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Many thanks to Ken Deeley for sending along these photos of the port of Oswego in 1890. I’ll take the panorama below and divide it into three parts, left to right.
Yachts shown gathered below in Oswego for an event of the Lake Yachts Racing Association are (l to r) Oriole, Bison, Lotus, Lolantha, Yama*, Merle, Maud B, (unknown identified launch), Vreda*,
Nadia*, Cinderella, Loona, Gen. Garfield, Aileen*, Samoa,
Nancy, Bennett, Erma, Berve II, Kelpie*, and Alert.
* (from Royal Hamilton Yacht Club)
Ken writes: “In 1884 Canadian and American yacht clubs on Lake Ontario formed a yacht racing association that consisted of four Canadian and American clubs.
They held what was called cruise circuit regattas and in 1890 Oswego was their destination, where my photo comes from some unknown photographer who took the assembled fleet American and Canadian assembled in the outer harbour of Oswego. The photo is about 14 inches long 4.5 high from a glass plate. The amazing thing is across the top of the page was glued diagonally the name of every yacht with the exception of the stern of the tug in the lower left. HA, HA, you tug enthusiasts [are out of ] luck again unless you could name it for me.
The list of yachts has enabled me to name a lot of sailing yachts from other photographic collections around the Great Lakes. The American clubs were Oswego, Rochester, Buffalo, Crescent, and Sodus Bay. Some of these clubs were not members of the LYRA but their yachts raced anyway. Canadian clubs were Royal Canadian, Kingston, Royal Hamilton, Queen City, and Toronto Yacht Club.”
For more photos from the same collection, click here.
And finally, there was once a lighthouse, dismantled in 1932, in the inner harbor of Oswego. This photo would have been taken from the high ground over near Fort Oswego looking southwest.
For more 1890s history of LYRA clubs, click here.
A news story I read this morning prompts this continuing of the critters series. I link to the story at the end of this post. All the following photos I’ve taken since September, and filed away until I feel there’s a story. Let’s start here in a New Jersey marsh creek,
go to the North Fork,
more of the KVK,
still more there,
and finally to the freshwater in the Erie Canal.
All critter photos by Will Van Dorp.
. . . and in case you’re rummaging through your change drawer for some cash to buy something for yourself or someone else special, here are some ideas. Buy a raffle ticket for an opportunity next summer to ride an Interlake Steamship vessel on the Great Lakes . . . Here’s a post I did a few months back on the classic Interlake Oberstar. And from International Shipmasters’: The funds from sales keep our lodge financially secure and we donate every year to other various maritime related non-profits. Sea Cadets, Whistles on the Water, and Shipmaster Grand Lodge Scholarship Fund. Our own scholarship fund is endowed and gives 3 scholarship awards each year of $500 to each, 1 Canadian, 1 US, 1 hawse piper. Click on the image below for information on purchasing a raffle ticket. I have mine . . . and I imagine these would make a great gift for lots of folks you want to give a gift to.
If you win and need something to do when you’re not just mesmerized by Great Lakes scenery, here are some books to consider. Of course, you can read them any time . . . real books, not device books. Here’s what the Icelanders say about giving books.
Here are some of the books I’ve read this past year. I’d recommend all of them.
The Big Book of Real Boats and Ships was an impulse buy after someone mentioned it on FB. George J. Zaffo did a whole series of these books back in the 1950s and 1960s. Here’s more on his and similar books. What makes it interesting for me is that real means real; here’s the info on C. Hayward Meseck, the vessel in the illustration below.
Also from Zaffo, here’s info on the tug in the foreground below, Barbara Moran (1948), scuttled in 1990 and sits upright about 70′ below the surface.
This past year I’ve met lots of folks whom I’ve encouraged to write their stories or have someone else write them. Bob Mattsson did that a few years ago, and I finally read it this year.
Here’s part of page 1.
Up River is another one I read this year, one that helps you see what you can’t see from the river. The cover photo below shows Tomkins Cove Quarry, one of many quarries whose scale you get no sense from the river. Recently on a trip from NYC to Waterford on the river with some folks who had never done the trip, I brought this along and noticed they paged through during the entire trip as a way to “see” what they otherwise couldn’t. Thanks to Capt. Thalassic for introducing me to this book. You can “page” through the entire book here!
All those books . . . this time of year, it all reminds me of a post I did here 10 years ago about the circumstances around the first Christmas presents I ever got . . .
By the time you read this, I should already be in Quebec, and once we get under way, we’ll reverse the trip I began six weeks ago in NYC’s sixth boro here. From Quebec City we travel up the Saint Lawrence, up as in upstream. The waterway is truly beautiful, and although I have defined tasks on the ship, I get to spend a lot of time watching .
The photo below I took from the NE corner of Lake Ontario looking toward the port of Oswego.
From the Lake, we cut in at Oswego via the Canal, bypass all the fishing, and
make our way via the grand canal back to saltwater.
Here’s the 1899 Buffalo-built steam tug Geo E. Lattimer (loa 59′ x 16′ x 4.5′) exiting the low side of Lock 17.
Given the pain of finding enough of a signal to post, I can’t tell you when and what you’ll see next.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, including the photos of photos from Canal signage.
I’ve done so many Grouper posts over the years that I should recap. The photos you see below show a tugboat called Green Bay, which was built in Cleveland OH in 1912 as Gary. Here are the subsequent renamings of Gary: Green Bay 1934, Oneida 1981, Iroquois 1987, Alaska 1990, and finally Grouper 1998. Today, Grouper languishes in the Erie Canal near Lock E-28A, a good 325 miles from the sixth boro. Many folks would love to see it resurrect with the name Grouper or some other one.
I’ve gotten lots of email about Grouper, but I really like messages like this one I got last weekend from Jeff Gylland:
“I rode Grouper as a kid all the time. My Grandfather, Lester Gamble, was the captain of then tug Green Bay out of Manitowoc, WI. Have many memories of strong coffee and even stronger language. The boat was converted from coal to diesel in the 1950s. I have many pictures if you are interested. Would love to come to Lyons with 50 gallons of paint and put the old Green, White and Red in the correct places.”
So I wrote Jeff, told him what I knew, and a bit later got another email, this one from Jeff’s aunt, Deborah Wiegand:
“I see my nephew Jeff contacted you and already sent some of our photos. I have a collection ( maybe 20+) of professionally taken photos of the Green Bay taken during the years 1953-69 when my dad Lester R. Gamble was her captain.
Here Green Bay moves the Great Lakes steamer SS South American, built 1913, which some readers may recall seeing in the Delaware River as late as 1992.
Edward L. Ryerson is a beautiful bulk carrier, launched in 1960, still operating on the Great Lakes.
Note the ice on the harbor here.
Here Green Bay fights a fire in 1952.
Many thanks to Deborah and Jeff for these fabulous photos. It is my hope that Green Bay, Grouper, et al . . is brought out of its stupor in Lyons and finds yet another life.
She was then probing the inland seas, seeing how far she could voyage, possibly looking for a passage to the Mississippi and the Gulf via Lake Michigan. OK, indulge me on that speculation.
Our paths next crossed on September 1, as she made her way through the Erie Canal,
with all the modifications that entailed and the use of sunstones to
avoid getting lost in the meandering rivers.
And late last week, Bjoern Kils of the New York Media Boat got this fabulous shot of her scoping out the sixth boro before
she slipped into a Manhattan cove for a spell.
I missed the display in the Winter Garden and hope I can get there again before the boat moves on.
Many thanks to Bjoern for use of that photo. For more of Bjoern’s photos, click here. All others by Will Van Dorp. And following up on some info from Conrad Milster, here’s a video on a Viking ship that traveled to Chicago in 1893. Yes, 1893!! And the crossing from Bergen NO to New Haven CT with Captain Magnus Andersen and 11 crew took 30 days. Then the vessel, dubbed Viking, traveled up the Hudson and through the pre-Barge Canal on its way to Chicago with stops in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Cleveland. The vessel is still there in Geneva IL. Here’s another video on the ship.
To pick up on the NY canals’ connection, as we approach the bicentennial of the start of the Erie Canal, it would be great to seek out and archive any photos–still languishing in local photo troves–of the 1893 passage there of Viking, as well as of any other outstanding vessels that have traversed the Canal throughout its history.
Let’s look at these from a different perspective . . . whether they can escape the inland seas shared by the US and Canada or not. The maximum size the Seaway aka Highway H2O can accommodate is 740′ x 78. x 30.’
So Kaye E. Barker . . . 767′ x 70′ x 36′ . . . Nope. But when she first came off the ways in Toledo in 1951, her loa was 647′ and she had no self-unloader, so back then she could have,
although there was no St. Lawrence Seaway then either. So Nope again. But she was not lengthened until 1976, so Yes. Her tonnage capacity is 25,900.
Mississagi comes in at 620′ x 60′ x 35,’ so if she’s carrying a partial load . . . maybe. She came out of the River Rouge in 1943. Her capacity . . . 15,800 tons.
In photo #2 above and the one below, notice the RenCen of Detroit.
American Mariner came out of Buffalo in 1979 at 730′ x 78′ x 45.’
So with a light load, yes.
Her capacity is 37,200 tons.
I don’t know if she ever leaves the Upper Lakes.
Chemtrans Elbe is a saltie, so obviously she’s a global traveler. She was built in Korea in 2009 and measures 423′ x 75.’
Edzard Schulte was built in China in 2011, 475′ x ’75.’
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
* here means . . . in freshwater. Actually there’ve been 50 posts under this title, but this is different. And note the color of the water, brown in the case of Isolda below because it’s steaming out of the muddy, clay-suspended Maumee.
In the blue waters of the St. Clair River with Sarnia on the far side, it’s Lee A. Tregurtha.
Headed unbound not far from the same location, it’s Victoriaborg.
Down in an ocean port along the Indiana coast and shot from a speeding Amtrak, it’s James R. Barker.
Over in East China–East China Michigan, that is–it’s Lubie making her way to the ocean, well over a week away.
Upbound out of Detroit, it’s Hon James L. Oberstar,
a downbound Algonova,
and to close it out today . . Philip R. Clarke.
Clarke (Ohio) was launched 1951; Algonova (Turkey) in 2007; Oberstar (Ohio) , 1958; Lubie (China) 2011; Victoriaborg (Netherlands), 2001; Lee A. Tregutha (Maryland), 1942, as USS Chiwawa–and you need to click here to see her initial configuration!!; and finally Isolda (Japan) in 1999.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
On the river Rouge, SS Ste Claire languishes, a slightly younger sister of SS Columbia, both designed by Frank Kirby. I’m reminded in saying this that I have some updated photos of Columbia, but plan to devote an entire post to her.
City of Algonac is one of two ferries that traverse the St. Clair River between Algonac and Walpole.
Here’s the other, the Walpole Islander. For some info on Walpole Island, click here.
Pearl Mist is a fairly large cruise ship on the Great Lakes.
Friendship operates out of Wyandot, as
do the Diamond Jack River Boats.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
And somewhat last-minute but important announcement, Dr. Richard Zuczek, Deputy Department Chair and Resident Historian United States Coast Guard Academy, will speak THIS Thursday–August 4 at 6 pm, aboard Nantucket Lightship, docked at the northern edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 (BBP Pier 6). FREE. It’s one of many many events down at BBP.
Here are the previous posts.
The 1980 Innisfree works the Chicago River, but it has New England roots.
The rest of the boats in this post work in the waters around Mackinac Island. Anna May is Wisconsin-built, 1947.
Felicity is a Shepler’s Ferry boats. For a history of the business, click here.
Straits of Mackinac II is a 1969 Blount product. The Arnold family has been in the ferry business here since 1878.
LaSalle dates from 1983.
Joliet dates from 1993. For many more Michigan ferries, click here.
All photos here by Will Van Dorp.