July 2 - 2006: The day Cape Cod lost its tugboat

Tugboat at Buzzards Bay Rotary to be destroyed
Shown above in better days around 1953 shoving a passenger liner around in New York's North River, old NY Central Tugboat #16 which had welcomed visitors to Cape Cod for a quarter century at the Bourne Rotary until 2006.

2006: The day Cape Cod lost its tugboat

On this day in 2006 we read the obit for the famous tugboat at the Bourne Rotary.  The stories about its demise are below, first from the New York Times and then from CapeCodToday.com.

On Cape Cod, a Land Deal Leaves
a Tugboat's Fate Hazy

BOURNE, Mass., For 24 years, a landlocked green tugboat has served as an unofficial welcome sign to this gateway to Cape Cod, a signal to excited children and traffic-weary adults that summer vacation is not far away.  This summer, however, will be its last in Bourne and possibly its last ever. The CVS drugstore chain plans to buy the property where the tugboat, the New York Central 16, sits, and scrap the boat to make way for a 13,000-square-foot store.

"Unless an organization is able to salvage it, it will be demolished a short time after closing," said Mike DeAngelis, a spokesman for CVS, which expects to close on the land deal with the Hegarty Family Trust by mid-July.

The possibility of demolition has upset some residents and tourists, as well as a small but dedicated group of tugboat enthusiasts who are trying to save the steam-powered vessel... Officials in Bourne, however, have said they do not want the boat. It will cost about $250,000 to move the tug, which is structurally unsound, according to an analysis commissioned by the property developer; the town does not have the money. And a CVS would draw business to the area, said Thomas Moccia, president of the nearby Buzzards Bay Village Association... New York Times.

Tugboat at Buzzards Bay Rotary to be destroyed

Landmark since 1982 to disappear unless $250,000 is raised fast

Group asks CVS to give it more time

In a story first reported here in January, the old tugboat which greets visitors to the cape at the Buzzards Bay rotary, may to razed very shortly without help from the public. #16 steam tugboat was launched in 1924, and she was rescued from a shameful death as a derelict in Witte's Junkyard in Staten Island, and moved to Bourne in 1982, see file photo on right  taken that year.

She was the last steam tug to remain afloat. Steam-powered tugs are from a by-gone era, and old #16 plied the waters of New York City Harbor for many years during her working lifetime.

CVS pharmacies is about to close on the property and says the structure is rotten and unsafe.  The boat received an 11th-hour reprieve recently because developers are in a dispute with the town over traffic lights on the property. The Boston Globe covered the boat's imminent demise today in this manner:

Bourne tugboat in need of rescue

Landlocked vessel faces demolition

Ever since Charles Schneider was a teenager, an old tugboat, New York Central No. 16, signaled the start of his family's summer Cape Cod vacation as they drove past the landlocked vessel near the Bourne Bridge.

Read the rest of this Globe story here. Cape Cod Today photo.

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