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I hope you all enjoy looking at these retro posts as much as I do putting them together.  I’m seeing that 2010 was the year I started to gallivant extensively, so the division for July 2010 retrospective is part a is for local, and part b will be for away.

Count the boats in the photo below!  Greenland Sea is prominent, but in the distance, find a Staten Island ferry, QM2, Susan (?) Miller, a dredge operation where I see Rae, and a Reinauer tug (Ruth?) beyond that!  Greenland Sea is now on the hard in Houma LA, the SI ferries run regularly but with fewer passengers due to the covid catastophes, QM2 is in Southampton, the Miller boats are still busy, Rae is kept in reserve for special projects designed for a 46′ tug, navigation dredging is over for now, and the Reinauer tugs have proliferated and keep busy.

Navigation dredging has created deeper channels, and the Bayonne Bridge has been raised.  Miss Gill is now in Jacksonville FL, and GL 55, the dumper scow, is wherever work may require her.

The formerly-yellow submarine is located at the entrance to Coney Island Creek, a place I’ve not been to in almost a decade.

I never did identify the wrecks at the mouth of said Creek, which seemed then to have an abundance of blue-clawed crabs.

Jane A. Bouchard languishes along with the rest of the fleet, and Cape Cod, with one of the intra-port SSS barges here,  has moved to Philly, last I knew.

Barbara McAllister pushes B. No. 262 with an assist from Ron G.  Barbara has not been in the sixth boro in quite a while, the 262 is laid up, and Ron G has been sold south.

Cape Race arrives here in Atlantic Basin, with a much-changed lower Manhattan skyline.  The former fishing trawler/now expedition yacht is currently on the Elbe, south of Hamburg.

Margot still “keeps on pushing,” although I’ve not seen her down in the sixth boro of late.

And here, Patty Nolan passes a wreck–I’ve not yet identified it . . .  maybe you have–inside Sommerville Basin in coastal Queens. Patty Nolan has been on the hard a few years.

And here’s a photo taken exactly a decade ago today . . .  an unnamed houseboat being towed from Peekskill to Queens, not a view you see every day.  It’s Patty Nolan towing with gatelines.  Here and here she tows other houseboats.

All photos, WVD, who wishes everyone health and patience in this difficult time.  Also, these “retro sixth boro” posts take us back only one decade.  It’d be great to locate more photos of identifiable locations going back 50 or so years, the fifth dimension of time photos.

 

This happens to be the 1953 Hobo, but any boat single, twin, triple, or quadruple looks like this when first hauled out.

And here . . . after a shave and haircut,and some good pomade.  She’s 38′ 12′.

The unicorn here is W. O. Decker, 1930, wooden-hulled. She’d been power washed but was waiting for more work.  The 52′ x 15′ tug would be out doing tours had it not been for COVID.

I leave this one as the quiz.  Name that single-screwed tugboat.  I realize there’s really no clues.  you just need to go through your list of single-screwed tugs working in the sixth boro.

The 66′ x 18′ 1940 Ireland is up on Lake Ontario, living under a new name . . . Hoppiness the Tug. The main engine has been pulled, and soon she’ll be high and dry up on the Great Lake.

This was assuredly the 1944 Capt. Mackintire‘s last haul out.  the 1944 tug was 80′ x 23′ hauled out here in Belfast ME.  She sank in 158’ of water three miles off Kennebunkport ME in February 2018.

The 1958 Margot is 85′ x 24′ and has been featured on this blog many times.

And that’s all I got.  Thanks to Donna for sending along the photos of Hobo.  All others, WVD.

And the mystery tug is Frances, a year older than Margot but with otherwise virtually the same dimensions.

 

How many locks have you noticed since Lockport?

Actually, there are none.  The entire 60-mile stretch with all the lift bridges is at a same level, 513′ above sea level.  And adjacent to lock 32, is a sign of contemporary water use, a kayak park.

The Pittsford Canal Shop  lies west of the village.

The village features some fine examples of preservation and adaptive reuse.  Note beyond the replica packet boat Sam Patch, named for a local daredevil,  is a converted silo complex.  A memory of my childhood is summer Saturday night with a truckload of pickles, some of which I’d picked,  for the Forman’s piccalilli plant.

Several places along this trip already I’ve pointed out that the adjacent land is lower than water level.  This is especially true east (actually SE) of Pittsford on a location called the Great Embankment, and area where–to avoid locks–the canal water is carried on an embankment over Irondequoit Creek.  This is risky, and breaches have occurred. Beside and below the embankment is the hamlet of Bushnell’s Basin, a transshipment point in the early days before the embankment was completed.  Richardson’s Canal House is located in the hamlet.

After we round the Great Embankment, we arrive in Fairport. Here excursion boat Colonial Belle makes her way westbound under the Fairport Lift Bridge, a local landmark currently closed for repairs. Colonial Belle has the distinction of having arrived in this part of the canal on her own bottom via the Panama Canal from the West Coast US.

Enjoy the beautiful pre-0700 morning in Fairport.

In my experience, this stretch of the canal gets lots of use at almost all hours.

Signage helps the traveler see what is no longer here, what led to a here being here.

Commuters use the less-traveled, economy connector between Fairport and Macedon.

Some schoolkids were very enthusiastic as we exit lock E-29 in Palmyra.  I’ve been told by a reliable source that lock E-29 power house used to supply power to both lock 29 and 30, since the Barge Canal dates to a time before the national power grid.  The area near the lock includes a park where you can see a reconstructed 19th century canal change (not chain) bridge, where mules towing barges would change from one side of the canal to the other.  Evidence of three-arch stone Ganargua Creek Aqueduct is also right near the lock.  And, in town, a short walk from Port of Palmyra marina, is a set of five museums referred to as Historic Palmyra.

Palmyra plays a role in a book focusing on the transmission of spiritual ideas along the Erie Canal, Heaven’s Ditch, by Jack Kelly.  Not far from here were the places that catapulted Joseph Smith, the Fox sisters, and more into the spotlight.  The canal itself served as a conduit for religious ideas, social movements, trade goods, and of course many immigrants.  And this part of the canal is sometimes referred to as the “burnt-over district” because of all the spiritual movements stemming for here.

East of Palmyra a spillway captures the overflow form the canal, forming Ganargua Creek, aka Mud Creek, a place that played a wet role in my childhood.

Port Gibson, aka Wide Waters, one of the many ports along the Erie Canal, is Ontario County’s only footprint on the Erie Canal.

The canal into Newark gets quite narrow, as you see with Urger eastbound.  Route 31 runs between the bank and that farm.  And again, driving on 31, you could have no sense that a major waterway can be found below that bank.

Here’s roughly the same location on a very cold morning about four months later.

HR Pike headed through this stretch with brewing tanks from China for Rochester’s Genesee Brewing Company.

Tugboats like HR Pike above and Margot below need telescoping wheelhouses and ballasted barges in order to to squeeze beneath bridges like this one in Newark.

East of town, we get to lock E-28B, where a tender is pushing a deck barge eastbound.

Before we leave Newark, a town of  9000 today, down from 12,000 in 1960, have a look here and here at some of the history of the town.  For a few years, the Mora automobile was made here, until it went bankrupt.  Looking back on the transit we’ve made so far, Rochester once made automobiles as well, including the Cunningham, a 1920 model of which is now in Jay Leno’s mega-garage.   And going back even farther all the way to Lake Erie, Buffalo was the home of Pierce Arrow, many models of which can be seen in the Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum.  Pierce began making bird cages, then bicycles, and then automobiles.   One of two Moras still extant can be seen in Norwich NY.  

And maybe someone can comment on why there is no E-31 and E-28 has a part A and a part B?

Some Newark photos, thanks to Bob Stopper.

 

The Oswego River is the second largest river flowing into Lake Ontario, but it feels in places like a stream.  I don’t have to tell you what the largest river into Ontario is, I hope.

If you study the east bank, lots of traces of the original 1828 Oswego Canal, a verdant mudbank and even stonework like this for a former lock.

A detail to look for on the west side of the river just north of Minetto is the beer cave, where Brosemer Brewery used to cool their products in the age before refrigeration.

I’ve never been inside, but here’s a photo of the interior.

As evidence of the commercial traffic still plying the system, here’s a New Jersey-based tugboat on its way to Lake Erie.

In Oswego there’s a flight of three locks in just over a mile that will lower us 46′.  The canal runs along the left side of this photo; notice the passenger vessel about to exit the top end of the lock O-7, climbing toward Minetto.  Along the right side of the photo, i.e., the west side of the river, water has to tumble that same distance, a fact that allows hydropower generation and a thriving sport fishing industry, both in the river, out on Lake Ontario, and elsewhere in the locality.

In summer, Oswego enjoys its connection to the big lake.  What’s a recreation area today was an industrial only area back over 150 years ago.

Industry still exists.  Tourism to the right, and cement to the left.

Count the three tugboats in this photo from 2014.  From near to far, Margot is pushing some oversize electrical equipment from Schenectady to Massena; the blue Cheyenne is heading to Lake Erie via the Welland Canal to retrieve new barges from a shipyard, and Wilf Seymour, the tugboat on in the distance pushing the large barge* that has delivered aluminum ingots via the Saint Lawrence River for use at the  Novelis plant just north of Oswego.  Interesting as evidence of the commercial value of the Canal, Margot is based in Troy NY, Cheyenne then in Hillside NJ**, and Wilf Seymour in Burlington ON.

***That barge transports the equivalent of 920 20-ton trucks, and Cheyenne is now based in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

A different day brings different commercial boats here;  I’m not sure where the speedboat is based, but the two boats on the wall are from New Jersey and Rhode Island, and

Seaway Maid, from Clayton, on the St. Lawrence.

From right to left here, the white building is the H. Lee White Maritime Museum and the tug in the front of it it LT-5, a veteran of the Normandy invasion. Here‘s more on that tug, aka Nash.   Moving to the left, it’s 85′ schooner Ontario, and Niña and Pinta of the Columbus Foundation.  I wrote here about touring the Niña and Pinta on the Hudson back in 2012.  Ask me about schooner Ontario and I’ll tell you a sad tale.

This Canadian sailboat enters the system here, bound for the Caribbean.

Proximity to Canada made Oswego, the US first port on the Great Lakes, an important station in the Underground Railroad.

If you’re interested in some hard-to-explain details of Oswego harbor, you’ll love browsing through all the historical photos here.  Oswego became an official US port of entry in 1799, and

an active shipbuilding center. Vandalia, 91′ x 20′ and built here in 1841, was the first propeller steamship on the Great Lakes.

The brig Oneida was built here as well, less than a decade before the War of 1812.

Working backward here, this place was wrangled over for a long time, and a plaque in front of the star-shaped fort on a bluff east of the mouth of the river is …

my all-time favorite historical marker:  “Built, captured & destroyed, rebuilt, destroyed . . .”  Needing more historical recognition is Dr. Mary E. Walker, the only woman as yet to receive a Medal of Honor, and do read that link.

Notable in the recent era, Fort Ontario served as a refugee settlement shelter called “safe haven” in 1944-45.  In summer 2019 refugees returned to Oswego to commemorate the 75th anniversary of their sojourn there.

So here were are;  we’ve virtually transited one possible course on the Erie Canal, traveled about 225 miles.  We were raised 405′ and then lowered back down about 175′,  doing some rounding of numbers. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride, learned something about this waterway, and gotten some good photos.  As to food and drink on board, sorry . . . that’s not my department.

Let’s head due west about 20 miles,  into Lake Ontario.  Here I’m looking south toward Sodus Point, where I learned to swim in the early 1960s.  It’s so calm I could  “stand-up canoe-paddle” all the way to the lighthouse.  Six months later this SE corner of Ontario had 20′ to 30′ waves, according to NOAA.    This area of the lake, called the Rochester Basin, is 802′ deep at its greatest depth.  NOAA held meetings in summer 2019 for public comment on a proposed designation of the area as a National Marine Sanctuary.

If we continue on this course about 140 miles, we’ll be at Port Weller, ON, the entrance to another Canal, the Welland.  But unless you sign me on for that  trip, I’ll be leaving you here.

Until tomorrow with something different.  Meanwhile, the virtual boat crew needs to refuel with virtual fuel, do virtual maintenance on virtual hardware, etc . . . and we’ll begin another transit through different portions of the canal on May first. Let’s NOT make that may day, which has a whole set of negative connotations I’d rather avoid. Seats are still available for good prices, all, of course, virtual.

Meanwhile, if you plan to do a real transit of the canal –read this note about the 2020 season opening!!–and need crew with local knowledge, get in touch.  I can tie knots, throw lines, and spin yarns.  And if you want to make real evaluative comments of our virtual trip–e.g., errors, omissions, additions…–I’d love to read them.  Comment here or to my email.

 

Seeing a waterway shrunk by the land forms around it like this, I find it miraculous that we can travel it from the ocean to the Great Lakes, but some of you, I know, might be starting to feel claustrophobic.

The drone photo below is taken in Little Falls looking back east toward the the Herkimer home and beyond that the Noses.  As before, you notice three modes of transport paralleling each other.  In the left half of the photo, between the railroad and the state road, you’ll notice remnants of John Pierce Stone Works and the quarry above it.  John Pierce had a number of quarries and a Manhattan contracting company.  The road on the right leads to the NYS Thruway.

Bringing the camera down from the drone to human height and swiveling 180 degrees, we look west at the daunting lock E-17 to the left and the Mohawk River to the right heading around Moss Island.  If we followed the river, we would soon be blocked by a falls. It’s called “little” because the drop is not as big as Cohoes Falls, seen earlier near the Flight in Waterford.  Yet, it was big enough that the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company built a short canal around it in the 1790s.

Once inside the lock and looking back, it’s fun the watch the guillotine door descend, as the counterweight, connected by a huge chain, rise. It’s the only lock in the system with such a lower “gate.”  Any guesses on the weights of gate and counterweight?  Answer will be given at the end of this post.

Moss Island often has climbers, as viewed here from the boat,

and even if you’re not a technical climber, you can walk a path up the back side of the cliff to get photos of traffic eastbound  entering and

departing westbound from the top of the lock.

This 1910 photo shows the cliff, the the current lock under construction.  To the right, the location of the previous locks.

Little Falls was the scene of a horrendous train derailment in 1940, attributed to “speed kills.”  A plaque on the north side of the river commemorates this tragedy.

The charming village on the north side of the gorge has seen the population drop from 13,000 in 1920 to fewer than 5000 today.  Now, as in the past, the town is known for cheese.  In fact, the large house that you might see on the ridge high above the town, the Burrell Mansion, was built by David H. Burrell, who invented many devices used by the dairy and cheese industry.

If the building below looks like a freight house, it was built as one.  It’s currently one of eight that have survived of a total of 28 built for cargo transfer in the Barge Canal era.  Currently, Canal Harbor and Rotary Park, west of the village,  has amenities for boaters.  Across the river, some modern industrial buildings belong to Feldmeier Equipment, a world leader in the manufacture of tanks for the dairy, pharmaceutical, and brewing industries.  They grew out of the Burrell’s legacy, and are one of Little Falls largest employers.

Lots of “loopers” transit the Canal, but here’s one of the more unusual craft I’ve seen not so much for what it is than for what it was doing . . . , a vet doing the loop in a kayak as post-Iraq therapy.  Note the yellow decal topside just behind the solar panels behind his cockpit.

Along the way to lock E-18 we follow Jacksonburg Mountain.  First peoples called it Mt. Okwari, or “bear mountain.”  John Jost Herkimer, father of Nicholas,  settled here in 1722, with permission from the local Mohawks, who called him Okwari, because of his imposing size and strength.

Approaching lock E-18, we can clearly see the Mohawk River heading to the right, and the lock leading into another land cut.  The “island” created in between is called Plantation Island Refuge Area.  Clearly, it’s working well as a refuge, since last year as we sailed by, a complacent coyote watched us pass from the safety of his bank.

At the top end of E-18, you can see the green light, signalling that Lil Diamond II was free to enter. Lil Diamond II is one of several boats operated by Erie Canal Cruises, whose dock is several miles west of E-18.

The taller building at the far end of the lock is a power house, i.e., hydro-power generating station.  It’s one of 26 built into the Barge Canal, only a few of which like this one are intact.  Remember that the Barge Canal with its DC electrical equipment predates the grid, so each lock needed its own power generation.

Visible from the river is the 1753 limestone structure referred to as the Fort Herkimer Church.  A walk around the church allows you to see the gun ports in the thick limestone walls.

Herkimer is the base of operations for Erie Canal Cruises.  North of town, there’s a quarry where the public can dig for “Herkimer diamonds,” aka Little Falls diamonds.

Illion is the home of Remington, where an enterprise begun by Eliphalet Remington continues to operate, manufacturing guns, typewriters, bicycles, and sewing machines throughout its 200+ year existence.

Up ahead is lock E-19, where

train traffic finally crosses from the north to the south side of the Canal.

Surprise boat encounters can happen anywhere along the Canal.  One of my bigger surprises was rising to the top of lock E-19 a few years ago and seeing Draken Harald Hårfagre waiting for the lock to clear before heading eastbound.  Vikings!  Eastbound in central New York!  Who knew?    Other unusual vessels that have transited include Hōkūleʻa, Ra, and the presidential yacht Sequoia.  A short account of the latter doing the loop can be read here;  I hope to post about that more in the future. And there must be a thousand more stories I don’t know, would love to hear.

A few miles south of lock E-19 is Balloon Farm, home of  Carl E. and Mary Meyers.  Carl was an inventor of lighter-than-air aircraft, and Mary—also known as Carlotta the Aeronaut—was  an early American aviator who set many flight records before she retired in 1891.

Now the Canal is entirely in a laser-straight  “land cut,” the Mohawk having too many meanders.

This photo is looking NW.  Note the diagonal piece of land rising from the lower right corner.  The waterway above that is the Canal, with the NYS Thruway above that. The wide body of water from the left corner is the Utica Canal Terminal, aka Inner Harbor and the Mohawk meandering off left center.   Getting back to the diagonal piece of land . . . there’s a lattice structure with a red sign atop spelling out UTICA.  This sign seems important because Utica is barely visible from the Canal.  Where the 19th century canal transited Utica, today you find Erie Boulevard.

Just beyond the Utica sign, there’s a lock that leads into Utica Canal Terminal.

Well, the icon may soon be gone, but

it cleverly mimics this sign a few miles to the south atop the Matt Brewing Company, touting the product that made Utica famous, and the beer that was pouring from taps minutes after Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933.  A miracle? 

At the intersection of the Erie and the Chenango Canals, and connected by rail, Utica was well-placed for commerce. Chenango was one of almost a dozen “feeder” canals, referred to as lateral canals, connecting to the Enlarged Erie.

A century ago, 66% of Utica’s workforce were employed in the textile and clothing trade, an industry soon to head south. An interesting profile of the city’s bust and rebirth can be gleaned from this paper.

The sign below in the lobby of the revived Hotel Utica, opened in 1912,  hints at the prestige the city once had.

Stanley Theater is another icon of Utica’s past.  Not much farther south of Genesee Street is the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, with an impressive collection, founded by three generations of the family of Alfred H. Munson.

Before we miss the boat heading west, a few seconds for two more quick details about Utica.  First, you must try Utica greens, one of many food specialties along the Canal.  And second, John Butterfield, a former mayor of the city, is credited with founding both American Express and Wells Fargo.

A few miles west of Aqua Vino on the Canal, we get to lock E-20, here looking east toward the lock off the stern of this 1920s ice breaking tug.

And here’s the info on lock E-17, taken from a plaque on the lock itself.

 

 

 

After we leave E-6, Crescent Lake lies ahead of us.  Actually it’s an impoundment of the Mohawk behind the power dam and the flight.  Off to port are hazard buoys, demarcating the Mohawk flow that would take you over Crescent Dam and Cohoes Falls, mentioned in the previous post.  To avoid confusion, note that the Canal and the River are the same, or to put it differently, the River has been canalized.

Above Crescent NY, just before the Route 9 bridge, stately homes suggest an affluent past, woodworkers who assembled these homes also worked as canal boat builders perhaps.  An aqueduct, built 1842, once carried the Erie Canal over the Mohawk here.

Using the white house on the ridge above as key, find it in the photo below.  Canal boats would use the aqueduct to cross the Mohawk River here.   Coming toward us in the photo would be heading east. Click here for more info; a total of 18 aqueducts were built along the waterway in the 19th century.  I’m not going to re-invent the list of heritage sites along the Canal because it’s already been done here.

You’ll pass under the Twin Bridges of the Adirondack Northway, one of two bridges in New York officially named for the war hero Kościuszko. The bridge carries I-87, which goes up to the Canadian border and directly to Montreal, or down to NYC.  Invisible from the river unless you’re looking at a google satellite map is the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve, which contains the path of the 19th century iteration of the Erie Canal, including a disused lock and a Whipple Truss Bridge.  We are looking back at the bridge here, already west of it.

About ten miles after leaving the flight, you’ll see the Vischer’s Ferry Dam. Near there, Eldert Vischer opened a ferry across the river in 1790;  ferry connection continued there until 1902. On the ridge beyond the dam and lock E-7, you can see tops of buildings on the Knolls Atomic Power Lab and GE Global Research Lab Scan this list as an indication of the importance of this area in technological research.

From a filled lock E-7, you can clearly see the 2000′ twice-bent, fixed dam and the hydro-power station.  Not all dams in the system are “fixed,” which we’ll see later in this post.

The infamous Llenroc mansion is located across from  Knolls.

For a detailed discussion with maps of the geological history of the Mohawk, click here.  During the ice age, when the St. Lawrence was blocked by ice, the Great Lakes drained through this waterway, which some geologists refer to as the Iromohawk.  More on this later.

Here are ruins of an aqueduct.  These arches of the Rexford aqueduct, built in 1842 for the enlarged Erie,  can be seen just beyond the Schenectady Yacht Club, full of Canal remnants itself.   Here‘s a view of the aqueduct, showing barges and people walking in the towpath.  A few arches can be seen on either side of the River, which–as I’ve said before– at this point is synonymous with Canal.

A major difference between the 19th century versions of the Erie Canal and the current one is that rivers, although canalized, and lakes are now used in part of the transit.  Aqueducts were used back then so that barge traffic could be kept out of the river and therefore under control of the towing animal, no longer a necessity once self-propelled vessels appeared. Another view of this aqueduct–and the electric trolley bridge in Alplaus, the longest trolley bridge in the world–can be seen here.  Although the bridge piers are still in the river, the trolley bridge that connected Schenectady, Ballston Spa, and Saratoga has been removed.   Much more info and many photos of the area can be found here.

The bridge just west of red buoy 86 carries Amtrak trains, whether headed north to Canada or west or returning.  As we continue westward, trains will follow the the north side of the Canal for the next 60 or so miles.

Just past the rail bridge, River House waterfront condos have recently been built on the south side of the river.  A curious white cube building and and Rivers casino follow, all built on

what was once the American Locomotive (ALCO) Works, which produced locomotives from 1901 until 1969.  In the postcard below looking toward Waterford, notice the current Erie Canal aka the Mohawk River to the far left and the 19th century canal–now Erie Boulevard–toward the center of the card.  Here‘s a variation.

If you look in the right place just beyond the casino, you might spot the top of the 16-sided Nott Memorial in the center of Union College, one of the oldest non-denominational colleges in the United States, chartered in 1795.

As you pass Schenectady, you look into the stockade district, continuously occupied since 1661, when a dozen Dutch settlers from Fort Orange (Albany) purchased land along the river.

At one point, the settlement was literally surrounded by a stockade, although on a winter’s night in 1690, the open gates were left unguarded, and French and their allied Indians entered the area, burning and killing in what is known as the Schenectady massacre, a skirmish of King William’s War.  The statue, in the Stockade area today,  is referred to as Lawrence the Indian, but actually he does not depict a specific person.  Rather it was one of several, cast in the Bronx.

Farther west, we’ll talk about the residents of the valley before the French, Dutch, English, and so on.  If you’re impatient and want to learn more now, click here.  Most people refer to these inhabitants as Mohawks, like the river, or Iroquois; however, the more accurate term is Haudenosaunee, i.e., “people of the long house,” an allusion the founding of the unity as created by the Great Peacemaker and Jigohsasee.  First peoples had their own names we no longer use for many places.  “Mohawk,” e.g., is not what the first peoples called this river.

Once home to GE and ALCO, Schenectady was referred to as “the city that lights and hauls the world.”  GE still has a large workforce in Schenectady, but the numbers have declined significantly since 1974.

Round the bend we arrive at lock E-8.  A large mobile crane is sometimes positioned there to load/offload large GE components mostly transported by water.  Notice also the dam to the right of the lock.  It’s the first of eight “moveable” dams designed by David A.Watt, moveable, not fixed,  in that the gates can be moved up or down to adjust water flow.

Several miles after lock E-8, you pass the Mabee Farm Historic Site.  The Mabee house is considered the oldest unaltered structure standing in the Mohawk Valley, dating in 1705.  More about the house and the 1760s Dutch barn can be found here.  In 2009, a replica of Adriaen Block’s Onrust was launched from the site, after several years of work by skilled volunteers.  Replica bateaux, at the dock, are similar to vessels that once carried cargo across the territory.  For more info on these bateaux and this project, click here.  Later, larger Durham boats filled the same function.

Next up is Rotterdam’s lock E-9.  Notice that unlike the moveable dam at lock E-8, this one incorporates a road.

Once that tug and barge clear, we’ll head into E-9, in the next post.

All non-archival photos by Will Van Dorp, and any errors of content, mine too.

 

Let’s start out at Little Falls NY, above Lock E-17, where Jay Bee V had just departed and was now delivering the Glass Barge to the wall there.  Notice C. L. Churchill along the left edge of the photo.

Here above Lock C-7, it’s Margot.

On the Hudson River, tis is my first closeup view of Liz Vinik, formerly Maryland.

Westbound on the East River, it’s Sea Wolf moving uncontainerized thrown-aways.

Farther east, it’s Hudson with a fuel barge,

and meeting her, it’s Morgan Reinauer with the same.

Notice here, looking toward the Queensboro Bridge, Morgan and Hudson.

Here at the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge project, it’s  Dorothy J.

and to close this post out back on the Hudson, it’s Elizabeth, moving Weeks 533.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Really random means just that . . . so that’s start with this one, Tutahaco, YTM-524, which has recently been hauled out of the water  between Daytona and St Augustine.   Michael Schmidt took these photos back last winter.

She worked for a time in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The next two photos come from Allan and Sally Seymour, whose twotugstravelin’ blog was mentioned in yesterday’s post.  Kathleen Turecamo (1968) is a staple these days in the Port of Albany.

A bit farther north on the Hudson in Troy is the footprint of NYS Marine Highway Transportation Company.  Pictured here from r to l are Margot, Benjamin Elliot, and Betty D; built in 1958, 1960, and 1980, respectively.

The next photo is from Kyle Stubbs, who writes “the original JOVI is still around. The simple answer is yes, and she’s quite a ways from the Sixth Boro, now taking up residence in San Diego in the service of Pacific Tugboat Service as the JAG. I’ve attached an image of her I took this past September.”  Kyle sent the photo along in response to a question about Lil Rip I’d posted here some years back.

George Schneider picks up the Lil Rip‘s origins question here and sends along his own photo of Jag, to wit ”

I was very suspicious of the story she was made from part of a Liberty Ship, since hacking up something like that just to make a push boat didn’t make sense.  But somewhere along the lines, I realized the LIL RIP was registered at 54 feet long.  I found a Liberty Ship was 57 feet wide, so that’s perfect, considering they had to cut away some of the “stern” for the propellers, so the registered length would be a few feet shorter than overall.

That gave me a reason to believe the reputed origins of the boat were true.  It makes even more sense, because if you realize the scrap yards generally had no drydocks or slipways, they’d cut a ship like that down to the tank tops while it was afloat, then somehow had to dispose of the double bottoms.  Sometimes they just took them out and sank them since it took so much extra effort to clean and cut them up.  But in New Jersey, whose coastline is inland, they probably had to cut them apart and lift them ashore, and voile!  What a perfect hull to build a pushboat on!

So I’m wondering if anybody has added more to the comments on that day’s page.  If anybody has ever seen her “on the hard,” they might have measured her across the deck, and if that measures a perfect 57 feet in length, I’d say that’s pretty close to proof.  I looked up the liberty ships sold for scrap 1961-64, and none were scrapped in Elizabeth NJ, nor were any scrapped by her owner.

But several deceptive things are at play here:  1)  A ship sold for scrap was not legally reused for anything, so the title to something made out of the pieces couldn’t reflect the original vessel.   2)  If the ship wasn’t sold for scrap, was “Sold for Non-Transportation Use’ which was also sometimes authorized, she might not have been included in the list of vessels scrapped, and 3)  Vessels were often bought by distant companies, then found the vessel couldn’t practically be towed to their scrapyard, were sold or contracted to other companies for scrapping.

As for the question of the original JOVI (283905), she kept her name long after the JOVI II, working for various East Coast companies, but then made her way out here to San Diego, where she now works.  She has worked as TUG JAG, then KODAK, and now simply JAG.  I’ve attached, unfortunately, the best and only digital photo I’ve taken of her.  You can reproduce this any way you’d like.”

Now I’m wondering about Logan and Mate.  Logan shows in the NOAA registry as built in 1974 and formerly called Kodak, Jag, and Guppy.   Mate doesn’t show.

Sarah D (1975) worked for White Stack, Turecamo, and Moran (each bought out the previous company) before coming to NYS Marine Highway.

And finally, once again out and about in the sixth boro, it’s W. O. Decker, the 1930 wood-hulled tugboat of South Street Seaport Museum.

Click here for some of the dozens of posts I’ve included Decker in.

The last three photos are by Will Van Dorp;  thanks to Michael, Allan, Sally,  Kyle, and George for the other photos.

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.”

If Margot were a fish, I guess you’d classify her as catadromous, sort of.  And no tug that I’ve followed has switched between salt (where she was launched) and fresh (where she frequents as a working niche) water as often as Margot does.   Last week she was sixth boro bound and exiting the low side of lock 9.  Here’s a post I did almost two years ago about some very unusual bollards at the top side of lock 9.   But I digress.   Recognize the cargo on the barge?

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It’s a different barge, but those are two more fancy Canadian shoes–size 110-tons– for the legs of the NY Wheel, that repeat of what George Ferris built for the big Chicago fair in 1893.  And George Ferris . . . where did he get his inspiration to build such a wheel?  Well, it’s a Troy and Hudson Valley concept from the start, from Henry Burden and his industry.   Here’s a post I did in 2010 related to the dock Mr. Burden built upriver for his metal export.

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The lower Mohawk has a stark beauty this time of year, so different from its beauty in other seasons.

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I wonder why so many components of the NYWheel are sourced outside the US.  I guess I know, and it’s NOT my intention to make this a political post, and there’s no Jones Act for shore shoe/leg structures.

Bravo to the crew of Margot.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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