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

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The schr. Kate cleared last evening for Bay of Quinte ports to load grain for this port.

The schr. Echo, Wolfe Island, arrived last evening with 3,000 bushels of wheat for Richardson & Sons.

The schr. Fleetwing is discharging a cargo of wheat at Richardson & Sons' elevator, it being part of the cargo brought down by the str. Myles.

Yesterday the str. Hero brought to the city from South Bay 1,200 barrels of apples, the largest cargo of this fruit the steamer has ever landed here.

The tug Thomson with three light barges arrived from Montreal last night, and cleared again for the same port this morning with six grain laden barges.

The str. King Ben arrived at Folger's wharf last night with 200 tons of general merchandise consigned to McKelvey & Birch, Dalton & Strange and George Sears.

For the first time in a number of years this week the str. Hero was unable to make her daily trips up and down the Bay of Quinte. She was unable to touch at all the ports for two days.

The schr. Starke has been purchased by a southern syndicate. She is now trading on the upper lakes, and as soon as she discharges a cargo of lumber at Wilson will leave for the Gulf of Mexico by way of the River St. Lawrence. This is an unusual trip for a lake schooner to make.


No further tidings of the overdue str. Acadia have been received and friends of those aboard have almost given up hoping for the best. Capt. John Clifford, who commanded the steamer, is an old Kingstonian, having resided in the vicinity of Murney tower from his boyhood until removing to St. Catharines, about ten or a dozen years ago. John Collins, father-in-law of W.J. McNeill, flour merchant, is first mate of the missing steamer. He has been sailing for years and is one of the most trusted men who ply the lakes. Patrick Dougherty, son of Daniel Dougherty, Elm street, is cabin boy on the Acadia. It is thought that some accident has happened to the machinery of the Acadia, and that she is sheltered in some out-of-the-way bay on some of the upper lakes.

The str. Acadia is owned by the Mackay Bros., Hamilton. She was built in 1866 by Malcolmson Bros., and is a composite boat of 509 net tons, classed A-2. She was rebuilt and lengthened in 1882, and repairs were made to her in 1895 and last spring. In the marine register the Acadia is valued at $25,000. She is insured for $18,000, placed through the Western assurance company, of Toronto, which, however, carries only $5,000, the balance being divided among a number of American companies.

There have been comparatively few marine disasters to Canadian boats on the upper lakes in recent years. Last year the str. St. Magnus, like the Acadia, owned by the Mackays, of Hamilton, sank at a dock at Cleveland. The steamer was raised and brought to Port Dalhousie, and after repairs had been effected she was burned to the water's edge at a dock one night. It is a coincidence that Capt. Clifford, who commanded the Acadia, was in charge of the St. Magnus when fire destroyed that boat. Two yeas ago the Canadian steamer Africa went down during a storm in Lake Huron. Several of the crew were drowned and the captain went to the bottom with his vessel. About 1892 the steamer Celtic, likewise the property of the Mackays, was sunk by a collision on Lake Erie, but no lives were lost in this instance.

No Tidings Yet.

Hamilton, Nov. 13th - The owners of the steamer Acadia have, as yet, heard nothing from her, but still hope that she will turn up or that her crew are safe. A seaman on J.B. Fairgrieves & Son's steamer Arabian, writes to friends in Hamilton that they sighted the Acadia on Friday last off Michipicoten Island, Lake Superior, and it is hoped the captain may have run into this shelter for safety or repairs. The names of the crew in full cannot be learned, as the Mackay Bros. have no record of them, but the following are known to have been on the steamer: John Clifford, master; James H. Brown, chief engineer; John Hughson, second engineer; Thomas Collins, mate; Stephen Saxby, second mate; John Grant and Toulin, wheelsmen; George Heard and Williams, firemen; George Friend, purser; Thomas Saxby, deckhand; Annie Perkins, cook, and five others name unknown.

p.2 Wolfe Island Township Council, Nov. 2nd - ....Moved by R. Boyd, seconded by T.E. Baker, and resolved, that a petition be sent to the minister of railways and canals, asking for the use of a dredge to widen channel approaching dock at Wolfe Island.....

Tenders for Wolfe Island and Kingston ferry were opened in accordance with advertisement. The only tender offered was by Capt. T.J. Craig. The St. Lawrence steamboat company wrote offering to carry passengers at fifteen cents and charge a reasonable rate on freight if trips could be arranged satisfactorily. Capt. Craig's tender being the lowest, it was moved by T.E. Baker, seconded by R. Boyd, that Capt. T.J. Craig's tender for ferry be accepted, and a by-law be passed confirming the same. This was carried. Moved by R. Boyd, seconded by T.E. Baker, and resolved, that the reeve and deputy reeve be appointed a deputation to wait on the lieutenant-governor in council and urge upon him the necessity of granting a license for a ferry between Wolfe Island and the city of Kingston.

p.4 Contracts For Ships - Chicago, Nov. 13th - The Chicago shipbuilding company has closed contracts for three new vessels - two steamers and a tow barge - the aggregate cost of which will be close to $400,000. Work on the new boats is to be commenced immediately. The steamers are to be built for R.R. Rhodes, of Cleveland. They will be constructed entirely of steel, and will be among the fast steamers of the inland seas.

General Paragraphs - As a result of her experience with wind and waves about a week ago, the schr. Singapore had about 200 bushels of her cargo of peas damaged.

A Hamilton despatch says R.O. Mackay last night said he had unofficial newa that the str. Arabian passed the Acadia between White Fish point and Michipicoten island on Friday last.

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13 Nov 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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 13 Nov 1896