From Our St. Catharines Correspondant -- March 31, 1855
I took a stroll through Mr. Shickluna's celebrated shipyards and establishment today, and perhaps it will interest some of our readers to hear of the doings of this great shipbuilder, who has been established in St. Catharines since 1837, and who is so famous for the beauty and excellence of his vessels, from the pleasure boat up to the mammoth steamer of upwards of 1,000 tons.
While other shipyards have been closed during the Winter Mr. Shickluna has kept constantly employed at his several establishments 190 men. He has now on the stocks four new vessels of the largest class, three of them here and one in Niagara, the dockyard at Niagara being leased to him for ten years. The vessels on the stocks are the HELLIWELL, three master of 420 tons; the WELLAND CANAL of 300 tons; these Mr.S., has built for himself, and they are already chartered to Mr. Reid, timber merchant of Hamilton. Then we have another ship
of 400 tons to be named the SIR EDMUND W. HEAD, in honor of the Governor General, and at Niagara the THERESA of 400 tons.
The schooner W. H. MERRITT, launched here last Fall by Mr. S., for the owners, Messers. Battle & Smith, is almost finished, and promounced by good judges the prettiest vessel ever built at St. Catharines.
As you are aware, the mammoth steamers belonging to the Great Western Railway, namely the CANADA and the AMERICA, each of which is of 1561 tons measurement, and 1000 horse-power, were built by Mr. Shickluna. These vessels are the best on Lake Ontario, and are 300 feet in length, with a breadth over-all of 17 feet, and a depth of hold of 14 feet. He also built the clipper steamer ZIMMERMAN at the same place, and finished the three vessels in about six months. He said that last year he launched vessels to the ammount of 5000 tons, and paid to wordmen &c. nearly $200,000. These latter figures will show why the people of St. Catharines so highly prize Mr. S.; he is in fact the main stay of our town. He expects to have a busy season, and declares that if business does not come, "He will make business." He is prepared to contract for vessels of any size, and have all finished in twelve weeks.
April 4, 1855