A Place Called YORKSHIP - New York Shipbuilding, Newton Creek, and the Walt Whitman Bridge
This photo, taken from the endpapers of New York Shipbuilding's 50th anniversary book, shows Newton Creek at high tide. The view is to the southeast, toward Gloucester Heights. Yorkship Village (Fairview) is at the upper left, flanked by the North Branch and the wide tidal floodplain of the creek's main channel.
A causeway bridge across the main channel links Yorkship Village's Collings Road with Gloucester at the upper right. A rail line (note the freight train) follows the west bank of the creek. This feature still appears on the USGS map and in aerial photography from 1995 (see below).
Conspicuously missing from this image are the east end of the Walt Whitman Bridge, I-676, and the bridge interchange, all built in the late 1950s. Most of the tidal floodplain seen here was filled and the course of the North Branch was altered during construction.
The mouth of Newton Creek is at the center right. A heavy cruiser or battleship is moored in the creek. Another capital ship occupies one of the open slipways. Portions of two light carriers can be seen in the wet slip at the lower left, adjacent to the covered slipways.
East is at the top in this 1995 view. Fairview is at the center top, and the Delaware River and the mouth of Newton Creek at the center bottom.
Comparision of this photograph with the one above makes clear just how much of the tidal floodplain was filled to accommodate the bridge and freeway construction. The original path of the North Branch is visible to the right of the arrow-straight man-made channel.
Collings Road still leads to Gloucester, but in place of the causeway bridge an elevated roadway snakes alongside and then ducks under the Walt Whitman Bridge. The rail line is still present, but is no longer on the bank of the creek.
Broadway, which runs from the approaches to the Ben Franklin Bridge in north Camden south to Brooklawn, crosses Newton Creek downstream from the railroad bridge. Broadway marked the east boundary of the shipyard property, and in the yard's heyday, ten thousand workers would pour onto Broadway at the end of each shift.
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your Yorkship memories to Michael Kube-McDowell, Class of '68