The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Aug 1897

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opposition to a planned bridge across St. Lawrence from Hogansburg to Cornwall over the American channel results in a hearing -


Hiram A. Calvin, of the Calvin company, of Garden Island, was among the gentlemen heard. His business, he said, was that of timber merchant and forwarder. His late father and his successors had used the river since 1825, in taking rafts from Garden Island and Clayton to Quebec. In running the river it is not practicable to use the north channel at Cornwall Island; rafts run through Polley's gut at the west end of Cornwall Island, thence through the south or the American channel. Pilots are taken aboard the rafts at Louisville and Aultsville, who steer the rafts with sweeps or oars at each end, and the rafts pass down the Long Sault, Polley's gut and the south channel at Cornwall Island, without the aid of a steamer, until the still waterof Smart's bay at the mouth of the Racket river is reached. There from five to fifteen of those rafts are bound together in one big raft and taken in tow by a steamer. The site for the bridge is around the curve from Polley's gut, after passing which rafts often turn broadside, and it is impossible to straighten them in the current before the site of the bridge is reached. The rafts are sixty feet wide and from 250 to 350 feet long. The rafts, if pine, are valued at $18,000 each; if oak, $6,000 each. The Calvin company, he said, had sent down 100 of these rafts, or, as they are technically termed, drams, and expected to send down forty more the present season. They would average in value $12,000 each. His company sent down a little more than half the total that went down.

Mr. Calvin stated their objections to the construction of the bridge on the plans proposed are:

1. The height should be sixty feet, the same as Lachine and Victoria bridges. The steamers his company now use are forty-five feet above the water to the top of the stacks. The proposed bridge is only thirty-five feet above the water.

2. The length of the span should be 400 feet, the same as the Lachine and Victoria bridges, to give the rafts which are not easily controlled some leeway.

3. The pilots should be consulted in locating the piers, as was done in case of the Lachine and Victoria bridges.

Mr. Hibbard, representing the railroad company, endeavored to make a point that the span of the Canadian Pacific bridge at Coteau was only 160 feet wide, but its effect was destroyed when Mr. Calvin stated that his company had lost thousands of dollars through the bridge in the few years since it had been built.


The schooner Freeman arrives today from Oswego, with a cargo of coal.

The schooner Fabiola cleared yesterday from Swift's for Oswego, for coal.

The steamer S.H. Pickands cleared this morning, light, from the M.T. Co.'s wharf for Chicago.

Two pinflats are loading 50,000 bushels of wheat at Richardson & Sons' elevator for Montreal.

The R. & O. steamer Algerian called at Swift's this morning, on her way from Montreal to Toronto.

The steamer Melbourne passed this port this morning on her way to Cleveland, with a cargo of merchandise.

The steamer Columbian, of the R. & O. line, left Swift's wharf this morning with a full list of passengers for Montreal.

Five grain cargoes passed down today for Prescott and Ogdensburg. There was not a single consignment for this port.

The steamer Arundell cleared for Oswego, yesterday afternoon from Swift's dock, and is expected back this evening.

The schooners Acacia and Fleetwing are expected to arrive today at Swift's wharf, with cargoes of coal from Charlotte.

The steamer Glengarry arrived up from Montreal last night with five light barges. She cleared again this morning with six barges grain laden.

The steamer Omaha was lightered last night and floated off the shoal fronting the ferry wharf. She will be discharged during the night and will clear tomorrow morning for Chicago.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Dalhousie, Aug. 5th - Passed up: steamer W.L. Frost, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; steamer Gov. Smith, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; steamer Iona, Thorold to Coteau Landing, iron.

Port Colborne, Aug. 5th - Passed down: steamers Gov. Smith, Frost, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; Pueblo and schr. Porter, Toledo to Kingston, corn and wheat; steamer D.C. Whitney and barge, Chicago to Ogdensburg, corn; Niagara, Ausable to Kingston, lumber.

p.4 District News - "Uncle" Lou. Hudgin, who has had charge of the Salmon Point light house for years, has, by order of the federal government, vacated the position. He has taken up his residence, with his wife, in Cherry Valley. The position of light-keeper is now filled by Amos McDonald.

p.5 The schooner Robert McDonald left Picton Tuesday with citizens, who will enjoy a couple of weeks or more cruising around Lake Ontario, touching at Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara, Charlotte, Fairhaven, Oswego and the Main Ducks, and thence home.

p.6 General Paragraphs - The schooner Acacia arrived at noon today from Oswego with a load of coal for James Swift & Co.

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6 Aug 1897
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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), 6 Aug 1897