The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Herald (Kingston, ON), Oct. 7, 1845

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[Buffalo Patriot September 24th]

We are indebted to a gentleman, who came passenger on board the steamer Express, for the following particulars of a storm which occurred on Lake Ontario, on Saturday last. The boat left about 7 o'clock in the morning for Lewiston, at which time it was calm, and there was no indication of a storm. When fifteen miles above Niagara, it began to grow dark and in about five minutes there arose three or four water spouts, whose direction was partly across the bows of the boat, and the water was hurried like dust through the air.

These passed off towards the shore, and were almost immediately followed by a sudden and severe gale of wind, which blew with such fury as to nearly capsize the boat. She was soon righted, however, and rode out the remainder of the storm with ease and safety. The wind accompanied by thunder and lightning continued in this manner some fifteen minutes, when it subsided for a short time. It rose again with all its former violence, accompanied this time, by rain and hail of immense size, and driven with furious force. The waves of the lake were cut up into a complete sea of foam; all the glass in the windows which the hailstones could reach, were immediately shattered, and the ladies' cabin presented an exciting spectacle during the storm.

Masses of ice, of the size of hickory nuts and larger, dashed on board by the waves, drenched everything - while, from the smallness of the boat, and the violence of the storm, no little apprehensions were felt for their personal safety. This state of things continued from 15 to 20 minutes, when the wind died away - the rain and hail ceased, and they made Lewiston in safety, though not without having suffered considerably from the cold and wet.

Canal from Presqu'Isle Harbour to the Bay of Quinte - An Engineer connected with the Board of Works, is at present engaged on a Survey of this important line of communication between Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte, and should his report be favorable - which we have no reason to doubt - there is every prospect that the work will be commenced early in spring. The length of the proposed canal will not be over 3 miles, and as the ground is almost perfectly level, it can be made at a trifling expense; while the advantages it will confer upon the public, by connecting Lake Ontario with the Bay, and thus shortening the passage from Kingston to Toronto, and vice-versa, about one-third, will be incalculable. In the spring and fall the navigation of the Lake, especially from Presque Isle to the Lower Gap, is always difficult, and often exceedingly dangerous, and when a storm arises, Presque Isle harbor affords to Canadian shipping the only safe anchorage. When the proposed canal is completed vessels for Kingston, which otherwise would be compelled to remain in that harbor until the storm would cease, can pass through the canal, and proceed safely down the Bay to their destination.

Picton is so situated that it cannot derive any benefit from the proposed Rail Road from Kingston to Toronto, but should the proposed canal be cut, we hope our townsmen will see the necessity of dredging the Bay, so that the Toronto boats can come up to the wharf.

[Picton Sun]

p.2 Messrs. Fowler and Hood, the worthy Lessees of the Kingston Marine Railway, have just laid down the keel of a large Propeller for Capt. Patterson of this Town. This Propeller is to be launched next spring and is intended for the Lake and River Trade - the following are its dimensions: 140 feet keel, 24 do. Beam, 9 1/2 do. Depth of hold. The Upper or main deck will be covered in from stem to stern, which will afford complete protection to the whole freight. We believe that the exposure of Canadian flour to the weather, on the open decks of schooners and barges, and on the wharves whilst undergoing transhipment, is one great cause of the reduced figure at which that article is quoted in the British Market; the barrels are frequently saturated with water which on the long voyage across the Atlantic penetrates through to the flour and sours it.

Capt. P's vessel will be rigged with one mast and propelled by a high-pressure engine of 140 horse power - the engine to be furnished from the Kingston Foundry. We have no doubt the Ship-builders and Machinists will turn out a vessel, in all respects creditable to the Port of Kingston. [Chronicle]

Letters from the West - describes the huge numbers of emmigrants aboard vessels for west.

The public will be gratified to learn that the masonry and earthwork of the Beauharnois Canal are now fully completed. The machinery of the locks, etc. is in perfect working order; the coffer-dams, at the head and foot of the Canal are now being removed, and there is no doubt but that boats can pass through the Canal on Thursday the 9th instant, and that the navigation will be fully opened by the 13th. We understand, from a friend competent to judge, who has just visited them, that the execution of these works is almost unparalleled for beauty and accuracy, and that the cost will be far below that of any similar undertaking in the Province, in proportion to extent. [Montreal Gazette]

We hope that the above is correct in all its particulars. We cannot speak "by authority," but we understand that the Commander of the Forces expressed his regret that the Canal should have been made where it may, in time of war, be more serviceable to our neighbours than to ourselves. It may be also that a canal could have been made cheaper on the north side. [Montreal Transcript]

Kingston Chronicle and Gazette gives rates of freight which will be charged by the river forwarders after October 1st - these exorbitant charges explain why Western carrying trade is being driven from St. Lawrence to the Hudson. [Montreal Times]

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Oct. 7, 1845
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Kingston Herald (Kingston, ON), Oct. 7, 1845