The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Sep 1894

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p.1 General Paragraphs - The schr. Baltic is in from Charlotte with a cargo of coal.

The tug Walker and tow, ashore near Iroquois, arrived at noon.


The tug Hall will take six loaded barges down to Montreal.

The tug Jessie Hall is up with five empty barges from Montreal.

The prop. Escanaba will probably get away for the upper lakes today.

The schr. Collier will go up the bay again to load grain for Kingston.

The sloops Idlewild and Madcap are in from the bay with cargoes of peas.

The schr. B.W. Folger has arrived from Oswego with coal for Swift & Co.

Arrivals: str. Magnet, Hamilton; str. Spartan, Toronto; str. James Swift, Ottawa.

Vessels going to Montreal cannot draw over eight and a half feet now, so low has the water become.

The prop. Rhoda Emily got here last night and was relieved of her 40,000 bushels of wheat. She came from Chicago.

The str. Arabian lightened 23,000 bushels of wheat before going to Montreal. This was more than half her cargo.

The yacht Atalanta has cleared from Belleville for Oswego and Chicago. She has been purchased by a citizen of the western metropolis.

Richardson & Sons shipped 15,000 bushels of peas to Montreal today. This is the first shipment of new peas this season. The firm also shipped 8,300 bushels of wheat to Smith's Falls.

Incidents of the Day - Nicholas Henderson will not go back to Chicago. He is kept pretty busy here doing marine painting.

Off For Toronto - yacht Norma left yesterday for Toronto; will race Saturday; sailed by Geo. Walkem and E. Gildersleeve.



[Montreal Witness]

"There was money made in freights in those days, wasn't there captain," remarked D.G. Thompson, president of the corn exchange, addressing a venerable looking old gentleman who sat close by him.

The old gentleman smiled and said that there was some money made in his early days in that line. The conversation was interesting to more than one, and many questions were asked of the man whose memory went away back to the thirties, yes, back into the twenties, in connection with the history of the trade of Canada.

The gentleman was Capt. W.R. Taylor, of Kingston, spending a few days in Montreal for the sake of seeing his friends, of whom he has a large number.

He was introduced to Hugh McLennan and in the latter's office they talked over old times.

Captain Taylor is in his eighty-fifth year but is as hale and hearty looking as many a man twenty-five years younger. He is tall and erect and there is an absence of the usual signs of old age in his face. He hears well and can read and write without the use of spectacles. He is exceedingly well preserved, and his condition is remarkable when it is learned that from the time he was a lad until only only a little over twenty years ago he has been engaged in sailing or attending to shipping matters.

Capt. Taylor was born at Blyth, Eng., and became an apprenticed seaman, coming to Canada for the first time in 1828. His vessel was the "Richard and Ann," a brig of about 300 tons, from Newcastle with general cargo for Montreal. It took six weeks to reach Quebec and two weeks longer to come up from Quebec to Montreal. They sailed all the way and the sailors were always kept on the jump. They were three weeks in port that time and loaded with oak, flour and potash. The draught of the vessel on her return voyage was twelve feet and they experienced some trouble in getting through Lake St. Louis. After that voyage he sailed for six years to Quebec in the employ of Joseph Stroker, of North Shields, and he served as apprentice, able-bodied seaman, second officer and first officer.

In 1832, Capt. Taylor settled in Prescott, then the port of transportation for the lake trade. His trip up the river to that place was full of interest. The Lachine canal was then built, a small affair, but that was the only canal in the river. Batteaux were used in navigating the St. Lawrence between Montreal and Prescott, and these were propelled by poles and bars, and when these were found inadequate, horses or oxen were hitched to a tow line, and thus the batteaux was hauled up the rapids.

Capt. Taylor on his arrival at Prescott shipped as a hand on the schooner "Queenston," a schooner plying between Prescott and Queenstown, making a trip once a week. On the second trip he was made second mate, and after holding that position for a year and a half he left and joined the "William IV." After two years' service in that vessel he transferred to the "Cobourg," which ran between Prescott and Toronto. In 1836 he took charge of the vessel "Sir Francis Bond Head," built at Prescott by Hooker & Henderson. He sailed her for four years, and afterwards sailed for fourteen years for John Macpherson in the "Thistle," the William Kelley," the "Shamrock," which was lost in Lake Erie, and the "Governor," all well-known vessels at that time. At first he had a third interest in the latter vessel, and eventually bought her. It was while sailing this vessel that he had quite a thrilling experience at Sarnia, which resulted in his being presented with a medal by the British American insurance company for saving life and property. A schooner by the name of "Ottawa" got into trouble in a stiff gale while attempting to sail out of the harbor, and Capt. Taylor and a friend seeing the danger the vessel was in, for she had stranded, rowed out with an anchor and hawser, and dropped the anchor outside and rowed to the helpless vessel with the line. The line was put on the windlass and the head of the vessel was thus brought round to the waves, and she was able to stay through the storm without much damage to herself or cargo, or loss of life. The action of the captain was much appreciated at the time.

But as to freights, the regular rate about twelve and a half cents per barrel for flour from Toronto to Prescott, but from Prescott the rate was fifty cents per barrel. In 1851 he carried wheat from Chicago to Kingston for fifteen cents a bushel. In 1869 he sailed the "Queen of the Lakes," and for a cargo of wheat from Milwaukee to Kingston he got twenty-four cents a bushel. He sometimes sailed very late in the season, not laying up until Christmas. In 1870 Capt. Taylor was made marine inspector of the Inland Lloyds, which position he held for sixteen years. His son, Thomas Taylor, now holds that position.

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6 Sep 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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Sep 1894