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

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Ever since the big regatta was held here last August, officers of the Kingston yacht club have been busy arranging for a week's regatta to be sailed some time this summer. Their efforts have been successful, and while they find it impossible to arrange races for the entire week, still they have been able to secure four days' racing. The time most suitable has been found to be week beginning July 25th. A fleet of twenty yachts or more will lend their presence on the occasion. All the yacht clubs on the lake have promised monetary assistance, headed by the Royal Canadian yacht club, Toronto, with $200. The Royal Hamilton yacht club promises to increase its purse from $150 to $200. It is expected that at least $2,200 will be subscribed. Half of this amount will have to be subscribed by Kingstonians, and it is hoped the canvassers will meet with liberal donations when they go among the citizens. As it is the first time such an event has been undertaken, it is desired to make it a huge success. The fleet of yachts and hundred or more visiting yachtsmen will attract a large attendance of excursionists.


Historical Sketch Of That Ancient Building.

As Kingston now boasts of her three fine grain elevators, with a capacity of a million and a half bushels, a little historic reference to Kingston's first grain elevator will not be out of place. The information was penned in 1856 by a then lawyer of this city.

"The harbor of Kingston is very capacious and safe, and would shelter a perfect fleet of vessels. It is also easy of approach. It is lined with a row of some twenty wharves, some of them very extensive and furnished with spacious warehouses and accommodations for the forwarding trade. On one of them is erected an extensive grain elevator. The building containing it is fire proof and about 100 feet in height, and 55 x 66 feet in size. The store house is sixty-nine feet in height, and the machinery is worked by a steam engine of sixty horse-power. This machine will unload 3,000 bushels of grain per hour, and the warehouse has a capacity for storing 80,000 bushels of grain. The same engine that works the elevator also propels machinery for the manufacture of cut nails and spikes of all sizes, of which it is capable of turning out when in full operation 2,000 pounds per diem. The amount of iron used in this manufactory is estimated at 700 tons per annum. The firm owning this extensive establishment tranship annually on their own account or on account of consignees, but chiefly on their own account, 600,000 bushels, a great proportion of which is sent to England. Though not on so extensive a scale as that above described, there are other large forwarding establishments, where a large amount of business and transhipment is carried on. Schooners of large tonnage now find it more profitable to confine in a great measure their trips to the open lakes, while the facilities for transhipment induce forwarders to use barges on the St. Lawrence which are aided in their passage up by a government line of tugs."

The elevator referred to stood on the wharf forming the base for the M.T. company's long pier at the foot of Queen street. Despite the fact that it was supposed to be fire proof it was burned to the ground during the "sixties."

Reminiscences Of Shipbuilding.

It is not generally known by the present generation that in the vicinity of Bath was built in 1817 the first Canadian steamer that navigated the inland seas.

Up to within a few years ago Kingston was the most important shipbuilding centre in Canada, barring Quebec. Here in 1814 was built the three-decked ship of war St. Lawrence, at a cost of 500,000 pounds. The chief cause of this enormous cost was the expense of transportation of stores and equipment from Montreal. The same weight of material could now be conveyed here for less than a hundredth part of that cost. Not only was the first steamer but the first schooner that traded in these waters launched here. In 1678a vessel of about ten tons burden was launched here. Another of similar size was launched at Oswego about the same time. The year following the schooner Cataraqui, of sixty tons burden, was launched in Lake Erie. In 1853 the aggregate tonnage of vessels built at Kingston, apart from those built at Garden Island and Portsmouth, was 26,000 tons. These vessels cost 26,000 pounds.


A Practice Which Should Be Quietly Stopped.

The sloop Peruvian, light, sailed for Deseronto last evening.

The steamer Omaha left port yesterday to load coal at Port Erie.

Steamboat inspector T.P. Thompson is at Iroquois inspecting boats.

The sloop Anelia cleared yesterday for Stella with a load of lumber.

The steamer Persia on her way to Montreal touched here this morning.

The scow Hattie Ann, with lumber for Napanee, cleared port yesterday.

The tug Reginald took over a load of withes to Garden Island this morning.

The steamers Aragon and Pueblo left Portsmouth this afternoon for Chicago.

Three barges, with wheat, buckwheat and oats, left Richardsons' elevator last evening for Montreal.

The steamer Rosemount with consorts Winnipeg and Dunmore left today for Chicago to load grain.

The steamer Seguin arrived from Fort William yesterday with 43,000 bushels of wheat for the M.T. company.

The tug David G. Thomson arrived from Montreal yesterday with seven light barges and cleared again with six barges, grain laden.

The steamer Monteagle, from Chicago, discharged 50,000 bushels of corn at the M.T. company's elevator today and leaves for the upper lakes tonight.

The government dredge is still at work near Richardson's elevator, and although apparently slow in progress, the dredging is being done with completeness.

The schooner Oliver Mowat, from Darlington, discharged 16,000 bushels of oats at the M.T. company's elevator last evening, and cleared today for Oswego to load coal.

T.S. Carmen's fine steam yacht Carmona is being overhauled at Davis' dry-dock. Mr. Carman, proprietor of the Belleville Ontario, intends taking a couple months' cruise in his yacht.

Arrivals at Richardsons' elevator: Steamer Orion, from Chicago, 13,000 bushels of wheat; schooner Trade Wind, from Picton, 8,000 bushels of peas; schooner Kate, Oswego, 5,300 bushels of buckwheat; sloop Laura D., Wolfe Island, 3,000 bushels of oats; schooner Echo, Bay of Quinte ports, 3,000 bushels of oats.

It seems to be a fond practice of the masters of some boats to keep up a prolonged whistle on entering this port. This morning the unnecessarily continued whistling of the steamer Persia attracted attention, and was sufficient to awaken many residents along the water front from their peaceful slumbers. The merchant liner passing through here last Sunday morning was guilty of the same offence. To mariners the sound of a whistle is musical, but to the majority of people on land the continued blow of a steam whistle is rather offensive than pleasing, especially in the early morning. Objection has been raised against this practice time and again, but it is still carried on.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Dalhousie, May 31st - Down: Steamer Orion, Chicago to Kingston, corn; steamer Sequin, Fort William to Kingston, wheat; steamer D.D. Calvin and barge Ceylon, Elk Rapids to Kingston, timber; barge Augustus, Toledo to Kingston, timber.

Port Colborne, May 31st - Down: Barge Case, Toledo to Kingston, timber; steamer Myles, Toledo to Kingston, corn; steamer Curtis and barges, Byng Inlet to Oswego, lumber; steamer Tilley, Fort William to Kingston, wheat; steamer Topeka, Chicago to Oswego, corn.

p.4 Disposed of the Steamer - This morning Donnelly Bros. disposed of the steamer Cambria to George Palmer, Toronto. The sum that figured in the deal was $15,000. The Cambria will be placed on the route between Buffalo and Point Avenue Park. Since securing the steamer last fall the Donnellys spent several thousand dollars in making repairs, leaving the craft one of the finest equipped on the inland seas.

Will Be No Sunday Traffic.

The board of trade has received notice from the department of railways and canals that its petition, calling for the opening of canals on Sunday before 5 a.m. and after 9 p.m. cannot be granted. The decision of the department has been guided largely by a strong protest from the clergy in the districts contiguous to the canals......

p.5 Port Milford, May 31st - The schooner Annie Minnes loaded buckwheat and peas here on Monday for Kingston. The schooners Mist, Singapore, Annie Minnes and the tug Thistle were in the bay during Sunday.

p.6 General Paragraphs - Capt. T.J. Craig brought the steamer John Haggart from Smith's Falls last evening. She made good time coming up, arriving here two hours earlier than expected. She will carry 400 people comfortably. The main deck is arranged with sliding windows and can be made cool and cheerful in heated term.

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1 Jun 1898
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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), 1 Jun 1898