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At some point, maybe days before April 23, 1921, at McDougall Duluth Shipyard, this vessel, Interwaterways Line Incorporated 101, or ILI 101, had taken shape on the ways.

After it slid down the ways at launch, it was followed by four sisters, all before summer began in 1921.  The 101 traveled via the Soo, three Great Lakes, and the Barge Canal  to New York with 83,000  bushels of oats (approximately 1300 tons… count the trucks or rail cars) at a rate 60% below the railroad cost.

As you can read below, 101 was the “advance courier of a fleet of new type of ships,” freighters specifically designed to transit the newly opened Barge Canal or Eriemax vessels.

The telegram below details of communication between 101 management and Canal management regarding a “representative familiar with the canal” aboard.  I’m wondering if this was a way of saying they needed a pilot, someone with relevant local knowledge.

 

That initial transit was made eastbound with wooden tugboat Lorraine.

Between 1910 and 1920, the time of the opening of the Barge Canal, the population of Fairport grew by almost 50%.  Note the low profile cargo hatches on the vessel at this time.

Later in August 1921, spectators were photographed coming to see her at E-21.  The steering pole hints at her Great Lakes roots.

Through the years, a number of modifications, detailed here, were made to the freight ship.  She was renamed Richard J. Barnes and later Day Peckinpaugh, her current name.   As Barnes, she carried coal along the East Coast and once dodged a torpedo launched from a German submarine.

1959?  Here she is just below lock E2 and the “flight of five” in Waterford.  All the other commercial vessels behind them, stretching all the way back to the Hudson River, I’ve read they are stuck there because of an issue with another lock in the flight.  In other words, this is a smaller version of the back up a month ago due to Ever Given in the Suez Canal.

Also note in the photo above tug Urger on the opposite side of the channel.  Urger is no stranger to this blog and, in my opinion, another critically endangered vessel with a NYS Canal history.  I worked as deckhand on Urger for the 2014 season, when she was in her 113th year.

1963.  Here she is northbound on the Oswego Canal at Phoenix NY.

 

1994.  Eastbound at Rome NY with her last load of cement, the only type of cargo she carried from 1961 until 1994, she passes the freighhouse, now incorporated into Bellamy Harbor Park.  The terminal lies less than a mile ahead, off her portside.  At a special widening ahead either before or after discharging cargo, she’d turn around.  Compare her special cement hatch/manifold arrangement below with the configuration in the photo taken in Fairport in 1921.

1994.  Here’s a video still of her exiting a lock after having discharged her last cargo, heading home, so to speak, to an uncertain future.

2005.  After more than a decade being “laid up” in Erie PA and just before she might have been scrapped, she was purchased by an alliance that included the New York State Museum, the Canal Society of New York State, the New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and New York State Marine Highway Transportation Co., Inc.  On this trip to a new role, the 84-year-old freighter was escorted by Benjamin Elliott, as she had been by Lorraine 84 years earlier.  I missed this, but from accounts I’ve heard, this was a triumphal return.  She’s currently an accessioned artifact of the New York State Museum.

2005.  From that same voyage, she exits the downside of lock E17.

2009.  During the year of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, she traveled under her own power as far south as the sixth boro of NYC and Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain.

2009.  I took this photo of her hold, a vast space that has potential as an exhibit space inside a traveling artifact from NYS canal history, whose history demonstrates the connection the Erie Canal  makes between the Great Lakes and salt waters.

 

2021.  She’s still afloat, raised from the bottom of the canal as a result of the routine annual winter lowering of water level.  She’s afloat for her one hundredth spring, but needs her potential recognized once again.  Stan Rogers wrote a song performed here by Makem and Clancy that captures the attitude needed to rekindle the flame, clarifies the vision, and saves her from the scrappers or the reef.  Maybe someone from the New York State Museum can comment on their vision for this last of her type.  A sister vessel, ILI 105 lies rusting away in Staten Island.

Some of my previous posts on the vessel can be seen here.  Many thanks to all who contributed photos to this post:  Paul Strubeck, John Callahan, Craig Williams.  Any opinions are my own and any errors mine as well.

One goal I have for this post is to try to unearth more images of this vessel pre-1994.  Anyone help?

 

It’s a non-profit devoted to the history and functioning of NY’s canals, and there have been over two dozen.  In these years of bicentennial, consider joining.  Nobody asked me to suggest this; but I’m a satisfied member.

Let me share historical photos of the boat I worked on for a season, all photos posted on CSNYS FB in the past month.

You may know, the vessel is Urger, an extraordinary boat who has likely now crossed the line from a work boat and working boat to a museum boat.  Here she is under steam power in Waterford headed for the Hudson, 1940.  At this point, Urger was already 39 years old, a product of Ferrysburg, Michigan, 1901.

Also 1940, this photo gives an idea that the colors have not always been blue/gold.  Note the extension of the superstructure forward of the wheelhouse.

Here she is in April 1941, and

back in Waterford in 1949.  Note how busy the Canal was back then with commercial tug/barge units.  That’s Day-Peckinpaugh over to the right.

Here she is in 1960.  Can anyone identify the location.  I can’t.  Of course, canal banks have changed a lot through the years.

I don’t know any of the photographers above, but I took the rest of these.

She made her last visit to the sixth boro back in 2012

July 14, 2012

Here in early September 2014 just above lock E-2, she’s being passed by Benjamin Elliot (1960).

And finally, by September 2017 she’d been tied up for almost a full year.

To close out, here was my bunk back then.  Whenever I was lying in my bunk, the distance from my nose to those angle iron beam was about 18 inches.  The bed itself was 5’11” in a bunkhouse itself about 5’8.”  I’m 6’2.”

Since this is a big Canal year, again, consider becoming a member.  And for starters, you may want to “like” them on FB.

 

It’s the weekend after Labor Day in Waterford, time to call a muster.

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And stuff starts happening.  Atlantic Hunter arrives via the highway.

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Tug-of-the-Year Gowanus Bay travels from the south.

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Buffalo parades from Waterford back to Waterford.

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Grand Erie travels as the dais.

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As the parade approaches the Waterford Visitors Center, a water salute awaits Eighth Sea,

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Frances, Margot, and Benjamin Elliott . . .

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as well as Cornell and Iron Chief.

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Parts B and more soon.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who met great people, missed many others, and heard fabulous stories to be followed up on soon.

Here are parts A   B   and C from 2012.    More links to past roundups tomorrow also.

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A truckable tug named Mame Faye and her tow anchor outside the current near the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers.  Idyllic . . .  serene, sleepy upstate river banks .  . . eh?  She’ll be back.

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Here tugs Empire and Shenandoah tie up on the opposite bank of Mame Faye and along the bulkhead.

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Farther east is The Chancellor, with twin stacks arranged longitudinally.

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Still farther east inside LehighValley Barge 79, speakers like Jessica DuLong and Don Sutherland mesmerize with their tales and chronicles of the river.

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Captains Bill and Pam park their powerful machines to rest and enjoy the quiet of oars moving in and out of the fresh water.

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Rain showers come and go and no one cares.  Lined up behind Empire are Little Bitt, Gowanus Bay, Benjamin Elliott, and Margot. It’s another lazy day at the Roundup.

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What’s this on the foredeck of Bill’s Eighth Sea?  Looks like PVC, hairspray, and  . . . radishes?

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And Captain Fred has gotten involved.  This looks  . . .

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ominous, especially after he went to the supermarket for 50-calibre radishes, the most lethal kind.

aatdx2As dusk falls,  that same Captain Bill boards Mame Faye to maneuver the barge into the middle of the stream, which is now closed to traffic, for it will soon be time to

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see the scene change and

How to describe that:  part night harbor scene, rock concert, traffic jam, railroad crossing, cacophony, simulated war zone, kaleidoscope, popcorn popper, video game, confetti, aquatic bioluminescence gone wild, volcano, apocalypse .  . .   Oh, and I’ve always preferred seeing the flashes reflect in water to seeing them in air.

Now who do you suppose Mame Faye was?  Elizabeth toots Mame‘s horn here.

All fotos and video by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated . . .  the Dutch barge flotilla probably moves through the Hudson Highlands and northward today;  if you get good fotos and want to share, email me.

More coverage of the 2009 Tug Roundup in Waterford later, but for now some quick fotos.  Maybe the focus on flatbottoms aka platbodems in the sixth boro has influenced my perception, but bottoms were as much a thread this year as noses, last year.  Of course, tugs dominated:  near to far in this foto:  Shenandoah, Empire, Benjamin Elliott, Margot, and Cornell . . . all of which you’ve seen here before.  More on them soon.

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Grand Erie, an Erie Canal tug–yes, it is–began life as Chartiers, an Ohio River USACE dredge tender in 1951.  Get it . . . dredging . . .  bottom?

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Without the usual W. O. Decker selling rides, folks wanting to see the waterside could catch a half hour on this canalboat.  Anyone got an update on Decker?  Will it reappear next season?

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And then there is Lois McClure, a replica  of an 1862 canal schooner barge, with obvious mixed European heritage.  Tug C. L. Churchill appears off the port stern quarter.

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As tender atop McClure‘s deckhouse is this upturned birchbark canoe.

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Complementing all my thoughts about undersides and bottoms was this T-shirt, modeled here by the ubiquitous Karl, who traded a Harvey shirt for a this one from an itinerant dredger crewman.

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Until we see fotos soon, you might not believe that Stuart’s mini-tug SeaHorse has a flat bottom.  More pics soon.

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And since the bow pudding must transform this machine into a tugboat, I can add this to the pattern . . . a very flatbottomed jet-driven tug allegedly named Urger 2.  And speaking of Urger . . . .

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is it possible that a near clone–its name differing in only one letter–has arrived at the Roundup?  More soon.

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All fotos but the last one by Will Van Dorp.  And that Burger foto . . . will for now go unattributed.

Check out the Waterford Historical Society site here.

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