The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 18 Sep 1891

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An Interesting Event At Garden Island Yesterday.

The little municipality of Garden Island was gay with flags and bunting yesterday, the occasion being the launch of the big schooner Ceylon, one of the largest grain boats on the great lakes, and almost as big as our own Minnedosa. The Calvin company are evidently unbelievers

in the ill-luck which is ascribed to the number thirteen, for the Ceylon was begun Aug. 13th, 1890, and took just 13 months to complete, but if the launch is any criterion of the future of the Ceylon we would prophesy all kinds of sunny skies and gentle, favorable winds. All day yesterday a detachment of 45 brawny islanders, under foreman Tom Bryan, labored preparing for the afternoon's event, and in the afternoon when attention was directed to clearing away the props and supports excitement began to grow. Every person, not otherwise engaged on the busy little isle, turned out to see the event, and a contingent from the city, which arrived on the Pierrepont, helped to swell the throng, which monopolized all the vacant space on timbers, wharves and vessels surrounding the good ship, which rose high and sturdy above all like the price of Kingston natural gas shares.

The propellor Armenia, which was in waiting to take the Ceylon in tow when she had taken her initial duck, was dotted, to the top of her wheel house, with the fair daughters of the island, who have a keen interest in marine matters and a special weakness for the sturdy sailors. All eyes were turned on the Ceylon as timber after timber was knocked from beneath her and the sledges of the workmen resounded on the wedges, every blow loosening the hold of the vessel on mother earth. At last nothing remained but two heavy cables at the bow and as the last wedge was hammered in these were severed with a broad axe. Then the Ceylon appeared to know what was expected of her. She slid slowly and majestically down the ways, her speed gradually increasing to a rush as she took the water. Not once did she sway from her erect position and everyone showed his or her appreciation of the good conduct by a cheer or frantic scream, according to sex. The momentum carried her far out into the channel and it was some time before she was secured and brought into the dock to be admired.

The dimensions of the Ceylon are 207 feet over all, 200 feet keel, 15 feet 2 inches depth of hold, 37 feet beam, registered tonnage 908, grain capacity about 55,000 bushels. Six hatches give ample accommodation for the transhipment of cargoes, which will be greatly facilitated by several steam hoists, with which the vessel is provided, while an independent engine will work the windlass. Her general appearance gives the holder an impression of great strength and seaworthiness. She is built of oak throughout, and her bulwarks are of oak plank, five inches thick, laid one over another. The rigging and sails were prepared by John Dix. She will have a crew of ten men, and will be commanded by Captain Alexander Milligan, the genial skipper, late of the Prussia. The thanks of the press are due Captain Malone, who kindly transported the representatives to the city on his steam yacht.

Marine Paragraphs.

The prop. Seguin, from Chicago with rye, is expected tonight.

The prop. Celtic lightened 8,000 bushels of rye, yesterday, and proceeded to Montreal.

Mr. Leslie is at Georgian Bay superintending the raising of the str. City of Owen Sound.

The prop. Wilhelm arrived at Portsmouth, yesterday, light, from Ogdensburg. The str. Denver also reported with 50,872 bushels rye from Chicago.

The str. Traveller arrived this morning from Montreal with four barges, light. She will leave for that city this evening with four barges laden with grain.

Clearances: tug Thompson and seven barges, Montreal, grain; str. Rosedale, Chicago, light; str. Algonquin, Chicago, light; prop. Alma Munro, Chicago, salt.

The keel of the new steel tug for the Collinsby Rafting company has been laid. Her stem and stern have been placed in position and most of the frame is ready for hoisting.

Arrivals: tug Thompson and five barges, Montreal, light; str. Rosedale, Duluth, 58,000 bushels wheat; str. Algonquin, Chicago, 72,000 bushels rye; str. Alberta, Cape Vincent, cheese.

A by-wash at Chaffey's locks broke last Monday, and carried away twelve feet of masonry. It was quickly repaired after a temporary dam had been erected, and no delay to navigation ensued.

Capt. Phelps, Chaumont, N.Y., expects to have a new schooner ready about Oct. 15th. The new vessel is a three-and-after; 60 feet keel, 21 feet 6 inches beam and carrying about 9,000 bushels. She will be a pretty craft.

Owing to the many large cargoes of grain arriving daily at Portsmouth the Kingston and Portsmouth forwarding company had to press into service an elevator which had not been in use before for many years. The steamer Rosedale reached the M.T. company's wharf yesterday at 1 o'clock with 60,000 bushels of grain. Three elevators were started and at 7 p.m. the steamer cleared for Chicago. The steamer Algonquin, with another large cargo of grain, arrived at 9 p.m.

General Paragraphs - The steamers Corsican and Spartan are drydocked in Montreal for inspection and slight repairs. They will go into winter quarters here.

News In Small Lots - The str. Princess Louise is still detained in Anglin's bay under seizure for the Cora Post accident a few weeks ago. Action will be taken in the maritime courts against the St. Lawrence river steamboat company for the recovery of the value of the Post, as the boat was chartered by the company, although owned by Captain Rothwell. The captain is confident that the crew of the Louise will be acquitted of all responsibility for the collision, as no lights were visible on the schooner.

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18 Sep 1891
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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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 18 Sep 1891