The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Jan. 13, 1880

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p.2 City Council - extension of harbor line read three times and passed.

For Cape Vincent - Pierrepont getting ready.

p.3 Getting In Trim - The machinery of the steamer Pierrepont was taken down recently when the vessel laid up after a heavy season's work, but now men are hard at work putting it up again. The boat will be ready by this evening and in all probability will make her first trip for 1880 to Cape Vincent tonight or tomorrow. A cargo of sheep will be taken over.



A Grand Scheme - Going Up In A Blaze Of Glory.

One of the landmarks of Northern New York is the old ship-house at Sackett's Harbor. The ship was built many, many years ago, when the country was in danger. Only a few days were allowed the men to cut and hew the timber, haul it to the spot and then put the enormous pieces in their proper places. Just before the job was completed orders came that the ship would not be needed. The Government officials thought it would be too bad to allow the great vessel to stand out in the sun and rain, and thus soon decay, so a house was ordered to be built over it.

The house was built. It was called the ship-house. It was and has been always the largest wooden building in Jefferson County. Upon the top of this great building was a cupola, or looking-out place. This was reached by stairs up through the building. The life of the cupola was about forty years, and during that time probably 100,000 people visited it and carved their names upon it. Every conceivable spot upon it bore an autograph. At last it became feeble, and the man in charge of the building said it was unsafe for any one to go to the top. Soon after this a strong wind blew the cupola into Black River Bay, and it floated to the lake. From that day down to the present the building has been condemned, and whoever entered it did so at his own risk. Of late the old building, which has protected the ship for half a century, has shown signs of great weakness. Every day or so some pieces of it have fallen. No one pretends to go near it now. The building is worthless, and so is the great ship it was built to protect, inasmuch as a dry rot claims it for its prey. The vessel has two rows of portholes, and was intended for a frigate of thirty-two hundred tons burden.

It being worthless - of no use to the Government or to individuals - two young men of Watertown are of the opinion that they can procure the property of the Government for almost nothing. The plan is, first to get a title of the old building and its contents. The next stop will be to charter all of the steamboats in this section of the country for a certain day next summer. For the same day they will engage all of the passenger, box and platform cars of the U. & B.R., R.W. & O. and N.Y.C. railroads for the purpose of carrying people to Sackett's Harbor on the day of the show. They will also lease the Earle house, the Everleigh house, the unoccupied stores and Madison barracks for that day in order that they may feed the crowd and get all of the profits. They will hire all of the sitting and standing room in sight of the old ship house that they may control it. They also propose to do many other things in order that the monopoly may be complete, and then when they are all ready they propose to burn the landmark - actually set it on fire. [Watertown Times]

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Jan. 13, 1880
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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), Jan. 13, 1880