The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Weekly British Whig (Kingston, ON), 21 Aug 1856

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p.1 It appears that the Great Western steamers, the Canada and the America, will not be laid up as talked of, but that they will continue to run as heretofore, until a more remunerative arrangement can be made.

*** The Great Western Railroad Company have but one thing to do - they must buy up the Mail Lake Steamers, and then run their splendid vessels on the old North Shore route. It can hardly be expected, that steamboat owners who have embarked large capital in the construction of vessels suited to the wants of the country when they were built, will tamely allow them to be driven off their proper routes, because a Railroad Company want paying routes for their steamers. Either the Great Western steamers must be sold to the Lake Steamboat owners, or the Great Western Railroad Company must buy up the present Lake boats. Running Opposition will only make the thing worse.

p.2 A Grievous Disappointment - members of Toronto Yacht Club mistaken for crew of steam gun-boats.

Imports - Aug. 19th - Schr. Caroline, Oswego, 50 barrels water lime, G.M. Kinghorn; 450 barrels water lime, Holcomb & Henderson.

Steamer Welland Burned! - Loss 60,000!

We were surprised on learning this morning that the steamer Welland, lying at Port Dalhousie piers, was in a state of conflagration; we immediately proceeded to the spot and found the news correct. Some distance from the wharf, (where she had been hauled by some imprudent persons) and in shallow water, the boat lay - her decks and upper works destroyed, and her hull and solid timbers burning fiercely. She had grounded and broke in the middle, that portion of her hull abaft the wheelshouse was to outward appearance, not much injured, but closer inspection discovered to be a mere shell, the inside timbers being burned nearly through. Forward of the wheelhouse, she is burnt to the water's edge, and all that now remains of our once beautiful and fast sailing boat is a heap of ruins; the blackened pipes, charred timbers, and half-burnt wheelhouse presenting a different appearance from the night before, when she steamed majestically out of the harbor bound on a moonlight excursion with her precious freight of three or four hundred souls on board.

Capt. Donaldson informed us that the fire originated in the forecastle about 7 o'clock a.m. from what cause is not known; immediately as soon as he discovered it, he caused all the necessary precautions to be used to prevent draughts of wind, and set his men to work with the buckets and hand engines belonging to the steamer. At this time the Capt was certain he could easily overcome it, but found out that the fire could not be got at, which spread with rapidity, at this moment the Captain of the propeller Brooks of Ogdensburgh, with an alacrity that deserves the greatest credit, backed up with danger to his own vessel and continued to throw a stream of water from his steam engines on board, until finding the flames were making further headway, he drew off to the piers. - The flames spread so fast that the Captain had hardly time to save the books of the steamer, losing his private papers and other articles. We noticed that the Alma Fire Company of Port Dalhousie worked like men, and it is owing to their exertions, that the walking beam stands in its usual position, and the consequent safety of cylinders and shaft. The Union Fire Engine went down with a body of firemen from the dfferent companies in town, and were working when we left. A small portion of the furniture was saved. Captain Donaldson and all present did everything in their power to save the vessel. The entire loss is estimated at $60,000 on which there is an insurance of $20,000.

We have been informed that in consequence of the burning of the Welland, another steamer will be chartered to run as usual between St. Catherines and Toronto, until a new boat be built by the P.D. & T.R. Railway Company. [St. Catherines Post]

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21 Aug 1856
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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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Weekly British Whig (Kingston, ON), 21 Aug 1856