The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 25, 1855

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The Village of Portsmouth possesses local advantages which must, in time, in spite of the apathetic indifference to all such matters which has hitherto prevailed in this part of the Province, secure for the locality that consideration which, as a place of importance, it justly merits. Portsmouth bay is a close, snug harbor, with a depth of water sufficient for the largest of our lake craft to ride in safety, and, with some little improvements in the wharves, could be made an excellent place for the loading and unloading of vessels. Numerous quarries of limestone are in the immediate vicinity of the bay, of a quality admirably adapted for building, and already a considerable amount of business in the shipment of this description of stone has been effected. The distance of the village from Kingston is so trifling, that, without any great stretch of fancy, it might be looked on as part and parcel of the city. The main road from Kingston to the village is macadamized, and lined with a succession of beautiful villas on the one side, while the waters of the bay, for a considerable distance, form the boundary of the other. The magnificent pile of buildings which compose the Provincial Penitentiary, the irregular heights which surround the Bay of Portsmouth, with the village lying at their feet, give the locality a peculiarly interesting, and somewhat of a romantic appearance. In Portsmouth bay, have wintered the tug steamer City of Toronto, the royal mail steamer Champion, the tug steamer Charlevoix, the steamer Otter, and some small propellers belonging to Messrs. Holcomb & Henderson.

In Mr. Ault's shipyard, hauled out for altering and repairing, have wintered the North Star, and Sir Charles Napier, and the schooners Jane Ann Marsh and William Ford on the stocks in the same yard. In process of building is a large and beautiful model of a steamer, belonging to Capt. Perry, and destined for the freight and passenger line between Montreal and Hamilton. She has 174 feet keel, 28 feet beam and 10 1/2 feet hold. The dimensions of her engine will be 44 inches diameter, 10 feet stroke, wheel 29 feet diameter. She will be calculated to carry 3,000 barrels of flour, and will be ready for launching by the 1st of June. Mr. Ault is extending his wharf 60 feet into deeper water, so that vessels of any burthen may lie alongside of it. He is also giving the Railway a thorough repair, and will thereby be enabled to haul out vessels of the largest size and burthen.

(several more paragraphs describing new tannery and Rev. Dobb's new house.)

Shipwreck and Loss of Life - The Globe of Monday says:- We regret to have to announce the total loss of the schooner Defiance of this port, the property of Mr. Robert Moodie, of Terauley Street, and that all the crew were drowned. She was commanded by Captain Thomas Crorkin, of Nelson Street, who leaves a wife and five children to lament his loss. The unfortunate vessel was last seen on Wednesday morning, about two hours' sail from Niagara port; and it is supposed that she encountered the terrific hurricane blowing at the time, was capsized and sunk. She was freighted with railroad iron wheels, and if favorable weather had prevailed, would have arrived here on Thursday forenoon. Messengers and telegraphic despatches have been sent to all the shore ports, without succeeding in obtaining any tidings whatever of the missing vessel, and that she may have been merely disabled in the storm is the only hope that exists of her safety. The crew consisted of 4 men. The Defiance was in capital sailing order, and, independent of the cargo, was valued at $1,200. There was no insurance, we understand, on either the cargo or vessel.

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April 25, 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 25, 1855