The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Montreal Gazette (Montreal, QC), July 9, 1833

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This undertaking is now beginning to manifest such progress, that we may fairly presume some part of it will be ready for use by the first of November next. There being nearly two hundred men employed in excavating the basin, every week will show a great quantity of sand thrown out and increase in the length of the rail-way, which is laid down as fast as the sand is cleared away from its intended bed. This rail-way is an inclined plane which, when finished, will have its termination in upwards of fourteen feet water, capable of admitting upon it vessels or Steam-Boats of the largest class on Lake Ontario. The Steam Engine of twelve horse power employed in pumping is the one intended to be connected with this Rail-way, which, when completed, will draw out with great ease, any vessel that may require repair or alteration. During the last eight or ten days the water from the river has continued forcing itself through the strata of sand and gravel into the excavation, but at present the two screw pumps in operation are quite sufficient to draw off the water thus forced in. The remainder of the basin for the admission of vessels, and running parallel with the river, we understand, it is the intention of the Company to delay excavating, until they have completed that part which is now required for the laying of the rail-way - but in this portion of the work we anticipate the greatest difficulty, and danger of the breaking in of the water from the river; - the extent of the narrow strip of sand between them being so much greater. Should however success attend the exertions of this Company in all their contemplated improvements, we anticipate a liberal profit to result to the Stockholders of this laudable undertaking, and a great benefit to the town generally. The plan of lots and streets has already been made, but the leasing of the lots must be delayed until some part of the works is completed, when no doubt they will be offered by auction and sold to the highest bidder for the same period the charter continues, (being we believe fifty years) and renewable with the charter. In order to form these lots, it is intended to carry down the earth from the high bank adjoining the flat, whereby the ascent of the hill will be rendered less steep, its slope more regular, and the low marshy ground below will be raised, so that no unhealthy stagnant ponds will remain to produce agues and other disorders. When all these plans are fulfilled, we hope the Government will consent to sell the several lots on the east end of the town between Queen street and the river; numerous individuals who would erect respectable buildings, are desirous of obtaining lots in this part of the town. When some months ago it was contemplated by the Government to sell or lease a number of these lots, a representation was forwarded from a number of the inhabitants of the town to avert such steps, on the ground that the appearance of the beautiful common would be spoiled - now however that a block of 4 acres in the heart of the front part of the common has been granted to the Catholic Congregation, we would much desire to see these lots disposed of by the Government, and then the Town would soon be extended towards the improvements of the Dock Company, and the space now between them should be filled up and occupied by shops, stores and dwellings, assuming the appearance of the Commercial portion of the town, leaving the old Town for private residences. Should the works of the Dock Company go into successful operation, it will also be the means of establishing a permanent ship-yard, which of itself will secure to Niagara an important branch of domestic manufactures, inasmuch as oak timber of the best quality is obtained in great abundance on both sides of the river, without any difficulty, and other materials are easily obtained. By this means a great number of Mechanics and artizans will be induced to take up their residence here, which additon and other conveniences will attract business from all parts of the Lakes within the British lines. At present there is upon the stocks a large schooner of 70 feet keel, building under the superintendence of Mr. Jesse Wood, a capable artist, who is also the superintendant of the works of the Dock Company; from the appearance of the form of this schooner, she is calculated to stow away a great quantity of freight, and also to be a fast sailor; and as far as we are capable of judging, will vie with any of the schooners on the Lake for beauty. Six others of different dimensions will be built during the summer, three or four of thirty tons, the others larger. This we are informed is the project of a Company of Merchants and other individuals in both Provinces, who with them intend to establish a line of traders between the two extremities of Lake Ontario; the schooners of the larger size being employed up and down the Lake between Niagara and Prescott, and the smaller ones being used as tenders, which will coast along the shores between Niagara and Hamilton, and visit all the ports in that direction, for the purpose of conveying downwards to the larger vessels at Niagara produce etc. for exportation, and returning with goods and other articles destined for these several ports. By this means Country Merchants and others on the border of the Lake, who have long felt inconvenience in consequence of the uncertain visits of the Steam Boats, will be enabled at less expense to ship their various commodities with little delay; and we hope no obstacle may overthrow this project, so well calculated to benefit the inhabitants of the back townships, who may then convey their produce to the forty, thirty, ten and twelve Mile Creeks, and avoid a more tedious and lengthy journey. [Abridged from the Niagara Reporter]

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July 9, 1833
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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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Montreal Gazette (Montreal, QC), July 9, 1833