The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 21, 1854

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Along the whole front of the harbor there has for two or three months been noticed unusual activity partly, it is true, in replacing the wharf and warehouse accommodation destroyed by the fire of November last, but chiefly in providing a greater extent of accommodation for shipping, storing, etc.

That which, perhaps, has excited most attention, is the new forwarding establishment of Mr. Berry, of Quebec. The wharf and warehouses formerly in the occupation of the Quebec Forwarding Company, were purchased last year by Mr. Berry, who has extended the former by an addition to its length of 60 feet, and is erecting on the premises a grain elevator which we believe is not surpassed by any now existing on either side of the lake or river. It will certainly be, when completed, the most effective elevator in Canada, and a short description of it will be interesting to our readers.

The building fitted for its reception, now in process of building, will be 52 by 66 feet, and about 100 feet in height. The beams and other supports of the ediface are of unusual strength, and fitted with great accuracy and neatness. The engine house, a brick building situated in front of the wharf, and separated a short distance from the main building, is 20 feet square. The cupola, or apartment for holding the elevator, runs the whole height of the building and is built of 1 1/2 inch plank. The ship elevator is 69 feet in height, with a pulley at the top 3 feet in diameter and one at the bottom of lesser dimensions, in order the better for its admission into the holds of vessels. Round these pulleys will revolve a broad India rubber belt, to which are bolted all round, a series of small buckets 18 inches between, 4 of which are calculated to hold a bushel of grain. The steam engine will be between 50 and 60 horse power, and the belt with the buckets attached, will make 36 revolutions in a minute. By this means a vessel will be relieved of 3,000 bushels of grain per hour, the buckets as they arrive from the hold of the vessel discharging, where they have filled themselves, to the top of the elevator, and, as they turn to descend, empty successively their contents upon a short slide at one side of the pulley, which are conveyed by means of a spout into a garner; from thence into a hopper fitted as a weighing machine, and from thence are conveyed by spouts to garners at the base of the building immediately adjoining the lofting and reshipping elevators. There are two of these elevators, one at each side of the ship elevator, constructed on the same principle as the latter, but adapted only for lofting or reshipping the grain. Thus the discharging of the vessel, ascertaining the quantity discharged, storing it away in lofts, or reshipping it and taking an accurate account of the quantity reshipped, can be effected by this simple method, without the loss of a single grain of the cargo, and without any stoppage or loss of time. A large lake vessel, for instance, can be discharging her cargo, while barges and vessels adapted for the river navigation can at the same time be loading. The first may be ready to take in a return cargo, and the second may leave the port with a full cargo at one and the same time. The garners are capable of holding 80,000 bushels of grain. The building is of wood, but it will be roofed with iron, and its sides covered in like manner.

Mr. Overend is the contractor for the work, and Mr. Taaft, who superintended the erection of Mr. Gould's Elevator at Montreal, is directing the construction and putting up the machinery. We have heard it stated that it is intended to have a nail factory in connection with the establishment, and apply the steam power during the winter season to milling purposes. This establishment is well worthy a visit, and the fact of its erection here is of itself proof that a large transhipping trade must yet remain to Kingston.

But there are other evidences of progress in this respect. All the existing wharf and warehouse accommodation has been taken up, and as stated above, considerable additions are being made to it.

The wharf at the foot of Princess street previously occupied by Messrs. Macpherson & Crane has passed into the hands of Messrs. Brown and Harty, and extensive improvements are here in progress. The wharf has been extended sixty feet, and is now 200 feet in length, with a frontage of 104 feet. In the centre of this wharf a large warehouse has been commenced. The building will be of stone, on a foundation of piles, and rendered, externally, fire proof; its dimensions 120 feet by 56, two stories high. It is now rapidly going up under the builder's hands.

The Commercial wharf adjoining has been rebuilt by Mr. Hamilton, and a warehouse, 70 feet by 50, one and a half stories, erected. The warehouse is of wood, but roof and sides will be protected from fire by a covering of sheet iron. This wharf has a frontage of 112 feet.

The next wharf is Mr. Scobell's. He has rebuilt it in the most substantial manner, but has not replaced the large warehouse which occupied the greater portion of the old one. Instead of this he has filled in the site of that building with stone, and is about to macadamize the surface, instead of using plank. As the wharf presents a frontage of 120 feet, and has a depth of 185, it may readily be imagined that it is thus made one of the best wharves in the city. A two story stone, iron covered warehouse, similar to that now occupied by Messrs. Miller & Co., will be erected in a few weeks, adjoining and in continuation of the building last mentioned. When this is completed we shall see a couple of wholesale houses facing the harbor, as they ought to do, and the commencement of what we by no means despair of seeing in a few years - a new street - a Water or River street.

Noting wharf extensions in their order, we pass to Kinghorn's, or the U.S. wharf. This, previously the largest wharf in the city, has been materially improved by the present lessee during the winter. The addition of 60 feet to the front has greatly contributed to the facility of approach and departure by steamers, and as a matter of course has given a large additional space for the discharge of goods. The chief customs warehouse is on this wharf, and the American steamers take their departure from it.

Of the Marine Railway wharves and warehouses, the lower and upper have been completely refitted. The first are occupied by Mr. McIntosh, with the two intermediate warehouses, while the Messrs. McCuaig have leased the upper, and have therefore returned to their former and convenient quarters for transhipment.

Of changes, we must notice that Mr. Whitehead has removed from Garratt's warehouse to the premises at the east end of the harbor formerly occupied by H. & S. Jones. The wharf and warehouses here are undergoing a thorough refitting, painting, etc., and are very convenient for storing and shipping. Messrs. A. & D. Shaw keep in their own hands, we believe, the large warehouses known as Garratt's, now their property, and intend next year to replace them by a fine range of buildings. The Rome and Watertown Railway office is here, and the Cape Vincent steamer sails from the wharf.

Other notes connected with the wharves and shipping, we must reserve until the steamboat arrangements for the season are completed, when we shall state the routes, places of call and departure, etc.

Bay of Quinte - The steamer Canadian, Capt. J.D. Talbot, will leave for Belleville, Trenton and intermediate ports, this morning, at 11 o'clock. April 21st.

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April 21, 1854
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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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Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 21, 1854