The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 4, 1882

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Its Necessity & Importance Forcibly Demonstrated.

Mr. McCuaig, during the debate on the item in the estimates for the completion of the Welland Canal on Tuesday night last, brought up the subject of the work of a dry-dock at Kingston. He called attention of the hon. the Minister of Railways and Canals to the necessity for its immediate construction. He pointed out that large sums of the public money had been appropriated for the original construction of the Welland Canal, and to meet the new state of things this House was called on to vote the additional millions of money for its enlargement, solely with a view of attracting (line unreadable) vessels, capable of carrying 80,000 bushels of grain, now exclusively employed between Chicago and other western ports and Buffalo, passing through the Welland Canal into the waters of Lake Ontario and proceeding to Kingston. He pointed out that the larger the vessel the cheaper the freight. A dry-dock at Kingston is imperatively demanded, and of sufficient capacity to take into for repairs the largest vessel known to the inland lakes. Mr. McCuaig contends that this dry-dock should be part of our canal system, that it is an enterprise of such a character as to entitle it to the support of the Government by an annual subsidy of two per cent for thirty years on its capital. He contends that Kingston, being at the head of the River St. Lawrence and at the foot of lake navigation, the transhipment of western grain will naturally take place here, though in the near future, with the construction of the Murray Canal through to Weller's Bay, Consecon may become its rival. The idea of Consecon becoming a transhipping port for grain and produce en route from the far West to Montreal Mr. McCuaig claims to be new, but a glance at the map would show the advantages Weller's Bay and Consecon possess over Presqu'Isle as a harbour of refuge. Mr. McCuaig called the attention of the House to the loss arising from the want of a dry dock at Kingston. Only last year the owners of the iron steamer Campana were obliged to tow that vessel, at enormous cost, to Port Dalhousie from Kingston - from one end of Lake Ontario to the other - at a time of the year when storms were prevalent, and the chances to disaster and total loss proportionately great. And again the steamer Spartan was compelled to run from Kingston to Montreal in a sinking condition, and the propeller Dromedary made the same run under similar circumstances. The steamer City of Toronto had also been obliged to postpone building for a season, because Canada had no dry dock on Lake Ontario of sufficient capacity to accommodate her. Many other cases could be cited of a similar character. Mr. McCuaig asked what was to prevent the Government from aiding this much needed work, so imperatively demanded by the necessities of the transport trade of the whole country, which, in his opinion, is a legitimate undertaking, one towards which the Government can give public aid.


Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company.

It will be remembered that some two years ago the Bohemian, of the Richelieu and Ontario Company's line, struck against one of the gates of number two lock in this city and sank, carrying with her to the bottom a considerable quantity of valuable merchandise, a portion of which consisted of furniture belonging to one Louis Levesque, who was journeying to Valleyfield. Levesque brought action against the Company for the recovery of the value of the property lost. Defendants opposed this claim on the (unreadable) their control, and one, therefore, for which they could not be held responsible, and pleaded in legal terms vis major to the demand. The Court, however, held otherwise, and gave judgement in favor of plaintiff. Defendants then appealed. The case dragged its weary length along in the Courts from that time up to the 28th ult., when judgement against the Company was confirmed by the Court of Review. The amount of Levesque's claim is not large, but it is the principle involved which rendered the case interesting. Hon. Mr. Church for the Company in appeal, Messrs. Longpre and David for plaintiff. [Star]

p.3 Whats The News - The tug Jessie Hall reached Portsmouth with two barges, coal laden; she left late for Montreal with them and two others, laden with 26,000 bushels of wheat.


The schr. Oliver Mowat is loading ore for an American port.

The schr. Julia has arrived from Oswego with 157 tons coal.

The steamer Hero brought a cargo of cattle down the bay this morning.

The schr. S. Neelon cleared this morning for the canal, and the Jessie Scarth for Toronto.

The schr. Sweepstakes has arrived at Portsmouth from Chatham with 12,200 bushels of wheat.

The schr. Emerald has been chartered to carry corn from Chicago to Kingston at 5 cents per bushel.

Arrivals at Collinsby today: Schr. St. Louis, staves, from Bay City. Departures: Schr. O. Mowat, light.

The Algerian touched here on her way down the river this morning. She had a full load of general freight, but very few passengers.

Messrs. Oldrieve & Horn are preparing sails for the barge John Gaskin, five in number and of first-class quality. The firm are also making odd sails for the city yachts.

The new barge in course of construction for the Montreal Transportation Company, is nearly completed. She is of great size and will be a fine companion for the John Gaskin. She is to be vessel rigged. Capt. Lewis is now making the sails. It is believed that the name of the craft will be the Glenora.

For years the steamer Bay of Quinte made the distance, 3 miles, from the Amherst Island upper dock to Bath, in 18 minutes. Today this time was eclipsed by the steamer Hero, which covered the distance in 12 minutes. The Hero is making for herself a record that future steamers will find hard to beat.

The total gross tonnage of the steamers in Ontario waters is 73,308 tons, and the total net tonnage, steamers and sailing vessels is 189,998 tons. The principal hailing points for the vessels are Belleville, with 1,170 tons; Napanee, 2,929; Port Hope, 4,281; Picton, 4,543; St. Catharines, 26,483; Toronto, 10,037; Kingston, 28,709; Brockville has 751 tons and Cobourg only 727. Then it is safe to say that the great bulk of Canadian freight is carried by Canadian vessels, even between Canadian and American ports.

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May 4, 1882
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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 4, 1882