The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), May 9, 1877

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p.1 Customs Imports - May 8th - Str. H.F. Church, Milwaukee, M.T. Co., 18,611 bushels wheat.



Royal Mail Through Line

Commencement of the Passenger Business

The steamers of this Line will leave Kingston as follows:

At 5:30 P.M. for Toronto and Hamilton, calling at intermediate ports (weather permitting).

Corsican, on Wednesdays.

Spartan, on Saturdays.

Algerian, on Sundays.

For Motnreal and Quebec, at 5:30 a.m.:

Spartan, on Tuesdays.

Algerian, on Thursdays.

Corsican, on Saturdays.

For passage tickets and any information apply at the Lake and River Steamboat Office, St. Lawrence Wharf, foot of Johnson Street.

May 9th C.H. Hatch, Passenger Agent

p.3 Marine Notes

The harbour at the present time is comparatively quiet, little or no business being on hand.

James Swift's - The N.T. Co. steamer Lowell, from Chicago, and St. Albans, from Thorold, passed down.

Montreal Transportation Co. - The schr. H.F. Church arrived from Milwaukee with 18,611 bush. wheat. Per tug Glide, the barge Cleveland left for Montreal with 483 tons coal, and the Kinghorn with 18,611 bushels wheat.

The Oswego Belle - The steamer Oswego Belle arrived today on her first trip, and will take 100 head of cattle on board for Rochester, en route to England via Philadelphia. The boat has been thoroughly overhauled, and presents a very fine appearance, both out and in board. [Intelligencer]

The Chicago Inter-Ocean says seamen's wages in the grain trade, $1.25 to $1.50 for the round trip the men are all willing to accept $1.25.

The schr. Velocipede left Racine for Manistee on Friday and, of course, was lost. Who now will say that Friday is not an unlucky day on which to send out a vessel ?

A number of the men at the Detroit dry-dock have quit work because their demand for higher wages have not been acceded to by the proprietors.

A dispatch from Lakeport states that there was no ice in sight. Unless there is a change of wind it is thought vessels will hereafter experience no obstruction from ice in Lake Huron.

The schooner Nellie Teresa, which arrived here last night, lost her jib-boom in the Bay of Quinte by collision with the schr. Dominion. The latter vessel had her foresail damaged.

Broke Her Shaft - Yesterday, after the arrival of the steamer Hastings at her dock, it was found that her shaft, between the two flanges of the wheel on the port side, had been broken. A new shaft is being made for her at the Kingston Foundry. Meantime, the Maud has taken her place on the Bay route until the shaft is made, which will be in a few days.

Freights - A convention is to be held in Detroit on Wednesday, May 16th, to consider the feasibility of any plan of relief from the present ruinous competition among vessel owners in carrying freights at less than cost, and to ask the co-operation of marine underwriters in securing a more thorough and equitable classification of vessels. All vessel owners are invited to attend.

Port Colborne, May 8th - Up - schrs. Walters, Toronto, Chatham, light; B. Eveleigh, Oswego, Toledo, coal; Conneaut, do., do.; Eliza Allan, Welland, Erie, light; Fleetwing, Charlotte, Toledo, coal; Prince Alfred, Kingston, Bay City, light; F.D. Barker, Charlotte, Milwaukee, coal; J.R. Noyes, do., Chicago, do.; Atmosphere, Oswego, do.; H.B. Moore, Charlotte, do., do.; Delos DeWolf, Toronto, Cleveland, light; Lillie Parsons, Oswego, Toledo, do.; O.M. Bond, Oswego, Chicago, coal; Montmorency, Charlotte, Toledo, coal; Anglo Saxon, Kingston, Luddington, light; S. Amsden, Allanburg, Port Colborne, do.; prop. Canada, Hamilton, Chicago, do.

Down - schrs. Northman, blank, Clayton, timber; Clyde, Port Huron, Garden Island, do.; Gleniffer, do., do.; L.S. Hammond, Toledo, Cape Vincent, wheat; Mary Copley, Chicago, Kingston, corn; W.B. Allen, Chicago, Ogdensburg, do.; Grace Channon, do., Kingston, do.; G.B. Sloan, do., do., wheat; D.A. Wells, Chicago, Port Colborne, do.; steam barge Clinton, Toledo, Montreal, corn.

In Harbour - schrs. S. Amsden, Anglo-Saxon and D.A. Wells.

Port Huron, May 9th - The ice reaches 40 or 50 miles in the lake, and is very heavy, especially on the American shore. Wind north. No boats passed up or down. About twenty sails are in sight out in the ice.



Full Description of the Craft

Yesterday (Tuesday) was a gala day on Garden Island, having been the occasion of the launching of one of the largest, if not the very largest, vessel ever built on Lake Ontario. The island presented quite a holiday appearance, as all work seemed to be knocked off, and the men, women and children, with the exception of those men employed in launching the vessel, were dressed in their best clothes to do honour to the event. Bunting flew from various points, and the vessel itself was decorated with a large number of flags and streamers. The time announced for the launch was two o'clock in the forenoon, and shortly before that hour the steamer Pierrepont took over a very large excursion party from the city to witness the most remarkable launch which has taken place for many years. On arriving at Garden Island the party broke up into groups, and engaged themselves in conning the noble ship as she lay on the ways, ready to slip into the lake at the given signal. During the day the necessary preparations had been made, and immediately on the arrival of the Pierrepont the work of knocking out the supports began. This was speedily accomplished, and every thing which would tend to retard the progress of the heavy mass being cleared away, the word was given. The last rope was severed, and with a crash the beautiful craft rushed down the ways which had been carefully greased, at a tremendous speed, and amid the loud cheers of the spectators, and the shrill screaming of a dozen steam whistles, she took the water, upon which she rode like a duck. The launch was accomplished without a hitch, and everyone agreed that it was the finest launch they had ever seen. As an instance of the velocity with which the vessel ran down the ways, it may be mentioned that just before the stem touched the water a dense volume of smoke arose from the ways as if they were on fire. Fortunately this was not the case. Messrs. Calvin and Breck, the enterprising owners, received the hearty congratulations of their friends on the successful launch of the vessel, and Mr. Henry Rooney, the shipwright, was also congratulated on the completion of his arduous task.

The following is a detailed

Description Of The Vessel:

She is named the Garden Island, as a compliment to the busy hive of industry where she was built. Her keel was laid in November, 1875, and she has been built under the survey of the Bureau Veritas, of Quebec, French Lloyds, in which she will be classed A 1. Her length on the main deck is 178 feet, breadth of beam, 35 feet 3 inches, depth of hold, 22 feet. The size of her floor timbers, sided and moulded, is 14 inches; first and second futlock, sided and moulded, is 13 1/2 inches; top timber, at the head, 9 inches by 10 inches; planking, 5 1/2 inches thick, with six inch nails. All of the above work is of the finest selected Ohio oak. Her treenails are of locust, imported to the island in the rough for the purpose, and manufactured by a curious machine which was purchased in St. John, N.B., and which does its work very smoothly. All the butts in the ship are fastened with Muntz patent yellow metal, and all of the bolting below the loadline is done consists of the same metal, which is very expensive. All her centre line, that is, her keelson and its rider, are each 20 inches square; her keel is of elm, and the fastening through these is of the same yellow metal, of which an enormous quantity is used. The vessel has a graceful clipper bow, which is beautifully carved. Her stern is round, and is also finely carved, the carving being done by Mr. Gourdier, of Weber & Co.'s piana factory, and very creditable to him it is. The cabin is a very fine apartment, and is beautifully finished in fancy moulded and nicely grained oak colour, the painter being Mr. John Blaine. In front of the cabin, and supporting its roof, are two beautifully carved knees. The forecastle and officers' rooms, and all the other berths, are very comfortably fitted up. The rudder, which is a ponderous machine, and a patented arrangement, is hung with five immense brass straps, cast at the Kingston Foundry by Messrs. Davidson, Doran & Co. Iron would not answer for this purpose on account of the action of salt water, which would injure the metal. The lower hold beams are of Ohio oak, sided and moulded, 14 inches. The main deck beams are also of oak, 12 by 13 inches.

The vessel is to be full barque rigged, with double topsail yards. The masts are immense beams of timber, and only the lower ones are at present set up. The higher portions will not be put up until the vessel reaches Montreal, so that she may be sufficiently light to pass through the canal. The work on her sails, rigging, and all above her deck has been superintended by Mr. Joseph Dix, who has been in Messrs. Calvin and Breck's employ as sailmaker and rigger for thirty-six years. The ship's blocks are strapped with galvanized iron, patented, manufactured by the Penfield Block Works, Lockport, N.Y., and are very well made. Her sails are made of Rutherford's best canvass, and were made in Scotland expressly for this ship. She will spread, when in full sail, about 3,500 yards of canvass, and in case of accident, Mr. Dix has made a full set of spare sails. She will have six shrouds on each side of the fore and main masts of 4 1/2 inch wire. Her fore topmast backstays are likewise 4 1/2 inch and doubled. The fore and main stays and fore and main topmast stays are of the same wire. Her mizzen mast has four shrouds on each side of 4 3/4 inches wire, and the mizzen stay, 4 inch wire single.

The Garden Island will carry two chains, 120 fathoms each, made of wire 1 3/4 inches thick, and we were shown the formidable iron bars of which it was made. She will carry five anchors, two of them weighing 40 cwt. each, one streamer of 12 cwt., and two smaller ones. Her masts, sails and rigging will be shipped to Montreal, where her chains now await her arrival, along with about 25 tons of iron knees, which have yet to be put in. All her fitting up will be completed in Montreal, for which place she will leave in tow about the end of this week or beginning of next. The tonnage of the Garden Island is within a fraction of 1,000 tons, and she is to be engaged in carrying Messrs. Calvin & Breck's timber. She will be commanded by Captain William Zealand, of Hamilton, a gentleman who has had a considerable amount of experience in ocean sailing. There will be three mates and a crew of 25 men. She is specially fitted for the trade of carrying timber, and during the present summer she will be engaged in carrying timber manufactured in Ohio and Michigan, brought from thence to Garden Island on the firm's lake schooners, towed down the St. Lawrence with rafts, and then shipped to Glasgow. The ship's ports are four in number, 30 by 34 inches each, two on each side of the stempiece, one above the other.

In order to launch such a large vessel successfully, a special effort had to be made. New ways were constructed in the water, the work on which was superintended by Mr. Calvin personally. Nearly a month was spent in the labour of sinking and fastening the necessary piers, etc., a gang of divers working in armour being employed for that purpose. The result of all the work is that the noble vessel successfully glided into the water without any trouble whatever.

The completion of so large a work as the building of the Garden Island, is a great matter for congratulation, and in a very large measure the success of the undertaking is due to Mr. Henry Rooney, who has been in the employment of Messrs. Calvin and Breck for about 35 years. He designed the vessel, and her model is a very fine one. He also superintended the building, and he must have felt highly gratified when he found the vessel on getting into the water sit so evenly, and her draft being 7 feet 8 inches forward, and 8 feet 7 inches aft. He had to see that she was not too deep to go down the canal, and he has succeeded in keeping her within the mark.

In honour of the event, a grand party took place at Garden Island, followed in the evening by a dance.

We omitted to state above that the Garden Island, shortly after reaching the water, was taken in tow by the Lady Franklin and assisted to the dock, where she now lies. The Hiram A. Calvin also lent assistance.

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May 9, 1877
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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), May 9, 1877