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Of course, there are little known gunkholes in the backwaters of the sixth boro where fossils–living and inert–float. This one is off an inlet behind one island and concealed by another, a place easily missed, and if seen, it gives the impression of being off limits by land and too shallow by water, near the deadly bayou of Bloomfield. But with the right conveyance and attitude, it’s feasible if you’re willing to probe. And the fossils have names like . . .
Caitlin Rose. I don’t know much, but built in Savannah GA in 1956? Relentless. She’s before my time here, but I suppose she’s the one built in Port Arthur TX in 1950.
I can’t make out all of the words here.
a Jakobson from 1953.
Dauntless .. . built in Jakobson & Peterson of Brooklyn in 1936, was once Martha Moran.
was built by Pusey & Jones in 1940 and originally called H. S. Falk., and looked like this below, which explains the unusual wheelhouse today. She seems to have come out of that same search for new direction as David, from a post here a year ago.
The photo above I took from this tribute page.
The small tug off Oxman‘s starboard, i don’t know.
The low slung tug that dominates the photo here is Erica, and beyond here is a Crow.
Someone help me out here?
And as far into this gunkhole as I dared to venture . . . this one is nameless.
Oh the stories that could be told here! I hope someone can and will. Balladeers like Gordon Lightfoot could memorialize these wrecks in a song like “Ghosts of Cape Horn,” which inspired a tugster post here years ago. And looking at the last photo in that old post, I see Wavertree, which leads me to this art- and detail-rich site I don’t recall having seen before.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
And finally, a few more from Rich Taylor. Stadt Zurich was built in 1909
Many thanks to Rich Taylor, who has planted the idea of visiting these lakes steamers some sunny day.
Let’s return to Lake Lucerne, with this photo. Rich Taylor took it in late June 2016. PS Uri was built in 1901. Uri is a canton in Switzerland.
And PS Unterwalden, 1902. Unterwalden is the name of a former canton. I profess as much ignorance of Swiss geography, as of their history, but I’m learning.
If you travel to the SW from Lucerne, you get to Interlaken, where Rich took the following photos of PS Lötschberg, built 1914.
Looking at these photos, and thinking of other vessels from this era–in both good and deteriorated condition–it’s clear that part of the secret is maintenance.
Again, all these photos of Swiss steamers come thanks to Rich Taylor. Earlier this year and last, Rich send along these photos.
I’ve never been to the Swiss Lakes, but I’m grateful to Rich Taylor, who spent some time there this summer, for these photos of paddle steamers. PS Gallia dates from 1913 and
PS Schiller, below, from 1906. Rich writes, “We sailed aboard at every opportunity, on occasion having a prepared meal from the on board galley. They are a integral part of the Swiss transit system and as such covered by the Swiss Travel Pass making connections with other boats, trains, hotels, lakeside villages; all very pleasant.”
Note the puff of steam? Rich writes, “When one steamboat passes another, advance announcement is made by the captain; then there is a whistle salute from each.” I wonder if part of that advance announcement is to cover your ears if you are close to the whistle.
“PS William Tell built 1908, a near sister to Schiller, has been moored as a floating restaurant since 1970.” Click here for some interior photos, which give me an appetite to travel there some summer.
Rich took these two photos of PS Stadt Luzern, built 1928, near Vitznau. I had to look up that location.
Two things come to mind as I look at these. First, of course there were bowsprite’s too-short-liaison with steamships here, and then there were a few surviving US steam yachts I saw at Mystic Seaport here.
Many thanks to Rich for these photos.
I took this photo back in 2008, and it seemed I never got back to it. At the time, I didn’t realize it was built in 1904 and had once done the Buffalo–Duluth passenger run with first-class staterooms. Buffalo–Duluth passenger ferry SS Juniata . . . doesn’t even seem reasonable a century later.
Between 1937 and 1941, she was thoroughly upgraded and “returned to work as the Milwaukee Clipper and carried passengers and their cars between Muskegon and Milwaukee until 1970 when the interstate highways and air travel rendered her obsolete.” I’m told volunteers are working to preserve her. I’d love to hear a progress report.
In contrast, the rest of the photos I took on the Arthur Kill in 2010, and what you see here is no longer there. I’m going out on a limb here, and guessing it’s the Astoria aka William T. Collins, built in 1925 and out of documentation in 1966.
I recall reading that it was removed –as an eyesore–since then, but can’t find any newspaper record of such. Anyone help out? My co-explorer here is none other than frogma . . . .
Click here for a post I did on a re-purposed 1929 NYC ferry still operational as a double-ended construction vessel, click here for a post I did on a NYC-NJ ferry that operated as such between 1905 and 1970 before being repurposed as a restaurant until neglect and a certain Irene came along, and here for a post on what might be the oldest in service ferry in the US.
Below is P/S Majesteit, a 1926 steam ferry still operating in Rotterdam as a floating restaurant steam side paddle wheeler;
here’s their site with photos of the steam machinery.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
I did two posts on Badger —here and here–back in 2012. But until these photos this week, which I’m using with permission from FB’s SS Badger: Lake Michigan Car Ferry, I’d never seen her underwater ship lines.
Above, that’s a ice-reinforced hull. Read about her dry dock visit here.
As I write, she’s in dry dock for a few more days at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI.
Here are some photos I took back in 2012 as she was departing Ludington MI for Manitowoc WI.
Yes, she burns coal to this day, (one of) the last vessel (s) fueled by coal in the US. For a good summary of her old and current technology, click here. To see what goes on in her engine room, click here.
When she entered service in the 1950s, she was designed primarily to transport railcars across the Lake. Click here to read a story on the vessel published in Professional Mariner about two years ago.
The next two photos are NOT of Badger but rather her twin, Spartan. By the way, the badger is the mascot of University of Wisconsin and the spartan . . . of Michigan State University. There was a double christening in September 1952, but since 1979, Spartan has been laid up at the dock in Ludington.
I hope to ride the Badger, 60 water miles of an almost 600-mile US Route 10, again this coming summer.
Many thanks to SS Badger for use of the first four photos, taken this past month; all others by Will Van Dorp.
And to close this with a digression, here’s a one-of-a-kind I saw displayed at the dock in Manitowoc when I was there.
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.
I borrow this title from an event I’d love to see more photos of, an art trip marking National Maritime Day in May 1987 and reported on here and here. What better way to leap into the future with blasts from the past, borrowing again.
My purpose in this post is to inform about a unique celebratory event at the Pratt campus in Brooklyn that will not be repeated after this week, Wednesday December 31 late into January 1 wee . . . Here are the directions: “There will be two gates open, one on the corner of Dekalb and Hall Street; the other is the main vehicle gate on Grand and Willoughby Aves. Grand Ave does probably not show on maps because there are super blocks on each side of Willoughby. Once on the campus head for the smokestack or follow the noise to the calliope. Closest subway stop is Washington\Clinton on the G train. Get out at the Washington end of the station. One block along Lafayette , turn left around the church. One block down Hall Street you will see Pratt Institute.”
Here are some of my photos of steam whistles, my tribute to steam . . .
aboard Belle of Louisville,
at the Pageant of Steam,
Or the 1933 British Navy torpedo recovery vessel Elfin.
Yes, that’s a child playing on the torpedo.
Or the 1893 Pieter Boele . . . a steam tug with a bowsprit.
Or the 1915 Hercules.
Dress warm and come bathe in the sound and steam hooked up by Conrad Milster at Pratt. I’ll see you there.
All Most photos by Will Van Dorp. The photo above is by the inimitable bowsprite, who captured steam and cold water rituals here 4 years ago.
You may recall previous posts here and here about these machines called “alligators” or warping tugs, flat bellied vessels used in timbering a century ago that could pull themselves across short stretches of land between bodies of water. These photos were sent to me by Steven Smith who owns a camp near where the photos of wreckage in the second link above were taken. The images that follow likely show that same tug in its prime. Steve writes that in the early 1920s, the tug was “shipped on a flatbed railroad car to the RR station at Bemis, Maine, next to Mooselucmeguntic lake – it steamed over to Upper Dam, over the carry to Richardson Lake then to Middle Dam and then down the Carry road to its home on Pond in the River all under its own power .” Notice the name Roebling on the spool of cable. Alligator worked on the lakes from 1923 until about 1953.
In this close-up, notice the levers and U-joints employed to raise the props and shafts during land transits.
The next two photos below show while the Alligator was in transit from the Bemis RR station to Pond in the River: two lakes and two transits on dry land to get to Pond in the River
Thanks much to Steve Smith for sending along these photos. Credit for the top four photos goes to Brown Company Collection, Michael Spinelli, Jr. Center for University Archives and Special Collections, Herber H. Lamson library and Learning Commons, Plymouth State University, and that’s in Plymouth, NH.
And the timing . . . check out this story about the annual celebration of alligators below NYC . . maybe connecting the various parts of the sixth boro.