The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), March 17, 1853

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The Lake Travel And Commerce For 1853

At a time when navigation of lake Ontario is about to open for the season of 1853, it will be interesting to the public to know the arrangements fo the different lines of boats, passenger and freight, that will navigate its waters.

There will be three daily lines of boats running east of this city. The Royal Mail Line will this year consist of four instead of three boats, as heretofore; and run from Hamilton to Prescott, instead of to Kingston only as in former years. This line will consist of the Maple Leaf, (which was last year one of the through line) the Magnet, the Arabian, (also one of the through line last year) and the Passport. One of those vessels will arrive in Prescott every morning, about eight o'clock, and lay over till hte next morning; which arrangement renders necessary four instead of three boats.

The British through line was found a losing speculation last year, and has for the reason been withdrawn.

The daily American Express line of steamers will commence on the 1st June and run till the 1st October. The route if from Ogdensburg to Lewiston. The vessels will call at Toronto at seven in the morning, on their way up, and at three in the afternoon, on their return.

The daily line from Toronto to Rochester will consist of the Princess Royal and the Admiral; and will call at the intermediate ports between Toronto and Cobourg. A new Express, from Toronto to Rochester and New York, is to be run three times a week on this line, by Mr. Maitland of this city. We have called it a new express, but we believe is is a continuation of Wilder's.

The Cape Vincent Railway Company have purchased the Mayflower, the Champion, and the Highlander, to form a daily line from Hamilton to Cape Vincent, calling at Toronto and the intermediate ports. This line will run in the name of McPherson and Crane; an arrangement which shows in a remarkable manner the value of the laws affecting the coasting trade. The Americans cannot, in their own name, carry on a coasting trade on the British shores; but they can do equally well through others what they cannot do directly in their own name. This line will commence on the opening of navigation.

The City of Hamilton is to run between Toronto and Hamilton daily, as usual, completing the daily line from the head of the lake to Rochester, in connection with the Admiral and Princess Royal. She commences her trips on the 20th March. The Queen of the West, it is said, will attempt to make two trips a day between Toronto and Hamilton. Her time of starting is not fixed. It is understood that the rates of passage on the City of Hamilton will be 7 1/2 and 2s 6d. For any thing that is at present known to the contrary, the Queen of the West will adhere to her old rates of 2s 6d and 5 shillings.

The new river steamer Peerless is to make two trips a day between Toronto and Lewiston, starting from Toronto at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m..

The extension of the Erie railroad to Youngstown is nearly completed; and it is understood that the railroad company contemplate running a boat this season twice a day, between Toronto and Youngstown. The boat is to be selected for the service it is conjectured will be the Northerner, a crack American boat.

It is not at present quite certain whether the Mazeppa will this season run between Toronto and St. Catharines, but if not, the Ottawa Chief will take her place. The Mazeppa has been bough by Capt. Maxwell; who, if her does not like his bargain, will be allowed to give it up on the payment of $1,000. It depends upon the carrying out of this sale, whether the Mazeppa will run between Toronto and St. Catharines. The people of St. Catharines have offered to take sufficient stock in the Great Western railway to construct a branch from Port Dalhousie to St. Catharines, whence the Great Western railway will take passengers to the Falls. This will be a rival to the road from Niagara to the Falls. The branch will probably be completed in the fall of this year. The steamer American has been sold for £2,500. She is hereafter to be used as a tow boat on the Bay Quinte. The City of Toronto is also said to have been sold for the same purpose; and her route will be between Kingston and Prescott.

The Chief Justice will be laid up from the 1st May; to be kept in readiness for a winter boat between Toronto and Niagara, when the Peerless will lay up.

There are, besides the above passenger boats, several lines of freight steamers on the lake. The Britannia, the Lord Elgin, and the St. Lawrence, the property of M. W. Browne, of Hamilton, will runt from the head of the lake to Montreal.

The Scotland, the Western Miller, and the Ottawa, the property of McPherson & Crane, will take the same route.

The England, the Hibernia, the Ontario, and the Free Trader, the property of Hooker & Holton, will be on the same route.

The Dawn, the Protection, and the a new boat, the name of which we forget, built this winter in Canton's ship-yard, Montreal, the property of H. Jones & Co., will be on the same route.

These are all the freight steamers to run between Toronto and Montreal.

The Montmorenci will run from Hamilton to Quebec; and the Reindeer from Quebec to Port Stanley. These are freighter steamers.

The Brantford will run between St. Catharines and Montreal.

It is difficult to form an accurate opinion as to the prospect of freights on the lake during the season; because but few contracts have yet been made. Contracts for flour have been made at 1s 6d, a barrel to Montreal; but it is expected that this figure will be reduced when the Towing Company gets fully organized and into operation. The vastly increase amount of business to be done forbids the idea of low freights this season on lake Ontario. The progress of the railways considerably augment the amount of freight, by the demands of iron and other materials; and the stacks of lumber in Upper Canada awaiting shipment to the United States are far greater than on any previous occasion. The Ogdensburg and Boston Railroad Company are chartering all the schooners that they can obtain on lake Ontario. They took the same course last year, and found it to answer their purpose. The have agents now visiting all the lake ports to charter schooners. They have succeeded in obtaining nearly all the St. Catharines vessels. By resorting to this policy they are enabled to keep up lake freights and to secure a great deal of business for their railroad. Last year the freight goods to Ogdensburg, Cape Vincent, and Oswego, was $2 a ton, and 7 1/2 d the bbd of flour. There is no reason to believe that freights will rule higher this season; for the same monopoly of schooners existed last year that is taking place now. But, as we have said, no contracts for freight to those places have yet been made. The Ogdensburg and Boston Railroad Company will have a weekly line of steamers, consisting of the Ocean Wave and the Boston, running between Ogdensburg and the head of lake Ontario. Part of the time those steamers will be employed in tugging the fleet of schooners chartered by the company from Ogdensburg to the foot of lake Ontario. Freights from Toronto to New York are 45 cents for flour.

Mr. John Quinn, for some time favorably know as steward of the Maple Leaf and the City of Hamilton, has built a steamer to run across Toronto Bay, in opposition to Mr. Privat's steamer. She is called the Citizen. We believe the one boat lost money last season. What then is the prospect for two? - Leader [Toronto]

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March 17, 1853
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Peter Warwick
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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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St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), March 17, 1853