The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 14 Aug 1891

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p.1 General Paragraphs - The Richelieu & Ontario navigation company's steamer Corsican will carry a large party of American tourists from Alexandria Bay to Montreal, leaving the former place tomorrow morning. The Corsican's place on the regular run will be taken by the str. Bohemian.

Incidents of the Day - Capt. Irwin, of Cleveland, who was for many years captain of a mail boat, is in the city.


The steamer Armenia takes the Hero's up trip regularly now.

The tug Col. By and one barge arrived up the canal from Ottawa yesterday with lumber.

The prop. Acadia called at Swift's wharf yesterday, from Montreal, with a large number of passengers for points west.

The schr. Eliza White sprang a leak and had considerable difficulty in keeping afloat at Cobourg while she had a cargo of coal aboard.

The steam yacht Mamie C., of Comfort Island, Alexandria Bay, one of the smartest looking little steamers on the river, called here this morning with an excursion party.

The Compana, which began running this season between Chicago and Kingston in the passenger trade, is doing a remarkably good business. On the last trip up she had sixty passengers and carried 130 when she left for Chicago on Tuesday.

Clearances: schr. Julia, Oswego, light; schr. Hanlan, Oswego, light; str. Alberta, Cape Vincent, light; tug Charley Ferris and two barges, Oswego, light; schr. B.W. Folger, Charlotte, light; str. D.D. Calvin, Chicago, light.

Arrivals: prop. Cuba, Chicago, 8,000 bush. rye; tug Active, Montreal, five barges, light; tug Charley Ferris, Oswego, light; str. Alberta, Alexandria Bay, 2,166 cheese; schr. Valencia, Chicago, 39,449 bush. corn; prop. D.D. Calvin, Chicago, 24,000 bush. wheat.

The str. Belmont, with the C.M.B.A. excursion from Ogdensburg, bound for St. Lawrence park, was tied up at Brockville for a breach of the coasting laws in not reporting a few nights ago at Union park, where she discharged some passengers after leaving an American port. A settlement was made whereby the boat was allowed to proceed on her journey, accompanied by a customs officer.

The str. New Island Wanderer has had a fine electric light plant put aboard, and Wednesday night was set for a search light excursion. Glowing circulars were issued, but no excursion occurred. Capt. Rees refused to run it. He took the craft to Alexandria Bay while hundreds of disappointed persons trod the wharfs at many points. The directors of the boat met and to them Capt. Rees tendered his resignation and Capt. Eli Kendall, mate of the steamer Islander, was engaged.

A Fine Craft - The North King is undoubtedly the finest boat of her kind on Lake Ontario, and one of the finest on fresh water. Everything is new, bright and shining, and an admirable discipline has "a place for everything, and everything in its place." All the officers are young men. Those of our readers who have known Capt. Nicholson since he first acted as purser on the Hero need not be told that he is still a boy, with no sign of gray hairs and circling crow's feet. All his subordinate officers are apparently his juniors in years, most of them being quite young. But this fact does not detract from their efficiency, and the North King, while being a superior boat, has a superior crew to handle her. [Belleville Ontario]



Captain Alexander McDougall, of Superior, Wis., is a Scotchman by birth, a sea and lake captain by profession and an enthusiastic student of navigation by natural taste. He has invented what he believes will be the great ship of the future, the heir of all the ages since Noah's ark. It isn't pretty, and up to date they have no prettier name for it than the "whaleback," yet it is a great success so far as tested, and the fleet of "whalebacks" on the lakes already numbers eighteen, with a total tonnage of 50,600.

The name is a pretty fair description of the style of construction. The deck is rounded and the bottom fairly flat, the outward slope of each coming to a sharp convex near or below the water line according to the loading, and the result is that the waves do not cause so much rolling as when they strike the upright sides of a common vessel. The bow end is sharp and circular and the stern rounded in a similar way. With all these advantages Capt. McDougall thinks that seasickness can almost entirely be avoided, but at present his designs have reference only to the cheapening of freight transportation.

In towing barges the saving is enormous. The "whaleback" barge runs so evenly that the barge does not "yaw," and consequently the tension is uniform on the tug line, and at the same time the absence of top hamper in the barge greatly decreases the rolling. The total result is that in a smooth sea the saving is over a third and in a rough sea much greater - at least so says Mr. Wetmore, secretary of the American Steel Barge company, which is organized to work Captain McDougall's patents. Many striking instances are cited of the success of the "whaleback" in storms. As to the passenger steamer of this pattern there is yet much to learn, but it is plain enough that if Captain McDougall can prevent seasickness he will have a tremendous patronage, whether he saves anything in expenses or not.

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14 Aug 1891
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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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 14 Aug 1891