The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 30, 1886

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p.3 The Ice Becoming Soft - Capt. Abram Malone on way to Garden Island fell through ice but was saved.

A Very Fine Painting - A well executed water-color painting of the yachts Gevesta and Puritan, from the brush of Mr. G. Dix, jr. of Detroit, brother of Capt. Joseph Dix, is on exhibition in T. McAuley's book store window. Mr. Dix, who has been residing in the city during the winter, left for Detroit today.

The Increase In Licenses - ....Vessel licenses, for the great lake system, were $125 each last year. They have been raised $50, making them $175 for 1886.


There is considerable difference of opinion in regard to the opening of navigation and the marine trade. Some vessel men do not think the outlook is at all bright, or that business will increase as the season advances. There are others who say that the vessels will be kept moderately busy, that there will be considerable freight to handle, and that something like living rates will be paid. Already, in American ports, the indications are favourable, and charters at Chicago are higher than they have been at this date in three years. "I know for a fact," said a vessel owner, "that Dunham's fleet have been chartered, some to go to Georgian Bay and some to go to Buffalo. The rate to Buffalo is 5 1/2 cents per bushel on wheat, a figure higher than has been paid in a very long time. I am also told that higher figures have been obtained by other vessels. A few days ago I read that charters to Oswego at 5 1/2 cents per bushel were refused. That was higher than the rate paid during the whole of last year. Another thing I know, that more vessels have changed hands in Chicago and Detroit during the past three weeks than have changed in as many years previously."

The ore trade promises well. More furnaces are going in the States now than heretofore, and of course the best Canadian ore will be in demand. Considerable of the article will be shipped from Kingston. Vessels that have received only 70 cents per ton for carrying ore from Escanaba to Ohio ports have been chartered this year at $1.10 per ton. There will also be a good deal of phosphate handled here. Some of it will be carried across the lake, while considerable will go to Montreal en route for Europe.

Carrying Lumber and Timber.

Of lumber, the sales have eclipsed those of many previous years. More lumber will be sent from Ottawa to Oswego by the Rideau Canal than ever before. Then there will be a good business in posts and ties. As far as square timber is concerned, much of that which came from upper lake ports will be carried by steam barges and consorts. Sailing vessels are not now given much of this freight. "The steambarges can handle it cheaper than we can," said a well known captain. "Ten years ago a timber dealer would charter 100,000 cubic feet for a schooner, which would keep her busy the whole of the season, but now they can get that quantity handled at one trip by the barges and their consorts, and get the stuff to market early in the year." A vessel-owner has chartered his craft from Toledo to Kingston for four loads of timber at $50 per M. cubic feet. This is a remarkably low rate. "I imagine," said Capt. Booth, who was seen after the others had spoken, "that the marine business will be quite brisk after navigation opens."

Kingston vessels will have considerable coal to handle, and if there is an abundant harvest, they will have plenty to do in the fall.

Longshoremen's Charges.

The longshoremen of Oswego have fixed the following schedule of rates for handling cargoes: All vessels and barges of 300,000 feet capacity and over, 25 cents per thousand for the entire season; all vessels and barges under 300,000 feet capacity, 20 cents per thousand until August 1st; after August 1st, 25 cents per thousand; shingles, 4 cents per thousand; lath, 5 cents per thousand; timber, board measure, 35 cents per thousand; hop poles, $3 per thousand; heading, 15 cents per thousand; hard wood, 30 cents per thousand; posts, 30 cents per cord; stave bolts, 35 cents per cord; blocks, 30 cents per cord; cedar ties, 1 1/2 cents apiece; all other ties, 2 cents apiece; telegraph poles, 5 cents apiece. Captains here, who have examined the list, say that the rates are such as they cannot pay, and they advise that in handling timber, etc., the contracts be made f.o.b. in and out, thus letting capital and labor fight the thing out.

Mr. Davis' Shipyard.

This spot is a busy one. The steambarge Freemason has been remodelled as to upper works; two steam yachts are being finished, to be ready for service in May. One of them is for Mr. Miller's use at Peterboro. A large sailboat has been built for Dr. Clarke. The yacht Laura has been lengthened and in part remodelled.

The str. Rideau Belle has been lengthened 16 ft., giving room for an addition of four state rooms and a ladies' cabin. A compound engine, from a Detroit model, being manufactured for her by McEwen & Son, of Kingston, will greatly increase her speed, and make her more popular than ever. She will run to Smith's Falls on the Rideau, connecting with the steamer Olive for Ottawa and Montreal, thus making a through line on a most picturesque route. Capt. ?, of the Rideau Belle will make it very pleasant for passengers and tourists. He will be assisted by Capt. Fleming, formerly of the str. Gypsy.

Repairs To the Sailing Craft.

At Breck & Booth's wharf considerable repairs have been made to the schr. F.J. King. She has been altered from a two-masted to a three-masted vessel. New decks have been added, and such other improvements made as will make her a first class vessel. The cost has been about $3,000. The schr. Jessie H. Breck has also been overhauled and repaired, and will come out wit a new suit of canvas. Her old sails were destroyed by the fire in Lewis' chandlery store. Captains of the vessels are: King, Capt. Griffin; J.H. Breck, Capt. E.A. Booth, jr. The schr. Breck will clear as soon as the ice disappears, for Oswego, where she will load coal for Hamilton, bringing back a cargo of timber.

Extensive repairs have been made to the schr. W.R. Taylor. She has new decks, deck frames and other needed requirements. About $3,000 have been expended upon her. The schrs. White Oak and Herbert Dudley have also undergone needed repairs.

The expenditure in fitting up the steambarge Tecumseh and her consorts, the M.C. Cameron and Cavalier, will reach over $6,000. The work has been under the supervision of Capt. Theo. Allen. The officers of the craft are: Tecumseh, Capt. Manson; M.C. Cameron, Capt. J. Miller; Cavalier, Capt. Anderson.

The List of Captains.

The captains of the other vessels in port are: Schr. Annandale, Capt. Patterson; schr. Folger, Capt. Dandy; schr. Grantham, Capt. Simmons; schr. Oliver Mowat, Capt. J. Saunders; schr. Herbert Dudley, Capt. J. Parsons; schr. White Oak, Capt. Joseph Dix; schr. W. R. Taylor, Capt. James Dix.

Capt. R. Coutts, of Bowmanville, has been engaged to command the schr. Acadia. Capt. Wellbanks, who was in command last year, has opened a lumber and coal yard at South Bay.

A Montrealer will ship over 15,000 tons of iron to the west. The iron will be brought to Kingston on barges and transhipped for its destination into vessels.

The Howe Islanders used the ferry scow at the Narrows to-day. There is an open channel across, but ice above and below.

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March 30, 1886
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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), March 30, 1886