The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 23 Jun 1898

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The Beauharnois canal will not likely be ready for navigation before Monday.

The steamer Rosedale will not be able to get away from here for at least ten days.

The steamer New Island Wanderer will leave for the islands on Monday to go on her regular route.

The M.T. company's elevator unloaded the steamer Topeka, 55,000 bushels of corn, in three hours yesterday.

Arrivals - Steamer Monteagle, Chicago, 50,000 bushels of corn; sloop H.M. Ballou, bay ports, wheat and barley; schooner Acacia, Oswego, coal; schooner Two Brothers, Oswego, coal.

The steamer Caspian from Toronto passed down this morning. A large party of newspaper men from Minneapolis and St. Paul, who came down on the C.P.R., boarded her at Swift's wharf.

Yesterday the steamer J.G. Nichols ran into the schooner Eliza Fisher in the harbor and carried away her jib boom. Both were bound for Dexter, N.Y., with pulp wood and the collision caused them some delay.

Clearances - Schooner Fleetwing, Dexter, N.Y., pulp wood; schooner Eliza Fisher, Dexter, pulp wood; steamer J.G. Nichols, Dexter, pulp wood; steamer Topeka, canal, light; schooner Thomas Dobbie, Toledo, light.

"It is wonderful to think of the evolution in marine traffic during the last fifteen or twenty years," remarked a sailor of the mighty deep last evening. "In former years we could see hundreds of small craft flitting about, each one having a full season's work with good profit for the owners. As time advanced, though, the small boats and schooners did not satisfy the trade, and large steamers were introduced for freight traffic. The little fellows had then to follow in their wake, to be long outdistanced in time, until at present a few are found plying in the local trade, and more of them have been laid aside. Even today a steamer carrying less than 50,000 bushels of grain can scarcely pay expenses, so much of the freight is eaten up by larger boats. It seems to me that the introduction of large steamers is on a parallel with departmental stores in the commercial trade. They do an immense business at the expense of the smaller ones, and the rich merchant or wealthy ship owner can make money, while the poorer class is outdone. In the case of small vessels, which find a small local business, such as drawing coal and pulp across the lake or grain from local ports, where is there any money for them? The freight rate on coal is even lower than on grain from Chicago to this port, which is one and three-quarter cents a bushel. Some of the boats are tying up here for want of work, and the same condition of affairs exists on the upper lakes. In olden days the sailor was happy and made good money, but it seems today that sailing is alone a hardship with no pecuniary remuneration. One of the steamers which is now waiting to discharge at the M.T. company's elevator dropped fully three hundred dollars on her last trip from Chicago."

Welland Canal Report.

Port Colborne, June 22nd - Down: steamer Bannockburn, Chicago to Kingston, corn; Empire State, Toledo to Oswego, general cargo.

Port Dalhousie, June 22nd - Down: steamer Monteagle, Chicago to Kingston, corn.

The Whistling Of Steamers.

Kingston, June 22nd - To the Editor:

I notice in your issue of the 1st inst. an article relative to steamers whistling when coming into the port of Kingston, and especially the Persia. As far as the Persia's whistling is concerned, she only blows on Wednesday mornings and then not before 6:50 a.m., which is nearly the time all public whistles blow and her whistling is done sometimes ere she reaches her dock. In other cities and towns, whistling is appreciated, as there is more or less life in it.

I have very frequently heard citizens of Kingston remark upon the quietude of the place, as compared with other cities (not a stir, not a noise that you can hear, and that you had the whole city to yourself, etc.,) and enjoy the hurry, rush and noise they saw and heard in some other city. No doubt it was only read of, as a person who talks about a boat whistling that only comes in once a week, has evidently seen little of the outside world, and when a live boat comes along she has to be found fault with at an hour when mechanics are going to work, and business men are preparing for breakfast. I would like the complainant to suggest some quiet way of our letting our wharfinger know when the boat is in close proximity. If the whistling is abandoned I suppose there might be a perforated nozzle put on the whistle that would allow the steam to escape and make a "hissing" noise, and then the annoyed party might say that he never heard "such an apology for a whistle" before. It is a very common thing to hear such a remark in criticism of an inferior whistle.

Yours truly,

J.H. SCOTT, master, steamer Persian.

p.6 General Paragraphs - The steamer Corsican arrived up this afternoon, having been turned back from Coteau Landing yesterday.

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23 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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 23 Jun 1898