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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.

Recall that I started this series explaining that I’m drawing from photos in the archives of the Canal Society of New York. 

It’s fitting that this post in the series gets designated as M;  M for Matton. Here’s a quote from the shipyard history site:  “John E. Matton started his original shipyard in 1899, on the Champlain Canal, about three miles north of the Waterford side-cut: he moved to Cohoes in 1916. [I know the second site, but the 1899 site on the old Champlain Canal I’m not familiar enough with Waterford to know its location.] His son Ralph joined him in 1922 and the company became, first, John E. Matton & Son, and, later, John E. Matton & Sons.  The yard closed in 1966 and was sold to Bart Turecamo, who kept the Matton name, operating it as Matton Shipyard Company, until it closed again in 1983.” 

Two more installments of this post are coming, but a frustration of an exercise like this is that no fewer than five boats carried the name John E. Matton between 1911 and 1964.  Initially I imagined the photo below to show the 1911 John E. Matton, but that was a canal boat–not a tug–and the signboard in the photo below shows the company name, post 1922. 


Having cleared that up, this is an intriguing photo.  In this closer up view, you see no fewer than 15 men on board, some of them with white boards or drafting tables and instruments on tripods, either theodolites [likely] or cameras.  A good number of the men–but not all of them– are looking in the direction of the photographer, which makes this a somewhat casual shot.

Also, notice the name board on the bow begins with a P, then a C and ends with an N

The name board on the wheelhouse also begins with a P.  However, looking at the shipyard history site, I find no Matton-built boat that begins with a P. So what tugboat is this, and what would all these men be doing?  Did Matton own a tugboat which they did not build?

If that is complicated, it gets more so.  The 1939 John E. Matton was sold to the USN in 1940 and renamed Tamaque, YN 52, and the next  one was not built until 1945.  If this is not the 1939 build, what is it?

Identity of the tug aside, it’s interesting to see the barge max out the space available in lock E-2.

The photo below is clear, so is this the 1939 John E. Matton, which became Tamaque, Athena, Jesse D, and Atlantic 7?

With a clearer photo and better angle, I might be able to determine if the photo above and below show the same vessel.  Lightening of the photo thanks to Bob Mattsson.

This archive is no help for photos of the 1945 John E. Matton (then Hollywood and Brevard). 

The 1958 John E. Matton has been covered here as Cissy Reinauer, Cissi, Mischief, and finally Thornton Bros, which was scrapped in 2014. 

The 1964 John E. Matton also does not appear;  it became Helen J. Turecamo at some point after 1966 and sank in 1988, although I don’t know any of the details or location of that loss.      

More Matton boats–less frustrating ones– are up in next post.

Many thanks to the Canal Society of New York for allowing me access to these photos.

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