All things to do with ships and the sea
U.S. Life Savers team, Atlantic City, NJ – 1904  A U.S. Life Savers team on duty at Atlantic City, NJ circa 1904.   In 1915, the U.S. Life Savers joined with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (the oldest armed maritime service in the U.S.) to form the U.S. Coast Guard.  Wreck of the NORA, Anglesea, NJ – 1906  Operated by Captain Herbert Shivers, the "NORA" was a one of several gasoline powered motor sloops that sailed regularly from Anglesea, New Jersey to the fishing banks off Cape May.   On July 29, 1906, while returning early from the fishing grounds because of sudden foul weather, she capsized with thirty passengers, two crewmembers and Captain Shivers aboard.  Members of the U.S. Life Saving Service station at Hereford Inlet responded to the scene and saved many lives, but despite their efforts, nine of passengers aboard the "NORA" perished.   A few hours later on the same day, the motor sloop "ALVA B." also capsized and lost one of her passengers.  Anglesea Borough was what is now called the City of North Wildwood, New Jersey.   In 1915, the U.S. Life Saving Service joined with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (the oldest armed maritime service in the U.S.) to form the U.S. Coast Guard.  Lusitania postcard – 1907  A postcard of the Cunard Line's "Lusitania".   The card is postmarked November 13, 1907 in New York City.   She was torpedoed and sunk on May 7, 1915 by the German submarine U–20.   1,195 passengers and crew lost their lives.  Submarine boat Plunger – 1909  The US Submarine Boat "Plunger" circa 1909.   A 107–ton Holland–type submarine built at Elizabethport, NJ in 1903.   In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt visited the "Plunger" and was the first U.S. Chief Executive to dive in a submarine.   Out of commission from November 1905 until February 1907, "Plunger" was then based at the New York Navy Yard for two years and, beginning in October 1909, operated out of the Charleston Navy Yard in South Carolina.   The submarine was renamed the "A–1" in November 1911 and stricken from the Navy list in February 1913.   Later used as a practice target, her hulk was sold for scrap in January 1922.  The old ferry slip at Perth Amboy, NJ – 1909  A postcard of the old ferry slip at Perth Amboy, NJ.  The card is postmarked July 23, 1909.   The ferry ran until 1963 and took both pedestrians and automobile traffic to Tottenville, Staten Island, NY.   Perth Amboy is located at the far western end of Raritan Bay at the mouth of the Raritan River.   The city was founded in 1683 and has a long maritime and fishing history.   Until the end of the proprietary government in 1702, Perth Amboy was the capital of the province of East Jersey, and during the period of royal government the general assembly and supreme court of New Jersey met alternately here and at Burlington.   Nearby still stands Franklin Palace, the home of William Franklin (1729—1813), a natural son of Benjamin Franklin and the last royal governor of New Jersey.   New Jersey was the first state to ratify (sign) the United States Bill of Rights and it took place in Perth Amboy's City Hall on November 4, 1789. 
Wreck of the Brazoria, Atlantic City, NJ – 1909  Wreck of the steamer "Brazoria" off the coast of Atlantic City, NJ in 1909.   This wreck is well–known and is still holds good quantities of bottom fish.   Her position is 39 23' 00.42" N by 74 23' 58.53" W.  Pilot Boat NEW YORK, New York, NY – 1910  The pilot boat "NEW YORK" on station near the entrance to Ambrose Channel circa 1910.   The pilot service in New York and New Jersey changed dramatically when the old sailing boats were replaced with the first steam powered pilot boat, the "NEW YORK".    The boat was built in 1897 for the Sandy Hook Pilots Association by the Harlan & Hollingsworth Company at Wilmington, Delaware and was 154 feet in length, had a 28-foot beam, with a mean draft of 13 feet.   She was constructed of steel and fitted with 1,000 horsepower steam engines.   The boat carried sixteen pilots plus a regular crew of captain, three mates, three engineers, a steward, a cook, two waiters, four firemen and six sailors.   The captain, mates and sailors were all pilot-apprentices.    There were two working boats, or yawls on deck on each side and to the rear of the iron deckhouse.   The distinct derrick booms placed the fully manned yawls into the water in exactly five seconds and then the crew rowed to the ship and delivered the pilot.    The crew worked very hard and the hours were long, but the accommodations aboard the "NEW YORK" were luxurious.   She remained in service as a pilot boat until 1952 when she was replaced by a more modern vessel.   The flag lying from her rear mast was blue in color and indicated she had taken the assignment of bringing in a ship.   The photo was likely snapped from the deck of that ship.  Golden Hope Houseboat – 1911  Bogan's Basin and the party fishing boats run by the Bogan family at Brielle, NJ since 1931 are well known to anglers in the tri-state area.   The roots of the Bogan family trace back to this humble houseboat located on the banks of the now-defunct Morris Canal where it emptied into Newark Bay at Bergen County, NJ.   Family Patriarch, Captain John Bogan, Sr. built the houseboat and it was their home.   Interestingly, Captain Bogan never launched the houseboat and it remained on blocks at the canal bank.   From left to right are Captain John Bogan, Sr., his wife, Mary Bogan, and their son, John Bogan, Jr. (the other two men on the right are unknown.)   Photo courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan, Sr.  Steamer KEANSBURG, Keansburg, NJ – 1913  The steamer "KEANSBURG" made daily excursion trips from her namesake port to New York City.   Built in 1878 at Chelsea, MA for the Long Island Railroad Co., she originally sailed as the "NANTASKET".   The Keansburg Steamboat Company owned and operated the "KEANBURG" and they initially used the vessel as a means of providing transportation for New Yorkers who were interested in buying homes in Keansburg.  Sandy Hook Telegraph Towers, Sandy Hook, NJ – 1913  This 1913 drawing depicts the Western Union and Postal Telegraph and Cable Marconi radiotelegraph towers located at Sandy Hook, New Jersey.   The Postal Telegraph and Cable Co. was a competitor to Western Union.   In 1943, Western Union merged with the Postal Telegraph and Cable Company.   Burp!   These wooden towers must have made terrific ranges for the local party boat fleet. 
Sea View Bathing Pavilion, Atlantic Highlands, NJ – 1914  The Sea View Bathing Pavilion was located at Atlantic Highlands, NJ.   A commuter ferry dock (to New York City) now occupies the site.  Wreck of the Queen Louise, Manasquan, NJ – 1914  The steamer "Queen Louise" aground in the surf at Manasquan, NJ circa 1914.   You can see the rescuers bringing a passenger to shore using a Breeches Buoy.   Once used by the U.S. Life Savers service, it is a pair of canvas breeches hanging from a belt–like life buoy which was usually made of cork.   This contrivance, including the person to be rescued, was hung by short ropes from a pulley which ran on a rope stretched from the ship to the shore, and was drawn to land by hauling lines.  Steamer SEA BIRD, Highlands, NJ – 1916  The steamboat "SEA BIRD" passes the Klin Lighthouse on the Shrewsbury River in New Jersey.   The "SEA BIRD" was built in 1866 at Hunters Point, NY and primarily ferried passengers during the summer season from New York City to the popular resort and beach at Highland Beach, NJ (now called Sea Bright.)   The steamer also made stops at other towns along the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers in New Jersey.  CHANCELLOR, Merritt & Chapman Derrick & Wrecking Co. – 1920  The derrick boat "CHANCELLOR" was one of the many vessels owned and operated by the Merritt & Chapman Derrick & Wrecking Company of New York City.   The "CHANCELLOR" was built in 1910 at Tottenville, Staten Island, NY.   Founded in 1860 by Israel Merritt, the company specialized in marine salvage, underwater operations, maritime investigation and later on, in marine construction projects.  In 1898, the U.S. War Department hired Merritt & Chapman to determine the cause of the explosion that destroyed the "USS MAINE" in Havana, Cuba, the incident that led to the Spanish-American War.   The most famous operation carried out by Merrit & Chapman was the salvage of the French liner "NORMANDIE" after she burned and capsized in 1942 at Pier 88 in New York City.   The ship was righted in 1943 in the world's most expensive salvage operation.   Merritt & Chapman ceased operations in 1971.  S.S. White Dental Works, Staten Island, NY – 1922  The S.S. White Dental Works factory was built in 1881 at Seguine Point along the shore of Princes Bay, Staten Island, NY.   S. S. White was a dental equipment and supply manufacturer and the factory was a landmark for one of the favorite fluke fishing grounds for several generations of Raritan Bay anglers.   The factory was demolished in the late 1980s to make way for a condominium development. 
Steamer MONMOUTH, Atlantic Highlands, NJ – 1922  The "MONMOUTH" was the fastest steamer in the Central Railroad of New Jersey's Fleet.   Built in 1888 at Philadelphia, PA, the "MONMOUTH" made daily trips between New York City and the Atlantic Highland Steamboat Pier at Atlantic Highlands, NJ.   During the 1940s, the "MONMOUTH" and her sister ship "SANDY HOOK" brought summer vacationers from New York City to the beaches at Atlantic Highlands and Sandy Hook, NJ.   If you have ever seen the large field of old pilings at the western end of the Atlantic Highlands breakwater, this is the remnants of the Atlantic Highlands Steamboat Pier (a fire destroyed the pier on May 6, 1966.)  NEW YORK, Pilot No. 1 – 1927  The New York Sandy Hook Pilots Association's steam powered Pilot Boat No.1 "NEW YORK" on station near the entrance to Ambrose Channel.   Built in 1898 at Wilmington, Delaware, she was the first vessel purchased by the newly formed United New York Sandy Hook Pilots Association (an 1895 merger of the Sandy Hook Pilots Association and the New York Pilots Association.)   This merger was driven by the New York State Board of Pilot Commissioners because of the savage blizzard of 1888 (it caused the loss of nine vessels and the deaths of seventeen pilots from competing local pilot groups.)   In 1934, the "NEW YORK" also rescued survivors at the scene of the "MORRO CASTLE" disaster, and actually took a line from the burning vessel in an attempt to tow her to safety.  Princes Bay, Staten Island, NY –1927  Princes Bay is located on the southern shore of New York City's Borough of Staten Island.   Considered an arm of Raritan Bay, Princes Bay includes Lemon Creek, Wolf Pond Park, Seguine Point, and the Mount Loretto Lighthouse.   The community at Princes Bay was a fishing village at first and the oysters harvested there were so famous, they were found on menus at prominent seafood restaurants in New York City.   Princes Bay was a natural haven for Weakfish and small Bluefish during the early years of the 20th century.   With the recent resurgence of the weakfish population, Princes Bay is once again a favorite spot to fish.  New York City ferry BROOKLYN – 1930  The "BROOKLYN" was one of the first five ferries built specifically for the New York City Staten Island Ferry.   The "BROOKLYN" was built in 1905, had a length of 246 feet, a width of 48 feet and 18 foot draft.   Double compound steam boilers generated 3,500 horsepower.   The "BROOKLYN" was scrapped in 1947.  City of Keansburg ferry – 1932  The steamboat "City of Keansburg" sailing from the Battery in New York City to Keansburg, NJ in 1932.   She was the only steamboat that was built specifically for the Keansburg Steamboat Company.   Launched in 1926 in Newburgh, NY, she worked the route until a a hurricane destroyed the Keansburg pier in 1962.   She then operated until 1971 on the bays and lower Hudson river. 
Wreck of the Morro Castle, Asbury Park, NJ – 1934  On September 8, 1934, the 11,500-ton passenger liner "Morro Castle" was returning to New York City from Havana, Cuba.   She ran into a nor'easter storm off the coast of Atlantic City, NJ when a fire broke out.  The fire destroyed the ship and after several failed attempts to tow the vessel; it eventually drifted ashore at Asbury Park, NJ.   More than 130 passengers and crew lost their lives in the disaster.   The Bogan family's party fishing boat "Paramount" from Brielle, NJ was one of the vessels that sped to the scene and she rescued 67 passengers.  Circumstances surrounding the event included allegations of arson, mutiny, delayed SOS calls, smuggling, negligence by the officers and misconduct by the crew.   Strangely, the captain was found dead mysteriously, and the origin of the fire was never determined.   The tragedy spurred the U.S. Congress to pass various maritime laws designed to prevent future disasters and to U.S. acceptance of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) treaty, which is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships.  Chris-Craft Boat – 1942  A Chris-Craft Corporation boat advertisement from "Motor Boating" magazine June 1942.   During World War II, all new boats went to our armed services, but the advertisement was trying to sell existing pre-war stock.  Johnson Outboard Motor – 1942  A Johnson Motors outboard motor advertisement from "Motor Boating" magazine June 1942.   During World War II, the company, like many others, made war materials.   The patriotic advertisement was to assure the boating public that they were contributing to the war effort; ready to resume manufacturing once the war ended; and had plenty of spare parts for repairs.  Belmar Fishing Club, Belmar, NJ – 1947  The Belmar Fishing Club was first organized on September 1, 1909 with forty-nine charter members.   Annual dues were set at only $1.   Soon after, arrangements were made with the Ocean Pier Company to construct a clubroom and for the use of a pier.   In order to provide a meeting place, the Ocean Pier Company built the original clubroom at the foot of the pier.   In 1929, the Club built a new and larger clubhouse to meet the demands of its growing membership.  Although the pier has been the victim of many ocean storms over the years and had to be rebuilt and repaired on numerous occasions, the clubhouse at 100 Ocean Ave. remains intact and has changed very little.  SANTA'S VISIT, Perth Amboy, NJ – 1949  Ho!   Ho!   Ho!   Yes, there is a Santa and this 1949 photograph of the jolly old elf proves it!   In this photo, Santa was visiting the kids at the Perth Amboy, New Jersey waterfront and rumor had it he later crossed over the Arthur Kill and visited Tottenville, Staten Island, NY (in the background.) 
Amboy Towing tugboats, Perth Amboy, NJ – 1950  The "Amboy Towing" fleet of tugboats moored at Perth Amboy, NJ circa 1950.   In the foreground are the steam-powered tugboats "ST. THOMAS" and "ST. JOHN".  Manasquan Inlet, NJ – 1980  A 1980 aerial view of the Manasquan Inlet, located between the New Jersey shore towns of Manasquan and Point Pleasant Beach.   When the Point Pleasant Canal opened in 1926, water from the Manasquan River flowed through the canal and into Barnegat Bay instead of through the inlet and into the ocean – oops!   This caused sand to build up for several hundred yards at the end of the inlet and completely close it from 1926 through 1929.  In early 1930, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started construction of two jetties (the rocks came from excavation for the Second Avenue subway in New York City) and began dredging the inlet.   The dredging lasted until mid-1931 and the inlet was officially reopened on August 29, 1931.   They tossed quite a party at the opening celebration highlighted by a large water parade attended by thousands of residents, NJ Governor Morgan F. Larson and scores of politicians.  Moran Towing & Transportation Co. – 1985  Moran Towing & Transportation Co., Inc. advertisement circa 1985.   Moran had most of the tugboat business in New York Harbor.   Founded in 1896 in New York City, it was one of the first tenants to move into the World Trade Center.   In fact, construction on the first tower was ongoing when Moran took occupancy of the 53rd floor.  Mount Loretto Orphanage, Staten Island, NY – 1987  Founded by the Rev. John Drumgoole in 1888, the St. Elizabeth's Building at Mount Loretto served as an orphanage for the Archdiocese of New York.   Located on the southern shore of Staten Island, NY near Princes Bay, this building was a popular landmark to anglers who fished the western end of Raritan Bay.   A fire on March 5, 2000 destroyed the orphanage.