NYS DERRICK BOAT 8
NYS Derrick Boat 8 was built in 1925. It was used on the Barge Canal for dredging, lock repair and lifting heavy boats. It was powered by a steam boiler system that was built by AMES IRONWORKS, right here in Oswego. The derrick, located on the south side of the barge, was capable of lifting 150 tons. The derrick was operated by moving control levers located on the south side of the barge roof. A silhouette of a barge operator indicates this. The levers moved control rods that operated the machinery inside the barge.
After 60 years of service, the barge was retired and donated to the museum in December 1984, by the New York State Department of Transportation. Shortly after it's arrival to Oswego in Jan. 1985, the vessel sank in a severe winter storm. The story of it's rescue under the direction of Lance Knapp, is depicted in the black and white photographs in the North West Gallery. The diving suit and air tanks were used by the divers in the rescue. The barge was christened the "Lance Knapp", at it's reopening dedication ceremony in 1990.
NYS Derrick Boat 8 is the LAST STEAM POWERED BARGE, still in existence on the canal system. It is also considered an actual SHIPWRECK.
While much of the barge is original the two north galleries were redesigned for exhibition purpose. This section of the barge was in very poor condition upon rescue. The rooms that were located in this area when the vessel sank were not part of the original 1925 layout. A kitchen, bathroom and living quarters were located in this area.