The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 28 Sep 1897

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The steambarge Drake sailed from the M.T. company's dock last evening for the upper lakes.

The tug Active left for Montreal yesterday afternoon with three barges loaded with wheat.

An enlarged fleet of grain barges will be found at the M.T. company's docks with the opening of navigation next season.

The schooner Fleetwing, Charlotte, arrived this morning with 350 tons of soft coal screenings consigned to James Swift & Co.

The S.S. Rosedale, after discharging a cargo of grain here, cleared last evening for Cleveland to load railroad iron for Fort William.

Touched at Swift & Co.'s wharf: steamers Corsican, bound for Brockville; Hamilton, bound for Montreal; Sir L. Tilley, Prescott to Toledo, light.

The schooner Fabiola, after discharging fifty tons of soft coal at the Kingston penitentiary, is unloading the balance of her cargo of 275 tons at James Swift & Co.'s wharf.

In attempting to pass a raft near Alexandria Bay the steambarge J. Spencer ran on the rocks making a big hole in her bow. The pilot beached her before she sank.

The tri-weekly service of the Richelieu and Ontario navigation boats between Toronto and Montreal will likely close with this week. The steamer Corsican will then assist the steamer Hamilton, running between Montreal and Hamilton.

Already the concession of J.I. Tarte to the citizens, in reducing the tariff at the government dry-dock, is bearing fruit. Vessels do not now pass by to repair at St. Catharines and Buffalo. A boat is entering the dock almost daily, including the big boats damaged on their way to Prescott.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Colborne, Sept. 27th - Down: steamer Murphy, Duluth to Ogdensburg, wheat; steamer Morley, Duluth to Prescott, wheat; barge Moravia, Duluth to Ogdensburg, wheat; steamer Frost, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo.

Port Dalhousie, Sept. 27th - Down: schooner Albacore, Ashtabula to Hamilton, coal; steamer Hale, Chicago to Prescott, corn; steamer Arabian, Superior to Kingston, wheat; steamer Bannockburn, Fort William to Kingston, wheat; barge Selkirk, Fort William to Kingston, wheat; barge Dunmore, Fort William to Kingston, wheat; steamer Niagara, Lorain to Prescott, railroad iron; steamer Blackrock, Duluth to Prescott, wheat; steamer Katahdin, Duluth to Ogdensburg, wheat.


The Yacht Club Asked For The Exemption.

In another column will be found the business transacted at last night's meeting of the city council. The discussion thereon will be found below:

Regarding the communication touching the advertising of the dry dock fees, etc., by the council, as per agreement, Ald. Donnelly said the object was one which commended itself to every citizen, but he thought it a matter for the board of trade to deal with. A great many vessel men refuse to patronize the local dock for many simple reasons. A short time ago the speaker heard a vessel captain say he would not use the Kingston dock because too much red tape had to be observed before a boat could be put into the dock. The greatest objectionable feature was that which compelled a deposit of $100 before a vessel was allowed to enter the dock. Such a rule is really a hardship and unreasonable. When a boat has possession of the dock she is there as collateral security. She cannot get out until the charges against her are settled. At Buffalo and elsewhere the system followed is first come first served. To make the local dock popular the government must remove certain objectionable features. The speaker declares his desire to see the dock advertised as suggested by Mr. Pense. He was confident it would result in more work coming to the city.

Ald. Walkem thought it would be a good idea to appoint a committee to look into the regulations governing the dock, and to report as to those which may be deemed objectionable, and in otherwise suggest rules which would tend to make the dock popular if put into effect. The clause demanding a deposit of $100 before a boat can enter the dock was condemned by the speaker; the boat was sufficient security of the amount charged against it.

Ald. Carson objected to the council granting a sum for the purpose named. The council did not derive any revenue from the dock and therefore should not pay for advertising its features. The government should pay for the advertising. Mayor Skinner replied that it was on the understanding that the city council would advertise the rate of charges that the fees were reduced.

Ald. McKelvey informed the aldermen that while the council did not derive any revenue directly from the dock, it did indirectly. The council benefitted by everything that tended to bring work to the city and give employment to workmen. He favored the suggestion made by Mr. Pense. Ald. Walkem supported Ald. McKelvey's contention. It was not a matter of how much the council benefitted directly, but rather how much the city would be assisted generally. This was also Ald. Tait's view of the matter.

Ald. Bell asked if the rates of the Kingston dock were lower than those of other docks. Ald. Donnelly replied that they were lower now than any other dock on the chain of lakes and afforded the same facilities. He felt sure that the steamer which now occupied the dock would not have come here to receive repairs had the fees not been reduced. He knew of another which was coming up to go into dock and which was induced to come here by the same conditions. He moved, seconded by Ald. Mooers, that the sum of fifty dollars be granted for the purpose of advertising the government dry-dock on the lines suggested by Mr. Pense, and that the finance committee be instructed to carry out the matter. Adopted.

A clause in the report of the committee on finance recommending the remittance of taxes on the yacht club house, brought forth a long discussion, led by Ald. McKelvey, who objected to the clause. Ald. Elliott asked if the council had power to grant exemption in such a manner, the mayor repling that it had not, but that the matter could be got at in another manner. Continuing, Ald. Elliott asked on what grounds did the club ask for exemption? It was a wealthy organization and the club house was a luxury that only the few wealthy could afford to enjoy. It was of no benefit to the city or anyone in particular. Ald. Allen replied that it was not a money-making organization of the same calibre as the athletic association, yet the last mentioned institution enjoyed exemption from taxation. Ald. Ryan favored the adoption of the clause. He wanted to encourage the young men who had built the club house, and was glad to see that a few young citizens had the public spirit to put up such a place. The club house was a benefit to young men in many ways. Besides, the club house adds to the attractiveness of the city and helps to beautify the harbor.

Ald. McKelvey, seconded by Ald. Elliott, introduced an amendment to the report to strike out the objectionable clause. He was a member of the yacht club and felt ashamed that the members should ask for exemption when the sum was so small, only $25. He would rather pay the taxes himself than have the matter dragged before the council. Ald. Donnelly thought the yacht club should be encouraged by the council to the extent of the taxes. Ald. Tait taxed Ald. Donnelly with being biased, the last named being a shareholder. Ald. Donnelly replied that his stock in the building was only a small amount. Ald. Wright characterized the discussion as a big shout over a small amount. The club should be allowed exemption and an encouragement given to healthy, manly sport.

Ald. Allen - "Ald. Carson says the club threatens to leave the city unless granted exemption."

Ald. Walkem wondered what great influence had been brought to bear upon Ald. Elliott since Friday last, on which day he had said he would support the adoption of the clause. The club house was open to the public and was a beneift thereto.

Ald. Tait - "Are you a stockholder?"

Ald. Walkem - "I don't know that I am."

Ald. Tait - "Then I am sorry you are so ignorant of your own business."

Ald. Walkem - "Perhaps if I told all I know about yours you would not like it. It is best to let sleeping dogs lie."

Ald. Elliott did not agree with Ald. Walkem. The club house is not open to the public. No one but members who pay their yearly fees are permitted to use it. He was surprised that the members of the club would consent to have the name of the organization thus dragged before the council.

Ald. Kent, a stock holder, was disappointed in the club applying for exemption. He held the same opinions as Alds. McKelvey and Elliott. The amount was paltry and the club should try to pay it, even though it was necessary to economize in other ways. At the same time he was aware that it was with difficulty that the club managed to finance so as to keep afloat. In reply to Ald. W. Robinson he said the club had about 200 members. Ald. Robinson figured out that the taxes distributed among 200 members only amounted to twelve and a half cents each, a paltry sum indeed for the rich young sports. Ald. Minnes favored assisting the club to the extent of the taxes.

The mayor was about to ask for an expression of opinion on the amendment, when Ald. Elliott asked if the clause in report was legal.

The mayor: "I do not rule it illegal."

Ald. Elliott: "I have the city solicitor's opinion on the matter to the effect that it is illegal."

Ald. Donnelly asked that it be produced in writing, saying he did not propose to accept Ald. Elliott's construction of the city solicitor's opinion.

Ald. Elliott further pointed out that the taxes had been paid into the collector. They could only be refunded by order of the court of revision or by a special bylaw.

Ald. McKelvey's amendment was then put before the council and carried. Yeas and nays were called for, resulting thus:

Yeas - Alds. Bell, Carson, Elliott, Mooers, McKelvey, C. Robinson, W. Robinson, Tait, Taylor - 9.

Nays - Mayor Skinner, Alds. Allen, Minnes, Ryan, Wright - 5.

Ald. Walkem, Kent and Donnelly refused to vote, claiming exemption from doing so under the by-laws and constitution of the council, they being stock holders in the club.

p.4 Wind Wafts - The steamer Inter-Ocean was docked at the graving dock yesterday, and will receive repairs to her shoe and keel, and will be given a thorough caulking.

John Marks, who has charge of overhauling the steamer Orion, expects to have her finished this week. While in the government dry dock a new rudder was placed in her.

Alderman James Stewart took the elevator Sparrow and steamer Bothnia to the relief of the steamer J.J. Hill, ashore near Brockville. Some 21,700 bushels of wheat were taken out and the craft floated off. The vessels are now at Prescott discharging their cargoes.

p.6 Snips - The steamers Waubushene and Orion are at the dry dock wharf. Their upper works are being repainted.

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28 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.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 28 Sep 1897