The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 4 Aug 1896

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A day or two ago, while looking through some old papers in an unused desk, James H. Macnee met with some interesting relics in the form of a programme of skiff, yacht and rowing races held here thirty one years ago. The first was a programme advertising the events. Another was a score card, evidently used by one of the judges, as it contained the winners, checked off with pencil. The races were held on Wednesday, Sept. 13th, 1865. C.F. Gildersleeve was commodore of the club.....(followed by lists of committee members, course layout, classes of sailing vessels, etc.)

Evidently the young men of a quarter of a century ago were sports. The amount of money to conduct such races as were run off on this occasion and to pay the expenses of a ball must have been considerable, much more than could be conveniently collected these days for similar events. Their regatta was such in a true sense, races being provided for nearly every sized craft then existing.

These old reminders of by-gone days have been framed and hung up in the new club house.

The Yacht Club Meeting.

There was a well attended meeting of the Kingston yacht club held in the new club house last evening. Commodore F. Strange presided. The first item of business considered after the reading of the minutes of last regular meeting was the considering of reports.

The executive committee reported that a constitution and code of by-laws had been prepared, which the club was asked to accept. The treasurer reported to the executive committee that 126 members had paid the annual fee of five dollars, making a total of $630, and that forty-nine members were still in arrears. The executive recommended that a lease of the club building for ten years from the first of May last, at an annual rental of $100, be taken from the Kingston yacht club association, limited, the club to pay all taxes, rates and insurance, and keep the house in repair. The executive committee has ordered about $100 worth of furniture, and promised to spend $75 more in furnishing the club house. A number of papers and magazines have been ordered, and some have been presented to the club. A caretaker has been engaged at $5 a week. He will be employed in improving the premises around the club house. Six racks have been applied for. The committee proposes that the rental for racks be four dollars per annum for lower and three dollars for upper row. For the balance of this season half these rates will be charged. Lockers are proposed to be rented for fifty cents a year, members furnishing their own locks. A lock will be placed on the main door, each member being expected to buy a key, price ten cents.

The commodore reported for the treasurer, who is out of the city, that the club has $260 on hand. After paying for furniture, caretaker's wages, etc., about $100 will be left. The club having subscribed for eighty shares of stock, the treasurer had taken up that number.

The constitution and by-laws were submitted for consideration. Some discussion was evoked over a clause regulating the entrance of young men. The original read that young men between the ages of sixteen and twenty one years be admitted on the payment of two dollars as fees. Ald. Richardson moved, seconded by Bruce Carruthers, that the ages be changed, fifteen to eighteen years. It was moved in amendment by A.B. Cunningham and E.C. Gildersleeve that the figure be changed from sixteen to nineteen years. This was carried.

It was moved by R.E. Burns, seconded by A.B. Cunningham, that the constitution and by-laws as amended be provisionally adopted for one month. Carried.

Regarding the formal opening of the club house there were various opinions. Some members suggested races for the afternoon and a dance at night. Others wanted only canoe races early in the evening, finishing up with a dance. On motion of W.B. Skinner, seconded by J. McKay, the formal opening was set down for Wednesday, 12th inst. After considering the nature of sports, etc. for the opening, the discussion was closed by a motion of W.B. Skinner, seconded by E.C. Gildersleeve, that races be held in the afternoon of the day of opening from 4:30 to 6 o'clock, their nature to be left with a special committee, and that refreshments and dancing be provided from 7:30 to 11 o'clock p.m. A reception committee consisting of Messrs. J. McKay, W.A. Mitchell, A.B. Cunningham, Bruce Carruthers and W.B. Skinner was appointed to prepare amusements and receive guests. Messrs. W.E. Kent, F. Strange, G. Dalton, J.M. Farrell, R.E. Burns, W.H. Richardson and E.C. Gildersleeve were appointed a committee to arrange and conduct the races.

After the general meeting the reception committee met to formulate plans for the opening night. The club room will be decorated with bunting and illuminated at night.


The tugs Petrel and Jessie Hall left the government dry-dock last night.

The tugs Hall and Petrel were floated out of the government dry-dock today. (sic)

The str. Orion, with consorts, Serpent River, timber laden, are at Collins Bay.

The str. Elphinere, Duluth, with 42,000 bushels of wheat for the K. & M. T. Co., is at Portsmouth.

The schr. Katie Eccles, 9,000 bushels of peas, from Colborne, is discharging at the M.T. Co.'s elevators.

Called at Craig & Co.'s wharf: str. Alexandria, from Charlotte; str. Lake Michigan from Duluth.

The steam barge King Ben will carry coal for Capt. Foster, Smith's Falls. The barge gets $1 a ton from Oswego to the Falls.

The str. St. Andrew, with consort Queen of the Lakes, light, bound from Kingston to Fort William, cleared the Welland canal today.

The str. Shickluna, with consort St. Louis, Fort William, grain laden, is due to arrive here tonight. The str. Pueblo, Chicago, corn laden, is also en route to this port.

Workmen were engaged last night in adjusting the handle of the dipper on Connolly's new dredge. The handle weighs seventeen tons, the largest piece of machinery for this part of the structure in America.

While running the Galloups rapids, on Monday, a barge laden with lumber, and in tow of the tug Reginald, struck a rock and almost immediately sank. The crew were rescued. Last evening the str. Johnston, with a wrecking outfit, left Garden Island for the scene of the disaster. The tug is owned by Murphy & Co., Ottawa, and the lumber by McCarthy Bros., Toronto.


What Is In Prospect.

Kingston, Aug. 3rd - To the Editor:

I observed that some enterprising citizen has called the attention of Kingstonians to the fact that unless prompt action is taken towards the erection of an elevator the grain trade will leave here and locate at Prescott. Some may think there is little or no truth in the prophecy. To disabuse their minds in that respect let me here state that I have it on the best authority that the Prescott elevator has been such a good paying investment for its Ottawa shareholders that the company has decided to double the capacity of the building during the coming winter. The company is not merely thinking of doing so, it has actually decided to enlarge. What does that mean to Kingston? A loss I don't care to dwell upon.

If stock in an elevator at Prescott is such a good investment for Ottawa people, why would not stock in a Kingston elevator be good for our own citizens? The question has become a serious one. I hope action will not be deferred until after the horse is stolen.

Yours truly, A THINKING MAN.

p.4 Fined For Carrying Without Fare - Chicago, Aug. 4th - Watson Stephenson, ex-Congressman, of Wisconsin, and one of the leading owners of freight vessels on the lakes, was brought before deputy collector Hippt yesterday and fined $500 for carrying passengers on his boat, the Watson Stephenson. The passengers carried were his own daughters and a few friends for a pleasure trip, and no fare was charged. The case will be appealed.

General Paragraphs - The schr. Acacia is unloading her cargo at the penitentiary. She clears for Oswego tonight for another load.

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4 Aug 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), 4 Aug 1896