The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 21, 1855

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p.2 First Arrival - The steamer Magnet arrived here yesterday from Toronto. The Magnet made Bath in the morning, where her passengers, about 70 in number, were landed, and then left to force a passage through the ice, which barred, at about four miles distance, the entrance to Kingston harbor. She arrived here at 4 p.m.


No. II

In point of security as a harbor, Kingston may justly take precedence of any other place in Upper Canada; and that such is now generally the conviction of ship-owners and captains, the number of vessels of every description that have wintered in our harbor last season, is a sufficient proof. In the first place, at Mr. Anglen's (sic -Anglin ?) wharf, which we noticed in our last article on this subject, lies the steamer Lord Elgin, which, report says, is about to be sold to the American River Line, to ply between Ogdensburgh and Montreal. At Messrs. Walker and Berry's wharf, the improvements of which we also noticed in our last, the propeller Oliver Cromwell, and the schooners Waterwitch and Leander are moored. At Capt. Maxwell's wharf lie the steamers Canada and Gildersleeve, belonging to the Tug Line Company. The schooner Josephine, owned by Mr. Joseph Doyle, wintered at Capt. Putnam's wharf, and at the Commercial wharf lies the River mail steamer Ottawa. This boat will now be commanded by her late purser, Mr. Kelly, and will still keep her place in the River mail line, until a new boat, now being built at Montreal, and, we understand, nearly ready for service, the property of the Hon. John Hamilton, takes her place. The steam tug-boat America, the steamer Firefly, and a first-class barge, belonging to Messrs. J. & F. McCuaig & Co., are moored at Hooker, Jaques & Co's wharf. The Firefly will this year ply between Kingston and the city of Ottawa. At Mr. James Fraser's wharf, now occupied by Messrs. Holcomb & Henderson, are a number of barges.

At the St. Lawrence wharf are the steamer Canadian and the River line mail steamers Banshee and New Era. This wharf will, as usual, be the general mail line depot, with the exception of the steamers Ottawa and Passport, which always make the Commercial wharf their stopping place. In addition to the River mail boats of last season, will be the beautiful new steamer Banshee, Capt. Howard, destined to run between Kingston and Montreal. This vessel was built at Mr. Ault's shipyard at Portsmouth, for Capt. Bowen, and is fitted up in a superior style of elegance for the accommodation of passengers; she has 174 feet keel, 27 feet beam, and 9 feet 3 inches depth of hold. The New Era has been handsomely fitted out, and put in the most complete order,and will probably leave today for Prescott. She will continue, under Capt. Chrysler, to be a favorite with river travellers. The following named vessels will make the St. Lawrence wharf their stopping place during the ensuing season: -

River Steamers - Banshee, Capt. Howard; Champion, Capt. Milloy; St. Lawrence, Capt. Malcomson; New Era, Capt. Chrysler.

Lake - Magnet, Capt. Twohy; Arabian, Capt. Colcleugh.

Canal - Prince Albert, Capt. Jones.

Bay of Quinte - Bay of Quinte, Capt. Carroll;

Close at hand lies Capt. Gaskin's new ship, the Eliza Mary, 800 tons, full rigged, and requiring but the bending of sails to be ready for her transatlantic voyaging. This ship, with her tall spars, and numerous yards, looks remarkably well. From the main to the skysail yard, everything is taut and trim, and it is evident that her spirited owner has spared no expense or trouble in fitting out his ship in the best manner. Her internal arrangements are quite in keeping with her external appearance, everything being got up in a first-rate style. The cabin is roomy and convenient, and fitted for the reception of twenty cabin passengers. This vessel has been built, rigged and fully completed in the city of Kingston. We mention this circumstance, to show that if the same spirit of enterprise which Capt. Gaskin has exhibited in this and similar undertakings, were more general, there would be no need to seek further from home for all the means and appliances to carry out shipbuilding to almost any extent that might be desired. A cargo is ready for the Eliza Mary, we believe, at Montreal, from whence she will sail whenever the ice breaks up, for some British port. Capt. Gaskin, we understand, will himself take the command of the ship on her homeward voyage.

Near the Eliza Mary lies the mail steamer St. Lawrence. This boat will in future be commanded by Mr. G. Malcomson, late purser of the Magnet. The arrangements for her sailing are not yet known, but it is supposed she will retain her regular place in the River mail line

Messrs. A. & D. Shaw are the proprietors of the premises upon which were erected the warehouses commonly known as Mr. Garratt's, destroyed by fire during the winter. These gentlemen are rebuilding the wharves on a very extensive scale, and propose erecting stores and warehouses on the premises on a corresponding plan, such as will certainly place the locality in point of mercantile importance superior to any other place in Kingston. Fronting on Ontario street there will be ten stone stores, each 25 1/2 feet in front, by 60 feet in depth. Five of the stores will be situated on each side of a lane 18 feet wide, leading down to the water. At the rear of these stores will run a lane 20 feet wide. Messrs. Shaw's storehouses and water-lots will front the wharves, divided in the centre by the 18 feet lane; they will be 60 feet in depth, and occupy the centre space opposite the wharf and dock, with the exception of the space allowed for the lane. The principal pier will run out into the bay 420 feet; it will be 30 feet wide, but at its southern extremity it will be 130 feet in width, to admit the erection of a storehouse 60 x 100 feet. The other pier will be of a similar length, but running to a point at the extremity, to give the dock an equal width at its entrance, between the extension made for the storehouse and the pier in question. These piers, with the very broad and substantial wharf opposite the storehouses, will form two commodious docks or basins, fitted for the reception of the largest vessels. Captain Chambers and Mr. Peter Farrell are, we understand, the lessees of these premises.

Adjoining are the well-known premises, the U.S. wharf and warehouses, occupied by Mr. Kinghorn, the most extensive in this city. The length to which the last mentioned wharves have been extended, somewhat interferes with the approach to the front of the U.S. wharf, but the slips are easily made, and afford accommodation to the largest sized steamers. The very extensive fire-proof stores, wharf room, and the solidity with which the larger portion of the wharf was constructed, have rendered these premises always desirable. Mr. Kinghorn has added considerably to the length of the wharf since he leased it, and further additions will probably be made to meet the line fixed by our city fathers as the limit of wharf extension in the harbor. In and round the slips of the United States wharf are the steamers St. Helen, Capt. Crysler, and Ranger, and the schr. Fleur de Marie. Capt. Crysler has extended the upper cabin of the St. Helen, and has fitted her out in very handsome style for the season. Her route is, we believe, as usual, between Belleville and Montreal. The Ranger is a boat of last season, and is of the largest class of lake and river freight steamers. Capt. Kent has the Fleur de Marie in fine order for the business of the season just opening.

Mr. McIntosh occupies the stores to the west of this wharf, the Marine Railway stores, and with steamers and barges is engaged in the transhipment business, running his boats to Montreal and Quebec. A number of vessels are here, and opposite the railway yard, moored. Among them the steamer Bay of Quinte, all ready for service on the Bay, and very neatly fitted up, under the direction of her former commander, Capt. Carrell; the schooner Superior, str. John Gartshore, sch. John Heseman, Bay of Quinte, Hesione; off, Mohawk, Prince of Wales, Mary, Elizabeth, and others. The freight steamers Free Trader and Western Miller are on the railway, and the Ottawa in the slip. These are all nearly ready for service. Further on, at Mr. Hamilton's wharf, is moored the favorite mail steamer Passport, fully fitted out.

Yawl Boat For Sale - new and well built, 18' keel, 6' 6" beam; apply to James Fisher.

ad for steam boat Ottawa, Capt. Kelly, for Prescott and Ogdensburg.

ad for str. Passport, Capt. Harbottle, for Toronto.

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April 21, 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), April 21, 1855