The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & News (Kingston, ON), April 7, 1849

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Season Arrangements & Appointments Upon the Lakes For 1849.

[Buffalo Commercial Advertiser]

We copy below, from the Express of this morning, the arrangements of the different steamboat lines, and the appointment of officers for the coming season. It will be seen that through and way lines have been organized to all the important points along the lakes. The most important new feature in the arrangement is the Central Railroad line to Detroit. Upon this are placed some excellent boats. It will be seen that the number of boats in the Chicago trade is not as large as last season. This is owing to the very reasonable calculation that the route through Michigan will divert much of the business travel, and consequently there will be no necessity of so many on the line between this city and Chicago.

We are glad to perceive that Green Bay is to have one boat, the Michigan. Northern Wisconsin is rapidly growing, and if there were the same facilities for emigrants to reach that region as are enjoyed by those going farther South, many more would land at Green Bay. And then, the Minesota Territory, recently organized, lies West of that port, which will induce much business and travel to take this route, as we anticipate that ere long the tide of emigration will set in this direction.

The Chicago Line.

Is composed of the following Steamers:

The Empire State, new last season, and the largest boat on the Western waters. M. Hazard, captain.

The Niagara, well and favorably known to the travelling public. W.T. Pease, master.

The Key Stone State, entirely new and of the largest class. Thos. Richards, master.

The Louisiana, a favorite with the travelling public. Wm. Davenport, master.

The Sultana, a capital boat. G. Appleby, master.

The St. Louis, F.S. Wheeler, master.

The Albany, a staunch craft. C.L. Gager, master.

The A.D. Patchin, a staunch commodious craft. H. Whitaker, master.

The Superior. D. Wilkeson, master.

The Great Western, well known on the waters. C.H. Whitaker, master.

The Globe. Robinson, master.

The Nile. Blake, master.

The Central Railroad Line to Chicago.

Comprises the following beautiful and most excellent boats, which are to run by the American shore:

The Empire. Capt. H. Randall.

The Baltic. Capt. C.H. Ludlow.

The Hendrik Hudson. J. Imson, master.

The Saratoga. Standard, master.

The Oregon. Chapman, master.

North, or Canada Shore.

The May Flower, a new and beautiful craft. Capt. Van Allen.

The Atlantic. Capt. Clement.

The Canada. G. Willoughby, master.

Buffalo and Sandusky Line.

The Queen City. T.J. Titus, master.

The America. Capt. D. Howe.

The Alabama, new. Perkins, master.

Buffalo and Toledo Line.

The G.P. Griffith. A.T. Kingman, master.

The Ohio. Capron, master.

The Troy. Capt. Wilkins.

The Rochester. Capt. Lundy.

The Gen. Harrison. Wolcott, master.

Buffalo, Toledo and Monroe Line.

The Southerner. J.L. Edmunds, master.

The Franklin. E.L. Huff, master.

The Clinton. N.W. Brown, master.

The Baltimore. G.A. Strong, master.

The Morton. C.C. Roby, master.

The Wayne. J.T. Pheatt, master.

The Following Boats Will Run Between Buffalo, Erie and Cleveland:

The Diamond. Capt. F.S. Miller.

The Fashion. Capt. Evans.

The Chautauque. Capt. Rosman.

The London, Capt. Bawbee, will run between this city and Port Stanley, C.W.

The Emerald, Capt. Young, will run on the Niagara River, between this port and Chippewa, C.W.

The Cleveland, Capt. Sheppard, is to run on the river between this city and Tonawanda, for the towing of vessels up the rapids.

The Bunker Hill and Milwaukee are to run between Sandusky and Detroit.

The Michigan, Capt. Stewart, will run between Buffalo, Green Bay, and Chicago.

The Lexington, Capt. G. Randall, is chartered for the season, to freight stone for the new lighthouse to be constructed in the Straits of Mackinaw, near where the old light ship has been stationed.

The C.L. Gager is receiving new machinery and will be ready, as soon as business opens, to ply on the river, between this city and Black Rock.

The following boats and propellers are on the stocks or already launched, and will be in service early in the season.

A new steamboat at the shipyard of Messrs. Bidwell & Banta, for Capt. Rossman, and Mr. Lawson, of Detroit.

A new steamer is building at Huron, of about 200 tons, and will be brought to this city on the opening of navigation, to take her machinery, which is being made at the foundry of Messrs. Bell & McNeish.

Messrs. Bidwell and Banta have a fine propeller on the stocks for Captain Dickson and others.

Messrs. Jones & Bagnale, of this city, are building a propeller for Messrs. Gelston, Evans and others, to be placed under the command of Capt. Sprague, formerly of the schooner Wyoming.

At Cleveland, a new propeller of the largest class is building for A.R. Cobb, of this city, to be put in commission on the opening of navigation, and placed under the command of Capt. Hagedon, of the propeller Ohio.

Also, at Cleveland, a new propeller, for Captain Dobbins and others, to be put out the first of May, and commanded by himself.

The Navigation - Prospects of the Season.

[Hamilton Spectator]

We strolled down, on Thursday forenoon, as far as the harbor, in order to observe the business actually in progress, and ascertain, if possible, something respecting the prospects for the season. Part of this might certainly have been well done in town, for if "public notoriety" - the favorite witness of the most inventive Member of the Administration - can be believed, all the vessels on the lake, and not a few that hail from the St. Lawrence, are expected to make Hamilton one of their depots. Certainly the improvements and preparations that are making, would induce us to believe the rumors, if we were not satisfied that no determination on the subject has yet been arrived at.

Passing down via John Street, the first vessel we arrived at was the Rochester. This steamer, so well known on the route between Lewiston and Ogdensburgh, was relieved during the past summer, and took the place of the Telegraph, between Hamilton and Lewiston, running in connection with the United States line of mail boats on the lake and river. Both vessels were commanded by Captain Masson; in fact, that gentleman may be said to have established the business on the route; and the employment of a large and magnificent steamer like the Rochester, shows plainly that Capt. M. is fully entitled to that credit for energy and "going ahead" which "Kingston boys' are said to possess. (Modesty will not allow us to say any more on this point.) The Rochester has undergone a thorough painting, and several alterations have been made in the interior, such as removal of the state rooms on the promenade deck, and the throwing of the whole into a large airy saloon etc. The Rochester is unquestionably the best and most commodious day-boat on the lake, and we have no doubt she will induce great additional travel and business on this route. She will start on her first trip on Monday morning.

At. Messrs. M.W. & E. Browne's Wharf, we found extensive additions and alterations in progress, for the transaction of an increased business. The pier is being carried out forty feet farther into the bay, and will then afford an admirable and well sheltered berth for the steamers which may make use of it. The store-houses are crammed full of produce, for transmission by through vessels to Montreal, of which more anon; and we understand that considerable quantities of lumber, chiefly sawed pine and square, for the American Market, will be shipped during the season.

Messrs. Land & Routh have commenced the business of the season in a manner which positively surprised us, as we had not been in the vicinity of the harbor for some months previous. In the first place, they are engaged in cutting away the high precipitous bank, which formerly compelled vehicles and pedestrians to make a detour to reach the wharf, and in the course of a very short time McNab Street will be opened up its full width to the bay. This is indeed an improvement which entitles the firm to the cordial thanks of the community. Again, they have constructed a new wharf, within and sheltered by the main one, affording a slip at which vessels drawing nine feet water can lie in perfect safety, and without interfering with the large craft, which require more room and a greater depth of water. On this wharf a substantial storehouse has been erected and partially enclosed, which it is intended eventually to make the full length of the slip. In addition to this, men are busily engaged in filling in earth alongside the wharf; so as to afford additional width and more convenience. When these arrangements are completed, which a very short time will effect, the premises of Messrs. Land & Routh will be ample for an immense business. At present, we learn that their stores are quite filled with produce for shipment.

The steamer Magnet next attracted our attention. She has been thoroughly refitted and painted, and will come out as prim and beautiful as a doll from a band box. The Magnet is unquestionably the most magnificent steamer on the North side of Lake Ontario, alike in speed, capacity and accommodations. She will of course be sailed by Captain Sutherland, one of the proprietors, who is as well known on these waters as he is esteemed by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance. The Magnet is cut out for a formidable business this year. Hailing from this locality, she cannot fail to be a general favorite with the Western public, and at the other extremity of the lake she has many staunch friends. She leaves on her first trip on the 10th April.

The Eclipse, which is entitled to leading the way this season, having arrived at her dock on Wednesday afternoon, has also been completely refitted and repainted. She is again under the charge of Captain Harrison, and certainly could not have fallen into better hands. There are few men who have risen more rapidly in public estimation, and none can be more deserving the well earned popularity he enjoys. The Eclipse makes, as usual, daily trips to and from Toronto.

Of the prospects for the season, we cannot speak very definitely. Judging from the numerous schooners which are undergoing repairs, and getting ready as fast as possible, an extensive business must be expected; and assuredly we require a more healthy state of affairs than existed last year. The storehouses, we know, are full of produce, and there are large quantities to come in from the mills, so soon as the roads are in a tolerable state: and beside, the lumber business, especially the transportation of sawed pine, for the United States market, will be much more lively than during the season of 1848. On the whole, therefore, we consider the prospect very favorable.

It is generally reported, and, we believe, decided upon, that the number of "through vessels," to Montreal and Quebec, will be much greater than last year. The Britannia, Dawn, Commerce, Ottawa, Free Trader, and Comet, probably the Ireland, and some others, will ply between Hamilton and Montreal, if not to Quebec, for the transportation of produce and goods.

With respect to the passenger trade, we hear all sorts of stories, but nothing definite. It is said that the Sovereign is to be taken into the mail line again, instead of the Magnet, an arrangement which will be anything but satisfactory to the public. It is said, also, that the owners have determined on running to Hamilton, instead of stopping at Toronto. Again, it is reported that the Magnet, Passport and New Era, all crack vessels, will form an independent daily line between Hamilton and Kingston. Such an union would carry everything before it. The steamers are the fastest on the lake, splendidly fitted up; in a word, the very thing for the trade. In addition to all this, we are told that there is a probability of Captain Richardson bringing up one of the Quebec and Montreal steamers, that is not required on that route, to ply on the lake - possibly from the Metropolis to Hamilton. The reader will thus see, although nothing positive has transpired, that there is plenty of material to produce a ferment on Old Ontario during the season of 1849, and we shall be much mistaken if we have not warmer weather and warmer work ere midsummer. We are, however, no advocates for opposition, unless when charges are excessive. Steamboat proprietors will obtain no thanks from the public for endeavoring to thwart and ruin each other, and it would be much better if some arrangement was come to, by which the travelling community could have the greatest facilities for moving from place to place, and at the same time those who have capital invested in steamers, could obtain an adequate return, in a legitimate manner, instead of endeavoring to run each other off the water.

We have but one remark to make. Everything tends toward making Hamilton the depot of shipping; and we have reason to congratulate ourselves that the claims of "the first Commercial City in Canada West", cannot be longer overlooked.

p.2 The Navigation - Since our last issue our harbor has been visited by one of the American steamers, the Niagara, from Oswego. The Queen Victoria, from Belleville, arrived this morning, thus proving that the navigation of the Bay is open. The Prince of Wales left last evening for Belleville, and will be enabled to reach her destination.

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April 7, 1849
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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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Chronicle & News (Kingston, ON), April 7, 1849