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First, if you’re free today and within travel distance of Lower Manhattan, do yourself a favor and attend this event, 4 p. m., a book signing by Dr. James M. Lindgren.  His new book is a much needed complement to Peter Stanford’s A Dream of Tall Ships, reviewed here a few months ago.   Details in Preserving South Street Seaport cover almost a half century and will enthrall anyone who’s ever volunteered at, donated to, been employed by, or attended any events of South Street Seaport Museum.  Lindgren laments SSSM’s absence of institutional memory saying, “Discontinuity instead defined the Seaport’s administration.”  Amen . .  as a volunteer I wanted to know the historical context for what seemed to me to be museum administrations’ repeated squandering of  hope despite herculean efforts on the part of volunteers and staff I knew.

As my contribution to creation of memory, I offer these photos and I’d ask again for some pooling of photos about the myriad efforts of this museum over the years.

Pier 17.  April 17, 2014.  According to Lindgren, this mall opened on Sept 11, 1985 with a fireworks show.  Its demise may by this week’s end be complete.

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April 12, 2014.  Photo by Justin Zizes.

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Feb 23, 2014.

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Jan 21, 2014 . . . Lettie G. Howard returns.

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Sept 20, 2013.  This is the last photo I ever took FROM the upper balcony of Pier 17.

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Sept 12, 2013.

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July 2012.  A fire had broken out on the pier, and Shark was the first on scene responder.   Damage was minimal, despite appearances here.

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Now for some photos of vessels that have docked in the South Street area in the past half century.

July 2012 . . . Helen McAllister departs, assisted by W. O. Decker and McAllister Responder.

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June 2012.  Departure of Marion M as seen from house of W. O. Decker.  Photo by Jonathan Boulware.  The last I knew, Marion M is being restored on the Chesapeake by a former SSSM volunteer.

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Lettie G. Howard hauled out in 2009.

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2009. The Floating Hospital . .  . was never part of the SSSM collection.

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2009.  Maj. Gen. Hart aka John A. Lynch aka Harlem.

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Helen McAllister with Peking and Wavertree.   Portion of bow of Marion M along Helen‘s starboard.

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Mathilda posing with W. O. Decker in Kingston.  2009.

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Moshulu now in Philadelphia.

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2005, I believe.  Spuyten Duyvil (not a SSSM vessel) and Pioneer.

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Thanks to Justin and Jonathan for use of their photos.  All others by Will Van Dorp.  For many stories on these vessels, that mall, and so much more, pick up or download these books and read them asap.

 

 

Here was a post I did in early spring 2013.  She went to Portland, Maine for the work, and this morning

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she returned to South Street Seaport Museum pier, about 36 hours travel out of Gloucester.

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The timing was perfect for me . . . as I’m currently reading A Dream of Tall Ships, Peter Stanford’s account of the years from 1965–1974, when as the subtitle of the book has it, a story of “how NYers came together to save the city’s sailing-ship waterfront.”  Well . . . round 1, at least.

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Lettie looked glorious in the morning sun, nestling back beside Ambrose, but I couldn’t help looking especially closely at the bow.  I’d just read this account the day before in Stanford’s book, a recollection about the vessel then-called Caviare in September 1968

“there was one thing that needed replacing, which not vital to the schooner’s structure, mattered a great deal to her appearance.  This was the gammon knee, an oak extension of the stem arching forward under the bowsprit, which nicely completes the sweeping curve of the clipper bow.  The old schooner’s gammon knee had been chopped back into a stump to allow a heavy rope fender to be slung under the bow when she’d been adapted for work as a tug.”

Wow!  That’s one old foto I’d love to see, this vessel, with a rope bow fender, pushing a barge.  Anyone have such a foto?

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Lettie‘s back, and so is this fleet.  Maybe Lettie‘d love to come out fishing with them?  Vessel in the distance is Pati R. Moran.   Brown fishboat in the foreground is Eastern Welder.

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All fotos this morning by Will Van Dorp.

Update:  May Day no more at South Street Seaport Museum, and I have sent my benjamins as promised.    As I understand it, the Museum has been “taken over” in some fashion by the Museum of the City of New York.     Below, Peter Stanford addressed a group of “save our seaport” supporters back in May.

Bravo to Save our Seaport for their efforts to pull together support.

Guess what this is?  A clue is this:  I took the foto back in November in Detroit.

This is related.  The Great Lakes are mostly devoid of commercial passenger traffic today, but a century ago, had my great-great grandparents lived and prospered along the “northern coast” of the US, deluxe cruise itineraries might include stops at Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit.

Here, from the Dossin Museum is a model of what was marketed as THE way to cruise the Great Lakes around the time I was born.  Even the name of the aqua-hulled vessel,

SS Aquarama exudes that age of optimism.  Too bad I hadn’t  started this blog and contracted my obsession a decade or more earlier . . .  I would have been able to photograph her in mothballs in Buffalo.   Although it’s better late than never, when “stuff gets gone, it’s gone.”

So here’s the answer to my “whatzit” question . . . that place of carved oak above is the lounge on one of those Great Lakes passenger vessels:  City of Detroit III.  Who knows what honetmooners, retirees, or other celebrants smoked cigarettes (back when that was thought sophisticated)  and sipped drinks here.

Among the many great people I met this past year was Peter Boucher of Nautical Log.  Peter sent me this foto in response to a foto of Cove Isle, here.  Peter’s explanation of the foto below is as follows:  “When we were on the 1967 Western Arctic Patrol in CCGS Camsell  at one of the river stops this CCG river vessel came out to visit us.  Our Captain renamed it “Dimwit”, as it looked like it was going to turn over at any moment.”  Here’s another shot of Dumit.

I had to include this foto here:  this endless coal train travels along the bottom of the Great Lake called “Lake Maumee.”  Never heard of it?  It was there, though.  The day before Thanksgiving I waited a long time as this slow train moved prehistoric plant material along the bed of this prehistoric lake.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Jed this past year.  Thanks much for the tour of the Jacksonville area.

Blue Marlin captivated me this year, to put it mildly.  Here Clearwater, another worthy project if you’re still toying with year-end donations,  checks it out.

Here’s a foto from January 1, 2011:  Ann Moran glides on clouds beneath a heavenly bridge in charleston, SC.

Finally, it’s a cliche to end with a sunset pic, maybe, but I am so glad that a “cancelled trip” led me to visit Vieques as Plan B.  I’m hoping for more “plan b or even c” gallivants for 2012.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I hope to write again from Wilmington, NC.

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