SYLPH Advertising Sign, Brooklyn, NY – 1935
The "SYLPH" was built in 1898 as the official Presidential Yacht. She served in this capacity for Presidents McKinley (1898-1901), Roosevelt (1901-1909), Taft (1909-1913) and Wilson (1913-1921). In 1921, the Navy re-designated her as Patrol Yacht PY-5 and she sailed on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. In 1925, she was permanently moored at the Washington Navy Yard, where she remained until her decommissioning in April 1929.
The "SYLPH" joined the Sheepshead Bay party boat fleet in the spring of 1930 when she was purchased from the US Navy by Frank Clair and his partner Captain John Nugent and converted for party boat fishing. In 1935 Captain Jeremiah 'Jerry' Driscoll purchased a 50% share of the "SYLPH" from Frank Clair and with Captain John Nugent continued to sail her from Sheepshead Bay until 1939 when she joined the ferry service taking passengers from Sea Gate, Brooklyn to Manhattan.