The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 5 April 1859

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Spring Walk
"A Walk Along the Wharves"

There was a time when the Spring Walks of the British Whig were read and criticized; but that's a long time ago. Railroads and Propellers have destroyed the Forwarding Trade of good old Kingston, and a newswriter might traverse the Wharves and Docks of the city from early morn to dewy eve, without meeting with matter for a paragraph--that is in ordinary seasons; but the Branch Railroad Track from the Station to Shaw's wharf, (the R. R. Company's premises) along the front of the greater portion of the city water frontage, having occasioned many changes, affords an opportunity for saying a few words, of which we gladly avail ourselves.

The Railroad Track enters the city at the extreme end of Ontario St., and passing along the Barrack wall, crosses the upper ends of Messrs. Berry & Co's. and Messrs. Gildersleeve's waterside premises, without materially damaging the usefulness of these wharves, Then the Track crosses the upper end of the Atlantic Wharf, (J. Doyle), and the Commercial Wharf, (Hon. J. Hamilton's) and here the first change or improvement is observable, Mr. Joseph Doyle has left the St. Lawrence Wharf, so long associated with his name as forwarder and shipping Agent, and has leased the Atlantic Wharf for a term of years. To compensate for that portion of the upper end taken by the railroad, the Atlantic Wharf has been extended into the Harbor seventy feet, making it one of the most commodious wharves in Kingston. The warehouses remain intact, not having been interfered with. No change takes place at the Commercial Wharf, except the removal of a portion of the warehouses on the upper end. The Track then passes in front of the stone warehouses on Scobell's Wharf, leaving the accommodation there as much as it was before; and then goes in front of the Market Square Battery, leaving a pond between the Track and the Battery Wall, that may in hot seasons prove deleterious to the health of the city. At the front of Clarence Street, a small wharf in front of the slip has been put up for city convenience, but of which it is said the Military Authorities insist upon the removal. The Track then takes away a goodly portion of the Rideau Wharf, and still more of the St. Lawrence Wharf, and terminates on the Company's own premises at Shaw's Wharf adjoining.

On St. Lawrence Wharf the greatest change, to meet the necessary requirements, is observable. The greater portion of the old warehouses being removed, it has been requisite to erect a new warehouse on the lower end of the wharf, which for protection from fire, is rendered fire-proof; and then as increased wharf accommodation in needful, the St. Lawrence has been lengthened and widened, so that the wharf will be fully as commodious and more safe than ever. Capt. Bowen still retains the lease of these valuable premises, and it is here that his two fine lake and river steamers, the Banshee and Champion, are lying; but as Mr. J. Doyle, his late wharfinger, has leased the Atlantic Wharf, Mr. George Anderson, (Capt. Bowen's Book-keeper) will assume the care and duties Of wharfinger, of which more anon as the business season advances.

Shaw's Wharf is chaos--not even an outline of the future wharves being discernible--but all in good time. Hence to the lower end of the harbor nothing is noticeable, save that the extensive wharves and other premises of the Marine Railway Company have changed hands, being now rented to Mr. Charles Jenkins, (Mr. Counter's son-in-law) for a period of ten years. We regret to add, that little or no steamboat or ship building or repairing is going on. Mr. Kinghorn still remains wharfinger and Forwarder at the United States wharf, sure to do the line's share of the business, and with the exception that Messrs. Davidson, Bruce & Doran, (of the Kingston Foundry) recently burnt out, have resumed business, this is all we intend to say to-day of the Docks and wharves of Kingston.

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5 April 1859
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Dave Swayze
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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), 5 April 1859