The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 16 Apr 1862

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p.2 -Lake Freights - not much going on, shippers waiting for lower rates. [Chicago Tribune 8th]

-Propeller Pocahontas - leaking, run ashore near Long Point, the prop. California sent with pumps of Buffalo Mutual & Home Insurance Company. [Buffalo Express 11th]

-Imports - 14,15; Exports - 15.

"Spring Walk By A Fresh Hand" No. VII

MESSRS. BERRY & CO.'S ELEVATORS. - There is no establishment of the kind in Canada which can at all equal that of Messrs. Berry & Co. of Kingston, for the facilities for loading vessels with grain are greater here than in any other place. This may be said without any boasting. Messrs. Berry & Co.'s Elevators are erected on their own Wharf, the one fronting west, the other east. The first stands more than a hundred feet high, and the other about ninety; but, as far as regards capacity, they are both alike. The reason why the first elevator had a greater altitude given to it than to the other, was because Messrs. Berry & Co. intend, hereafter, erecting a large warehouse at the end of their wharf, into which they can easily eject grain without adding to the elevator any other machinery than a simple spout. The warehouse proposed will be very large and commodious, and will be capable of containing from 160,000 to 170,000 bushels of grain. The increased trade of Kingston will require this, and we shall be happy to see this much needed warehouse soon in process of erection. Contrasting Messrs. Berry & Co.'s Elevators with the four in Montreal, we find that the former are capable of doing as much, if not more, though they cannot be worked to their fullest capacity, owing to the fact that the men cannot supply bucket receivers fast enough, nor can the barges take a sufficient quantity from the elevator spouts, as the men working in them would run the risk of being smothered. Thus then, the real capability of Messrs. Berry & Co.'s elevators is not called into requisition now, whatever may happen hereafter. - Last year each Elevator could send through its spout at the rate of 2,000 bushels per hour, but owing to an improvement in the pulleys, as they are called, it can eject about 3,000 bushels, and could eject more. These are not the pulleys in use on board ships, or in warehouse stores, but are a species of cylindrical roller on which an indian rubber bolt revolves. To the bolt are attached tin buckets, like those used in flour mills (only larger) and which are six inches broad by seven deep. These buckets are thirteen inches apart from each other, and sixteen inches long. The pulleys are respectively at the top and bottom of the elevator shaft, or rather leg, the upper one being the larger, for a reason which will be presently given. The grain comes into the receiver at the bottom of the shaft and at each revolution of the lower pulley is taken up in buckets to the upper one which casts off, as it revolves, the contents of each bucket as nearly as possible at right angles, or horizontally, which would not be the case were it either so small, or smaller, than the lower pulley. The upper pulley formerly used was not so efficacious as that now in operation, being too small, while it threw the grain downwards in place of upwards. The belt in the former instance has a larger surface to move over, and the buckets are not so rapidly whirled round the roller or pulley as before. Then again, with regard to the lower pulley, it was discovered that, owing to its smallness the buckets descending from above were whirled so rapidly round it that they did not take upwards, on the return passage, their quantum of grain from the receiver. This difficulty was obviated by increasing the size of the pulley, upon the same principle as that on which the upper one was enlarged, or given a more extended surface to.

It must be borne in mind, however, that the increased size both of the upper and lower pulley causes the belt to run faster and consequently the buckets; but the pulleys having a larger surface than before, the impetus given to each bucket, when it first rounds the pulley, is continued longer than on one having less surface, and the grain having a horizontal motion, is cast off, as before stated, more at right angles. The spouts for ejecting the grain can move almost in every direction, according to the position, and it is surprising how soon it becomes abraded by the friction of the passing grain, which is continually wearing away the metal, so that new spouts have frequently to be supplied. Wooden spouts would be of but little or no service.

The leg or shaft of each elevator is moveable so as to be pushed out from the building, then raised a little up and finally pulled by ropes to the edge of the hold in the schooners when it is then let down. - The grain is of course brought to the elevator building in schooners, and is taken thence in barges. The great difficulty in transferring grain from the holds of the schooners to the weighing machine within the building lies in the fact that as the hold becomes empty the men working there cannot supply the receiver at the bottom of the elevator leg fast enough. The grain brought from the schooners into the building must first be weighed in the weighing machine, from which it falls into the receiver. There are two sides to this receiver, the one, when opened, permitting the grain to fall obliquely into the spout and thence to the barge, the other allowing it to fall down a trough or shaft to a receiver at the bottom of the lofting elevator. From the receiver of the lofting elevator it is taken up by buckets (as in the other elevator) to the top story of the building, and thrown down wooden spouts which communicate with the different bins. The spouts are provided with slides which may be opened at pleasure, and through which the grain falls into either the centre or wing bins, as the case may be. There are sixteen bins in the entire building, each capable of containing 5,000 bushels and each furnished at the bottom with a large slide which admits grain to the floor of the warehouse (though this is seldom done) and with smaller ones which allow it to run into conveyers which are furnished with an Archimedian screw. There are four bins at each wing, long centre ones being next them, while the Archimedian screw, into which only a small quantity is allowed to pass, carries the grain back into the receiver of the lofting elevator whence it is raised again, weighed, and ejected into barges by the spout. The grain thus passes twice up the lofting elevators, which are two in number, one on each side of the building. The machinery of the elevators is set in motion by a large fly-wheel, driven by two engines of (combined) 80 horse power. Finally, it may be well to add that Messrs. Berry & Co.'s elevators are the largest in Canada, and even in the United States.


The Harbor of Kingston, its wharves and docks, are all alive like a bag of fleas. - Steamers and schooners are fitting out; carpenters, joiners, painters, and blacksmiths, all busy at work, each man working double tides. Several of the steamers have already forced their way out through the ice, but none of the sailing vessels have as yet departed. Instead of a "walk", just take a "run" with the "Old Hand" along the front of the harbor, and observe what is to be seen as we run along.

ANGLIN'S WHARF. - This, the ultima thule of the harbor, has been leased by Glassford, Jones & Co., and will be the depository of their barges; here the lake vessels will unload, and here their barges, the capacity of which at a single trip is estimated at 275,000 bushels, will take in their freight. Mr. Jones stays at Kingston, and his office and warehouse on the wharf will be put up in the course of a week or two. At this wharf lies, partially sunk, the steamer Ottawa, which will be got up and put in order so soon as the ice goes out.

Passing Berry's Wharf and Elevators, of which "Fresh Hand" has said enough, we shall stop at the Atlantic Wharf, the Depot of the Royal Mail Line of Steamers, several of which are lying in the docks. - All these fine vessels are in apple pie order, & will be ready for a start by the 1st of May. The Passport, Capt. Harbottle; the Kingston, Capt Hamilton; the Champion, Capt. Kelly; the Banshee, Capt. Swales; the Magnet, Capt. Howard; and the New Era, Capt. Cameron, will compose the Line. Tho Magnet will come up from Montreal when the Canals open; and the New Era, which has been rebuilt during the winter, is to have her name changed, and to come out almost a new craft, or as the Jews say, "better as new."

At the Atlantic Wharf, Mr. Patrick Doyle, the eldest son of the lamented Mr. Joseph Doyle, will continue his late father's shipping business; and here also, Mr. Chaffey will carry on the same trade in which he has been of late years so largely engaged in.

The Commercial Wharf being leased to Mr. Doyle, and adjoining the Atlantic Wharf, may be considered as part of the same premises.

SCOBELL'S WHARF. - These capital premises appear still to be unlet, though a good many vessels have been lying in or near the dock; among others, Messrs. Jacques & Tracey's fine steamer, the Colonist, which left for the upper lakes yesterday.

BAKER'S WHARF. - This wharf is also crowded with vessels of all kinds, but, like Scobell's Wharf, does not appear to be specially rented to any firm.

ST. LAWRENCE WHARF. - Here Messrs. Anderson & Ford do their large business. And here is the depot of the American Line of Lake and River Steamers, one of which will be here in a day or two. At this wharf is unloading the fine schooner, F. S. Adams, of St. Catharines, 3,300 barrels of flour, having been on board all winter. Here are lying the fine bay steamer Bay of Quinte, Capt. Carroll, ready for business; and also the propellers St. Lawrence and Protection. The latter vessel is commanded by Capt. Peter Farrel, and is taking on board a cargo of Rye and Barley for the Cape. This wharf is probably the most convenient for doing its large business of any in Kingston harbor.

Passing the wharf and docks of the Grand Trunk Railway, of which more on another occasion, we come to the United States Wharves, now better known by the name of Kinghorn Wharves. Here is the depot of the Cape Vincent steamers, and the Wolfe Island and Garden Island Ferry. Mr. Kinghorn has in his warehouses a very large quantity of Grain, bought on his own account, and ready for shipment below. Here lies the steamer, Rescue , the vessel that used to make the passage from Collingwood to Fort William, on Lake Superior. She is a most powerful Tug, is commanded by Capt. Bonter, Jr., son of our old friend Capt. Jacob Bonter, of Belleville. The Rescue will be employed here as a private Tug.

The Marine Railway and its docks have been sufficiently noticed by "Fresh Hand"' but on one of its wharves is the office and warehouse of Messrs. Holcomb & Cowan, who do a large Freight and Forwarding business, chiefly by schooner and barges. Mr. Cowan, who managed the business here last season, takes charge of the Montreal matters, and Mr. James Adam, for a long time the managing man of Messrs. McPherson & Crane, in now Messrs. Holcomb & Cowan's Kingston Agent.

To this Postscript we shall append a shipping notice furnished by another Hand:

THE FIRST OF THE SPRING FLEET - GREAT STIR AMONGST SHIPOWNERS IN KINGSTON. - The first of the spring fleet, from this port, left the Atlantic Wharf yesterday evening. The schooner Gem, Capt. Smith, the Canada, Capt. Yott, and the Christina, Capt. Jolliffe, cleared for Hamilton to take in freight for Garden Island. There was quite a stir amongst the owners of lake craft all the week, to see whose vessels would first leave the port. The Sir Edmund Head, Capt. Ginnaul, also moored at the Atlantic Wharf, followed shortly after the Christina, closely in whose wakes were the bark St. George, Capt. Brownley, and the schooner Bav of Quinte, Capt. McBroom. To Mr. Patrick Doyle, of the Atlantic Wharf, belongs the credit of outstripping his rivals, and we hope the energy and industry displayed by all concerned will be rewarded by a profitable season's business. Some forty other vessels will leave during the week, all bound west. It is pleasant to believe that all have their cargoes secured for the return trip, either to this port or to Garden Island.

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16 Apr 1862
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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), 16 Apr 1862