The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), March 17, 1873

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p.2 Navigation - Prospects For An Early Opening - An outlook from the north shore of Lake Erie does not present any indications of an early opening of that lake. With the aid of a telescope from a high bluff near Port Stanley no water is visible, and the ice five miles from shore is of greater thickness than ever previously known. The average month for the lake opening between Buffalo and Chicago is April, it having occurred during that month since 1807 forty-four times. The past winter compares favorably with those of 1843, 1856 and 1872. Navigation opened at Buffalo in those years May 6th, May 2nd, and May 6th, respectively. There have been two instances where the opening was deferred until June, viz. 1807, June 11th, and 1811, June 4th. On Lake Ontario the movement of vessels invariably takes place at a much earlier period than on the other lakes. To the westward of this point Lakes Huron and Michigan are more heavily encumbered with ice than ever previously known, from which it may be inferred that the passage through the Straits need not be looked for at certainly no earlier period than last year, which was on April 28th. Within the past twenty years there has been but little difference between Buffalo and Mackinaw Straits as regards the opening of navigation, although during that period Buffalo was more often the first point which was open. In 1856 both points were accessible to vessels on the same date, May 2nd. Until the ice becomes weakened by warm rains and mild southerly breezes, the heavy March winds, such as recently swept over the country, have but little or no effect towards breaking it up. The first steamer (the Pierrepont) started for Wolfe Island last year on the 20th of April, but the harbour was not entirely clear of ice for some days afterwards, and there were "miniature icebergs" floating around as late as the 1st of May. But last season was extremely late; the prospects are boats will be running before the end of this month. From the above facts lake men may draw their own inferences. The estimated valuation of lake vessel property given by "underwriters" for this year is widely at variance with those of preceding years, and for some unexplained reasons is not proportionately given. It is safe, however, to place the whole at $23,299,000.

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March 17, 1873
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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 17, 1873