Editor's Note: The following text is a verbatim transcription of an article written by George W. Murdock, for the Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman newspaper in the 1930s. Murdock, a veteran marine engineer, wrote a regular column. Articles transcribed by HRMM volunteer Adam Kaplan. For more of Murdock's articles, see the "Steamboat Biographies" category at right.
Hull built of iron by Cramp at Philadelphia, PA. Length of 115 ft., breadth of hull 20 ft., 5 in. depth 9 ft. 5 in, gross tonnage 318, net tons 226. Engine constructed by Harlan and Hollingsworth at Wilmington, Del., Vertical beam engine. Diameter of cylinder 32 inches by 9 feet stroke.
The Transport was launched in December 1874 built for the Windmill Island Ferry Company to operate between Philadelphia and Reading wharves and Windmill Island carrying freight cars for a time was laid up. In the early part of the year 1881, the Transport was purchased by Thomas Cornell of Rondout; after making several alterations, was put on the route between Rondout and Rhinecliff on September first 1881. With Captain Benjamin Wells of Port Ewen in charge, William Van Steenburgh Pilot, William Barber engineer, and Isaac Schultz fireman. The Transport was the third ferryboat to operate on the Rondout and Rhinecliff route taking the place of the Ferryboat Lark that had been on the route since the spring of 1860, with Captain B.F. Schultz, John Landers, Pilot; William Morrow, engineer, and Isaac Schultz, fireman. The Lark took the place of the Ferryboat Rhine which was the first steam Ferryboat to operate across the Hudson River at this point of the river in the 1840s. When the Rhine was first put on the Hudson she took the place of a horse boat that was propelled by horses, ran from what was called the Sleight Dock across the river to Kingston Point. That was before the Hudson River Railroad was built. After the railroad was completed in 1852, there was a station built at Rhinecliff, the Rhine ran from Rhinecliff to Kingston Point until the late 1850s, then changed her route to Rondout, where it has run to the present time excepting one year 1876 when it ran from Ponckhockie. When the Transport was put on the route the Lark was sold to the Port Richmond and Bergen Point Ferry Company to ply across the Kill von Kull, Staten Island. The Lark was renamed the Arthur Kills where she ran for several years. Last trip crew: Capt. Nelson Sleight, Pilot Ross Saulpaugh, Silas Wells, chief engineer.
George W. Murdock, (b. 1853-d. 1940) was a veteran marine engineer who served on the steamboats "Utica", "Sunnyside", "City of Troy", and "Mary Powell". He also helped dismantle engines in scrapped steamboats in the winter months and later in his career worked as an engineer at the brickyards in Port Ewen. In 1883 he moved to Brooklyn, NY and operated several private yachts. He ended his career working in power houses in the outer boroughs of New York City. His mother Catherine Murdock was the keeper of the Rondout Lighthouse for 50 years.
This blog is written by Hudson River Maritime Museum staff, volunteers and guest contributors.
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