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Cargill’s Carneida and her sisters were unique enough, forgotten enough designs that when I stumbled onto this image yesterday AFTER posting, I decided to dedicate a whole post to Cargill’s vessels on the Barge Canal. The resemblance to the cargo portion of the 1000-footers currently on the Lakes is unmistakable although she’s less than a third of their size, but Barge Canal max.  She even has a hatch cover crane that runs along the deck.

This image would be the maiden voyage.  After construction in Leetsdale PA, she headed down the Ohio, up the Mississippi to the Illinois.  John MacMillan Jr. joined this vessel in Cairo IL for the voyage to Chicago.  There, Carneida was loaded with 1900 tons of corn.  On August 22, 1940, eight miles off Wilmette IL on Lake Michigan, however, the vessel found the weather not as favorable as predicted and swamped the towboat and two of the barges in almost 80′ of water!  The third barge broke free and floated away. 

In early September, a diver reported that the units were still connected and resting right side up on a coarse gravel bottom.  The found a salvage company that brought the corn up first.  The towboat and two barges stayed on the bottom until May 1941, then winched to the surface.  Once cleaned up, the two main engines and two auxiliaries ran. 

The lesson learned for the subsequent Carneida-class boats was . . . to put significantly less than 1900 tons of cargo into the holds for the Lakes portion.  These were canal cargo carrier, Barge Canal max ones.

Also after posting yesterday, I stumbled upon this version of the last photo in yesterday’s post:  this clearly identifies the boat as Carutica, an Odenbach vessel launched in 1946 with substantially more space in the towboat portion of the unit. The location is clearly below lock E-2 in Waterford.

All photos here from the archives on the Canal Society of New York. 

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