The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 22 Apr 1854

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p.2 -gale - brig. Henry Wheaton ashore at Burlington Beach, schooner Adelia of Bunker and Waverly of Clayton in canal with loss of fore-top mast, etc. [Toronto paper]

Spring Walk no. IV


The village at Hatter's Bay, or Portsmouth, as some people absurdly name it, though not within the city limits, is nevertheless part and parcel of Kingston; consequently it comes under the category of the "Spring Walk." It is one of the workshops of this growing place, and needs an annual notice. At the extreme western point, - between Capt. Jackson's Garden and Patterson's Brewery, Mr. M. W. Strange is erecting a large Tannery, to be, when completed, one of the very best in Canada, and more than three times the size of the one at present which he works nigher the heart of the city. It has every convenience of position, and cannot fail of proving highly remunerative in a tangible shape.

Patterson's Brewery, now either sold or leased to Mr. James Fisher, is one of the very best Breweries in the whole province. Mr. William Patterson, prior to his return home, established the credit of his beverage, by brewing Beer, Ale and Porter second to none; and Mr. James Fisher fully maintains that reputation; nay so bright and sparkling is his pale colored Ale, that people when they drink it are sure to say, "This is Livingston's Ale, I know it by its fine flavor." The extreme purity of the water at the place it is taken in contributes greatly to the excellence of the drink.

The machinery of the Steam Saw Mill at Hatter's Bay has been taken out, the difficulty of procuring logs having caused the abandonment of the business, and the ample premises have been let to Mr. John Ault, lately of Sydenham, for a Foundry. Mr. John Ault is hard at work, and is in the expectation of being able to commence business almost immediately. The more Foundries in Kingston the better, the more that business is centralized the more it prospers. There is plenty of room for Mr. John Ault, and as all the other city Foundries are prosperous, there is no reason to fear that his establishment will prove an exception.

In Messrs McPherson & Crane's (now Holcomb & Henderson's) Ship Yard, every body is as busy as nailers. Six steamers are getting ready for their season's work. The noble Champion, under its able Master, Capt Marshall, is ready for a start. She needed no repairs, and has had none; but she has been re-painted and decorated most magnificently. Mr. Hinckly, late of the Lady of the Lake, takes charge of the Pursership. Her destination is not ultimately fixed inasmuch as Messrs. Hamilton and Bethune are in some dispute respecting the charter of the Champion and Highlander. The Western Miller, also belonging to Holcomb and Henderson, is here. She has been fully repaired and made perfect for work in every particular. Between Port Stanley, on Lake Erie, and Montreal is her route. The other four steamers are the Beaver, Bytown, Charlotte, and Mercury, all belonging to Messrs. Robertson, Jones & Co., of Bytown and Montreal. The Beaver, has actually been made a new vessel, so very extensive have been the repairs of her hull and deck. She was ready for launching yesterday, and as soon as the Rideau Canal is open will be upon her bi-weekly trips between Kingston and Bytown. Capt. Farmer again takes charge of her. The other steamers are also ready for business, but as they did not need such heavy repairs, did not receive them. They all form part of the forwarding fleet of Messrs. Robertson, Jones & Co., on the Ottawa.

In Mr. George Ault's Ship Yard, Mr. James Morton has a good sized propeller ready for launching. Mr. George Ault has built the vessel, and her engines have been refitted at the Kingston Foundry. She looks a very handy boat, and among the multifarious commercial doings of the Kingston Millionaire, will be found both useful and profitable. The Charlevoix, steam tug, also hauled out in this yard, is being repaired, and will be ready directly. Mr. William Bowen, the St. Lawrence Wharfinger, has recently laid down the keel, in this yard, of a full sized River Steamer, for himself and the other stockholders of the steamer St. Lawrence. - Many of her timbers are already out, and she will be actively put together during the summer and launched in the fall. She is to be a first class vessel, with all the modern improvements, and the lines of her model evince a capacity for great speed, if due power be placed within her. Next spring she will be a Mail River Steamer between Kingston and Montreal. Mr. George Ault her builder, is famed for the beauty of his craft, as shown in the May Flower, the handsomest modelled steamboat on Lake Ontario, and that's saying no small thing.

Mr. William Ford, Jr., has a very large Tannery about a mile west of Hatter's Bay, on the edge of the Lesser Cataraqui Creek. Probably there is no Tannery in Canada so large as this. The buildings are very large and very many, and one hundred vats are always full. Every species of leather is here manufactured, and so great is the demand, that Mr. Ford not only sells all he makes, but has to buy at home as well as export from abroad. This is encouraging to Canadian manufacturers, and shows what can be done by men of industry and enterprise. Twenty-five men, besides occasional laborers, are at work at this Tannery.

The great Workshops of the Provincial Penitentiary are at Hatter's Bay, and a vast amount of manufactured articles are daily brought out in the vehicles of the several contractors; but so rigid is the exclusion of the Press, more especially of the Press that would speak the truth, and show up any rascality carried on therein, that it is wholly impossible to give any idea of the amount of work done. The Annual Parliamentary Report may tell the tale.

Of Mr. James Morton's Mammoth Distillery and Brewery, so much has been said in these columns, that it would be idle to say more now. Suffice it, that although no new buildings have been erected since last spring, yet very large additions to the comfort and convenience of carrying on so immense a business have been perfected. lt is now the most thoroughly complete establishment of the kind in all the continent of America. When a Maine Liquor Law man reflects upon the immense advantages to all classes of the community, arising from the daily operations at this Mammoth Establishment, it should cause his cheeks to tinge with shame at the insanity of his projected legislation. Mr. Morton keeps up the price of all kinds of coarse grains, and thereby affords the farmer a ready market for crops to which his land is adapted. Rye, Corn and Barley are becoming the staples of this part of Canada, and while these can always be sold at remunerative prices, the farmer will ever do well. Deprive him of a market, and where would he be? The High Wines made by Mr. Morton are but partially consumed in Canada; they go down in vast quantities to Quebec, thence to the Lower Provinces and Europe; thus affording business to ships and shippers, the returns of which all find their way to Mr. Morton's pocket, to be expended in projects and enterprises beneficial to us all. If ever a man deserved public parliamentary honors at the hands of the people at large, that man is James Morton. And such a man would the Teetotallers ruin and destroy! In the immediate vicinity of his Distillery and Brewery, Mr. Morton has recently finished the erection of eighteen cottages, originally intended for his clerks and workmen, but now in part occupied or engaged to folks from Kingston, who have coaxed him out of a tenancy. The readiness with which these tenements have found tenants will probably induce Mr. Morton to put up another row of cottages, and keep to his determination not let them to others than his employees.

Land is becoming very valuable between Hatter's Bay and the outskirts of the city proper, that is, within the Liberties. A singular example of this has been exhibited within a few days. Mr. Archibald John McDonell, a gentleman who is becoming celebrated for his enterprise and public spirit, recently bought from Mr. John McPherson, a plot of land, lying on the edge of the Ordnance Land, purchased from the Rev. Mr. Herchmer. For this plot, Mr. McDonell paid a very large sum, near £4000, but large as that sum is, he has doubled his money. He had the land surveyed, ran a street (Collingwood St.) through the middle, divided the plot into 44 lots of a fifth of an acre each, put them at once in the market on terms at £150 each, and sold them all except nine in less than a month. These nine lots he offered at Auction of Thursday last, and though they were the refuse, they went off rapidly at prices from £173 to £151 downwards, every lot selling at higher prices than it could have been purchased at private sale ten minutes before the Auction began! It is a pleasure to see a gentleman like Mr. McDonell prosper in undertakings of this nature; he is liberal in all his dealings, whether in land or in law; consequently, most people like to deal with him. The success of this really good speculation will probably induce many other land owners in this vicinity to put up their surplus property for immediate sale; but they cannot all expect to be alike fortunate - it is the early bird that picks the worm.

On his way back to the city, after this long walk, the writer refreshed himself at Mr. Gaskin's Brewery, near the old Toll Bar, formerly used by the late Micah Mason. Independent of the adage, that it is ill to look a gift horse in the mouth, the truth must be told, that his Beer is excellent, and the maker as good as his beer.

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22 Apr 1854
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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), 22 Apr 1854