The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 1 Apr 1898

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Boat Owners and Steamship Companies Count On Usual Date.

On account of the early spring some marine men think that the Welland Canal should open for navigation earlier than usual this year. Looking at the matter from all points of view, the opening of the canals before the usual time would cause trouble and delay along the line. In the first place, in the natural course of things, the canal is supposed to be open about the 25th April or the 1st May, and the majority of boats and boatmen figure on this date to have their boats ready. Then, when the Welland canal is opened the St. Lawrence canals should be ready too. All canals should open together; by this arrangement grain and other produce in transit from the west to the seaboard will not be delayed en route. Steamship companies figure on the canals opening at the usual time and arrange to have their steamers in Montreal ready then to receive the grain. An earlier opening of the canals than usual would cause trouble and delay in Montreal.

Already at this port many thousand bushels of grain are stored, ready to go forward on the opening of the lower canals. If the Welland canal would open before the lower canals, it should simply mean a blockade at this port. For these reasons an earlier opening of the canals is undesirable.



Capt. W.E. Vanvlack will run the excursion steamer C.H. Merritt the coming season, and will proceed to fit her out about April 1st.

W.A. Dunlop will leave next week for Toronto to resume his position on the steamer Algonquin, which is all ready for sea. She cannot move out until the canals open.

Capt. John Van Alstine has purchased the schooner Nellie Hunter and is having her changed into a barge. He is using her to convey Crookston quarry stone from Belleville to Cornwall.

R. Gaskin, son of T. Gaskin, of her majesty's customs, will leave next week for Buffalo to resume his position on the steamer Northern Wave, of the Northern steamship line, plying between Buffalo and Duluth.

The government engineers engaged during the winter in making a survey of the harbor have completed their outside work and are now engaged upon their plan. It will take some months to finish this, as the map is to be a very complete one.

The steamer Reindeer will be on her old route the coming season, commencing April 4th. The following will compose the crew: Captain, L.M. Collier; mate, George Wiskin; engineer, George Stevens; fireman, E. Dawson; deck hand, Edward Putnam.

A mariner pointed out last evening that Capt. Gaskin was wrong in his contention that the upper canals should not be opened early in April. There are many steamers loaded at western points which could be making money for their owners if discharged of their grain cargoes. These vessels are kept idle through the canals being closed. If the canals were opened early not only would these vessels be earning money, but likewise the owners of elevators here and elsewhere. If the M.T. company's elevator is not ready to receive grain Capt. Gaskin should bear in mind that there are other elevators. A couple of million bushels of grain could be accommodated here between this time and the opening of the St. Lawrence canals, or the river below Montreal.

p.6 A Splendid Painting - by Nicholas Henderson, 4 feet by 6 feet; an ocean wreck anchored off shore, masts damaged, rudder gone.

General Paragraphs - Capt. Oliver says the schooner Queen of the Lakes may not trade on the Atlantic coast this season. The United States may "gobble" her for war purposes.

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Date of Publication:
1 Apr 1898
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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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), 1 Apr 1898