The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 27, 1884

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p.1 A Memorial Service - more on D.D. Calvin.

p.2 Foot Of The Island - str. Princess Louise made first trip from Mitchell's wharf on Thursday, May 22nd.

Government's Concession - Through the Mail it is announced that the Government will meet the shippers half way, and remit half the canal tolls on grain as an experiment, which, if successful in bringing about the effect the shippers affirm will be the result, will doubtless be followed up still more thoroughly. The Government will be thanked for its promptness in acting on so urgent a matter, but it will not be complimented upon its weak hearted policy.

The shippers supported their proposition, they thought, by the strongest arguments, and had good ground for hoping that, in the interest of trade, they would get all they asked for. The loss in revenue would not be over $65,000 for the season - that was the total canal collections last year upon corn and wheat - and the country, it is asserted, could afford to lose the whole of this sum in an experiment which promised so well.

It remains to be seen whether half a cent's difference per bushel in grain shipments, the limit of the Government's concessions, will create an export trade, whether it will put into conversion the lake vessels now in ordinary, and whether it will necessitate the use of the entire river fleet instead of a very small number of them as at present. It is but two or three days ago since Mr. Hugh McLennan, President of the Montreal Transportation Company said: "Where there should be a couple of million bushels of grain now on its way to Montreal there is practically nothing, and some eight barges are being employed instead of forty. The remedy I consider for this evil is the abolition of canal tolls, which I think will give more confidence to everybody connected with the trade."

It will be interesting to know what Mr. McLennan thinks of the Government's offer. What do the members of the Montreal Board of Trade think of it? Will it influence the shippers and Montreal Harbour Commissioners and Elevating Companies and induce them to make the reduction in their charges which they offered in the event of the abolition? It may, but we have our doubts.


The tug Thompson left for Charlotte last night.

The arrivals at Swift's were: prop. Alexandra, Trenton; str. Corinthian, Toronto; str. Crusoe, Smith's Falls.

The schr. Kate Eccles has sailed up the Murray Canal from the Bay of Quinte end and discharged 285 tons of coal. She drew 9' of water.

Rathbun's dock - Arrivals: schr. Oliver Mowat, 550 tons coal; sloop Pilot, stone, Rudd's quarry; the sloop Gazelle is loading posts and lumber for Deseronto.

The prop. Ocean has been sold to Graham Bros., of Port Arthur, for $20,000. She is to be succeeded on the Montreal route by the Sir L. Tilley, Neelon's new boat.

The prop. Prussia is all right. So a telegram to a brother of her engineer, from St. Catharines parties, stated on Saturday night. Another telegram last night announced the vessel's arrival at Duluth.

M.T. Co. - Arrivals: schr. Watertown, Chicago, 21,000 bush. wheat; schr. D. Freeman, Whitby, 11,784 bush. peas; schr. Erie Stewart, Owen Sound, 14,428 bush. peas; schr. John Gaskin, Toledo, 37,500 bush. corn; schr. Glenora, Toledo, 43,000 bush. corn. Departures: tug Active for Toledo, with Gaskin and Glenora to load corn; tug Jennie Hall left with six barges for Montreal with 100,000 bush. grain. The schr. Watertown left for Oswego to load coal for Chicago; schr. Freeman left for Napanee to load grain for Oswego.


In November Capt. J.W. Pierce was employed by the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company (composed of Messrs. A.F. Barker, Clayton and Folger Bros., Kingston) to get out the design of a passenger steamer. The Captain obeyed instructions, his model was adopted, and he went to Buffalo and ordered the frames. At Clayton, on Dec. 14th, work was begun on the new steamer, and on Saturday last she was launched. At 1 o'clock the Maud left the Ferry wharf for Clayton, with one hundred people, who desired to witness the launch. The weather was delightful. The air was bracing, and the sun shone out gloriously. After a sail of two hours Clayton was reached. The little town was very active. Bunting was on the main buildings, and on numerous yachts and steamers in the harbor. Over a thousand people assembled in the vicinity of the shipyard, and they did not all belong to the village. Some came from Perch River and from the country back of Clayton. The steamers Puritan and Island Wanderer carried excursionists from Gananoque and Alexandria Bay. When the Maud arrived workmen were already busy loosening the wedges under the steamer. A little after 3 o'clock everything was in readiness, and the first effort was made to launch the craft. She

Slipped Down The Ways

about a foot, and stopped. Ropes were then attached to her bow, and a lot of muscular men pulled for all they were worth, but the ropes broke several times and let down some of the pullers close to the ground. Again the shipwrights got to work, this time with jackscrews as well as ropes, and after about an hour and a half's tugging the boat was moved to the foot of the ways, with her stern in the water. Here she again stopped, much to the vexation of the spectators. At 6 o'clock the majority of those present left for their homes, the feeling having possessed them that the steamer would not then be launched. Capt. Pierce, the designer of the steamer, said he would make one more attempt; if it was not successful he would abandon the job until a later date. This time the power of the Maud was called into requisition. A rope was attached from her stern to that of the new steamer. Everybody now became satisfied that the St. Lawrence would have to slide off this time, but she didn't. The men seized hold of the ropes again, and the Maud labored hard, but still the new steamer remained fast. A second attempt was made by the Maud, however, and the St. Lawrence slid off the ways so gracefully that those on board hardly knew that she was going. As she left the ways the steamers in the harbor whistled terrifically and a "hurrah" went up from the crowd on the dock. The new boat was caught by the strs. Maud and Island Wanderer, and the latter towed her into the dock. She is a handsome steamer, sits prettily in the water, and when completed will be a veritable floating palace.

Dimensions Of The Boat.

She is 100 feet long, 40 ft. beam, width of hull, 25 ft. and depth of hold 7 ft. 4 in.; with her boiler her draught will be 4 ft. 6 in. Her topsides are plated with steel 5 ft. 9 in. wide, and her hull is planked with rock elm from the keel to the steel plate. She will be exclusively a passenger boat, finished and furnished most expensively. Her seats will be plush upholstered and the furniture of the most costly kind. Mirrors, marble-top tables, etc., will adorn her interior. The cabin windows will be of plate glass. These can be opened out four feet, admitting all the air and light required. There will be six state rooms. On the promenade deck will be a refreshment room and smoking room; on her hurricane deck rooms for the captain and pilot. There will be a skylight on this deck, allowing the light to stream down into the cabin and over the stairway.

Excellent Motive Power.

Her boiler was made at the Kingsford boiler works at Oswego. It is of 7/16 steel plate, Fitzgibbons patent, and, without the dome, weighs 22 tons; with the dome and other fixings the weight will be 25 tons. It will be capable of running a 950 (?) horsepower engine. The cost was $6,000. The engine of the new boat has a cylinder 32 inches in diameter, and it has power enough to turn a 17 foot wheel 40 times a minute. It is a 540 horse power. The buckets are 5 1/2 feet long by 2 1/2 feet wide.

Why She Wouldn't Slide.

Mr. Johnston, the owner of the shipyard, was a little disappointed with the launch. He thought the steamer would slide off quite easily, and thinks there must have been something beneath her that held her back. He says he has seen a great many launches at his yard, but he never saw one like that of the St. Lawrence. The steamers Niagara, Cataract, Bay State, Ontario and New York were all built at Clayton, and all of them were launched successfully. The tonnage of these boats averaged 1,250 tons.

Notes of General Interest.

There will be a barber's chair on the St. Lawrence, and a barber will be employed during the season.

The new steamer will be brought to Kingston as soon as her boiler is put in. When finished she will have cost the company about $50,000. She will ply between Cape Vincent and Alexandria Bay in connection with the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg R.R.

Immediately after the launch the Maud steamed out from Clayton on her return trip. The sail, however, was very pleasant, the air not being so chilly as earlier in the day. As soon as the Maud left Clayton a rush was made to Joe Roadley's department, but that gentleman was not taken unawares. He was waiting for the passengers and served up a splendid supper. The city was reached at 9:15 o'clock.

Messrs. H.E. Devendorff, Watertown Times; A. Dewey, Watertown Post; and H. Bellanger, correspondent of the Syracuse Herald and Watertown Times, viewed the launch.

ad - The Great 3 - A Route To The Canadian North West - by C.P.R. steamers Alberta, Algoma and Athabasca.

p.3 Yacht Race Postponed - several yachts not yet launched, very little wind.

Jammed By A Falling Stick - brother of Captain Milligan on schr. Sylvester Neelon got foot jammed by timber.

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May 27, 1884
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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 27, 1884