You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Erie Canal’ tag.
She was then probing the inland seas, seeing how far she could voyage, possibly looking for a passage to the Mississippi and the Gulf via Lake Michigan. OK, indulge me on that speculation.
Our paths next crossed on September 1, as she made her way through the Erie Canal,
with all the modifications that entailed and the use of sunstones to
avoid getting lost in the meandering rivers.
And late last week, Bjoern Kils of the New York Media Boat got this fabulous shot of her scoping out the sixth boro before
she slipped into a Manhattan cove for a spell.
I missed the display in the Winter Garden and hope I can get there again before the boat moves on.
Many thanks to Bjoern for use of that photo. For more of Bjoern’s photos, click here. All others by Will Van Dorp. And following up on some info from Conrad Milster, here’s a video on a Viking ship that traveled to Chicago in 1893. Yes, 1893!! And the crossing from Bergen NO to New Haven CT with Captain Magnus Andersen and 11 crew took 30 days. Then the vessel, dubbed Viking, traveled up the Hudson and through the pre-Barge Canal on its way to Chicago with stops in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Cleveland. The vessel is still there in Geneva IL. Here’s another video on the ship.
To pick up on the NY canals’ connection, as we approach the bicentennial of the start of the Erie Canal, it would be great to seek out and archive any photos–still languishing in local photo troves–of the 1893 passage there of Viking, as well as of any other outstanding vessels that have traversed the Canal throughout its history.
The canal is a magical place with its Dragon,
a rare Tug-Ski,
a new bridge,
shrines behind shrines,
the Governors and
a tender I’d call the J. Proteus Steinmetz,
a messenger Churchill,
a headless Draken,
and endlessly interesting water patterns.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Here are previous posts under the category second lives, a designation I use for vessels that are significantly modified from one owner or role to another. The approaching vessel in the next two shots–which I took on the Erie Canal west of Three Rivers in September 2014–show Grand Erie, the newest (built 1951!!) and largest tug in the Erie Canal.
Look at that low Erie Canal design carefully, because
she started life looking like this photo probably taken in 1951 when she was brand new in Pascagoula. That’s probably the open Gulf of Mexico in the background.
Chartiers was considered a dredge tender. Here she’s pushing a scow somewhere in the Pittsburgh area.
And here she’s tied up at the Corps of Engineers repair base at Neville Island, Pittsburgh. Look carefully at the upper superstructure in this photo, pre-1985.
In 1985, the vessel was purchased by the New York canals system, then still called the Barge Canal. The name changed in 1992. Then, Chartiers traveled to New York state from the Ohio River via St. Louis, the Illinois River, Chicago, and the Great Lakes.
Here’s Dan Owen’s description of the photo: “This is how it [looked] when I first saw it going up the [Mississippi] Aug. 13, 1985 at St. Louis. It was on the other side of the river. The top part of the pilothouse roof was actually cut off to the level of the second deck cabin to get under the bridges in the Chicago area. I do not know how long the pilothouse was 100% air conditioned, all the way from Pittsburgh, or at a shipyard in the St. Louis area. Or, if the pilothouse was welded back on after clearing the Chicago bridges.”
Here’s more of Dan’s description: “These two photos show Chartiers departing Chain of Rocks Lock, Granite City, Ill. [Notice the helm,] complete with searchlight, sitting on the deck. Also visible are two spare rudders.”
For more comparison, below are three photos of Grand Erie I took in September 2015. In the photo she’s flanked by Tender #3 starboard and tug Waterford to her port.
Compare this photo of Grand Erie to the second b/w photo above to note all the changes.
And compare this one to the last b/w photo above.
Many thanks to Dan Owen of Boat Photo Museum for use of these photos. All color photos were taken by myself, Will Van Dorp, in 2014 and 2015.
Here’s how you might be able to add to this collection: in July 1986 the newly modified Grand Erie came to NYC waters aka the sixth boro to participate in Liberty Weekend, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty. Grand Erie served as Governor Cuomo‘s ride. Does anyone have photos from that time . . . Grand Erie in NYC in 1986? I’d love to see them.
Here are the previous ones.
This FDNY boat has never floated in the sixth boro, although it should be here this coming Tuesday.
I wanted to catch this vessel in the resplendent colors of October along the Erie Canal.
Watch here for sixth boro harbor news for the time of a welcome ceremony at the Statue of Liberty. William M. Feehan and all his loved ones should be proud.
All photos here by Will Van Dorp.
“From the Albert R. Stone Negative Collection, Rochester Museum & Science Center Rochester, N.Y.”
See the added image below the photo of Victor below.
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.”
I generally do not modify published posts, except with self-deprecating cross-outs. But here I’m adding the “plans” sent along by William Lafferty that clearly show the “mis-read” of the 1911 caption writer. Here was a link I had intended to put with this post as well. A further contradiction of the “misread” of the orientation of the boat is provided by the rake of the masts. Thanks all for your corrections; contemporary captions on any archival photos can be wrong.
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 is 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.