S.S. Nobska - Freight Deck
A tribute to the last coastal steamer, the S.S. Nobska, her sister ships, other steamships of days gone by and current ferries that sail the waters of Nantucket Sound...
Just like her perch off I-195 in East Providence, Nobska could be seen again from the highway. If you were on the Mystic-Tobin bridge that black funnel and white wheelhouse were plan as day. But what was most remarkable of all. Nobska was just a stone's throw from the U.S.S. Constitution and the many tourists who visited her. I visited as often as I could. Each time, she was looking like a patient on life-support who was rapidly approaching that DNR moment.
Strangely I was attending a gathering at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in 2004 and met a US Park Ranger during a luncheon. During our conversation, he
mentioned the Nobska and the frustration about her still sitting in Dry Dock #1. The Constitution was due to go into Dry dock by 2007 for a major refit and Nobska could still be there.
The end came in 2006 when the Park Service evicted the Nobska and the New England Steamship Foundation as the NESF hadn't been able to find funding to restore Nobska, much less pay the Park Service any money for use of the dry dock after all those years. She was broken up for scrap. Fortunately, a part of her survives to this day. The steam whistle was saved by the Steamship Authority's Nantucket Board member, Flint Ranney. The whistle was installed on the modern car ferry, M/V Eagle. Whenever the Eagle blows its whistle, it is the plaintive wail of the Nobska.