The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 26, 1890

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The steamer Princess Louise, at Collinsby, is receiving a thorough overhauling.

The schooner J.G. Worts and steamer Shickluna are loading wheat at Duluth for Kingston.

The tug Chieftain is having a new cabin placed on her. It is being fitted up in the latest style.

Twelve of the M.T. Co's barges have cleared for Montreal with 250,000 bushels of grain.

The steamer St. Lawrence was brought from her wintering quarters this morning to Folger's wharf.

The reason the Algonquin had to be towed into port yesterday was because her stearing gear had become disabled.

The steamer Antelope brought a number of people from Gananoque on Thursday to see the Minnedosa launched. They were disappointed.

Breck & Booth have chartered the schooner O.S. Storrs to carry lumber to Oswego and the schooner Layton to take ice from Wolfe Island to Cleveland.

Fourteen vessels are now underway in the Wheeler yard, at Bay City, of an estimated value of $1,720,000 giving employment to 1,100 men. James Davidson has nine vessels under way and employs 600 men.

The tug Metamora has sailed for Garden Island from Toronto with consorts F. Russell, L. Manley, and A. Benson, loaded with timber. This tug was rebuilt last winter at Port Dalhousie. The boiler was taken from Scotland. The plate is one inch in thickness and bears the stamp of Lloyd's.

Capt. D.H. Lyon has bought a steamer for car service between Ogdensburg and Prescott to take the place of the steamer Armstrong. She is known by the name of the Southeastern and hails from Sorel, Quebec. She is 185' long and carries 5 cars. This boat is only 3 years old, is staunch and seaworthy. Mr. Lyon is preparing to bring her to Ogdensburg. She will take her place on June 1st.

U.S. Marshal Matton had a peculiar experience the other day. He went to seize the schooner A.E. Vickery libelled by Alexander Bain for wreckage, etc., the amount claimed being $902.79. The Vickery was sunk last August on the head of Well's Island. The question was how to make the seizure of a vessel which is out of sight. In this dilemma Mr. Bain produced a suit of diving armour which Mr. Mattoon put on and went down to the vessel and made the seizure in true naval style. Not finding a convenient place upon which to affix his notice, he came up again and placed it upon a tree near at hand. Mr. Mattoon also found and took possession of the tackle, etc., saved from the wreck and gave it in charge of Mr. Essletynn of Clayton.



A Sketch of the Vessel and the Fine Work Put Upon Her - She Will Go

Into the Grain Trade - The Launch Was Partially Successful.

Today the four masted schooner Minnedosa was launched. She is considered by marine experts the finest vessel on fresh water. Across the line there are larger but none with better model, better material or better workmanship. She was built and is owned by the Montreal Transportation Company.

Her dimensions are: Length of keel, 243 feet; length over all, 250 feet; breadth of beam, 38 feet; depth of hold, 17 feet. She is built of oak except her deck and cabin. She is steel strapped having a plate eighteen inches wide by three quarter inches thick going all around the frame; at top height from stem on each side to quarter timber strength is increased with double built straps, and from the steel plate diagonal braces run down around the bilge, running on the floor frame a distance of 2 1/2 feet. These diagonal braces cross each other on the sides three times making what is called a six foot square. The steel braces are 4 1/2 inches wide by three quarter inches thick and well bolted throughout.

Her frame is of oak from 7 1/4 inch flitch; her centres are 19 1/2 inches, depth of frame at floor seventeen inches, depth at bilge thirteen inches, depth of top timbers eight inches. Her rail is eighteen inches wide by five inches thick; her covering board is twenty inches wide by five inches thick. Her planking outside, from the top of bilge to the covering board, is five inches thick, except three strakes, which are 5 1/2 inches. The planking will average fifty feet long. Her outside bilge is six inches thick, her bottom plank five inches thick. She has two streaks of garboards on each side of keel 7 1/2 inches thick, scarphed and edge bolted between each frame. Her inside bilge is eight inches thick and scarphed. Her clamps and ceiling are six inches thick and scarphed down the bottom of the bilge to the top of the clamps between every frame on each clamp. She is edge bolted with 7/8 inch iron.

Her main kelson is built consisting of sixty-five sticks of oak fourteen inches square, five sticks in the bottom tier, three sticks in the second tier, two sticks in the top tier, leaving a space between the two sticks which forms the salt chamber and for the deck stanchions, all bolted with 1 1/4 inch iron. Besides the main kelson she has six assistant kelsons fourteen inches square, having what is called a double floor. She is double decked, having two shelves on each side thirty-six inches wide by seven inches thick, double deck frames the whole way through. She has hanging iron knees, 140 in number, weighing 400 lbs. each. Her fastenings consist of hand made spikes, two in each plank and frame and two through bolts through each plank and frame from stem to stern, besides the edge bolting.

She has a centreboard box and board. A steam windlass and capstan, purchased from the American Ship Moulders company, Providence, Rhode Island. Her steering gear, the latest improved, came from Boston. She has a steam winch, purchased in the old country. The steam boiler was built in the Kingston foundry. The steam winch will be used in making sail, weighing anchor, and for other purposes.

She has a handsome, roomy cabin constructed in the most modern style, panelled inside and out, except the sides of cabin outside. The timber used is birch, burr oak and ash. James Black looked after this and the joiner work.

The figure-head, cut water, etc., forward, was especially designed for her by N. Henderson, and is in the style of ornamentation known as the "Cinque Cento." The figure-head represents Ceres, Grecian goddess of harvest, with the inexhaustable horns of Amalthea inverted, out of which is pouring the bountiful harvest of corn, wheat, barley, etc., and symbolizing the grain trades of the lakes.

The head rails are intended as the main support of the cutwater and figure head and are ornamented with a beaver holding a maple leaf in his mouth, the animal and vegetable emblems of the nation and also symbolic of industry. The name is also written on the head rails in italic characters to correspond with the curved lines in the rest of the ornamentation. The whole is carved in relief and gilded with pure gold leaf, with the exception of the figure head, which is painted white. The stern is ornamented to correspond with the name Minnedosa, meaning "silent waters."

The carving was done by S.J. Busch, and the painting and gilding by Savage Bron. The vessel is painted black with two orange stripes on her bulwarks. She is fitted out with sails by Oldrieve & Horn. The model was prepared by James Roney, the head foreman in her construction. The work was superintended by Capt. Gaskin.

The vessel will class A1 for ten years, and will carry 20,000 bushels of wheat at a draught of sixteen feet water, and cost $70,000. Capt. Geoghegan will be in command. The vessel, while under construction, has been closely watched by Capt. Thomas Taylor, marine inspector, who represents the underwriters. He is pleased with her and this means considerable.

Long before ten o'clock about six thousand persons assembled at the shipyard to see the launch. At half past eleven o'clock the signal, for the tugs to haul her off, was given. She went down the ways into the water very slowly. It was expected that everything would have worked well but as soon as the tugs let go of the boat she stopped. An attempt was made by the tugs Active, Bronson, and Walker to haul her off the ways but she would not move an inch. She is in the water with the exception of a few feet of the bow, she having gone into the lake stern first. It is said that her stern is in the sand while others say the ways under the bow are broken.

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Date of Original:
April 26, 1890
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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), April 26, 1890