Jon Crispin's Notebook

Lock 12, Erie Canal / “Ward’s Island” Derrick Boat Decomissioned (EDITED)

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I got a call yesterday from my friend and sometimes patron Craig Williams.  Craig worked at the New York State Museum and was responsible for getting me access to the Willard Suitcases, as well as work photographing the panels and artifacts from the World Trade Center 9-11 attack, and a ton of other interesting photography projects.

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Craig has been really concerned with a plan that the NY State Canal Corporation has to scrap some historically important canal boats and sink them off the coast of Long Island to creat artificial reefs.  He asked me to meet him at Lock 12 in Tribe’s Hill, NY and take a few photos of one of the boats as it made its way Eastward.

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Above is the derrick boat “Ward’s Island” which is being pushed from Lyons, NY  through the Erie Canal System and down the Hudson to be sunk off the coast of Long Island.

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Craig and fellow supporters of Canal history are waging a bit of a protest in regards to the State’s decision to move ahead with this plan.  On the left is Will Van Dorp who has a great wordpress site having to do with shipping.  Here is a link that talks about the Ward’s Island.  Interestingly enough, the boat was commissioned by the NY State office of Mental Hygiene in 1929 to ferry cars and people from Manhattan to the Ward’s Island asylum.

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After about 10 years downstate, she was sent up to the Canal to begin life as a derrick boat, and was only decomissioned last year.  Here she is in the lock.  Note that this is the stern; she is being pushed backwards through the Canal.

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Here’s a detail of the stern.  She was sitting really high in the water as much of the weight was stripped out before the beginning of the trip.

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It was an incredibly beautiful day at the Lock.  I have felt for a long time that the Canal is a very underutilized feature of New York State.  Destroying a part of its history is probably not a good way to attract positive attention to it.

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Here’s the tug Lucy H pushing her towards Amsterdam.

The next boat scheduled for scrap is the tug “Urger” (Edit; Urger is not meant for scrap.   As of now the State wants to take it out of the water, beach it, and make it into a display at Lock E13. / Also, Will Van Dorp contacted me with a few more links about the Ward’s Island.  Here and here).  Here is a link to the Urger.  Let’s hope it is not too late to save her.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #2)

Posted in Art, Jon Crispin, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 20/07/2018

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This photo was taken in Columbus, Ohio in late December of 1981.  I almost felt compelled to knock on the door and see if they wanted to interview me.   It was an unsettling time in my life. / Those Millar Mitts do go way back.

I’m working on my statement for the exhibit and will continue to post here whenever Hope and Feathers start putting details online.  Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for following.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit

Posted in Jon Crispin, old photographs, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 11/07/2018

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I’ll write more about this later, but I wanted to start posting some of the images that will be in an exhibit at Hope and Feathers Gallery in Amherst this October.  The photos were all featured as illustrations for articles in American Demographics Magazine and were hand colored by the amazing Robby Aceto.  I put this photograph up on my Instagram a few days ago (jonkcrispin) and got a great comment from “thepunchandjudyman” identifying this fellow as Percy Press II.  Check out this amazing clip.  Classic Punch and Judy with a Christmas theme.

The exhibit opens on 4th October and runs through the month.  Opening reception on the 4th.  Hope (and Feathers) to see you there.

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