Coal Barge, A.R. Noyes
Courtesy of the Lake Champlain Maritime
The A.R. Noyes represents perhaps
the most common type of commercial vessel that operated on Lake
Champlain and its related canal systems. The standard canal boat
first appeared in 1823 with the opening of the Champlain Canal.
These craft rapidly increased in numbers throughout the nineteenth
century and operated on the Lake into the early 1900's. Canal barges
had no independent means of propulsion. On lakes and rivers, they
had to be towed by steam vessels and on canals they were moved by
horse and mule. Canal boats frequently were the homes of families
of "canalers" who lived on the boats and traveled from place to
place to earn a living. Long trains of canal boats could still be
seen on the Lake at the beginning of the 20th century, but disappeared
after the expansion of the Champlain Canal in the 1920's.
The Coal Barge, A.R. Noyes is believed
to have sunk, on October 17, 1884, when a number of canal boats
broke loose from the steam tug Tisdale which was towing them on
their way to Burlington. The A.R. Noyes was the only one reported
Features of Interest
Size of wreck: 90' long; 14' wide
- The rudder and rudder post are
visible on the stern, facing up the slope towards Proctor Shoal.
- In the cargo area, you will find
remnants of the mules towing apparatus crushed and partially buried
by the impact of the shifting coal which still remains in her
- Experience level: Advanced
- Depth of water : 65' (stern)
- 80' (bow)
- The vessel rests on a gradual
slope and extremely silty bottom. Visibility can quickly become
very poor. The mooring chains tend to disappear into the soft
silty bottom. Several small floating buoys have been attached
to the chain to guide you to the anchor pad.
- Underwater lights are highly
- This wreck is extremely fragile,
all effort shoud be made to avoid contact.
Just north of the Coast Guard's navigational buoy on Proctor Shoal.
DO NOT PENETRATE
CAUTION: Extremely silty bottomócontrol
buoyancy and stay above the mud!
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