The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Herald (Kingston, ON), March 24, 1846

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p.2 We understand that the large new Lock No. 2 is finished, as also the lengthening of the two old locks No. 1 and 2, rendered necessary by the non-completion of the new lock No. 1 at Port Dalhousie; and that the canal generally is in such a state as to admit of the opening of navigation on the 1st of April, should the weather prove favorable, and of that the prospect now appears satisfactory. Vessels measuring 138 feet, or even 141 in length can then pass - and the locks being 26 feet 6 inches wide.

Last year, the canal was not opened till the 1st of May. [St. Catharines Journal, 17th]

The steamer America left this port on Wednesday night, for Cobourg and Rochester, on her first trip for the season. The Queen and the Eclipse are now plying daily between Toronto and Hamilton, and the Transit between Toronto and Niagara. The Admiral sustained slight damage to her rudder a few days ago, when towing the other boats out of the ice. She is undergoing repair, and will resume her trips between Toronto and Niagara in a few days. [Toronto Colonist 20th]


Of the Merchant Seamen's Society of Kingston,

for additional Lights, Beacons, etc. on our navigable waters.

To the Honorable the President and the Honorable the Board of Works, established in the Province of Canada, - the Memorial of the Merchant Seamen's Society in the Port of Kingston -

Humbly Sheweth.

That your memorialists are interested in the establishing of the following positions for signals of danger, and other improvements, and now most humbly submit them to your Honorable Board for consideration and action.

1st. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause two Beacons to be placed on the Rush Bed, one on the starboard and one on the larboard hand, leading to the mouth or entrance of the Sny Cartier river, at the head of Lake St. Clair; and also cause to be placed at the bend or elbow, a Beacon, at the entrance; and two short Piers built on the Bar at the mouth of the Sny Cartier; for your memorialists are of opinion, that if Piers were built as above named, the Sny Cartier would, from the outset of the current, be made navigable for loaded vessels, and that nothing short of Piers will answer, or, in any case, have the desired effect.

2nd. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause a Beacon to be placed on the end of the spit at the mouth of the River Thames, on the starboard hand going in, as the spit makes out some distance from the beach, consequently there is nothing to guide a vessel going in.

3rd. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause a Spire Buoy to be placed or moored on the south end of the spit running from Bois Blanc Island, at the entrance of the Detroit River.

4th. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause a bright revolving Light to be erected on the outer end of the Point au Pelee, on the north shore of Lake Erie, as there is a shoal running some distance into the Lake from the Point. The light would therefore be of great importance to guide the navigator through the passage, because the light on the island cannot be seen until above the Point, and British vessels are compelled to take the South or American channel upward bound, if the night is thick.

5th. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause Bell Buoys to be placed on Tecumseh Shoal off Grand River bearing S.W. from the River, or Lake Erie, as the shoal is in a direct course from the mouth of the River to Long Point.

6th. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause that the Light House to be built on Mohawk Island, Lake Erie, change colors, viz.: red, blue and white - each revolution being completed in three minutes, that is, during the first minute a red light be presented, during the second minute a blue light be presented, both to be of the greatest intensity, and during the third minute a bright light of the greatest brilliancy be presented.

7th. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause the Light which is to be placed at Port Colborne, to be a bright standing light.

8th. Whereas, heretofore vessels were obliged to haul in and out of the Welland Canal, thereby causing much detention and great loss of time to ship-owners - your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause one of the Piers to be so constructed as to allow vessels to be towed with horses in and out of, from and to the pier heads, at each entrance of the Canal.

9th. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause the Light which is to be placed at Port Dalhousie, to be a bright Revolving Light, to distinguish it from Niagara Light.

10th. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause Windsor Harbor to be dredged out; because in consequence of the present draft of water, it is almost impossible for vessels to make use of this Harbor, which is one of the most necessary on the Lake.

11th. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause a Light to be placed on the East end of the West Bar at Presq'Isle, and also, as it is necessary, to cause Beacons to be placed on the east side to mark out the Channel.

12th. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause a crib to be sunk on the shore at Snake Island, and a permanent Beacon to be erected thereon.

13th. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause a dark red light to be placed on the Tower now being erected in Kingston Harbor.

14th. Your memorialists pray your Honorable Board to cause a Light to be placed upon the Gananoque Shoals, on the south side of the Channel.

15th. Your memorialists likewise pray your Honorable Board to cause a Light to be placed in Foles' Bay, about five miles distant from Brockville.

Your memorialists earnestly invite your Honorable Board to take the subject of this Memorial into your serious consideration, with a view to such arrangements, on the principle of preservation and improvement, as may seem to your Honorable Board to be the most just, wise and expedient.

Confidently relying on your friendly feeling for the mariner, and on the public spirit which your Honorable Board has ever manifested for improvements, your memorialists anticipate a favorable answer -

And, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To the Hon. the House of Assembly of Canada in Provincial Parliament assembled, the Petition of the Merchant Seamen's Society,

Humbly Sheweth,

That, as it has been deemed expedient to establish and declare the regulations for securing the due payment of Harbor Dues in the several Harbours in this Province, and for the protection of the said Harbours, your Petitioners humbly and respectfully submit to your Honorable House, the propriety of so modifying the first Section of that law, bearing date the twenty-sixth day of last December, which section enacts "That it shall be the duty of the owner, master, or person in charge of any Vessel, Boat, Barge, or Raft, loaded or in ballast, immediately on arrival in Harbour, to repair forthwith to the office of the Collector of Tolls, and report his arrival and exhibit his register manifest, Bills of Lading, Clearance, or any other papers relating to his crew, cargo or vessel, which may be demanded, and pay all Harbour or Light dues, which may be due on his Vessel, or Cargo, under a penalty of not less than twenty shillings, and not exceeding five pounds currency, for neglecting or refusing so to do, and the Collector of Toll is hereby authorized and required to seize and detain any such Vessel, Boat, Barge, or Raft until the dues are paid." - in case of weather or any untoward event happening, in consequence of which, Vessels, Boats, Barges, or Rafts belonging to citizens of the United States, may be obliged to shelter in the said Harbour, that the owners of said Vessels, Boats, Barges, or Rafts, may be exempted from paying such Tolls or Harbor dues as are authorized and required by the said section of the Law. Your Petitioners further beg leave to state to your Honorable House, that in such cases as before mentioned the Vessels, Boats, Barges, or Rafts of British subjects are exempted from the payment of the like Tolls or Harbour Dues, when driven into the Harbours of the United States. Your Petitioners also, most respectfully beg leave to state to your Honorable House, that in their humble opinion, a reciprocity of action ought to prevail on both sides of the Lakes. And your Petitioners further pray that your Honorable House will take this subject into your most serious consideration, and so modify the existing Law, as your Honorable House may in your wisdom deem fit.

And your Petitioners as in duty bound, will ever pray.

Kingston, 4th March, 1846.

A similar petition was addressed to the Legislative Council.


[Rochester Daily Advertiser Extra, March 15th]

$100,000 Worth Of Property Destroyed.

We are informed by a passenger who left Buffalo this morning, that that city was visited by a fearful calamity last evening at 7 o'clock. About that time the ice in the creek gave way, and came down like a perfect avalanche, carrying everything before it! Between the foot of Main street and the Lake, there were some 15 or 20 canal boats every one of which had disappeared, no one knew whither, but it is supposed, were jammed together between the steamboats, and completely demolished!

The steamers United States, Wisconsin, Chatauque, Frankfort, Indian Queen, and two or three others, are greatly injured. The Chatauque had the upper works entirely carried away and torn to pieces.

Every steamboat lying in the Creek was more or less injured, except the Clinton and Indiana.

The Rochester broke two cables, and dashed down the Creek with fearful velocity, carrying everything before her, staving in a portion of the dock, and now lies partly under the dock. The injury done to this steamer alone, it is said, will amount to several thousand dollars.

About 20 schooners were lying in the Creek, and every one of them had been greatly damaged; some completely demolished.

The steamer Dole went down the stream about forty rods, stove in a portion of her hull, and sunk.

The propellers lying in the Creek were all badly injured, some of them damaged to a considerable amount.

It was generally supposed when our informant left, that there were a considerable number of individuals on board of the canal boats, which have disappeared. If so, the loss of life on board these and the steamers, must be great.

Of course it is impossible to estimate, with any degree of accuracy, the damage done, but it is supposed to be not less than One Hundred Thousand Dollars!

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March 24, 1846
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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), March 24, 1846