The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 23, 1849

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No. I

The commercial prospects of Kingston do not assume a very cheering aspect; on the contrary, their dreariness would almost tempt us to abstain this season from making our annual Spring perambulation; but, nil desperandum - never say die - who knows but the year may end better than it promises? - and so to business.

Garden Island - This great Stave Forwarding Depot is anything but a garden; it is becoming a place of much importance; and more real business is transacted here than most common people are aware of. In ancient days, it was the Depot of "the Kingston Stave Forwarding Company," but the entire of that Company is now represented by Messrs. Calvin & Cook, of whom more anon. Of course there are no staves to forward at this season of the year; but there is still a good deal of business doing on the Island. - Messrs. Calvin & Cook are building a good sized steamer, for a tug boat on the St. Lawrence, to be ready early in the spring. In addition, they are repairing the old William 4th, the old Chieftain, and the Transit, all for like purposes. By an ingenious contrivance of Mr. Calvin, the Chieftain is as completely hauled out to be new-sheathed, as if done per railway.

The situation of Garden Island is remarkably well adapted for a Lumber Depot, whether of staves or other stuff. Being on the south side of the great outlet of Lake Ontario, it is easy of access, and its eastern end, together with Hitchcock's Bay, in Long Island, form a safe and well sheltered harbor for schooners, rafts, etc., not to be surpassed in these inland waters. It is therefore not to be wondered at, that with these natural advantages, a great deal of business, more particularly in the Steam Forwarding Line, is annually done here. It is rare indeed, at any period during the season of navigation, that half a dozen schooners are not to be seen lying here at one time, waiting to be unladen, and then away for fresh cargoes. Messrs. Calvin & Cook are a pair of quiet enterprising Americans, from French Creek, who say very little, and are doing a great deal. Without any fuss or parade, they have made a business at Garden Island, which many a Canadian looked at, wished to embark in, but had not the pluck to venture. May their laudable industry be crowned with success, and when, next year, we again revisit the Island - may we see still increasing marks of prosperity.

The California Rubble - The project of sending the schooner Sophia, Capt. Cox, to California, via Cape Horn, has failed, owing to the owner's having sold the vessel and gone home to England. Going round the Horn may be one mode of reaching the land of promise, but it is the most tedious, the most dangerous, and the most expensive one. The best, the quickest and the cheapest mode of proceeding to California, is to go to St. Louis. Thence the man with means can easily proceed on his journey across the mountains, on a track as well beaten as a public road; and the poor man will always find his labor help him greatly along.

British Navigation Laws - [Oswego Times]

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March 23, 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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 23, 1849