Timelines: Swan Boats History 1878

Robert lived only one year after the first Swan Boats were launched. He died in 1878 at the age of 42 and his wife Julia, a young widow with four children, assumed full management of the new enterprise. For over three decades—and before women had the legal right to vote—Julia managed the family business while raising her children. Since a woman-owned business was so rare, Julia was required for many years to gather signatures of support from local business owners in the Back Bay.