Thousand Islands antique boat community remembers pioneer and figurehead, Peter Mellon


CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — The antique boat community in Clayton remembers the legacy of a leader and figurehead.

Peter Mellon, who resided along the St. Lawrence River passed away on August 28, 2020. The Antique and Classic Boat community, remembers his legacy and impact not only to the Thousand Islands region, but globally.

Mellon found his passion for boats and the St. Lawrence River and resided on Wellesley and Tennis Island.

He eventually combined his passion for boats and the thousand Islands with his sales experience to start Antique Boat America in the late 1990s. .

According to Anthony Ingerson at Antique Boat America, his idea for the brokerage started from when Mellon attempted to buy his first antique boat, when there was no “go-to source.” He started his business locally in one day, listing boats in the Thousand Islands.

ABA is now noted as the largest broker for Antique and Classic Boats worldwide, with their headquarters in Clayton, NY

“Peter was not only a creative and hardworking businessman, but a world class friend. He would often go out of his way to do favors for his friends and staff, and expect nothing in return but your friendship,” said Anthony Ingerson from Antique Boat America. “The term “larger than life” was invented for people like Peter. The enthusiasm and energy he brought to a sometimes considered stuffy hobby, was exactly the spark needed to push the hobby forward.”

Peter Mellon’s legacy is also being felt at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton.

Museum Executive Director Rebecca Hopfinger began working with Mellon when she first started working at the museum in the 1990s. She say the thing she will miss most about him is his perspective.

“I feel like Peter’s legacy is the fact that he was able to connect people with boats,” said Rebecca Hopfinger. “It didn’t’ matter if it was a first time antique boat owner or somebody with an already very impressive collection, he had a special knack for connecting boats with people. I saw that so many different times and it was really wonderful to see.”

It is with no doubt that the Antique Boat Community, especially in Clayton will miss Peter Mellon, but his legacy will live on for years to come.


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