p.2 THE GRAIN BLOCKADE
To the Editor of the Daily News.
Sir; - A correspondent of yours, who signs himself "P.R. Henderson, agent of the Montreal Transportation Company," rambles over a third of a column in a characteristic attempt to prove that there was not a grain blockade in this port last week, but which fails to disprove a single fact stated by us in our letter of the 3rd instant. To follow him through his curious arguments would be a waste of word; for were his letter ten times as long, and one-tenth as self-contradictory, the fact would still remain that the forwarding capability of the port was unequal to the unloading of the cargoes seeking despatch, and that this very M.T. Company had to send off several vessels consigned to it.
If that fact does not prove a grain blockade, the only inference remaining is that words have lost their old meaning, or that forwarders are fond of refusing work out of which they could make a handsome thing, if they only had the capacity to undertake it.
Oct. 5th, 1877 Holcomb & Stewart.
The yacht Countess of Dufferin is again announced for sale by Major Gifford.
Serious damages to lake shipping are reported from Chicago, owing to the storm of the last two days.
Kingston As A Grain-Shipping Port
An experienced lake captain, with whom the writer of this article had an extended conversation a few years ago, remarked that Kingston would never command much influence as a grain shipping port until sufficient elevator accommodation was provided to meet all possible requirements. At that time his vessel had been detained eleven days in the harbour, waiting the return of barges from Montreal, and three times during the season he had claimed demurrage. The detention on all these occasions cost him dearly; and as he was only one out of many, the grand result of such a condition of affairs was far from being creditable to the business enterprise of the old city. The harbour is one of the best, if not the best, on Lake Ontario, and its situation at the foot of vessel navigation gives it a decided advantage in the estimation of shippers. But so long as transhipment is made to depend on the supply of barges, without stationary elevators to meet the demands of a rush, so long will Kingston labour under great disadvantages in the general competition. The late blockade at that port, and the discussion that has originated, through the Government granting permission to use a few American vessels, may direct attention to a subject that has been too long neglected, and possibly stir up local enterprise to a good effect. With one or more large elevators, of sufficient capacity to accommodate 500,000 or 700,000 bushels of grain there would be no danger of a blockade at Kingston, and many thousand bushels that now find their way to Oswego and many other ports would be consigned to the Canadian rival. When a number of vessels arrived, and the barges in use for transhipment to Montreal were unable to meet the demands, there would be no demurrage claimed, nor would any of the cargoes be sent elsewhere, as the surplus could be stored to wait the convenience of the transportation companies. We believe the Kingston papers discourage the proposition of having stationary elevators, alleging that the occasional "rush" does not warrant such an outlay, and claiming that several firms engaged in the transhipment of grain have a sufficient number of barges to move all consignments. The experience of last week, and former periods, should convert them to another way of thinking. [Belleville Ontario]
p.3 Erroneous - In an article which we copy in another column, the Belleville Ontario says the Kingston papers have discouraged the erection of stationary elevators in the city. On behalf of the News we may state that we should be very glad indeed to see an elevator erected here, and have in times past advocated its erection.
Yacht Race - An interesting race will take place in the harbour tomorrow afternoon between the Zitella and the Emma for ten dollars a side. The yachts are both to be sailed by amateur crews, Mr. M.W. Strange, jr., sailing the Zitella, and Mr. Geo. Offord, jr., the Emma. The race will be over the old course, viz. from Swift's wharf to Garden Island and return, thence to Four Mile Point and return, and repeat. It will start at 2 o'clock p.m. sharp.
The Oil Ship
Messrs. McEwen & Son have almost completed the erection of tanks on board the schr. Fanny Campbell, and it is expected that she will be ready to sail about the middle of next week. The work of making the tanks began in August last, and has continued until until now, some time having been lost in getting boiler plate from England. The tanks themselves - six in number - contain about 8,500 lbs. of iron, exclusive of rivets, and the men are now engaged in rivetting the last two, the work having to be done on the schooner. The other four are finished and today Messrs. McEwen had a steam engine down there pumping water into them to test their tightness. It is Mr. McMillan's intention, we believe, to have two more tanks made to lie on the deck of the schooner to make her deep enough to sail down the lake. These will be lightened here. The capacity of the six tanks will be nearly 114,000 gallons, and the total load will be about 150,000 gallons. Messrs. McEwen have had about forty men engaged at this work during the last two months.
This is a new branch of commerce, and we hope Mr. McMillan will be sufficiently remunerated for his venture. We have no doubt that the enterprise will be successful, and that before long other vessels will be fitted up to carry coal oil in bulk. Messrs. McEwen have accomplished a work of considerable difficulty in an admirable manner, and the job reflects credit on them.
Most of the vessels leaving Kingston light call at "Starchville" on their way up the lake. This place was formerly known as Oswego, and it is said that it will shortly be utilized as a laundry, for the Syracuse Convention politicians to wash their dirty linen at.
Misinformed - We were misinformed about the Wm. Home being aground on Nine Mile Point. She only anchored so close to a reef that the captain was afraid he could not work out, and so he sent for a tug to get him out of his trouble.
Casualties - The schr. Annie Mulvey ran aground on Four Mile Point last evening, but was pulled off this morning without damage by the tug Chieftain, and towed into port. The Oriental also grounded on the Snake Island shoal, and the Chieftain has gone to assist. The schr. O.M. Bond broke her foreboom off short in the squall yesterday.
Port Colborne, Oct. 4th - Up - schrs. Yankee Blade, Kingston, Chicago, light; John Magee, Charlotte, Chicago, coal; Mary of St. Catharines, Welland, Erie, light; Tom Ellsworth, Oswego, Chicago, coal; Cascade, Ogdensburg, Cleveland, iron ore; Canadian, St. Catharines, Rondeau, light; L.J. Luff, Kingston, Chicago, light; steambarge Wm. Cowie, Ogdensburg, Saginaw, light; prop. Granite State, Ogdensburg, Toledo, gen. cargo.
Down - schrs. Norway, Toledo, Kingston, timber; Siberia, Toledo, Kingston, timber; E.P. Dorr, Cleveland, Cape Vincent, coal; R. Gaskin, Gully River, Kingston, timber; Ontario, Leamington, Kingston, wheat; Three Bells, Cleveland, Port Dalhousie, coal; H. Folger, Chicago, Oswego, wheat; Mary Copley, Milwaukee, Kingston, wheat; W.H. Rounds, Milwaukee, Kingston, wheat; A. Boody, Toledo, Oswego, wheat; James Wade, Milwaukee, Kingston, wheat; Pride of America, Windsor, Kingston, timber and lumber; Anna Craig, Cleveland, St. Catharines, coal; Florida, Milwaukee, Kingston, wheat; M. Filmore, Chicago, Kingston, corn; Erie Stewart, Erie, Toronto, coal.
In Harbour - schrs. Mary, Lem Ellsworth, Ellsworth, Cascade, Canadian and Luff.