You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Amsterdam’ tag.

Here’s a history-packed and very detailed photo.  In the foreground you see James K. Averill and Amsterdam.  In the next row back, that’s Urger behind Averill and a boat I can’t identify [name board just to the right of Averill’s stack shows a name that ends in –le No 1 ] behind Amsterdam. Also, in the foreground, there’s good detail of the ratchet and chain system to open the bottom-dumping doors of the scow.

Averill, 50′ x 14′ x 4.5′, was a wooden-hulled tug built in 1912.  It worked for a D. G. Roberts of Champlain NY until 1925.  Champlain is a town on the NY/QC border.  Her original power may have been a 200 hp coal-burning 1905 Skinner & Arnold steam engine. and a Murphy Donnely Co. boiler.  She was repowered and given new superstructure in 1930, but I don’t know what the new power or the previous superstructure were.  Notations on her info card says her coal storage capacity was seven tons and she burned on average a half ton of coal per eight-hour day. 

This dry dock photo shows a “cutaway” of her frames and stringers.

Initially, I looked at this photo and assumed Averill had experienced a catastrophic fire, but with her all-wood structure, a fire would likely not have gone out before entirely consuming the vessel.

Another look at Averill, here off the stern of Tender #3, 

says to me that this was the dismantling of Averill, which happened some time after October 1960.


All photos used thanks to the Canal Society of New York.  The top photo above appears in Enterprising Waters, by Brad Utter.



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.


Amsterdam has appeared here  a lot, but all the photos in this post come from Jan van der Doe.  This tug looks a little like Odin, the telescoping house well-suited for the low bridges of A’dam.  I like the container-inspired deckhouse as well.


Here, at the National Maritime Museum, is an exact replica of the East Indiaman Amsterdam, which wrecked on its maiden voyage before it had even left Europe.


PA4 is a Damen built tug.


The Zulu-class Soviet sub–well-graffittied over in the maritime area of North Amsterdam was “beyond belief,” not a surprise because a sign at the entrance to this dock calls it a “place beyond belief.”


Let me digress and put up some photos I never got around to in 2014.


You have to admit that a vandalized Soviet sub is quite strange.


Here’s the entrance to this area;  notice the Botel–a repurposed North Sea oil field accommodations barge–in the background.



For vessels big and


small, Amsterdam is one of those cities everyone should visit at some point.




Click here for some of the many port posts I’ve done.


All photos here by Jan van der Doe, except for #5–7, which were by me, Will Van Dorp.

Here’s my last canal ruins post, this one focusing on vestiges of the corridor as a dynamic industrial hub.  Day Peckinpaugh, delivered as cargo ship Interwaterways 101 in May 1921 is certainly not in ruins, as her younger sister–by two months–


Interwaterways 105 has been since 1976, here disintegrating in the Arthur Kill.


Below the photo shows the dock in Rome where Day Peckinpaugh used to offload cement.


The Mohawk banks in Amsterdam . . . once a major location for carpet and rug making . . . now hold silent factories.


Not having been up the bank here, I can’t say whether Fownes still makes gloves here.


On the south side of the Oneida River, docks exist where no supply barges have called in many years.  Anyone help with info on when supplies last arrived in Clay via barge?



. . . or here not far north of Onandaga Lake?


I don’t know the number of bridges for pedestrians, trains, or automobiles that cross the canal, but this one clearly remains as scrap and carries no traffic of any sort.


Which brings us back to the Duluth-built younger sister of Day Peckinpaugh, also depicted near the beginning of this post.  I’d always wondered about Duluth, thinking it an unlikely location for construction of vessels that came to work on the canal.  But maybe it isn’t.  President Wilson created the US Railroad Administration (USRA) in December 1917, federalizing the railroads of the US as well as the Erie Canal.  Wilson placed the USRA in the hands of his son-in-law W. G. McAdoo, who soon thereafter nationalized strategic inland waterways including the Erie Canal and placed them in the hands of a Duluth shipping executive G. A. Tomlinson.


To reiterate what I said at the beginning, Day Peckinpaugh is not among the ruins along the canal although its future role is under study.  Meanwhile, neither is ship tourism along the canal dead, as evidenced by Grande Caribe approaching from Peckinpaugh‘s stern.  Click here for more pics of Grande Caribe.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.


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