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It appears this tug and derrick barge are working over by the power house at the Vischer Ferry 2000′ twice-bent Dam opposite lock E-7.  This is the dam where Margot and Watermaster have broken up ice jams the past few winters.

Here’s a closer up and 

an even closer up, confirming that it’s Canal tug Amsterdam and Derrick Barge (DB) 8.  And sorry . . .  this is a call for group sourcing.  Many thanks to Canal Society president Craig Williams, who started filling in details as follows:  “Amsterdam… was B. B. Odell Jr., built in Schenectady in 1901 (50.4′ x12.4′ x5.9′).  In the Department of Public Works report for 1945 (1946) Amsterdam is described as having been built, along with the Averill, ‘for the old Erie Canal, [and is] no longer efficient to operate and [having] deteriorated to the point it is no longer feasible to operate them.’ ”  A post on Averill is in the works.

Urger, on the other hand and shown here as a steam vessel and with a different superstructure configuration, has appeared on this blog many times and will appear some more next month, or so is the plan.  Urger was converted from steam to diesel in 1948.  

I can’t be certain, but Urger here appears to already be dieselized in the next photos. 

Below is a closer -up of the photo above showing the jackstaff on the bow topped with a wind direction indicator.

 

Here are two more tugs we might find more about. . . . the story of Queen City is [again from Craig] “very complicated.  In 1946 it was reported as ‘so weak it will no longer hold patches’ yet they overhaul its engine in 1948 (for use on another boat?).  It is replaced in the early 1950s by one of the 1950s tugs [of the] Pittsford, Lockport... [class]. Merchant Vessels for 1926 says that the Queen City was built in Buffalo in 1906.  The State reported that year that they had rebuilt the tug, completely replanking the hull, new decks and pilot house, and the boiler and engine ‘thoroughly repaired’  Was it then probably considered a new tug?

The Merchant Vessels for 1902 credits NYS with a Queen City, nearly the same dimensions as having been built in Poughkeepsie in 1889.  Curiously, the State Superintendent of Public Works describes painting the Queen City in 1881.  There is a 1879 Lockport newspaper article that mentions the State hiring the tug Queen City to help tow boats at Lockport.”  Maybe a name like Queen City gets recycled?”

As to Flower City, “According to Merchant Vessels it was built in Buffalo in 1909 though it doesn’t show up in the State’s annual reports until a note for 1912 that it worked throughout the season (sort of implying something new).  It was condemned in 1937, replaced by a State Department of Corrections tug Refuge.  Don’t know if it was dismantled at that time.”  Actually, I’d love to learn more about tugs operated by the State Department of Corrections.

All photos used thanks to the Canal Society of New York.  Many thanks to Craig Williams for filling in detail for these government boats.

 

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