The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Mar 1859

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In laying before our readers the usual statement of the arrangement of the Lake craft for the ensuing season, we are struck with the general depression that exists in this branch of trade, and the slight prospect of remunerative business before the new crops. The winter accumulations of produce, too, in Canada and the Western States, were never lighter, and less than one-third of the Lake craft will be required to transport the freight likely to offer during the summer. As to passengers, the small amount of travel and the competition that exists between the boats and railroads, renders it doubtful whether the business will be either large or remunerative. The Canadian through line will consist of the Passport, Kingston, Champion, Banshee, and New Era, as last season. They will run as usual through to Montreal, with the difference of a boat leaving here each Friday, will run through to Quebec to meet the Ocean steamers. Their time of leaving Hamilton and Toronto each way will be about the usual hour in the morning and afternoon. They have all undergone considerable repairs and improvements, and will be commanded by the same experienced and popular captains. The American line so far as their arrangements are made, will consist of the Northerner, Ontario, Cataract, and Niagara, with the Bay State and New York as Express boats if business should offer sufficient inducements in mid-summer.

The four first named boats will run from Ogdensburgh to Toronto, calling at Cape Vincent and Oswego. In the absence of information we cannot give their time of leaving and arrival at this port. The Maple Leaf will run on her usual route between Rochester and Cobourg, calling at Port Hope. She will be commanded by Captain George Schofield. The Welland will be on the St. Catherines route again should the P.D. & T.R.R. Company not succeed in purchasing the Magnet, which it is understood they are endeavoring to do. The Welland will be in charge of Capt. E. Butterworth. The steamer Zimmerman has been purchased from the Bank of Upper Canada by a company formed at Niagara, and will run between Toronto and Niagara, under the command of Capt. D. Malloy - so deservedly a favorite with all travellers on that route. The Zimmerman will leave Toronto in the morning, and should sufficient business offer in the travelling season, can make two trips a day across the Lake. She is expected to commence her trips about Wednesday next. The Europa, Highlander, Arabian, Peerless, May Flower and Magnet are all at present not likely to be employed. It is reported that the Arabian has been chartered to run on the St. Lawrence between Gaspe and Shediac, but it is not we believe yet decided. Offers have been made this winter to parties in New York to sell the Peerless to run on the River Plate, but nothing definite has been done.

The freight steamers between Montreal, Toronto, and Hamilton, will consist of the Colonist and Huron, of Hooker Pridham & Co's line, Whitby and Ranger, of Jones, Macdonald & Co.'s line, George Moffat and Brantford, of Holcomb & Henderson's line, the Bowmanville and Indian, of Capt. Perry's line, and the Boston and Banshee, chartered. The steamers belonging to the regular forwarding firms will be controlled in their upward freight by joint directors in Montreal, which will prevent the ruinous competition in rates which last year resulted in heavy losses to the owners. The competition between the steamers and Grand Trunk R.R., in freight, will be strong. The Grand Trunk's present offers to contract, on the opening of navigation, being at rates below what it had generally paid steamers to carry it for. The boats consequently must take freight at a very low figure to compete with the railroad, which carries their through freight at unremunerating prices. Some seventeen freight boats will be laid up this season for want of produce to carry, the most economical boats only being employed, but nearly all can be got ready for the fall business if required. In addition to the American steamers, there will be a daily boat calling at Ogdensburgh for freight for all Canada ports. At Cape Vincent and Oswego the connection will be made with the American steamers. With the exception of the Montreal through steamer leaving Toronto in the morning, no regular boat will be on the Hamilton route. The Rescue mail steamer, in command of Capt. J. Dick, well known in these waters, will commence her trips about the 15th April, and make three trips a month between Collingwood, Sault Ste. Marie, and Fort William, with every prospect of doing a largely increased business. Daily communication by steamer will be made between Collingwood and Owen Sound. The Northern Rail Road have made their arrangements for the four first-class steamers, Evergreen City, Ontonagon, Fountain City and Hunter, to run tri-weekly between Collingwood and Chicago. The Ontonagon will commence her trips immediately, and will probably bring two cargoes before the Welland Canal opens. There will also be a steamer running from Collingwood to Green Bay.

In giving the above statement of arrangements for the season it is possible that some alteration in placing the boats may be made when the season fairly opens. However, we think the above information will be found correct, but the several owners are determined, should there be a falling off in the business so as not to pay expenses, to withdraw their boats at once.

Only a few of the first-class schooners are being fitted out for spring business, the prospect of freight being so slight, that there is no inducement to commence running, at least until the fall. Owing to the uncertainty of the value of this class of property, and the scarcity of money, only two sales of vessels have taken place this season, by Mr. G.H. Wyatt, ship-broker, out of a number placed on his list for sale and these not of a large class. [Globe]

Opening of Navigation - The following are the names of the steamers, together with their respective commanders, which have been engaged for the Chicago and Collingwood route during the coming season: Fountain City, Capt. Peck; Ontonagon, Wilkins; Hunter, Dickson, and Evergreen City, Ball. These boats are advertised to commence their trips on the 1st of April next, and active measures are being taken to have them ready for sea by that date. The steamers Canadian and Rescue, we understand, also anticipate an early start in the Spring. We are also informed that our old and respected friend, Captain McCormick, has secured a splendid steamer, which he intends to run between Collingwood and Sault Ste. Marie during the season of navigation. There is also a rumor that the Ploughboy will again be put on the Sault Ste. Marie route, in opposition to Captain McCormick's boat. Judging from the above, we may look for a lively time for Collingwood during the coming season, and with every prospect of better times. [Collingwood Enterprise]

The First Boat to Ogdensburg - The steamer Bowmanville, Captain Perry, will leave Kinghorn's wharf on Friday morning for Ogdensburgh. The hour is 7 1/2 and not 2 1/2 as advertised yesterday. If the early bird still picks up the early worm, the Bowmanville should make a very profitable trip.

Navigation at Sarnia - We learn that navigation is fairly open at Port Sarnia, the river being clear of ice.

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24 Mar 1859
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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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Mar 1859