The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 14 Jun 1898

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Canadian Pilots Entrusted With The Venture.

A despatch from Montreal states that the United States government has selected two Canadian pilots to guide two large steamers, of over two hundred feet in length, down the St. Lawrence river to the Atlantic seaboard. The work has been entrusted to Capt. George Batten and Capt. Frederick Ouelietta, the trustworthy pilots of the Richelieu & Ontario navigation company. The proposed undertaking will be somewhat of an experimental nature, as the largest boat running the rapids of the St. Lawrence does not measure over one hundred and fifty feet in length. Hitherto the longer boats have been cut in two and taken through the canals, the divided parts being pontooned. Probably the misfortune to the United States revenue cutter Gresham at Ogdensburg, and the delay in getting her to the coast, has suggested to the government the trial of running the boats down the rapids. It is thought the boats referred to are the revenue cutter Algonquin and her companion, which leave Cleveland shortly for the coast. It was reported that the two boats would be docked here and cut in two before proceeding down the river.

This is an opportunity which captain Batten has long looked for. Although it is a difficult and risky undertaking, he has confidence in the successful result of the trial. The rapids hold many unseen dangers, the location of which is known only to the long experienced pilot. Difficulty with the long boats will be experienced in the Long Sault rapids, where sharp and abrupt turns in the channel will require a manipulation of the wheel with the greatest dexterity. The split rock rapids will have their dangers. There the channel consists of a passage way cut through a treacherous looking ledge of rock, which extends straight across the river. The channel is not a great deal wider than the boats passing down, and a swerve of the boat might cause her destruction. At present the ledge of rock is exposed a few inches below the surface of the water, but immediately on the other side the water is nearly three hundred feet deep. Captain Batten, Barriefield, enjoys the distinction of being the leading pilot on the river, and captain Ouelette, who came from a family of great river pilots, will prove himself worthy of the new undertaking.

It is understood that $1,500 will be the allowance to each pilot if the trip is made successfully.

John Stansbury, acting purser on the steamer New Island Wanderer, has been appointed purser on the steamer America for the river route. The Cape Vincent passengers are sorry to lose John, for his obliging manner has made him a very popular officer. He is the same with everybody, and always shows a willingness to help old and young. With his experience on the Montreal run last year he will prove an efficient officer.

The early morning fogs on the St. Lawrence during the past week have delayed the westbound passenger steamers, very few of them reaching here on their scheduled time.

Arrivals - Tug Active, two barges, coal-laden from Oswego; sloop Anelia, light, from Stella; steamer Marion, Chicago, corn; sloop Laura D., bay ports, barley.

The break in the Beauharnois canal will not be repaired until tomorrow night. Meanwhile navigation will be somewhat hampered.

Departures - Steamer Bannockburn, light, for Fort William; Active, Montreal, two grain-laden barges; Laura D., bay ports, light.

One of the batteaux from Deseronto is unloading bunch wood at the Grove inn wood yard.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Colborne, June 13th - Down: Steamers Business, Lorain to Ogdensburg, steel; Frost, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; Algonquin, Toledo to Kingston, corn; Empire State, Cleveland to Oswego, general cargo; New York, Buffalo to Kingston, light; Rosemount and barges, Chicago to Kingston, corn.

Port Dalhousie, June 13th - Down: Steamers Prince, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; Erin, Chicago to Kingston, corn; barge Danforth, Chicago to Kingston, corn.

The steamer New York passed through the Welland Canal today, and will arrive here early tomorrow morning. B.W. Folger, jr., and a party of friends are on board.

Got One Hundred Dollars - council votes yacht club $100 to help pay for regatta.

Incidents of the Day - There are 80,000 bushels of wheat in port in charge of the K. & M. forwarding company, consigned by Leiter, the Chicago plunger. Alderman Stewart, local manager of the company, was instructed to hold the wheat until freight charges have been paid and this he will do.



The Steamer New York A Handsome Craft.

This afternoon the passenger steamer New York, just completed in the Erie basin for the American line service from Clayton to Montreal, in connection with the New York Central & Hudson River railroad, will leave Buffalo for her new home on the St. Lawrence river.

Work was begun on the steamer in December, William Murphy being the contractor, under the careful personal supervision of Capt. Allen, assisted by B.H. Carnovsky, who designed all the artistic appointments of the handsome boat and selected the colors which are most delightfully blended in the decorations.

The New York is thoroughly up to date, and as she lay at the dock yesterday, presented a handsome appearance in her garb of white, green and gold, which are the principle colors of her furnishings, inside and out. She has not only been built, but furnished throughout almost entirely by Buffalo firms.

The steamer is about 180 feet long and forty-four feet beam, the full size possible for the canal locks, which are used upon the return voyage. The first glance at her from the outside would incline one to believe that she must be an immense private yacht. The first step on board, however, dispels the illusion. At a glance is seen the intelligent and thorough provision for passengers. Entering by the aft gangway on the main deck, the handsome dining room is shown. The entrance is through a beautiful hand-carved mahogany arch which extends across the broad deck from side to side. The floor is covered with a rich velvet carpet in a delicate shade of green. Small, round, individual mahogany tables are arranged in graceful studied disorder throughout the room, and are furnished with rich linen, costly silverware and crockery, each piece of the latter bearing a tasteful hand decoration. The entire room is enclosed by large observation windows, with plate-glass mirrors between, and by this ingenious arrangement none of the delightful scenery is missed, as that which is not observed through the windows is reflected in the mirrors. This effect is particularly pleasing while passing through the Thousand Islands.

Green silk curtains, caught up by gold cord, are draped across the windows, the soft shades blending admirably with the carpet. The panel wood-work is white and gold. All other parts of the boat are equally attractive, particularly the forward main deck, which on ordinary steamers is devoted to freight and seldom, if ever, visited by passengers.

This deck is also enclosed by observation windows, has hardwood floor, and is arranged as a lounging and smoking apartment.

A broad, mahogany stairway leads from the main to the promenade deck, and here is situated a large saloon cabin, replete with comfortable, upholstered settees, ottomans, rich hangings and furnishings in the same perfect taste as the dining-room, the whole effect producing the most agreeable suggestion of restful summer days, refreshing breezes and charming scenery.

On each side of this cabin is a row of state-rooms, each containing a double lower berth and upper berth, and provided with running water, electric lights, annunciators and all modern conveniences, some of them having tiled bathrooms attached.

A noticeable feature of the New York is her broad promenade deck forward of the saloon cabin. She is provided with over 300 incandescent electric lights.

Her powerful machinery is situated beneath the main deck, as is also the electric lighting plant. Two huge boilers are situated just forward of the engines.

The new American line is a credit to the Folger system, and their enterprise in establishing a line of daily steamers from Clayton to Montreal in connection with "America's Greatest Railway" will revolutionize the transportation facilities in that region.

The American line steamers depart from Clayton on arrival of the St. Lawrence steamboat express leaving Buffalo at 9:15 p.m. daily. The boat service commences Monday, July 4th. [Buffalo Courier]

Snips - The new steamer Brockville, launched at Toronto on Saturday last, arrived in port this afternoon. Messrs. W.S. Buell, A. Bowie, A.A. Wilkinson, Dr. Stewart and Dr. Bowie, Brockville, arrived in the city this morning to embark on the steamer and return to Brockville. They are interested in the company owning the steamer.

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14 Jun 1898
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  • 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), 14 Jun 1898