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I’ve neglected mentioning the locations of the Albert Gayer photos, in some cases because I had no idea.  This photo, however, is easy to place:  top of the flight and just above the first guard gate there.  Center of the photo is the “Crescent Lake” portion of the canal, looking “west.”  The waterway flowing to the left is headed for Cohoes Falls, and a hydro plant before the falls.

What’s remarkable for me about the photo is the number of tug/barge units waiting to head down the flight to Waterford and the Hudson.  I count eight.  Anyone have ideas why so many units are waiting here?

Penn No. 2 is headed up the flight here, I believe, between E-2 and E-3.  I’ve not found any info on this tugboat.  It has an odd profile, may be on the shorter/smaller side?

Corporal began life as an Army tug and was a Conners vessel until 1951, so that places the time setting of this photo.

In 1951, she became the third Ned Moran.

Next are a set of tug/barges I can’t identify.  Nor can I guess at the location, although I’d guess the somewhere in the western half .  I can, however, identify the boat whose foredeck you see to the right and will post more info about it later.  For now, you can conjecture all you like. I’ll feature this boat (if I remember) in February.

Ditto, I don’t know the unit here, but I’m hoping someone reading this can identify the livery. As for location, I’d say somewhere between E-13 and E-14.

Yet another puzzler.  It’s E-8 westbound, but that’s all I can say.

The tug Salutation photo is another I can’t place, for now.  I’ve read a reference somewhere the past few days, but don’t have 100% recall.  I wonder which years the commercial traffic on the canal last flew this banner.

Also, notice that all the barges in this post are tank barges, moving petroleum products.  As total freight on the canal plummeted in the 1950s and 60s, the percentage of petroleum cargoes increased dramatically.

All photos, Albert Gayer, in the collection of the Canal Society of New York.  Thanks.


This photo I took from the Manitou Passage.  To the west, South Manitou Light is located on an island by the same name.  Sleeping Bear Dunes to the east.

The photo below is not very good, but it serves to hint at the the existence of a shipwreck.  SS Francisco Morazon ended her service on a sand bar just south of South Manitou Island during the winds of November 1960.

Beaver Island registered tug Wendy Anne was headed for the Manitou Islands, likely to do some shoreline reinforcement.  Wendy Ann was purchased in Boston, and delivered here via the Erie Canal and other waterways.

The Manitous have certainly made their way onto my list of places to visit soon. 

I believe this is North Manitou Shoal Light. 

Southbound along the Passage, it’s Karen Andrie pushing Endeavor.

Emerald Isle–the name a tip of the hat to the Irish who settled Beaver Island–is a 1997 Washburn & Doughty built RORO ferry. 

Once approaching the Beaver Island dock, I spotted some fish tugs.  The first was Ruby Ann, a 1945 Sturgeon Bay product that now needs a bit of TLC.


In the water nearby was Waabi-Maang, in Ojibwe White Loon. 

Odawa Research headed out of the bay.

Also along the shore were Resolute and

Angus, the latter being a 1939 product of Burger Boat.

I need some help here, since I know nothing about Elizabeth, other than that it seems to be an ST.

The classy 1950 Cisco is Sturgeon Bay built.

The green trap boat is a mystery to me also, here next to Bob S in the shed.  Bob S requires its own post.

Shamrock is a 1933 tug that may still tow oil barges, including

Tanker II and

Petroqueen.  Shamrock alludes to the Irish settlement on the island. 

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.


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December 2022