The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 15 Jun 1898

Full Text



The M.T. company's floating elevator Ceres is on Davis' drydock for repairs.

Captains of the steamers from the west say the bottom has completely fallen out of freight traffic on the upper lakes. At Duluth large tows have been lying idle for a week unable to get a cargo. The Anchor and the American transit lines have tied up several of their boats.

Arrivals: Steamer Algonquin, Toledo, 70,000 bushels wheat; steamer Erin, Chicago, 27,000 bushels corn; schooner Danforth, Chicago, 55,000 bushels corn; S.S. Rosemount and two consorts, Chicago, 160,000 bushels corn; schooner Kate Eccles, Trenton, 7,000 bushels oats and wheat; schooner H.M. Ballou, Wellington, 4,000 bushels peas and wheat; sloop Minnie, Howe Island, stone.

Departures - Steamer Marion, Welland canal; schooner Acacia, Charlotte, schooner Kate Eccles, Bay of Quinte ports; schooner H.M. Ballou, bay ports.

Capt. Batten, in the city last evening, said the despatch with reference to the contract given him and pilot Ouellette to take the large boats down the river had slightly misrepresented the matter. The United States government is not interested in the deal at all, but rather Mr. McDougall, the owner of the whaleback boats. He is contemplating sending eight of his cigar shaped boats from the upper lakes to trade on the salt water. It is likely they will be along in two weeks' time. The whaleback steamers are each 255 feet long, forty feet wide, with six and one half feet draught, and are probably the trickiest class of boats to take down the rapids. Their depth in the water in proportion to their length is very slight, and in the rapid descent through the rushing waters, and a boat is liable to throw her stern upwards, which weakens the power of the rudder, hence an awful risk accompanies the run down. The two pilots, however, will undertake the work of landing them at Montreal.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Colborne, June 14th - Down: Steamer Langdon, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; steamer Nipigon and barges, Baraga to Ogdensburg, lumber.

Port Dalhousie, June 14th - Down: Steamer Marion, Chicago to Kingston, corn; steamer Frost, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; steamer Business, Lorain to Ogdensburg, steel; steamer Empire State, Cleveland to Oswego, general cargo; steamer Algonquin, Toledo to Kingston, corn; Rosemount and barges, Chicago to Kingston, corn; steamer New York, Buffalo to Kingston, light.


Engineer Alexander R. Milne.

Engineer Alexander R. Milne, chief engineer of the steamer Caspian, was born in Kingston in 1842. Apprenticed to the Kingston locomotive and car works at the age of fourteen, after serving four years he went to Montreal and studied marine engineering in the shops of E.E. Gilbert. After two years' experience in this work he returned to Kingston, and in 1860 passed his examination as engineer. Shortly after receiving his certificate Mr. Milne took charge of the engines of the steamers Pierrepont and Gazelle, which ran between Kingston and Wolfe Island. From these boats he went to the steamers Ottawa and Montreal of the Jaques & Tracy line, running between Hamilton and Montreal, later on taking charge of the engines of the Rochester, afterward called the Hastings, and now the Eurydice. Mr. Milne returned to Kingston and built the present steamer Pierrepont. Then he took charge of the engines on the Bay of Quinte, a steamer owned by Mr. Charles F. Gildersleeve, the present general manager of the Richelieu & Ontario line. From that boat he went on the Norseman, now the North King, between Port Hope and Charlotte, and remained on her until he was sent for to fit up the new steamer Vanderbilt at Lindsay, a boat designed to ply on Scugog and Sturgeon lakes. Then he went to St. Catharines and completed the steamer Lothair, which had the second compound engine on Lake Ontario. Following, six years were spent by him on the steamer Alexandria, on the run between Montreal and Charlotte. For fourteen years engineer Milne was chief trade instructor in the Kingston asylum.

American Line To Montreal - The owners and officials of the American line to Montreal are in the city to sail with their beautiful boat, the New York, Monday morning. The entire equipment for the boat was purchased here Saturday by Charles Lohmann, the chief steward of the line. Mr. Lohmann is an experienced steward, and the people who travel over this route this summer may expect to find everything up to the standard of the Waldorf hotel, where Mr. Lohmann has been engaged for years. [Buffalo News]



"There hasn't been a time before in twenty years," said a lake line official yesterday, "when business has been so dull. There is, of course, an annual shrinkage of freights during June and July but seldom such a complete collapse as at present. Just now there is a spurt in up-the-lake traffic caused by the canal accumulation of package freight, but this won't last long. As for down cargoes, there is absolutely nothing at present, and nothing in sight before the new crop begins to move, which won't be until August."

Another vesselman in reply to an inquiry as to what caused such an unusual scarcity of down cargoes, replied: "To tell the truth the Canadian Pacific has been a powerful factor in lessening the Buffalo trade. Just at the present time an important point is influencing the shippers of export grain. Carried by the Canadian Pacific it all goes into English bottoms. Of course the big liners are driving out the small boats; but the Canadians are gobbling up an enormous amount of business which previous to this season, came down Lake Erie. That's what has knocked the bottom out of freight rates, and where it's going to end is an unsolvable problem." [Buffalo Courier]

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
15 Jun 1898
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
Creative Commons licence:
pd [more details]
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

British Whig (Kingston, ON), 15 Jun 1898