Monday, October 8, 2012

USS Inaugural

There is a shipwreck on the Mississippi River... kind of. The USS Inaugural was a minesweeper (Admirable class) that was used in World War II. It was decommissioned in 1946 and came to St Louis as a floating museum on the riverfront in 1968. In 2003, during the Great Flood - it came loose of its moorings, crashed into the Poplar Street Bridge, took on water, and came to its final resting place about 1/2 mile downstream of the MacArthur Bridge.

How did I find out about this? I randomly came across it in on the on-line edition of the Post-Dispatch, our newspaper. What prompted the photographer to take the picture, I have no idea. But I'm glad she did. I took time for myself out of my crazy work weekend and went a-searching. And I was well-rewarded.

It's pretty hard to find, and I was a little nervous being by myself on the industrial riverfront, so these pictures were taken pretty hastily. In this picture, the ship looks tiny. If you look carefully on the righthand side, you can see a little blue person. That person is sitting down, but you can still get an idea of the size of the ship. According to the Wikipedia article, the ship is 184 ft in length - so I'm thinking, even with the river levels so low (really the only time she is revealed), most of the ship is still submerged in the silty riverbank.

While doing a search online about the USS Inaugural, I found many interesting things including a debate on who owns the ship and how exactly it came to rest downstream from its original moorings. And, apparently, according some individuals, there has been theft from the abandoned ship. Who stole it is also under debate.  Here's the link to the Riverfront Times article which seems incredibly well-researched and detailed.

USS Inaugural

USS Inaugural

USS Inaugural

USS Inaugural

As I always say when I photograph and blog about urban decay - this is the stuff I love. Finding something, finding out more about it and reading the history of said item. This is what I live for as a photographer.

2 comments:

mybrightlife said...

This is so interesting. Photography like adventure sport, is often as much about where it takes you as it is about the activity. facinating blog.

Ann said...

Thank you for your kind words!