The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 6, 1850

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"We cannot regret that the attempt, on the part of steamboat owners, to keep up fares to monopoly rates, has proved a failure; or rather that the steamboat proprietors have found out that a monopoly is injurious to their own interests as well as the public. After this we shall look forward to the next season, as the commencement of a new era in the navigation of the lake and river. When steamboat proprietors become awake to their own interests, and the duty they owe to the community, they will reduce the fares to a reasonable rate, and then every boat on the waters may expect to do a good business, but as long as the present short-sighted policy be adhered to, those only will travel who are absolutely compelled so to do. Let them bear in mind that a journey to Kingston and back, from the head of the lake, in company with his "better half," will cost a man $18 or $20 in steamboat fare alone, and the difficulty is at once explained. Travelling for pleasure at these rates is "paying too much for the whistle." [Dundas Warden]

We have cut out the above to serve as a text. We have ever been opposed to Steamboat Competition, on account of its injurious tendency, both to owners and the public. The latter lose comfort - the former lose money. But at the same time, it has every appeared to us, that the Steamboat fares on the River and Lake are too high; that they act ruinously on the pockets of owners by prohibiting travel. The American owners by putting down fares to the lowest level have made their people locomotive; and the same thing would happen in Canada, were it here attempted. It is true, on Lake Ontario and the River St. Lawrence, that the U.S. Steamers maintain the same high rates of their neighbors; not wishing to come into competition with Canadian Steamboats; but were our owners to consent to a general reduction of fares, to the level of those on Lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan per example, the American owners would gladly follow suit. The object of building a Steamboat is to make money. Now, if more money can be made with low rates than with high rates, it is a manifest folly to maintain the latter. Had a lower scale prevailed this season, the whole world of Canada would now be in motion; and "the Through Line" instead of being uselessly laid up, would be found insufficient for the business. We are no advocates for the cheap and hasty system - the quarter of a dollar fare; but are decidedly of opinion that Steamboat owners injure themselves by maintaining the present high tariff.

Break in the Welland Canal - Yesterday afternoon a break occurred in the Canal, by which the navigation will be for a short time suspended. The Woodman, of Kingston, was entering Lock No. 4, by the Red Mill, with great headway, and her snubbing line breaking, she struck one of the upper gates. This partially opening, allowed the other to spring back altogether, and the rush of water drove the vessel out of the lock stern first. One of the lower gates was also carried back and demolished. The great volume of water, so suddenly discharged from above the lock, swept over lock No. 3, and its embankments, carrying some of the materials into the Canal. Three days, we learn, will repair the damage, when traffic may be resumed. Lock gates are kept on hand, ready to meet such accidents, and the dredging machine will immediately be employed in removing such obstructions as may have been washed into the canal. [St. Catharine's Journal]

Kingston Imports.

Aug. 3rd - Str. Bay State, Oswego, gen. cargo.

Str. Ireland, Oswego, in ballast, O. Hinckley.

Aug. 5th - Str. Ontario, Ogdensburgh, passengers and baggage.

Schr. Maid of the Mist, Port Hope, in ballast, J. Grigg.

Schr. Ellen Parke, Amherstburgh, 23,440 staves, Calvin & Cook; 11 hhds. tobacco for other ports.

Schr. Odd Fellow, Clear Creek, 18,000 staves, Calvin & Cook.

Schr. Elizabeth, Chatham, 9,500 staves, Calvin & Cook.

Schr. Amherstburgh, Port Sarnia, 32,327 staves, 100 brooms, 96 bbls. potash, E. Hooker.

Str. Comet, Montreal, gen. cargo.

Str. Northerner, Oswego, gen. cargo.

Barge Buck Eye, Montreal, gen. cargo.

Schr. Welland, Ogdensburgh, in ballast.


Aug. 3rd - Str. Bay State, Ogdensburgh, passengers and baggage.

Schr. Triton, Oswego, 64,100 feet lumber, owners.

Aug. 5th - Str. Ontario, Oswego, passengers and baggage.

Str. Northerner, Ogdensburgh, passengers and baggage.

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Aug. 6, 1850
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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), Aug. 6, 1850