Steamer "Ida", 1881-1937
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.
The steamboat Ida joined the Saugerties Evening Line as a replacement for the Saugerties in 1904. Ida had been built in 1881 at Wilmington, Del., and had been run by the Baltimore, Chesapeake & Atlantic Railway Co. The Ida had burned in Baltimore in Feb. 1894, but was totally rebuilt and returned to service. She ran with the Ulster through the season of 1920. Thereafter the Ida ran with the Ulster extensively rebuilt as the Robert A. Snyder. Capt. Charles A. Tiffany commanded the Ida for many years.
The Ida carried passengers and freight and ran at night. Freight going north was mostly wood pulp for the many paper mills at Saugerties, and perishables like milk for the summer resorts in the Catskills. Going south the freight was mostly finished paper of many types from the mills at Saugerties and hay for the many horses in New York City. Hudson Valley fruit was also carried in season. Passengers were mainly vacationers for the Catskills. The Ida ran through 1931 and was scrapped in 1937.
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.
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