The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 16 April 1856

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Spring Walk

Leaving Counter's Ship Yard, and approaching the City, the first Wharf is that formerly occupied by Mr. Donald McIntosh, now tenanted by Messrs. Hooker & Pridham, the Great Forwarders. Here an addition has been made, in the shape of a breakwater, in order to protect the many barges, schooners and small vessels lying at it. Messrs. Hooker & Pridham anticipate a large business this season for which they are amply prepared.--They have eight steamers engaged, the Ottawa, St. Lawrence, England, Free Trader, Lord Elgin, Prescott, Hibernia, and the up Freight of the new Bowmanville. Together with several schooners among which is that fine vessel, the Superior. Some of these vessels are in port and ready for business, while others are at Montreal and Prescott. Such a fine fleet of steamers and schooners which Messrs. Hooker & Pridham possess or control would do honor to any Forwarding House in the world.

Lying off this wharf is Mr. Donald McIntosh's new and large Propellor The Inkermann. She was built and launched last fall, and during the winter has been made ready for work. The Inkermann is of the largest size the Welland Canal permits, and will carry 3500 barrels of flour. Mr. D. McIntosh's other steamer, Princess Victoria, he is offering for sale, as being unsuited to his present line of business, so that this season he will confine his exertions to the management of the Inkermann and his four large Barges. Having quitted the Premises he occupied so long, he has taken an Office on the adjoining United States Wharf, to which we shall now repair.

The United States Wharf, still in the occupation of Mr. Kinghorn, yet holds its supremacy among Kingston wharves, for size, locality and fireproof warehouses.--This season the lower part has been raised nearly two feet, and the whole has been thoroughly repaired. This is the wharf at which the American Lake and River Steamers touch at and do their business, (hence its name) and this is also the stopping place of the Sir Charles Napier, the Cape Vincent Ferry Boat. A great portion of the Bay of Quinte trade is likewise done here; and here are the chief warehouses of the Customs House. There is no finer wharf in Canada than the United States wharf.

Alongside this Wharf is the Sir Charles Napier, fine as a fiddle. This handsome vessel is in perfect readiness to commence her Trips to and from the Cape, so soon as the ice allows (see Advertisement) and she is fully prepared to do a heavy business, being properly and thoroughly repaired and strengthened.--Though now a Ferry Boat, the Sir Charles Napier is of large size, once forming as she did part of the U. S. Line of Mail Steamers. She is elegantly fitted and furnished; and Passengers to Canada, who take her at the terminus of the Rome and Watertown Railroad, will have no cause to complain of the want of proper accommodation. She will be commanded again this season by Capt. George Creighton, whose kind and obliging conduct and disposition have made him so great a favorite with the travelling American and Canadian Community.

Off this wharf also lies Capt. C. Crysler's stout and wholesome steamer, the St. Helen, quite ready to start up the Bay, the moment the ice goes out. Needing no repairs she has had none, but is well painted and fitted up and lies in apple pie order. The St. Helen makes a weekly trip between the Head of the Bay of Quinte and Montreal, leaving the Trent on Mondays and Montreal on Thursdays. Being large and swift her Passenger trade has always been good, and doubtless the approaching season will prove no exception. As an instance of successful steamboat enterprise we may state, that the St. Helen has fully repaid her Stockholders her entire cost, though she has been running little better than two years. Her stopping place in Kingston is at the United States Wharf.

Next to the United States wharf are the ample Premises belonging to Messrs. A. & D. Shaw, but though leased to Capt. Wm. Colcleugh, late of the steamer Arabian, have not yet been named. They consist of three large and long Piers, jutting out several hundred feet into the harbor, at the end of the centre of which is a good substantial Warehouse. Twenty vessels could be comfortably accommodated at these wharves, and not crowd each other. In fact there are nearly that number lying there now, all busily occupied in getting ready for business. Capt. Colcleugh has not yet arrived from Hamilton, and we know not what arrangements he has made. Meanwhile we shall make mention of some of the vessels lying at his wharves.

Imprimis is the favorite steamer St. Lawrence, Capt. Maxwell, now ready to resume her place in the River Mail Line, when called on. As all the vessels of tile Mail Line are elegantly furnished and well appointed, the St. Lawrence needs no other assurance than to say she belongs to it.

Then comes the Trenton, Capt. Dewitt, fitting out (we believe) to make a weekly trip between Trenton and Montreal, like the St. Helen. To be on a par in accommodation with her rival, to the Trenton this winter has been added an Upper Cabin and Saloon, and when these are finished and furnished, she will not be deficient in the requirements of modern travel. And lastly the City of the Bay, that handsome but somewhat unfortunate craft, that has unluckily fallen into the clutches of the law, in which she is we fear likely to remain. The Sheriff sold her this spring to Mr. Gildersleeve, that is, he sold the interest of certain Stockholders in her, and delivered possession to the buyer. But the other Stockholders (mostly living in Belleville) not being in legal default, still hold a divided possession, and are going to much expense in fitting her for the Bay of Quinte Passenger Trade, as soon as the season opens. Who or which is right is not for us to say; all we can hope is, that some compromise may be made, by which equity may take the place of law, which is the worst thing steamboat proprietors should meddle with. The City of the Bay has been a useful appendage to the Bay business for the past two years, and we hope soon to hear her loud whistle again.

Also at these wharves are two very fine and large three-masted schooners, the Arabian, belonging to Mr. Wm. Ferguson, that made the European voyage, one of the finest sailing vessels on the Upper Lakes, and an almost equally fine craft, the Northern Light. Such craft are a credit to Kingston.

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16 April 1856
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Richard Palmer
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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), 16 April 1856