The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Dec. 8, 1879

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p.2 A Card from John Gaskin - (who had decided to run for mayor ): ..."Since then, I have learned that the M.T. Co. intend doing a very large amount of repairs, both here and at Portsmouth, during the ensuing winter, which it is my business to look after and superintend,...."

p.3 The Murray Canal - mentions a lengthy history of agitation given in Saturday's Globe.

New Steamer - The Oswego Palladium says that the Hon. A.C. Mattoon has contracted for the passenger and freight propeller to be built this winter. She is to be 130 feet over all, 20 feet beam and of first class construction. She is intended for a day boat between Oswego and Alexandria Bay and the island region, leaving Oswego in the morning after the arrival of trains, and making the trip in seven hours, which will bring her to the Bay about 5 p.m.

New Barge - A new barge has just been placed on the ways at Calvin & Breck's shipyard. It is to be 167 feet long with 30 feet beam. It will have a capacity of 30,000 bushels. It will be one of the largest built at the Island. The cost of it will probably be about $16,000.

Winter Quarters - Many vessels in the harbor are stripping preparatory to going into winter quarters. There are not as many vessels wintering here so far as last year. All of Calvin & Breck's vessels are laid up, except the schr. Oliver Mowat, which is at Port Colborne.

Wind Wafts - The water was let out of the Rideau Canal on Saturday. This is five days later than last year.

The schooners Polly M. Rogers and L.S. Hammond are laid up at Cape Vincent, and at Clayton the schooners Henry Folger, Grace Whitney, and Jane Rowlinson.


The following figures with reference to the relative value of barges, schooners and propellers, cost of working, etc. were obtained from D.D. Calvin, Esq., M.P.P., Garden Island, who has had probably more experience than any other man in Canada with regard to such matters. (They are given in the Peterboro Review). With regard to the first cost he says the usual price for building is fifty cents per bushel for barges, one dollar per bushel for schooners, and two dollars per bushel for propellers of equal carrying capacity. With regard to the working expenses, he says that the monthly cost of a barge is $100, of a schooner $400, and of a propeller $1,500, assuming them all to be of the same carrying capacity. To the cost of the barge and schooner, as compared with the propeller, however, must be added the cost of towage. The charge for towage between Kingston and Montreal is so much per foot for every foot of water the vessel draws, the up charge, on account of the heavy current, being three times that going down. The relative carrying capacity of a barge and schooner drawing the same depth of water, is 20,000 bushels in the barge, to 16,000 in the schooner, or a difference of twenty-five per cent in favor of the barge. Not only is the barge the cheapest to build, the cheapest to work, the cheapest to haul, but it possesses other very important advantages over either schooners or propellers. Taking the life of a barge at twelve years, its average value would be twenty-five cents per bushel, while an elevator costs thirty-seven and a half cents per bushel of its capacity to build, so that barges for storage purposes alone, can do the work cheaper than elevators, while they can be moved wherever wanted. Perhaps the clearest way of showing the advantage they possess in this respect is to state that a barge holding 20,000 bushels can afford to remain in port until the sea-going vessel is ready to receive its cargo, at $10 per day. Were this same cargo to go into an elevator, it would, at one cent per bushel, cost $209, or equal to twenty days demurrage on the barge. Then, besides, there is a great advantage in being able to take the grain to wherever the sea-going vessel is discharging its cargo as it saves time and towage about the harbor from one dock to another. As this whole matter is one purely of dollars and cents, it will be obvious that our barge route offers very great advantages for the Western grain trade in this one respect alone.

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Dec. 8, 1879
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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), Dec. 8, 1879