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This is the last Roundup I’ve attended.  Here’s another shot from the swim platform, where I’m flat on my belly. That’s Mike Byrnes, last year’s “old man of the sea” at the portside of the wheelhouse.

Downbound in the Federal lock, it’s Waterford, Governor Cleveland, and Tender #3.

 

On the northbound trip, the two smaller tugs fell in alongside Grand Erie.  Grand Erie is a 1951 build that first worked for the USACE in the Mississippi system.

Tug Buffalo heads for its berth beyond Pennsy 399 and Lehigh Valley #79, where

David Sharps bugle greets each vessel as it passes.

 

Lisa Ann was a newcomer that year, I believe.  She was built at Marine Inland Fabricators, where the “new” canal tugs like Port Jackson have also been built.

Another newbie in 2015 was Solar Sal, a solar powered newbuild that actually transported cargo later in the season.  Like Ceres the year before, these are prototypes, and  like Ceres, Solar Sal transported this cargo.

Ever so salty, it’s Ben Grudinskas, captain and builder of Atlantic Hunter.

Here Atlantic Hunter faces off against the mighty Tender #3.  By the way, Tender #3 is 43′ x 10′ and came off the ways in 1926!!  1926 . . . . 94 years ago.

It’s currently powered by a 220 hp Detroit Diesel.

In closing, the land activities include line toss, open to all comers, but won by the pros. I failed at the 15′ mark.

And I’ve not attended the Roundup since 2015, but unless I’m employed and on duty, I hope to make the 2021.

 

Back in 2010, I did four posts about the weekend, which you can see here.  What I did for today’s post was look through the archives and just pick the photos that for a variety of reasons jumped out at me.  A perk is each of the four posts has some video I made.  One of these photos is from 2006.

Again, I’m not listing all the names, but you may know many of these.  In other cases, you can just read the name.  If you plug that name into the search window, you can see what other posts featured that particular vessel.

Below, here the pack that locked through the federal lock together make their way en masse toward the wall in Waterford.

You’ll see a lot of repetition here.

The photo above and most below were taken earlier than the top photo;  here, Chancellor and Decker head southbound for the lock to meet others of the procession beginning in Albany.

 

 

2020 is Decker‘s 90th year.

 

 

 

Nope, it’s not Cheyenne. Alas, Crow became razor blades half a decade back.

Technically, not a tugboat, but Hestia is special.  We may not have a functioning steam powered tug in the US, but we do have steam launches like Hestia, with very logical names.

 

 

You correctly conclude that I was quite smitten by Decker at the roundup back 10 years ago.

 

All photos, WVD.

And Shenandoah was not from 2010. It was 2009.

 

I grew up less than 10 miles from this very location, in Wayne County, and having seen the whole system, I’ll suggest that, from the water, Wayne seems the most rural county transited by the canal, and that’s just description, not criticism.  Interesting to me is the fact that familiarity makes it hard for me to identify this area’s tourism appeal.

Tug Seneca, whose distance table we’ve been using, followed us into lock E-28A. In the distance, notice the “abandoned” 1912 tugboat Grouper, the topic of many many posts on this blog.

Below is the same area, from 400′ up and looking east. Note the lock center right and Lyons dry dock to its left in February. That’s Route 31, again, along the right side of the canal.  One of the pieces of equipment long-term (and maybe terminally) in the dry dock is Dipper Dredge No. 3, entered service around 1929 and last operated in 1985.  I’m told that the expertise to operate the unit no longer exists.

Lyons pre-dates the canal, only briefly, and is named for the city in France. It owes some international fame to H. G. Hotchkiss and peppermint essential oil, made there for over 150 years.  At one time, the smell of peppermint wafted over the canal and greeted travelers. More on that story here. A unique feature of the canal corridor through here is the number of houses, built by canal workers, made of cobblestones.  For a list with photos of cobblestone buildings in the immediate area, click here.  Signage on the north bank directs boaters around town and the area.

Let’s take a prompt from those signs and go ashore to

admire both the bucolic splendor and, alongside old Route 31 here in Lock Berlin, stare in disbelief at this ditch. Yes, that’s Clinton’s Ditch!  If you have ancestors who traveled west on the Erie Canal, this is where they floated past.

Off the road just slightly in Black Brook Park are these remnants of lock no. 54 of the Enlarged Canal, i.e., this saw traffic between 1862 and 1918.

I mentioned signage above:  Many murals have been created in Lyons and elsewhere along the canal by organizations like Mural Mania.  See a few Lyons examples here.  Murals help maintain a sense of history.  This one is a work-in-progress (notice the table and chairs in the studio?) painted on large sheets of plywood;  when the time is right, the mural is one of two to be assembled in mosaic form in a location to be disclosed on this blog later.

Another Lyons detail, this time from the Moran archives, of Agnes A. Moran (upper right)  tied up in town in summer 1961.  Many thanks to Chris Williams for a “heads up” on that on.  Click on the photo for the full context, and scroll.

It’s time to get back onto the boat.  Here we’ve passed under the Route 14 bridge.  Note the county courthouse dome in the center of the photo.

More industrial remnants catch our attention;  what looks abandoned now isn’t really, but its current usage differs from its original.

It was built 1900  (or 1903) for the Empire Sugar Beet Company, in season processing 600 tons of beets daily to produce 50 tons of raw sugar.  The beets came from 6000 acres farmed for this purpose locally. No sugar beets have been grown in the county for some time. In the 1940s the factory processed dates brought here by rail and sea from Iraq and Iran, pineapple . .  from Hawaii and the Philippines.

This is the reason one always carries a camera and maintains a sharp lookout.

Traffic on the narrow bridges here reveals what’s going on beyond the wooded banks.

The wooded banks, however, appear to shelter great hideaways, even though there may be a paved road 300′ on the land side.

Traffic . . . again, keep a camera handy, because you never know what you’ll see.  Grand Erie, now a NYS Canals vessel, spent the first part of its life on the Ohio River system.

Have another machine from the inception of this land cut.

Here’s another example of an industrial vestige along the Canal;  until 1989 when the last barge made a delivery, hot asphalt was moved here and through the pipes into the storage tank from a “hot” barge pushed by a tug all the way from Perth Amboy NJ.

Ten miles east of Lyons we arrive in Clyde, a village with a population of about 2000 for over a century.  Clyde Glass Works put the town on the map.  Here’s more on the glassware made here.

What’s not visible from the boat is the proximity of the Enlarged Canal, as seen from this drone photo of the laser-straight “ditch” to the right of the current canal.

Lauraville Landing in Clyde back in summer 2017 saw these boats tied up for an evening, part of the “votetilla,” a parade of boats that transited this part of the canal on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of New York granting women the right to vote.  The 19th amendment was passed two years later.

The bottleneck for folks that travel the canal frequently, this is the infamous Clyde Bridge, aka the E-93 bridge that once carried the many-years-defunct West Shore Railroad.  It blocks passage of any vessel exceeding about 15′ of air draft.  If you’re 16′ and can ballast yourself down without hitting the bottom, there’s hope. Otherwise  . . . Lake Erie is only 130 miles behind you, and you’ll see things you missed as you return, right?  The jackstaff with the yellow “flag” aka jack can also be called a feeler or a tell tale.

In the photo above,  we approach just barely drifting, in case we need to reverse engine to avoid hitting.   Below, I took the photo before I knew exactly what this “grafitti” represented.  Later,

I learned that Blount Small Ships Adventures then known as American Canadian Caribbean Line, used to transit this portion of the canal, and here the owner of the company, Luther Blount, is standing atop the highest deck of Niagara Prince, leaving a record before squeezing through on the way west to Lake Erie.  Photographer unidentified.

Two miles east of here we transit E-26, and then another five miles farther, we get to lock E-25. The small boat just before the lock to the left is called a buoy boat.  You may have seen others earlier in the trip and wondered. In the first decades of the Barge Canal, when traffic moved 24/7 as long as the ice was not too thick, channel buoys had kerosene lamps;  buoy boats carried kerosene tanks to replenish the tanks on the buoys to keep the flame burning.  They are still used as appropriate in the system.

A mile east of  E-25,we’re in the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, and

we come to a junction, shown

more vividly here from a 1981 aerial.  We will overnight here and, rather than heading straight ahead for Syracuse, we’re branching off to the right.  And that triangular island, does it have a name?  If the name is as boring as Junction Island, I think we need a a legend and an intriguing name.  In the absence of one, I’ll call it Tadadaho island, and if you want to learn about this scary local, click here.

Given all the mention of Haudenosaunee names in this series, you might be wondering where “Montezuma” comes from.  Well, a cosmopolitan NYC physician named Peter Clark with a commercial interest in the salt deposits under the marsh there  built a home overlooking the area in 1806.  He considered his home akin to the palace of the Aztec ruler, and therefore chose that name.  It stuck.  I’d love to see a photo of that house.  And salt, that’ll come up again.

At the start of the next post, we’ll virtually transport ourselves 50 miles mostly south to the bottom of Seneca Lake, town of Watkins Glen, and head north across the Lake.  One could do the same trip heading north starting in Ithaca, less than 20 miles to the mostly east from Watkins Glen, but then we’d hit only one lock.  So to Watkins Glen we’ll go.   It’s a nice place, by the way for hiking (last three photos here) and spectating this and more.

Many thanks to Bob Stopper of Lyons for some of these photos and information, Chris for the Moran tug heads-up,  Mark De Cracker for the mural-in-progress, and drone-assisted photos by Jim Kerins.

There are at least three more installments coming.  To continue this series, consider this:  if you’ve done any part of the NYS Canals and feel like adding here, info and photos of something sublime or even that I’ve underrepresented–section, activity or historical context, please contact me.  You can supply photos of the area, activity, constituent, or era . . . Together we’ll collaborate to get that represented.  It could be like this one cruising the Champlain Canal in the 1950s.

May 15, 2018 was the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Barge Canal.  That fact was mentioned at the ceremonies opening the Canal to recreational traffic yesterday, and quite a diverse and international flotilla of recreational boats waited, like racers on the starter’s blocks.

But first, do you recognize this captain?

Well, he waved at all these school kids who serenaded him and all the other boats, first of the season, leaving lock E2.  For prices on similar Hinckley 36 picnic boats, click here.

Sonically greeting them also were two Canal vessels:  Governor Cleveland and Grand Erie.

But let’s step back about 15 minutes.  The lower gates of E2 open to reveal the queue.

The nearest boat to the left was driven by the gentleman I asked whether you could identify.  The large vessel to the right — a 78′ Azimut Benetti Spa registered in Grand Rapids MI–was rumored to belong to a well-known professional basketball player.

 

It was the second batch locking through that brought the more unique westbound boats.

The green vessel —Oliver Plunkett-– Canadian registry, was returning from a stint in the Bahamas.  Her PEI fishing pedigree is quite noticeable.

Troll–hailing from Elburg NL– intrigues me, but I can’t point out anything besides an unusual name and bright hull color, both of which you’ve already noticed.

Broadsword, German registry, is a 58′ New Zealand-built Artnautica LRC 58 motoring around the world to the east, although here headed west.

Each of these boats has a story, many stories, I’ll never know.

 

And finally, this Florida-registered Axopar caught my attention too late and too far from the camera.  But, check out these Finnish boat designs.

To see some unusual recreational boat designs, lock E2 is the place to be on opening day.  I would be remiss, however, to leave out reference to commercial vessels . . . several of whom have already locked through, and that may be a story I pick back up in a few days.

The first boat here–a Nordhavn 62– was an unusual vessel to see up in Waterford.

And the person at the helm of the Hinckley, it was Geraldo Rivera, whom you’ve likely heard of.  But, check out his info on this wiki page for lots of tidbits you probably don’t know, eg, he attended SUNY Maritime, he’s a lawyer, he went to West Babylon High School, and some scandals . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’d love to hear more about any of these boats at points farther west . . .

 

 

My trickster truckster hopper is filling and will dump one of these days soon, but this photo fits better in the “seats” category.

But to put this back on the water, here’s the power seat on ex-Catherine Turecamo now John Marshall.  I’d love to see this vessel in her current colors and working in her current environment . . . the tri-state ports along southern Lake Michigan.  I wonder if this is the original 1972 seat.  For the photo, thanks to Mike Fiedler, who also sent along this photo of the helm seat for Lake Express here (scroll).

Here she was in the East River in 2008.

To take on a Peacemaker with a 50-horse Boston Whaler look-alike, your seat must provide a sense of power.

Now this is a well-appointed seat of power, currently a training seat for other seats of power.  It’s Pentagoet (1980), platform for tug and barge skills acquisition at Maine Maritime.

Can you identify this seat of power?  The exterior colors could be a giveaway.

The “sticks” move the rudders on Grand Erie, flagship of the Canal Corp, former Mississippi River system Corps of Engineers pusher tug.

Any ideas of this?  I’ll call it the mystery seat until the end of this post.

Here’s a clue:  those are my shoes and below the seat is a glass floor.

Here is the locus of power award Fournier Tractor (1984), which currently works mostly in Penobscot Bay.  I took these other photos of the Maine boats here almost five years ago.

And the last seat of power comes from George Schneider.  Orange is the color of Edison Chouest.  George writes:  “It was 2011, and I was sent out on the ROV support ship MAX CHOUEST while they did an ROV survey of the wreckage of the DEEPWATER HORIZON.  The MAX, of course, is dynamically positioned, and so the operator needs to have all the DP displays nearby, plus controls to tell the system how to maneuver the vessel.  But being a workboat, it needs to be able to operate forward (in transit) or aft (when doing industrial work).  So the controls move with the operator, and the “Cyber Chair” slides fore and aft within the bridge as well as swiveling.  The whole concept was completely overwhelming to me.”

Thanks to Mike and George.  All other photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s planning at least one more “seats of power” post, so if you have photos of a bridge/helm/wheelhouse seat, please send it along.

Oh, the mystery seat . . . was in a dockside gantry crane operator cabin.

 

You may recall that back in 2014, I often juxtaposed  canal&river/rail in photos like the one below.

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This post was originally going to feature only photos of the river and canal from the rails, like the one below, but

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then I decided to pair photos from the train toward the water with the opposite:  photos from the water toward roughly the same land area where the rails lay and the trains speed.

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Train shots are difficult because of speed, coatings on the windows, trees and poles along the tracks . . .  but I’m quite sure a letter that begins “Dear Amtrak:  could you slow down, open windows, and otherwise accommodate the photographers” would not yield a positive response.

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I hope you enjoy this attempt on my part.  And if you ever have a chance to ride Amtrak along the Hudson, Mohawk, and Lake Champlain . . . sit on the better side of the car; switch sides if necessary.

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Here we’re on the Livingstone Avenue Bridge looking south and

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here we are south of it, looking north.  Yes, that’s Crow, Empire, W. O. Decker, and Grand Erie passing through the open swivel.

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Here’s the pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam

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as seen from both vantage points.

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The 1766 Guy Park Manor from a speeding train and

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from the Mohawk River/Erie Canal, where post-Irene repair has been going on since 2011.   Here’s a photo taken soon after the unusual weather.

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Schoharie Aqueduct from Amtrak,

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a slow boat, and

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the east bank of Schoharie Creek.

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Little Falls onramp to I-90 from rail and

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below.

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The rail bridge at Lock 19 from the span and

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from west of it at Lock 19.

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And these all east of Utica I can’t pair, but decided to include here anyhow:  a dairy pasture,

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a construction yard, and

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a truck depot.

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Maybe if I write that “Dear Amtrak” letter, I could just ask if the window could be cleaned a bit.  If you’re going to try this, take amtrak when the leaves are off the trees.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who embeds this post from “Good Morning Gloucester” to reveal a bit of my past . . . 1988.  Scroll all the way through to see a piece of shipwreck “treasure.”

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.

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Look at that low Erie Canal design carefully, because

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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.

All the black and white photos in this post are credited to Boat Photo Museum.  If anybody wants 8×10 photos, they are $5.00 each, plus postage through the Museum.

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Chartiers was considered a dredge tender.  Here she’s pushing a scow somewhere in the Pittsburgh area.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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Compare this photo of Grand Erie to the second b/w photo above to note all the changes.

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And compare this one to the last b/w photo above.

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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.

Click here for posts from lots of other years.  In today’s post, you’ll see almost all blue-and-gold before the parade, i.e., heading for the muster

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entering the top of lock 2

It was great to have two covered barges for events.

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Lehigh Valley 79, dry dock repairs complete, heads for the sixth boro this week. 

Urger exits the low side of lock 2 and  . . .

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enters the Hudson.

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Note the Waterford wall with the covered barges in the distance.

The federal lock at Troy leads into the rest of the Hudson . . .

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After the dignitaries are picked up,

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the flotilla heads back north into the Troy lock,

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and

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the parade has begun.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Many thanks to tug44 as host and photo boat.

For more photos, check these from the Daily Gazette.

 

“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.”

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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September 2013

The photo above was taken by Will Van Dorp, who’s eager to learn the rest of the story of motor yacht Inspector.

 

DB here expands to “derrick boat, not a term that had been in my vocabulary before this season.  Why DB #4 has been dubbed “the chief” I don’t know.

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The next two photos show DB #4 eastbound near Schenectady a few days ago, pushed by Grand Erie and

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boom resting on a scow.

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Here’s the same derrick boat working on reinforcing a canal wall east of Herkimer back in August.  The white tour vessel is Lil Diamond III operated by Erie Canal Cruises Herkimer.

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In late September, here was DB 2A working near Newark.  Note the elbow boom.   Tug Syracuse is standing by with the scows.

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Here’s another shot of those units.  I’m not sure how the nomenclature makes this DB 2A.

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Here’s DB 13 at the Genesee Crossing, i. e., the point where the Erie Canal and the Genesee make an X.  Standing by here is Tender #9.   I’m planning an encyclopedia of canal tenders soon.

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I don’t know how many other functioning derrick boats work the Canal.  One non-functioning one is here in Oswego.

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Here’s what the sign out front says.  I’m wondering if the other derrick boats above date from the same era.

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Two shore mounted derricks are this one in Fonda and

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this one at the junction lock in New London NY . .  between Rome and Syracuse.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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