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Can you make sense of this?  Without a zoom, I was not sure what I was looking at.


I’d seen Miss Ila slowly making her way up the coast.  “Slowly” usually means there’s a substantial tow,


and in fact there was.

She rounded up off the east side of Shooters Island, which has some interesting history here. I did a blog post about Shooters here with photos showing the Townsend-Downey shipbuilding operation at its heyday. 

Round up took the “way” off the barges, and

as the crane boom was raised, lines were cast off

and Miss Ila took one barge alongside while

Vicki M came from shore somewhere and made fast to the crane barge.

All photos, WVD.


Any guesses as to location?  And might this be a mark by the assistant to a time traveler from the future?  And was he silent sidekick to Luke the spook?


The bridge still looks familiar to someone from the 1930s, although I’d love to see photos of Shooters from then, and


of course the bridge is getting unfamiliar.


GHP&W 25 is not far from the cliffs, so it’s clearly sixth boro. By the way, I miss seeing the cliffs’ perspective  like here and here.


Ellen McAllister and Specialist way in the distance are familiar, as


is Port Elizabeth, so








no doubt about it, this is Mariner’s Harbor  . . . stern to Richmond Terrace, the mark in the foreground with Capt. Willie Landers in the middle and Maersk Denver over in Port Elizabeth.


All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

Related:  Is this the story of Capt. Willie Landers’ namesake?


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.

Again, here’s a tightly-cropped foto of Shooters around World War 1, and here’s a

foto I took from mid-Bayonne Bridge pedestrian way this morning, where I got my exercise.

As I walked over, Maersk Kentucky traversed beneath, tugs Resolute at the bow and Elizabeth McAllister near the stern, making the turn and then

heading into Newark Bay, a half an hour

or so behind Sea Land Eagle, roughly the same size as 1997-delivered ‘Kentucky.  The land in the foreground is Bergen Point.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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.

Xin Chang Sha, although barely a medium-sized container ship–is twice the loa and carries eight times the cargo deadweight than a Shooters vessel such as the 1919 San Teodoro.

On a given Saturday morning from sunrise to noon, Xin Chang Sha is one of  . . . half a dozen vessels bound for sea through the KVK.

Doubleclick enlarges.  This foto taken at the pool, just east of the Bayonne Bridge, looking toward Shooters.

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.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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  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?

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