The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), July 28, 1873

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p.2 Fire On A Lake Steamer - The Rochester Union of Friday says: "A passenger who arrived here at 3 o'clock this morning on the steamer Abyssinian, of the Canada Navigation Company's line, reports that last evening, while the passengers were at the supper table, all the waiters and employees were called to the deck. It had been discovered that the boat was on fire around the boilers. The pumps were manned and the fire engines put at work. After half an hour's hard labour the flames were subdued. The extent of the damage done was not ascertained, but it did not prevent the boat from continuing the trip. The fire occurred when the boat was between Kingston and Oswego. There was some excitement among the passengers until it was ascertained by them that the fire was under control."

Marine News

Coulthurst & McPhie's wharf - The prop. California lightened 298 bags peas from Chicago.

Montreal Transportation Company's wharf - schr. Jas. Marca arrived from Milwaukee with 18,000 bush. wheat. The tug Glide left with barges Victor, 12,003 bush. wheat; Advance, 12,400 bush. wheat; Albert, 12,730 bush. wheat; Kinghorn, 18,000 bush. wheat; Alfred, 12,440 bush. wheat.

James Swift & Co.'s wharf - The steamers Athenian, Passport, Corsican and Osprey and prop. Calabria passed up; steamers Athenian and York and props. Georgian and America passed down. The tug S.S. Edsall coaled here.

Holcomb & Stewart's wharf - The prop. Scotia, from Milwaukee, lightened 4,600 bush. wheat. The barge Martin leaves, per Government Tug Line, with 12,500 bush. wheat and corn.

Port Colborne, July 26th - Up: props. Columbus, City of Concord, Akron, Lake Erie; schrs. E.G. Benedict, Richardson, steam barges Westford, Kincardine, schr. Louisa.

Down: steam barge Glasgow, Bay City, Ogdensburg, lumber; barges J.H. Lathrop, do., do.; India, do., do.; John Mark, do., do.; schrs. Wm. Home, do., Kingston, timber; Blazing Star, Milwaukee, Oswego, wheat; J.G. Mollison, do., do.

St. Catharines Correspondence

Dear News, - We arrived last evening safe and sound after a delightful ride on Lakes Erie and Ontario in the new boat of which I am to tell you.

The Propeller Persia

is a splendid craft, very handsome model, painted white inside and out, nice roomy cabins elegantly furnished, comfortable staterooms, easy chairs, sofas, etc., with fine ventilation and ample accommodation for fifty or sixty passengers. The Persia should, if possible, be retained on the line between Toledo and Montreal. She will very soon be crowded with pleasure seekers and travellers that are constantly going from one point to the other during the summer months, and would gladly escape the heat and dust of railroad locomotion. The Persia will advertise herself in one or two trips. Our party from Toledo is a very jolly one, and we are all delighted with the boat. Our good friend, Henry Bennett, was immediately after leaving the port of Toronto elected

Shah of the Persia,

and very ably has he sustained the grace and dignity of the office. He is a little inclined, however, to detail some of the duties connected with that important office to his juniors. Still we are all charmed with his noble bearing and kindly manner. His appetite is improving, and he can now dispose of four meals per diem. This morning he was a little indignant at a hackman who addressed him as "Governor," but we were able to soothe him by explaining that the man did not know his true title, and he was not at that early hour in court dress. But I started to tell you about the Persia. She was built in St. Catharines by M. Simpson for the owner,

Captain James Norris,

a wealthy ship-owner, resident of St. Catharines, and an old lake-captain. I met him a few moments ago. He is weather-beaten and bronzed, but hale, fat and hearty, as jolly as any "jolly old tar" you ever saw - yet a thorough gentleman, and one who knows just what kind of a boat will do the business and carry a crowd of delightful excursionists. But I forgot I was simply to tell you about the Persia. She is a nice boat, clean and handsome, nicely arranged for comfort and enjoyment. I am informed that she cost about $38,000, gold. She is 146 feet long, several stories high, and wide enough to just squeeze through the locks in the Welland Canal (if you know how wide that is, I don't); has a capacity for 16,500 bushels, and 80 passengers, including officers and crew. She is commanded by

Capt. J.H. Scott,

and if you want to travel with somebody who can make you very comfortable and happy from your toes to your hair and back again all the time, be sure and wait for Capt. Scott and the Persia. If Capt. Scott can't do it, you need not look elsewhere, for "everybody else is out of town, and I am too." It is a source of great wonder to me how it is possible for a lake captain (and crew also) to go without sleep, but they do it somehow - at least Capt. Scott does it - all day and all night, and all the next day, on deck, Persuading vessels to "get out of that" blessing (?) a commander of a mud scow for getting his lines in our wheel, or entreating in his mild and genial way some tug captain to ease her off on the port bow, etc., all the time outside from one end of the ship to the other, and yet all the time looking after the lights in the cabin, the comfort of his guests, and everything else - that's whats the matter with him. The purser of the Persia is

Charley Holmes,

a young man from St. Catharines, of fine personal and genial manners. His attentions to the comfort and enjoyment of the passengers has endeared him to all. If anything don't jibe exactly right, speak to Charley about it and it's done.

There is another matter that I should like to mention, though I seldom notice such things being a timid man myself and "a bashful creature and easy set back afore company," but I cannot close this minute and concise description of the new boat, without mentioning the lady who superintends the dining room and pantry, looks after staterooms, dusts the cabins, does all the work and is always on hand to attend to the wants of little children (and big ones) and does it all with a smile that is like that of your dearest friend and answers you with a voice as sweet as a "Hopera singer." She is a trump, she is - and I should be glad to give you her name, but I dare not, for other and rival boats would try to get her away from the Persia, and besides, I am that timid that I have not yet ascertained what it is.

Well I started to tell you about the Persia - but perhaps from the rambling style of this hurried letter, you may not get the facts you desire. I don't care if you don't - I have paid my fare and am on a pleasure excursion and I am not going into statistics to please any body and I am not going to work hard any way. But the main point is here. That the Persia is just our style of a boat and should be retained "on that line if it takes all summer." Yours in haste,

St. Catharines, July 25th G.

p.3 Customs Imports - July 26th - Str. Spartan, Montreal, T. McAuley & Co., 6 cases stationary.

Schr. Meteor, Hamilton, Calvin & Breck, 2,338 pcs. oak staves, 19,869 W.I. staves.

Schr. M. O'Gorman, Hamilton, do., 6,411 pipe staves, 24,576 W.I. staves.

Schr. Augusta, Michigan, do., 275 pieces oak.

Schr. Antelope, Bay City, do., 237 pcs. oak, 1 pc. pine, 1 pc. ash.

Schr. St. Andrews, Toledo, do., 331 pcs. walnut.

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July 28, 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.
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), July 28, 1873