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This photo was taken in late spring 2009. Onrust had been splashed just a day or two before, as recorded in post 1 here and then 2 here. But look over to the right side of the photo, the two bollards on squarish platforms in the water.
These. Well, at summer pool . . . when the water level of the canal is up to allow navigation, they look like so, but
when winter comes and the state hydrologist directs draw-down of the pool, the bollards are on platforms that
are actually concrete barges, ones that do NOT rise and fall with changing pool levels. The snowy photos I took last weekend.
Note the reference numbers below and
Here’s how they look on google satellite view. For more on the builder behind these, click here . . . G. A. Tomlinson.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
The imp in my head wants to mess with the title and permutate this to “tugmotives and locoboats,” and I’m guessing way back when power began to be applied to hulls, there were those who thought they were seeing “loco boats” but I digress. First, a historical photo to set the context.
Just east of local 19, here’s Margot pushing a barge underneath the main line. I don’t know the exact number, but these rails cross over the canal at least a half dozen times between Waterford and Tonawanda.
As you’ll see in most of the next photos, it’s hard to get a photo of a complete tug and a complete locomotive if you happen to be moving on one of the other. Difficulty notwithstanding, I kept on trying.
With a drone I could have gotten the locomotive . . .
or the rest of the tugboat.
I know there’s no locomotive in sight, but the boxcars were colorful.
We had to wait at the top of lock 19 and my camera was ready, but no trains came. As soon as we descended and started heading eastward . . . one passed.
When one passed right near us, of course it was backlit.
I took this shot from the upper wheelhouse.
So at the end of the season, I had to conclude this was my loco-tug moneyshot, which had to be taken from neither.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, whose focus will soon be leaving the canal. Having said that, part of me wants to get back up there when the water levels are drawn down and the snow covers the ground. Click here for some history of the relations rail/canal in the first quarter century after the opening of the waterway. Click here for a basic introduction to the canal levels monitoring from the state hydrologist.
Now this could be a productive combo, after all there was a DeWitt Clinton, which was NY’s first locomotive and it ran between two cities at the eastern end of the Erie Canal.
What does Governor Cleveland have to do with it?
Well, it just happened to be tied to bollards just west of Lock 14 . . .
but no bollard will ever stop the frequently passing locomotives and cars . . .
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
This is probably the last of this series as well. These photos were all taken between October 2 and 19 in an area of the western canal, the extreme western portion of which is now more than a little snow-covered. I don’t know much about this little 1985 one-off (I was told) fiberglass tugboat named Tilly. Not the Tilly that’s currently underwater.
Mandalay . . . said to have down east fishing origins from the first decades of the 20th century . . . is a stunner. Reminds me of Grayling, third photo down here. Mandalay is on the Genesee river, not technically the canal, although their waters commingle.
Capt. Green . . . another Genesee River denizen said to be a converted landing craft.
Any word(s) on this?
Truly a unique craft of western NY, cobblestone architecture–its height came during the first few decades after the completion of the Erie Canal) is celebrated in this museum just north of the canal in Childs, NY.
And this looks like almost too much fun!
This brown “sculpture” made no sense to me when I first saw it, but then at a farmer’s market in Lockport, I notice a reference to “farm to pint” and local hops sales and tasted a range of local craft beers . . . of course . . . it’s a huge representation of a hops cone.
Hobbit house? dungeon?
Try . . outlet for a 19th century water power system in Lockport.
And for a feat quite unimaginable to DeWitt Clinton and his cronies, here’s the Red Bull take. Click on the photo below.
Finally . . . I know I’ve posted a version of this photo previously, but this culvert under the canal begs a tip of the hat to that craftwork of an earlier era.
I was truly fortunate to see this variety of craft, but for a time traveler’s view, you must read Michele A. McFee’s A Long Haul: The Story of the New York State Canal. One of my favorite sets of photos from the New York State Archives and featured in her book relates to Henry Ford . . . his 1922 vacation on the canal and subsequent decision to ship auto parts on the canal. In fact, on p. 193 there’s a photo of new automobiles shipped across the state NOT by truck or train but by barge!
I’m working backwards still . . . all photos in this post were taken between October 22 and 28. M/V Mystere . . works the Hudson river now, but I’d never seen her before this encounter above lock 7.
The next three photos were taken just above and just below lock 11 Amsterdam, showing use of small boats on the Canal/Mohawk River for bridge and dam work. Click here to see what park this bridge footing some day will support.
The repairs have been necessitated by the flooding of 2011.
Artania II is the last wooden Matthews, built in 1970 and just restored in Michigan, headed home near lock 14. Click here for photos of the restoration at E. J. Mertaugh Boat Works, satisfying but it loads slowly.
Here Artania II passes Governor Cleveland.
Zooming ahead of us is the largest Sea Ray I’ve ever seen . . . Just Because . . . but I forget the loa’
I don’t know the story of this vessel, although at first notice I thought it a sporty very low-slung yacht.
Lil Joe had been doing bridge inspection earlier in the season, as are
these guys. I love this Harcon bucket boat and its hydraulically-actuated outriggers.
And finally . . . taking advantage of the ambiguity of the word craft, here’s the very definition of a bucolic scene, less than 300 feet from the bed of the original Erie Canal in Lyons.
More canal craft soon . . . maybe tomorrow.
I’ll terminate this series by identifying a zone that I’d call the “ends of the Canal.” In other words, even though the canal has these three “ends,” what they have in common is significant enough to group them into a single zone. At each of the ends, a flight of locks in close proximity accommodates dramatic shift in gradient. Lock 6–not 9 as is posted to the right–is the top of the flight at the east end, bypassing
The double lock in Lockport is the last and westernmost set to move westbound traffic up to the level of Lake Erie. This level change relates to the well-known Niagara escarpment.
The photo below was taken inside the lock 34 chamber and
The Oswego is the portion of the NYS Canal system that today accommodates the largest vessels. The Oswego Canal flows north from the Syracuse area to terminate at Oswego. Click here for the port of Oswego site.
In the last mile of so of the Oswego Canal, locks 6 (shown far to the left below) through 8 provide a lift of over 40 feet.
I still have a few more posts related to the canal, but this has been my attempt to identify my own six idiosyncratic but organic zones of the waterway. Thanks for sticking with me.
In case you think i’ve lost my way, I’m planning a 5d post on the ruins in the immediate vicinity of the Erie Canal, and then there’ll be one more zone I want to identify. After that, I’ll be out of those zones . . .
I am truly stunned by these magnificent photos of gorgeous structures built with rudimentary technology and lasting over a century and a half.
Lock 56 Lyons double chamber built 1850
Lock 56 center island steps
Lock 60 Macedon looking eastward from the center island
Lock 59 Lockville Newark northwest chamber
Lock 58 Newark north chamber
Lock 53 Clyde northwest chamber entrance
All photos and captions come thanks to Bob Stopper, to whom I am indebted for being able to publish these. For more photos on this area of the canal, click here. For more historic photos but of the Barge Canal iteration of the waterway, click here.
Italy? the Levant? Upstate New York?
It is indeed. Once this aqueduct was state-of-the-art infrastructure that carried the Erie Canal and its traffic over the Seneca River.
It remains extraordinarily beautiful, as captured in these photos by Bob Stopper.
Half of the arches were removed during construction of the Barge Canal, which sought to expand the size and utility of the system by incorporating lakes and rivers like the Seneca.
These horizontal piers once held boards that made up the “canal” bed; sides of the canal were also planked, creating a trough through which canal waters flowed.
Beside the “trough,” this grassy path was trod by mules’ feet.
another at Schoharie Creek.
The last two photos are mine; all the Richmond aqueduct photos comes thanks to Bob Stopper.
If you’ve seen Graves of Arthur Kill, you know my fascination with ruins. There are so many canal ruins in central NYS stretching from Buffalo to Albany that I’m actually dividing this post into two. When you see the batch of photos following this one, you’ll see why I split the two on this zone.
signage, which I greatly appreciate.
Less than a quarter mile away, here’s walls of the original Canal. Note the recesses where the lock doors would retract to when the chamber was open.
And here’s signage.
No more than three miles–by water–away, here’s an old lock with
“Putnam’s Grocery” is just out of the frame . . . to the left, and
This sign with a map puts the whole area together.
More than 150 miles to the west, here’s more ruins of a double-chamber lock near Lyons.
More Canal Zones 5 ruins in tomorrow’s post.
All of these photos were taken by Will Van Dorp.
Enjoy more blue and gold boats today, and these are called SPS’s . . . as in self-propelled scows. Generally they have a house at stern and lifting capability forward, as you can see on SPS 52. The inclusion of these details is where the similarity among these vessels ends . . . as you will notice in the variety of houses below.
SPS 60 in summer of 2014 and
And then–as with the tenders and buoy boats–there are SPS’s with registry numbers but no “numeric name,” if you catch my drift, like the one below with registry ending in …305 seen here and
here, as well as
. . . 327.
Let’s look closer at SPS 60’s propulsion.
I have no idea how many SPS’s operate on the canal or how old these are or when such vessels first served the canal.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.