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At some point, maybe days before April 23, 1921, at McDougall Duluth Shipyard, this vessel, Interwaterways Line Incorporated 101, or ILI 101, had taken shape on the ways.

After it slid down the ways at launch, it was followed by four sisters, all before summer began in 1921.  The 101 traveled via the Soo, three Great Lakes, and the Barge Canal  to New York with 83,000  bushels of oats (approximately 1300 tons… count the trucks or rail cars) at a rate 60% below the railroad cost.

As you can read below, 101 was the “advance courier of a fleet of new type of ships,” freighters specifically designed to transit the newly opened Barge Canal or Eriemax vessels.

The telegram below details of communication between 101 management and Canal management regarding a “representative familiar with the canal” aboard.  I’m wondering if this was a way of saying they needed a pilot, someone with relevant local knowledge.

 

That initial transit was made eastbound with wooden tugboat Lorraine.

Between 1910 and 1920, the time of the opening of the Barge Canal, the population of Fairport grew by almost 50%.  Note the low profile cargo hatches on the vessel at this time.

Later in August 1921, spectators were photographed coming to see her at E-21.  The steering pole hints at her Great Lakes roots.

Through the years, a number of modifications, detailed here, were made to the freight ship.  She was renamed Richard J. Barnes and later Day Peckinpaugh, her current name.   As Barnes, she carried coal along the East Coast and once dodged a torpedo launched from a German submarine.

1959?  Here she is just below lock E2 and the “flight of five” in Waterford.  All the other commercial vessels behind them, stretching all the way back to the Hudson River, I’ve read they are stuck there because of an issue with another lock in the flight.  In other words, this is a smaller version of the back up a month ago due to Ever Given in the Suez Canal.

Also note in the photo above tug Urger on the opposite side of the channel.  Urger is no stranger to this blog and, in my opinion, another critically endangered vessel with a NYS Canal history.  I worked as deckhand on Urger for the 2014 season, when she was in her 113th year.

1963.  Here she is northbound on the Oswego Canal at Phoenix NY.

 

1994.  Eastbound at Rome NY with her last load of cement, the only type of cargo she carried from 1961 until 1994, she passes the freighhouse, now incorporated into Bellamy Harbor Park.  The terminal lies less than a mile ahead, off her portside.  At a special widening ahead either before or after discharging cargo, she’d turn around.  Compare her special cement hatch/manifold arrangement below with the configuration in the photo taken in Fairport in 1921.

1994.  Here’s a video still of her exiting a lock after having discharged her last cargo, heading home, so to speak, to an uncertain future.

2005.  After more than a decade being “laid up” in Erie PA and just before she might have been scrapped, she was purchased by an alliance that included the New York State Museum, the Canal Society of New York State, the New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and New York State Marine Highway Transportation Co., Inc.  On this trip to a new role, the 84-year-old freighter was escorted by Benjamin Elliott, as she had been by Lorraine 84 years earlier.  I missed this, but from accounts I’ve heard, this was a triumphal return.  She’s currently an accessioned artifact of the New York State Museum.

2005.  From that same voyage, she exits the downside of lock E17.

2009.  During the year of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, she traveled under her own power as far south as the sixth boro of NYC and Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain.

2009.  I took this photo of her hold, a vast space that has potential as an exhibit space inside a traveling artifact from NYS canal history, whose history demonstrates the connection the Erie Canal  makes between the Great Lakes and salt waters.

 

2021.  She’s still afloat, raised from the bottom of the canal as a result of the routine annual winter lowering of water level.  She’s afloat for her one hundredth spring, but needs her potential recognized once again.  Stan Rogers wrote a song performed here by Makem and Clancy that captures the attitude needed to rekindle the flame, clarifies the vision, and saves her from the scrappers or the reef.  Maybe someone from the New York State Museum can comment on their vision for this last of her type.  A sister vessel, ILI 105 lies rusting away in Staten Island.

Some of my previous posts on the vessel can be seen here.  Many thanks to all who contributed photos to this post:  Paul Strubeck, John Callahan, Craig Williams.  Any opinions are my own and any errors mine as well.

One goal I have for this post is to try to unearth more images of this vessel pre-1994.  Anyone help?

 

Here are previous posts in this series.  All photos below come compliments of Mike Weiss and were taken on September 24, i.e., about a month after Wavertree rose out of the water on Caddell Dry Dock No. 6.

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Rather than a very satisfying sifting through the index above, you can read a short history of Wavertree here.

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Many thanks, Mike.

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Time to renew your South Street Seaport Museum membership?

I don’t mean to say there are or should be doomed.  I don’t mean that at all.  It’s just uncanny that along a less than 10-mile strip,  at least four such huge icons lie as if in an intensive care unit, some in a coma and others tending toward comatose.  Similarly,  river bank greenery half obscures some of the slipways where state-of-the-art ships splashed out of  such legendary yards as Delaware River Iron Shipbuilding, Merchant Shipbuilding, Sun Shipbuilding, American International ShipbuildingNew York Shipbuilding (and who knows which others I left out.)

The SS United States hangs in the balance.  If you’re in Philly July 1, watch the stacks illuminate.  Click here for a tour into the ship’s bowels.

This glimmer of hope JUST in from today’s Wall Street Journal.

I could see three props on deck.

Click here for a vintage cutaway.  Click here for statistics of all sorts including how fast she could travel in reverse!

Answer:  25 kts in reverse:  that’s faster than Titanic forward.   It’s strange to think this vessel’s service life was a mere 17 years, which ended 41 years ago.

Take a tour here.

A few miles south of SS United States is CV-67, John F. Kennedy, whose 37-year career spanned conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq.

Click here for a foto archive . . . and more.

Might the carrier go to Rhode Island?

And CV-59, a 39-year veteran just back from Rhode Island, might she be reefed?

And then, there’s C-6 Olympia, not hauled since World War 2, located right across the river from BB-62.

Here’s Olympia‘s Facebook page.  Whitherward?

Tour the vessel–including views of the five-inch guns–here.

Here’s a 1997 maintenance report, and

slightly different analysis from 2000.

Doomed?  Hope?  Who has deep pockets these days?  Please forward this post to lots of friends.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Follow the rowers that left the sixth boro (aka New York harbor) for the UK  June 17.

Many thanks to Matt of Soundbounder for the heads up and to Lori of Jarvis House and Garden for use of these fotos.  As of this post time Wednesday, LV-112 Nantucket has just seen its first sunrise in Boston after languishing for eight years in Oyster Bay, hoping there to become a museum but facing the ever-approaching scrapper.  Leaving the dock, she escapes  the scrapyard fate this past Monday morning,

ready to dance with a tug named

Lynx of Constellation Maritime.  Here’s the specs on Lynx.  I wrote about a nimble Constellation boat sans propellers here.

Arrival in Boston was 3 pm Tuesday.

Here are some fascinating lightship links, starting with this one featuring dramatic art of LV-117 Nantucket rammed by RMS Olympic on May 15, 1934.  Scroll all the way through and you’ll see info on LV-112 including that it spent 1942–1945 painted gray and patrolling off Maine.  Also, an address is given there if you wish to contribute to the preservation effort.   Amesbury, MA . . . my favorite waters, the Pow Wow River flows through Amesbury!

Here’s a story from today’s Boston Globe.

Here are some tugster links:  WLV-612, 18 Lightships, and my own confusion.  And of course . . . winter/summer solstice and  my summer hangout . . . Frying Pan, rendered here in this exquisite drawing by  . . . bowsprite!

Thanks again, Lori and Matt.

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