A SPRING WALK THROUGH KINGSTON AND ITS NEIGHBORHOOD
IMPROVEMENTS, PROSPECTS, ETC.
The ship-yards shall first claim our attention. We need hardly say that in this city and the neighboring village of Portsmouth there exists every facility for ship-building and repairing, and that a good deal in this way is annually done. The ship-yards do not this season present so animated an appearance as they did at the corresponding period of the past year, nevertheless there is employment for a considerable number of hands. At the Marine Railway ship-yard, we observed the hull of the new steamer building for the Bay. It is out of the shipwright's, and in the joiner's and engineer's hands. The engine and boilers are far advanced in the shops of the Kingston Foundry close by. That immense wheel house, and tall frame fitting for the reception of a walking beam, are indications of a great propelling power, and give promise that the Bay of Quinte will be a "fast" boat. And no doubt of it. To drive a boat of 161 feet length, 25 1/2 feet beam, and 8 1/2 feet hold, there will be an engine of about 75 horse power, twelve feet stroke, and a wheel 32 feet in diameter ! If the Bay of Quinte don't run, when completed, at the rate of 17 or 18 miles an hour, then a fine easy model and great steam power are of no advantage. The next thing is for the people of the Bay to secure this fine boat as a regular traveller on their waters. Beyond all question, they have had much to complain of in past arrangements. It is high time that they should participate in the improvement in steam navigation which is so marked on the lake and river. The new steamer will combine elegance and speed, the latter we are inclined to believe in a higher degree than any other afloat upon our waters. Next to the Bay of Quinte is the three-masted schooner Christiana. The Christiana went ashore off Wellington, in the terrible gale of last fall, and all on board perished. The hull, stripped of everything, was got off, and towed into Kingston, and is being refitted. Next is the steamer Prince of Wales, now an old stager on the Bay. The Prince is getting thoroughly overhauled and put in order for summer business.
At Fisher and Ault's Railway ship-yard, Portsmouth, the Canada is undergoing a thorough repair, preparatory to being placed on the bay and river as a freight and tow boat. The three-masted schooner Globe is lying here, and will soon be hauled out on the railway for repairs. A new schooner is on the stocks for Mr. Edmund Boyle. She will be of 140 tons, and is intended for the lake.
Messrs. Macpherson & Crane's railway and ship-yard, at Portsmouth, presents a busy scene. This is a private establishment, required by the owners to meet the wants of their own business. There are here two wharves, each 170 feet in length, intended to facilitate the operations of the lumber business. The stock of timber and other materials in the yard is very large. In course of preparation for business are the Scotland and Reindeer (lake freight), Beaver (canal), and Meteor (canal propeller); brigt. British Queen, schr. Premier, and six barges. The schooners Governor and California, belonging to the same firm, are anchored in the harbor.
At the city wharves, we observed the steamers Passport, New Era, and Ottawa, apparently ready for starting at 24 hours' notice. The Princess Royal has had a new walking beam cast at the Kingston Foundry, and so much of her machinery as was damaged last fall, has been replaced. The Novelty has been fitted with new boilers, and the Henry Gildersleeve is under the painter's brush.
The following are the general arrangements adopted for the Royal Mail, and other lines of steamers, for the present year:
Royal Mail Lake Line - Passport, Magnet and Princess Royal, same as last year.
Royal Mail River Line - St. Lawrence, Ottawa, and Lord Elgin, same as last season.
Through Line - Maple Leaf, Arabian, Champion, New Era, Highlander, and Mayflower, daily (Sundays excepted) from Hamilton to Montreal. This line will touch at Cape Vincent, giving Kingston the go-by. The Arabian is a new boat, built at Niagara; her dimensions are 183 feet on deck, 28 beam, and 11 hold.
Bay of Quinte - The Bay of Quinte, new boat, Henry Gildersleeve, Prince of Wales, and the Novelty. The two former, and the latter boat will run between the River Trent and Cape Vincent, and the Princess of Wales between Picton and Cape Vincent - there will be two boats every day on this route.
Rideau Canal - The Albert and Beaver, same as last year. Several gentlemen have it in contemplation to put a third boat on this route.
Tug Boats - At a public meeting, held at Cobourg, on Saturday, 3rd inst., the following resolutions were adopted in reference to the determination of government to leave the business of tugging on the St. Lawrence to private competition:
Resolved - That the Merchants and others of this Town, interested in the freight of goods from Montreal, and the shipment of produce via the St. Lawrence, have learned, with regret, the intention of the government to discontinue the Tug Boats on the Canals and River, as tending to produce a combination on the part of large forwarding houses, not only injurious to all interested in low freights, but calculated to divert the trade from Canadian to American waters.
Resolved - That a Committee be now appointed to draft a memorial to the Government, respectfully pointing out the injury which is likely to be inflicted upon the public by a discontinuance of the Tug boats, and praying that they may be still retained for the accommodation of ship owners, and thus preventing a monopoly by a Company of the Transport of goods and produce on the St. Lawrence and the Canals.