It is not wise for men in this city to pooh-pooh the capabilities of Prescott as a place for the discharge of upper lake vessels. It is certainly a vantage ground. A marked copy of the Prescott Journal gives facts as to the harbor that, according to the view of vessel owners and forwarders, cannot be underestimated. That foremost engineer, Walter Shanley, asserted that "Prescott was destined by nature for the foot of navigation." It is declared that transportation from that point to Montreal is cheaper than from Kingston, the calculation being thus based: "A tug with six barges will make about fifteen round trips in one season from Kingston to Montreal, while twenty-six to twenty-eight round trips can be made from Prescott to Montreal, a difference of from eleven to thirteen trips in favor of Prescott as against Kingston." Besides this it is claimed with an elevator at Prescott there would be no detention of barges at all and an immense saving of time and money would be the result.
Kingstonians will have to recognize these facts and meet them with vigor and enterprise. Though Prescott docks are fine, the depth of water amply sufficient for the largest crafts, and shoals and obstructions unknown, yet Kingston has superior advantages commercially, and can hold its own against all rivals if men are disposed to seize the opportunities as they present themselves. We have reached a stage when the old methods of transhipment will not serve. To meet the necessities of trade better work and better facilities are needed. To strengthen our position elevators are required. There are three ways to secure them, by governmental aid, private enterprize or by the investment of capital by the direct recipients of trade, the forwarding concerns. From a present outlook the last named must be our hope backed by aid from the citizens. The forwarding concerns should invest much of their earnings in giving facilities for quick discharge here. Elevators with the capacity of one or two millions would be sufficient. The forwarders have much stake here, why not perpetuate it and so combine that no other place can take away business. The board of trade has a work to do in this regard and the quicker it moves the better for Kingston. If the forwarding interests can be anchored here the people can then snap their fingers at Prescott. And we think the forwarders are partial to Kingston.
General Paragraphs - H. Burns left for Sarnia today to assume duties on the schr. Edward Blake.
The str. Pueblo is under engagement at Chicago to carry corn to Kingston at 4 1/2 cents.
Capt. A. Milligan has been appointed keeper of the new range lights in the harbor.
The Welland canal will be open in a few days.
The tug Jessie Hall is having a new rudder put on.
The barge Cornwall will be out of the drydock tomorrow.
The name of the schr. Jessie H. Breck has been changed to H.M. Stanley.
The tug Glide is engaged towing around the M.T. Co's fleet.
Capt. John Martin, Ogdensburg, of the tug Myra, is in the city.
The schr. W.J. Suffel was the first craft to clear from Port Hope this season.
The steamers Swan and Marquis of Lorne were launched at Portsmouth yesterday.
The schr. Oliver Mowat, Capt. J. Peacock, has been rebuilt during the winter at Port Hope.
Several applications for the use of the drydock are being received from vessel owners in western cities.
It is said that Canadians holding American certificates will not be allowed to sail Canadian boats.
Steam was raised on the prop. Glengarry this morning to test her machinery. She is also being repainted.
Capt. Keith, of the schr. Eliza Fisher, will leave for Oswego on Thursday for a load of coal for Breck & Booth.
Several Frenchmen from Montreal arrived in the city today to serve as crews on some of the M.T. Co.'s barges.
Upon receipt of intelligence that the ice has disappeared from Little Bay de Nequette the str. Omaha will proceed to Gladstone and take on wheat for Kingston, the charter having been made recently on a basis of 5 1/2 cents a bushel. The str. Denver, which wintered at a Lake Ontario port, will also load at Gladstone with wheat for Kingston at the same rate.