The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 8, 1848

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No. V

McPherson & Crane' s Ship Yard - The amount of Forwarding Business annually done by this well-known firm, might be estimated by the extent of their Means of Transportation. So numerous are these, that for some years past, it has been deemed requisite to establish and maintain a Ship Yard for the sole purpose of building and repairing them; having a Master Shipwright, (Mr. Quain) a Master Blacksmith, (Mr. Brash) with mechanics and labor ad infinitum. And judging from the crowded state of the Yard, we should say that it is a plan worthy of imitation by other Houses doing an equally large business; for no man can have a better customer, or have a better pay master than himself. Messrs. McPherson & Crane, this season, will add to their means two vessels, both of a novel construction. The first is the new Pollywag Commerce, built last year, but whose engines were not placed in her until this spring. She is intended to carry freight between the Lakes and Quebec. Her size is of the largest capable of passing the locks of the Welland Canal: her engines of 75 horse power, made at Montreal, by Ward & Brush, are constructed with the Paddle Wheels indented in the after part of the vessel, like the Charlotte and Bytown; and while her draft of water will not be more than six feet, her capacity for freight will extend to the carrying of 3000 barrels of flour. The length of the Commerce is 141 feet, and her breadth of beam 25 feet 2 inches. To Capt. Patterson, of Kingston, belongs the honor of being the first to construct this kind of craft; his Ireland was the model of the now numerous imitations of the kind; and it is probable, that like other imitations and adaptations, the copies have excelled the original. It seems generally admitted, that the Commerce is the most perfect freight boat yet launched. Messrs. Hooker and Henderson are building a vessel of the same class at Lachine, to run in the early part of this year, and it is a matter of some little interest to the Trade, to ascertain which kind of Pollywag is the better. We have not the slightest hesitation in asserting that within ten years from the present day, the whole of the Forwarding Business of Upper Canada will be done in Pollywags, to the total exclusion of barges; and also that the shipment of Flour and Breadstuffs to Europe will take place at Quebec instead of at Montreal. A vessel that can take in 3000 barrels at Port Sarnia, or Port Stanley, and deliver that cargo alongside a ship at Quebec must be preferred to any other means of transportation. The only way of successfully competing with the Americans in the Carrying Trade, is to carry cheaper and quicker than they do; and both these desiderata are attained in the employment of the Pollywag. The other novelty in McPherson & Crane's Yard, is a new schooner on the stocks. She is like-wise intended for the Lake and River business. Her tonnage is large, her breadth of beam unusually great, and her draft of water light. - From her appearance on the stocks, she looks more like a barge than a schooner, and will prove anything than a handsome or swift vessel. Intended for being towed down the river, her bowsprit is made to unship, or rather to set up, for the purpose of avoiding doing injury to the steam tug. In our humble opinion, she will scarcely prove so serviceable as the Pollywag, but she may do her work as well and as cheap. Usefulness and cheapness are the order of the present age, as well in the construction of a government, as in the building of a freight boat. The other vessels lying at this Yard, we shall dismiss with desirable brevity. The steamers Porcupine, Bytown, Caledonia and Charlotte, are fitted for work, ready for a start. The three steam propellers, the Mercury, Juno, and Meteor will be ready when wanted; and the same thing may be said of a myriad of barges. Of several sailing craft lying within the pier, a very elegant schooner, named the Governor, built at this Yard last year, is the admiration of all who see her.

Dissett's Yard and Railway - This is the Ship Yard that was tenanted for the past three years by Messrs. Collins & Power; it has now passed back into the occupation of its owner, Mr. Thomas Dissett. There is a double Marine Railway attached to this place of business, of size sufficient to take up moderately large steamers and schooners. On this Railway is, or rather was at the time of our visit, (for she was to be launched next day,) a fine schooner, called the Ocean, belonging to Capt. Robert Kent. She has been almost rebuilt, but her hull is that of the Henrietta. Mr. Dissett's Yard is the last of these marine conveniences at Portsmouth; but between it and the inside of the breakwater, or pier, at the mouth of the harbor, there is still room to construct one or two others.

Business of the Desjardins Canal - Our Forwarders are all alive. The canal is open. on Wednesday the Propeller Traveller, from Port Hamilton, owned by W. Colcleugh & Co., entered the Basin. W. Colcleugh & Co. have recently been extending their premises, and increasing facilities for storage. M. & E. Brown, we understand, intend putting a new and capacious steamer on the canal this spring. There are at present, not less than forty thousand barrels of Flour at the Canal Basin. [Dundas Warder]

Brockville, April 6th - The new and staunch steamer Dawn, owned by Messrs. Jones & Co., sails for Hamilton, touching at intermediate Ports, on Tuesday,11th.



Since the Opening of Navigation.

April 1st - Str. Princess Royal from Toronto.

3rd - Scow New Broom, from French Creek, N.Y., with lumber.

Schr. Free Trader, from Pultneyville, N.Y., with apples and eggs.

4th - Brig Wabash, Sackett's Harbor, in ballast.

Str. Princess Royal, from Toronto.

6th - Skiff, Sackett's Harbor, with fish.

7th - Scow Odd Fellow, Cape Vincent, with Merchandise for Wm. Ware.

Str. Prince of Wales, Bay of Quinte.

Str. City of Toronto.

Schr. Clarissa, 1013 bbls. flour for J.H. Greer & Co., from Port Credit.

The splendid Iron steamer Magnet will be ready for active service, under her clever Commander, Capt. Sutherland, on the 17th April. [Hamilton Journal]


Midland District - To Wit:

By virtue of a Writ of Vendilioni Exponas, issued out of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench, and to me directed, against the Goods and Chattels of Matthew T. Hunter, of the City of Kingston, in the said District. I have seized and taken the


of between 1800 and 1900 Barrels of Flour Burthen, which I will offer for sale at Counter's Wharf, on Saturday, the 15th inst., at twelve o'clock, noon.


Sheriff Mid. Dist.

Kingston, 4th April, 1848.

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April 8, 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), April 8, 1848