The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 12 Apr 1853

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p.2 -Imports - 8,11; Exports - 9,11.

Spring Walk no. V

What a change in the weather within a few days! The atmosphere is warm, the sun shines, the streets are clean and dry, and though we have no spring, yet we have spring's antecedent, charming dry days, like an English March. The opening of Navigation has caused a general stir in the city; everybody is busy, or appears busy; the market is better supplied; mechanics are bustling about; and all things wear a cheerful aspect. Even the Printers have more work to do than they can well attend to. The British Whig is decidedly in better temper to-day than it was the other morning. Let's get on with this "Walk" of ours, for we are only in the middle of it.

THE COMMERCIAL WHARF. - This wharf will be the Depot and Head Quarters of the Mail River Line of Steamers although all the boats won't stop here. The Hon. John Hamilton is the Managing Agent of the Line, and two of his vessels, the New Era and the Ottawa, form part of it. Of the other steamers, the St. Lawrence and Lord Elgin , we have before spoken. The New Era, Capt. Parker, is already engaged in taking the Montreal Mail, as far down as Prescott; the St. Lawrence, Capt. Howard, followed suit, yesterday morning; and the Ottawa, Capt. Putnam, will take her place in the Line some time this week. - Both the New Era and Ottawa have been handsomely refitted with every comfort and convenience that passengers can want; and we need say nothing in praise of Captains Parker and Putnam, who are too well known to the Public to gain aught by our eulogy. Until the ice be out of the St. Lawrence canals, these vessels cannot proceed to Montreal, and probably some days will elapse ere that desideratum be accomplished. Meanwhile, they will go down daily to Prescott or Dickenson's Landing, and take advantage of the Canals the moment they are opened. As the "Through Line" has been abandoned, and some of the vessels sold, the Mail River Line will in a great measure do part of their work; that is, in bringing Freight to Upper Canada. As the Line will consist of four Steamboats instead of Three, one boat will remain over a day in Montreal, looking for cargo; and Freight going above Kingston can be transhipped at Prescott or Kingston into the Lake Mail Steamers. Thus Montreal will possess a Daily Line of Mail Steamers for the Upper Country. As this Freight Business is expected to be large, a special Freight Agent has been engaged to attend to this department. Mr. Hugh McLennan, of Montreal, well known to Upper Canada Shippers, is the gentleman appointed, who, in addition to this particular business, will attend to Commissions and Agency, as formerly. The steamers of this Line will leave Montreal every morning at nine o'clock, and Lachine every day at noon, and arrive with the Mail on board at Kingston next day at an early hour in the afternoon. The intention is (we believe, for we speak in some degree of doubt) for these vessels to leave Kingston some time during the night without the Mail; go down to Prescott and take on board there the Down Mail from the Lake Steamers. By this plan, it is expected two hours' time will be saved, and the River Mail Steamers can then ensure their arriving at Montreal in time to allow the Quebec mail to go down by the evening boat, instead of lying over twenty-two hours, as it has done for several years past. To assist this plan, all the Mail Steamers are to carry Mail Conductors, whose duty on board will be to sort the Mails, so as to occasion less detention at Kingston and other large places where the whole Mail used to be carried ashore to be sorted. Certainly it must be confessed that the Post Master General is sparing no pains or expense in rendering the Mail Service as perfect as possible.

McPherson & Crane's Establishment - By the sale of three vessels belonging to the "Through Line," and the disposal of their interest in the Mail River Line and the steamer Lord Elgin, this well known Firm of General Forwarders has got out of the Passenger Trade, but continue deeply engaged in the Freight Business. On the St. Lawrence and the Lakes this Firm to do its Forwarding, has the large Steamers Ottawa, Scotland, Western Miller, and Reindeer, besides the Tug Porcupine, several small steamers, and a whole fleet of noble schooners and fine barges. No want of means here to do the best Forwarding Business in the Province. On the Rideau Canal, the steamer Beaver, Capt. Farmer, will ply as usual; and on the Ottawa River there exists an Establishment almost as large as this on the St. Lawrence. To judge of the business done by this great Forwarding House, it is only necessary to mention the number of separate offices, wharves and warehouses it maintains. One at Montreal, (D. McPherson) another at Prescott, (S. Crane) and a third at Kingston (J. McPherson) a fourth at Toronto (local agent), a sixth at Port Stanley, (local agent) a seventh at Bytown, (local agent) and an eighth at Quebec, (local agent). At all these several Cities and Towns, the stranger has but to ask for McPherson & Crane's, and he is sure to be directed to the largest Forwarding Establishment in the place. The wharf, warehouses and office in Kingston are at the foot of Princess Street, adjoining the Commercial Wharf. In addition to their own business, Messrs. McPherson & Crane will be the Kingston Agents of the New Watertown, Rome and Canada Steamboat Company, the boats of which are expected to leave Kingston for Toronto and Hamilton every evening (Sundays excepted) at 8 o'clock. The damage lately done to the Highlander, one of the boats of the new Company, is expected to be made good in about six weeks, meanwhile another steamer will be hired to take the Highlander's place in the Line.

Hooker & Holton's - The next greatest Forwarding Establishment in Canada, East or West, is that of Messrs. Hooker & Holton, of Montreal, and of almost every other place too. Their Kingston wharf is at the foot of Clarence Street, (Fraser's Wharf) which this winter has undergone a complete repair and great enlargement, being carried out fifty feet farther into the harbor, and newly planked throughout. The Kingston Wharves are all good, but this wharf has been made one of the very best. Hooker & Holton's fleet of Freight Steamers is even larger than that of McPherson & Crane's, and consists of seven vessels - to quote from their Spring Advertisement, it would read as follows: - "Hooker & Holton's Through Line - The following well known steamers, viz. Ontario, Britannia, Hibernia, Free Trader, St. Lawrence, England, and Lord Elgin, will ply as regular Traders, between Montreal, Toronto and Hamilton, and other Ports on Lake Ontario." All these Steamboats are well known in the trade, several newly new, and combined they form a means of Forwarding scarcely to be surpassed in countries of greater pretension than Canada. Mr. Elijah Hooker is the Kingston Agent, and his office is in Ontario Street, opposite the Post Office, at the head of the slip landing to Miller's (or Scobell's) Wharf.

Miller's Wharf - This convenient place of business is more a private Establishment than a public Wharf, being leased to John Miller & Co., the Wholesale Merchants, who use nearly the whole premises to carry on their very large trade. The proprietor, Mr. Richard Scobell, whose Pork Cutting and Packing Storehouse is also on this wharf, has spared no expense in rendering this wharf in every respect as excellent as money can make it. Two of the storehouses are of stone, covered with tin; and the large warehouse, though of wood, is yet covered with sheet iron, and made as impervious to fire as possible. The Pork Storehouse of Mr. Scobell is well worthy of a visit. The Packing season, it is true, is just over, but the Pork barrelled in store for shipment to England is great. Few people are aware of the immense number of hogs bought and cut up at Kingston during the winter. To say nothing of home consumption, and the Pork wanted for the Lumbermen back in the bush, no fewer than six large firms are actively engaged in the business, and upwards of ten thousand barrels are annually shipped for Montreal and Europe.

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12 Apr 1853
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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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), 12 Apr 1853