The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Aug. 6, 1878

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p.1 From Kingston To Halifax

(part) ...I may say, en passant, that the Royal Mail boats are very fine with good capable officers and every accommodation that one could wish, for a limited number of passengers. We had 150 cabin passengers or some fifty more than they could supply with state rooms. This, of course, cannot be helped at present, but when the canals are enlarged and other improvements made we may hope for floating palaces, such as the company run between Montreal and Quebec. Even the discomfort I mention could not spoil the delight of the trip, for in every other respect these boats are worthy of all praise and the traveller can with every feeling of safety enjoy the beauties of unique scenery as we glide among the islands and past the towns and villages on the shore, while the islands in some cases present to the eye of the voyageur, farms neatly laid out, and houses, barns, etc., which betoken good crops and give evidence of thrift and economy. We touched at Gananoque, Brockville and Prescott without anything worthy of note occurring, other than the continued enjoyment of the great beauty around us. As we approached Prescott we met the Passport with "A" Battery on board returning from Montreal. Lusty cheers were given and returned. From Kingston to Brockville the river is, of course, one continuous route between and among islands, and, practically speaking, this class of scenery ends shortly after leaving Brockville, while just at Prescott and Ogdensburg it is anything but interesting. After leaving Prescott we began to enjoy a new sensation. We first met the Galop Rapids, and while they are insignificent compared with the others they yet suggest what is coming and in a measure prepare the mind for what is to be engraven thereon by a sight which cannot probably be produced anywhere else in the world. Description fails in speaking of the Long Sault, Cedar, and Lachine Rapids, for experience alone can tell to each individual mind what these rapids are and what it is to go down them and through them. To me it was the grandest sensation of my life and can never fade while memory lasts. I have read alluring descriptions of this trip, but I never got even a faint idea of how magnificently grand and exceedingly sublime is the actual reality of "Running the Rapids by daylight" on one of those splendid steamers. It must have been a confident mind and a strong will that first took the responsibility of guiding one of those large steamboats, with its living freight, through the boiling waters and swift current. I had heard of the "Split Rock," and how one or more steamers had struck as they attempted this passage, but I never could have pictured to my mind the scene of such a dreadful accident. We must imagine the water rushing along with a velocity truly startling, then picture on either side of you rocks showing their rough heads out of the water, and think of a large steamboat, running at the rate of from 20 to 30 miles an hour, as she does run, so that we pass by the shore so rapidly that you cannot clearly distinguish anything thereon, although quite close, and then last of all imagine the water foaming and boiling as though it were a witch cauldron on a large scale and all the demons of the earth were at work stirring and troubling its depths, and finally see as you race along the water rush and run in mad billows past us, and at times a great wave would strike our bow as though it would crush and break us into fragments, and all this while our boat is actually down, for again and again you could feel the deck give way under you as she seemed to dive down, and yet never stayed nor stopped in her headlong speed, and as our noble boat glided out of the rapids into smooth though still swiftly moving water, one involuntarily took a long, deep breath and glanced up at the pilot house, where stood the men who had actually held your life in their hands. They had four men at the wheel, one being the pilot, and also two men aft at the tiller to hold her in case of accident to the rudder chain. We passed three grand rapids, although the centre one is subdivided into four. We now passed under the Victoria Bridge and ran alongside the Quebec boat where passengers were transferred to one of those magnificent steamers that ply between Montreal and Quebec....

p.3 Collision - The Brockville Recorder says: "Yesterday (Sunday) as the Spartan was leaving the B. & O. dock, she drifted down so far that she collided with the schr. Annie Foster, lying at McCullough's wharf, carrying away the bowsprit of the schr. and smashing one of the Spartan's paddle boxes."

Marine Notes

Port Colborne, Aug. 5th - Up - schrs. Laura, Kingston, Malden, light; Mary, Thorold, Erie, light; E.H. Rutherford, Kingston, Toledo, light; props. Ocean, Montreal, Detroit, light; Lawrence, Ogdensburg, Chicago, gen. cargo.

Down - schrs. Huron, Toledo, Kingston, corn; props. Celtic, Fort William, Montreal, gen. cargo; City of Concord, Chicago, Ogdensburg, gen. cargo; Lake Erie, Detroit, Montreal, gen. cargo.

Port Colborne, Aug. 6th - Up - schrs. J. Willard, Toronto, Toledo, light; M. Battle, Collinsby, Toledo, light; Cecilia, Kingston, Windsor, light; L. Hamilton, Collinsby, Bay City, light; Riverside, Toronto, Toledo, light; props. A. Munro, Montreal, Detroit, light; Africa, Montreal, Cleveland, light.

Down - schrs. Mediterranean, Toledo, Oswego, wheat and corn; L.S. Hammond, Chicago, Kingston, corn; P. Blacke, Chicago, Kingston, corn; M. Merritt, Cleveland, Toronto, coal; Havana, Chicago, Kingston, coal; prop. St. Albans, Chicago, Ogdensburg, gen. cargo.

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Aug. 6, 1878
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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), Aug. 6, 1878