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With apologies to folks who aren’t familiar with the sixth boro, here’s a puzzler.  If you have been around here for decades, there’s an enormous clue in the second photo.  The question . . . where it this?

The two photos come from Jim Murray, retired FDNY and a tremendous asset when Gary Kane and I were doing the documentary Graves of Arthur Kill.

As I understand it, the first photo is the head of a long train of barges, and

this is the tail end, three tugboats and a total of 18 barges.

Jim writes:  “I bought a load of old photos many years back and these two were in there. Naturally most of the photos are unmarked, but some are.  I believe these photos were taken from another boat.”

But the question is  . . . location.


On the back of the second photo the following text:  “3 Philadelphia and Reading tugs head to NY going through the B&O bridge at Bayway. PATIENCE (?) on head ASHBURN on left and BERN (?) on right. 18 loaded coal barges for NY from Port Reading”.  I can’t vouch for correct spelling.

It’s the B&O bridge between Staten Island (Howland Hook) and Elizabeth.  Old steam tug and line of coal barges headed to NYC.  I bought a load of old photos many years back and that was one of them.  Naturally most of the photos are unmarked bus some are.

So in the second photo, the now-gone Goethals Bridge is in the foreground.  The swivel bridge stood from 1889 until around 1959.  Here‘s more, including a photo of the swivel and the current lift bridge there together.

Many thanks to Jim for passing the photos and info along.

Now i said there was a big clue in photo #2 above.  It was the bridge supports.  In my photo from September 2016 below, you see the same Goethals Bridge supports.


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February 2023