Correspondence of the Star
Steamboat Lady of the Lake
July 14, 1846
We are on the broad, deep waters of Lake Ontario, on board of that fine water craft and beautiful specimen of architecture, the Lady of the Lake, Captain Taylor. Our party took passage on board of this boat at Oswego, about 10 o'clock in the morning- and on getting outside of the pier, we found the white caps covering the water as far as the eye could see, and our little bark, which seems to "walk the water like a thing of life, " is tossed about to and fro like a feather in the wind. To me, the rolling of a vessel on a rough sea is delightful, if I can enjoy it beyond the reach or sight of those who are made sick by it.
The village of Oswego which we reached by packet from Syracuse at 5 o'clock this morning, is located on the banks bordering and sloping towards the river and lake; and the numerous mills which first meet the eye on nearing the place by canal, gives it the appearance if a greater population than it really possesses. The village viewed at a short distance from it, looks like a large city, and shows to good advantage. It is a place of a good deal of commercial importance, and business of this kind is rapidly increasing. The commerce of Lake Ontario has more than doubled within the last eight years, and must continue to increase from year to year. There are some ten or a dozen large flouring mills in Oswego, which turn out some four thousand barrels of flour every twenty four hours. The water power afford not only the most abundant supply, but is cheaply applied to machinery. The mills are so situated that grain can be taken from vessels into the mills by machinery, and the flour returned to the boat by the same manner. The view from on board of the steamboat on leaving Oswego is exceedingly fine in a pleasant day, and when a strong breeze it is grand. We remained in sight of it for two hours after the boat shot out from the pier, and the place grew less and less as our boat paddled along so majestically up the lake, dashing the white spray several feet on each side of her bow as she ploughed through the deep and troubled waters of the lake, until the fort was scarcely discernible with the naked eye, and the light-house looked like a small pyramid showing where the remains of some loved one reposed in the sleep of death. A view in the northerly direction disclosed the whitened and well filled sails of a brig under full headway, bearing into port-and a grand sight it was. A little farther, in a westerly direction, the sky and water came together to the eye. Nothing but the brig under sail and the white-capped waves could be seen on three sides of us; on the other the shore gently sloped towards the lake, and our beautiful and well furnished and conducted boat glided along from five to eight miles from it.
Those who take the lake route to the Falls, can depend upon the best of treatment and bountiful fare on the Lady. Captain Taylor and his gentlemanly and obliging assistant or clerk, Mr. Hoag, will always make those who travel with them comfortable and at home.
The boats on Lake Ontario are of the first class, well finished and furnished, and their tables are most bountifully supplied with all that the appetite could wish. They are well supplied with a large number of convenient state rooms, in which families or individuals can enjoy the same comforts which they find in their own lodgings rooms at home.
We reached the mouth of the Genesee river a little before 4 p.m. went up to the landing, took a carriage, and went to the city of Rochester, passing over the new McAdamized road on the west bank of the river, in full view of the Falls, and many mills and factories located on that stream. The scenery is wild and romantic, and will pay any one well going up the lake for the trip to the city and back.
On board the Lady, our state room was directly opposite a new married couple who were on their wedding tour. The fair bride played the guitar and sang most sweetly. There is no place where music seems so appropriate as upon the water. It seems to be the very thing to accompany the dashing and roar of the turbulent waters, lashed into fury by a strong wind. Her soft sweet voice drew most of the passengers around her to listen to the fine music with which she caused an hour to fly swiftly away.