Bringing Tug Buffalo Back to Buffalo

You know how sometimes you begin searching for something on the internet and then you just kind of stumble upon something else that is kind of related to what you are looking for but totally unexpected and very intriguing? You just have to abandon your original search and dig deeper.

That is exactly what happened to me the other day.  As I was searching for information about the Tugboat Roundup in Waterford (September 7-9) I stumbled upon a story about Tug Buffalo, a steam engined tug built in 1923.

The story caught my eye for a number of reasons:

  • I think Tug Buffalo’s shape resembles Tug DeWitt Clinton
  • Tug Buffalo was a working tug along the Erie Canal for more than two decades
  • In 2005 it was donated to the Town of Waterford
  • Its engine is “direct reversing”
  • The steam engine was repaired and it took part in the Tugboat Roundup
  • This tug has historic value
  • This tug is not being reefed, sunk, or dry docked… it is being restored!

In late 2017 it was sold to the Palmer brothers.  In July it was towed back to Buffalo.  The new owners hope to restore it and have it cruise along the booming Buffalo Harbor.

I live in Western New York and often visit Buffalo.  I look forward to seeing Tug Buffalo, under its own power, once again grace the Buffalo waters.  It will be in good company with the Edward M. Cotter, the oldest active fire boat in the world. The Cotter has been fighting fires since 1900.

Click on this link to a video titled Historic Tug Buffalo returns to Buffalo for repairs.

Kudos to the Palmer brothers for their efforts to save this Tug.  Here is the link “Bringing the Buffalo Back to Buffalo” on the Palmer brothers’ Lardon Group website.

You can also follow this link to the website to view photos of Tug Buffalo at the 2008 Tugboat Roundup. is a very good site that highlights many vessels along the Erie Canal, Champlain Canal and the Hudson River.  Check it out sometime.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s