The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Sept. 13, 1881

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p.2 Stabbing Case - Capt. Joe Girard of schr. Cornelia attacked at Oswego.



The water in the Rideau Canal is very low.

The storm was general upon the lakes on Saturday night, and did a great deal of damage.

No tug has as yet gone to the rescue of the schooner Gearing, ashore at Gull shoal.

The longest boats ever on the lakes are said to have been the old sidewheel steamers St. Lawrence and Mississippi. They measured 325 feet over all.

The schr. Lewis Ross has arrived from Hamilton, Capt. Fox having secured a crew at that city. He still asserts that he was mobbed by his former union crew.

The Chicago Tribune of Saturday says: Grain freights took a slight tumble yesterday, rates yielding 1/2 cent on both corn and wheat to Buffalo and 1 cent on wheat to Kingston."

The steamer Corinthian was delayed by a fog in Lake St. Francis, and did not reach Montreal until yesterday morning. She did not, therefore, pass up today, as she otherwise would have done.

Canvass suffered in consequence of Saturday's storm. The schr. Arctic lost her fore-topsail, fore-yard and fore-topsails, and some of her canvas was split. The schooner Kate Kelly also lost her fore boom. Both ran for Port Colborne.

The boats of the Richelieu Company have, as usual at this season of the year, given up running the rapids, and the vessels of the rival line of the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company, which continue to shoot the rapids, are carrying brooms, decorated with ribbons, at their mast heads.

Last night the tug H.M. Mixer succeeded in taking off the schr. Wm. Elgin, ashore at False Ducks. The vessel was not damaged. She cleared for Cleveland. The vessel first ran ashore and was successfully taken off on Saturday night but before she could get away the gale drove her on again. A telegram from Oswego says that the schooner after getting off the shoal, made for that port which she reached in a leaky condition.


Schr. Caroline Marsh, Toronto, 8,000 bu. wheat.

Schr. Lewis Ross, Hamilton, 13,500 bu. wheat.

Str. D.C. West, Westport, pass. and fgt.

Str. Gipsy, Ottawa, pass. and fgt.

Str. Spartan, Hamilton, pass. and fgt.

Str. Armenia, Ogdensburg, pass. and fgt.

Welland Canal - Bound Down.

Laura, Point Sauble, Garden Island, timber.

J. Bigelou, Point Sauble, Kingston, timber.

G.M. Neelon, Toledo, Collinsby, timber.

Regina & Her Lost Crew.

Owen Sound, Sept. 12th - Capt. Canan reports that the schr. Regina, laden with salt from Goderich and bound for Owen Sound, foundered off Cove Island on Saturday night in the gale, and went down with all hands on board. The Regina was owned by Mr. Wm. Foster, of this place, and was not insured. The cargo, so far as can be learned, was also uninsured. The following are the names of the lost crew: Capt. Amos Tripp, Collingwood; John Young, Collingwood; Wm. Lawrence, Collingwood; J. Oaks, Port Huron; and one man whose name is unknown. He shipped from Owen Sound in the vessel's last trip.

Another very sad report reaches here today of the loss of three more Collingwood men of the schr. Regina. The Captain, Amos Tripp, leaves a wife here, and Wm. Lawrenceleaves a wife and two small children. Another man named Young, who was lost, leaves a wife and one small child.

The Prop. Columbia's Loss.

Hamilton, Sept. 13th - The loss of the prop. Columbia, off Frankfort, Michigan, affects Hamiltonians almost as closely as the loss of the Zealand last fall. The following are saved: Daniel McPhee, second mate; John Moore, steward; James Wright, Thomas Lee, John Fagan, James Raikie and Frank Hanrahan. Among the saved, John Moore, steward, (of Toronto) is a brother of George Moore, Hamilton. The Columbia formed one of the Collingwood & Chicago line of propellers, and was on the trip to Collingwood from Chicago when the terrible disaster occurred. She was commanded this year, as well as last, by Captain James B. Malcolmson, of St. Catharines, an old and experienced mariner, and coming from a seafaring family. His son Robert was first mate of the Columbia, and two of his brothers came to their deaths by drowning. Captain George Malcolmson while bathing in Port Dalhousie harbor, and Capt. John Malcolmson at Montreal by falling between two vessels. Captain S.C. Malcolmson, of the Jessie Scarth, and Captain S. Malcolmson, of the prop. Acadia, both of Hamilton, are cousins of the unfortunate master of the Columbia.

The following bodies have been washed ashore: J.B. Malcolmson, captain; Crossley, first engineer; and W.F. Griffith, passenger. The two engineers belonged to Collingwood; W.F. Griffith lived on Walnut Street in this city, where his relatives still reside. He was a printer. He went to Chicago and was on his way home when the Columbia went down. The first engineer, Wm. Crossley, is a brother of Rev. H. Crossley, of Hannah Street Methodist Church in this city. Miss Simms was lady's maid of the steamer, and is a sister of Conductor Simms, of the H. & N.W.R.R.

The Columbia was a wooden propeller, built at the shipyard of Mr. A.H. Robertson, of Hamilton, in 1873. She had been thoroughly overhauled and was in good condition. She was owned by Capt. J.B. Fairgrieves, of this city, and valued at $24,000. She was fully insured. She had been three years on the upper lake. Her gross tonnage was about 600 tons.


An Unusual Sight On the River.

The unusual sight of a portion of a large iron steamship, in tow of three of the most powerful tugs on the river, entering our harbour attracted considerable attention this morning. It proved to be the after part of the steamship Campana of London, owned by Mr. A.M. Smith, of Toronto, and intended for the Lake Superior line of steamers running between Collingwood and Lake Superior ports. On enquiry we found that she was built in Glasgow by Aitken & Mansel, iron shipbuilders, for the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, cattle trade between that place and the Rio del Platte; that she was engaged during the Zulu war in transporting mules to Zulu land under contract with the British Government, and was bought by the present owner in London. On her voyage out here she took the place of one of the Temperley Line of steamers to Montreal, carrying 1,200 tons of general cargo besides fuel, and making the voyage from to St. John's in eleven days, having experienced heavy head winds all the way. She was taken through the new lower locks of the Lachine Canal, being the first locked through, to Tait's dock, where she was cut in two parts by Mr. W. White, of Montreal, under the superintendence of Mr. T.W. Hugo, the Chief Engineer, an old Kingstonian. After considerable time and trouble she was floated off, but not before immense pontoons were built for each side of her bow and stern to float her to the necessary eight feet six inches. It took six tugs to bring this one end up the currents. The sight attracted much attention along the river, many following her up the shore road for miles in vehicles of different kinds, while hundreds of small boats

Formed An Attractive Body Guard.

First were the Champion and St. George, then the Bronson and Wren, while the Chieftain and Hiram Calvin were lashed one on each side of the Campana. The bow end, which had proceeded on ahead, met with a slight accident coming out of Morrisburg Canal, by which one of the pontoons had a hole knocked in it. Divers are at work repairing the break, and it is expected that by the time the tugs get back it will be ready to come along. The parties who cut the boat will put her together, whether the job is done in Kingston or elsewhere; but it is hoped that there is such energy and facilities in Kingston as will keep the work here. When re-united the steamship will measure 252 ft. long, 35 ft. 3 in. beam, and 20 ft. depth of hold; tonnage about 1,500. She has an iron main deck, and a teak wood spar deck, or, as we call it, promenade deck. Above this is a shade or hurricane deck. She has no first class passenger accommodation, only accommodation on the deck for the crew. She is very strongly built, some of her plates being seven-eighths of an inch in thickness. She has an extra heavy keel, and a peculiar shaped bottom, the shape forming two tunnels from stem to stern, which is calculated to give the screws (of which she has two) and the rudder, solid water, even when close to the bottom of the river or any other place in which she may be sailing. She has two iron masts, full rigged, three steam hoisting winches, and two water tight bulkheads, besides two collision bulkheads, one at each end.

Her Outfit of Machinery.

The driving power consists of two Griffith's propeller wheels, twelve feet in diameter, with a pitch of seventeen and a half feet. To turn these there are two compound engines, one on each shaft, each engine having a high pressure cylinder 26 inches in diameter, and a low pressure cylinder 52 inches in diameter, the stroke of the pistons being 33 inches. The engines are surface condensing, the condensing apparatus consisting of 1500 brass tubes, twelve feet long. To supply steam to this immense engine capacity, two cylindrical shells, 12 feet in diameter of seven-eighths plate, double rivetted, are placed almost in the centre of the ship. They are 16 feet long and contain 8 furnaces and 728 return tubes. Two super-heaters, each of 1,100 ft. area, are placed in the uptake at the foot of the smoke stack, which is 72 inches in diameter. Her coal bunkers will stow 300 tons of coal, there being room for 100 tons below the main deck. The engines and boilers were built by Mr. David Rowan, of Glasgow, and embody all the latest and acknowledged improvements. It is the intention of the owner to get her on the upper lakes as quickly as possible and find out, from the experience of a couple of trips this fall, what is actually wanted to make her suit the trade and have the necessary alterations put on the cabins during the winter. Capt. Joseph Kennedy is in command of the end that has arrived, and Captain J. Crawford of the one that is to come. The owners of the boat are anxious to have the steamship re-united here, and if successful, would be willing to pay more for it than the work can be done for elsewhere.

A Kingston Builder's Offer

Mr. Wm. Power has made an offer to the owners of the str. Campana to haul her out and put her together here, and also to make all the repairs and rebuilding necessary. The work, including new cabins, will cost $20,000. Mr. Power wants a month to do the work in a time which the owner will not likely consent to.


Yesterday afternoon the launch of the tug F.A. Folger attracted quite a number to the Kingston Marine Railway, and the event was contemplated and witnessed with the usual interest. The tug, substantial in construction and of excellent model, went off the ways gracefully and without a hitch. Her dimensions, it may be repeated, are: length, on load line, 65 ft.; beam 27 ft. (sic - an earlier article gives a more reasonable 17 ft. - ed.), and depth of hold 8 ft. This is the sixty-fifth craft built by Mr. Power. Many years ago he went to Quebec from New York, and commenced his good record by building the clipper ship Shooting Star of 1,585 tons burden. This ship was employed with her sister ship, Arthur the Great, as a transport by the British Government during the Crimean war. The Shooting Star made some of the best sailing known of. In going from Portsmouth to Malta, she beat the time of the Royal steam packet, and worked up the Dardenelles where no sailing vessel had been before. Mr. Power also built a small ship, the Rock City, about 600 tons burden, which made the run from Quebec to Liverpool in sixteen days, loaded with fancy woods belonging to Mr. Pearson, of Chatham. He built for the Government the schooner Canadienne, 96 ft. long, 23 ft. 10 in. beam, 10 ft. 2 in. depth of hold, and carrying four guns at 10 ft. 4 in. draft of water. For many years she sailed on the coast for the protection of the fisheries, commanded by the Hon. Mr. Fortin. She was never surpassed in speed by either American or Canadian vessels. Mr. Power built other ships and different vessels in Quebec, including the fast Louis Napolean, designed for the Hamburg and New York trade. She beat, in the year following her launch, the clipper ship N.R. Palmer, of New York, eight days from Shanghai to New York, and also the clipper ship Golden Fleece sixteen days on the next voyage. Vessels were made by the same veteran for the Mobile cotton trade. In Montreal he built several steamboats and made the models and drawings for the iron light ship between Lachine and Beauharnois. He made the model of the fast iron steamer Montreal, and built a steam pleasure yacht for Sir H. Allan to run on Lake Memphremagog, the first composite built vessel in Canada, a perfect gem in symmetry and workmanship, representing as she does a steamship on a smaller scale. He built quite a number of steamboats on the Ottawa River, and in this port there were constructed several of the best vessels sailing on inland waters. We may add that the models sent to Paris by Mr. Power, in 1855, obtained the first class medal. The models sent by him to the Centennial Exhibition were also awarded a medal.

Oswego Breakwater - construction of east breakwater begun.

Race Postponed - Oswego Regatta, due to weather.

Application For Letters Patent - Hugh McLennan, Geo. Mathieson Kinghorn and others of Montreal apply for letters of patent for incorporation of Black Diamond Steamship Co. Ltd.

p.4 A Escort Down The Rapids - tug Plover ran Lachine Rapids towing barge Eva.

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Sept. 13, 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), Sept. 13, 1881