The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 14 Mar 1864

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p.2 Spring Walk No. 2 - The Wharfs of Kingston

-County Court & Quarter Sessions - Ainsley vs. Sparham - Ainsley wanted $225 for 170 days labor in building a scow for defendant.

"Spring Walk by the Old Hand"


The Wharfs or Wharves or Kingston, which should it be? Wharfs is decidedly the best word, but not so often used as Wharves, tho' infinitely more English. Well, the Wharfs of Kingston are the subject of this day's "Walk," an uncongenial, dull topic, but one that may be made readable, if not lively, by a little pains.

ST. LAWRENCE WHARF. - It may be recollected that last Fall, this extensive and commodious Wharf, so long in the occupation of the late Mr. Joseph Doyle, and more recently in that of Messrs. Anderson & Ford, the Wharfingers and Forwarders, was purchased of the Bank of British North America, (the Counter Estate,) by Mr. Wm., formerly Capt. Bowen, of the Mail Line of Steamboats. A heavy sum was paid for this property, ($12,000) but not above its value; for it is unquestionably one of the very best Wharfs in town, with large docks, easy access to them, and deep water all round the wharf. Mr. Bowen, who resumes the business of a Wharfinger and Forwarder, has been and is still making great improvements and additions to the already extensive water front, particularly in doubling the width of that long portion which extends so far into the harbor. The warehouses and offices need no improvement, for they are nearly new, and being coated and covered with plate iron, are nearly fireproof.

The business which Mr. Wm. Bowen expects to attract to the St. Lawrence Wharf during the coming summer will be that of the Royal Mail Steamboat Line of the Inland Navigation Company, consisting of a Daily Boat, up and down, between Montreal and Hamilton. These vessels are six in number, and comprise

The Grecian - new Iron - Capt. C. Hamilton

The Kingston - iron - Capt. T. Howard

The Passport - Iron - Capt. Harbottle

The Magnet - Iron - Capt. J. B. Fairgraves

The Champion - Wood - Capt. J. R. Kelly

The Banshee - Wood - Capt. Swales

Of these substantial vessels, it suffices now to say, that the Grecian is a fine new iron steamer, to make her first trip up as soon as the navigation opens at Montreal. All the others are well known, and three of them being iron vessels, are as good as on the day when first launched. The passengers by these Boats will now enjoy the great convenience of being landed alongside the Grand Trunk Railway's Kingston Depot, simply to step from off the steamers into the cars.

The other business at the Wharf will of course be general, including the Bay of Quinte transit trade, the Daily Boat, Bay of Quinte, stopping here regularly. The Office of the Royal Mail Line will be here, at which the Hon. John Hamilton, General Manager of the Company, will be found, and where Mr. Charles Hatch, the Company's Agent, will also have his office.

The next Wharf in local importance is the one, immediately above the Railway Premises, once called "The United States Wharf," and latterly "Kinghorn's Wharf," to be new styled "Anderson & Ford's Wharf," for it is to this well known place of business that this young and rising Forwarding Firm has removed. It would seem that Mr. Kinghorn, encouraged by his increasing Grain and Quebec business, has relinquished the business of a Forwarder and surrendered that and the wharf and premises to Messrs. Anderson & Ford, retaining only sufficient dock room for his lumber and grain. His three steamers engaged in the Cape Vincent and Wolfe Island trade, (of these vessels more anon.) Mr. Kinghorn turns over to the care of Messrs. Anderson and Ford. Mr. Carruthers, the owner of the wharf, is putting it in a complete state of repair, nay may be said to be rebuilding it, for the additions and repairs are so many. And it must by no manner or means be forgotten, that all the warehouses on this wharf, Custom House as well as general warehouses, are built of stone and rendered Fireproof!

To the wharf, Messrs. Anderson & Ford will bring all the business they did at the St. Lawrence Wharf. The daily Line of American steamers will make it their stopping place; the Cape Vincent steamboats will do the same; some of the Bay of Quinte boats will stop here too; and a whole fleet of Propellers and Freight Lake and River steamers will again do their business at this Wharf. Messrs. Jacques, Tracey, & Co., the Forwarders of Montreal, have a fleet of steamers, all engaged in the Upper Lake and Chicago trade, composing the Indian, Colonist, St. Lawrence, Avon, Ottawa and Huron. This firm has no wharf at Kingston, but their vessels will all make this wharf their stopping place, Messrs. Anderson & Ford acting as their Agent here.

Good wine needs no bush; and when shippers and others find their business well attended to, with careful advices and prompt remittances, there is little doubt but that they will follow Messrs. Anderson & Ford, should they even make a second removal.

HENDERSON'S WHARF, LATE HOLCOMB & COWAN'S. - The Forwarding Stock recently owned by Messrs. Holcomb & Cowan, has been purchased by Mr. J. A. Henderson, of Montreal, who will do his Kingston business at the wharf above the Ontario Foundry, to be known, during this gentleman's occupation of the premises, by the name of "Henderson's Wharf." It is large and commodious, with good stone warehouses and deep water, and well adapted for a Freight steamboat trade. Mr. Henderson, although for a year or so out of business, is a well known Forwarder, and brings with him, on his resumption of his old calling, a large share of public patronage. His own steamers are the following: -

The Osprey - new - Capt. Patterson

The West - Capt McGrath

The George Moffat - Capt. Collins

The Brantford - Capt. Hannan.

Not forgetting the new and majestic steamer, Her Majesty, which though the sole property of Capt. Perry, will do all her large business at "Henderson's Wharf." Altho' all these boats will do their Freight business, and discharge their cargoes at this wharf, yet for general convenience they will stop regularly at Anderson & Ford's Wharf. -The number of their Barges is Legion.

Mr. Henderson will attend to the Montreal Business; Mr. Holcomb to that at Toronto, while the Kingston Agent is not named, tho' believed to be a gentleman from Montreal.

THE ATLANTIC WHARF. - Here we make a jump back to this large wharf at the foot of Princess St. Messrs. Chaffey Brothers do their business here, and that business of late years has been so large, that they were compelled to give the Royal Mail Line notice to quit, and seek other premises. In addition to a large fleet of full sized barges, Messrs. Chaffey Brothers own several Freight Steamers, viz., the Brockville, the Bristol, and a fine new one, the Great Britain. The adjoining wharf, the old Commercial wharf, is in the occupation of this firm. The warehouses here are all built of stone, and rendered as Fire proof as they well can be.

The steamboats belonging to Messrs. Black & Co., of Montreal, the Whitby, the Ranger, and the Cantin, new, will do their Kingston business at the Atlantic Wharf; as will the steamer Bruno and propeller Magnet. Then, will the Whitby, Cantin, Bruno, Magnet, Brockville and Bristol, form a direct line from Montreal to Chicago and Milwaukie, touching at Kingston, up and down. Messrs. Black & Co., of Montreal, will act in that city as Messrs. Chaffey Brothers' Agent, and the latter firm will return the compliment at Kingston.

The two Wharfs at the upper end of Ontario St., known as "Anglin's Wharf" and Fraser's Wharf, will be this year engrossed by the vessels and business of Messrs. Glassford & Jones, with whom is associated Mr. Miller. We are scarcely in a position to say all we know, or think we know of this firm and this place of business, and must defer an extended notice for a few days, or until we write of the Steamboats of Kingston.

The other Wharfs of Kingston are either unimportant or occupied by private persons. This must suffice for the Walk of today. "Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof."

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14 Mar 1864
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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.
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 14 Mar 1864