The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 18, 1856

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p.2 Notes About Town

Inspiring, indeed, is the advent of this delightful season to old and young, rich and poor. All alike rejoice in the departure of the stern season of winter, with its chilling blasts and nipping frosts, so productive of suffering and inconvenience. The privations and afflictions of the poor, whose spare wardrobes and scanty supplies of fuel caused many a bitter pang when the "winds of the wintry night" howled around their squalid dwellings, cause them to appreciate, in a tenfold degree, the return of the season of warm, sunny days, the welcome harbingers of glorious summer, with its concomitant train of comforts and enjoyments. Little children, who for four or five months have been cooped up in the house, restricted in their gleeful pranks by the incessant chidings of fretful parents, whose auricular nerves have become wearied with their prattle and noise, now make the "welkin ring" with their joyous shouts, and the board-walks resound with their tramping and running in pursuit of their various sports. The marble, the top and the ball are again in requisition, and knots of little fellows may be seen in sunny spots contending with each other in the height of enjoyment and hilarity. "Bright Chanticleer," too, whose amitiveness and proud bearing has been held in check by the long winter, now flaps his wings at early morn, and blows his shrill clarion. His harem of devoted wives now claim his caresses and attentions, which he bestows with a strict regard to impartiality, and a firm determination to allow no rivals to interrupt. The spring birds warble their inimitable music on the house-tops or leafless trees, recalling back to memory the dear departed days of childhood, when the same sweet notes delighted the ear, and the same bright sun wakened joy in the heart. All animal creation feels the stirring, enlivening influence of spring, infusing new life and vigor in long dormant faculties and endowments intended to promote happiness and usefulness.

The busy hum of voices is heard, and businessmen are laying out their plans for future operations. Along the wharves particularly the "note of preparation" is most apparent, where mutations of the most cheering kind strikes the eye of the beholder; and as many of the readers of this journal have neither time nor inclination to visit the scene of bustle and clatter, perhaps a brief description may be acceptable.

At Anglen's (sic - Anglin's) wharf, near the stone Barracks, lies the active little Firefly, where she is undergoing a thorough renovation. Ship-carpenters are busy renewing those parts of her bulwarks which were damaged last season, and painters actively engaged in "putting on a new coat." Capt. Alexander Smith, late mail conductor, will command the Firefly this season; and if he follows in the footsteps of his predecessor, we can assure him of popularity and a good share of business. Before commencing her trips on the Rideau Canal, the Firefly will be shortened in her hull and upper works one foot, in order to facilitate her passage through the numerous locks encountered in her route. At the same wharf lies the Mary, a fine vessel of 180 tons, owned by Mr. Anglin, already nearly loaded with a cargo of lumber, destined for Toronto. She is commanded by Capt. Munro. The wharf itself has been extended 160 feet, and widened the whole length about nine feet, affording a vast increase of accommodation for the business in which its enterprising owner is engaged. The original wharf is covered with piles of sawed lumber and shingles, ready to be transhipped to the "dearest market."

At Walker & Berry's extensive premises the Bay of Quinte is undergoing refitting and painting, and looks now as white and clean, externally, as the paper on which we write. She is an elegant vessel, and sufficiently capacious to accommodate from three to four hundred passengers. But her merits are so well known to the majority of our readers it would be superfluous to particularize. Capt. Carroll, her youthful commander, has reason to be proud of his comfortable craft. Messrs. Walker & Berry's extensive fire-proof warehouses and grain elevator occupy a prominent position among the business establishments in this city. The former have capacity for storing at least 80,000 bushels of grain; and their lofty elevator, worked by a powerful engine, can load or unload vessels at the rate of 2,000 bushels per hour. The same engine propels admirably constructed machinery for the manufacture of cut nails and spikes of all sizes, of which they turn out, when "in full blast," about 2,000 pounds per diem. The amount of iron used in this manufacture is estimated at 700 tons per annum. They are also extensive dealers in grain, and tranship annually, on their own account, and on behalf of consigners, about 600,000 bushels, a great proportion of which is sent to England. To carry on such a large business a number of vessels, owned and chartered, are profitably employed. The propeller Oliver Cromwell, a first class vessel, owned by the firm, is now preparing for her departure to Chicago. She is commanded by Capt. Robert Patterson, who is well known in this city, who has, we believe, an interest in her as part proprietor. The number of persons employed about this establishment, and the large amount of capital expended, render it one of the most valuable acquisitions to our city. We heartily wish the proprietors continued prosperity.

The wharf known formerly as Smith's wharf, at present the property of O.S. Gildersleeve, Esq., is in a most dilapidated condition, and the ruins of the late substantial buildings adjoining, on the street, present a melancholy spectacle. It is a matter of surprise to many that the proprietor has not rebuilt in this favorable locality for business. The most serviceable part of the wharf is engaged this season as a depot for the sale of fuel wood.

A small space intervening brings us to Putnam's, late Macpherson's, wharf. Here is moored the well-known steamer Ottawa, commanded by Capt. Kelly, which formed one of the river line of Royal Mail Steamers last season. In consequence of no arrangement having been effected up to this time, by the several steamboat proprietors, her route has not been determined upon. The extensive wharf and substantial store-houses afford accommodation for vessels and storage unsurpassed in the neighborhood. The buildings are fire-proof, and the strict watchfulness observed about the premises is a guarantee of security to property stored therein. Situated at the foot of Princess street, the principal thoroughfare of the city, and main artery leading to the back country, its convenience and accessibility are duly appreciated by the merchants in the city, and it is expected a liberal share of the import trade from the United States will pass through Capt. Putnam's hands. The Europa and Boston, through line boats of the first class, will, as last year, make this their stopping place. It will also be the landing place, as heretofore, of the iron and implements employed in the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway; and will be the depot of the agricultural implement manufactures of T. Drummond & Co., who employ one hundred and fifty convicts at the Penitentiary in their production. The steamer Firefly will also, as last year, land and depart from this place. So that, from all these sources, a large amount of business is reasonably anticipated. We observed on the wharf five portable steam engines, of six horse power each, for unloading vessels. They were made at Muir's foundry, in this city, and are destined for Montreal. We also noticed a steam "marine pump," supported on wheels, kept on the premises to be employed to order in bailing submerged vessels. It belongs to a company of underwriters, and others. The old steamer Canada, which lay partially sunk at the foot of Queen Street last year, was bailed out with this machine in two hours. It was also made at Mair's foundry.

The Hon. John Hamilton's first class steamer Passport is lying at his own wharf, known to old inhabitants formerly as Kirby's wharf. A number of men are here employed in painting, refitting and furnishing; and as no repairs of moment are required, she will be ready to take her place in the lake Royal Mail Line, as soon as arrangements with other owners can be effected. The new iron steamer Kingston, owned by the same gentleman, and commanded by his son, Capt. Robert Hamilton, is lying at the wharf near his father's residence, and will be ready for business in a few days. These two vessels are furnished in every department in the best style, and possess every requisite for the comfort of passengers.

p.3 wife of Capt. Joseph Pierson has son at Hillier, P.E. County.

-The steamer St. Lawrence made a move in the harbor yesterday afternoon preparatory to going down the river this morning.

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April 18, 1856
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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 18, 1856