The Swan Boats are some of the most historic figures in the Boston Public Garden, but do you ever wonder where they came from? Lyn Paget is the fourth generation of Swan Boat operators, dating back to 1877. Originally started by Lyn’s great grandfather, Robert Paget, and preserved by her great grandmother, Julia Paget, the Public Garden’s Swan Boats are enduring and iconic symbols of Boston.
Initially starting out with one row boat, the Paget family adopted a number of paddle boats and christened them with the now iconic Swan imagery. Inspired by “Lohengrin”, an opera based on the medieval German story in which the protagonist traverses on a boat that is pulled by a swan, the Swan Boats are an important part of the Public Garden’s history.
While the Swan Boats may not be in operation until April, the opportunity to learn more about them is coming up. On March 3rd, the Connolly branch of the Boston Public Library will be hosting a talk given by Lyn Paget on the Swan Boats. This will be a great chance to learn about the Swan Boat’s history, the Paget family’s traditions, and practices behind a quintessential Boston activity that has been enjoyed by Bostonians and visitors alike for over 136 years.
This lecture is free of charge on March 3rd at 6:30 to 7:30 and the library is located at 422 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain. This event is recommended for young adults, college students, adults and seniors and is sponsored by the Jamaica Plain Historical Society.