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After today, I have one more Matton post from the Canal Society archives.  Below is an aerial shot on the Matton shipyard on the Hudson, the one that closed in 1983 as a Turecamo-owned site. Bart Turecamo had purchased the yard in the mid 1960s , soon after Ralph Matton had died. More info and photos can be found here.

Thanks to William Lafferty, yesterday’s post identified the tugboat with a film crew as the 1895 P. C. Ronan.  Below is a clear shot of Ronan‘s bow, with the scow along the opposite side of the tugboat.  Clearly, the platform is on the scow, not as I first supposed yesterday, on the tug. I’d also wager that standing on the bow second from left and wearing a captain’s hat is the same gentleman/same clothes and hat as in yesterday’s photo.

At least two decades between the image of a Matton-owned tugboat above and Matton-built Tigre in December 1941. 

I’m guessing Tigre never entered the Barge Canal, but obviously would have transited the Panama Canal on the way to Peru.  According to Matton shipyard history, she was renamed as Franco, but it’s possible but highly unlikely that the 81-year-old boat is still extant.

Also in the 1940s, Matton had a number of US government contracts:  5 submarine chasers for the USCG and the Russian government, 4 small tugs (ST) to Finland, and 6 YTLs to Southeast Asia and Venezuela.  YTL 456 went to the Philippines, if this info is to be believed.  For example, it lists Watertown NY as location of a Matton shipyard, and I’ve never read of that.

Shown here in the Troy lock, upbound, Margaret Matton  

was launched in 1946;  subsequent names include

Fort Lauderdale,

Evening Light, and

Hudson. She was cut up soon after I took this photo in 2006.  The Evening Light and Fort Lauderdale photos  are used with permission from the Paul Strubeck collection.  I’ve heard stories from a captain who once worked as a deckhand on Hudson moving fuel to storage tanks north of Newark NJ on the Passaic, hearing gunfire from the city on the Passaic.  Traveling through gunfire on a gasoline barge might make for some insomnia.

The 1951 Edward Matton has appeared here before in part B of this series.  She became Morania No. 9 and eventually a NJ reef, with details here in part B.

The 1954 Matton became Kathleen Turecamo, then Troy, then scrapped or reefed in 1990.

The 1957 Ralph E. Matton became Mary Turecamo, then Albany, then scrapped in 2007.

Photo not credited to Paul Strubeck or WVD are used from the Canal Society of New York archives.

More Matton soon.

A previous post showed some ghosts of the sixth borough. They are more like the ones you sense after hearing a footstep behind you and you turn and there’s no one there and yet you feel a presence. There are other ghosts that are an absence, the ones in a place, a room or a bar, where you once savored something profound with someone who’s now absent, or in a park that has lost its magic, or at a marina with a slip or mooring from which a familiar vessel has sailed and everybody knows it’ll never return. The tug below, once animated someone’s imagination, but was splashed too soon; after it began taking on water too quickly, it was run ashore on the Perth Amboy side of Arthur Kill to prevent it from clogging the channel, becoming a ghost on the river bank. Anybody who knows more about this tug photographed in January 2006, please share.


Up the East River is densely populated Roosevelt Island. Now residential, the island used to house a prison and several hospitals. Inmates who did time there include Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, Billie Holiday, Madame Restell, and Mae West. Scroll down the wiki article for crimes of these and other prisoners.



This island was used to quarantine victims of such contagious diseases as smallpox, victims long gone like the windows and roofs.



My favorite ghost island is 50 miles north of the City, Pollepel Island.


Once known as Bannerman’s Castle, this is what remains after an arsenal explosion and nearly a century of neglect. I throttled up as I passed, lest the absence catch me. Scroll to the external links for fine photos of Bannerman’s.

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March 2023