The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Spectator (Kingston, ON), 19 Nov 1833

Full Text

(from private collection of Jennifer McKendry)

p.2 The John By - We are happy to be able to state that this Boat is safe at Marigold Point about 20 miles from York, and very little the worse. Her engine is out of her, and it is supposed she can be made in the Spring at a trifling cost as serviceable as ever. [York Patriot]

The Steam Boat United States was yesterday laid up for the season. Too much credit cannot be awarded to Capt. Van Dewater for his punctuality and urbane conduct as commander of this splendid boat, and great praise is due to Messrs. Tyler and Taylor, the Pilot and Engineer, for the strict attention and skilful manner in which they have performed their respective duties. The boat has made 29 trips during the season, 27 of which were to the head of the lake, and in no instance, in her regular trips, did she fail of starting at the precise hour mentioned in her bill. The boat has richly rewarded her enterprising proprietors and added much to the active business of our village; and we cannot but hope another will soon be added to the line, equal, for it scarcely can be superior to the one which has done so much credit to the country whose name she bears. [Ogdensburgh Repub.]

To the Editor of the Spectator.

Sir, - Perhaps it may be a future benefit to Captains and masters of vessels to state a few particulars through your paper in reference to the Light Houses on Point Peters and the False Ducks, etc., these two lights give the same appearance, there is only one building on Nine Mile point (Simcoe Island) intended to give a similar light. The fish lights which are numerous on the shores and bars of the lake, give the same appearance, so that it baffles the skill of mariners to distinguish them especially in hazy weather; now to show the difficulty sailors have in this case, and the necessity that the middle light ought to be a revolving one, cannot better be illustrated than by stating the difficulty we had in a foggy night, not seeing Point Peters light, and our being obliged to call at the Duck's light house in "the dead of the night" to enquire what light this is: our Captain and hands saying it must be Point Peters light; a distinguishing light on the False Ducks would obviate all objections respecting the Light Houses and remove the difficulty of sameness in that particular with regard to the fish lights; for it can hardly be conceived that Point Peters light can be taken for the one building on Simcoe Island, having a revolving light between them. In leaving it as now stated, coming down the lake, the first light would be a stationary one on Point Peters, and if that was not seen or mistaken for a fish light, coming on to the revolving light would instantly decide the matter; - whereas, as it now stands, if Point Peters light is not seen, or mistaken for a fish light, we come on in sight of the Ducks and take that for Peters light, or we are doubtful which it is, or to put the matter out of all doubt (as was our case) we must put off a boat to shore, this to enquire.

Now suppose a vessel crossing the lake from the American side for South Bay or the upper gap, the False Ducks light not being seen but the one as Point Peters, how is the mariner to be satisfied he cannot mistake this light for the False Ducks, they being about twenty miles distant from each other, whereas in a distinguishing light, there could be no such mistake. A thing so obvious need not to be enlarged on, would it not be preferable to dispense with the lights altogether, than not be able to distinguish them. To render them efficient and useful must be to make them so distinguishable that there remains no doubt to the mariner about it.

The above is respectfully submitted to those who have the care of such matters.

Your obed't Servant, A LANDSMAN.

Hillier, October 24th, 1833.

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19 Nov 1833
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
Copyright Statement:
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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Kingston Spectator (Kingston, ON), 19 Nov 1833