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At some point, maybe days before April 23, 1921, at McDougall Duluth Shipyard, this vessel, Interwaterways Line Incorporated 101, or ILI 101, had taken shape on the ways.

After it slid down the ways at launch, it was followed by four sisters, all before summer began in 1921.  The 101 traveled via the Soo, three Great Lakes, and the Barge Canal  to New York with 83,000  bushels of oats (approximately 1300 tons… count the trucks or rail cars) at a rate 60% below the railroad cost.

As you can read below, 101 was the “advance courier of a fleet of new type of ships,” freighters specifically designed to transit the newly opened Barge Canal or Eriemax vessels.

The telegram below details of communication between 101 management and Canal management regarding a “representative familiar with the canal” aboard.  I’m wondering if this was a way of saying they needed a pilot, someone with relevant local knowledge.

 

That initial transit was made eastbound with wooden tugboat Lorraine.

Between 1910 and 1920, the time of the opening of the Barge Canal, the population of Fairport grew by almost 50%.  Note the low profile cargo hatches on the vessel at this time.

Later in August 1921, spectators were photographed coming to see her at E-21.  The steering pole hints at her Great Lakes roots.

Through the years, a number of modifications, detailed here, were made to the freight ship.  She was renamed Richard J. Barnes and later Day Peckinpaugh, her current name.   As Barnes, she carried coal along the East Coast and once dodged a torpedo launched from a German submarine.

1959?  Here she is just below lock E2 and the “flight of five” in Waterford.  All the other commercial vessels behind them, stretching all the way back to the Hudson River, I’ve read they are stuck there because of an issue with another lock in the flight.  In other words, this is a smaller version of the back up a month ago due to Ever Given in the Suez Canal.

Also note in the photo above tug Urger on the opposite side of the channel.  Urger is no stranger to this blog and, in my opinion, another critically endangered vessel with a NYS Canal history.  I worked as deckhand on Urger for the 2014 season, when she was in her 113th year.

1963.  Here she is northbound on the Oswego Canal at Phoenix NY.

 

1994.  Eastbound at Rome NY with her last load of cement, the only type of cargo she carried from 1961 until 1994, she passes the freighhouse, now incorporated into Bellamy Harbor Park.  The terminal lies less than a mile ahead, off her portside.  At a special widening ahead either before or after discharging cargo, she’d turn around.  Compare her special cement hatch/manifold arrangement below with the configuration in the photo taken in Fairport in 1921.

1994.  Here’s a video still of her exiting a lock after having discharged her last cargo, heading home, so to speak, to an uncertain future.

2005.  After more than a decade being “laid up” in Erie PA and just before she might have been scrapped, she was purchased by an alliance that included the New York State Museum, the Canal Society of New York State, the New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and New York State Marine Highway Transportation Co., Inc.  On this trip to a new role, the 84-year-old freighter was escorted by Benjamin Elliott, as she had been by Lorraine 84 years earlier.  I missed this, but from accounts I’ve heard, this was a triumphal return.  She’s currently an accessioned artifact of the New York State Museum.

2005.  From that same voyage, she exits the downside of lock E17.

2009.  During the year of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, she traveled under her own power as far south as the sixth boro of NYC and Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain.

2009.  I took this photo of her hold, a vast space that has potential as an exhibit space inside a traveling artifact from NYS canal history, whose history demonstrates the connection the Erie Canal  makes between the Great Lakes and salt waters.

 

2021.  She’s still afloat, raised from the bottom of the canal as a result of the routine annual winter lowering of water level.  She’s afloat for her one hundredth spring, but needs her potential recognized once again.  Stan Rogers wrote a song performed here by Makem and Clancy that captures the attitude needed to rekindle the flame, clarifies the vision, and saves her from the scrappers or the reef.  Maybe someone from the New York State Museum can comment on their vision for this last of her type.  A sister vessel, ILI 105 lies rusting away in Staten Island.

Some of my previous posts on the vessel can be seen here.  Many thanks to all who contributed photos to this post:  Paul Strubeck, John Callahan, Craig Williams.  Any opinions are my own and any errors mine as well.

One goal I have for this post is to try to unearth more images of this vessel pre-1994.  Anyone help?

 

Here are the previous posts in this series.  Let me call this vessel what it is:  the last Barge Canal bulk carrier, launched on May 21, 1921 as Interwaterways 101,

the first of five, built at the farthest end of the Great Lakes, Duluth. Less than a week ago, she celebrated her 99th birthday.  She worked as the last bulk carrier on the canal until 1994.  Her work history is delightfully told in the documentary Era of the Erie #3 embedded at the end of this post.

Below, photo from June 8, 1921 at what was likely a “meet and greet” at the start of her inaugural trip into the new Barge Canal and system.  Those are not the hats and coats of workingmen.

Less than a week later, she’s eastbound in Fairport towed by Cowles Towing Line‘s Lorraine.

Continuing eastbound, she’s departing lock E21 into the summit level.  Comparing the photo above and below, I’d say it’s warm, and the hatch with portholes has been raised to increase ventilation.  That was air-conditioning in 1921.  Also, that was prior to the national electric grid, so lock 21, like all the locks, created its own DC power from water turbines.  I love ILI 101‘s steering pole here;  it’s very Great Lakes.

This “aerial” was taken from the top of the “guillotine” gate at lock E17.  The “faces” in the rock at Moss Island are unmistakeable.

This “aerial” from the east end of lock E7 allows a good view of the stern.

Here she has departed the Barge Canal and is lying alongside a wall in the port of Albany.  Notable is the horse and carriage here, and

the Model-T era automobiles here.  Cowles Towing Line’s Lorraine appears to have taken ILI-101 on a transit of the Barge Canal.  ILI 101 was renamed Richard J. Barnes in 1936 and Day Peckinpaugh in 1958.

As a final treat, click on the image below to see and hear Day Peckinpaugh, the last Barge Canal bulk carrier, under way.  She is a NYS treasure and we should monitor her future.

And for the pièce de résistance, click on the image below for an excellent half hour documentary on her place in the Barge Canal era.  For more by Low Bridge Productions, click here.

Many thanks to Craig Williams and the NYS Archives for these images.

This post is a serious whatzit, an attempt to find out more about a tugboat in the photo below.  I use the photo courtesy of the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse.  If you have not been reading this blog very long, I spent five months last year working on a historic tug on the Erie Canal.  Type erie canal into the search window and you’ll find hundreds of photos from then.

The photo appears to be taken in Rochester, nicknamed the Flower City, although as a kid, I had thought it was the “flour” city.   I guess it’s both.

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Anyone know more about this tugboat?

So I went to the Monroe County Library image search site here and used the search term “boat,” and found a lot of fascinating stuff–like excursion boats now derelict, steam ferries, a seized bootlegger boat, yachts from a century ago, docks, and canal barges.  To whet your appetite, I include a few here.  Go to the website to read captions on reverse.  I know nothing more about Lorraine or Cowles Towing Line, but the “barge” it’s towing is currently known as Day-Peckinpaugh, which will gain some attention later this summer.  Photo is said taken on June 13, 1921.

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Taken on November 22, 1921, this is steam barge Albany, which raises more questions.  Go to the MCLS site for the info on reverse of the print.

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The photo below is also said taken on November 22, 1921 by Albert R. Stone.    I’d like to know what the name of the darker tug alongside the starboard side of the end of this string of barges.  So maybe these are the grain barges that broke away?

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Again, a Stone photo, date uncertain, showing tug Henry Koerber Jr.

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One more Stone photo, said 1918 . . . tug  Laura Grace aground off Grand View Beach . . . Greece?

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And all of this returns us to the mystery photo from the Erie Canal Museum . . . my guess is that it was taken by Albert R. Stone, but it was not included in the Monroe County local history photo database.  Anyone help?

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Many thanks to the Erie Canal Museum for passing this photo along.

If your appetite is really whetted, enjoy these unrelated old and new photos of Urger–ex-State of NY DPW tug–and Seneca, currently a NYS Canal tug but previously a US Navy tug.

Click here for an index of previous “whatzit” posts.

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