The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 23, 1881

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p.3 Marine Notes - One of the Captains is our authority for the statement that the Royal Mail steamers will commence running about April 25th.

The steamers Maud and Pierrepont are being prepared for service. The latter will probably venture to break her way to the islands about the middle of next week.

Capt. J.A. Porte, of Trenton, has made a commencement in fitting out his steam boats. Mr. R. Davis, of Wolfe Island, went up with three men last week to make some repairs on them, which will take three weeks.


It has been stated that the article appearing in the Whig of Monday respecting the timber trade was published for the purpose of helping the freights, or at least to create a flurry among vessel men and cause them to hold out no longer for higher rates. Such is not a fact. The article was simply the statements of marine men with whom we conversed. Today a Whig reporter interviewed a vessel man who is holding off for higher freights. He claimed that the trade prospects were similar to those of 1872. Vessel men who then snatched at first offers were badly sold. They took $75 to $90 on timber from Toledo, while those who held out until later in the season were better paid. The Edward Blake was quoted as having got $150, and the China $155. The White Oak, he said, in 1872 received on staves $75 per M. from Bay City which rate equalled $160 on timber. This year he had offers of $100 for oak from Bear Creek on Lake St. Clair and $120 from Ludington. Offers had also been made to him from Duncan City, and ports on Lake Huron and Lake Michigan for cargoes of elm and pine. Nearly all the timber vessels have been engaged to carry oak, yet there is nearly as much pine and elm for the shipment of which as many more vessels will be required. Thus, he believed that rates must advance and that he is justified in waiting for such a thing to take place. Timber men don't like rafting and rerafting as will have to be done with the stuff on the Georgian Bay. This timber will have to be first rafted and taken to Waubaushene there placed on the Midland R.R. and carried to Port Hope where it will be again rafted. To do all this work necessitates a great expense. There is walnut at Chicago for which no charters have been made; pine on Lake Superior and Lake Huron only partially secured; elm in large quantities on Lake Michigan for but a portion of which there are vessel contracts, and a lot of oak at another place which will require two vessels for the entire season. For these reasons our informant said he felt confident that the rates will be higher and that those who have already chartered their vessels will regret their hasty action.


Down the river the congealed is passing away.

Napanee reports that the ice is going out of the river very fast.

At Mill Point the bay is not clear, but clear water is visible in many places.

The Port Dalhousie harbor is free of ice. The ice on the lake is breaking up fast.

The heavy current near Bell's Island in Cataraqui Bay has caused the ice to disappear at that quarter.

The ice on the head of the bay was thirty-two inches thick last Friday, pretty good for the 18th March.

At Bath the ice is said to be as sound as a rock. Persons are crossing it with horses, and there are no signs of it breaking up yet.

There is open water for a distance of perhaps half a mile, between Wolfe Island and Cape Vincent. Much open water can be seen off the Penitentiary bar.

The ice on the Ottawa river has begun to move. Should the present mild weather continue it will not be surprising if navigation opens there the first week in April.

p.4 County News - about 40 hands employed in Deseronto shipyard.

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March 23, 1881
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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), March 23, 1881