Pechinpaugh Image
Ongoing Exhibitions :: The Day Peckinpaugh

  • Built in 1921 in Duluth, MN, the first boat specially designed and built for New York’s Barge Canal
  • Carrying capacity is 1650 tons, five times larger than the largest wooden mule-towed boats of the 1800s.


  • Originally launched as the Interwaterways Line, renamed Richard J. Barnes in 1922 for the man who originally commissioned the ship. The final name, Day Peckinpaugh, bestowed upon its transfer of ownership in 1958, is in honor of Day Peckinpaugh, a well-known freight-forwarder and coal shipper in the Great Lakes Region.  Day’s brother was Roger Peckinpaugh, one-time New York Yankees interim manager and the youngest manager/player in the history of major league baseball.


  • 259 feet long and 36 feet wide, 14 foot depth of hold. It is among the largest boats to operate on New York’s canal system (maximum area available for vessels in a lock on the canal is 300 feet long by 43.5 feet wide)


  • First vessel designed specifically for the dimensions of the Barge Canal and the last surviving vessel of her kind. The boat was designed to navigate both the open waters of the Great Lakes and the NYS Barge Canal System.


  • Cargo was wheat, flax seed, rye, sugar, coal and pig iron (early years), dry cement (1958-94)


  • Survived torpedo attack by Nazi U-boat while running coal for the war effort along the east coast


  • Sold to Erie Navigation in 1958 and renamed Day Peckinpaugh


  • Converted to self-unloading cement hauler in 1961


  • Made last commercial run on Erie Canal in 1994


  • Saved from the scrap heap in 2005 by a partnership between the New York State Museum, the Canal Society of New York State, the New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and New York State Marine Highway Transportation Co., Inc.


  • Successfully transited the length of the Erie Canal to Waterford in the fall of 2005, first successful transit in over a decade


  • Completed over 600-mile journey in 2009 celebrating the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, successful preview of the Peckinpaugh’s potential


  • Major restoration work slated for completion by fall of 2011.

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