The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 29, 1848

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p.2 Buffalo, March 27th - The steamer United States succeeded into getting into port yesterday afternoon, and the steamer De Witt Clinton and propeller Manhattan, are in the bay about five miles from the Light House endeavoring, also, to reach this harbor.


No. II

It was a fortunate circumstance, and one that could only happen, as Sterne says, to a sentimental journalist, that at the very place, and at the very moment of resuming "Our Walk," a sale of Leasehold Property should be going on. Mr. Linton was selling the vacant lots on Ontario Street, westward of the Chequered Hotel, kept by Mr. Thomas Dorland. The ground on which these Lots are laid out forms part of the estate of the Kingston Marine Railway Company, leased to Mr. Counter for 21 years. As a proof of this gentleman's enterprize, if any proof is needed, it is only necessary to go over the ground leased by the Company three short years ago, and see what has been done by Mr. Counter in the way of improvement. - Wharves, Docks, Warehouses, Storehouses, and steam engine Foundries spring up on every side, where pools of muddy water were alone visible; and yet so great is the space leased, (the site of the old Mississauga Fort,) that as much ground remains to be covered with buildings, as what has already been built upon. To obtain tenants for part of this vacancy was the purport of the Sale. The times being wretched, the attendance was very limited, yet the lots which were sold brought good prices, viz: Lots of 30 feet frontage by 80 in rear, fetched severally 13s. 9d., 11s. 6d., 9s. 6d. and 10s. 6d. per foot, per annum, for 18 years lease; the tenements to be brick or stone, with usual covenants. A fifth Lot, of 55 feet frontage, and same depth, a Corner Lot, facing the entrance to the Marine Railway, was bought in by Mr. Counter at 15s. per foot; wrongfully we think, for the price was good considering the times and prospects.

The Sale ended, we took a view of some large stone Warehouses, now building by Mr. Overland, for Mr. Counter. This range is 180 feet long by 50 broad, and will form three Storehouses of three stories high. They front the water, being erected on one side of the slip, the proposed Terminus of the Cape Vincent Railroad. Should the For- warding Trade of Kingston revive, of which we entertain serious doubts, these Warehouses will be found useful, being handy for transhipment, and tolerably safe from fire. The large Storehouse farther out in the harbor, on the same premises, rented last year to Messrs. Hilliard & Walker, are not yet tenanted, but several propositions to lease them are being entertained by Mr. Counter at the present time.

Honeyman's Foundry - This extensive establishment, the second largest of its kind in town, in rear of the newly sold lots, occupied us some time in looking over. It gives employment to 36 men, principally mechanics, exclusive of the manager. Every kind of whitesmith's work is done here - the making of steam engines, as well as the repairing of them. At this time of the year, as would be expected, we found all hands more than busy; but in ordinary times, we were assured that constant employment is given to nearly the same number of men. The only steam engine making at present, was for the new Steam Ferry Boat for Long Island, one of twenty-five horse power. The boat lay convenient to the Foundry, and seemed well adapted to the purpose for which she was built. Off Mr. Counter's premises lie a whole fleet of schooners, all getting ready for action, the names of which, the sole information we could obtain, would be of little use to our readers.

Greer's Wharf - Unfortunately, Mr. Greer was absent, and the information obtained here was scanty. Since the disastrous fire of the 31st May last, a complete and thorough renovation of these premises has taken place; with this difference; - that formerly the Storehouses were of wood, and now they are of stone - fireproof. They are the most complete of any in Kingston, and probably as good and convenient as any in Canada. Mr. Greer's arrangements to prosecute the Forwarding Business, are on the same large scale as those of last year. His powerful steamboat, the City of Kingston, has been denuded of her top hamper, the better to enable her to do her work as a tug. She lies alongside the wharf, thoroughly refitted and repaired. The Lake and Bay business, for many years transacted at this wharf, will this season be removed to another Wharf (the Ridell) higher up in the harbor, recently leased by Mr. Greer, in conjunction with Mr. Bethune, in order that the whole of the premises here mentioned might be devoted to the Forwarding to and from Montreal. The Emigration office still remains on Greer's Wharf, but it may probably be removed nigher the scene of action.

Macpherson & Crane's Premises - The whole of Mr. Garratt's immense Buildings have been rented by this old and well established Firm. A substantial pier,150 feet long, by 10 feet wide, jutting into the harbor, at the west end of the Warehouses, is nearly completed, and when finished, will form a noble breakwater to vessels, loading and unloading at the Wharf. "Good wine needs no bush," - Messrs. MacPherson & Crane's Means of Transportation are too well known to need eulogy from us. They are as extensive and complete as matured experience, and a thorough knowledge of the trade will warrant. Nothing practically useful ever escapes the keen eye of the Kingston Head of this House; witness the numberless improvements and adaptations, as the Trade has varied during the past twelve years. - Witness the new Pollywag, the Commerce, a vessel remarkably well adapted to the present state of the business, and which we shall describe more at large, when visiting Hatter's Bay, where she now lies to receive her engines. It is the intention of Messrs. MacPherson & Crane to despatch daily from Kingston, and daily from Montreal, a Freight Steamboat, per the St. Lawrence; at the same time, keeping up a constant communication with both cities, the Bytown and the Rideau Canal. This will be independent of large barges descending the St. Lawrence in tow of a steam tug. The steamer Beaver will be placed on the Rideau Canal, as a Passage Boat, for which she is well adapted, having very commodious accommodations, making two trips a week.

While speaking of the chief Forwarding Establishment of Canada, it may not be amiss to say a word or two about the prospects of the business. These we regret to say are not good. The quantity of Flour ready for market or shipment is not half what it was last spring; and the reason is two-fold. In the first place, the crop was comparatively scanty; and secondly, of what was grown, scarcely one-third came to market, for want of purchasers. And when at length money was procured, and wheat found buyers behold a foreign competitor stepped between the Montreal Agent and the Farmer. This was the American Merchant, who under the hope, rather than the certainty, that the United States Legislature will permit the introduction of Canadian Wheat, in bond, to be exported as Flour, has recently been in the western parts of the Province buying all the wheat he could lay his hands on. For these several reasons, good and sufficient we fear, the Down Freight Forwarding of the ensuing Spring will be indifferent; while from the scarcity of money, and the general embarrassment of commercial business, the Up Freight Trade cannot be much better. - Kingston, whose main stay is the Forwarding Business, should be wide awake in time, and meet the coming danger with a determined front.

Browne's (Late Counter's) Wharf - This wharf will be again the place of business of the American Line of Lake Steam Vessels. The Line will be composed of the Niagara, the Cataract, the Lady of the Lake, and the Rochester. A new boat, called the Ontario, of the same size as the Cataract, is lying at Oswego, fitting, to be ready in June, taking the place of the Rochester; the latter steamer doing the duty in the interim. This Line will commence operations as soon as the ice permits, two vessels being ready for a start. Messrs. E. Browne & Co. will be the Kingston agents. In connection with these steamboats, two other boats, the United Empire and the British Queen, will continue the Line to Montreal, from Ogdensburgh. - Thus there will be two Daily Lines of Passage Boats to Montreal, from Kingston; - the one in the morning, by the River Mail Line, and the other in the evening, by the American Line. Messrs. E. Browne & Co. will also be the Kingston Agents of the Iron Lake and River Steamer, the Magnet, Capt. Sutherland, whose departure will always be from this wharf. A great portion of the Bay of Quinte Business will also be transacted here, the Queen Victoria and Prince of Wales, making it a principal stopping place. Messrs. E. Browne & Co. will have a great advantage over other Wharfingers, having the New Custom House located at the head of their premises, and the principal Bonded Warehouse being underneath.

The Rideau Wharf - This wharf is now a misnomer, having left the occupation of Messrs. Macpherson & Crane, and passed into that of J.H. Greer & Co., for the use of Mr. Bethune's Line of Lake Boats. It will probably soon be known as "Armstrong's Wharf," Mr. Francis Armstrong, formerly with Mr. Greer, being permanently engaged as Wharfinger. The Lake Boats this year will be much the same as last, viz: - the City of Toronto, Princess Royal, and Sovereign, under command of Captain Dick, and the brothers Twohy. The departure will be nightly, shortly after the arrival of the Mail Boats from below. A large portion of the Bay trade will be done here. Capt. Bonter, of Belleville, who has recently purchased the fast sailing Fashion, and who intends to run her as a Day Boat up the Bay, going and coming in 16 hours, will make this wharf his Kingston Head Quarters. Mr. Francis Armstrong is a very civil obliging gentleman, and we feel persuaded, that all the business he obtains, he will be certain to retain at his Wharf.

p.3 Notice - The Royal Mail Steamer Princess Royal is expected at Kingston on Thursday, the 30th inst., and will leave for Toronto on the following (Friday) morning, as per Telegraph advices from her owners.

JOHN H. GREER & Co., Agent.

Kingston, March 27th, 1848.

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March 29, 1848
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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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 29, 1848