James V. Glynn, Nikola Tesla expected to be placed into service later this month
In a private family ceremony July 31, Maid of the Mist’s two new all-electric, zero-emission passenger vessels were christened at the corporation’s drydock and maintenance facility on the Lower Niagara River.
Nora Fiore Costanzo, granddaughter of Maid of the Mist Chairman and CEO James V. Glynn, christened the vessel named in his honor. Glynn is marking 70 years with one of North America’s oldest tourist attractions.
Another Glynn granddaughter, Elisabeth Hanley, christened the Nikola Tesla, named after the Serbian-born engineer who played a key role in the development of the AC motor and its application in Niagara Falls.
“It was a real challenge to build these vessels in this space,” said Maid of the Mist President Christopher M. Glynn. “It was a lot of hard work, with a lot of the finish work performed by our own folks, and I want to express my gratitude to them. They are beautiful boats and people will really enjoy riding on them.”
The ceremony also included a “mast stepping,” the mariner’s tradition of placing a coin under the mast of a vessel for good luck. A sixpence Irish coin from 1950 was placed in the James V. Glynn in honor of the family’s Irish heritage and commemorating his first year with the company. The coin was placed by Jon Schultz, former Maid of the Mist Vice president of operations and longtime friend of James V. Glynn.
A Serbian coin with Tesla’s image reading “Electrical Visionary,” was placed under the Nikola Tesla mast by John Kinner, brother-in-law of James V. Glynn’s wife, Mary.
The two new vessels were blessed by Msgr. David G. LiPuma, a Glynn family friend and pastor of Our Lady of Victory Basilica Parish in Lackawanna.
Christopher Glynn said he hopes the two new vessels will be placed into service sometime this month, following final regulatory approvals.
With Maid of the Mist Capt. Kyle Taylor looking on, Nora Fiore Costanzo christens the James V. Glynn.
James V. Glynn and his wife, Mary, on the bow of his namesake vessel.