The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), July 23, 1861

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p.2 Fire At The Marine Railway - A disastrous fire broke out at the shipyard in Ontario street between twelve and one o'clock on Sunday morning. The smoke and flames were first perceived to have their origin in that part of the establishment known as the engine room, wherein is located the machinery of the powerful windlass, used in drawing up vessels out of the water for repairs. No fire is ordinarily used in this apartment, and one is at a loss to account for the appearance of fire at this point, except it be ascribed either to ascendiarism or spontaneous combustion. The fire spread with alarming rapidity and burned with the intensest fierceness, destroying the mould loft, saw mill, and range of workshops in the yard. In the mould loft were the lines and mouldings of the new vessel which was being built for Captain Gaskin. Some of the worked timbers of the vessel which were placed in order on the ground, were also either burned up or carried away. Thus it happens that the labors already bestowed upon the new ship have gone for nothing - we need not say a most serious loss. There was a barge drawn upon the railway, which it seemed impossible to save from burning. The bows of the barge had actually caught fire, and her destruction was looked upon as imminent, when the chain which held her, exposed as it was to the intense heat which was consuming the engine house, parted, and the vessel slid down the inclined plane into the water. The fire engines, one of which was partially disabled, were unable to do more than prevent the flames reaching the row of cottages which form the Ontario Street frontage of the yard. As we have had to record of every fire which has of late taken place in the city, this one served further to develop the insufficiency of the arrangements of the Water Works Company for extinguishing fires which may occur in the night. There is a hydrant stationed in the yard for the use of the railway, and two more in the immediate neighborhood, but none of these on being turned were found to contain water.

The premises were owned by the Hon. Alex Campbell, and the timber, etc., by Mr. Charles Jenkins. The loss of the latter is about 1000 pounds, and Mr. Campbell we hear had no insurance.

The premises we are informed were not insured. The lessee, Mr. Charles W. Jenkins, we are sorry to hear, loses about $4000 in timber and stores. Several of his workmen experienced a loss by the destruction of their tools and chests, which will be felt severely.

-rumors that Messrs. Calvin are negotiating to sell str. Hercules to officers of U.S. gov't for war purposes.

Customs Imports -

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July 23, 1861
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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), July 23, 1861