The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 10 Jan 1876

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p.3 The Ferry - str. Pierrepont still running to Cape Vincent, praise to Folger Bros.

Jan. 11, 1876

Remarkable - yesterday the harbor was open, ferry running; the years 1838 and 1874 were similar.

The Crossing - today the Pierrepont could only get to Wolfe Island, but not to Cape Vincent.

C.I. - Jan. 8th.

Jan. 12, 1876

p.2 Board of Trade - annual meeting, discuss Welland Canal, the Coasting Trade.

p.3 The Fourth Estate - Capt. Swales, formerly of Kingston, now of Pico Hotel, Los Angeles, California.

Jan. 13, 1876


Jan. 14, 1876


(To the Editor of the British Whig)

Dear Sir - I read an article in your paper lately on taxing of vessels, and I think it is time that some one in the city was taking it up, both for the benefit of the city as well as the vessel owners. The City Council should look to the interest of the city and encourage vessel owners to lay their steamers and vessels up here instead of driving both the vessels and the owners out of the city. These owners expend a very large sum of money here in repairing their vessels during the winter, and also in fitting them out in the spring, in which a great number of men are employed. Take for instance one large steamer that winters here and look at the work that is done on her before she is ready to start in the spring, at least $1,500. Now we will take one large vessel that is owned in this city, in the first place, she has to pay twenty-five dollars to lay at a dock for the winter; if she requires only an ordinary spring's repair, with a few new sails, as they all do after they are four or five years old, it will cost her owners from nine to eleven hundred dollars in getting her ready for sea. In some cases it takes between two and three thousand dollars to get them sea-worthy. Now I want to know if the city don't derive a large benefit from ship owners when there is so much money expended in fitting out a couple of vessels, what would it be in fitting out thirty or forty? Now we will see who derives a benefit from steamers, sailing vessels, tugs, barges and other crafts. It is the lawyer, the exchange brokers, the ship carpenters, the sail maker, the ship chandler, the painter, the boiler maker, the foundry man, the blacksmith, the tinsmith, the plumber, the butcher, the grocer, dry goods merchant, the baker, the tailor, the shoe maker, the laborer, and last of all the tavern keeper, who takes the last cent the poor sailor has. A vessel is taxed heavy wherever she goes. Yearly on entering an American port a large vessel has to pay the sum of one hundred and thirty dollars tonnage dues besides one dollar and thirty cents Custom dues every time she enters, while the American vessel has to pay only a small sum of one dollar on entering a Canadian port. Perhaps one day some of our membersin fair play will bring this tonnage dues that Canadian vessels pays yearly before Parliament and find out if what is sauce for the goose can be sauce for the gander. Vessels have also canal tolls to pay every time they pass through a canal, and the insurance rates are very high, averaging on large vessels about seven hundred dollars for seven months. I think that the owners pay taxes enough on their vessels without the city imposing an outrageous tax on them. Vessels don't sail on our streets or sidewalks or derive a benefit from our gas lights or many other things as the city is taxed for. They have nothing to do with the city whatever; if their owners live or own property in the city they pay their share of taxes like any one else. When their vessels arrive in the harbor with a cargo of grain they have to lay to anchor until their turn comes at the elevator before they are allowed to get alongside of the dock, and as soon as they are discharged they are ordered away. If they move to another dock they are charged dockage. At some docks they ask one dollar a day, and if they haul their vessels into a corporation slip they are driven out by the owners of the docks on both sides of it. Pretty severe on a vessel that pays taxes in this city of from one hundred and sixty to five hundred dollars! She has got to pay five dollars to a tug and tow out in the stream to anchor, and run a risk of being run into by some other craft or driven ashore in a gale. I have known some vessel owners to pay fifteen and twenty dollars to some of our dock owners for the privilege of laying their vessels in a corporation slip during the winter. Take away the marine business from Kingston and see what a dull place it would be. No vessels discharging, no sound of the elevators working, no loading or unloading at the docks, no propellers rolling on or off freight or coaling, no tugs towing loaded barges in or out, no Rochester arriving, no Maud whistle to be heard every two or three hours in the day, and last of all none of these fine floating palaces belonging to the Canadian Navigation Company, crowded with passengers, passing by. Dull would be no name for it. The cry here on a summer's day, when no vessels are in, is that the harbor is as dull as ditch water. And yet the City Council is trying to drive the vessel owners and the vessels out of the city by over-taxing them. Vessels take a large sum of money to keep them in order, as they are apt to rot. They must be kept up to stand inspection or be classed down so that they are not allowed to carry grain. Those last couple of seasons have been very disastrous to vessel owners. There is not one vessel out of ten but what has run in debt - several here last season from $500 to $1,500. Others never started out. Toronto is a city where vessels derive the largest benefit of any city in Ontario, and the City Council has thrown off two thirds of their taxes this year. And here in Kingston the Council won't agree to throw off any. There a vessel derives no benefit except a few small vessels in the barley trade in the fall. Every vessel that unloads grain leaves on an average $100. Why, I have counted fifty large vessels in our harbor at one time, let alone the steamers taking on wood and coal. I think that a great number of our Council derive a large benefit from floating property, let alone the city at large.


Jan. 14, 1876 FAIR PLAY

-Things In General - the Owen Sound Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Co., with a capital of $15,000, has been incorporated.

p.3 The Graving Dock - Mr. Power to proceed with work on dock.

A Spill - an ice boat tips over.

Jan. 15, 1876


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10 Jan 1876
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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), 10 Jan 1876