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The Witte Boneyard: A Different Kind of Graveyard 

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  #1  
Old 02-16-2013, 10:45 AM
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The Witte Boneyard: A Different Kind of Graveyard

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On the wooded side of Arthur Kill Road, which winds towards the southern tip of Staten Island, sits Rossville Cemetery — a small patch of cleared ground spotted with broken and eroded gravestones from the 17th and 18th centuries. It’s the type of place that on Halloween could scare anyone with an active imagination; forgotten, decrepit, and filled with details of lives extinguished.

But the Rossville Cemetery is far from the most hair-raising decay in the neighborhood. To get really spooked, one has to walk beyond the graves and clamber down the muddy embankment behind them, stepping into the soggy marsh and walking through the high grass during low tide. Obscuring the view towards New Jersey at the waters edge sit several dark, hulking bodies, half-buried in the coastal mud.

These ship skeletons, with their slumping smoke stacks and jutting, rib-like girders, sit at the top of the city’s most impressive “boneyard,” or ship graveyard. Active since the 1930s, the old Witte Marine Equipment Company — now Donjon Marine Company — is unique not only for its continuous marine salvaging but also for the number and variety of vessels that have been pushed into the muck. The rounded bridges of wooden tugboats, soaring bows of warships, and even the broad decks of old ferries can be seen along the water, sinking in slow motion.

Former owner John J. Witte was famous for chasing the curious away from the 24-acre property. Witte — who passed away in 1980 — refused to let ships brought in be dismantled, and at one point the boneyard held some 400 vessels, some over a century old. According to Witte’s son Arnold, who now runs the yard as part of a larger dredging company, at least 100 craft rest there now, retaining the yard’s bragging rights as one of the largest gatherings of historic ships like it in the world.

Read more here:
http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-ne...ind-graveyard/

Among the ships in Staten Island's boneyard, or ship graveyard: fireboats, World War II ships, wooden ferries, and steam vessels made obsolete by diesel fuel.
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Ships are now only admitted to the salvage yard, according to Arnold Witte, if they have been cleaned and removed of contaminants according to environmental law. If they sink into the water and aren't salvaged, the hulks become part of the structure of the marine life along the Arthur Kill.
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Over the years, the ships sinking into the Arthur Kill waterway have been the subject of many works of art. Witte's boneyard and adjacent on-land salvage yard has also been opened from time to time to film crews, including that of recent spy thriller "Salt."
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Shaun O'Boyle took photos of the Witte boneyard between 1987 and 2005.
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2013, 10:45 AM
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Re: The Witte Boneyard: A Different Kind of Graveyard

Thank you Zambini for the link to this

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Old 02-17-2013, 12:20 PM
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Re: The Witte Boneyard: A Different Kind of Graveyard

cool to stroll around there some time and climb on those boats

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Old 02-21-2013, 09:30 AM
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Re: The Witte Boneyard: A Different Kind of Graveyard

Way cool

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:41 PM
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Re: The Witte Boneyard: A Different Kind of Graveyard

interesting

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:43 PM
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