The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 14 May 1897

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p.1 To Have An Investigation - Toronto, May 14th - The damage done to the Beauharnois canal through the breaking of the lock gates by the steamer Ocean is not likely to be as extensive as was supposed. The first estimate of the damage was $5,000, but from advices received today by W.A. Geddes, one of the owners of the Ocean, the total loss will not exceed $1,000. Of course the boat will have to stand this loss. An investigation into the cause of the accident apparently places the blame with the second engineer, who was on duty at the time, and an effort may be made to have his certificate suspended on the ground of negligence. The Ocean will be a day late on her trip from Montreal to Toronto.

Capt. O'Mara Killed By Gas - Brockville, May 14th - Capt. William O'Mara asphyxiated; 68 years old; only recently came from Smith's Falls to engage in shipbuilding.

p.2 Assistant steward J. Douglass, Ruthven, of the R. & O. company's steamer Passport, arrived in town yesterday afternoon to assist in fitting up the steward's department for the season's work


[Rochester Democrat]

The steamer North King completed its first week's service of the present season yesterday. Between $7,000 and $8,000 has been expended for improvements during the winter. The most noticeable change from the outside is that the vessel has but one smokestack, instead of two as formerly. A ton of white lead is what constitutes her new suit, as it required that amount, with the colorings, to complete the artistic appearance and interior decorations.

There is a welcome increase of deck room. A large portion of the money expended was used in a pair of steel boilers, which are wholly below the main deck, while the old boilers rose above it and occupied considerable room. The new boilers give fifty per cent more steaming power than the old ones, making the North King the fastest passenger craft afloat between the Welland canal and Montreal. The great speed is necessary to meet the increased service which her schedule requires her to carry out. Besides making daily trips to Cobourg and Port Hope and return, making sure connections with trains on either side, and in all weather, on Tuesday and Thursday nights, the boats will make trips to Brighton, connecting there with the steamer Hero, of the same line, for Bay of Quinte and the Thousand Islands, and on Saturday night going through herself as far as Kingston, and in the summer as far as Alexandria Bay, returning on time to make her regular trip out of Charlotte on Monday morning.

It is seldom if ever that the North King has to stay in port on account of bad weather, and when she is not out, it is safe to wager that there is not another passenger craft on the lake. The great strength in the hull of the boat comes from the numerous steel knees, arches and other braces with which the ship's hold is filled.

All in all, the boat is a model of neatness, the immense saloon and dining room being the chief attractions. Life boats, life preservers and life rafts are provided, and passengers under the protection of Captain Jarrel may feel sure of a pleasant voyage, rather than a leaky boat and slow time. The boat is handled under the direction of the manager of the company, H.H. Gildersleeve, and there is a competent corps of officers, as well as a first-class crew.


The schooner Kate, South Bay, discharged a cargo of peas at Richardson & Sons' elevator today.

The schooner Echo has cleared for Gananoque and the schooner Ballou for Belleville to load peas for Richardson & Sons.

The schooner Acacia has cleared, light, for Waupoos, where she will lay up for a few days, or until marine matters improve.

The keel for the new barge building in the M.T. Co.'s shipyard has been laid. Next week a force of men will be put to work on the barge.

The steamer Shickluna, with wheat from Fort William consigned to Richardson & Sons', is at Toronto discharging at the G.T.R. elevator No. 2.

The steamer Murphy, on shore off the foot of Princess street, may be said to be the first boat to stop at the site of the proposed McLennan-Richardson elevator.

The tug Active cleared down the river yesterday with five grain laden barges, exchanging tows with the tug Walker and arriving back this morning with four light barges.

The schooner Queen of the Lakes, from Toledo, with corn for Richardson & Sons, is at Toronto discharging 9,000 bushels at the elevator there leased by the firm named above. She will bring the remainder, 8,000 bushels, to the Kingston elevator.

The steamer S.J. Murphy, Duluth, 71,000 bushels of wheat, consigned to the M.T. company, arrived last night. In making the M.T. company's anchorage the steamer went aground, being too close inshore. She did not go hard on, but rested on a mud bank.

Welland canal, bound for this port - Schooner L.A. Law, Duluth, wheat; steamer Clinton and consorts, Toledo, timber; steamer Erin and consort, Fort William, wheat; schooner Queen of the Lakes, Toledo, corn. Passed up, light - Schooner Wawanosh, Toledo; steamer Bothnia, Toledo; schooner S.H. Dunn, Toledo.

p.4 The Launch of the Cherokee - an account from "Landmarks of Toronto, Vol. 2, page 880.

Wind Wafts - James Richardson & Sons have found that their grain transhipping business has so increased as to necessitate the use of another elevator and storehouse. They have leased the Grand Trunk elevator No. 2 at Toronto. The building has been leased for only one year, with the option of extending the time if the rush of business continues. The firm has already sent two cargoes to unload there.


"I Told You So!"

Capt. Gaskin says that away back in 1892 when the question of the elevator at Prescott was first mentioned, leading mariners and other citizens of Kingston pooh-poohed the idea. One mariner said that there was only eight feet of water at Prescott, another said there was not dockage, a third said big grain carrying steamers could not and would not go down the St. Lawrence river, and that the grain trade would never leave Kingston. In spite of all these assertions Prescott built an elevator, grain cargoes do go down there and Kingston has nearly lost the grain trade. Capt. Gaskin has in his possession letters and statements from prominent Kingstonians on the elevator question, and these he promises to have published within a few days to show the citizens how much dependence can be placed in statements of leading men. He said, further, that if attention was given to the utterances of certain men, Kingston never would have an elevator. In '92 he said, and he has documentary evidence for it, that if citizens of Kingston did not wake up to their interests the grain trade would leave here and go to river ports.

General Paragraphs - The schooner Fleetwing arrived at Swift's wharf last evening with a cargo of coal for Swift & Co.

The steamer King Ben reached the locomotive works wharf last night carrying a cargo of iron from Sodus, N.Y., to be used in the construction of the M.T. company's two new barges.

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14 May 1897
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 14 May 1897