A Sure Sign of Fall

Suzanne Besser captured this image on the morning of Sept. 8 as the Swan Boats were being removed from the Public Garden, concluding the 2023 season for this beloved Boston tradition. 2023 marked the 146th season for the Swan Boats. Launched in 1877 by Irish immigrant and shipbuilder Robert Paget, the Swan Boats continue to be owned and operated by the Paget family. Fully loaded, each Swan Boat weighs three tons and is powered by the driver using a foot-propelled paddle wheel. The Swan Boats are built on oak-framed pontoons sheathed in copper, just as they were initially constructed in 1877. The boats will return to the Public Garden Lagoon in the spring, after being stored in a safe place for the winter.

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