The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 21 Jul 1893

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p.1 River Mail Service - Thousand Island steamboat company has four year contract with U.S. government to carry mail between Clayton, Alexandria Bay and river points; str. St. Lawrence has post office department fitted up in forward lower deck.

Incidents of the Day - Mrs. Parsons and family have removed to Detroit, Mich. Capt. Parsons has purchased an interest in a large schooner.


The str. Empire State had two search light excursions from Gananoque this week. They were well attended.

The schr. Ella Murton, Capt. Saunders, from Oswego, is unloading coal. This is the first time the schooner has been in port since April 26th.

The tug Petrel, of Collins Bay, arrived last evening and cleared for Oswego to load coal. She will return and take a raft of timber to Quebec.

The str. Merritt left for river points last night. The Carnegie Bros., Gananoque, will probably be given charge of the boat. The Merritt can run about ten miles an hour, and is a fine excursion boat. She is owned by Inspector Chamberlain.

Arrivals: str. Spartan, Montreal; str. Algerian, Toronto; str. James Swift, Ottawa; schr. Benton, Charlotte, coal; str. Wilhelm, Chicago, 41,000 bush. corn; prop. Pueblo, Chicago, 54,000 bush. corn; str. Spencer, Superior, 53,000 bush. wheat; str. Crosthwaite, Chicago, 25,000 bush. corn; schr. Nirvana, Chicago, 43,000 bush. corn.



This morning the Whig interviewed the owner of many vessels, Ira D. Owen, of Chicago. He and his brother, W.R. Owen, own thirteen craft, mostly steamers. Among the fleet are the steamers Rhoda Emily, Argonaut, Escanaba, Ira H. Owen, Parks, Foster, Sioux City, Romeo and Juliet; three tugs, Monarch, Della and Owen.

Ira came down on the Escanaba and will return with her. He says marine business is very dull this season. Only 2 3/4 cents freight is paid on grain from Chicago to Kingston and plenty of large vessels which cannot go through the canals have nothing to do. Said Mr. Owen: "We keep our vessels in service taking small freights, to prevent them from rotting. We have hard work to pay expenses with the freights." He said he did not understand why there was so much grain in Chicago for shipment. The elevators are full, and it will be a lucky thing if they are emptied in time to receive this year's crop. Why there is such a great blockade of grain in Chicago is a mystery. Capitalists move in mysterious ways in this matter, and no person outside of the ring can tell what is the exact condition of the grain market.....

.....He complained about the delay in the unloading of vessels at this port. One of his vessels, the Escanaba, has been here with a cargo of grain since Monday waiting to be discharged. This cannot be done until barges get back from Montreal. Said Mr. Owens: "Why is not an elevator built here. I hear the forwarding companies want the government to provide a site and build the elevator. I suppose if the government did build it the companies would want the expense of running it defrayed out of the public purse. The M.T. Co. is well able to build an elevator that would hold half a million bushels of grain and suit this port. It would only cost in the neighborhood of $25,000. I have an elevator which will hold 300,000 bushels of grain and asked for tenders for an elevator that would hold half a million bushels. I accepted a tender of $15,000. The new elevator will, of course, be added to the present elevator and one set of machinery will do the two. The sooner the forwarding companies build an elevator the sooner their business will double annually."

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21 Jul 1893
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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), 21 Jul 1893