The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 6, 1881

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p.1 Model Community - Garden Island a temperance community. [Toronto World]



Transhipping Facilites of Our Port.

Unreasonable Attack On The Forwarders.

In an interview with a correspondent of the Mail, who has been writing up the new works on the Welland Canal and collecting from various leading shippers opinions in regard to our commerce, Capt. Murray has been saying a great deal which has a tendency to injure Kingston as a transhipping port. It would be an unprofitable occupation to reply at length to all the assertions made by him, especially as many of his statements are known by the marine community to be at variance with the facts. At intervals the facilities of our forwarding companies have been called into question, and for defects that are more imaginary than real various remedies have been proposed. At one time it is increased barge accommodation, at another, storage and stationary elevators. Neither of these, however, is the consideration which Capt. Murray dreams of, but the enlargement of the St. Lawrence canals so that grain laden vessels may sail from Chicago to the seaboard without breaking bulk, an idea which he discusses with all the fervency which can only be expected from one who has enjoyed the benefits of more than one paying Government contract. Possibly the aquaduct has been completed. But let us glance at a few of Capt. Murray's "points." Last season, says he, with the smaller canal worked only to one-fifth of its capacity even the limited quantity of freight passed through almost closed up for a time the facilities for transhipment at Kingston, so that merchants, instead of continuing to send by this route, forwarded it to New York. So far as the canals are concerned the gallant Captain has discovered nothing new. The smaller canals have not been worked to their capacity and never have been, but this fact is not attributable to any deficiency in the accommodation of this port. They are equal to the

Requirements of Trade

as we took occasion to point out last year, and they will increase as there is necessity for them. This is not our opinion, but that of the most experienced mariners doing business here. There was not a blockade last year excepting when the break occurred in the Lachine Canal, and such a thing would have the effect of stopping traffic even were the canals enlarged and constructed to meet the elaborate views of the Mail's informant. It should be remembered that the lake and river operations do not regulate the ocean trade. Wherever the cheapest ocean freights and insurances are offered there the grain will go; and this we have read, that last season ocean ships, with water ballast, left Boston and New York for Montreal because at the latter place cargoes were obtainable on the most advantageous terms. The Captain is about right when he says that last season only about 14,000,000 bushels of grain passed through the canals, but in order to increase the traffic it is not necessary to spend many millions in new public works. He is evidently not to blame that the facilities at Kingston are capable of transhipping 28,000,000 in the season, one company alone being in a position to discharge nine vessels or about 150,000 bushels a day. Capt. Murray

Simply Talks Nonsense

when he says the enlarged class of propellers and vessels are liable to be detained at Kingston for a week on account of the limited size of the elevators, and because the elevating legs can not reach the holds of the vessels. Rip Van Winkle-like he must surely have slept while these changes were being made. The elevator legs and arms have been lengthened, and every provision made for the new trade which is likely to follow the opening of the enlarged Welland. The resources of the companies are being constantly increased, and extension will be in order so long as the circumstances justify it. Much has been written about the delays on the river, but it should not be forgotten that some of these are such as no human agency can prevent. Last spring several ocean vessels were detained in the ice at the mouth of the St. Lawrence while numerous laden barges awaited their arrival at Montreal. Can an enlargement of the St. Lawrence canals clear the Gulf of ice? It is not very creditable to our enterprise and progressiveness to say that the forwarders can do no more business now than they did twenty years ago. At the early date spoken of the elevating was done by baskets, bags and buckets, the greatest amount taken out in one day being 5,000 bushels. At this rate it took three days to unload a vessel. Lastly, it is not at all likely that the Americans can injure our carrying trade, as not one fortieth of the grain passed down the St. Lawrence is American, shipped on American account.

Smuggled Coal Oil - use of schr. Sea Bird.



The prop. Armenia, from Ogdensburg, passed west this morning.

The str. Chieftain has left for Hamilton to bring a raft down the lake.

The schr. Empress, from Deseronto, is discharging a cargo of lumber at the esplanade wharf.

Old residents on the St. Lawrence River never saw the water so low as it is now at this season of the year.

The schr. Starling and Onward, from Kingston for Buckhorn, light, passed through the Welland Canal yesterday.

Capt. McKee and crew of four will leave here on Monday for Fort William to bring the schr. Richardson to Kingston.

The Erie Queen and Breck got 2 1/4 cents on corn from Port Dalhousie to Ogdensburg and the Hyderabad takes wheat to this port on p.t.

The tug Active cleared for Montreal last evening with four barges carrying a combined cargo of 33,500 bush. grain and 580 tons of coal.

The schrs. Fabiola, with 266 tons of coal, and Forest Queen, 246 tons, arrived this morning from Oswego. The coal is for the gas company.

The schrs. Anna M. Foster and Nellie Sherwood arrived light last evening and are now lying at the Market Battery wharf. The former is loading iron ore for Charlotte.

The Belleville Ontario calls the barges Dalhousie and Harvest "immensely large barges." We might astonish them by saying that the Gaskin and Huron are each as big as two of either of those mentioned.

The wrecking tug Wales, dismantled and boilerless, lies at Collingwood, workmen being busy in altering her to a barge. She was taken thither from Kingston during the troubles of 1866, and was armed as a gun boat.

The schr. Garibaldi has discharged all her cargo of coal. As she had been firmly embedded in the sand her timbers were preserved. A great deal of her paint had been scrubbed off, and on the stern the name Garibaldi has been obliterated.

Today the Merryweather engine was engaged in filling the new barge of the M.T. Co. with water. She will hold over 320,000 gallons. The barge is also being painted, and will look quite handsome, the white being relieved with green stripes.

The locality of the foundering of the steamer Zealand last fall is thought to be ascertained at length. Some fishermen, belonging to Cobourg, when hauling in their nets on Tuesday near the Gull light picked up a quantity of machine belting and woolen yarn. The latter is supposed to be part of her freight.

The schr. Enterprise, Port Hope, 5,700 bush. of rye, and the schr. Herbert Dudley, 15,000 bush. peas, have arrived at the M.T. Co.'s wharf. The spout of the elevator which was loading the latter vessel at Port Hope became detached and fell to the wharf. Several bystanders had a narrow escape from injury.

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May 6, 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), May 6, 1881