The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 27 Sep 1897

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To Extend The Harbor Line.

......The matter of extending a portion of the harbor line, as requested by the M.T. company, was considered. B.M. Britton, Q.C., M.P., and Capt. Gaskin were present to answer any question which might be required in the way of information. It was decided to recommend that the request of the company be complied with, and that the line be extended out 320 feet beyond the end of the M.T. company's long wharf.

Two Steamers Get Ashore.

There came near being two more big wrecks to record today. Both the steamers Rosedale and Drake went ashore near Snake Island light while entering the harbor yesterday. They went to the assistance of each other and got off the rocks without doing any damage to their hulls worth mentioning.

Capt. Donnelly says there is plenty of water in the south channel if pilots know just where to go to look for it. The south channel is not as safe as the north channel, where there is plenty of water, but the reason it is not used is because it is not buoyed out. It would make entry to Kingston harbor much easier if the government would mark the northern channel.

p.4 Wind Wafts - Messrs. D.G. Thomson and H. McLennan, two M.T. Co. officials, were in the city today on business connected with the proposed new elevator to be built by the M.T. Co.


The tug Active, with three light barges, arrived this morning from Montreal.

One of the iron barges has been planked and will be launched at the end of next week.

The tug Walker, with three light barges, cleared on Saturday for Oswego to load coal for the M.T. Co.

The schooner H.M. Ballou, Napanee, is at Richardson & Sons' elevator with 3,500 bushels of wheat.

The sloop Laura D. loaded 2,000 bushels of wheat at Richardson & Sons' elevator and cleared for Napanee.

The tug McNaughton, with three pinflats, arrived from Montreal this morning. They will load grain here.

The schooner Vienna, Toronto, arrived this morning at the M.T. Co.'s anchorage with 9,500 bushels of wheat.

The steamer Drake, Duluth, is in port with 52,000 bushels of wheat. She will discharge at the M.T. Co.'s elevators.

The steamer Rosedale, Fort William, arrived in port yesterday with 73,000 bushels of wheat, consigned to the M.T. Co.

The schooner Merritt, consort of the steamer Tilley, is at the M.T. Co.'s anchorage with 22,000 bushels of wheat, consigned to Richardson & Sons. The cargo was consigned from Fort William. The Tilley went down to Prescott to discharge.

A steel steamer that five years ago cost at United States lake ports $260,000 to build can today be built for $180,000. A Cleveland built steamer that cost $230,000, of very light construction, could now be duplicated for less than $150,000. Material has cheapened, owing to the low price of ore and cheap freights, added to the low price of ore and cheap freights, added to some extent to cheap labor and competition. This drop in prices is unhealthy and that will not last.

While en route to Prescott on Saturday the steamer Hill, laden with grain from upper lake ports, went ashore near the Cross Over light, above Brockville. She went on hard but it is thought she is not injured. The services of a wrecking company were requested from Kingston and the Donnelly Co. despatched the steamer Bothnia, having in tow one of the K. & M. T. Co.'s elevators and a barge. A gang of shovellers accompanied the outfit. It is expected that after lightening ten or twelve thousand bushels of her cargo the Hill will be floated off all right.

On Saturday, while running up the American channel light, on her way from Prescott to Chicago, the steamer Inter-Ocean went ashore about five miles west (sic) of Cape Vincent. She went on light and did not injure herself to any great extent. The services of the Donnelly wrecking and salvage company were secured, the steamer Chieftain carrying over hawsers and other necessary apparatus yesterday. It is expected that the Inter-Ocean will be pulled off without any serious difficulty.

The steamer Inter-Ocean reached port today and entered the dry dock, where she will be repaired. Her stern port is broken, shoe missing, rudder misplaced, and about thirty feet of her garboard streak is damaged. Her repairs will eat up the greater portion of $1,000. Capt. Peter Wex commands her.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Colborne, Sept. 25th - Passed down: schooner Albatross, Ashtabula to Hamilton, coal; steamer Hall, Chicago to Prescott, corn; Arabian, Superior to Kingston, wheat; Bannockburn and barges, Duluth to Kingston, wheat; Blackrock, Duluth to Prescott, wheat; Katadin, Duluth to Ogdensburg, wheat; Niagara, Loraine to Prescott, iron; barge A. Stewart, Chicago to Kingston, corn.

Port Colborne, Sept. 26th - Arrived down: schooners Oliver Mitchell, Detroit to Ogdensburg, wheat; W.J. Suffel, Cleveland to Toronto, wire; steamer Canisteo, Chicago to Ogdensburg, corn.



One of the best authorities on matters pertaining to shoals in this harbor is Capt. A.E. Booth, jr. In speaking of the touchings of the steamers Rosedale and Drake on the Snake Island shoals, southern channel, he said he wondered how so many boats got through the gates of the harbor without finding bottom. The southern channel is used almost exclusively in preference to the northern channel, simply because the channel to the south is buoyed, while the other, the safer and better of the two, is not. In entering the harbor by the southern channel if a boat passes the shoals near Snake Island light she is in danger of going ashore on Simcoe Island, or on some of the shoals adjacent thereto. By the southern channel there is not so much risk.

There is really only one shoal to be avoided in passing down the northern channel. That exists about a quarter of a mile west of the Snake Island light. If the government would consent to place a gas buoy on this shoal it would make entrance to this harbor much safer. Capt. Booth says this small shoal could easily be removed with a couple of well-placed shots and at a small outlay. Between this shoal and what is known as the four-acre shoal there is a splendid channel having over forty feet of water. In coming down the lake a vessel would make for Nine Mile light, then veer across almost due north until within a short distance of the main land and in the vicinity of Rockwood asylum, when she could jog along safely, without fear of shoals. To remove the little shoal above referred to would be preferable, but failing in this a gas buoy would make the channel quite safe.

The minister of public works has declared in favor of every encouragement being given to the through Canadian route. Here then is his opportunity. Kingston harbor has been neglected for two years, probably through pressure of departmental work, though in 1896 $4,000 was voted for improvement, and was revoted in 1897, with $2,000 extra. The Canadian route is injured by these groundings in the best lake harbor in Canada, and very little expense will avert the trouble. The blowing up of the small shoal north of Snake Island would be a short operation, especially as the government scows and apparatus are stored here. Then gas buoys could be provided at little expense. The old marks are sufficient for light draft boats but the large canallers now coming require practically a channel of twenty feet. The obstruction to the north channel is so trifling that the government cannot afford to longer neglect the demolition. The gas buoys would be invaluable for night service. Kingston taxpayers and its firms together are spending $225,000 on elevators and the government should give them the best encouragement.

Snips - A telephone message received at one o'clock today from John Donnelly, jr., bore the intelligence that the steamer Hill had been floated and was on her way to Prescott. Her hull is pretty badly damaged but it is expected that very little of her cargo will turn out wet. She will be up here within a couple of days to enter the government drydock for repairs.

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27 Sep 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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 27 Sep 1897