The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 28, 1881

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On a visit to the sail making establishment of Messrs. Oldrieve & Horn a reporter of this journal saw great activity in the preparations for the resumption of navigation. A large staff of men were engaged in sail making, orders having been received for the following:

Jessie Scarth, a mainsail, foresail and flying jib.

Acacia, a new mainsail and staysail.

Annie M. Foster, Annie Falconer and Grantham (St. Catharines), various articles to make their outfit complete.

Nellie Hunter, now at Cobourg, an entirely new suit.

Annie Minnes, at Port Hope, a new foresail.

J.N. Carter, a couple of new sails.

Prop. Africa, a new sail to be added, making her outfit complete.

The Maud, a new set of colors.

The yacht now undergoing repairs at Robinson Bros. yard, Barriefield, (Major Fairtlough's) will have new sails. The yacht may be taking the "wind out" of all Kingston yachts.

A new suit of sails is valued at from $400 to $800, according to the size of the craft and the material required. A mainsail costs from $150 to $200 alone, other articles in proportion. A good suit will last from three to five years, unless destroyed by gales. Messrs. Oldrieve & Horne also supply vessel rigging as well as canvass. The cost of the former has advanced somewhat, but vessel men, in anticipation of a profitable season, are overlooking no thing that is felt to be necessary for efficient service.

Work At Capt. Lewis'

At Capt. Lewis' sail loft a number of men have been daily employed since January. These were the orders:

Schr. Flora Carveth, new mainsail, staysail and two gib-topsails.

Schr. Lily Hamilton, lying at Portsmouth, a mizzen, squaresail, and two gaff-topsails.

Schr. China, Garden Island, a new mainsail and gib.

Schr. Enterprise, Portsmouth, new mainsail, gaff and topsail.

Schr. Kate, South Bay, a new staysail and jib.

Sloop John Wesley, at Belleville, a new mainsail and jib.

Schr. Undine, two new gaff top sails.

Schr. Eliza Quinlan, a jib.

Schr. Mary Merritt, foresail and jib.

Schr. Fanny Campbell, a mizzen topsail and flying jib.

In addition to these there are about half a dozen suits of sails to be overhauled.

Miscellaneous Items.

The schr. Norway has an entirely new suit.

Capt. Smith will again sail the schr. Florida which wintered at Cleveland.

Capt. Simmons left today for Chicago. He will command the schr. Manzanilla.

Capt. McKee will again command the Richardson. The vessel is now lying at Fort William.

Capt. Jos. Parsons will have command of the schr. Herbert Dudley, now at Toronto.

Capt. T. Donnelly has gone to St. Catharines to look after the outfitting of the schr. Grantham, of which he will have charge.

Toronto marine men incline to the opinion that the rate on grain will probably be 2 1/2 cents or 3 cents to Oswego and Kingston.

Capt. Taylor, Marine Inspector, on Saturday gave evidence in the Waubuno case. In 1879 he classed the steamer B 1 and considered her seaworthy.

Capt. Courson, of the Jessie Macdonald, is in Kingston making arrangements for the hauling off of the schooner Nellie Sherwood, ashore at Weller's Bay.

Capt. Lewis will represent the Insurance pool of Smith & Davis, Buffalo, (four companies) and also the Orient of Buffalo. He has not yet received definite information but considers the rates published in the Whig a few days ago too high.

The ice in South Bay and out as far as Timber Island is about eighteen inches thick, and solid enough to enable teams to cross it at any place. The schrs. Gearing, Kate, British Queen, Gazelle and scow Pearl are undergoing repairs in the harbor.

The propellers Armenia and Cuba, of the Toronto and Ogdensburg line, have received a thorough overhauling. The boiler in the Armenia has been overhauled and repaired at a cost of $1,000, and new decks, caulking, and other repairs will cost another $1,000. The Cuba has also been overhauled and caulked inside and out, with portions of new deck, costing $1,000 for the entire work.

Operations On The Bay.

At Napanee the schooners Bullock, Nellie P. Downey and sloop Pioneer are all loaded with barley. The steamer Flight was slightly damaged by floe ice, but she has been overhauled and a new hurricane deck put on her.

The steamer Pilgrim is getting a coat of paint and being generally repaired. The Deseronto has been entirely rebuilt from the deck down, having a brand new hull throughout, and is also lengthened eighteen feet, which makes her a very neat boat. The Armenia is getting repainted and repaired. The Sherwood had a new boiler put in this winter, and is nearly ready for business. There is a new steam barge building, which is to have a double engine and a capacity of about 200,000 feet lumber.


An important salvage suit was begun in the Milwaukee United States District Court on March 16th, entitled Boswick vs. the schooner Hyderabad. The action is to recover $15,000 salvage claimed by the plaintiff for picking up the schooner Hyderabad last June, while she was floating about the lake, the schooner having been abandoned by her crew the day previous. The facts of the case may be briefly stated, says the Republican and News. During a heavy fog on the night of June 5th, 1880, the schooners Hyderabad and Ford River collided off Sheboygan. The Ford River struck the Hyderabad on the port bow, carrying away her jibboom, bowsprit, and also her fore topmast; besides, she was made to leak badly, and her crew, fearing she would go down, abandoned her and reached Sheboygan in the small boat. Capt. Gormley immediately telegraphed to this city for a tug, and the Hageman was dispatched to her relief. In the meantime the vessel had drifted badly, and the tug could not find her. On June 7th the propeller Alpena, bound with a cargo of coal for Chicago, sighted the Hyderabad off Point Betsy, on which she was slowly drifting. Running alongside, the captain of the Alpena discovered that the vessel was abandoned, and he then made her fast to his boat and towed her to this city. Being advised by his company the captain of the Alpena refused to surrender possession of the Hyderabad, but on the contrary libelled her for $15,000 salvage. This, Powers & Gunn, of Kingston, the owners of the Hyderabad, refused to pay, and offered to settle by paying the owners of the Alpena whatever might be fair for towing the craft to this city. The vessel was afterwards bonded and continued to run all summer. The Hyderabad had on board a cargo of wheat for Kingston, and the Ford River was loaded with lumber for Chicago. Clerk Kurtz is engaged in taking testimony in the case, which is exciting a great deal of interest in marine circles.

On the 18th the same paper remarks: The taking of testimony for the defence, in the salvage claim of Bewick vs the schooner Hyderabad was completed yesterday, and the matter will now rest for some time. The suit is exciting a good deal of interest in marine circles, and it is generally believed that the Alpena is entitled to salvage, as the Hyderabad was abandoned by her crew. When the Hyderabad was towed here a board of appraisers was appointed to estimate her value in a wrecked condition. It was finally decided that the vessel was worth about $3,000, and her cargo of wheat, which had been wet, was placed at $9,000.

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March 28, 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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 28, 1881