The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 3 Apr 1861

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The season for 1861 promises to be very renumerative for all description of the carrying crafts, owing to the vast amount of produce to go forward both from Canada and the Western States, and should prices in England have an upward tendency, freight will continue firm. At present those who made winter contracts for freight have done better than is now offered, chiefly owing to the impression that the first contracts for carrying from Kingston downwards, have exceeded the capability of the barges, and therefore many prefer waiting before engaging until the second trip of the vessels. But few cargoes are held for American boats. The bulk is destined for the St. Lawrence, and it will test the warehouse-men of Montreal to their utmost extent to provide storage until ships arrive in their harbor. Vessels in port are busy fitting out, but few will load before the 10th, as it is not desirable to ship until near the time of the opening of the canals. The Welland Canal will open on the 8th, the St. Lawrence probably about the 25th, and the Erie a little later from the last report.

The following freights are engaged by vessels for the first trips; some winter contracts are higher than these: -

Hamilton or Toronto to Kingston, 5 cents per bus.

Do. do. Montreal, 11 cents "

Do. do. Ogdensburg, 8 cents "

From Port Stanley to Kingston, 9 cents per Bushel.

From Goderich and Owen Sound to Kingston, 15 cents per bushel.

From Chicago to Kingston, 18 cents per bushel.

From Chicago to Oswego, 20 cents per bushel.

For flour the freight steamers are engaged during May at 35 to 40 cents per barrel and 12 1/2 cents per bushel.

The freight lines will consist of these: - The old firm of Jacques, Pridham & Co. have the steamers Huron, Colonist, Alps, Ottawa and Indian. Messrs. Holcomb and Henderson have some fast boats on their line - the West, Brantford, Wellington and George Moffatt, with a strong fleet of serviceable barges, floating elevators, etc. The firm of Jones, Macdonald & Co. is charged with the purchase of their steamer by Messrs. Black and Perry, and the Beaver Line will consist of the Whitby, Bowmanville, Ranger and Oshawa. The propeller Magnet, Capt. Malcomson, will run in connection with this line. The Avon has been purchased and will run in connection with the Great Western Road from Hamilton to Oswego. The steamer Saguenay has been sold to D. Linch, and the propeller Gore to Messrs. Smith & Gardine, to run from Belleville to Montreal. The S.L. Tucker will tow on Lake Huron.

It is understood that the steamer Clifton of Chippewa, has been sold to Capt. Smith, formerly of the Canadian, and will take the latter's place between Collingwood and Owen Sound. Travellers will find her a fast, commodious steamer. The Canadian is expected to engage in towing on Lake St. Clair.

The passenger steamers of the American side line will run here as last season, leaving Lewiston earlier than last year. The steamers New York and Northern will form an express line between Lewiston, Toronto, and Ogdensburgh. Until after the 10th instant it is not known what will be done with the Passport, Champion, and Kingston. Should they not be sold, it is expected they will be chartered, and with the Banshee and New Era form a line between Toronto and Montreal, and we shall hail the return of the old line to their route with great satisfaction. The steamer Maget will run a few trips to Montreal, and then resume her route between Quebec and Saguenay, and there are but few travellers who have enjoyed the comforts of her stateroom and attention of Captain Howard but will resume the acquaintance this season. The Maple Leaf, Captain Schoefield, has been overhauled, and will run as usual between Port Hope, Coburg, and Rochester. The favorite steamer Zimmerman has been much improved this winter, and will resume her trips on the 10th to Lewiston. We wish Captain Milloy a profitable season and less opposition than last year. It is not known what will be done with the steamers Peerless or Fire Fly.

In building, the following vessels will be launched next month: -

At St. Catherines, 1 ship, L. Shickeluna, 20,000 bushels.

At Oakville, 1 schooner, Henderson & Colpoys, 12,000 bushels.

At Wellington Square, 1 schooner, McCulloch & Baxter, 11,000 bushels.

At Goderich, 1 schooner, Vanevery & Co., 15,000 bushels.

At Owen Sound, 1 schooner, Vanevery & Co., 6,000 bushels.

At Port Ryerse, 1 schooner, S. Ryerse, 10,000 bushels.

At Nottawasaga, 1 brig, G.H. Wyatt & Co., 16,000 bushels.

At Bell Ewart, a fine steamer is being built for Captain May, to take the place of the Morning, to be called the May Queen. Messrs. Norris and Newland have purchased Mr. Chickeluna's (sic - Shickaluna ?) new vessel for the Liverpool trade. At St. Catherines and Port Dalhousie we notice great activity among the shipbuilders in docking and repairing vessels. At Port Dalhousie, Messrs. Donaldson & Andrews are repairing and building several large vessels, and ship carpenters' wages are advanced from $1.50 to $1.75 per day, which is a great improvement over the past three seasons in that branch of trade, as well as all others connected with shipping.

We noticed in port on Friday, the trim craft Coquette, one of the fastest and complete vessels on the lake. She made some remarkably quick trips last season. The Coquette is one of Messrs. Hagaman & Chisholm's fleet, and is commanded by Geo. Chisholm. She cleared on Saturday for Oswego with 10,000 bushels of very choice white winter wheat, consigned to B. Hagaman, Esq.

Alteration of Vessel's Names.

The Collector of Customs are determined to put in force the law respecting the change of the names of vessels from the original register. A list of craft whose names have been so changed is in their possession, and one or two seizures have already been made.


The Editor is too much of a cripple just now to take his annual Spring Walk, that must be postponed until he is able to stump about the Wharves and Docks again.-Meanwhile our readers must content themselves with a brief account of what is going forward in the Marine line, cut from the friendly News:

"The coming season holds out prospects of successful engagements to those in the shipping interest here, and the sounds of industry from around the wharves show the determination of forwarders to prepare for the harvest of paying freights in store for them. Vessels to arrive in Chicago have been engaged at 16.5 cents a bushel to Kingston, those in readiness for the first downward fleet at 20 cents. Mr. Doyle, and Holcomb, Cowan & Co. will tranship by their floating elevators at a charge of .25 cent a bushel, and will freight from this port at 6 cents a bushel, though contracts for small lots by steamers have been made at from 7 to 8 cents. Freights of flour from Hamilton to Montreal have been taken at 40 cents a barrel, and it is anticipated that this rate will be maintained throughout April, May and June.

E. Berry & Co., having chartered their barges for the season confine their attention to their Elevator and mills in connection with the latter they are now putting up two new engines of 40 horse power each.

Mr. Doyle, of the Atlantic wharf, will employ in the St. Lawrence trade 43 Barges, with an aggregate carrying capacity of 500,000 bushels a trip. To facilitate this branch of his business, Mr. Doyle has built a new floating elevator capable of elevating 2, 500 bushels an hour. On the Rideau Canal he will move the steamers Ottawa and Victoria, as last year, between Ottawa and Kingston. In addition to these engagements, Mr. Doyle has contracts for carrying grain from Chicago and other Western ports.

Anderson & Ford will operate in connection with the Ontario Steamboat Company's Line, consisting of the steamers Bay State, Ontario, Cataract and Niagara; Perry & Black's Beaver Line, consisting of the first-class propellers Oshawa, Whitby and Ranger; Jacques & Tracy's propellers Indian, Huron, Colonist and Alps; and the propeller Hero, owned by Capt. Howard, formerly of the Banshee, which will run between Port Stanley and Montreal. Anderson & Ford have extended their wharf twenty-two feet during the past winter, and have thus added to their ample storage and wharfage capacity.

Mr. G. M. Kinghorn's large storehouse holds a vast quantity of grain awaiting monopolies nearly all the remaining space with a stock of grocer's staples, that tells much of the magnitude of their trade. Mr. Kinghorn's Pierrepont will ferry to the Island as usual, and his Gazelle will run from Gananoque here, and serve as a tug when required. Mr. Gildersleeve's Bav of Quinte and Walter Shanly are assigned to their former routes. Holcomb, Cowan & Co., will move the steamers Mayflower, Wellington and Brantford on this lake; the Mayflower is being so thoroughly overhauled as to render her a new boat; she will work as an independent freight and passenger steamer. The propeller West will go to Chicago, and the George Moffat to Port Stanley. They have also engaged the services of the Highlander and Hercules when not employed on the tug line. Besides these they have 14 barges in the river trade, and five schooners to carry grain from western ports. A new floating elevator built by them has an elevating capacity of 2,200 bushels an hour; and their storage, though they regret its limits, is capable of holding 30,000 bushels of grain. The aggregate capacity of their vessels will enable them to transport 200,000 bushels a trip.

The arrangements made, or to be made, respecting Hamilton's Lake and River Line will not be disclosed until the 10th instant.

Calvin and Breck have not dealt so heavily in timber and staves at the West as in past years, and are at present confining their attention to transportation. Their Tug Line will consist of the steamers Wellington, Hercules, Highlander, Chieftain, Charlevoix, Gildersleeve, America, Traveller and William.

The quantity of flour and grain in store in Kingston, held by Messrs. Berry & Co., Kinghorn, Richardson, McKeever, Hyland, and Anderson and Ford, we have estimated to be 40,200 bus. wheat, 47,300 bus. peas, 1,500 bus rye, 2,000 bus barley, 1,000 bus oats, and 9,400 barrels of flour. [News]

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3 Apr 1861
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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), 3 Apr 1861