p.2 THE OTTAWA NAVIGATION
Having thus given a brief and very imperfect sketch of the 200 miles of navigation which extend from the City of Ottawa to the little Village of St. Joachim, it is almost imperative that a few lines, by way of epilogue, should be devoted to that enterprising Company which has so successfully opened up the greater portion of the route. The three steamers - the Pontiac, Oregon and Emerald - belong to Messrs. Egan & Aumond, under the style and title of the
Union Forwarding Company. These gentlemen are extensive lumberers, and early experienced, no doubt, the difficulties which their own enterprise has to a great extent so successfully removed. The steamer Emerald was built at Aylmer for this Company in 1845, by Mr. Parkins of Montreal. Her hull is iron - length 140 feet, beam 19 feet, and drawing about 4 feet of water. - speed of 12 miles an hour. It is neatly fitted for passengers, and is doing a good general business between Aylmer and the village of Pontiac, a distance of 40 miles. The Emerald is commanded by Capt. Cumming, the Chief Agent of the Union Forwarding Company - a person of the utmost kindness, civility and attention, besides possessing a thorough knowledge of his business and a spirit and energy to perform it.
The steamer Oregon, commanded by Captain Hilliard, is almost a counterpart of the Emerald, with the exception of being a few feet shorter - built also by Mr. Parkins. The Captain, more advanced in life than Captain Cumming, is equally obliging, kind and attentive - well acquainted with the route he travels, and but too happy to share with the stranger that knowledge of the line of travel which he possesses. The Oregon runs from Union Village to Portage-du-Fort.
The steamer Pontiac, commanded by Captain Batson, was built at Pembroke during the winter of 1853 and '4. Length of keel 150 feet, beam 27 feet, width over all 44 feet 3 inches, with a draught of water of 4 feet 4 inches, and a speed of 14 miles an hour. Her model is excellent, and although plainly finished, more with a view to the towage of timber, she is an excellent day passenger boat. Captain Batson is quite a young man, but has already earned for himself a high reputation in his reputation. -The route of the Pontiac is from the head of the Allumette Rapids, near Pembroke, to St. Joachim, at the head of Deep River, a distance of 45 miles.
These three steamers give a navigation of 105 miles. There is still a navigable stretch from the head of the Calumet Rapid to Culbute, a distance of 65 miles, and a steamer 100 feet keel and 16 feet beam is on the stocks at the head of the Calumet Portage. Were this steamer once in operation, it would be a very great advantage to the settlers on the north side of the Calumet Island, and on the north channel of the Ottawa generally. There is no question, that were a good communication opened up it would hasten rapidly the settlement of this locality; at present this 65 miles is made with canoes, and of course it is rather precarious for a stranger to go up there in such a conveyance. - The hull of the steamer is pretty nearly completed, and all the material is forward, but there has been no progress made for the last 12 months, owing to a deficiency of funds. All that requires to be provided is a good engine, and from what I could learn from some of the directors of the company, if a man of enterprise and energy were to step forward and say he would finish their boat and put in an engine, they would cheerfully surrender the hull with all their title and interest in it, gratuitously; so desirous are they to have the communication opened up.
Gould's line, as already stated, extends from Pembroke, by the Muskrat Lake navigation, and stage in Portage du Fort, a distance of 40 miles. This belongs exclusively to James Gould, Esq., and is managed principally by his son, a smart, active, intelligent young man, with whom I had the pleasure of testing the accommodation provided on this line. [Leader]
Imports - Oct. 20th - Schooner Ayr, Chicago, 18,092 bushels corn, Walker & Berry; 22 bales hemp, J. Cooper.
Steamer Magnet, Ogdensburgh, (gen. cargo).
Sloop Greyhound, Oswego, 75 tons coal, Ontario Foundry Company.
Schooner Alice, Oswego, 1 pair millstones, 1 box, A. McGreer; 100 tons coal, J.P. Millener; 750 dry hides, L.N. Putnam.
Schooner Anne, Munro, 15,849 W.I. and pipe staves, Calvin & Breck.
Steamer Rowland Hill, Montreal, (gen. cargo).
Str. Ontario, Ogdensburgh, (gen. cargo).
Schooner St. George, Chicago, 13,958 bushels corn, Holcomb & Henderson.
Str. New York, Oswego, (gen. cargo).