You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Erie Canal’ tag.

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

0aaaatl1

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With a drone I could have gotten the locomotive . . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

or the rest of the tugboat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I know there’s no locomotive in sight, but the boxcars were colorful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s an ALCO-built Genesee Valley locomotive, which may have been built at the Schenectady plant, itself once right on the south bank on the Canal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When one passed right near us, of course it was backlit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I took this shot from the upper wheelhouse.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So at the end of the season, I had to conclude this was my loco-tug moneyshot, which had to be taken from neither.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

 

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.  

0aaaacc13

0aaaacc33

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

0aaaacc14

Capt. Green . . . another Genesee River denizen said to be a converted landing craft.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Any word(s) on this?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

0aaaacc17

Heidi, a 37′ 1941 Richardson, is truly a gem on the western canal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And this looks like almost too much fun!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

0aaaacc33

Hobbit house?  dungeon?

0aaaacc19

Try . .  outlet for a 19th century water power system in Lockport.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And for a feat quite unimaginable to DeWitt Clinton and his cronies, here’s the Red Bull take.  Click on the photo below.

0aaaacc21

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.

0aaaacc18

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The repairs have been necessitated by the flooding of 2011.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here Artania II passes Governor Cleveland.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zooming ahead of us is the largest Sea Ray I’ve ever seen . . . Just Because . . . but I forget the loa’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This Honeywell boat has probably been working on the dredging of Onandaga Lake, now  declared finished.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I don’t know the story of this vessel, although at first notice I thought it a sporty very low-slung yacht.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lil Joe had been doing bridge inspection earlier in the season, as are

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

these guys.  I love this Harcon bucket boat and its hydraulically-actuated outriggers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

0aaaacc12

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cohoes Falls. Fred Tug44 documents it here.  In an earlier tugster post, I do it here with the first three photos.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

0aaaacze12

The photo below was taken inside the lock 34 chamber and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

here we are west bound for Tonawanda and the Niagara River (above the falls) above lock 35.  Here’s Fred’s take on this end of the canal.

0aaaacz13

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

 

Here’s my last canal ruins post, this one focusing on vestiges of the corridor as a dynamic industrial hub.  Day Peckinpaugh, delivered as cargo ship Interwaterways 101 in May 1921 is certainly not in ruins, as her younger sister–by two months–

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Interwaterways 105 has been since 1976, here disintegrating in the Arthur Kill.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Below the photo shows the dock in Rome where Day Peckinpaugh used to offload cement.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Mohawk banks in Amsterdam . . . once a major location for carpet and rug making . . . now hold silent factories.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not having been up the bank here, I can’t say whether Fownes still makes gloves here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the south side of the Oneida River, docks exist where no supply barges have called in many years.  Anyone help with info on when supplies last arrived in Clay via barge?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

. . . or here not far north of Onandaga Lake?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I don’t know the number of bridges for pedestrians, trains, or automobiles that cross the canal, but this one clearly remains as scrap and carries no traffic of any sort.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Which brings us back to the Duluth-built younger sister of Day Peckinpaugh, also depicted near the beginning of this post.  I’d always wondered about Duluth, thinking it an unlikely location for construction of vessels that came to work on the canal.  But maybe it isn’t.  President Wilson created the US Railroad Administration (USRA) in December 1917, federalizing the railroads of the US as well as the Erie Canal.  Wilson placed the USRA in the hands of his son-in-law W. G. McAdoo, who soon thereafter nationalized strategic inland waterways including the Erie Canal and placed them in the hands of a Duluth shipping executive G. A. Tomlinson.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To reiterate what I said at the beginning, Day Peckinpaugh is not among the ruins along the canal although its future role is under study.  Meanwhile, neither is ship tourism along the canal dead, as evidenced by Grande Caribe approaching from Peckinpaugh‘s stern.  Click here for more pics of Grande Caribe.

0aaaarc20

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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.

Below is the aqueduct at Schoharie Crossing, not far from where Schoharie Creek flows into the Mohawk River aka Erie Canal.   And besides ruins in this zones, there’s copious

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

signage, which I greatly appreciate.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here’s signage.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No more than three miles–by water–away, here’s an old lock with

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

satisfying signage.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Putnam’s Grocery” is just out of the frame . . . to the left, and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

signage.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This sign with a map puts the whole area together.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

More than 150 miles to the west, here’s more ruins of a double-chamber lock near Lyons.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SPS 59.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SPS 60 in summer of 2014 and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

in late spring of 2009.  For details on this photo, click here and here for photos of the launch on Onrust, assisted by an SPS.

0aaaasps60b

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

here, as well as

0aaaaspsx

. . . 327.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let’s look closer at SPS 60’s propulsion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For more info on Thrustmaster propulsion, click here.  For thrusters like these on a huge crane, click here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

 

Besides larger tugboats like Urger, the Canal has a fleet of nearly identical smaller ones called dredge tenders, or usually just “tenders” like the unidentified one to the left in the photo below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s a set:  Tender #1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tender 3 stern and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

bow and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

at work moving Urger out of dry dock.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tender #4 in February 2014, and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

tender #4 after being electrified, and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

at work in Utica this summer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tender #6.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tender #7 summer and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

bow in winter, with an unidentified tender (registry at MB 5900??) and tender 4 in the distance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tender #9 profile and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

three fourths.

0aaaatd9b

Tender #10 on the hard and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

assisting a dredge.

0aaaatd10z

Tender with identifier ending in 0209,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

. ..  0308

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

. . . 0313 aka Dana?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dana again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Again, I need to dig into the history of this class of Canal vessel.  What number was this?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

and why is it here?  How many others are there?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

Ooops!  I skipped two from my archives . .  BB 152 and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

BB x … 0349

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Anyone know how many of these boats my archives lack?

 

This post is devoted to buoy boats (BB) only.  These vessels were “used to maintain and refuel kerosene lighted buoys on the state’s canal system. This series consists of plans, drawings, and specifications used in building the state’s buoy boat fleet at the Syracuse Canal Shops in the 1920s and 1930s,”  per NYS Division of Canals and Waters archives, Syracuse office.  Click here for an article from a 1982 issue of the Baldwinsville Messenger on a person who used BB 130 for “river sweeping.”

I’d love to learn how many of these vessels were built.  Meanwhile, here are the ones I have photos of.  Some are easily identified . . . like 153 and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

109.

0aaaabb109

Others like 115 have numbers elsewhere.

0aaaabb115

Others might have all numbers removed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Others have no BB number but do have a five-digit identifier beginning with “90 . . .”  here 90246.  Urger’s five-digit, e.g., is 90303.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

121,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

138,

0aaaabb138

139

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

142 . . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

151,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and finally, a summer shot of 153.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Click here for three more, BB 110, 113, and 115.  I’ve also seen others that I don’t have photos of.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes to talk to the archivists soon about these very 1920s looking workboats.

Anyone know how many total were built and deployed?  Anyone know of any that have been sold and converted into “BB yachtlettes”?

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 413 other followers

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments? Email Tugster

My job . . . Summer AND Fall 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Henry's Obsession

My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

Archives

free web page hit counter
November 2014
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 413 other followers