The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 4 Apr 1898

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Calvin's tug Reginald and steamer America were inspected by boiler inspector T.P. Thompson on Saturday.

The schooner Kate Eccles unloaded grain at Mooers' elevator on Saturday and cleared again for lake ports.

The speedy steamer New Island Wanderer was placed on the Cape Vincent route this morning, the America having broken the flange of one of her wheels on Saturday.

Workmen commenced today to construct ways in the M.T. company's shipyard for launching the new barge Kingston. The launch will likely take place on Saturday next.

The steamer Glengarry and consort Minnedosa left for Charlotte at eleven o'clock Saturday night, arriving there at seven o'clock last evening. The heavy gale yesterday made the passage across slow and laborious.

H.C. Jones, Belleville, was in the city on Friday looking after the boiler for the new steam yacht under construction at Belleville. The Kingston foundry made the engine for the yacht and the boiler is being built at the same works.

The harbor master's water gauge at the ferry dock was blown away in a recent wind storm. It was recovered, is receiving a fresh coat of paint, and will be replaced in its old position. The gauge at the dry dock indicates a rise in the water in the harbor.

Launch of the Brighton.

Shortly after three o'clock Saturday afternoon the Montreal transportation company's new barge Brighton was launched from the locomotive works wharf. This is a sister ship of the Cobourg launched last fall and is a staunch craft. Her dimensions are: Length, 180 feet; breadth of beam, thirty six feet; depth of hold, twelve feet. The Brighton was practically finished last fall but launching was deferred till spring.

The immense craft was allowed to slowly slide a distance of some twenty feet before the lines were cast off and in a moment she plunged broadside into her native element. She rose buoyantly after her first plunge and quickly drifted out under the influence of the strong west wind blowing at the time.

The Brighton is built entirely of steel with six inch rock elm planking on her bottom. With her twin barge, the Cobourg, they make a couple unexcelled on the inner waters. The carrying capacity of the Brighton is 5,000 (sic - 50,000 ?) bushels and at nine feet draught - St. Lawrence river allowance - 36,000 bushels.

p.3 Grain-Carrying Trade - Difficulties of the All-Canadian Route - Deepening the Canals - Want The Welland Deepened To Twenty Feet (1 1/2 columns) [Montreal Witness]


The following are the vessels of the Canadian lake marine engaged in the grain-carrying trade, with their classification and insurance penalties: Steamers Algonquin, 70,000, A1; Bannockburn, 75,000, A1; Sequin, 40,000, A1; Myles, 40,000, A1 1/2; Tilley, 40,000; A1 1/2; St. Andrews, 50,000; A2; Erin, 50,000, A2; Glengarry, 22,000, A2; Saturn, 26,000, A2; Arabian, 40,000, A1; Rosemount, 75,000, A1. So that there are five A1 steamers, averaging 60,000 bushels; two A1 1/2, averaging 31,500 bushels. The insurance last year on the steamers classing A1 was thirty cents for the whole season; on A1 1/2 it was forty cents for the whole season; on A2 it was seventy-five cents to Oct. 1st, $1.25 for October, and $1.75 for November. In view of these heavy insurances it is claimed that no business could be done with vessels classing under A1 at the low competitive rates now current.

The following is the list of barges: Minnedosa, 60,000, A1 1/2; Selkirk, 50,000, A1 1/2; Winnipeg, 50,000, A1 1/2; Dunmore, 50,000, A2; Danforth, 40,000, A2; Merritt, 20,000, A2; Kildonan, 38,000, A2 1/2. That is three A1 1/2, averaging 53,000; three A2, averaging 37,000, and one A2 1/2, averaging 38,000 bushels each. The insurance upon the A1 1/2 barges last year from Fort William to Prescott was sixty-five up to Oct. 1st, $1 for October, and $1.50 for November; for the A2 barges the rates were seventy-five cents, $1.25 and $1.75 respectively, and for the A2 1/2 they were ninety-five cents, $1.55 and $2.20. It is claimed that the rates charged upon the A2 and A2 1/2 are prohibitory.



Chicago, April 4th - Seventeen lake vessels were at the mouth of the Chicago river on Friday night awaiting the clocks to toll the hour of midnight. A majority of these vessels carried grain for Buffalo, the total amount in them being estimated at 2,150,000 bushels. When twelve o'clock came and the fears of Friday were passed the boats slowly crept out into the lake with fresh north winds blowing and a fair trip promised by the weather man.

Such a starting of the grain fleet, with some salt and lumber boats added, has not been known in the marine circles of Chicago for years. The cargoes of grain taken out are unprecedented, something for which Joseph Leiter is almost wholly responsible. Where he has not caused activity in this direction the war news has. Every holder of cargoes of grain is anxious to get them to the Atlantic seaboard and safely on the way across the water before actual hostilities begin. By the end of the present week it is estimated that over 10,000,000 bushels of grain will be afloat from Chicago. R? shipments during the week of wheat alone are said to have aggregated 1,450,000 bushels. Among the big boats outside of the river's mouth were the C.F. Bielman, the Chisholm, Yale, Niagara, City of Paris, Penobecot, Roumania, Barlume, Northwest, Wade, Iroquois, Helena, Pratt, Winslow and Inter-Ocean.

Not a captain would give a signal to leave during the day because the ill-luck supposed to attend the opening of navigation and restoration of marine insurance rates on a Friday. The boats were brought to the coal bunkers by the lighthouse piers and the coaling begun, but no attempt was made to start until after midnight.

The grain fleet has usually considered itself very fortunate if it got away from Chicago between April 15th and May 1st. The captains of the fleet would not have undertaken to move before that time this year if it were not for the anxiety of shippers to get cargoes on the move. For ten days these shippers have been hammering the vessel owners to get underway, and the practically fair weather on the lakes has helped to accentuate this demand. The most imperative demands were made of the owners of the Bielamn, the Yale and the Niagara, laden as much as they dared to be with grain, to get away with their cargoes but they kept Chicago in sight with a telescope until they were sure the spell of the day was gone. In the Chicago river and harbor and in the Calumet there were 142 vessels, composing the winter grain fleet of the city. These vessels had on board 13,086,000 bushels of grain, the greatest consignment for one season ever known. The vessels at the Calumet stayed close to the shore during the day just as did their companions in Chicago harbor.

Vessel owners felt jubilant over the situation, they claim the prospect for a paying business were the best known in many seasons.

p.6 General Paragraphs - The schooner Fabiola arrived from Oswego today with coal for Folger Bros.

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4 Apr 1898
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 4 Apr 1898