So over the last few days my wife has scanned and posted old photos from her grandmother to Facebook. Her grandmother was born in 1888 and most of the pictures are from 1910 to 1930. Most of them we had no idea what the pictures were of, but the amazing Paul Schopp has identified many for us. Here are a few of the pictures of ships!
Launched in March 1930 at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, the Morro Castle could accommodate 489 passengers in first and tourist class and carried a crew of 240. She sailed on a route between New York and Havana, Cuba. On an ill-fated return trip to New York, she caught fire on 8 September 1934, reputedly after a mentally ill radio operator set a fire in a storage locker. At the time, the ship was battling a nor’easter. With the wind blowing hard, it only took 30 minutes for the flames to engulf the entire ship.Being only 8 miles off Long Beach Island when the fire started, the crew attempted to beach the ship in an effort to save themselves and the passengers. The electricity went out in only 20 minutes. Only half of the lifeboats launched and many people lost their lives when they hit the water. The Morro Castle finally came to rest in shallow water off Asbury Park with the fire continuing to consume all combustible materials for the ensuing two days. A total of 136 passengers and crew members lost their lives in the disaster. The ship’s hulk became a tourist attraction until its removal from the Asbury Park beach in March 1935.
Paul had identified the picture as the Columbia and that the picture was taken from the end of Cedar Avenue in Delanco…. Paul’s response to a query that it may have been taken as the ship went up the Rancocas Creek….
The Columbia could never have operated on the Rancocas due to her draft. The dwelling on the Pennsylvania shore near the Columbia’s stern is a mansion known as Traviskan or its twin, Chestnut Wood. I have a list of virtually all passenger/excursion steamers that operated on the Rancocas and this is not one of them.
and finally he quickly identified this one….
This is the steamboat Lord Baltimore of the Ericsson Line passing through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on a trip between Philadelphia and Baltimore. It appears several locals are having some fun in the rowboat!
Steamboat did he say steamboat, then how about some lunchtime music from John Hartford, who has those “Steamboat Whistle Blues”