The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 1 Dec 1896

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WILL RACE FOR A PENNANT - first general meeting of the Kingston ice yacht association held in club house of the Kingston yacht club; list of officers elected; two cups put up for races; best yacht may be sent to compete on Hudson river.


The str. Myles and barge Danforth, Fort William, wheat, is due to arrive here tonight. This will likely be the last arrival this season.

Every boat in the M.T. Co.'s fleet, with the exception of the steamers Rosemount and Bannockburn, which are due to arrive this week, are in port here and in winter quarters.

Matters in marine circles are about ended for the season. Nearly all the grain-carrying craft have sought their winter berth, and only such as are compelled to be out are now in commission.

So far no ice has formed in the Bay of Quinte to interfere with navigation. There was a slight scum in Belleville harbor but it lasted only a day or two. It is remarkably late in the season for the bay to remain free of ice.

The captain of the steamer Rosedale which arrived at Port Colborne yesterday with wheat from Fort William for Prescott, says his steamer was terribly iced up in a gale on Lake Superior on Thanksgiving day. He thinks there were three or four tons of ice frozen on the ship in a solid mass.

The steamer Hero has gone into temporary winter quarters. On the 22nd inst. she will make a round trip to Amherst Island and Bath, weather permitting. This will be done for convenience of residents of those places, giving them an opportunity to do their Christmas shopping in Kingston.

A citizen remarked today that he would wager any amount that if a grain elevator was built here a new tug and barge line would spring into existence within a year after the opening of such elevator. He felt confident that the grain trade could again be secured for this port if the river elevators were competed against, as this is the natural point for transhipment.

The Elevator Question.

Ald. Stewart submitted the report of the special committee regarding the erection of a 500,000 bushel grain elevator. The report recommended granting a bonus of $25,000 and exemption for a period of, at least, twenty years.

Ald. Stewart moved, seconded by Ald. Ryan, that the report be adopted, final conditions to be agreed upon when the by-law is presented.

Ald. Drennan wanted a clause inserted to the effect that the company erecting the elevator shall own the barges to carry grain to the elevator, that the grain shall be carried direct from Kingston to Montreal, that the barges shall be wintered in Kingston and shall be of the same capacity as the elevator.

Ald. Stewart pointed out that the Montreal transportation company and Kingston & Montreal fowarding company own barges of more than the required capacity, the former having a capacity of 1,500,000 bushels and the latter a capacity of 500,000 bushels.

Ald. Richardson said it would cost $200,000 to build barges such as Ald. Drennan suggested.

Ald. Walkem moved, seconded by Ald. Robinson, that the report be amended to read that instead of offering a bonus of $25,000 the city take fifty per cent of the stock, that the company have its headquarters here, and do all its shipbuilding and repairs here.

Ald. Ryan siad the main thing was to have the elevator built here. The council should not hamper the offer with too many restrictions.

Ald. Richardson pointed out that Prescott had prospered by having an elevator, while because Kingston has none trade has been diverted from here to Buffalo. In the future it may be possible to bring grain from Midland to Montreal as cheaply as by any other route. A company might be deterred from building here by considerations of future failures, or might be encouraged to build by the chance that several million bushels of grain might be stored here.

Capt Gaskin said trade has left Kingston and gone to Prescott because trade goes where there is storage. If the transhipment of grain is lost to Kingston the city will lose the largest industry we have. Grain has been stored at Prescott, and because the barges couuld not be got to tranship it was a dead loss. It would be no use to build an elevator here without proper connections. If the company building it have no boats the elevator would not be the means of keeping three men here during the winter. The companies doing business here have seventy-five boats ready, reaching from Portsmouth to Bell's Island. From $175,000 to $200,000 are spent here for shipbuilding and repairs every year by the forwarding companies here.

Ald. Robinson asked Capt. Gaskin if it were not probable that the quantity of grain coming to Kingston would increase year by year.

Ald. Strange endorsed Ald. Walkem's amendment.

Ald. Behan asked if any company had offered to accept such an offer as recommended by the report. The answer was that no such offer has been made.

Ald. Behan asked if an offer had been made to any company that the city would take fifty per cent of the stock, or if any company has made such an offer. He would like to have a proposal submitted that a bonus of $25,000 be granted, or as an alternative, that the city take fifty per cent stock in the elevator.

The mayor said no such offer as that spoken of by Ald. Behan has been received. It had been made by the city to one company and rejected.

Ald. Curtis endorsed Ald. Walkem's proposal. He thought that the city should be a partner with any company building here, or should grant a $50,000 bonus.

Ald. Hewton said one company asked a bonus of $50,000 and another to take $25,000 stock in an elevator if the city would build it. It should be seen to that any company building here should have proper connections and that the barges should be wintered and repaired here, so as to afford employment to as many citizens as possible.

Ald. Behan asked if an offer were made to lease an elevator and pay four per cent on the cost of construction, if the city would build the elevator.

Mayor Elliot said such an offer was made, but the person who made it would not pay the insurance, which would amount to about one and a half per cent. An elevator costing $125,000 can be insured for only $70,000. If the elevator were to be burned down the city would lose the full cost.

Ald. Behan said if the insurance amounted to one and a half per cent, and the cost of wear and tear to one per cent, the city would still be a gainer to the extent of one and a half per cent. The offer was well worthy of consideration.

Ald. Donnelly thought the committee seshould have advertised and ascertained the best terms upon which an elevator can be secured and then bring in some definite scheme. It is of the utmost importance that the forwarding companies doing business here, should be kept here. The speaker knew of men who are considering the question of putting barges on the Prescott-Montreal route. The matter of rates has much to do with the carrying of trade on the St. Lawrence. The charging of 2 1/2 cents a bushel from here to Montreal was rather more than the shippers were willing to pay. The amount of grain sent down the St. Lawrence this year was much greater than in any previous year since 1893. Prescott has two railways, and a good winter connection, while we have only one, and connection with another. This is one reason why an elevator at Prescott might have advantages over one here. The new railway from Parry Sound will soon be an important factor in the shipment of grain from the west, and he thought the amount of grain coming here will not be much greater than it is now. He thought the committee should see what are the best terms they can get from the M.T. Co.

Ald. Robinson thought the committee had done the best it could. He thought the recommendation was the best for the city.

Ald. Skinner said the people must settle the matter, and he was doubtful whether or not the bonus would be granted. He was willing to bow to their decision which ever way they decided.

Ald. Redden said the committee's recommendation was the best they could do. One company offered to accept a $50,000 bonus, but that was thought to be too high.

Ald. Livingston agreed with Ald. Donnelly that the floating elevators now in use should be done away with, as if they were not, they would interfere with that it is proposed to build.

Ald. Ryan endorsed the report.

The report ws adopted as submitted.

p.4 Drowned At Oswego - Deseronto, Dec. 1st - Charles Hinchey drowned at Oswego by falling overboard from str. Resolute; he was employed as one of the crew.

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1 Dec 1896
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 1 Dec 1896