In 1929 the lightship name just " Lightship No. 115 " was built in Charleston, South Carolina for Cape Fear, North Carolina.
|Photograph courtesy |
U.S. Coast Guard
Since the late 1800s lightships had been used to guide other ships around harbor entrances and dangerous shallow sandbars.
The shallow waters there have the name " Frying Pan Shoals" - so the ship was renamed “The Frying Pan”. A crew of 15 men served aboard the ship for three months at a time followed by two months of shore leave. The lightship remained at its post until 1965 and then a new lighthouse was built on shore. Frying Pan Lighthouse was automated in 1976 and then deactivated in 2003. In 2010 the lighthouse was sold for $85,000
The Frying Pan ship was moved to an old oyster cannery on the Wicomico River in the Chesapeake Bay where she spent next ten years. She sank due to a broken pipe and was underwater for three years before being raised by salvers.
John Krevey, an electrical contractor and businessman from New York City bought the ship for $8,000. Krevey installed a truck diesel engine and started and started a coastal sea voyage to the Hudson River in 1983. By 1991, he had it docked temporarily at Pier 59 on the Hudson River at 18th Street.
Until the early 1970s, railroad cars used to float into Manhattan by barge, then link up with railroad tracks at the waterfront, and finally to warehouses located nearby. In 1996, Krevey acquired an old railroad barge that formerly carried railroad boxcars across the Hudson River, and tied it up on the north end of Pier 63, at W. 23rd St.
In 2000, Krevey and friends bought the John J. Harvey, a decommissioned fireboat. Built in 1931, MV John J. Harvey, is among the most powerful fireboats ever in service. Her pumps are powerful -- enough so that when she and the George Washington Bridge were both brand new, she shot water over the bridge's roadway. On Sept. 11, 2001, the ship helped evacuate Battery Park City residents and after that under radio direction from the Fire Department, trained its powerful water pumps on the blazing towers. In 2008 Krevey rented a tugboat and moved the Frying Pan, the barge and John J. Harvey to Pier 66 (3 city blocks north). Three years later in 2011 John Krevey died at age 62 while on a vacation with his son in Santo Domingo. The cause appeared to be a heart attack.
Today Pier 66 is a part of Hudson River Park and includes a former Lackawanna railroad barge, the Pier 66 Maritime Bar & Grill, the Lightship Frying Pan, a historic rail float bridge, and an authentic 1900′s caboose. While the outside of the Lightship Frying Pan has been restored to her original appearance, the inside retains the barnacle-encrusted, sunken-ship motif that acknowledges her storied past.
Pier 66 is open 7 days a week from May 1 to October 1, and in October only when weather is 65 F (18 C) degrees or over.