The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), May 31, 1858

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p.2 The Wolfe Island Canal

The commencement of this canal was one of the first attempts to increase and improve the commerce of Kingston, by procuring a more direct communication with our opposite neighbors at Cape Vincent, available in all weathers, and shortening the route by nearly one-half. Owing, however, to unforseen circumstances, the project almost fell to the ground, even at the moment when it was supposed to have arrived at a successful completion. The hands were dismissed, the works were left to ruin and decay, and the bittern and wildfowl reigned supreme in the channel where busy commerce was meant to have brought wealth to our city. Everything languished, and a scheme, thought to have been one of the wisest and surest to bring quick returns, died away after a large expenditure of money. Some twenty thousand pounds had been sunk in what envious sneerers termed "the frog-pond of Wolfe Island."

Fortunately, however, for this city, the spirit of enterprise has not completely died out among our citizens. One has been found with energy, zeal and pluck enough to take this in hand, and to apply his wealth and influence to a scheme which will, we doubt not, add more to the advancement of the trade and business of Kingston, than all the railroads in the country put together.

Mr. Gildersleeve is the man who has taken this canal into his management; and from his well-known business energy and abilities, we doubt not for success. Few perhaps are aware of the trouble or difficulties of carrying out such a scheme, and still fewer are aware of the triumphant results which have attended Mr. Gildersleeve's efforts. It was generally supposed that the utmost depth of water possible to be attained would be from four to five feet; but what was our surprise to learn that the well-known steamer Bay of Quinte has passed and repassed in perfect safety from Kingston to Cape Vincent and back again through the long-despised Wolfe Island Canal, and that a depth of eight feet on an average is to be found all through. From the success of this undertaking we augur great things for Kingston. It gains a speedier, safer, and more direct route for traffic, and a consequent cheapness in the carriage of freight, besides, in all probability, enabling boats to make four trips a day to and fro instead of two, as heretofore. We wish Mr. Gildersleeve every success in this undertaking which he so well deserves. [Communicated]

A Salutary Display of Cold Steel - 2 sailors mutiny on prop Ogdensburgh, Capt. Williams; arrested by Rifle Co. [ St. Catherines Post]

p.3 Imports - 29.

Marine News

The tug Oswego, Capt. Kimball, left Detroit on Saturday for the Sault river with a dredge and scows in tow, and on her return she will go to the Manitous and tow to Cleveland the bark Great West, of Oswego, which was ashore near the Sleeping Bear, Lake Michigan.

The mainmast of the schooner Rainbow, of this city, bound for Chicago, with a load of wood, from Bear Creek, was struck by lightning yesterday when in St. Clair river, opposite China. One of the crew, who was standing upon the cross-trees of the mainmast furling the gaff topsail, was instantaneously killed. When struck, his feet caught the shrouds, and he was thus suspended until taken down. His name was John Cade. He lived in Fort Huron last winter, and we believe had no family. The mainmast was somewhat shattered, and the mainsail considerably riddled. [Detroit Tribune, 24th]

Early this morning, as the schooner May Queen was passing down in tow of the brig Bruce, she ran into the steamer May Queen, lying at her dock. Her jib-boom struck the steamer on the latter's starboard side immediately at the wheel house, tearing away two state rooms and a number of staunchions, and partially staving in the wheel house, inflicting damage to the amount of $300. The schooner was but little damaged. [ib]

On Saturday the schooner Virginia Purdy, bound down in tow of a tug, collided on the flats with the brig Globe, bound up. The Purdy lost her entire head gear. The nature of the damage sustained by the brig is not known. [ib]

We understand it to be settled that no attempt will be made to get off the barque Lemuel Crawford. She canted to the sea and the water being deeper midships than either fore or aft, she was soon so injured that the expense of getting off and repairing will not warant the trouble. Her rigging and whatever else could be saved has been brought here by Capt. Stanard, of the Commercial Mutual Insurance Co. [Cleveland Review]

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May 31, 1858
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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), May 31, 1858