SYLPH BROCHURE, Brooklyn, NY – 1940
This 1940 brochure advertises the "SYLPH" as a sightseeing vessel, shortly after her party fishing boat career ended in 1939. Purchased by the US Navy in June 1898 from her builder, John Roach & Co., Chester, PA, the then coal-fired steamer was commissioned as a presidential yacht on August 18, 1898 at the Norfolk Navy Yard. 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, the Navy permanently moored her at the Washington Navy Yard, where she remained until her decommissioning in April 1929.
Frank B. Clair of Brooklyn, NY purchased her in November 1929 (Mr. Clair was reportedly an ex–bootlegger.) Mr. Clair and his partner Captain John Nugent converted her into a party fishing boat and operated her from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY during the 1930s.