why she is now here. Bob, with support from his wife Carol, spent over 1200 hours lovingly and skillfully bringing the Sarah Kuse back to life as an outstanding example of wooden boat building in Skaneateles. She is now back home thanks to the generosity of the Clays and the Pascos.