Jon Crispin's Notebook

Day Peckinpaugh / Erie Canal

Posted in History, Landscape, People, Ships, Travel, Water by joncrispin on 22/02/2011

I was mostly crazed yesterday.  Sometime over the weekend, I either lost, misplaced, or had stolen some important mail.  I was preoccupied by it most of the day.  So much so that at about 2 o’clock I just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep.  For some reason, I decided to mess around with my web site instead.  I had been wanting to update it fore a while, especially the projects page.

Several years ago, the New York State Museum rescued the Day Peckinpaugh from imminent scrapping.  It was in Erie, PA, and by some miracle Craig Williams got a hold of it just before its demise.  Most amazing was that he found someone who had actually worked on the ship while it was still an active hauler, and who knew his way around the engines.  So they fired them up and started the journey from Erie to Waterford, NY.

The Peckinpaugh was built in 1921 and when it was retired in 1994, it was the last working freighter on the Erie Canal.  I think I remember hearing that it was hauling concrete at that time.

I got the chance to be on her for much of the trip across New York State on the canal.  It was late October / early November and the weather could not have been better.  A really interesting group of people too.

 

John Callaghan was the skipper, and you can see by the concentration on his face that it was an intense job for him and his crew.  The ship travelled mostly by her own power, but on occasion tug boats came in to help out.

So, at the end of the day, I still hadn’t found the mail, but at least I felt good about getting something productive done.  To see more from the trip, check out the “projects” page of my main website (joncrispin.com) by clicking the link on the right (Jon’s main site).

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