The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 15 Apr 1875

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p.2 Navigation - str. D.C. West arrived at Gananoque from Clayton.


The most useful work in progress on the lake is now advancing rapidly at the Marine Railway, Kingston. Last Spring Messrs. Wm. Power & Son, the proprietors of this shipyard, applied to the City Council for the privilege of employing the street allowance at the foot of Union Street, an almost unused slip, as a site for a Graving Dock. The request for the closing up of a public avenue is an unusual one to entertain and would be rejected under an ordinary claim, but the importance of the proposed dry dock was so well appreciated and confidence in the enterprise and stability of the firm so highly placed, that the City Council not only granted its leave but also its favor to the project, and assisted Messrs. Power & Son to have an act of the Legislature passed empowering the civil authorities to close and transfer the street. Thus aided, and with the hearty encouragement of local marine and commercial gentlemen, the firm began operations on the new dock, and have kept forty men employed all winter, adding to this heavy charge for labor an outlay for materials of 'magnificent proportions'. The work has assumed shape; the two sides of heavy timber loaded with stone and containing the necessary caissons, are in a finished state. Excavations were begun in the interior to obtain a further depth of sixteen feet as soon as the snow began to leave the ground, and were continued until the spring rise in the water drove the workers off. The digging-out process will be resumed however, with a will as soon as the great caisson now being built to form the gate or water side of the dock is finished, launched, floated into place and sunk. It is now in frame and is receiving its outside planking. The frame is of very heavy timber and the shell will be water tight. It is subdivided within into water tight compartments, which will be filled or emptied as required for the caisson to be lowered or raised. The dock when excavated fully will reach some distance up the street, as it is intended to provide room for a vessel 275 feet long with breadth of beam in proportion. This year a dock of but 200 feet will be completed, a size amply sufficient for all calls until the enlargement of the Welland Canal allows larger vessels than those now in service on Lake Ontario to pass down; the enlargement can be undertaken at any time when the demand for it arises as readily as during the progress of the work this year. If everything progresses in the operations as satisfactorily as it has begun and now promises, the engines and machinery will be in place, the caisson completely fitted up, and a vessel floated in and docked amid the popping of champagne corks in August next. Apart from the present good of a large amount of money being spent among mechanics and laborers, Messrs. Power & Son are conferring a lasting benefit on the port. The want of graving dock has been felt on the Canadian side of the lake, (there being none between Montreal and Port Dalhousie), and especially so in Kingston as the principal refuge and rendezvous for crafts disabled and in distress. Very often have vessels too large to be trusted to the ship yard ways here been taken off to Port Dalhousie at a large expense in towage for repairs. The business so lost to us will be retained here, and the harbor will become still more frequented than ever by all classes of boats. The wharf now occupied by Messrs. Holcomb & Stewart has been sold on most liberal terms to the Messrs. Power by Mr. John Carruthers, who in the easy sale of this property like that of the Locomotive Works and Marine Railway, has assisted largely in establishing industries of great value to the city. The wharf will next winter be extended out one hundred and fifty feet, thus making a long breakwater and forming about the Marine Railway and Graving Dock a safe bay in which vessels can lie easily.

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15 Apr 1875
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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, 15 April 1875 Daily British Whig, 15 April 1875
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 15 Apr 1875