The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 30 April 1856

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Spring Walk

This "spring walk" is becoming mighty tedious, and like a "wounded snake drags its slow length along." The plain fact is we have become disgusted. Two of our City contemporaries, the News and the Commercial Advertiser, have so shamefully plagiarised these Walks, and so disgustingly transposed and disfigured them as Gipsies do stolen children to make them pass for their own, that we are ashamed of the metamorphosis, and have mentally determined after the present year, to discontinue them for eye, thereby compelling our contemporaries to work for themselves. And yet, if they would transcribe correctly what they cabbage, the petty larceny might be endurable; but when the News tells us that the Champion is commanded by Capt. Milloy who, poor gentleman, has been dead and buried six months; and that Capt. Malcomson commands the St. Lawrence just one year after he left the Mail Steamer employ;--and when the Commercial Advertiser places the fine steamer Banshee in an Independent Through Line, and states that no alteration this year takes place in the Mail Steamboat Arrangements in the face of very material alterations;--when our contemporaries we say commit these and a hundred similar blunders we feel that a great portion of the ridicule produced attaches to ourselves, being the originator of this kind of thing, and that it is high time to leave off. Besides, although the design of these Walks was transparently a means of indirect Advertising yet something like modesty was observable therein and good customers were both satisfied and gratified with moderate eulogy; but now, so unblushing have some of them become, that they bring their puffing notices already written to our hands and go away offended if we do not engage to insert and dovetail them into Our Walks--For these and other reasons these Spring Walks have become a nuisance and like other nuisances should be suppressed.

But we have still the task before us of completing this year's "Walk" and how ever disagreeable, must do it. Leaving off at the Atlantic wharf we proceed up the the harbor towards the Bridge and passing one or two private wharves, come to that of Messrs. Walker & Berry. Here an immense amount of business is done in the Transshipment Line. Here more produce is transhipped to Montreal and Quebec annually than our readers would credit, could we state the exact amount; for during the shipping season, pass when we will, the machinery of the Elevator is ever heard at work, and vessels are to be seen lying in the slips loading or discharging cargo. But Messrs. Walker & Berry do their large business in a very quiet and private way, and being entirely of a nature foreign to the city, it is little noticed and less talked about. All save the Nail Factory the productions of which being partly sold and used in Kingston and in the vicinity, is more known and appreciated. Such Establishments as those of Messrs. Walker & Berry are what are wanted to build up Kingston. It is become an admitted fact, that it is cheaper and easier to tranship Produce for below in barges than to send it down in schooners, a once doubtful problem which these enterprising gentlemen have worked and solved to their own pecuniary advantage, and nothing now remains than to improve the knowledge by going more largely into the business, through the erection of more Elevators, and thus make Kingston again, what nature designed her to be, the Great Transshipment Depot of the West. The quantity of Grain grown west of Chicago, and shipped at that City for a market, annually increases, and the means to bring to the East are always insufficient. A large portion is transshipped at Buffalo and 0swego but a large portion might still be procured for Kingston if adequate industry and enterprise were put in motion.

The only other wharf we have now to notice is the Lumber wharf of Messrs. W & S. Anglin. Here a very great enlargement and improvement has been made, by running it out in the harbor many feet, and by otherwise extending it internally. At this wharf (late H. and S. Jones) and at the large wharf, above the Bridge, Messrs. W. & S. Anglin do a great and increasing Lumber Trade, keeping many schooners and barges constantly employed. The Lumber Business of Kingston, so far from decreasing, as some timid folks imagined it would, is yearly increasing, more particularly in what may be called Domestic or Sawed Lumber, not intended for Europe. The same large quantity goes to tho Eastern States, while a new market has sprung up in the West, at Chicago, where owing to causes that we cannot well explain, Lumber of all kinds is in great demand and fetches a corresponding price. In this day's sheet are several advertisements calling for vessels to go thither, and in other newspapers similar notices may be observed. Such being the case, the demand for Lumber at Kingston is not likely to decrease, and the more heavily Messrs. W, & S. Anglin extend their business, the more productive it is likely to prove.

The Rideau Canal, which is expected to open about the beginning of May, is the great outlet by which Lumber is brought to Kingston. Extending as it does through and into the very heart of a Pine Country no end can be foreseen of the supply while the demand lasts; the only thing to be dreaded being the enhanced expense of procuring it, when that at hand is cut down and brought away. But sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. Saw Mills, some of very large size are erected upon every stream running into the Canal and neighbouring lakes, and a very large amount of business is yearly done.

Since no. 5 of "Our Walk" was published a very great change has taken place in the appearance of Kingston Harbor. Every thing is alive and astir, and every thing afloat and ashore wears a busy and bustling appearance. The Mail Steamers are all in motion; the Bay Boats are running; the American Lake Steamers are once more under weigh, and all is changed for the better. The steamer Arabian has got a new Master; so has the Europa, and so has the Citv of the Bay, all men bred to the business, and fitted for their work. The Arabian, line as a fiddle, and "better as new," is commanded by Capt. Sclater, a thorough Salt, formerly of the Phoenix, Capt. Murdock, late of the Chief Justice, another well-bred seaman, has got the Europa; and Capt. Nosworthy, well known on the Bay of Quinte, sails the City of thc Bay. By the way, speaking of this latter boat, it may be as well to make mention, that she almost gave occasion for the gallant Rifle Company, No. 2 to show their valor on Monday last, when the steamer was about making her First Trip. It would appear that the sheriff possesses some additional claim upon the City of the Bay, which he was desirous of putting in force, but which the Trustees of the boat, in possession, repudiated or denied. So to enforce his claim, should a rescue be attempted, the sheriff called out the Rifle Company, who turned out in double quick time, and made an alarming appearance. But there was no occasion for any exhibition of their valor, for the Trustees entered into the requisite bonds, and the gallant vessel departed on her way rejoicing.

The business of the Bay of Quinte will be done this season by three regular steamers, and two others, making weekly trips. The Bay of Quinte, Capt. Carrell, will as she did last season, make a Daily Trip to and from Belleville and Picton. This vessel is admirably adapted for her work, and will prove as fortunate as ever. The City of the Bay intends to make Three Trips a week between Belleville and Kingston, and will not run in Opposition to her old antagonists,, a very wise resolve. And the Cora Linn, Capt. Sutherland, intends to pursue a like course, on the alternate days of the week.

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30 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), 30 April 1856