The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Weekly British Whig (Kingston, ON), 26 Sep 1856

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p.1 The New Steamer Monarch - The splendid new Steamer Monarch built at Sorel for Messrs. A. & D. Shaw of this city, arrived at their wharf last night having on board a considerable amount of freight. Her performance on the passage up the river is stated by her officers to have been most satisfactory. The Engine of the Monarch was built at the Kingston Foundry by Messrs. Davidson & Bruce. It is a most beautiful piece of machinery, of great strength, admirably finished in every respect, and unites all the latest improvements on marine engines. The Monarch, when it's cabins are finished, will unquestionably be one of the finest boats on the lake. She is built upon the most approved model for speed, combined with great strength and capacity for freight. Her cabins are yet to be finished, and she is yet to have a splendid saloon the whole length of the upper deck, the latter of which will add to her appearance. In size she appears to be a little larger than the Arabian, with more breadth of beam, which will give her a steadiness in the water apt to be infringed upon by the addition of top hamper on steamers not built for such encumbrances. The Monarch is commanded by Capt. Sinclair, a gentleman of great experience in the Navigation of the Lakes and River, and very popular with the public, a popularity which we feel confident he will not only maintain, but add to in his present domain. Mr. Donald Campbell, under whose experienced eye the Monarch has been built, came up on board of her, and naturally feels much pleased at the congratulations. Capt. Sinclair and he receive from all judges of marine architecture who have visited the ship. That she will be a popular boat on whatever route she runs there cannot be a doubt, for the slightest examination will satisfy any body that she will not only be a fast, but also a safe boat, the latter a most important desideratum in times so freighted with Railroad and Steamboat disasters, as the present summer has been.

The Ship Canal - meeting of Directors of Toronto and Georgian Bay Ship Canal at Toronto.

p.2 The News gives the following account of the wreck of the Corra Linn. Why is not the Light House being built on Snake Island? We must rub up the Government a little if it be longer delayed. Is there chiselling here, as with the change of the Post Office site?

In the rain and wind storm of Thursday night between the hours of seven and eight, the Corra Linn steamer went ashore on Salmon Island shoal, about two miles from the main shore, and between five and six miles from this city. There were on board sixty or seventy passengers in all, who were for two hours in the greatest jeopardy from the vessel going to pieces, as every swell which struck her lifted her and let her down on the ledge of rocks with tremendous violence. The scene on board is described as distressing in the extreme; the female portion of the passengers and children manifesting their alarm by wailing crying and praying in the most agonizing manner, while the male passengers and crew exerted themselves with alacrity to provide means of safety in case the vessel went to pieces, which was most imminent. A few musket shots were fired, and colored lamps exhibited as signals of distress, and shortly after the propeller City of Hamilton went to the rescue, and sent a large yawl, duly manned, which no sooner reached the Linn than it filled, but the hands were immediately rescued. After being pounded on the rocks for about two hours, the Linn was at last fairly lifted over the ledge, and snugly settled in a bed of gravel, and where the heavy dashing surge could not reach her. The darkness was so extreme that the Island, lying ahead only four rods, was not seen for some time, but when discovered so near, afforded comfort to the affrighted passengers as being a convenient place of refuge in case of emergency. The Lady Elgin steamer, in the morning, went out to proffer aid, but the wind being still very violent, and the sea running high, no help could be afforded. In the afternoon Mr. Hamilton sent out the steamer Passport provided with large jolly boats which would live through the serge, and which eventually succeeded in taking off all the passengers in safety.

The Corra Linn is owned by Messrs. A. & D. Shaw, one of whom was on board at the time of the casualty, and who is confident that had not the vessel been providentially heaved into her present position, she must inevitably have been dashed to pieces in another hour. She has made considerable water, and is considered in a very precarious state, from the fact that she is in the midst of a series of ridges of rocks, rendering the approach of large craft impracticable.


The Regatta which came off on Wednesday, although not so magnificent as in former years when Kingston possessed some 30 or 40 yachts, was nevertheless a very exciting one. The main interest centred in the first race, in which two crack yachts from Toronto contended with a boat just built here, called the Belle, modelled by Mr. Osborne, the builder of the famous Prima Donna, and on which a large amount of money was at stake.

The start took place precisely at 11 o'clock from in front of the barrack wharf, and the following boats took their places: the latter two for the second prize.-Belle, Rivet, Canada, Storm Queen, Bloomer.

The boats got well away together, and on rounding the first buoy off Ferguson's Point, the Bloomer, a Brockville boat, second class, had the lead, the Belle following. The Belle soon took the first place, which she maintained to the Nine-mile Point buoy, passing it a minute and a half ahead of the Rivet, the Canada close on her heels. On reaching the Penetentiary buoy, however, the Rivet overhauled the Belle and passed the buoy a minute and forty seconds ahead, the Canada still closely hanging on. But on the run home, some two miles, the Rivet was again passed and the Belle came in one minute ahead, the Canada coming in two minutes 25 seconds behind. The distance, in a straight line, was about 16 miles which was accomplished in just three hours. The wind was offshore and squally.

The Storm Queen took the second prize.

For the third prize three yachts were entered - Mary Ann, Black Swan, and Rover. The Rover came in the winner.

In the rowing yachts the entries for the several prizes were as follows:-

Six-oared Boats - General Brock. No competitor, consequently no race.

Four-oared Boats - Duke of Wellington and Venus. Won by Duke.

Two-oared Boats - Queen, Venus and Zouave. The Queen did not come to the scratch. The Zouave, a Toronto boat, an easy winner.

Championship Skiff Race - Victoria, America, and Butterfly. Won by the Victoria, Medley.

A match was afterwards got up between a Montreal champion and a Long Islander. The Long Islander beat the Montrealer with his own skiff, then changed skiffs and again came off victorious.

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26 Sep 1856
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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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), 26 Sep 1856