The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 26, 1882

Full Text

p.2 shortage question - editorial.

p.3 Excursion Parties - on R.P. Flower, John Thorne and Gipsy.

Yacht Accident - Hebe breaks topmast.


Annual Picnic At Channel Grove.

The Yacht Races and Incidents Connected Therewith.

St. George's Society held their annual picnic today, and a most successful event it has been. The attendance was good, weather favoring a large turn out. The attractions at Channel Grove were many, of which more anon. We note only today the yacht race, reserving further comment until tomorrow.

The Yacht Race.

Open to all boats owned in Kingston. Prize - The St. George's Society's Champion Cup. Three boats must run. If 5 boats enter a second prize will be given; a flag, valued at $8.

Course - Start from buoy off Channel Grove wharf, thence to shoal tower, to buoy off Portsmouth, to a buoy off the North side of Simcoe Island, to shoal tower, to Portsmouth, to buoy off North side of Simcoe, to shoal tower, and from shoal tower to starting point in front of Channel Grove, about 25 miles.

Race to be governed by the rules of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

The Yacht Race.

The following yachts met at the Channel Grove rendezvous: The Garfield, Capt. Curtis; Emma, Capt. Offord; Laura, Capt. Robertson; Katie Gray, Capt. Cummings, of Montreal; and Capt. Fairtclough's yacht. The race being for Kingston boats the Katie Gray could not compete, to her crew's regret, as they overhauled the Laura so easily on the run across as to give them nerve for a contest.

Upon the picnic ground the owner of the yacht Laura objected to the distance. The Emma's owner urged adherence to the course and conditions as fixed, with which Capt. Curtis was perfectly satisfied. The Society's Committee offered to shorten the race provided all of the yachtsmen were agreeable, but Capt. Curtis objected so the rules as published had to be adhered to. Mr. Robertson, owner of the yacht Laura, then said he would not sail, but yet he was solicited to do so. Therefore Major Fairtlough (sic) entered to make the third boat, to fill the race, being a thorough sportsman. His boat had a disabled topmast, and was far from being in racing trim.

Messrs. Curtis, Offord and Fairtlough expressed readiness for the start, but at the signal only Curtis and Fairtlough started. The Emma held to her anchor, while derisive cheers came from the gentlemanly crew of the Laura. The action of the crew of the Emma was certainly most singular.

Viewed From The City.

The wind was most favorable for the Garfield and she ploughed through the water at a speedy rate. She displayed a vast expanse of canvass. She rounded the shoal tower about 1:10 o'clock, some 5 minutes in advance of the Hebe. The tack to Garden Island was made in the same order, the Garfield gaining on her competitor. The Garfield passed the shoal tower on the second round about 2:45 o'clock, a long distance in advance of the Hebe, and practically the winner of the race, barring accident.

Third Class Race.

For Third Class Boats - Entrance $1.00. Three boats must compete. Prize - Champion Flag and $5 cash - the President's Prize.

Course, from buoy off Channel Grove wharf to Shoal Tower, to buoy off Portsmouth, to buoy off north side of Simcoe Island to Shoal Tower, thence to starting point at Channel Grove. Start at 11:30 a.m.

The entries were: Amelia, J. Fisher; Bella Donna, F. Wade; Letter C., E. Eason.

The yachts in the third class race had not gone far from Channel Grove when an unfortunate accident occurred that put several of them out of the way. The yacht Bella Donna was pushing up sail and gaining on the others when a squall struck her off Wolfe Island, and her bow ran under water. She filled and then turned over on her side. The crew cried out for help. Fisher's yacht Amelia could not turn back. McCorkell, however, succeeded in getting back and picking up the crew, who were sitting unconcernedly upon the upturned craft. The saved men were: F. Wade, M. Neyland, Thos. Wade, A. McConville of this city, and Mr. Compton of Toronto. McCorkell's boat was put out of the race by the accident. The drenched crew of the yacht Bella Donna came to the city, and the tug Mixer was despatched to pick up the yacht, which was drifting towards Garden Island.


How The Vesselmen Are Imposed Upon.

The Duty On Shortages Considered Unrighteous.

The sooner the Minister of Customs gives the matter of duty on shortage his attention the better. As the case now stands vessel men feel that they suffer a serious injustice, that they are being imposed upon in a most unbecoming manner, to speak mildly and overlook the profanity which, as one interested party observes, has been strong and fervent enough to bring judgement upon the Government and all those acting under it in this business. On Monday two of the fleet arriving in port on the day before were unloaded, the schrs. Emerald and M.J. Cummings, both from Chicago. The former ran 40 bushels short and the latter 38. Under the rule, to which we recently made allusion, both would have escaped duty upon their deficiencies had they been under 20 bushels each, but, the contrary being the case the whole shortage was taxed. At the rate of 15 cents per bushel the schr. Emerald had to pay an unanticipated account of $6, while that of the schr. Cummings was $5.70. There was no dodging payment as clearance papers could not be obtained until the claim of the Customs' Department was fully satisfied.

Vessel Men Speak Out.

Of course the matter was made the subject of discussion, and hot feeling and hot weather made the situation most uncomfortable. One Captain, very angry looking, asked a friend,

"What do you think about this business?"

"Oh, I don't understand it. That exemption scheme is a sort of conundrum to the whole of us."

"If it is expedient to overlook a shortage of 20 bushels, why should 21 bushels be declared dutiable, not the one extra bushel but the whole amount?"

"Aye, that's the rub. But you can go a little further and ask, By what rule is the exemption governed? Why should a vessel carrying 30,000 or 40,000, or 50,000 bushels of grain not have a greater allowance for shortage than one whose limit is only 15,000 bushels?"

"Precisely. The Canadian trade has commenced to boom, but if the improvement is to continue the Government must interpose no barrier. I don't wish to repudiate any debt, but this duty on shortage I dislike. It is unfair and hard to tolerate."

Practice On American Side.

When Canadians ship wheat or barley to the United States duty is only asked upon that delivered from the vessel. The bill of lading or clearance papers, are not taken as a guide in preference to the certificate of the Supervisor. The wheat and barley going to the American ports is entered for home consumption, not for foreign shipment as in the case of the grain transhipped here. The shortage and duty question is becoming a grave one, and unless it is arranged, as was the duty on damaged grain some time ago, there is probability of the Canadian trade being injured.


A correspondent to the Belleville Ontario has the following to say: "Many persons have expressed it as their opinion that should the steamers Hero and Varuna at any time meet in good trim for a race the str. Varuna would be obliged to take back water. A few brushes had taken place previous to Monday night between the two boats, always resulting in the Varuna's favor, but the Hero's men usually had some excuse, lack of steam, etc. About 8:30 o'clock Monday evening the Varuna ran into Picton for wood, on her way from Kingston. At the wharf lay the Hero ready to start. Persons inquiring as to the time of starting were informed the Varuna would not leave until the Hero threw off her lines. The Hero having put in her coal threw off her lines. She was followed by the Varuna. As soon as deep water was entered those on the boat could plainly see that the Hero would go behind. Every one was anxious. The smoke rolled out in columns, and the sharp puffs of the Varuna gave warning to the Hero that she was being pursued by a long-winded opponent. When about one and a half miles from Picton the Varuna passed the Hero, taking the dock at Deseronto about one mile ahead. The Hero's men formerly, when beaten, claimed low steam, but no such excuse can be made now. If she lacked steam it was not because she had no fire, as the flame could be plainly seen at times a distance of three feet above the smoke stack. The Hero's men will agree with other boatmen upon the bay, that the Varuna justly deserves the title of "Queen of the Bay."

On the steamer Hero's arrival here this afternoon our reporter had an interview with Captain Craig relative to the above. He was much surprised to learn that the impression had gone abroad that there was a genuine race between the Varuna and the Hero. Owing to so many accidents having occurred on the inland waters of Canada it is against his principles to race the Hero when she is on her regular trips.

The Hero was not prepared for a race at the time. With proper fuel she keeps up 50 lbs. of steam with ease. When passed by the Varuna steam was running down from 45 to 40 lbs. The Varuna had just came off the dry dock with a perfectly clean and smooth bottom, and was watching her chance, prepared in every way. She is welcome to the glorification of her admirers under the circumstances.


The schr. Eureka has cleared for Oswego with deals and ash and basswood lumber.

The schr. M. O'Gorman has arrived from Oswego with coal, which she is transhipping here for H.B. Rathbun & Son.

The schrs. Augusta, from Toledo, and J.R. Benson, from Cheboygan, have arrived at Garden Island. They carried oak and pine respectively.

The yacht Katie Gray arrived here last night with the following gentlemen aboard: Mr. J. Ross Cummings, of Montreal, M. Tierney, H.B. Wilson and A. Forbes.

The timber of Mr. Peter McLaren brought to Kingston by the K. & P. R.R. has been put in cribs by the Collinsby Rafting Company, and the bulk of it started for Quebec in tow of a tug.

The arrivals at the M.T. Co.'s wharf are: Prop. Argyle, Toledo, discharged 7,000 bushels wheat; schr. Nevada, Toledo, 21,000 bushels wheat; prop. St. Magnus, from Toledo and Duluth, lightened 12,000 bushels of wheat, and left with the balance of her 30,000 bushels for Montreal.

The schr. N.P. Downey picked up a cargo of 5,000 bu. peas at Whitby and Port Hope for Kingston. She unloaded at the Chicago Forwarding Company's elevator, at Portsmouth, and was short 400 bushels. Peas are worth 80 cents a bushel. The schr. D. Freeman unloaded wheat at the same elevator immediately after and on a cargo of 10,000 bushels had 40 bushels over. The item is from the Oswego Palladium. There could easily be a mistake in the total quantity of a cargo picked up here and there along the lake shore. The tallying was not very accurate.

We have been examining the vessels that have arrived here during the past few days from Chicago and Toledo, and are of the opinion that they have been loaded far too deep. The deepening of the Welland Canal has led Captains to load their crafts so that when they leave port there is very little of their sides above water. This may be all right in fair weather, but the prevalent opinion amongst mariners who have made note of the matter is that in the fall, during heavy weather, there will be many disasters. Owners of vessels as well as insurance inspectors should investigate the matter.

It has been asserted that the Welland Canal is a formidable competitor of the Erie Canal for the grain trade, and is taking more grain than the New York canals and railroads. The Montreal transporters declare this to be untrue. They state that the grain traffic through the Welland has relatively increased slightly this year compared with the Erie, but that the traffic by each canal is much less than last year. "This," says Mr. A.D. Thompson, manager of the M.T. Co. in Montreal, "is not due to the enlargement of the Welland, but to the increasing favor with which the cheapness and convenience of the St. Lawrence route is meeting from Chicago and western grain shippers."

A western exchange states that vessel owners on the lakes are now doing a more remunerative business than for some time past, and, what is not less gratifying, the outlook favors the belief that it is to continue. The demand for vessels to carry wheat to lower Canadian ports is especially good, and rates at Chicago advanced on Friday to six cents a bushel to Kingston, at which figure everything available was taken. Six cents a bushel on wheat to Kingston and $1.40 per ton on coal from Oswego to Chicago are the best rates now prevailing. The only apprehension is that owners of many vessels now engaged in the lumber business will draw them out of that trade and put them on for grain cargoes to Lake Ontario ports, and thus cause a decline in carrying rates, as was the case some weeks ago, when the rates reached 3 cents a bushel on corn to Buffalo.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
July 26, 1882
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 26, 1882