The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 27 Feb 1894

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p.4 A Railway Deal - Cleveland, Feb. 27th - Erie and Huron railway, running from Rondeau harbor, Lake Erie, directly opposite Cleveland, to Sarnia, opposite Port Huron, on the St. Clair river, has been purchased by capitalists; now working with Cleveland Shipbuilding Company for the building of a steel transfer car, capable of carrying 21 loaded cars.

Feb. 28, 1894



Capt. Donnelly Notes Some Serious Defects.

Capt. T. Donnelly returned from Sault Ste. Marie yesterday, after prosecuting some vessel owners for running without certificated officers, and for not having the vessel inspected. While at the Soo the captain was looked after attentively by W. Bermingham, late of Kingston, resident contractor for Haney & Ryan, contractors for the Soo canal. Through severe cold weather Mr. Bermingham had 150 men to look after, and was kept hard at work. He is satisfied the lock will be completed by July 1st. "There are two points interesting to mariners, especially to large boats coming to trade to Kingston," said the captain. "One is that the span for the drawbridge at the entrance to the lock is not wide enough. On the American side of the canal the draw is 200 feet wide, while on the Canadian side 90 feet with a square abutment that sits right in the centre of the canal. It will be a serious menace to vessels using the canal. Another point that struck me very forcibly was that the entrance to the lock where the vessels first touch the stonework is built of the very roughest stone, instead of it being levelled like the Kingston dry-dock. This will, no doubt, injure vessels to a great extent. It will be impossible to put a fender between the vessel and stone work. The abutment should be removed and the draw bridge made the full width of the canal. With the exception of these objections the work is the finest mason work I ever viewed. The mason work is forty-four feet high and the lock itself is 800 feet long by sixty feet wide. The gates are iron and are to be swung by electricity, the first experiment ever made on the continent. An experiment was made at the Beauharnois canal last fall in view of adopting it at the Soo. It worked well. The first electric rock drill ever used on the continent is used there, and has turned out to be a great success. It was manufactured by the Peterboro electric company.

"It is a remarkable thing to see so many men working through the cold weather," continued the captain. "It was 32 degrees below zero the other day, and yet there were 150 men working steadily. The contractors are right in the middle of the men pushing the job for all they are worth. Mr. Crawford, Ottawa, is the government engineer resident there. The water will enter the lock through a wrought iron pipe in the bottom instead of coming through by the head gates as in all other canals. The work is the biggest undertaking Canada has ever tackled. When completed Canada will be independent of the Soo canal altogether and there will be no more talk of tolls or rebates."

The government has promised the contractor a bonus of $100,000 if the work is completed by May 1st. They are working hard for the bonus and Capt. Donnelly thinks there is every chance of their getting it.

Capt. Donnelly was prosecuting the str. Camilia at North Bay and the str. Grace Darling. Both cases were adjourned at the solicitation of the defendants. Capt. Donnelly says the government is stricter than ever to wipe out irregularity no matter where it is found.


The str. Walter Vail will bring 35,000 bushels of corn from Chicago to Kingston at 4 cents per bushel free of canal tolls.

Ira Folger will be master of the str. Maud and Capt. Carnegie will likely take command of the str. Princess Louise.

The steamers North King and Hero have been thoroughly overhauled this winter. The substitution of new wheels for the Hero will increase her speed, and the strength of the North King has been made greater by many iron and steel braces in her hold. Many other improvements have been made.

The Richelieu & Ontario navigation company has its meeting at five o'clock this afternoon to appoint a manager. The Kingston contingent has gone down. A shareholder stated to a reporter this morning that the probability was that Henry Folger would retire and C.F. Gildersleeve would be selected.

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27 Feb 1894
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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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 27 Feb 1894