The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
The Murray Canal
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), 2 Sep 1882

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The Murray Canal.
Turning the First Sod - Description of the Work.

TRENTON, Aug. 31. - The turning of the first sod of the Murray canal was celebrated today by a grand picnic held on the farm of Mr. Charles Clendenning. Before 12 o'clock about 5,000 people had assembled on the grounds, and after dinner had been disposed of the ceremonies at once commenced.

Mr. Thomas Webb, reeve of Brighton, after reading an appropriate address, presented Mrs. Keeler, widow of the late Joseph Keeler, M. P., with a beautiful silver spade suitably engraved, with which the lady gracefully turned over the first sod, the bands meanwhile playing the National anthem.

The contract for the canal has been awarded to Messrs. Silcox and Mowry, who have already hired a large number of men who commenced work immediately after the ceremony. The canal commencing at a point known ass Twelve o'clock Point on the shore of the Bay of Quinte, will be constructed in almost a straight line to Weeses creek, which empties into Presque Isle harbor. The entire length will be a fraction over five miles.

The width will be eighty feet at the bottom and 150 feet at the top, and the depth twenty feet. The object of the canal is to connect the head waters of the Bay of Quinte with Lake Ontario, and thus ensure a perfectly safe passage for all the shipping going from the west to Kingston and Montreal, which instead of going down Lake Ontario to the St. Lawrence as formerly, will pass through the canal and down the Bay of Quinte, thus avoiding the dangerous storms which so frequently occur on Lake Ontario, besides reaching their destination a few hours sooner.

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Date of Publication:
2 Sep 1882
Richard Palmer
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.046944 Longitude: -77.6275
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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The Murray Canal