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“From the Albert R. Stone Negative Collection, Rochester Museum & Science Center Rochester, N.Y.”
For this photo printed in the Rochester Herald, November 10, 1911, I’ll use text from the collection: “The “Victor” is a two masted boat with decking in the bow and canvas covering a sheltered space in the stern. She is pictured, with her crew, just off-shore from the roller coaster at Ontario Beach Park. The boat is moving toward the bank of the river. According to the newspaper article, “The Victor is 37 feet over all, has a displacement of about nine tons and is equipped with a six-cylinder Holmes engine. Built in [Bayonne] New Jersey, she is…the latest model lifesaving boat…of the self-righting and self-bailing variety and will make twelve miles an hour under favorable conditions.”
So this one is a mystery, and it deepens when you find there is Inspector I and Inspector II, and I don’t know which this is. This photo is identified as taken in 1919 or 1920, but since the only person identified is Governor Miller, I’m thinking the photo was taken in 1921 or 1922.
My questions: Is this the yacht built by Consolidated in 1909, 80′ loa? Are there photos of Governor FD Roosevelt using it? Did it once belong to a Rochester NY radio station? Does anyone have facts about it being used in the Mariel Boatlift and ultimately sinking in the Caribbean?
Today there are still annual canal inspections, but one of the vessels used in Grand Erie, a very different creature.
The photo above was taken by Will Van Dorp, who’s eager to learn the rest of the story of motor yacht Inspector.
Here was the first in this series. This is a well-painted and lubricated wheel that won’t be seen for a while. Even you folks who are planning a trip on Erie Canal, you’ll be close and you’ll feel the effects, but you won’t see it. So watch carefully as . .
the wagon-body valve, the rectangular portion of which measures 7′ X 9′ , gets positioned where it’ll be invisible from now until some winter maintenance season in the future. The entire valve–with wheels– weighs about 9800 pounds. If you’re standing near the upper door when one of these opens, you see a major whirlpool created by the rush of water through the water tunnel and through the port holes into the lock chamber.
Bob Stopper took these photos just over two weeks ago. Looking at them now, with mild spring temperatures in place, this feels like months ago. The valve is hoisted above the water tunnel and
guided into position.
Think about this as you traverse the canal this summer.
Many thanks to Bob. Happy spring. I can’t wait to see what exotic traffic passes through here this summer. Of course, I’ll be looking for work elsewhere. Anyone know anyone looking to hire a deckhand, now holding some paper and licenses?
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.
The imp in my head wants to mess with the title and permutate this to “tugmotives and locoboats,” and I’m guessing way back when power began to be applied to hulls, there were those who thought they were seeing “loco boats” but I digress. First, a historical photo to set the context.
Just east of local 19, here’s Margot pushing a barge underneath the main line. I don’t know the exact number, but these rails cross over the canal at least a half dozen times between Waterford and Tonawanda.
As you’ll see in most of the next photos, it’s hard to get a photo of a complete tug and a complete locomotive if you happen to be moving on one of the other. Difficulty notwithstanding, I kept on trying.
With a drone I could have gotten the locomotive . . .
or the rest of the tugboat.
I know there’s no locomotive in sight, but the boxcars were colorful.
We had to wait at the top of lock 19 and my camera was ready, but no trains came. As soon as we descended and started heading eastward . . . one passed.
When one passed right near us, of course it was backlit.
I took this shot from the upper wheelhouse.
So at the end of the season, I had to conclude this was my loco-tug moneyshot, which had to be taken from neither.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, whose focus will soon be leaving the canal. Having said that, part of me wants to get back up there when the water levels are drawn down and the snow covers the ground. Click here for some history of the relations rail/canal in the first quarter century after the opening of the waterway. Click here for a basic introduction to the canal levels monitoring from the state hydrologist.
This is probably the last of this series as well. These photos were all taken between October 2 and 19 in an area of the western canal, the extreme western portion of which is now more than a little snow-covered. I don’t know much about this little 1985 one-off (I was told) fiberglass tugboat named Tilly. Not the Tilly that’s currently underwater.
Mandalay . . . said to have down east fishing origins from the first decades of the 20th century . . . is a stunner. Reminds me of Grayling, third photo down here. Mandalay is on the Genesee river, not technically the canal, although their waters commingle.
Capt. Green . . . another Genesee River denizen said to be a converted landing craft.
Any word(s) on this?
Truly a unique craft of western NY, cobblestone architecture–its height came during the first few decades after the completion of the Erie Canal) is celebrated in this museum just north of the canal in Childs, NY.
And this looks like almost too much fun!
This brown “sculpture” made no sense to me when I first saw it, but then at a farmer’s market in Lockport, I notice a reference to “farm to pint” and local hops sales and tasted a range of local craft beers . . . of course . . . it’s a huge representation of a hops cone.
Hobbit house? dungeon?
Try . . outlet for a 19th century water power system in Lockport.
And for a feat quite unimaginable to DeWitt Clinton and his cronies, here’s the Red Bull take. Click on the photo below.
Finally . . . I know I’ve posted a version of this photo previously, but this culvert under the canal begs a tip of the hat to that craftwork of an earlier era.
I was truly fortunate to see this variety of craft, but for a time traveler’s view, you must read Michele A. McFee’s A Long Haul: The Story of the New York State Canal. One of my favorite sets of photos from the New York State Archives and featured in her book relates to Henry Ford . . . his 1922 vacation on the canal and subsequent decision to ship auto parts on the canal. In fact, on p. 193 there’s a photo of new automobiles shipped across the state NOT by truck or train but by barge!
I’m working backwards still . . . all photos in this post were taken between October 22 and 28. M/V Mystere . . works the Hudson river now, but I’d never seen her before this encounter above lock 7.
The next three photos were taken just above and just below lock 11 Amsterdam, showing use of small boats on the Canal/Mohawk River for bridge and dam work. Click here to see what park this bridge footing some day will support.
The repairs have been necessitated by the flooding of 2011.
Artania II is the last wooden Matthews, built in 1970 and just restored in Michigan, headed home near lock 14. Click here for photos of the restoration at E. J. Mertaugh Boat Works, satisfying but it loads slowly.
Here Artania II passes Governor Cleveland.
Zooming ahead of us is the largest Sea Ray I’ve ever seen . . . Just Because . . . but I forget the loa’
I don’t know the story of this vessel, although at first notice I thought it a sporty very low-slung yacht.
Lil Joe had been doing bridge inspection earlier in the season, as are
these guys. I love this Harcon bucket boat and its hydraulically-actuated outriggers.
And finally . . . taking advantage of the ambiguity of the word craft, here’s the very definition of a bucolic scene, less than 300 feet from the bed of the original Erie Canal in Lyons.
More canal craft soon . . . maybe tomorrow.
I’ll terminate this series by identifying a zone that I’d call the “ends of the Canal.” In other words, even though the canal has these three “ends,” what they have in common is significant enough to group them into a single zone. At each of the ends, a flight of locks in close proximity accommodates dramatic shift in gradient. Lock 6–not 9 as is posted to the right–is the top of the flight at the east end, bypassing
The double lock in Lockport is the last and westernmost set to move westbound traffic up to the level of Lake Erie. This level change relates to the well-known Niagara escarpment.
The photo below was taken inside the lock 34 chamber and
The Oswego is the portion of the NYS Canal system that today accommodates the largest vessels. The Oswego Canal flows north from the Syracuse area to terminate at Oswego. Click here for the port of Oswego site.
In the last mile of so of the Oswego Canal, locks 6 (shown far to the left below) through 8 provide a lift of over 40 feet.
I still have a few more posts related to the canal, but this has been my attempt to identify my own six idiosyncratic but organic zones of the waterway. Thanks for sticking with me.
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.
If you’ve seen Graves of Arthur Kill, you know my fascination with ruins. There are so many canal ruins in central NYS stretching from Buffalo to Albany that I’m actually dividing this post into two. When you see the batch of photos following this one, you’ll see why I split the two on this zone.
signage, which I greatly appreciate.
Less than a quarter mile away, here’s walls of the original Canal. Note the recesses where the lock doors would retract to when the chamber was open.
And here’s signage.
No more than three miles–by water–away, here’s an old lock with
“Putnam’s Grocery” is just out of the frame . . . to the left, and
This sign with a map puts the whole area together.
More than 150 miles to the west, here’s more ruins of a double-chamber lock near Lyons.
More Canal Zones 5 ruins in tomorrow’s post.
All of these photos were taken by Will Van Dorp.
Enjoy more blue and gold boats today, and these are called SPS’s . . . as in self-propelled scows. Generally they have a house at stern and lifting capability forward, as you can see on SPS 52. The inclusion of these details is where the similarity among these vessels ends . . . as you will notice in the variety of houses below.
SPS 60 in summer of 2014 and
And then–as with the tenders and buoy boats–there are SPS’s with registry numbers but no “numeric name,” if you catch my drift, like the one below with registry ending in …305 seen here and
here, as well as
. . . 327.
Let’s look closer at SPS 60’s propulsion.
I have no idea how many SPS’s operate on the canal or how old these are or when such vessels first served the canal.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.