The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 11 May 1852

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Spring Walk

The "Walk" is really becoming interesting and agreeable--so many things to see and write about, and such charming weather to [do] it in. Last Saturday was a delightful day; it was the day on which the first steamers came up this season from Montreal, and it kept folds [sic] busy all the time to run about and look at them. The good city swarmed with Immigrants all day long--stout English Immigrants, with their cheerful, good humored ruddy faces, nothing at all the worse for their long, cold and comfortless sea voyage. And there was the local Emigrant Agent, down from his snug winter quarters, to give them the meeting, and provide locations for all who looked for help that way. And the time was busy, and the sun shone brightly, and all nature seemed to know that Life in Canada was awakening The summer in Canada may be one long continued day, the winter, one long continued night six months hence, the rivers and lakes will be once more frozen over--frost and snow once again will resume their empire, and hey for the winter and its solitude) sufficient for the day is the evil thereof--let's make hay while the sun shines, and speak of what we looked at on Saturday last.

THE OTHER STEAMBOATS.--The HIGHLANDER.--And first of the day's Arrivals from below was this favorite Steamer with her popular commander again on board, Capt. Stearns. This vessel though properly one of the Through Line, of Lake Steamers, came up with the River Mail, and went down with it again. But this is merely occasional, until the ice-imprisoned vessels, the Lord Elgin and St. Lawrence, get on their regular days. In speaking of the Six Steamers, which compose the Through Line, so elegant are they fitted out, that when one is described, are all described.--They are all of the same size, all nearly of the same power, all have Upper Cabins, and all are commanded by the most experienced, and at the same time, the most attentive and obliging gentlemen in the power of steamboat owners to engage. Having spoken so much at large of the Champion and Maple Leaf, cum multis aliis of the genus steamboat, we should but exhaust eulogy and hyperbole in making mention of the splendid accommodations of the Highlander. Suffice it to say, that during the winter, in order that nothing should be wanting to render her fully equal to her consorts in the Line, very ample additions have been made to her Saloons, which are now adorned with stained glass, and rendered, with new furniture and exquisite painting, quite equal to anything that floats. Every other part of the vessel(itself only two years old) has been carefully attended to and made convenient for the reception of Deck and Steerage Passengers. Capt. Stearns, - the commander of the Highlander is one of the oldest steamboat Captains yet on duty, and also one of the public's most favorite servants. Last season he received a testimonial of his attentive kindless to the Countess of Elgin, on her trip down to Quebec, by recently receiving from the fair hands of her ladyship, a handsome Silver Snuff Box with a still handsomer compliment engraved on the outside of it;--an action deemed fully as worthy on tho part of the donor, as the services of the receiver were worthy of the gift. When on her regular business, the Highlander will leave Montreal weekly on Wednesdays, and Hamilton on Saturdays, touching at Kings ton going. upwards on Thursdays and downwards on Sundays. The Highlander belongs partly to Messrs Hooker & Holton and to Messrs. McPherson & Crane; and she will stop at Kingston, at Hooker & Henderson's Wharf, foot of Clarence Street. Her Agent here is Mr. Elijah Hooker.

THE MAY FLOWER.--After the Highlander had arrived, in came, following closely at her heels, the Mav Flower, deeply laden with Passengers and Merchandize--the former chiefly Immigrants. After landing some of them, and staying an hour or so, she proceeded on to Toronto and Hamilton, on her regular business, and may be said to be the first vessel taking her place in the Through Line. The May Flower looks uncommonly well this Season; her accommodations are superb and handsome; and her commander is letter A, No. 1, first Chop and no mistake.--Instead of using our own language which might be considered partial, on this occasion, we shall take that of a New York contemporary, since it express so well the like ideas: "The Mayflower possesses perhaps the prettiest model on our waters ; and her sailing qualities are not easily excelled. Her engines have been overhauled, new boilers have been placed in her, and her working fixings are in the very best condition that it is possible for iron, steel and wood, moulded and fashioned by the most skillful mechanics of the country to make them. Her saloon, state rooms, and cabins, possess all the luxuries and elegancies which the refined taste of the times imperatively demands, and the traveller can loll over her rich divans, and enjoy his ofium cum dignitate to his inmost heart's content. Like her consort, the beautiful Mayflower is commanded by an officer of experience, Capt. Patterson, who thoroughly understands his duties, and who had long ago secured hosts of friends by his kind disposition and gentlemanly bearing." The day of leaving Montreal is Monday, and the day of leaving Hamilton Thursday, and the Mayflower will touch at Kingston going upward on Tuesday, and downward on Friday. The Mayflower is the exclusive property of McPherson & Crane, who are her local agents everywhere. May she prove fortunate!

THE CHAMPION. --This elegant and beautiful lake steamer, came up from Montreal, also on Saturday, full of passengers and goods. Doing duty for the present on the River Mail Line, she turned about on Sunday morning, and went down the River again. Having before spoken of her and her experienced commander, Capt. Marshall, we shall say no more now, than that when placed on her destined route, her day of leaving Montreal will be on Tuesday, and Hamilton on Friday, touching at Kingston going up on Wednesday, and coming down on Saturday. Whatever be the success of the other fine vessels of this New Line, the Champion won't be last in the line. The Champion is owned justly [jointly] by Messrs. McPherson. & Crane, and Messrs. Hooker & Holton, and the former firm act as agents.

THE PRINCESS ROYAL. --This excellent and substantially built steam packet is (once) there, all right with her machinery, and takes her place on the lake Mail Line, tomorrow, Wednesday. Her Engine is almost entirely a new one; and her boilers were new last summer. Great pains have been taken with passenger firments,[sic] in order to render her accommodations on a par with more modern steamers. Every thing has been made new that needed it; and everything is in most apple pie order. This condition of excellence is owing to the untiring industry of the very capable and praiseworthy steward, Mr. Holmes, who during the time the Princess Royal has been getting her new machinery secured, has been busy night and day in preparing the Cabins and Saloons for the reception of the travelling community. In solemn earnest, the Princess Royal never looked better than she does at the present moment. She is commanded, as before, by Capt. James Dick, of Toronto, of whom it is needless to say one word in praise; and her days of leaving Kingston regularly, are Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, at 3 o'clock, or shortly after the arrival of the River Mail Boat. This vessel is owned by a company at Toronto, and managed by Mr. Donald Bethune, of same place.

THE NOVELTY.--After pains of the most untiring, and patience . almost indomitable, Capt. Bonter, the owner and captain of this elegant vessel, has got her again in working order. The hull is new, the engine is new, and the boiler is new; but still they did not work well together until last Saturday, when the worthy owner pronounced that all was in order, and requested an inspection; which, as Col. Prince would say, "was done accordingly." The Novelty is a moderate sized, well furnished, and fast sailing; she was built last year at Quebec, with machinery of a novel fashion-hence the name: and was brought up to Kingston late last Fall, and placed on the Bay of Quinte; but her machinery did not work well, and her boilers were taken out during the winter, and repaired [replaced?] with a large one, manufactured at the Kingston Foundry, on the old principle. But it leaked, as all new boilers leak; something else was wrong for a trip or two, and it was last week, ere everything could be declared "all right." But she is right now, and her season may be said to begin. The destination of the Novelty is the new route between the Head of the Bay and Cape Vincent, making three weekly trips up and down. She is well-fitted for this business, and must mahe money, provided there be no opposition between her and the Gildersleeve, which we sincerely hope may not prove to be the case. There is plenty for all steamers to do, without cutting each others' throats.

THE CANADA --This favorite old steamer has taken the place of the St. Lawrence. She has been chartered this year by Mr. Hugh McLennan, of Montreal, as a Freight Boat. Previous to which she has undergone a most thorough repair from stem to stern, and to look at her now, one would think that she is quite a new vessel. She will make by-weekly trips between Kingston and Montreal all the season; and will be commanded by Capt. Gilpin, once of the Henry Gildersleeve. Mr. Wm. Bowen, the Wharfinger at the St. Lawrence Wharf, will be her Kingston Agent.

THE RIDEAU CANAL BOATS - Not a word has been said this season of the opening of the Rideau Canal, altho' it has been open more than a week, and several arrivals from Bytown, and departures from Kingston have been made. Twenty years ago, who would have prognosticated this cruel neglect? The Rideau Canal at a cost of two million sterling, - was to do everything for Canada and Kingston, and positively it has done nothing. With its land unsettled; its mill priveleges running to waste; and its population going westward, there must be something wrong, though where that wrong is, it is hard to tell. Perhaps the cause is, the management by the Imperial Government; and yet while that Government so generously defray the costs of maintaining the Canal, at a great annual cost to the mother country, it seems the height of ingratitude to complain. There's a screw loose somewhere, that's a fact. But it is not to sermonize that we allude to the Rideau Canal in this day's "Walk," but to make mention, that two regular Canal Steamers, the Beaver, Capt. Farmer; and the Prince Albert, Capt. P. McNiel, are now on their route for the year, and will leave on their appointed day; for which please see their advertisement. Both boats have been carefully refitted, and are in excellent running order.

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11 May 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), 11 May 1852