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  2. This unique project is being undertaken under the auspices of a new nonprofit organization called New Netherland Routes, Inc., formed by Don Rittner, County Historian, Greta Wagle, New Netherland Institute, and Gerald DeWeerdt, Director of the Maritime Museum in the Netherlands. Mr. De Weerdt will be supervising the reconstruction of the Onrust and is an expert on 17th century Dutch boat building.  The project hopes to have the ship completed in Schenectady County and act as a floating ambassador for Schenectady and our Dutch history up and down the Mohawk River.
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  4. The Onrust was a Dutch ship built by Adriaen Block and the crew of the Tyger, which had been destroyed by fire in 1614 at the tip of Manhattan. The ship, a yacht, was the first decked vessel to be built entirely in America. The construction, with help from the Lenape Indians, took one winter. The ship was 441/2 feet length, 111/2 feet beam and 16 tons.
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  6. The Onrust was launched into Upper New York Bay in April 1614. The ship sailed through the treacherous passage called Helle-gat (Hell Gate) in the East River and later became the first American-built vessel to sail in Long Island Sound (‘T Groot Baai). Block had earlier explored it with the Tyger. Block explored the harbors of Long Island and Connecticut discovering the Housatonic and Thames Rivers, and sailed up the Connecticut (de Versche Rivier) River past the site of Hartford. The Onrust continued on to Narragansett and Buzzards Bays, and Cape Cod.
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  8. In his honor, Block was immortalized with a small island, named Block Island. On the basis of this voyage, the Dutch laid claim to the territory of New Netherland, a territory that included Long Island (and all of New York), Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, and parts of Pennsylvania.
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  10. The last historical account of the Onrust describes her 1616 expedition down the coast of New Jersey to explore the New River (Delaware River) under the command of Captain Cornelius Hendrickson. No one knows the final disposition of the ship since it was too small to travel over the ocean.  It is believe to have been abandoned.
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  12. Block was also the first European to venture up the Connecticut River. He managed to get as far as the Enfield rapids, about 60 miles up the river. He is credited for the map of his voyage on which many features of the mid-Atlantic region appear for the first time, and on which the term New Netherland is first applied to the region.
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  14. The Hudson River has the Half Moon replica, and the Mohawk will have the Onrust replica. The Onrust will bring attention to the Schenectady area and its importance during the early founding of America, but also as a major ship-building community during the 19th century. This floating museum will provide students and the public with a perspective on 17th-century life and the early explorations of the country.
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