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Below was the lead photo in Whatzit 3, January 10,  2009.  Bowsprite took the photo from her cliff in late October of that year, and several months later asked me if I knew what it showed.  I had no clue.

Eventually we figured it out, and only recently it occurred to my “slowness” that the tow must have come through the Erie Canal. Now thanks to “group sourcing,” we know that this unusual tow did enter the NYS Canals in Oswego on October 19, 2008.  Kudos to Isaac Pennock for locating this page, credited to Jon Vermilye, whose site can be found here.

Above and below, M. R.  Kane arrived with the ex-future HMS Detroit and put it in push mode to enter lock O-8, entry point from the Great Lakes to the interconnected waterways to salt water.  For War of 1812 history fans, here‘s basic background on the construction and fate of the original HMS Detroit.

Notice the upper helm on the tug  . . . allowing the captain to see over the “tow”.

Here the tow departs lock O-6.


Many thanks to Jon, Isaac, and bowsprite for these photos. Is it possible that someone along the other 27 locks between Oswego O-6 and the sixth boro might have gotten photos of this unusual tow?  Maybe someone got photos of the tow at its final destination, which I think was somewhere in Narragansett Bay?  I checked with the owner of the tug here and they had none, they said.

Maybe one of these years, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will make its way back to Oswego, via the Saint Lawrence, of course.

Isaac works on a Great Lakes freighter and has created this invaluable database.


Many thanks to Ken Deeley for sending along these photos of the port of Oswego in 1890.  I’ll take the panorama below and divide it into three parts, left to right.


Yachts shown gathered below in Oswego for an event of the Lake Yachts Racing Association are (l to r) Oriole, Bison, Lotus, Lolantha, Yama*, Merle, Maud B, (unknown identified launch), Vreda*,


Nadia*, Cinderella, Loona, Gen. Garfield, Aileen*, Samoa,

Version 2

Nancy, Bennett, Erma, Berve II, Kelpie*, and Alert.

Version 3

* (from Royal Hamilton Yacht Club)

Ken writes:  “In 1884 Canadian and American yacht clubs on Lake Ontario formed a yacht racing association that consisted of four Canadian and American clubs.

They held what was called cruise circuit regattas and in 1890 Oswego was their destination, where my photo comes from  some unknown photographer who  took the assembled fleet American and Canadian assembled in the outer harbour  of Oswego.  The photo is about 14 inches long 4.5 high from a glass plate. The amazing thing is across the top of the page was glued diagonally the name of every yacht with the exception of the stern of the tug in the lower left.  HA, HA, you tug enthusiasts [are out of ] luck again unless you could name it for me.

The list of yachts has enabled me to name a lot of sailing yachts from other photographic  collections around the Great Lakes.   The American clubs were Oswego, Rochester, Buffalo, Crescent, and Sodus Bay.  Some of these clubs were not members of the LYRA but their yachts  raced anyway. Canadian  clubs were Royal Canadian, Kingston, Royal Hamilton, Queen City, and Toronto Yacht Club.”

The tugboat whose stern is shown above is likely Charley Ferris, built 1884 at the Goble Shipyard in Oswego and (?) abandoned in Duluth in 1932.

For more photos from the same collection, click here.


And finally, there was once a lighthouse, dismantled in 1932,  in the inner harbor of Oswego.   This photo would have been taken from the high ground over near Fort Oswego looking southwest.


For previous tugster posts featuring Oswego, click here, here and here.  There are others also if you type Oswego into the search window on the left side of the blog.

For more 1890s history of LYRA clubs, click here.


I’ll terminate this series by identifying a zone that I’d call the “ends of the Canal.”  In other words, even though the canal has these three “ends,” what they have in common is significant enough to group them into a single zone.  At each of the ends, a flight of locks in close proximity accommodates dramatic shift in gradient.  Lock 6–not 9 as is posted to the right–is the top of the flight at the east end, bypassing


Cohoes Falls. Fred Tug44 documents it here.  In an earlier tugster post, I do it here with the first three photos.


The double lock in Lockport is the last and westernmost set to move westbound traffic up to the level of Lake Erie.  This level change relates to the well-known Niagara escarpment.


The photo below was taken inside the lock 34 chamber and


here we are west bound for Tonawanda and the Niagara River (above the falls) above lock 35.  Here’s Fred’s take on this end of the canal.


The Oswego is the portion of the NYS Canal system that today accommodates the largest vessels.  The Oswego Canal flows north from the Syracuse area to terminate at Oswego.  Click here for the port of Oswego site.


In the last mile of so of the Oswego Canal, locks 6 (shown far to the left below) through 8 provide a lift of over 40 feet.


I still have a few more posts related to the canal, but this has been my attempt to identify my own six idiosyncratic but organic zones of the waterway.  Thanks for sticking with me.


0aaaakh10aaaakh20aaaakh30aaaakh40aaaakh50aaaakh60aaaakh7OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA0aaaakh8Today RV Kaho, meaning “searcher” or “hunter” in Ojibwe was christened in Oswego, its many year mission to study the health of Lake Ontario.  Fair winds.

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In reverse commentary on the photos above, photo #9 just above was the heron that checked me back into Waterford after seven days on the Canal.  Photo #1 way above is the heron that stood guard in Oswego.  In between . . . Margot and Cheyenne headed west and then east.  Enjoy these photos sent along on this inflexible old laptop.   As of this writing, I’m guessing Margot is approaching the sixth boro for the dazzled Slater move tomorrow.  I hope my sixth boro friends get good pics of the move from KVK to albany.

More photos soon.


No . . . it’s not a disease or a euphemism for profanity.  It’s many places, one of which is marked by this lighthouse in Oswego.  All these photos were taken since Tuesday in Oswego, a place I previously wrote about here last year after watching a drill that involved swimming from and to a helicopter.


See the light to the right here along the horizon, a light younger than Urger.


Last year’s drills involving drones have already made their way into kids’ murals!


The mouth is the port of entry for Metalcraft Marine vessels making their way into various US ports.



Some vessels I was free to watch enter the port, but others



went by and I couldn’t follow until later, when they were really


behind and beyond


reach.  The tug here is Everlast.  If you were at the canal mouth this morning–or any other time–and caught a close-up, side view of Everlast pinned or–even better–light, kindly send along some photos.


All photos this week by Will Van Dorp, whose access to wifi is still a challenge.


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