The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 9, 1890

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The Board of Trade Taking Up The Matter.

(part) A letter was read from the minister of marine, stating that in the matter of providing range lights for Kingston harbor attention would be given to it.

The president suggested that the board should discuss a very important matter, the erection of a large grain elevator in the city. If some steps were not taken in the matter at once the city would be a sufferer to a great extent. The grain business was one of the mainstays of the place, and if it were lost many men would be thrown out of work and have to move elsewhere to gain a livelihood. There was, at present, a project on foot to have all the grain brought down the lakes transhipped and stored at Ogdensburg until such time as the Montreal forwarders wanted it. A large elevator will be erected at that place for the purpose of storing the grain. If this scheme is carried into effect the interests of the citizens of Kingston will be greatly effected, and speedy action is necessary to prevent this change taking place.

Mr. Muckleston said that the matter should be attended to. The grain business, as it is in connection with ship building, is the most important enterprise in the city, and should be retained if practicable. Statements have appeared in the public press to the effect that certain parties engaged in the grain business have caused grain to be transhipped at Ogdensburg. This has been done as a matter of business, and the citizens should face the matter immediately and take steps towards stopping it. The transhipment of grain at Ogdensburg would affect the business of the city, and besides, it was a national matter. It will affect the business of the canals, upon which a great deal of money has been spent by the government. The Kingston board should, in its efforts to prevent the change referred to in the marine business, endeavor to enlist the assistance of boards of trade in other cities in the matter. If the grain trade is to be retained by Kingston a large storehouse will have to be erected immediately. If it is advisable to put up this building, now was the time to take action.

A. Chadwick concurred with Mr. Muckleston. Anything that affected the grain business touched the lumber business. The reason boats can be got to load timber here is because they come here with grain and their owners are satisfied to carry lumber back to American ports. They would rather load lumber than clear light. If vessels will not come here with grain, it will be a difficult matter to get boats to carry lumber away which comes from Ottawa. If vessels cannot be secured for the lumber trade it will mean that millions of feet of lumber will pass by the way of Brockville instead of coming to Kingston. He thought it would be a good scheme to build a large elevator here.

Capt. Gaskin said the scheme of building a large grain elevator here had been suggested to the M.T. company, but it could not afford to put it up. An elevator should be erected here, and if this was done the grain coming from the west would have to be transhipped here. The government would not likely allow a rebate on grain, transhipped at Ogdensburg, merely for purpose of storage. The Montreal forwarders would, of course, handle grain at a place where it can be done cheapest. If Kingston has not the facilities it will be transferred to Ogdensburg. He had urged strongly the building of an elevator here.

Mr. Muckleston read a statement from an article in a Montreal paper relating to the contemplated change in the grain business. The writer stated that unfortunately no large storehouses for grain were in Kingston. This looked as if the necessary storehouses were here the change would not have to take place.

Capt. Gaskin said it would be strange if the government would spend millions of dollars on canals and allow American boats coming through them to tranship their grain at Ogdensburg. The transhipment of grain at that place would affect the whole grain trade of Canada. The most of the grain coming through the lakes is shipped from American ports and if the transhipment occurs at Ogdensburg only American vessels will carry grain. If the forwarders can get their grain stored at Ogdensburg it will not come to the city.

Mr. Muckleston asked if a large elevator was erected here would there be any danger of another elevator being erected at Montreal.

G. Richardson said that if another elevator was erected at Montreal Kingston would not suffer provided there was a large elevator here.

In an answer to a question as to whether the government had assisted in the erection of large grain storehouses at Port Arthur Capt. Gaskin said that part of the money granted by the government to the C.P.R. had been used in erecting them. An elevator capable of holding a million bushels of grain should be erected here.

Mr. Gildersleeve said the board should talk for a very large elevator. It would not be wise to agitate on a small scale.

Mr. Muckleston wanted to know if the United States government was assisting Ogdensburg in the matter of erecting a large elevator there.

Mr. Gildersleeve said that they had nothing to do with what the United Stated government did in this matter. The government of each country looked after its own affairs.

It was moved by Mr. Richardson, seconded by Mr. Gildersleeve, "That in the opinion of this board the establishment of adequate facilities for warehousing grain at this port has now become indispensable in the interests of the carrying trade of the St. Lawrence, as well as those of the Canadian lake marine; that so far as advised the cost of such facilities are beyond commercial enterprise, and this board, therefore, recommends their erection for the consideration of the dominion government in connection with the canal system and in the general interests of the country."

Mr. Gildersleeve, in speaking to the motion, said that if a state of things occurred in the course of the grain trade that is not within the limits of commercial enterprise, then it becomes as much the duty of the government to take care of the grain trade of the country as it is to build canals. In the matter of building elevators they must look forward and count on the increase of the grain business. In these days when vessels are becoming larger and grain growing in the west is increasing, they should consider the matter of erecting grain warehouses that will not only be adequate to the present trade, but will be adequate for it when it reaches large proportions. The Welland canal was built small at first and had to be enlarged. It was enlarged to accommodate the trade, and at the present time it is not adequate. The canal between Lake Huron and Lake Superior was built so large that there was no probability of a vessel ever being built that would not go through it. If an elevator was built at Kingston he urged that it be a large one, for it would only be a short time when they would see a renewed agitation for an increase in the size of the Welland canal. There are many vessels afloat now that are too large to pass through it. When the matter of building an elevator is considered they should build it with a view to the probable grain trade of the country in the future. This was too important a matter to be neglected by the board. If this matter is let pass Kingston will lose the transhipment of millions of bushels of grain. They should look at their own interests in this matter, and the only hope they had is that the government will look after the city's interests by disallowing rebates in grain coming through Canadian canals and transhipped at Ogdensburg. He hoped the board would act quickly in the matter.

It was moved by J. Hewton, seconded by W. McRossie, "That the president of the board, James Minnes, Messrs. Muckleston, G. Robertson, C.F. Gildersleeve and Capt. Gaskin be a committee to confer with the Dominion government and correspond with other boards of trade in the Dominion and parties generally interested in marine and obtain their opinion and support in this undertaking, namely, having an elevator erected to meet the grainary necessities of the trade." Carried.

Mr. Hewton said it was the duty of the people of the city to help the agitation along.

Capt. Gaskin said the Toronto people would help the agitation, because the largest vessels on the lakes in the grain business was owned in that city.

It was moved by Mr. Cunningham, seconded by Mr. Skinner, "That the government be memorialized not to allow the rebate on grain transhipped at American ports." Carried.



The steambarge Freemason, from Ottawa, is discharging lumber here.

The schr. White Oak arrived from Oswego with 361 tons coal.

The schr. Katie Eccles arrived from Colborne with 6,666 bushels peas.

The schr. Ella Murton arrived at Charlotte to load coal for T.O.

The tug Jessie Hall left last evening for Montreal with 2 barges loaded with grain.

The schr. Maggie L. cleared for Cape Vincent with lumber.

The schrs. Gaskin and Glenora cleared for Port Arthur with railroad iron.

The prop. Algonquin arrived with 67,000 bush of wheat from Toledo.

The steam yacht Indiana, which was sunk in Rideau river, was in port yesterday.

Ex-Alderman W.W. Farley, of Toronto, is now manager of Eurydice, formerly the Hastings.

The str. Spartan collided with Swift's dock and tore part of its timber away.

The tug Thompson departed for Toledo last evening with 2 barges to load grain for Kingston.

The prop. John G. Lain, from Port Superior with 40,000 bushels of wheat, arrived at Portsmouth yesterday.

Yesterday tug C. Ferris arrived from Oswego light. She will take back 2 barges of lumber.

Arrivals: str. Algerian, Toronto; Pilgrim, Charlotte; Persia, St. Catharines; Spartan, Montreal. Cleared: str. Celtic with lighthouse supplies.

American tourists appreciate crew of Rideau Belle.

The schr. Antelope, from Toledo to Garden Island with timber, and the schr. Muir, from Toledo to Collinsby with timber, passed Port Colborne yesterday.

The schr. A. Falconer, from Fairhaven, is discharging coal at Ogdensburg. She will carry stone to T.O.

The schr. Picton is unloading coal at Gananoque.

The schr. Persia ran on pier at Belleville, tug Bonar helped release her.

Captains are having a hard time getting crew because of low wages.

The new oak masthead for sch. Grantham at Garden Island, now loading ore for Astabula, she will carry about 735 tons.

The steam yacht Whistle Wing being fitted out.

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July 9, 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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 9, 1890