The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), March 10, 1863

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p.2 Mr. John Carruthers has purchased the Marine Railway property for the sum of $50,000 cash. The purchase includes the shipyard, cottages in Ontario Street, Holcomb & Cowan's wharf, and Ontario Foundry lots. The purchase is exceeding cheap, the present rental of the property bringing in about 10 % upon the purchase money, and the prospective value of such wharf property being exceedingly favorable. The site is a splendid one, and when improved as it doubtless will be by the erection of elevators and grain warehouse, etc., the return will no doubt be something handsome.


In a lengthy review of the general business of Kingston, published in our columns about this time last year, reference was made incidentally to one or two manufacturing establishments immediately connected with the shipping of the port, notices of others being deferred till a future period. As a continuation of the sketch then given, we now supply brief notices of the several branches of mechanical industry at present carried on in the city.


To Kingston and its vicinity belongs the honor, we believe, of building and launching the first Canadian sailing vessel and the first steamer that navigated these waters. A schooner of about ten tons burthen was launched here in 1678, and in 1817 the first Canadian lake steamer was floated off at Ernestown. With the growth of our shipping trade have increased the facilities for the construction of vessels, and Kingston is now only second to Quebec in the extent of her ship-building.

The Kingston Marine Railway, managed by Mr. C.W. Jenkins, is the most extensive ship-yard in the city. At this establishment were built some of the largest and finest vessels that sail on the lakes, and several that are now employed in ocean navigation. The larger portion of the material consumed in the yard is supplied by the surrounding country, and its preparation and transportation afford employment to a large number of men and teams. The present winter has been an extremely favorable one for the prosecution of out-door operations, and the work of building and repairing has been carried on during the season without interruption. A new vessel of 450 tons, the keel of which was laid in October last, is rapidly progressing towards completion, and will be ready for launching at the opening of navigation. The propellers Indian and Colonist have been thoroughly renovated and launched; and the steamers Banshee, Bowmanville and Avon; the propellers Lawrence and West, and the schooner Bay of Quinte, are undergoing extensive repairs, and will be ready to be floated off at the opening of the season. 150 men have been constantly employed during the winter, and the expenditures for wages and material amount to about $25,000.

The Portsmouth ship-yards, also, have enjoyed a very busy season. At Mr. G.W. Ault's establishment a large amount of business has been done, and the proprietor has been unable to execute several orders in consequence of the press of work. The steamer Rescue, belonging to Messrs. Cook and Brothers, has been thoroughly rebuilt at this yard during the winter; the barque Arabia, owned by Messrs. Wm. Ferguson and Co., and the steamers Whitby and Ranger, belonging to Messrs. Black & Perry, are undergoing thorough repairs. Improvements have been made on several other vessels, and all will be ready for launching at an early day. The number of men at work is seventy.

At Mr. Berry's establishment the business of the season has been confined to repairing barges. Eight of these vessels are now in the yard, and a large number of men are employed in getting them ready for launching at the opening of navigation.

Foundries, Iron & Tin Works - (part) The Kingston Foundry, Messrs. Davidson & Doran proprietors, is the oldest establishment of the kind in the city, having been started in 1837. Its business is extensive, and affords steady employment to a large number of men. The manufacture of marine and stationary engines is conducted at this foundry on an extensive scale, and the establishment has supplied the machinery for nearly all our first-class lake steamers since the stoppage of the works of the Niagara Dock Company. Boilers and heavy castings are turned out in large quantities, and machinery of various kinds is constructed at these works. Several large orders are now being executed, including the machinery for Messrs. Holcomb & Cowan's new floating elevator, and 70 men are employed in the different departments. The value of the work done during the past year is estimated at $50,000; the wages paid in the same period amounted to $17,000.

The Kingston Locomotive Works -...At these works are built locomotives and tenders, and all kinds of steamboat and ship machinery...value of steamboat machinery built here last year was $4000....

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March 10, 1863
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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), March 10, 1863