Many unusual craft have passed through New York’s several natural and man-made waterway systems through the years. A remarkable vessel that was certainly one of the most unique to travel the waters of the Empire State was the German submarine U-505, captured by the Unites States Navy during the Second World War. [Read more…] about The Submarine U-505: Predator, Prey, and Memorial
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the intentional scuttling of the vessel Big Time on the Fire Island Reef as part of the State’s ongoing efforts to expand New York’s network of artificial reefs.
This effort is designed to develope a stronger, more diverse marine ecosystem and provide shelter for fish and other marine life off New York’s shores. [Read more…] about DEC Scuttles Vessel ‘Big Time’ to Enhance Fire Island Artificial Reef
By the eighteenth century, the Atlantic Ocean had become a busy highway of ships crisscrossing its waters.
What do we know about the ships that made these transatlantic voyages and connected the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world through trade, people, and information? [Read more…] about 18th Century Merchant Shipping in the Atlantic
The Seneca Lake Archaeological and Bathymetric Survey Project is an underwater exploration occurring on Seneca Lake that aims to preserve the history of New York’s canals by using state-of-the-art equipment to capture never-before-seen images of intact canal shipwrecks from the early nineteenth century in the deepest waters of the lake. [Read more…] about Underwater Imaging of Seneca Lake Canal Shipwrecks Underway
In 1903, voters in New York State ratified the Barge Canal referendum which provided for construction of our present canal system. The Barge Canal design is an integrated improvement of natural lakes and rivers, with only short stretches of pure canal to eliminate bends and to link the natural bodies together.
The Barge Canal was designed to be used only by motorized vessels. The former canals had been completely man-made, elevated above and across the natural bodies of water. This feature allowed the older version of the canal to nearly eliminate any current, thereby making draft animals practical. [Read more…] about Canal Blow-Out: The Big Break in Syracuse in 1907
Few industrialists in the history of the United States have been so widely involved in multiple production operations as Henry Ford. His business philosophy was to operate and control all phases of his manufacture, which included transportation between production facilities.
Certain operations of his automobile empire involved the transportation of raw materials, and completed sub-assemblies between the main plants in the Detroit area, and satellite plants on the eastern seaboard.
Ford, a trenchant industrialist, realized that the New York State Barge Canal offered business a tremendous economic corridor between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. [Read more…] about Henry Ford’s Barge Canal Fleet: A Short History
The most recent episode of Empire State Engagements features a conversation with Dr. Thomas J. Balcerski of Eastern Connecticut State University about his New York History journal article “‘The Little Spark of Manhood I Have Left’: Governor Thomas Melville and the Aged Seamen of Sailors’ Snug Harbor,” and his recent monograph Bosom Friends: The Intimate World of James Buchanan and William Rufus King (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). [Read more…] about Sailors’ Snug Harbor on Staten Island (Author Interview)
The site of the present Sampson State Park in Romulus, Seneca County, NY was formerly the site of the Sampson Navy Base. As the United States found itself at war following the attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941, the U.S. Navy had an immediate need for sailors. Basic training bases, or boot camps, were constructed across the country to meet this emergency requirement. [Read more…] about Sampson State Park’s Remarkable Military, Education & Public Health History
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a draft proposal for a national marine sanctuary in eastern Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands region of the St. Lawrence River. The proposed sanctuary designation celebrates Upstate New York’s unique maritime heritage and provides a national stage for promoting the region’s tourism and recreational opportunities. [Read more…] about Proposed National Marine Sanctuary Highlights Lake Ontario Maritime History
On November 11th, 1919, the first anniversary was celebrated of the Armistice that ended the First World War. For the occasion, a grand ball was held at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Top of the bill was the hugely popular Southern Syncopated Orchestra, one of the first jazz bands to visit Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. [Read more…] about Anxiety Over Jazz In Ireland Followed A Tragic Shipwreck