p.2 Boat Building On The St. Lawrence - At Clayton this business has been conducted extensively during the past winter. The amount of work accomplished is striking proof of this activity, there having built a tug 80 feet long, and 17 feet beam for Messrs. Wright and Davis for the river trade; and a vessel, 142 feet long, 26 feet 4 in. beam and 11 feet 6 inches depth of hold, for Messrs. Folger Bros. of Kingston. The vessel is full size, Welland Canal, and will have a carrying capacity of 19,000 bushels of wheat. At Sackett's Harbour, Mr. B. Everley is building a new vessel for Mr. Cummings of Oswego, and at Henderson's Harbour, Mr. White has nearly finished a fine schooner for himself. The average cost of these craft is fixated at $25,000 each.
St. Catharines Correspondence
Description Of The Town - Boat Building, etc.
St. Catharines, March 27th - .... Close to the swing bridge is Shickluna Shipyard in full blast. A few words about this yard, which, if it does not bear a world-wide celebrity, enjoys a North-American reputation of being A-1 in shipbuilding. Mr. Shickluna himself is a native Maltese, and appears to be possessed of the qualities for which his countrymen are so famous, for excelling in ship-building, combined with American go-aheaditiveness. The foreman is an old Kingstonian well up in his business, and celebrated as a successful shipbuilder. I mean George Thurston, who has been here nearly two years. The yard is not much bigger than Power's Marine Railway of your city; but there is a great difference in the aspect of the two places, for we have one propeller completed, ready for launching, owned by Neilon (sic - Neelon ?). Another propellor, about one-third finished for a Joint Stock Company and two vessels, full canal size, which will be ready for launching at the opening of navigation. Every body with a thousand dollars to spare is investing it in floating property, but more particularly in steam craft. I imagine it would be a long time before the merchants of Kingston would embark in building a propellor or two and employ hundreds of men, besides making the city look less as if a funeral were taking place amongst the manufacturers. If that speculation would'nt do, why not build a couple of storehouses to receive what those boats carry into port, and not keep vessels sometimes a week or ten days waiting the facilities to unload them. I have heard this subject spoken of in very strong terms, and condemned the narrowmindedness of the Kingston people in not having suitable accommodation erected to store the grain when needed. The want of proper wharf accommodation is much felt, as a boat drawing 10 or 11 feet, cannot lay at but one or two of the lower docks, except at the end, where she obstructs every thing else at the sides. Prescott is talked of as a better place for transhipment than Kingston, and I believe if something is not done shortly in the way of improving the shipping accommodation, that Prescott will take that branch of Kingston's prosperity away, and her people will say, "Sarved her right." I would like to see or hear of your Mayor agitating the subject, and getting something done in the matter. He is somewhat of a sailor man, I believe...
Continuing up the canal from the wheel works I come to the Linnie Powell, Canada, and a couple of smaller craft laid up in winter quarters. Passing McComb's sail loft at the swing bridge, I reach the dock of the Merchants' Line, with the propellor Lincoln alongside. Next comes the stone white mills and store houses. On the opposite bank of the canal is Shickluna's large saw mill. The barque Jane C. Woodruff and propellor Dominion are at Shickluna's dry dock, the latter receiving a thorough overhauling and repairs to the hull and boilers. There is quite a busy scene at Lock No. 3. The stone work going into the lock, the bottom of which has for years been very injurious to vessels and screws. They are widening the embankment around the lock about twelve feet, which has been greatly needed. Then comes the propellors Scotia and Europe in their winter quarters alongside of Hutchinson's mill. A little more patience, and a little further on, I come across the saw factory, where all kinds of saws are made. In one foundry here they turned out an immense amount of engine work last year; in fifteen months no less than five low pressure engines will be completed. McConduitt's tannery and the city foundry and machine shop, the red mill, steamer St. Andrew, propellers America and Ocean, Neilsen's lumber yard, gas works and Simpson's shipyard are close to Lock 5, with three propellers in course of erection.
In addition to the propellers mentioned above Mr. Norris is building one for the Lake and River Navigation Company; and another for a Joint Stock Company, Messrs. McDonald and Company....
p.3 Inland Navigation
The St. Catharines Times says: "Our readers can judge of the rapid growth of the trade between Montreal and Chicago, when we inform them that in 1868, only five years ago, there were no more than three Canadian propellers, or one a week on that route. This summer there will be eighteen, or one a day, all belonging to St. Catharines and its growing suburbs." The impression intended to be conveyed by the foregoing paragraph is that St. Catharines is the only port that has the only port which has sufficient enterprise to have a line of propellers between Montreal and Chicago, ignoring the fact altogether that other lines of propellers are running between Montreal and Chicago. By an advertisement in a St. Catharines' paper we find that the Merchants' Montreal and Chicago line numbers just nine and not "eighteen" propellers, and we are informed that one of the nine is owned in Toronto (the Shickluna). The Hamilton Lake and River Steamship line has ten boats, with another one building, eight of which ply between Montreal and Chicago without breaking bulk, while the others in consequence of their size being too large to pass through the canal ply between Montreal and the Lake Ontario ports. The names of those capable of passing through the canal are the Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Canada, Columbia, City of Chatham, California, and Dromedary. [Hamilton Standard]