The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 23, 1856

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p.2 Notes About Town

Here we are at Scobell's Wharf, the most substantial structure yet visited. It has an area of about an acre, and being "filled in" with stone and earth, is as solid and unyielding as the sloping terra firma leading to it. From our earliest recollection it has been a good place for business. Here Wm. Mitchell flourished for a while, a long time ago, and Mr. Cutcheon, now of Toronto, became his successor. The storehouses then resembled frame barns and were quite as frail in their structure; but now substantial stone buildings occupy their place. Messrs. Hooker, Pridham & Co., last year, conducted their extensive forwarding business here, but have removed to another locality. Mr. Richard Scobell is the owner of these premises, and though he has realized here a handsome competency in his business as a produce merchant, will continue at his old stand, and occupy also the warehouses vacated by Pridham & Co. We are not at liberty to divulge the nature of his contemplated engagements, suffice it to say they are likely to be of a very heavy nature. Messrs. Miller & Co., leather dealers, occupy the corner building on the wharf, where a large amount of the circulating medium exchanges hands in the purchase of hides and skins, and the sale of the manufactured article. It is evident, from the extent of their operations, that they are sanguine in the truth of the adage that "there is nothing like leather." The most prominent object here is the propeller Lord Elgin, Capt. Young, the property of Messrs. Hooker, Pridham & Co., 140 tons burden, with a capacity for 2,300 bbls. flour. She has a snug little cabin on her upper deck, with three staterooms and four berths, which will accommodate comfortably five or six passengers. Her destination is Cleveland, where she will take in a cargo of flour for Montreal.

Immediately furninst Scobell's premises, is the City Fish-market, where the citizens obtain their piscatory delicacies, embracing about a dozen or more varieties, from the sturgeon to the yellow perch. This market is a great boon to the poor, who can here procure a good dinner for a small family for a shilling.

Next we pass, with a cursory glance, the solid stone fortification fronting the market buildings. It is shut up, and was a useless structure from the first. The rebellion of 1837-8 originated its erection.

Mr. James Fraser's Wharf will be occupied, as last year, by Messrs. Holcomb & Henderson, the successors of the oldest forwarding house on the St. Lawrence, Macpherson & Crane. The number of their steamers and barges, at present lying at different points on the route, need no special notice at our hands, for, as a city contemporary says, their name is legion, and, as Pat would say, "their power is beyant tellin'."

The St. Lawrence Wharf is occupied by Messrs. Doyle & Co., who have several schooners, among which are the Alice and the Maid of the Mist, now lying here, in the lake trade. The River mail line of boats - Banshee, Capt. Howard, Champion, Capt. Melloy (sic - Milloy), St. Lawrence, Capt. Malcomson, and New Era, Capt. Chrysler; also the Lake boats Magnet and Arabian - make this their rendezvous for this season. The St. Lawrence was the first steamer to leave our harbor for Brockville, having left this on the 18th inst. The wharf has been extended since last season, 180 feet further out, by 26 feet wide, and is put together with an eye to neatness as well as permanence. The warehouse is large and unexceptionable in every particular. We understand a brisk business is anticipated this season.

Messrs. A. & D. Shaw's extensive premises have been leased by Capt. Colcleugh, late of the steamer Arabian. They consist of three wharves, extending out upwards of four hundred feet. The centre pier is expanded one hundred and thirty feet at the termination, whereon has been erected a large warehouse during the past year. Two three-masted schooners, the Northern Light and Arabian, lay here all winter, and are now in full rig for business. The latter was towed over to Garden Island on Monday, by the old America, which has been much improved in appearance, by the liberal application of paint. The steamers City of the Bay, and Trenton, Capt. Dewitt, are here making ready, and will soon fire up and resume their trips on the Bay of Quinte. The latter has added to her proportions a large cabin on her upper deck, which will add very materially to her accommodations, and enable her to compete more successfully with her well-appointed rivals on that route. It was in contemplation, last year, to erect a range of first-class stores on the site (line unreadable) done in that direction yet. This large space of vacant ground has been made the common receptacle of yard filth and street dirt, presenting an aspect forbidding to a stranger, and far from inviting to a citizen. But this rubbish will doubtless be made available in filling vacuities, etc., when the ground is properly levelled; and, for the credit of all concerned, the sooner that it is done the better.

Kinghorn's Wharf, said to cover a larger area than any in the city, is the depot of the United States steamers, which touch here en route up and down the lake and river. Capt. Chrysler's well-known steamer, St. Helen, and the Sir Charles Napier, lay here all winter. They have both put on their summer "fixings," and commenced their trips; the former left this on Saturday for Montreal, and the latter made her first trip to the Cape and back on Monday, bringing with her a full load of merchandize for our city merchants. The large fire-proof warehouse and other shipping facilities are well known and appreciated by consignees, shipmasters and others.

Counter's Wharf, with its long range of lofty stone stores, intended for a large traffic, presents no attractive feature. The only vessels lying here were Capt. Fenwick's schooner Hannah, commanded by Capt. Youlding, and the propeller Inkermann. The Hannah, loaded with cordwood, sailed for Toronto on Monday with a stiff favorable wind, and has by this time reached that port. She is destined for Lake Erie, where she will course between Cleveland and Buffalo, under charter. The Inkermann, being quite new, having been launched from Mr. Ault's shipyard, at Portsmouth, last year, during the winter has been in the hands of carpenters and joiners, and is now nearly ready "for sea." She has what is called a clear run fore and aft, and her deck being enclosed, or cabined, renders her particularly well adapted for emigrant passengers, as well as freight of any kind. She is certainly a credit to the port.

Passing by the Ontario Foundry, where "cranks and cranes and battering rams" are making a great din, we come to McIntosh's Wharf, the westernmost shipping station on the line. It is now occupied by Messrs. Hooker, Pridham & Co., whose numerous craft of every kind wintered at different places along the St. Lawrence, as well as here. The steamers Free Trader, Capt. Moore, Ottawa, Capt. McGann, England, Capt. Hannah, Prescott, Capt. Usibb ?, besides a host of propellers and barges, belong to this firm. From the extent of their transactions it seems problematical to us whether their premises will prove sufficient. The Free Trader is freighted with deals, potatoes and merchandize, and left yesterday for Toronto.

p.3 Yesterday the harbor presented an animated appearance. Steamers, Schooners and barges were in motion, some leaving this port for the head of the lake, and some moving about the harbor, preparing for departure. The mail steamer Kingston left during Monday night for Toronto, and for four or five days steamers have gone down and come up the river, while the Napier holds daily communication with Cape Vincent. The new propeller Inkermann (sic - Inkerman), belonging to Mr. Donald McIntosh, made a trial trip yesterday, with a large company on board, a band of music and lots of refreshments to amuse and entertain the company. The weather was as fine as the most fastidious could have desired.

Steam Boat Notice - for Mail Steamer Ottawa, Capt. Kelley, for Brockville and Prescott.

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April 23, 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 23, 1856