The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 13 Apr 1896

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p.1 Broke The Ice - For the second consecutive season the tug Walker has "broken the ice" in the matter of navigation. At one o'clock today, she left her moorings at the foot of Princess street and with more or less difficulty broke her way through the ice as far as the dry dock. The docks along the route were lined with spectators.

April 14, 1896



Was Organized At The Frontenac Last Night.

A very enthusiastic meeting of persons interested in yachting and boating was held, last evening, at the hotel Frontenac. The meeting was called for the purpose of forming a club to embrace all branches of boating, including ice-yachting. For the present the ice-yacht club will remain a separate organization, but it is expected it will eventually affiliate with the recently formed club. A list was presented containing the names of 105 persons who signified their intention of becoming members if the fee was placed not higher than five dollars. There were over a hundred attended the meeting last night, and it is expected the membership will be increased to over two hundred.

James Wilson was asked to preside and Capt. F. Strange to act as secretary pro tem. The last named presented sketches of the proposed club house. One set was sketched with a view to construction on the west side of the dock at the foot of Simcoe street, and the other for construction on the dock at Robinson's boat house. The last named sketch provided for a two-story house, 20 feet by 50 feet. The first plans provided for a much larger house. The building could be constructed for between $800 and $1,000. Mrs. Cameron, owner of the Simcoe street wharf, offered a free site for the proposed club house for five years. If at that time the wharf was required would buy house at arbitration value, or otherwise would grant a further five years' lease. If any boat houses now standing had to be removed the club must pay yearly rental of same, present tenant to have use of ground floor of club house. The offer made by W. Robinson was almost the same as above, only he would be willing to erect a suitable building and lease it to the club. The matter was finally left with the executive committee, elected later in the evening, to report as to site, feasible scheme for building, etc., at the next meeting of the club.

The task of deciding on a suitable name for the club proved a difficult one. Half a dozen were suggested and rejected, finally the suggestion made by Captain F. Strange, that it be called the Kingston yacht club, was decided upon. The chairman congratulated the members on their choice of a name. At this stage Capt. F. Strange was asked to take the chair and J.H. Macnee to assume the office of secretary, and the task of electing officers was proceeded with and resulted:

Commodore, Capt. F. Strange.

Vice-commodore, Ald. Richardson.

Rear-commodore, Dr. Clarke.

Purser, W.C. Kent.

Secretary, J.H. Macnee.

Measurer, H. Cunningham.

Executive committee, to conist of officers and Dr. Black, chairman, Messrs. R.E. Burns, E.C. Gildersleeve, F.H. Macnee and J. Fisher.

The committee was instructed to prepare rules and draft a constitution and submit both to the club. The name of James Swift was proposed for honorary commodore, but it was shown there was no such office, so he was elected an honorary member. In its formation the club has been given a most enthusiastic start, and it is hoped every encouragement will be given in the matter of subscriptions towards the erection of a suitable clubhouse, to serve as a headquarters for both water and ice-boating.

Incidents of the Day - At the meeting of the Kingston yacht club last evening J.B. Carruthers announced that the treasurer could draw on the old yacht club for a balance on hand of $45. This will form quite a nest egg to start on.


The lake is open and boats are running at Toronto and Hamilton.

The prop. Niagara has cleared from Toronto for Oswego with 16,000 bushels of barley.

The schooner Queen of the Lakes is loading wheat at Pelee Island for James Richardson & Sons. It is expected she will be the first arrival here this season.

It is expected the steamer Rosemount, now building in England for the M.T. Co., and which was to be finished by June 1st, will be delivered here some time about the middle of May.

The schooner Fabiola was, yesterday, hauled around from the slip in rear of Richardson & Sons' elevator to the dock at the foot of Princess street. A gang of men are at work getting her ready for sea.

The tug Walker was successful in making the trip to and from the dry-dock yesterday afternoon. The ice along the shore was found to be quite soft, but towards the middle of the channel it is solid and united yet.

All the slips in the lower part of the harbor are quite free of ice, and open water abounds for quite a distance out. A heavy wind storm from the south would soon break up the key of the wedge in mid-channel and leave the harbor free.


The str. Pierrepont left her moorings this afternoon and started to cut her way through the ice to Garden Island. Capt. Allen had command, and engineer Dickson had charge of the "lower regions." B.W. Folger, jr., and a party of guests were aboard. The staunch old vessel made very slow time, of course, and was repeatedly compelled to back off the ice, and make a spurt forward with increased speed, cutting through for a longer or shorter distance until she met more than usually heavy portion of the ice field, when another back-off and another race forward. The water front was lined with crowds of spectators eagerly watching the progress of the boat, some offering to wager that she would not succeed, though the great majority had sufficient confidence in her powers to believe her capable under such skilful direction to accomplish her trip.

At 3:15 o'clock the steamer reached open water off Garden Island. She circled about and came back by a different route.

p.4 The schooner Glenora, which has been rebuilt and is now in as good condition as when first put into commission, will be launched in about two weeks.

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13 Apr 1896
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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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 13 Apr 1896