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This post is a serious whatzit, an attempt to find out more about a tugboat in the photo below. I use the photo courtesy of the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse. If you have not been reading this blog very long, I spent five months last year working on a historic tug on the Erie Canal. Type erie canal into the search window and you’ll find hundreds of photos from then.
The photo appears to be taken in Rochester, nicknamed the Flower City, although as a kid, I had thought it was the “flour” city. I guess it’s both.
So I went to the Monroe County Library image search site here and used the search term “boat,” and found a lot of fascinating stuff–like excursion boats now derelict, steam ferries, a seized bootlegger boat, yachts from a century ago, docks, and canal barges. To whet your appetite, I include a few here. Go to the website to read captions on reverse. I know nothing more about Lorraine or Cowles Towing Line, but the “barge” it’s towing is currently known as Day-Peckinpaugh, which will gain some attention later this summer. Photo is said taken on June 13, 1921.
Taken on November 22, 1921, this is steam barge Albany, which raises more questions. Go to the MCLS site for the info on reverse of the print.
The photo below is also said taken on November 22, 1921 by Albert R. Stone. I’d like to know what the name of the darker tug alongside the starboard side of the end of this string of barges. So maybe these are the grain barges that broke away?
Again, a Stone photo, date uncertain, showing tug Henry Koerber Jr.
One more Stone photo, said 1918 . . . tug Laura Grace aground off Grand View Beach . . . Greece?
And all of this returns us to the mystery photo from the Erie Canal Museum . . . my guess is that it was taken by Albert R. Stone, but it was not included in the Monroe County local history photo database. Anyone help?
Many thanks to the Erie Canal Museum for passing this photo along.
If your appetite is really whetted, enjoy these unrelated old and new photos of Urger–ex-State of NY DPW tug–and Seneca, currently a NYS Canal tug but previously a US Navy tug.
Click here for an index of previous “whatzit” posts.
Here’s an index of the previous “locker” posts.
Let’s start with a photo from a secret salt seeking an identification. All I know is that this photo of an “old army tug” was taken in 1982 and that the building in the background is the Brooklyn Army Terminal, a frequent background in sixth boro photos even today. Anyone supply an identification of the vessel?
Here’s a photo I took about two weeks ago . . . sand that looks almost like sawdust. The nearer scow is marked Lexa Gellatly. My question is . . . is that the same hull but transformed as this one, once used to transport oil? Do oil barges sometimes get transformed into scows? And where is this sand coming from/going to?
The next photo comes from Justin Zizes and an event I missed last week because I got triple-booked; what’s happening is the unveiling ceremony for the USS Monitor Trail Marker to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the US Civil War. FDNY’s 343 adds solemnity to the event. The water here, Bushwick Inlet, once received new builds from the slipways of Continental Iron Works.
Next . . . a number of you have written this week about the fabulous new photo archives assembled by the New York Public Library. I’ve already spent lots of hours meandering there. What makes the archive so remarkable is the interface: you click on dots on a street map of NYC, and each dot reveals archival photos of that site. Let me share a few here: as seen from South Beach Staten Island, Hoffman Island in the distance as it existed in 1925. I’d love to see post-WW2 but pre demolition of the island buildings.
Hoffman Island closer up with SS Perugia in quarantine. I won’t guarantee the veracity of the captions on all the photos. After all, GIGO.
1923 ferry approaching the Hell Gate Bridge,
1935 “stick lighter” approaching the Goethals Bridge.
There are literally thousands of photos in the archive. Have fun. I’d love to hear from you with any news.
I’m currently gallivanting and will be back–I hope–by the end of the week.
Yes, I am a fan of the X-Files, and yes . . . submarines have appeared on this blog before, like this one in Coney Island Creek. Or this one headed north in the Upper Bay. Parts of submarines have emerged on the blog like here and here. There have been fleets awaiting disassembly like here. But recently at a yard on the North Fork, I saw the object in the image below, which intrigued me. Here are some pics and then after you’ve observed the evidence and drawn some conclusions, I’ll tell you what I’ve read.
So what do you think? What is your version of this story?
Here’s Corey Kilgannon’s NYTimes story from eight years ago. Halfway through Kathleen Edgecomb’s The Day article you get a different version of the real history of the vessel. But by the time T. E. McMorrow writes this East Hampton Star article in August 2014, a whole new version of sub and owner have emerged.
Actually I don’t know the real story, and certainly have no clue of its future, since according to this BBC article, the court has blocked sale of the sub. Here’s the location of the real USS Deep Quest. Here’s a followup Emma Fitzsimmons’ article from the December 1, 2014 NYTimes. And according to this McMorrow follow-up of a few weeks ago, the sub owner is now in a federal facility, and the sub, even if it had never been so previously, is now federal property.
And the feds, they may put it up for sale. Want a toy with a “deep sea” history? Did anyone catch photos of it traversing the sixth boro back in 2007?
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Here’s the index on previous second lives posts. I use “second lives” for what land folk call “adaptive reuse.” It strikes me that there may be more instances of repurposing re-design and -engineering on water than on land, but that’s may just be my opinion.
But first, I thought to call this “pre-boomed” to follow up on yesterday’s post and the wonderful backstory I got in email yesterday from William Lafferty, frequent contributor here. Here also sent along the photo below, which shows Twin Tube in 1951, i.e., before I was born and I’m 63.
Here’s part of what William wrote: “It shows the Twintube just after it entered service in fall 1951. Twintube was launched 28 August 1951, Captain Blount’s mother doing the honors, and built on Blount’s account. He used it as a travelling “demonstrator” for his shipyard’s products (it was Blount’s hull number 6) but also used it to haul oysters. Power plant originally was a rather rare 4-cylinder Harnischfeger 138-hp Diesel. (Click here for a 1950 news article including a photo of a 6-cylinder marine diesel.) Harnischfeger (the H in the mining equipment manufacturer P & H) had been set up in 1945 at Port Washington, Wisconsin, by P & H to exploit the workboat and yacht market. P & H closed the division, then at Crystal Lake, Illinois, in 1963. In spring 1952 Blount sold the vessel to the Staten Island Oil Company, who converted it to a tanker with a 40,000 gallon capacity in eight 5,000 gallon compartments within its “tubes.” The rest is, as they say, history.”
By the way, reference to “Staten Island Oil Company” brings me back to one of my favorite articles by the late great Don Sutherland here.
Here’s the index for all my previous Blount posts.
All this repurposing leads me to the second half of this post. A friend named Matt–former all-oceans sailor–is looking to write a serious history about Cross Sound Ferry vessel Cape Henlopen, ex- USS LST-510. Note the 510 still carried on its starboard bow. She was built in the great shipbuilding state of Indiana.
Here she passes Orient Point Lighthouse at the start of its 80-minute ride over to New London.
Matt is interested in interviewing past and present crew and seeing old photos of the vessel in any of its previous lives: Cape Henlopen, MV Virginia Beach, USS Buncombe County, or LST-510. If you send your interest in participating directly to my email, I’ll pass it along to Matt.
Many thanks again to William Lafferty for the Twintube story and photo. I took the photos of Cape Henlopen in March 2014. Here’s a version of the vessel by bowsprite.
If you ever visit anywhere near Savannah, an absolute must-see is the Ships of the Sea Museum in the former William Scarbrough House, later the West Broad Street School. Given that the house and collection are stunning and the staff extraordinarily welcoming, it didn’t surprise me how crowded the museum was.
Excuse the quality of my photos taken sans tripod, but let’s start with this model of a vessel that has a connection with New York City. Answer follows, but clues for now are that the vessel was built as the Denton in 1864 and you might know the whitish horizontal object to the left of the display case . . . in front of the bow of the model.
The SSM models are quite large, and many of them are the handiwork of William E. Hitchcock.
SS Savannah, e.g., is a great place to begin your tour and appreciate Hitchcock’s handiwork. This vessel–the first steamship to cross the Atlantic--was built on the land’s edge the sixth boro.
Notice the port side of Hitchcock’s model shows the paddlewheel, but
the starboard side features a cutaway to the boiers and the paddlewheel collapsed as it would be while the vessel sailed, which was most of the time.
Another of Hitchcock’s models shows a 220′ schooner as she appeared under construction.
Notice that Forest City‘s demise–as was SS Savannah’s–happened on Fire Island.
The SSM collection also includes a Hitchcock model of USS Passaic, another product of the sixth boro–Greenpoint–although many sources, including this one from wikipedia, state its shipyard as being Greenport, 120+ miles away. Greenpoint’s Continental Iron Works also built Monitor, launched the same year as Passaic.
Back to the model at the top. The vessel Denton had been renamed SS Dessoug when it delivered Cleopatra’s Needle to NYC.
This and much more awaits you at Ships of the Sea Museum. Thanks to Jed for suggesting–half a decade ago–that I go there.
These photos–warts and all-by Will Van Dorp.
Half Moon . . . is heading from the erstwhile new Netherlands to the old Netherlands soon.
Click here for other Half Moon tugster posts from the past few years.
Once settled in in Hoorn, her immediate home waters will be Markermeer and after that IJsselmeer. I took this photo looking out over the Markermeer half a year ago. To the right is Hoorn and to the left is Enkhuisen. For the connection between the small city of Hoorn and the rock at the tip of South America, click here.
Some years ago, bowsprite and I started a blog called Henry’s Obsession . . . about the voyage of the original Half Moon. It’s a blog . . . so it’s in reverse chronological order.
One more photo . . . taken by Bernie Ente some years ago . . shows her deep draft and
used with permission here.
This photo was taken in late spring 2009. Onrust had been splashed just a day or two before, as recorded in post 1 here and then 2 here. But look over to the right side of the photo, the two bollards on squarish platforms in the water.
These. Well, at summer pool . . . when the water level of the canal is up to allow navigation, they look like so, but
when winter comes and the state hydrologist directs draw-down of the pool, the bollards are on platforms that
are actually concrete barges, ones that do NOT rise and fall with changing pool levels. The snowy photos I took last weekend.
Note the reference numbers below and
Here’s how they look on google satellite view. For more on the builder behind these, click here . . . G. A. Tomlinson.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
. . . with some digressions . . . . The photo below of the procession leading to the Roundup comes from Jeff Anzevino.
Digress to the left . . . on the Troy (Lansingburgh) side through the trees is Melville Park and this sign and
this house. If you’re looking for a good read about Melville’s later life on the waters off Lower Manhattan, check out this Frederick Busch historical novel.
Here’s another shot by Jeff, taken from the 112th Street Bridge. You might recognize the crewman standing beside the wheelhouse port side. There are many other posts with photos from Jeff, such as this one.
From Jason LaDue . . a photo of tender (?) Oneida taken in 2001. Anyone know the disposition of Oneida? Click here for some previous photos from Jason.
And finally, from Fred tug44 . . . locking through E2 . . . right behind us. I feel grateful to have an occasional view of self to post here. Some of you have seen some of these on Facebook.
Thanks to Jeff, Jason, Bob, and Fred for photos here.
Text . . . identifies, makes parts reorders easier.
even if those parts just aren’t made any more and their places of manufacture long ago obliterated.
Some become barely decipherable.
This would be a treasure for what the NYTimes article today called a “shard hunter.”
I like these . . . perennial ones or
advertising from long ago.
Other text–like this stone from Christ Church Burial Ground in Philly–is clearly intended to memorialize someone.
In contrast . . . this hardware gives no clues about its age even as it clearly outlives the deck to which it was attached.
This is where I’m headed with this post . . . a barge cleat I saw on a fireworks barge in Oswego, NY. The name Harry Cossey led me here with some great pictures from almost a hundred years ago. And here. And here . . . which I need to order.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.