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Maersk Kentucky turns at least 90 degrees to starboard after passing under the Bayonne Bridge. Beyond Shooters Island lies the city of Elizabeth, NJ. More close-ups of Maersk Kentucky–eleven years running and a fifth of a mile long— tomorrow, but for now, she draws more than 30 feet max . . . and notice the mud trail she stirs up.
Here’s a satellite view of Shooters Island; I believe the vintage foto of Shooters I posted the other day was taken from midway between the A pushpin and the New York ramp of the Bayonne Bridge. Click on the satellite foto to see where things lie in relation to Manhattan. Most of the container traffic through the port of “New York” operates through Port Elizabeth.
Related: See Johna and Vladimir’s homage to the Bridge here.
The foto I posted yesterday dazzled my image of Shooter’s. Sure . . . I knew it once saw shipbuilding operations beginning with David Decker’s yard, but I never imagined the scale. And when that industry collapsed, the island was reduced to a speed bump. Obliterate it was the solution proposed by a politician half a century ago.
If I try to put myself in the head of a Standard Shipbuilding employee there 90 years ago, I imagine he would wonder how many vessels the Shooters yard would be turning out a century hence, what cargoes they’d carry, and to which ports. Possibly he also wondered what part of the operation would employ his sons. Never in his wildest dreams–I suspect–would he imagine a scene like the one passing earlier today.
He would never envisage such a ship from China with cargoes like the dominoes stack here. Click here for fotos of Shanghai a little over a century back.
Besides being a bird sanctuary, the island margins are also home to over a dozen ruins deemed “nationally significant” by the NPS Archeology Program for abandoned shipwrecks.
Indulge a bit of shameless self-promotion here: If you haven’t voted yet in the Village Voice poll upper left, please do so and ask a few of your friends to do so too. Just click on the link and then–after putting in your name etc. paste in tugster.wordpress.com in #5 (best neighborhood blog) and #24 (best photo blog). Thanks.
Answer can be found at the end of this post. I was thrilled to find this sixth boro foto today. Shot appears to be towards the northwest, but I’m not certain yet. It appears to be a merge of two fotos. On lower left side of my original foto the handwritten number “1906” is visible. A date? Maybe not. Doubleclick enlarges.
Now we sweep from right to left. I see at least a “stick deck barge” and an Erie covered barge on this side of the pier, which has a crane on it. Then a ?? 200′ unfinished steel vessel, something beyond that, and a four-masted schooner farther still at a dock.
Middle sections shows steamer Ursula and an unidentified (by me) vessel “south” of the cove off its stern. I can’t quite make out details in the cove. There was an Ursula that operated at one point between the Battery and Glen Island (near New Rochelle.) Another shot of Ursula appears in this 1919 foto. Beyond the many buildings on this part of the island . . . at least two hulls surrounded by scaffolding?
More manufacturing buildings and a larger “wooden stick barge.” Lettering on the white building says “Standard Shipbuilding Corp.” That should be the clue that identifies this place. But did they operate here only between 1917 and 1921? Could 10,000 workers have operated here daily?
It’s Shooter’s Island as I could never have imagined it!! Click here for some Standard/Shooters built vessels. One of these Standard/Shooters vessel–SS San Tiburcio–was mined and sunk in 1940 and now attracts divers, as here. Of course, the most famous Shooter’s product must be Meteor III, launched Feb 25, 1902 (click here for a very detailed NYTimes account of the event) which eventually was broken up at a site not far from Shooters. More on that later, I hope. An interesting note on the christening of Meteor III . . . the act was done by Alice Roosevelt, who later . . . 1959, also christened the USS Theodore Roosevelt SSBN-600. Can anyone point me to fotos of Meteor III aka Aldebaran when she came back to the sixth boro for scrapping?
Foto thanks to Ed Fanuzzi, whose father worked on ships on Shooters. I’ll never be able to look at Shooters the same again.
Has anyone published a Shooters Island shipbuilding book?