The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 2, 1881

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Amherstburg, April 2nd - The cold snap of the last few days, which has taken the marine men of this vicinity quite by surprise has completely swamped all ideas of contemplated start by the several boats laying here. The river is full of floating ice. The bar point light ship, which was laying here for part of this winter is being overhauled in Detroit at the dry dock, preparatory to being placed in position as soon as navigation opens. Dunbar's drill, which was damaged and sunk by the explosion of last Friday, has been raised and hauled out and is being repaired. She will be out in a few days. There was a slight snowstorm yesterday afternoon.

Buffalo, N.Y., April 2nd - There are 20 coal laden vessels now at this port, carrying 13,190 tons.

Bath, Ont., April 2nd - The ice is quite solid in this harbour, yet still there is crossing from Amherst with horses. Nothing has been done in shipping. The schr. Geo. Suffel is the only vessel in this port.

Deseronto (Mill Point), April 1st - The prospects for freight are very good here, although the rate is not yet known. Navigation is not expected to open before the 15th inst.

Portsmouth, April 1st - People think the present prospects are that navigation will be open about the 10th of the month.

Napanee, April 1st - The channel of the Napanee river is open as far as the ice bridge at Unger's Island. The repairs on vessels in port will all be completed as soon as the bay is clear of ice. Freights will be scarce, as there are only some five or six cargoes of grain to ship from this place, and a few stave bolts. Messrs. Cook and Corrington have about 500 tons to ship from here to Cape Vincent and Oswego as soon as navigation opens.

Toronto, April 1st - About four o'clock yesterday afternoon the schooner M.A. Hall arrived here, the first of the season. Capt. Fitzgerald was the first to leave Oswego, the first to try the lake, and the first to bring a cargo into port, and last year he was the first to arrive from Lake Erie. The lake was clear of ice. He met a little on the way, but nothing to signify.

Garden Island, April 1st - General repairs on the schooner Norway are progressing, and she will be ready by the 15th. The Oriental is getting new ports, main boom, and gaff, and new suit of sails. The Anglo-Saxon is getting new rudder, bowsprit, and jibboom, and some new canvass. The China is getting new decks, hatchcombings, beams, and general repairs. The barge St. Lawrence some new stanchions, rail and timber heads. The London receives a new windlass and hatch combings. The new barge Huron will be launched and ready to start as soon as the ice goes. The balance of the vessels here, viz.: Prussia, Bavaria, Denmark, and Siberia, are all ready to start in the first open water. The steamer Chieftain is being fitted out and will be ready to run the forepart of next week. The ice in the main channel is very soft, but between here and Wolfe Island horses still cross on it.

South Bay, April 1st - About three miles of ice was broken up in South Bay by our last north east gale, which makes the water visible here now. We had about eight inches of snow here on Wednesday, the 30th ult., which is now going off and rotting the ice fast. People are afraid to drive on it now. The prospects are that it will leave us by the 20th inst. sure. The schr. Gearing is nearly through with her repairs. She will be more staunch than last season. When navigation opens the schooner British Queen will be taken to Picton by Captain Wellbanks to get a new mast and numerous other repairs. The schooner Flora is leaking badly at present. She will have to be caulked again this spring. Captain McGreevy arrived here from Toronto to take charge of the Huron this coming season. He says she is in good condition for having been so deeply loaded all winter. There are nearly two crews wanting births (sic) for every vessel in our port. Wages and freights are not set here yet. They are generally governed by other ports. Weather cloudy and fair.

Sailors' Union.

To the Editor of the British Whig;

Dear Sir; - In looking over your columns of the 1st April I noticed an article about the prosecution of the members of the Sailors' Union, and likewise that the books and bonds of late officer are now in the hands of a lawyer. Had it not been for the generosity of the late officer to hand over the said documents you would have been saved much space in your paper. Further more as I glanced my eye over your columns my attention was drawn to a reference to seamen's wages. As far as wages are concerned the members make wages to suit themselves. Taking things into consideration, as the late officer had done for the past few years, they would come to the same conclusion as the late officer. Thanking you, sir, for your favour,

I remain, yours, J.

April 2nd, 1881.


Marine Notes.

The schr. Case has been chartered p.t. for three trips on this lake.

The Collinsby Rafting Company expects to do one half of the rafting business at this end of the lake and river this year.

The U.S. Government is committed to the improvement of the Oswego harbor by dredging at the mouth of the river as far up as the head of the island.

The river at Cape Vincent is still full of ice, and not much sign of the opening of navigation at present. Only one lake vessel is wintering there. The display of cautionary signals was resumed here yesterday.

It is said that the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company threaten to run steamboats through to the Saguenay watering places in opposition to the St. Lawrence Navigation Company of Quebec.

St. Lawrence Line - The manager of the St. Lawrence Steamboat Line writes the Gananoque Reporter that the steamers will run about the same as last year, except that, during the camping months, the boat which leaves Kingston at 3 p.m. each day for Gananoque and the Thousand Island Park will then go on to Alexandria Bay, where it will remain all night, and leave at an early hour in the morning for the Park, Gananoque and Kingston. It had been reported that the company intended running one boat from Kingston to the Park by way of Clayton, and another from Kingston to Brockville certain days in the week. These reports are not correct, as at present it is not intended to run on any new routes except the continuation to Alexandria Bay.

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April 2, 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), April 2, 1881