The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily Times (Oswego, NY), Wed., April 25, 1917

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Tug Association Formed in 1875
Tugs Plowed Through Ice Field Which Had Formed About Vessels, May 5
Commodore Thomas Crimmins, who was general manager of the Oswego Towing Association during its life, recalled today that the association was formed forty-two hears ago. Today is not the anniversary. That comes on May 5, bit it was in the spring of 1875 that the tug owners decided to end the wildcat method of doing business and get down to a feasible working plan. Prior to that time the tugs were running wild, and many a thrilling race for a tow was witnessed.

Mr. Crimmins said that he remembered vividly the day that the association went into effect. When he came to his office in the morning he saw more than twenty vessels off the harbor. The craft had their sails furled and were awaiting the tugs. Four tugs were sent out, with the Wheeler, Captain Charles Ferris commanding. When the tugs came within a short distance f the waiting craft Commodore Crimmins heard a crunching sound and looking out saw the tugs were plowing through a sea of ice which had been formed about the anchored vessels during the night.

The ice field disappeared as soon as the vessels were moved and the sun had a chance to get in its work.

The tug association continued for many years putting the business of towing on a sound basis and giving the owners a chance to make a reasonable profit during the season. There were four tugs in commission in the daytime and one at night, except in emergencies. At present there is but one tug engaged in towing. The replacing of the sailing vessels for steam craft, and the decline of commerce has rendered tugs here obsolete.

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Wed., April 25, 1917
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily Times (Oswego, NY), Wed., April 25, 1917