The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Nov. 11, 1875

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p.2 The Graving Dock

Application, we understand, will be made to the Government for a bonus to assist in the construction of the Dry or Graving Dock. That it will be granted we fully expect; indeed the claims of the enterprise for public aid of this kind are such that they must commend themselves to the favourable consideration of the Dominion Ministry. The dock should be considered a part of the harbour improvements, and entitled to help on that account. But the grounds for asking the bonus are numerous as well as important. Kingston is a prominent naval station, and has been such since the establishment of the military works here. Its fortifications have recently been rebuilt and strengthened, and if the public works are to be complete the addition of the dry dock is necessary. In granting the bonus it does not go to the improvement of a private scheme for private benefit. The dock will be always ready for any service which the Government may demand, and such a service is not an improbable thing. At present the advantages of a dock are not appreciated when discussed from this point of view, but as in the past so in the future. An emergency may at any time arise by which its usefulness as well as necessity for military purposes may be practically demonstrated. But from a commercial aspect the dock is entitled to a bonus. The Welland Canal is being enlarged to admit of a larger class of vessels trading on Lake Ontario, and Kingston port, from its central location and eminence as a transhipping port, would be behind the age without this dock and would lack facilities which its position and merchantile standing warrant. There is no dock, barring this one in its unfinished shape, between Montreal and Port Dalhousie, and all marine men know that this want entails a heavy loss to the country and its industries. We need only give one instance of this - the case of the Corsican, which, in the absence of docking accommodation either here or at Portsmouth, had to be taken to Ogdensburg, adding to the business of a foreign place while mechanics here are suffering in the absence of employment. If the Government grant the bonus, the application for which is endorsed by a petition influentially signed, the excavating can be carried on during the winter on a more extensive scale than at present, engaging a large staff of men, who would otherwise be reduced to narrow straits and undergo much distress in battling against an imclement season in dull times. This one point alone is so cogent that it should have a significent bearing upon the decision of the Cabinet. Again, it is not improbable that the Government may at no distant day establish a Naval School here as well as a Military College, like unto that at Halifax, and in that event a graving dock will be an indispensible thing, presuming that gunboats will be kept within range, and that they must occasionally need repairing, for which purpose the dock would be always at the disposal of the military authorities. The city granted a portion of the land for the dock, and that is all that it can be expected to do in view of the large contributions it has made to railways. But for this fact the ratepayers would, no doubt, very cheerfully give the dock municipal assistance of a pecuniary nature. Briefly we have referred to the claims of the dock upon the Government for assistance, and we are sanguine that the result will be satisfactory to the public and the originators of the scheme. We hope for only one answer - that the petition will be gladly granted. [Whig]

Marine Notes

The only arrivals to note are the propellors Argyle, from Windsor, and Celtic, from Hamilton, at Swift's Dock, and the schr. E.G. Benedict, from Port Whitby, at Holcomb and Stewart's, with 10,100 bush. wheat to be transhipped into a barge for Morrisburg. Otherwise the harbour is very dull, and indications of laying up are everywhere apparent.

The schr. Minnie Davis is loading iron ore at the wharf.

The schr. R. Gaskin was launched from the Marine Railway this morning, after getting necessary repairs.

The mail steamers have all been laid up for the winter, the Magnet and Algerian being at Swift's dock, where the Corsican is also expected this week.

Port Colborne, Nov. 10th - Up - Heather Bell, Toronto, Erie, barley; O. Mowat, Belleville, Erie, barley; steam barge Lincoln, Hamilton, Chicago, barley.

Down - schr. O.M. Bond, Chicago, Ogdensburg, corn; Madeira, Detroit, Oswego, wheat; Cortez, do., do., do.; Northumberland, Cleveland, Kingston, coal; steam barge Clinton.

In Harbour - brig Hercules, barge O.J. Haley, schr. Heather Belle, A.J. Dewey and O. Mitchell.

At elevator - barge Grimsby.

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Nov. 11, 1875
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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), Nov. 11, 1875