The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), March 31, 1855

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The Toronto Leader says - The arrangements for the Lake and River Navigation are nearly all completed. In accordance with our custom, during the last two years, we proceed to state in detail the navigation arrangements for the present season; commencing with the

Royal Mail Lake Line

of Lake steamers. These will consist of the Magnet, the Passport, and the Arabian; and form a daily line from Hamilton and Toronto to Kingston. The Magnet lying at Maitland's wharf, in this city, has had her boilers enlarged, at a cost of some 1,200 pounds, by which a considerable addition to her speed is expected to be obtained. If she comes up to the expectations entertained of her, she will make the distance between this city and Kingston in one hour less than her previous time. She is the only one that has undergone any extensive alterations or repairs.

The Royal Mail River Line,

connecting with the above, will form a continuation from Kingston to Montreal. This line consists of the Banshee, the Champion, the New Era, and a new iron boat being built at Montreal, and expected to be ready in July. All the vessels of these two lines of passenger steamers are either owned or chartered by the same firm: Hon. John Hamilton, Captain Sutherland and Mr. Andrew Heron. These parties have the contract for carrying the mail from the head of the lake to Montreal. Three other steamers, the St. Lawrence, the Ottawa, and the Lord Elgin, belonging to this line, will form a reserve to be employed as occasion may require. Report says that the St. Lawrence will run between Hamilton and Toronto. On the

Rochester Route

the Maple Leaf has already made two trips. By about the first of April she is to be joined by the Highlander. These vessels belong to Donald Bethune & Co. No less than three offers have been made to purchase these boats: one from Mr. Brown of Hamilton, another from some parties in Rochester, and the third from the Northern Railroad Company. None of the offers have been accepted; but the probability is that they will become the property of the Northern Railroad Company. In that case they will form a direct connection with Rochester, with a view to bring New York travel to the far West by this route. Already the Railroad Company have chartered four steamers to ply between Collingwood and Chicago. This is the calculation as to time and comfort by this route: A person leaves New York in the morning and reaches Rochester in the evening; takes steamer for Toronto and gets a night's rest; leaves this city by the morning train and reaches Collingwood at noon; takes steamer for Chicago, where he arrives, after another night's rest, and a journey of altogether 48 or 50 hours from New York.

Toronto and Ogdensburg Line

Mr. Zimmerman has made an arrangement with the Great Western Railroad Company to charter their two new boats, the Canada and America, for five years, at ten per cent per annum on their cost. They are entirely new, and were built at Niagara, the original intention being to run to Oswego, and we think, Ogdensburgh; but it was discovered that their charter did not give them power to run steamers. Besides, the Grand Trunk Railway Company raised objections; and there were some attempts at accommodation, the result of which we do not know. These boats were only completed last season. They are far superior to any other on Lake Ontario, Canadian or American. Each of them is 300 feet long, with 40 width of beam, 12 feet stroke of engine, and 17 inch cylinder. These boats would also connect with the Northern Railroad, giving the Company four boats on Lake Ontario, and making altogether eight in connection with that line. It is reported that the Great Western Railroad Company, objecting that these boats should be made subsidiary to another, and in some sort a rival railroad, are desirous to break up the bargain; but it is understood that if any such attempt be made, Mr. Zimmerman will resort to the Court of Chancery to compel a fulfilment of the engagement. Captain Masson has been engaged to command the America. Office accommodation has also been engaged in this city for these boats. These boats are intended to form a daily line between Toronto and Cape Vincent and Ogdensburg, calling at Darlington and Cobourg. Passengers from Toronto in these boats would, by the aid of the Ogdensburgh railroad, reach Ogdensburgh in 24 hours, if no fogs on the river retarded the progress of the boats. As these are the most powerful, it is expected they will be the swiftest boats on Lake Ontario. They will form an opposition to the Royal Mail Line; and will probably carry a large number of passengers. They are said to possess every modern convenience, each state-room being supplied with both hot and cold water. The plumber work is said to have cost 6,000 pounds, and the whole cost of the boats was 75,000 pounds.

Toronto and Port Dalhousie

The Welland, now running between this city and Wellington Square, will, about the first of April, commence her route from Port Dalhousie, at six o'clock in the morning, reaching Toronto in time to leave for Hamilton at nine, and to reach the latter place in time for the western train. She will leave Hamilton at one o'clock for Toronto, crossing thence to Port Dalhousie; making the entire route every day.

Toronto and Niagara

Attempts at accommodation between the Zimmerman and the Peerless have been made, and it is not improbable that they will be successful.

To Sault Ste. Marie

The Kaloolah will run from Collingwood to Sault Ste. Marie once a week as last season.

Collingwood and Owen Sound

The Mazeppa, which has undergone thorough repairs, will make three trips a week between Collingwood and Owen Sound.

The Europa

The destination of the Europa, Capt. Harrison, is believed to be decided upon; but it is so far kept a secret. It is expected that her route will be between Hamilton and Ogdensburgh.

The above comprises all the passenger steamers. There remain three lines of

Freight Steamers,

all of which will run between Toronto and Montreal. H. & S. Jones' line consist of the Oshawa, the Ranger, the Dawn, and the Protection. The Oshawa is a new boat, built at Laprairie last season; she is now being fitted out in Toronto. The Bruce Mining Company have made a proposal to charter her; and although it is not likely that they will obtain her, she will probably make one trip to the Bruce Mines during the season.

Hooker, Pridham and Co's freight line of steamers, comprise the Britannia, the Ottawa, the England, the St. Lawrence, the Lord Elgin and John Gartshore.

Oakham and Henderson's freight steamers consist of the Huron, the Scotland, the Brantford, the George Moffatt, and the Western Miller.

These three lines of freight boats will make about three boats a day between Toronto and Montreal. They carry several passengers, for which they have very fair, but of course, limited accommodations. Last year they brought up a great many emigrants.

Captain Thomas Dick has received from Denny and Napier, of Glasgow, a model of an iron boat, 285 feet keel, 24 feet beam and 11 1/2 feet depth of hold, to take the place of Her Majesty, which sailed from Cork on the 7th of August last and was never again heard of. The presumption that she was lost was so strong that the insurance has been paid. She is to have two horizontal engines, with seven feet stroke and 50 inches in diameter. An offer is made to guarantee that she shall make the distance between Toronto and Lewiston within two hours. They offer to get her ready to ship from Glasgow in pieces by the 1st of September next.

The Boston and Mayflower, belonging to the Ogdensburgh Railroad Company, will continue to form their freight line between Ogdensburgh, Toronto and Hamilton, as last year.

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March 31, 1855
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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), March 31, 1855