The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 4, 1884

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The schr. Fabiola is loading lumber for Oswego.

The schr. Philo Bennett is at Wolfe Island unloading 200 tons of coal.

Schr. Gearing arrived yesterday with 90 cords of wood from South Bay.

The sloop Lorraine left today with 4,200 bushels of wheat for Deseronto.

The schr. T.J. King, from Toledo, is discharging timber at Garden Island.

The schr. Seabird, Trenton, is discharging wood at the Grove Inn; so is the sloop Lorraine from the same place.

The following steamers called at Swift's since Saturday: Algerian, Montreal; Norseman, Charlotte; Corsican, Montreal; Persia, Montreal, and Ontario, Clayton. The schr. Elgin, from Oswego, is discharging 183 tons coal.

The steamer Ontario, formerly the Flower City, ran into port yesterday from Oswego. She is quite a handsome boat, somewhat resembling the Maud. She is running in connection with the Ontario & Western R.R. and will be in port here at 2 and 10 p.m. daily.

On Saturday the tug Wright, one of the K. & M. Co.'s elevators and a barge left for the relief of the schr. Halstead, which ran hard on the rocks opposite Snake Island on Tuesday night before. After the vessel had been lightened of 6,000 bushels of grain the tug hauled her off. Her injuries are light.

M.T. Co. - Arrivals: schr. J. Magee, Chicago, 21,000 bush. wheat; tug Thompson, four barges, Montreal, light; tug Active and barges, Oswego, 1,800 tons coal. Departures: tug Active, for Charlotte, three barges, light; tug Thompson and barges, for Montreal, 1,800 tons coal, and 60,000 bush. grain.

W. Derry has left the St. Lawrence in charge of Mr. Dickson, and returned to the city to take charge of the Maud with which he has been so long and favourably connected as engineer. Mr. Gillie takes his old place upon the Pierrepont, and Mr. Heaslip replaces Mr. R. Marshall on the Princess Louise. Mr. Marshall has gone west.



Belleville Yachts Win Honors In The First and Second Class Races

Gananoque's Boat Takes First In Third Class

Yacting is always popular, but it is something which the people generally know very little of. It looks easy enough to pull the ropes and hoist the sails and handle the tiller, but that's where the majority of the people "get left." Emergencies often occur which require great tact and skill. There are so many kinds of boats that to the uninitiated the term yacht is very obscure. The most thoroughly comprehensive definition of a yacht was that given to a greenhorn from the interior by an oily longshoreman. The countryman, pointing to different crafts, asked if they were yachts. The replies came in the negative, and finally, half distracted, the ruralist explained, "What is a yacht anyway?" The longshoreman scratched his head, conjured up his thoughts, and answered: "Well, you takes any kind of a craft you please, fills her up with good liquor and fine cigars, invites all your friends aboard, and goes off and has a __ of a good time. That's wot's a yot." In its broadest sense a yacht is any kind of a craft used for pleasure. Some years ago yachting developed into a kind of fever with people here. In time the fever subsided, but this year it has revived, a strong club was formed, and today our citizens witnessed the best regatta that has occurred in the harbour for a very long time. The meeting was under the Lake Yachting Club's rules. The entries embraced some of the finest crafts, American and Canadian, on Lake Ontario.

A Review of Records.

In the first class race the costliest boat is the Aileen, owned by John Leys, Commodore of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto, and W.G. Gooderham. She cost $10,000, cutter rigged, and was built in 1882 from designs made by Watson, of Glasgow. She is of medium capacity, has a measurement of 60 tons, a standing keel, and has 28 tons of lead on her keel. She carries the championship flag of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and her owners hold the Prince of Wales cup, awarded by the same organization. In her initial race this season at Oswego she took the first honors. She is decidedly handsome, is well equipped, and a credit to the city from which she hails. She has a crew of twelve.

The yacht Norah, owned by R.J. Bell, of Belleville, is also quite handsome. Her cabin is particularly tasty. She was built in 1879, at Trenton, and named the Bloodhound. In 1881 Mr. Bell bought and rebuilt her, at the same time changing her name. She has no record, accidents in the past having prevented her from securing the places she was expected to take in races. Mr. Bell this season fitted her out with new canvas (made by Oldrieve & Horn) and at Deseronto lately he had her scraped and leaded and put in shape for service. Luck seemed to be with her, as before Mr. Bell left Belleville a horse-shoe was found, and the first thing he stumbled upon here was the curved iron dropped from another horse's hoof. Both these now hang on the cabin door. The Mascotte, on board the craft, is a pretty black dog. The Norah's crew numbers thirteen.

The Verve, also in the first class race, is a Scottish craft, brought to this country by Robert Cochrane. She has a good record, both in the old country and Toronto harbor. She is a pretty boat with but little deck room; but she "a diel to run."

The Garfield, the fourth boat in the race, belongs to the genial Commodore of the Kingston Club, a genuine yachtsman. She was built at Portsmouth in 1878, by Capt. Pierce, and named by Dr. Curtis the G.S. Oldrieve. In 1881 she was rebuilt and named the General Garfield. She has a good record, having taken no less than three first prizes, three seconds and one third. In 1882 she won a silver cup, and made the unprecedented time of 41 miles in 4 hours and ten minutes, twenty miles being dead to windward.

The Second Class Yachts.

Among the second class yachts the Katie Gray has the leading record. She was built in 1875 at Cobourg, was owned by William Campbell, of Belleville, for many years, but is now the property of W.B. Phelps, jr., Vice Commodore of the Oswego Club. She has beaten the yachts Surprise, Ella and Emma in matched races, has won 17 first prizes, 10 seconds and 4 thirds. Mr. Phelps has rebuilt her and she now has the prettiest cabin of any craft on fresh water. She is indeed a flyer.

The Iolanthe, the property of five Belleville gentlemen, Messrs. W.H. Bigger, (Commodore of the Belleville fleet), Jenkins, Clarke, Starling and Sutherland, was built by Cuthbert in 1883, and in her maiden race took second money. She was second at Toronto and Cobourg in 1883, and at Oswego last week took first place. She is in fine trim and the best of Cuthbert's boats.

The Gracie, of Belleville, was built by R. Roy, her owner, and is said to be very fleet. She has won positions in a few local races. She carries a crew of seven.

The Laura, of Kingston, was built in 1882, by W. Robinson, and is owned by T. McK. Robertson. She has been in several races and taken first place in most of them. She has met with accidents, however, that have thrown her out of competitions when she led. She is very pretty and fast.

Sailing Masters of Today.

Aileen - Capt. A. Sanders.

Verve - R. Cochrane.

Norah - W. Black.

Garfield - H. Cunningham.

Katie Gray - A. Cuthbert.

Iolanthe - Daw Claus.

Gracie - H. Carvette.

Laura - Capt. Baillie.

First Class Race.

From moorings off Grand Trunk Wharf, thence to buoy off Abbott's Point, thence to buoy off foot of Simcoe Island, thence to place of starting, thence to buoy off Four Mile Point, thence to place of starting and repeat.

First Prize - $120.

Second " - ?

Third " - ?

The morning broke dull and heavy, and at 9 a.m. rain fell, but shortly before 10 o'clock the weather cleared, the sun occasionally peeping from behind the clouds. The wind blew from the southwest and at times it was quite huffy. The first class boats were started ? out at 10:22 o'clock; at 10:27 o'clock the second whistle was blown; five minutes later the boats crossed the line in the following order:

Aileen, J. Leys, Toronto 10 h 34 m 20 s.

Norah, R.J. Bell, Belleville 10 32 30

Garfield, Dr. Curtis, Kingston 10 36 10

Verve, B. Cochrane, Toronto 10 33 00

Sail was crowded on as the yachts made for George's barn. The Garfield, which had been hurriedly got into place, went to windward. The first buoy was rounded thus:

Norah 10 h 52 m 30 s

Verve 10 54 30

Aileen 10 55 00

Garfield 10 57 00

The Norah was now cutting through the water beautifully, and fast gaining upon the others. The Aileen presently passed the Verve and took second place; the Garfield was doing poorly as her gaff topsail would not work. In the tack for Simcoe Island the Norah and Garfield were handled best. The Verve went too far towards the penitentiary. The wind was quite fresh at this point, and the yachts got about the buoy in this manner:

Norah 11 h 43 m 30 s

Aileen 11 49 00

Garfield 11 57 30

Verve not taken.

As they came down the lake and into the harbour, with all sails set, they presented a magnificent appearance. The positions were not much changed, being thus:

Norah 12 04 10

Aileen 12 14 20

Garfield 12 19 15

Verve 12 29 00

The yachts skimmed across the channel past Garden Island and thence some distance apart, to Four Mile Point, the buoy at which they passed thus:

Norah 12 52 45

Aileen 1 04 15

Garfield 1 10 00

Verve not taken.

The Verve was so close to the head of Garden Island that those on the referee's boat became quite anxious about her. It was wonderful how she avoided the shoal. The Norah came down the lake with great spread of sail. The Garfield missed the Four Mile Point buoy and lost several minutes in consequence. The Verve was virtually out of the race. The time at home buoy was:

Norah 1 13 50

Aileen 1 23 30

Garfield 1 30 55

Verve 1 43 25

In the run to Wolfe Island the Garfield did exceedingly well, the wind having changed to the west. The Norah was, of course, well in front, the Aileen second. They rounded and got off upon the next tack thus:

Norah 1 30 45

Aileen 1 42 35

Garfield 1 49 00

Verve not taken.

The wind was excellent for the first class boats, but the Norah maintained the lead well. The boats passed the home buoy and entered upon the last round as follows:

Norah 2 32 00

Aileen 2 44 00

The Garfield lost considerable time, so that there is little probability of her taking any but third prize. When the results of the second and third classes became known public interest lessened, and the people began to leave the wharves. The race will probably conclude about 4 p.m., and our readers can determine results.

Later - The Norah passed Four Mile Point at 3:22 o'clock, ten minutes ahead of the Aileen. She presented a beautiful appearance. Every sail was set. The yachts passed the winning buoys as follows:

Norah 3 43 25

Aileen 3 54 50

Garfield 4 4 50

Verve 4 27 30

The Aileen had to allow the Garfield about 13 1/4 minutes, so that it is probable the Kingston craft receives second money. The yachts in port received the first class ones with cannon volleys.

Boats Of The Second Class.

From moorings off Grand Trunk Wharf, thence to buoy off Abbott's Point, thence to buoy off foot of Simcoe Island, thence to place of starting and repeat.

First prize $80

Second " 40

Third " 20

The second-class boats were given an anchor start at 10:58:45, the following being in the race:

Laura, T. McK. Robertson, Kingston.

Iolanthe, W.H. Bigger, Belleville.

Katie Gray, W.B. Phelps, Oswego.

Gracie, R.M. Roy, Belleville.

Victoria, G. Offord, Kingston.

Away they went in good shape, the start being as pretty a one as was ever witnessed in Kingston, and on this occasion the spectators lined the wharves in thousands. The wind was light at the start, but bye and bye it suited everybody. On the way to George's barn the crafts kept close together. The buoy was rounded as follows:

Iolanthe 11 19 00

Katie Gray 11 19 15

Laura 11 20 00

Gracie 11 22 48

Victoria 11 23 20

The crafts made for Simcoe Island buoy as fast as possible, the first place lying between the Iolanthe and Katie Gray. The Laura was sailed well in rear of those mentioned, but ahead of the Gracie. The time was not taken as they passed Simcoe Island buoy. On the stretch back to the city they ran better and faster than the first class yachts, passing the buoy in this order:

Iolanthe 12 27 28

Katie Gray 12 31 25

Laura 12 34 45

Gracie 12 35 50

Victoria time not taken

The Victoria was really sailing with the third class yachts and the Verve with the second. In starting for George's barn, on the second round, the Iolanthe led with the Katie Gray close in her wake. The Laura and Gracie were having a lively time of it for third place. The Victoria was simply nowhere. The Iolanthe gained on the stretch to Simcoe Island and turned the buoy at 1:33, quite a distance ahead of the Katie Gray. She (line unreadable) with all sails set. The Laura and Gracie were still having it nip and tuck for third place. The race was a pretty one throughout, and when it ended the time taken was:

Iolanthe 1 49 20

Katie Gray 2 00 01

Laura 2 02 45

Gracie 2 11 05

Victoria not taken.

The Iolanthe beat the Katie Gray 10 min. 41 sec. The Gracie came in minus her topmast.

Third Class Race.

From moorings off Grand Trunk Wharf, thence to buoy off Abbott's Point, thence to buoy off foot of Simcoe Island, thence to place of starting, thence to buoy off foot of Simcoe Island and back to starting point.

First prize $40

Second " 20

Third " 10

Wideawake, J.R. Strange, Kingston.

Merlin, A. Cartwright, Kingston.

Shadow, F. LeQue, Gananoque.

Mischief, F. Partison, Toronto.

Mabel, J. Moore, Gananoque.

Valentine, G. Creeggan, Kingston.

Amelia, J. Fisher, Portsmouth.

Emma, H. Tomlinson, Kingston.

Yolande, G. Kirkpatrick, Kingston.

These yachts started at a signal at 10:45 o'clock, and the sight was exceedingly pleasing. The Merlin and Mabel led. The Merlin passed the buoy first, and the Mabel half a minute behind. The race was quite exciting as far as the first three or four yachts were concerned, and they created much interest as they made for Simcoe Island. On the home stretch, for the first time, the Mabel, of Gananoque, took first place. The Merlin was about half a minute behind; the others were away in the rear. The Mabel and Merlin rounded the Simcoe Island buoy ahead of several of the second class yachts, and the run down the lake was made the more interesting. The amount of canvas displayed by the smaller crafts was simply wonderful. The winning boats crossed the line as follows:

Mabel 1 51 05

Merlin 1 55 00

Shadow 2 01 10

The other yachts were far in the rear. The Merlin would have been in a few minutes sooner had she not lost a jib, which got under her bows.

Our Water Recreation - excursions, etc., on Maud, Hero.

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Date of Original:
Aug. 4, 1884
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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
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 4, 1884