The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 22 Feb 1879

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The Cleveland Plain Dealer in reference to the change in the route of the Northern Transit Company says in a recent issue:

The Northern Transit Company has taken a decidedly new departure. For the last thirty years a line of steamers has existed, filling the route between Chicago and Ogdensburg, and in their way from point to point traversing all the great lakes and rivers, and visiting nearly all the important ports for passengers and freight. Having been established in 1849, it can claim with truth to be the oldest line of steamers on the lakes, and for many years the only one that sent their vessels through the Welland Canal to connect with ports on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The designation 'Northern Transit Company' had come to be a household word in all parts of the country. During a greater part of the time of the existence of this company the headquarters of the managers had been in this city.

The line has always been successful in the carrying of freight, and a remarkably favorite one with travellers. The Northern Transit Company has now entered into an arrangement and connection with the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, and will not go through the Welland Canal, as has been the case since its organization, the furthest eastern point under the new arrangement being Cleveland. The President of the Northern Transit Company, A.W. French Esq., informs us that there will be fifteen propellers and three towing barges put on the line at first, but additions will be made to the stock if it is found to be necessary. There will be a daily line between Chicago and Sarnia, a tri weekly line from Milwaukee, Sheboygan and Manitouwac to Sarnia, and a daily line from Cleveland and Toledo to Sarnia. Freight and passengers will be taken to Sarnia for Montreal, where they will be distributed to any and every point through New England, the railroad connections being the same as have existed for some years past - as the Grand Trunk has a continuous line to Portland, with a junction of St. Johns, Vt., with the Central Vermont Railway. The facilities for the import and export trade, as well as for the local business and traffic throughout the northeastern portion of the continent, are now complete and unsurpassed. The trade that seeks New York will find close connections and rapid dispatch by way of the Grand Trunk and New York and Erie Railways.

Heretofore there has been a rivalry between the Grand Trunk routes and the routes of the N.T. Company and its connections, but by this new arrangement the rival routes now become allies, and it is believed will result in material advantages to both. Our Lake Ontario friends, with whom we have been in connection for so many years, are now virtually cut off by this new arrangement, and it is not probable that there will be any regular American line until the improvements on the Welland Canal are completed and larger vessels can go through. For a time, at least, the water transit will have to be made by British steamers, and they are prohibited by law from carrying freight to and from American ports. The boats of the Northern Transit Company are now being put in the best condition, and at the opening of navigation will be in complete order. The headquarters, as usual, will be located in Cleveland.

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22 Feb 1879
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
Copyright Statement:
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), 22 Feb 1879