The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 31, 1890

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p.1 The Late Alex Smythe - harbor master and clerk of market, dies; he was appointed to the position on the death of his brother Archibald; he was the first to take the str. Osprey to Halifax (it is now rotten in Burlington Bay); also the first to take out the tug Wales.


Captain W.B. Hall, of Toronto, in talking to a Globe reporter about the lake vessel industry said: "The Americans have the advantage of us in every shape. The bulk of the trade is in American grain, and, naturally, the tendency is to send that grain through by American ports. When that is done, as, for instance, when grain is taken from Duluth to Buffalo, a Canadian vessel cannot take it under the coasting laws of the United States. The only Canadian coasting trade proper of Canada is from Port Arthur to Kingston for transhipment to Montreal. This trade is not large enough or constant enough, however, to give our lake marine a paying business. A great deal has been done in the shipment of grain from Americans ports for Kingston, there to be transhipped to Montreal. I understand that there is a movement afoot which, if successful, will take this trade away from us. You understand that hitherto the vessels have gone to Kingston and transhipped their grain cargoes to the barges of the transportation companies, to be carried by them down the river and through the canal to Montreal. The transportation companies have hitherto fleeced the vessel owners. That's not too strong a word - "fleeced." Put it down and say I said it. They have taken a much larger proportion of the through rate than was properly their share."

Mr. Hall here produced a telegram offering 3 1/2 cents freight on corn from Duluth to Montreal.

"That rate is low enough, but of that rate the transportation companies demand 2 1/2 cents for their share in carrying the grain from Kingston to Montreal. That is to say, the vessel makes a trip of about a thousand miles for one cent a bushel, and the transportation companies, for about 160 miles of river and canal navigation, get two and one-half times as much. Besides this the vessel must pay her tonnage in the Welland canal. As if this was not enough, the transportation companies have never provided proper facilities for the trade. Instead of having an elevator into which a vessel could discharge her cargo at once on reaching Kingston, ready to go out again in a few hours, they provide the barges only, into which the grain is placed direct. If there happens to be a rush of grain, employing all the barges, the vessel must simply wait at Kingston until the barges are forthcoming. One does not know until he reaches Kingston whether he can discharge his vessel's cargo promptly or not. Now this state of things has led certain parties to start a scheme for making Ogdensburg the point of transhipment for Montreal. Elevators are to be built and all the facilities for the trade provided. This will be a great disadvantage, not to Kingston alone, but to the Canadian shipping interest generally, for it will cut our vessels out of the cargoes from any American port to Ogdensburg, and this will be a really serious matter. The Kingston people, instead of showing enterprise in their own port individually or on the part of their city, have proposed in public meeting, I see, to ask the dominion government to provide or help to provide the necessary elevator accommodation. They have benefitted more by the shipping than any other port, I believe, and now they propose not to use some of the wealth they have thus gained to equip their port as it should have been equipped years ago, but they propose to seek these benefits at the hands of the country at large. I was one of those who actively helped the general agitation which resulted in securing the vote from the dominion for the dry dock now in progress of construction, but I decidedly object to this last proposal. Kingston should provide this accommodation herself and should provide it soon. An elevator with a capacity of 200,000 bushels could be built, I believe, for about $150,000, which is only a small portion of what Kingston has made out of this business."

Incidents Of The Day - The schr. Van Straubenzie, from Pentwater to Collinsby with timber, passed Port Colborne yesterday. The prop. Tilley also passed with barges for Kingston with grain.


The str. Tecumseh and barges are at Collinsby unloading timber.

The prop. Dominion and tow arrived this morning from Toledo with grain.

The Johnston is carrying withes to Garden Island for rafting purposes.

The prop. Glengarry arrived this morning from Duluth with 2 barges loaded with grain.

The schr. Annandale arrived this morning from Charlotte with coal for the Rathbun company.

The str. Enterprise and barges arrived at Garden Island this morning with timber from Toledo.

Of late much water has been coming into the drydock through the rocks. The pumps are kept busy night and day.

The tug Gordon left last evening for Belleville with barges. She will bring back a load of stone for the dry dock floor.

One of the cribs sunk at the dry dock sometime ago will likely have to be taken up as it is about 10 feet too long. To raise it will cost a large sum.

p.4 Sturgeon Fishing - in area from Cape Vincent to Carleton Island - one caught this month weighed 161 lbs - details.

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July 31, 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), July 31, 1890