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At the end of the Oneida Lake series, you’ll see why this could also be called “second lives 15 part b.”

Technically, this post starts out early morning in Clay, NY, with tug Syracuse and crane ship Wards Island tied to the east end of Lock 23.

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Wards Island–and her sister ship Tenkenas–were built in 1929 by Electric Boat of Groton CT.  Later in the series I’ll show you the brass builder’s plate.   By 1937, both were listed as abandoned.  For some of the history of intervening years, check out A Long Haul starting on p. 128.

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Here Syracuse pushes Wards Island under the rail bridge just west of Route 11 heading for the lake.  A key to the location is the Brewerton Range Rear lighthouse, visible in the trees along the right side margin of the photo.

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The lake is unusually glassy for November and the fall task of replacing the summer navigation buoys with winter “placeholder” spar buoys, seen here below between the crane boom and the spud.  Wards Island is fully self-propelled in the manner you’d expect of a former double-ender ferry, just very slow, a time waste on a large lake like Oneida.  Click here for info on tug and barge wrecks in the lake.

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Type Syracuse into the left side search box and you’ll find many more posts featuring this 1933 workhorse.

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Here’s the view through the controls of the crane looking toward the east end of the lake.

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To the right you see the Verona Beach Lighthouse, and buoy 106 is in sight to the left of the hook.

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The tow is maneuvered into position and a crewman captures the buoy with the boat hook.

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The crew make the connection and 106 gets raised. In part b and c of this series,  I’ll show the crew actions step by step.

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Since no spar buoy replaces 106, anchor and all are brought up.  In the distance to the left you can see the Route 13 bridge between Verona and Sylvan Beach.   Click here for one of many posts I did in 2014 with photos from near the Route 13 bridge.

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Buoy 107 is next on the boat, and

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the first spar buoy goes in, anchored  to mark the spot.

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By 1130, we’re approaching buoy  109.

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The crewman with the yellow sweatshirt is using a tool to hook between the buoy lift point and the crane hook.

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Once a buoy is on the boat, the flashing beacon is removed and

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stowed in a locker.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.  More of Oneida Lake tomorrow.

Many thanks to the NYS Canal Corporation for granting permission to photograph the work of Wards Island.

 

 

. . . my latest coined term . . . for which the acronym GUP lends itself is  . . . gross universal product, i.e. what’s transported in vessels like these.  And it really is “universal,” as evidenced by a Hong Kong vessel like this.   That it is gross . . . let me say that it goes without saying.

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Newtown Creek and Red Hook belong to two generations of NYCDEP vessels traveling along the East River . . . past places like this in these photos from 2012.  Red Hook came to transport GUP in 2009, the latest sludge carrier until

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this one —Hunts Point–came along this February . . . in a photo compliments of bowsprite

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Newtown Creek was launched in 1968 . . . and still carries a lot of GUP.

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North River . . . 1974. Imagine your garbage being picked up by a 1974 Oshkosh!

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Owls Head, the previous class and shown here in 2009 mothballed, launched in 1952!  And I had to find some 1952 waste picker uppers.

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In case you’re wondering what prompts this post and what is new in this post, given previous ones like this and this  . . .  well here it is, something I hunted for a long time and finally found yesterday when the air-conditioned New York Public Library felt fantastic!   Mayor La Guardia spent a grand total of $1,497,000–much of it WPA money–for three sludge carriers launched in January, February, and March 1938, Wards Island, Tallman Island, and Coney Island, resp.  Wards Island and Tallman Island became barges Susan Frank and Rebecca K and Coney Island was reefed in 1987, although I can’t find where.

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Below are the specs.  Note that “sludge” is NOT raw GUP.  I’d love to hear stories bout and see pics of these Island class DEP boats.  How large were the crews and what was the work schedule?

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Click on the photo below for info on what was at least part of waste disposal–built in Elizabethport 1897— prior to La Guardia’s sludge tankers.

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Here from the NYC Municipal Archives is a dumping boat said to be hauled out at “East River Dry docks,”  which I’m not sure the location of.

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Unrelated, here’s another vessel–Pvt. Joseph F. Merrell-– built at the same location along the KVK in early 1951 and disposed of not far away after transitioning from Staten Island Merrell-class ferry to NYC prison space.  Does anyone know the disposition of Don Sutherland’s photos of Merrell/Wildstein?

 

Can you guess the origins of this freshwater vessel?

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I’d think the underwater structure here is something of a clue.

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I’ve no idea how many years ago this house was added.

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Here’s another clue, although it might be quite the distractor.

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I like the off center crane.

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Check 1929 on that above clue.

This is a plan of the ferry WARD’S ISLAND, designed by Eads Johnson, and built for the New York State Department of Mental Health in 1929 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT (slow year for submarines?). Steel, diesel, 101 ft. x 32 ft. Retired in 1937 by construction of bridges.

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Many thanks to Norman Brouwer for the above drawing and identification.  Photos by Will Van Dorp, who needs to find out what propulsion engine (s) the derrick vessel has today.  I’ve also not found a photo of Ward’s Island prior to her conversion.   Photos were taken along the Oswego Canal.

 

I will continue to post when I have wifi.  And when I’m back home, like this morning, I even have time to comment on the photos I post.  These photos were taken between Waterford and Fulton this past week.  Notice the family coloration resemblance?

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I could comment if I knew more about what I’m seeing, but Tappan Zee V is one I’ve heard about but can find no further info on the internet to corroborate.   Notice it presents a different interpretation of NY state colors.

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Reliable . . . again, I know she has a twin and has been on the hard for an unspecified period of time . . .

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Syracuse is the twin of Reliable, and what I learned about her–other than that she still works–is

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here.  She’s in her 81st year and was built in the Canal shops in Syracuse.  Maybe Reliable was built there too?

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And the final photo for now is self-propelled derrick barge Ward’s Island, which–I’m told–began life as a sixth boro harbor ferry serving–you guessed it–Ward’s Island.

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I really hope some of you help out with more info about these boats.

 

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