The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 10 Jun 1898

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p.2 Capt. Pierce, Portsmouth, arrived home from Floating island, Bay of Quinte, yesterday where he put a new stern in his yacht and added other improvements.


Meets The Directors Of The M.T. Company.

The civic elevator committee held a special session yesterday afternoon to meet the directors of the Montreal Transportation Company re. the new elevator. There were present: Chairman T. Donnelly, aldermen McKelvey, Johns, Carson, Ryan, mayor Livingston; also H. McLennan, president of the M.T. company; W.W. Ogilvie, vice-president; G.M. Kinghorn, secretary; Capt. Gaskin, outside manager; L.L. Henderson, contractor Jamieson and B.M. Britton.

The chairman extended a welcome to the visitors and congratulated them on securing such an addition to their plant as a new elevator. He felt convinced that the agreement between the company and the city had been closely observed by the former, and even a more complete elevator had been erected than anticipated. He was pleased to know that Kingston had such an elevator, for many advantages would folllow its building, and he was confident that the citizens did not regret extending the invitation to the company to put the building up.

B.M. Britton, acting for the company, explained, that he had asked the committee to come together to meet the directors as Mr. McLennan was to leave shortly for England, and there might be a few details which would require attention. They were also in the city to meet the contractor and confer on matters of detail with him. Although not having an expert knowledge of elevators and their construction, Mr. Britton thought the new one the best in the country. It was the desire of the company to put up the best and therefore the contractor was not hampered in any way by them. The building would be of great value to the trade.

President McLennan spoke briefly. When the deputation from the city waited on the company, he said, and asked for the new elevator the directors thought they were at a disadvantage in regard to time, but when they agreed to build Kingston was the chosen site and no insurmountable difficulties were met with. He realized now the importance of a good elevator at this point. It will be an advantage to the company and he hoped a satisfaction to the city. The building erected was of superior make and having it the company was not ashamed to ask the city to fulfil its agreement in the matter of the bonus. When the company started business some thirty years ago, and ever since then, he had felt that barge accommodation was the main thing in the river trade. But since Ogdensburg and Prescott ran up their elevators he recognized the necessity of one at this point, and hence the company readily responded to the city's invitation to erect one.

Mr. Ogilvie had watched the progress of the elevator since its building was commenced, and he was satisfied with the result. Many people raised objections because the building was not ready at the opening of navigation, but those made a great mistake. A building such as the new elevator involved a lot of work. He had been among elevators all his life, and was the owner of some thirty-five or forty, and he could readily say this new one was the best in the country. He had gone over the building, and saw that the equipment was the most complete, the machinery bearings, the drives, etc., being the best he had ever seen. This elevator would be a relief to the trade and to the company. He explained in part the equipment and possibility of the elevator. With its two marine legs, it can easily take out about 35,000 bushels of grain per hour, and load two barges at the same time. Duluth had several fine elevators, but none to do equal work with this one. It is a semaphore of energy and prosperity and a credit to the city. He had always thought that more barges were wanted on the river, but he had changed his mind, for an elevator here was an absolute necessity.

G.M. Kinghorn, an old Kingstonian, also made a few remarks. When the company had agreed to build here, the directors wondered whom they could get to superintend the construction. They heard of Mr. Jamieson, whose record for elevator building immediately recommended him. His services were secured. No pains or expense had been spared in the erection and the building was a complete one. Wood for it had been brought from the south, the machinery from Peterboro, Montreal and Galt, and the boilers from the Kingston foundry. The best selection had been made, no matter where the material had come from, and now the city has an elevator unexcelled in the country.

Contractor Jamieson said he had received his instructions from the company and had carried them out in detail. The company did not limit him in expense, and he was told to build the best. He first designed the elevator in every detail, and in building followed the design closely. Without the desire of self praise, he could say it was the best elevator in Canada, or on the continent. He had been at that work all his life, and knew that he could say that without fear of contradiction.

Mayor Livingston expressed his satisfaction with the elevator, and said he had yet to hear the first complaint from the citizens.

Alderman McKelvey looked upon the M.T. company as the best institution in the city. He thought the elevator had not met an equal in the country. Alderman Ryan and captain Gaskin also spoke along the same lines and the committee adjourned to accompany the directors through the new elevator, when contractor Jamieson explained several of the new improvements inserted. Before adjourning the committee, on motion by aldermen McKelvey and Ryan, recommended that the deposit of $1,000 ? be refunded to the Mooers' company, the solicitor having satisfied himself that all legal requirements had been fulfilled.


The tug Walker left for Montreal last evening with four grain laden barges.

The schooner Acacia sailed for Charlotte last evening to load coal for R. Crawford.

The steamer Samoa and consort Celtic cleared port for the Welland canal this afternoon.

The sloop Madcap arrived from the islands yesterday and unloaded 1,800 bushels of oats at Richardsons' elevator.

The steamer Arabian lightened 22,000 bushels of wheat at the M.T. company's elevator today and proceeded to Montreal.

The schooner Kate Eccles and sloops Maggie L. and Monitor left for bay ports yesterday to load grain for J. Richardson & Sons.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Colborne, June 9th - Down: Steamers John Rugee, Chicago to Kingston, wheat; Governor Smith, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; Warrington, Erie to Oswego, light; Glengarry, Minnedosa, Fort William to Kingston, wheat; Bothnia, Emerson to Kingston, timber.

Port Dalhousie, June 9th - Down: Steamer Clinton, barges Lisgar and Grimsby, Marquette to Kingston, timber; steamer J.S. Parsons, Huron to Ogdensburg, coal; steamer Governor Smith, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; steamer John Rugee, Chicago to Kingston, wheat; steamer Warrington, Detroit to Ogdensburg.

Among The Islands - 25 members of Kingston yacht club on the steamyacht Wherenow for cruise; L.B. Spencer the owner; stopped at Alexandria Bay and then to Gananoque for supper at the Inn; home at ten o'clock.

Not Allowed To Land - When the steamer John Haggart pulled into Cape Vincent on Wednesday last with a large excursion party aboard the authorities would not allow Capt. Craig to land his passengers at the railroad wharf, without paying wharfage. Only a few passengers who were about to take the train were allowed ashore, after which the steamer ran down to the wharf owned by the Cleveland seed company, where the excursionists disembarked.


Great St. Lawrence Route.

Opinions of Some of the Leading Grain Men of Canada.

After the civic elevator committee looked over the Montreal transportation company's elevator in company with the contractor and the directors of the company, a light lunch was served in the parlor of the British American hotel, when an hour or two were spent in general conversation and speech-making. Capt. Donnelly, chairman of the committee, presided, and in speaking briefly referred to the backwardness of the directors of the Montreal transportation company in dropping their floating elevators, which were a profitable part of their stock. The growing trade, however, demanded better accommodation, and an elevator here was a necessity. The signal success of the Prescott elevator, built by Prescott with the assistance of the McKay milling company of Ottawa and Mr. Jamieson, proved conclusively to the M.T. company the advantages of such buildings as this section of the grain-carrying route. The time for demurage expenses also had passed. Some people regretted that the city had not entered into an agreement with the M.T. company before the Mooers' elevator was built, but he was not of the same opinion. If the company had been the first to build and had erected such a building as it now has, it would have required an extra amount of courage for others to follow. The chances are, if the company had built first, Kingston would only have had one or two elevators at the most.

Hugh McLennan proposed "The Health of the Corporation, Council and the Elevator Committee." In an address, he referred to his first landing in Kingston in the year 1846. From then until the present his interests had been connected with the city. Kingston had always carried out its agreements with his company and the company was always willing to reciprocate. Now that they were anchored here by the new elevator, they would do a greater business at this point, and would prove to the citizens their wisdom in granting the bonus. The increased trade and a better water route through the canals would demand larger barges, in the building of which the city would receive its share.

W.W. Ogilvie made a brilliant speech, in which he reviewed the development of the grain trade of Canada since his connection with it. When he first identified himself with the trade they weighed and measured the grain in bags, weighing about two bags in every twenty-five and averaging the rest. Early in the forties he heard of an elevator at Cape Vincent, and in company with his brother and the architect for his company, S. Risley, then chairman, also, of the board of steamboat inspectors, he went over to inspect the building. On the trip across from here, eight Frenchmen were drowned, and his brother nearly shared a similar fate. It was in looking over the elevator they got their idea of a floating elevator, which they established in Montreal, but were limited to elevating 2,000 bushels an hour. The capacity was improved until they elevated 10,000 bushels, which they thought was wonderful work. He and Mr. McLennan always had had great faith in the St. Lawrence route for transportation, but other capitalists thought otherwise. The northern railway was built to carry grain towards Chicago, and thence to the sea. The grain was taken out of vessels at Collingwood and put back in Toronto, and the company was told they would have to take their barges to Toronto. That scheme failed. The Central Ontario railway was built with connections at Georgian Bay. They were then told they would have to send their barges to Trenton. This also failed. The C.P.R. said it was going to monopolize the western grain trade, but that company "cannot take one-third of it." The Parry Sound railway was finished and proposed to take all the grain through to Coteau to be transported into barges. "It will go the way the others that I have mentioned, as far as the trade through the St. Lawrence is concerned." Then even the St. Lawrence, the natural outlet is cheaper than any other route, even cheaper than the Trent Valley canal can be with its four feet of water, and cheaper than the Georgian Bay and Ottawa route, and superior to the Georgian bay canal, which Toronto capitalists are building so much upon. What is the distance of a few hundred miles to the steamers Bannockburn and Rosemount. On 'change in Montreal the other day, he handed Mr. Thompson a memorandum of some grain he wanted landed in Kingston at a certain time. In a few minutes Mr. Thompson handed back an agreement to have the cargoes here at a certain hour. The cargoes were delivered in Kingston five hours earlier than agreed. This showed how well the shipping business was understood and handled.

Mr. Kinghorn, Captain Gaskin, mayor Livingston and alderman Ryan also spoke.

p.6 Have Taken Over The Elevator - the Montreal Transportation Co.

Snips - Capt. Kellern, Buffalo, today inspected the hull of the steamer Rosedale and found the repairs satisfactory. He represents an insurance company.

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10 Jun 1898
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 10 Jun 1898