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If Lyons NY sounds familiar to you, either you have lived near there (like me, 14 years) or you may have read references to the town on this blog, partly because it’s where Grouper has spent its past decade and where it still languishes.

All photos in this post were taken in Lyons NY, and are arranged from west to east.  Lyons is home to two locks, the one below is E-28A and the rest of the photos were taken around E-27, right in the village.  I’m not sure who the photographer(s) were. 

Headed west out at the top of E-28A, an unknown tug (“c a m e r o” is written on the front of the wheelhouse) pushes a classic and well-painted wooden barge Martha Harrington, which is mentioned in a 1956 lawsuit here.

Moving a mile or so to the east, we’re looking eastward as Margaret Feeney heads west into the bottom of E-27.  Looking through the open hatch of her barge, I conclude she’s moving scrap.

Now crossing to the opposite side of the canal and looking NW, that’s Margaret Feeney again with a long string of wooden barges.  Recall that in previous installments of this series, the tugboats were almost exclusively moving steel tank barges with petroleum cargoes.  Anyone recognize the fleet of tan-with-red-lettering delivery trucks on the bank?

These photos show the degree to which the canal–at least here–is behind the town, not what the town and its enterprises fronts upon.  Another way of saying that is this:  the space between the canal and the buildings is parking lot off the street where more traffic happens.  Buildings don’t face the canal; they face the street.

This photo was taken from the Route 14 bridge.  As Crow heads west with Hygrade No. 8, it waits for a string of at least a half dozen eastbound barges to clear.  I can’t be sure, but there might be another tugboat in the lock and another above it.  Hygrade No. 8 was involved in a 1938 lawsuit here.

The photo above and the one below appear to be taken only minutes apart, but from different vantage points.  Feeney Girls seems to be clearing out that string of eastbound wooden barges while Crow waits.  There is a current Feeney Girls, but that’s not the same boat.

Maybe a friend in the Lyons area can take some photos from the same vantage points to show how much the north bank of the canal near lock E-27 has changed.  And maybe someone can help us out with a list of Feeney tugboats over the years.

While I’m asking for research help, here’s another request.  I may have a “false memory” moment here, but I recall seeing photos of the many Poling tankers through the years. Tugboatinformation has some, but I thought I once stumbled onto more of them.  I have information on some of them, but where would I have seen these photos?

Tugster did a series of Groundhog Day posts some years back, but they referenced the movie.  For the rodent reference to today, watch this amusing but informative five-minute documentary. 

Many thanks to the Canal Society of New York for permitting me to post these photos.

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