The tug Maggie May got a new boiler in Davis' dry-dock.
Clearances: str. Toltec, Duluth; str. Monteagle, Chicago; prop. Topeka, Oswego.
J. Adams, steamboat inspector, engaged at Prescott for a week or so, has returned.
The steamer Vail and barge, Chicago, corn, passed Port Colborne bound for Kingston, last night.
The prop. Topeka, lying at the dry-dock several days, waiting to be unloaded, moved down to the M.T. Co.'s dock yesterday afternoon.
The prop. Egyptian, whose consort had the collision with a barge in tow of another steamer on Lake Erie, a couple of weeks ago, is in with grain.
Arrivals: str. Corsican, Toronto; str. Algerian, Montreal; str. James Swift, Ottawa; schr. Sheldon, Chicago, 43,000 bush. wheat; str. Hiawatha, Chicago, 38,000 bush. corn and 10,000 bush. wheat.
The work of putting the prop. Bannockburn together is progressing rapidly in the government dry-dock. Between forty and fifty men are given employment and the job is a good thing for working men at this period. The job is being done by day work, superintended by the M.T. Co.'s officials. It will probably be ten days before the steamer is liberated.
Grain Elevator At Kingston.
There is a discussion on just now as to whether or not there is a grain blockade at Kingston. The manager of the Montreal transportation company, which does the barge trade between Kingston and Montreal, says there is not, but he protests over much and in a rather different language than a commercial question of fact of this kind demands. The discussion, however, brings out the cheering statement that the grain shipments via Kingston have increased one hundred per cent over last year. It is said also that the shipments via Ogdensburg have also doubled this year. This is certainly very encouraging news and should induce the good people of Kingston to provide an elevator at their port. The expenditure of from $300,000 to $400,000 would provide an elevator with a capacity of about 1,000,000 bushels, which would greatly facilitate the handling of the grain trade at their port and retaining it for the St. Lawrence route. The city council of Kingston would be justified in issuing bonds to provide for the construction of such an elevator or endorsing, under proper conditions, the bonds of a private company, which would perhaps be better. Whether there is a blockade or not we do not know, but if the shipments have doubled it would be astonishing if there was not. The fact remains that now the lake vessels cannot unload until the river barges are there and the barges cannot load till the lake vessels arrive. Under such a condition of circumstances there must be much valuable time lost in vessels waiting upon each other, which would be obviated by the construction of an elevator. Kingston should take heart and try its credit on the money market before another season.
The suggestion of the "Herald" that the council or people of Kingston provide an elevator, is idle writing. The people have a fair amount of common sense and they are not going to bonus any further two wealthy companies, so wealthy and independent that their stock is not purchasable at any figure. As a monopolistic combine they command exorbitant rates between Kingston and Montreal, as compared with rates from Chicago, and if they built half a dozen elevators in Kingston it would not be too great an expiation for the injury their want of proper enterprise to avoid delays has done to this port and to the whole St. Lawrence route. It is a wonder that some active United States firm, seeing that money is being coined on the river, does not come over and take a hand in the freighting. Certain it is that the "Herald" may as well cease talk of a bonus. Public sentiment would be so strong against it here that it would be voted down ten to one. The Montreal gentlemen, who build steamers in Scotland out of thousands made in Kingston, may build elevators for their own trade.