The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 11 Jun 1898

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Today the deputation from the city, with the representatives from three other cities, had a conference at Ottawa with the minister of railways and canals. The interviewers represent several branches of the marine shipping trade and are fully interested in navigation on the lakes and river, which are open and free for travel at all times unless wind or fog intervene. But with the Canadian canals, handled by government employees, it is different. At midnight Saturday the locks are closed to boats and remain so until the following midnight. To large companies doing a heavy transportation in freight, this often involves a long delay and extra expense. It so happens at times that a steamer and tow with thousands of bushels of grain has to tie up in a canal because they failed to get out before twelve o'clock Saturday night, and remain there until time for reopening. The purpose of the deputation is to impress upon the minister the advantages or necessity of keeping the canals open for navigation until five o'clock Sunday morning and after nine o'clock on Sunday evening. This will give great relief to the forwarding companies and would also assist in avoiding blockades at the canals on Monday mornings. The matter had been brought before the minister before in the form of a written resolution, and a very strong opposition was entered by the clergy, whose fields of work lay contiguous to the canals. The question has practically come down to a debate among the shippers and the clergy, with the minister as arbitrator.

One or two boats still persist in the long blowing of whistles, not only when coming into port, but when lying at the wharves. One excuse offered for the prolonged whistle in the early morning is the desire to call the wharf man in case he is asleep. An experienced man on a wharf will rise to the sound of a short whistle as readily as to a continued blowing, and even if he was not around, a competent master can run the ordinary boat close enough to the wharf as to enable one of the crew to jump off with the lines. As a rule it is passenger boats of not the unusual size that give most offence in this respect. There is a by-law in the civic statutes placing this offence under penalty of fine, and it might go well if the harbormaster would report the offenders and make an example of them.

It is understood a petition will be framed by the local marine men and forwarded to the government as an overture towards having the Cataraqui swing bridge removed to a point further over towards the centre harbor channel. There are two strong objections to its present condition. First, it lies now away in one corner out of direct line with the channel, and secondly, it is too narrow for the boats now in use. The bridge when built was so done to accommodate the boats of that day, most of which have disappeared to give place to the modern requirements for the trade. The sooner it is removed out in the channel, the better for navigation in the harbor.

An absentee from the city for even the past year, if returning home by water at night time, would marvel at the altered appearance of the city's water front, in fact he would be apt to think that he had entered the wrong harbor. Three illuminated elevators, each a hum of industry,, offer a pretty spectacle, and a lively scene. Last evening a number of people visited the M.T. company's elevator, which was brilliantly lighted up with arc lamps and incandescent lights, making the densely dark night there almost as bright as day. The elevator was going full blast, both marine legs busy in taking grain from boats, and two shipping spouts flooding grain into barges. It was a very attractive sight.

Kingston is now supplied with three stationary elevators and three floating ones. Their aggregate capacity for unloading is 70,500 bushels an hour, which cannot be equalled by a similar number in any other city. Mooers' elevator has taken out 13,500 bushels in one hour on the go down.

The steamer John Rugee from Chicago commenced unloading 47,000 bushels of wheat at the M.T. company's elevator at nine o'clock last night. At two o'clock she was on her way for the Welland canal.

Capt. Dunlop and crew of the steamer Algerian left last night for Montreal. The steamer left Montreal this morning on her first trip of the season. She will arrive here tomorrow afternoon.

The tug D.G. Thomson arrived yesterday from Montreal with seven light barges and cleared again with four barges, grain-laden.

The tug Bronson reached port today with four barges from Montreal and cleared again with three loaded barges.

The steamer Glengarry and consort Minnedosa arrived from Fort William today with 90,000 bushels of wheat.

The schooners Acacia and Two Brothers with coal for R. Crawford are expected in from Charlotte this evening.

The barge Adele loaded 20,000 bushels of oats at Richardsons' elevator yesterday for Montreal.

The schooner Annie Falconer left for Charlotte yesterday to load coal for the spile dock.

The sloop Sovereign arrived from Deseronto yesterday with bunchwood for Sowards.

The sloop Volunteer unloaded 5,000 bushels of oats at Richardsons' elevator today.

The sloop Peruvian, from Deseronto, is unloading lumber at Garden Island.

The tug Maggie May and barge left for Seeley's Bay today with lumber.

The schooner Kate Jamieson (sic) is unloading barley at Clark's malt house.

The tug Active sailed for Oswego today with two barges to load coal.

The barge Maggie entered Davis' dock this morning for repairs.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Colborne, June 10th - Down: Steamers Tilley, Lorraine to Prescott, steel; Elfinmere, Chicago to Kingston, corn; Melbourne, Toledo to Montreal, general cargo.

Port Dalhousie, June 10th - Down: Steamer Bothnia, Emerson to Kingston, timber; steamer Glengarry, barge Minnedosa, Fort William to Kingston, wheat.

To Ask For A Grant - Kingston yacht club want city council to give grant towards regatta to be held in July.

p.8 A remarkable feat was twice performed at the M.T. company's elevator this week. The barges Iron Cliff and Celtic were discharged without having to be moved from their moorings. The two marine legs fitted into holds fore and aft and the steam shovels carried the grain up to the elevator buckets. Usually a boat has to be moved half a dozen times in the course of discharging. The Celtic unloaded 40,500 bushels inside of three hours and a half.

The Calvin company's steamers Reginald, Chieftain and Johnston, with the company's gang of wreckers, was successful on Tuesday in releasing the steamer Parthia, stranded on Crab Island in Long Sault rapids.

Last night Capt. A. Dunlop with a portion of his crew left for Montreal to start the steamer Algerian on her regular run between Montreal and Toronto. She will arrive here tomorrow afternoon.

The steamer Spartan, on her way to Toronto, was delayed some hours at the head of Cornwall canal this morning, owing to a dense fog.

The sloop Monitor arrived from bay ports this morning with 1,800 bushels of oats and rye for Richardson's elevator.

The steamer Parthia is on her way up to Garden Island for repairs. It is not known how badly she is damaged.

The schooner Emerald cleared this morning for Toledo to load timber for Garden Island.

Luther Donnelly left for Manitowac last night to sail on the schooner Moonlight.

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11 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), 11 Jun 1898