The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston News (Kingston, ON), March 26, 1846

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p.1 The Steamer Highlander - This splendid Boat is at present in the St. Lawrence Canal, at the East end of this Town, where she had taken up her Winter quarters at the closing of the navigation. The contemplated alterations in her dimensions are rapidly progressing - the carpenters being at work for nearly the last month. The stern is rounded off, so as to admit her to pass with ease through the Locks of the Beauharnois Canal, and a tier of state rooms have been commenced and progressed with considerably, upon her promenade deck. Her shape and appearance will thus be much altered, and her accommodations rendered superb. Her speed and power is already acknowledged to be superior to that of any other Boat that "walks the water" between Montreal and Toronto. Captain Stearn - her commander is "a trump" - her crew able and steady, and the Highlander - herself, a general favorite. It is expected weather permitting - that she will commence her trips between Kingston and Lachine, early next month. We wish her every success. [Cornwall Observer]

p.2 The Flood at Buffalo - The Buffalo Courier of Monday says: "Estimates of the damage sustained vary from 50,000 dollars to $100,000. We think that the latter is too large and the former too small an estimate; a considerable portion will fall upon the various insurance offices. We are told that the Rochester was insured only a few hours before the calamity occurred. The creek looks desolate and dreary enough; nothing is left afloat from the foot of Commercial Street to the Ship Canal, and with a few exceptions, the vessels that were not carried away are all more or less injured.

The navigation has begun to assume its wonted busy and cheerful appearance, and many a steamboat, locked up in winter fetters for the past four months, now flings abroad her broad pennant and walks the waters like a thing of life. The Transit and Admiral run regularly to and from Niagara and Lewiston - the Eclipse and Queen ply daily between this port and Wellington square, preparatory to going to Hamilton, so soon as the ice-bound Bay will admit free passage - the America has commenced her trips to Rochester, touching at Cobourg - and in a few days the Leviathans of the Lake will be put on the route to Kingston. All this speaks volumes for the enterprise of our steamboat Proprietors, and for the superior advantages Toronto enjoys, in regard to early opportunities of navigation. [Toronto Herald]



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.

The Lake Navigation - Great preparations are making at Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukie, for a busy season on the Lakes. New steamboats, new schooners, and new propellers are building. The old ones are being repaired, enlarged and beautified, to correspond to the improvements of the day. Both capital and enterprise seem abundantly active to accommodate the business and travel of the coming season with greater facilities and at less expense than ever before. The very high prices reaped by the forwarders during the last fall, has given an extraordinary spur to all kinds of boat building on the lakes. [Albany Argus]

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March 26, 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 News (Kingston, ON), March 26, 1846