Yesterday, we posted about the arrival of the World War II Destroyer Escort USS Slater at Caddell Dry Dock. The day before, the historic fireboat, John J. Harvey, left Caddell to return to her Hudson River dock after a month of refurbishment. The fireboat built in 1931, was drydocked, repaired, painted and had two new stacks installed. She’s looking good.
Our referrence to her as “an American treasure” is more than just metaphor. The John J. Harvey has been awarded the prestigious Federal Save America’s Treasures Grant. This grant will provide matching funds of $165,955, provided that the organization can raise an equal sum by the end of the year. So far $142,000 toward the total Save America’s Treasures matching grant has been raised. If you can help to put them over the top, please donate here.
John J. Harvey is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. When she was delivered in 1931, she was the most powerful fireboat in the world. The John J. Harvey was retired by the New York City Fire Department in 1994 and purchased at auction in 1999 by a small group of people concerned about the long-term preservation of historic vessels and the traditions of New York’s maritime history. They formed a nonprofit organization, Save Our Ships New York, to fund the restoration of the John J. Harvey and to conduct the free seasonal public programs and educational trips in New York harbor, Long Island Sound and the Hudson River Valley that are now carried out aboard the fireboat.
On September 11, 2001, the retired John J. Harvey, with a crew of volunteers, was the first fireboat on-scene when the World Trade Center was attacked. For four days, the John J. Harvey and two New York City fireboats provided the only water available for firefighting at Ground-Zero.
For more photos of the John J. Harvey, check out the Tugster blog.