The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 20 April 1852

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Spring Walk

It is mighty tedious entirely this writing of "Annual Walk." The originality of the thing could have afforded some counterbalance to its want of general interests but that was marred years ago by the 'Argus', and is now wholly destroyed by the still viler plagiary of another amiable contemporary. He who can wade through the vapid platitudes of the 'Washtub,' and stand any more of that sort of garbage, must have a stomach indeed., Still, there's no knowing. The dollar--the almighty dollar reigns as omnipotently in Canada as it does in the States, and anything which can tend to increase its growth will find favor when aught more worthy is neglected. Words---words---let's to business, since to that all must descend, despite heroics.

THE MARINE RAILWAY.--This Establishment and the Ship Yard surrounding it are in the occupation of Mr. Counter, and very well he manages them both. The Prince of Wales steamer is on the Railway, ready for launching. The pains which the late Capt. Gildersleeve took with his vessels, repairing them carefully every season, were the main cause of their rarely meeting with an accident, and why they always made money. A stitch in time, with him, always saved nine. The Prince must be some ten years old, and yet she is as sound as a roach; her bottom made good whenever defective, and her topsides as good as on the day when she made her first trip. No spoiling the sip for a 'nap' worth of tar. In addition to the most ample repairs, several conveniences for deck passengers have been placed on her main deck; while the Cabin, Ladies' Saloon and Berths have been thoroughly gutted, fumigated, cleansed with turpentine, and wholly repainted, as steamers carrying passengers should be so served every two or three years. In all respects the Prince of Wales will be found as efficient as ever and though in size and speed, she is inferior to more modern boats, still for the business intended she has no superior, as her balance sheet annually demonstrates to the entire satisfaction of her proprietors. She will be commanded this season by her old Captain, Mr. Nosworthy, who is worthy of a larger vessel, and as she makes one of the Gildersleeve Bay of Quinte Line, the limits of her destination are Cape Vincent and the River Trent.

THE NEW BAY STEAMER.--This fine vessel, on the stocks still, will be ready to launch early in May, The contract to complete her, fit for business, expires on the 1st of July; but though that day will soon be here, no one doubts its fulfilment, Every steamer, while building, is sure to be the crack boat when afloat, and the new Bay of Quinte Steamer can be no exception to the rule. She is to be Letter A, No. 1. First Chop,. and no possible mistake. In size, she is somewhat similar to the Ottawa, and much about her build; her engine to be of 75 horse power, that is, a cylinder of 37.5 inches diameter, with a twelve foot stroke. Consequently, she must sail like a witch. It will be time enough to speak of her appearance and accommodations after she is launched end fitted out; meanwhile we'll say a few words touching her engine and boilers, as they happen to be of Kingston manufacture.

THE KINGSTON-FOUNDRY.--It is here that the Engine and Boilers of the new Bay of Quinte Steamer are being made, under the immediate superintendence of Messrs. Masson & Davison. With the exception of the shaft and connecting rod, both of which were manufactured at West Point, of unwrought iron, the entire engine has been made in Kingston.- A visit to the foundry just at this time will amply repay any one, simply to look at the boring of the cylinder and the finishing of the boilers, ere they go on board. It is highly creditable to a young country like Canada, and more especially to a small city like Kingston, to know that a powerful steam engine can be manufactured and made well with the resources of its own people. The cost of this engine, with its boilers, will probably amount to £3000--a large sum saved to Kingston mechanics.

THE STEAMER OTTAWA . --This very elegant vessel lies, or rather lay alongside the Marine Railway Wharf. Being almost a new steamboat, she has stood in need of no repairs, but has been cleansed, painted and decorated in a very tasty manner. She is to be commanded by Capt, Putnam, a very kind and obliging gentleman, and is to form one of the three River Mail Line Steamboats. The intention this year is to follow up the plan of last season that is, by leaving Kingston very early in the morning to reach Montreal in day light.

As it is the present intention of making one of the new Through Line Steamers leave Montreal for the West every day, in all probability the River Mail Boats will descend no farther than Lachine, devoting the whole of their attention to the carrying of the Mail and the speedy conveyance of passengers, but the principle of the season's action has not been wholly determined on. --In fact so little is known and so little arranged of the movements of steamers on the River St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario in 1852, that we can scarcely write a line on the subject, without incurring the risk of stating an untruth. She made her first trip down the river this morning.

The other two boats of the River Mail Line will the St. Lawrence, and the Lord Elgin. Both these vessels had the misfortune late last year to meet with sad accidents. The one was sunk in Lake St. Francis, and the other broke the connecting rod of her engine, which caused the smashing of her machinery. But accidents will happen in the best regulated families, and 1851 was a year extremely fruitful in steamboat misfortune.--The St. Lawrence and the Lord Elgin are comparatively new steamers, and during the recess, all their damages have been fully repaired and made good. The Lord Elgin has a new engine, almost, and the St. Lawrence has new cabins with entirely new furniture. They are lying in the Lachine Canal fit for business as soon as the Canals are ready to permit their progress upwards. The St. Lawrence is to retain her former master, Capt. Thomas Howard, and the Lord Elgin also keeps Capt. Farlinger.

THE PASSPORT. --A few rods farther west lies this large and beautiful iron Lake steamer, so long the pride and admiration of; the Canadian waters. So much ink has been used in her eulogy, that little need now be said about her. She has needed no repairs of any description, and none have been expended on her. Her hull, her engines, her boilers, her cabins and her appointments are all in most complete order, and when she makes her first trip, upwards, which will be in a few days, no condition of a first class steamboat will possibly stand higher. Her destination, we believe, will be Toronto and Hamilton, leaving Kingston on Mondays and Thursdays. Her commander is Capt. Henry Twohy, the very best steamboat master now afloat on Lake Ontario--whoever be the competitor. Her consorts on the lake are the Magnet and the Princess Royal, but as the latter boat cannot be ready for a month or so, we shall conclude this prosy walk by saying a few words of a vessel that takes her place in the interim.

THE NEW ERA.--The proper destination of this fast sailing, very elegant, and extremely commodious boat is said to be the "Through Line," but as matters are not fully settled, she goes to Toronto and Hamilton for a few trips till the Passport is ready. She has left, (or was to leave) Kingston for Toronto yesterday, and when the New Era has any business to do, it is always done up as it should be. Capt. Maxwell, though not a nautical man by early education, is gradually acquiring a reputation for seamanship, (if such a term can be used on fresh water) that would do any ship master credit. The discovery of the channel in the north branch of the Long Sault did him great service; and every year he adds something to his well earned fame. Always the latest in the field in the fall, and the earliest. in the spring, Capt. Maxwell and the New Era are sure to recall pleasant recollections to the reader.

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20 April 1852
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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 British Whig (Kingston, ON), 20 April 1852