You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 5, 2022.

That’s a letter I, not a number 1, by the way.

Tugboat Syracuse is still in service, pushing 90 years of service next year, although I believe she did not work this past season.  I can’t place the location of this shot (maybe the Oswego Canal or somewhere between Brewerton and Three Rivers come to mind), but there are details to comment on.  Note that Syracuse is tied to a tree.  She has what appear to be two propane tanks along port side, reflecting more onboard meals.  The photo was taken from onboard the barge.  Who might the photographer have been?  Also, note the barge itself made of wood.  And that lantern middle of the photo on the barge . . .  that is an old-school kerosene burning light!  Clues to the identification of the tug are the livery and the covered tender carried rightside up atop the cabin.

When might be the last time on the Barge Canal a string of SEVEN barges was towed on gatelines behind a tug like this, behind Cherokee?  Let’s imagine 6 to 8 crew on the tug, but how many crew would there have been on the seven barges?  Also, note the snow on the banks, possibly a late fall run.  Location has me stumped again also.

Gramercy was a Blue Line tug.  Note that the photo was taken from another tugboat.

Lt. Chas. S. McHugh shows up in George Matteson’s Tugboats of New York, [page 202] which identifies it as a “sixty-two-foot diesel tug, part of the four-boat fleet operated by John J. Mulqueen of 15 North Moore Street.”  The photo in Matteson’s book shows great detail. Moore Street (Manhattan)  is between Soho and Tribeca inland from Pier 25.  I’ll hazard a guess that this is at the top of E-20.

And finally, a fantastic image of Hugh O’Donnell towing a string of five wooden barges.  This tug has appeared on this blog once before here, in black/white.  I’d love to know if the tugboat was named for the labor leader of the 1890s and involved in the Homestead strike.   Here‘s a court case involving an insurance claim that references Hugh O’Donnell.

More to come.  I’m not sure who the photographer here was.  Thanks to the Canal Society of New York for use of these photos.


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February 2022