The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 2, 1887

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The tug Mason and consorts are ashore near Merrickville.

The schr. Jessie Breck has arrived from Oswego, with 400 tons of coal.

The schrs. Acacia, Herbert Dudley and Annie Falconer are in Toronto.

The prop. Tilley and consorts, from Duluth, have arrived with over 100,000 bushels of grain.

James Quinn succeeded in saving 158 barrels of pork from the wrecked steamer California. He states that the hull is in first class shape and can be raised.

The barge Colborne, owned by the M.T. Co., which some time ago broke away from a tow during a gale and sank near Valleyfield, has been raised and brought to the city.

The str. Bruno, towing the schrs. Laura and Maggie McCrae, grain laden from Chicago for Kingston, went on the rock off Thunder Bay Island. After throwing overboard about 1,000 bushels she worked off, leaking.


A Great Day For Deseronto.

The new steel steamer Cibola, for the Niagara navigation company, was successfully launched at Deseronto yesterday afternoon. The steamers Quinte, Varuna, Reindeer, Armenia and other steamers brought large parties of excursionists from Napanee, Belleville, Trenton, Picton and other places, while great numbers drove in from all sections of the adjoining district to witness the launch of the big vessel, until about 3,000 visitors had assembled in the town. At 12:30 p.m. a special Pullman car arrived from Toronto, containing a party consisting of the following persons, viz.: Hon. Frank Smith, president of the Niagara Navigation company; Barlow Cumberland, vice-president; R.H. McBride, treasurer; and John Foy, manager; Messrs. W.J. Meneelly, R. St. John, and Capt. Dick, inspectors; Messrs. J.H. Haggerty and W.A. Geddes, vessel owners; Messrs. John Donaldson, J. Munro, Gus Foy and Austin Smith; Mrs. John McMurrich, Mrs. Skae, Mrs. A.F. Campbell and Miss Constance Cumberland. About 1:30 p.m. the work of launching the vessel commenced under the direction of Messrs. Lamoth and Evans. There were thousands of spectators who covered every point of vantage, roofs of buildings, lumber piles, etc. The vessel itself was gaily decorated with flags, and bunting was flying from buildings and vessels in the harbour. The timbers were wedged tight, and the blocks were split and removed amid great excitement. Presently, after the last block was removed there was a slight tremor, a slow motion, and the gallant craft began her course down the greased ways into the water. As she moved off Miss Constance Cumberland, who with the other visitors stood on a raised platform near the bow, dashed a bottle of wine against the stem and thus christened the new steamer Cibola. The vessel plunged gracefully into the water, the crowd cheering, ladies waving handkerchiefs and exhibiting other signs of delight. It was a very successful launch in every sense of the term. The Cibola was subsequently towed to the dock by the tug Rescue.

The launch was an event of no ordinary importance in the history of Deseronto. It marked the beginning of a new epoch in the history of shipbuilding on the lake waters of Canada. The Cibola is a paddle steamship of the following dimensions: Extreme length over deck, 258 ft.; depth of hold , 11 ft.; breadth of beam 28 ft. 6 in.; width over all, 51 ft.; draught of water, 6 ft. 6 in. She is built throughout of Dalzell steel, which is the best known to shipbuilders, every plate being warranted. She is the largest vessel of her kind ever built in Canada, being one third heavier and stronger, for example, than the steamers which ply between Montreal and Quebec.

The construction of the vessel was entrusted by the owners to W.C. White, shipbuilder, Montreal. Mr. White, a native of Scotland, came to this country in 1853. The first work in which he was engaged was the rebuilding of the str. Iron Duke, at Sorel. He afterwards started business on his own account and build all the iron steamers of the original Richelieu Company with the exception of the Montreal, constructing also the boilers of these vessels. He subsequently started a shop in Montreal where he had charge of building one half of the famous Victoria bridge, having also enjoyed the honor of driving the last rivet with H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. He built the steamer Peerless for the Ottawa Navigation Company; a steel steamer, 150 ft. in length, for Mr. Cockburn, of Muskoka; and a composite side-wheel steamer for Capt. Murphy, of Pembroke. The Campana, built in England, he cut in two at Montreal, took through the canals and rebuilt at Port Dalhousie. He also cut in two three steames for the C.P.R. company, put in water tight bulkheads, and took them to Buffalo, where they were put together for service on the upper lakes. The work of the Cibola was supervised by James R. Mansell, C.E., of England.

The Cibola will be propelled by a pair of the finest compound side wheel engines which have been fitted with all the latest improvements. They were built on the Clyde and will be supplied with six steel boilers, each 16 feet long and 8 ft. in diameter and developing 2,680 horse power. Her estimated speed will be about 21 miles an hour and her carrying capacity about 1,600. All the ship's carpentry work was executed by Paul Lamothe, shipbuilder, Montreal. Mr. Lamothe is at present building for the Dominion government a very large and powerful dredge for canal service, and as a specimen of the light craft of which he has acquired fame as a builder we mention the handsome pleasure yacht Nama which he launched last summer to the order of Mr. Angus, president of the Bank of Montreal, and which is a perfectly beautiful model of a family yacht. The saloon and joiner work will be carried out by Mr. DeBruay, of Montreal. The cabins and saloons will be fitted and furnished with all the modern arrangements for comfort and convenience.

The work of construction was commenced in Deseronto on 24th May, and has prosecuted almost uninterruptedly since. The work was greatly expedited by the splendid facilities afforded by the works of the Rathbun company.

The Niagara navigation company, in building the Cibola, which is a sister ship to the well known Chicora, intends placing her next summer on the same route between Toronto and Lewiston.

The minister of customs was present at the launch, and also a number of reporters from the Toronto press. The visitors from Toronto were entertained to a sumptuous luncheon at the residence of E.W. Rathbun, where they remained until the train left for the west this morning. They expressed themselves delighted with the trip, and with all they saw in busy Deseronto. The streets of Deseronto were crowded all afternoon with visitors. The Rathbun company band turned out and played a number of selections. It was in all respects an eventful day in Deseronto.

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Nov. 2, 1887
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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), Nov. 2, 1887