The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 7 Jul 1898

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p.2 Had An Exciting Time - fire on steamer Jubilee; yawl boat from schooner Maggie L. transferred ladies and children to schooner; engineer burned on hands and face; steamer drifted until picked up by tug Reginald and towed into port; some passengers left in the steamer's small boat only to find the plug was out; some of the passengers included Sir Oliver Mowat, principal Grant of Queen's University. (2/3 column)


The tug Bronson cleared for Montreal last evening with six grain laden barges.

The steamer Bothnia has cleared for Lake Superior ports to load timber for the Calvin company.

The schooner Two Brothers, Oswego, is at Booth and company's wharf with a cargo of coal screenings.

Joseph Hackett with a gang of men went over to Garden Island this morning to unload the sloop Ballou.

The steamer Armenia will clear tomorrow for Grand Marie, Mich., to load timber for the Calvin company.

A citizen asks for the date of the burning of Berry's elevator, situated on the site now occupied by the M.T. company.

When entering the Picton harbor the other day the schooner Maggie L. ran into a small coal shute and carried away one of her top masts.

The steamer Caspian which left here this morning for Montreal, ran on a shoal above Thousand Island Park and is out about three feet forward. Assistance has been sent to the boat.

Arrivals: schooner A. Falconer, Oswego, coal; tug Jessie Hall, Montreal, five barges; sloop H.M. Ballou, Oswego, 100 tons of coal; tug Thomson, Oswego, two coal-laden barges; sloop Maggie L., Picton, 3,000 bushels of peas; sloop Laura D., Wellington, mixed cargo of grain.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Dalhousie, July 6th - Down: Barge No. 81, Duluth to Boston, light; steamer Parsons, Huron to Ogdensburg.

Port Colborne, July 6th - Down: Badger State, Toledo to Ogdensburg, general cargo.


Kingston, July 7th - To the Editor:

Publicity has been given to a despatch dated Cornwall stating that the steamer Columbian when she met with her accident was racing with the steamers of the American line. I enclose a copy of letter of instructions to our captains in order that the patrons may know that the utmost caution is used. Furthermore, the steamer New York when leaving Alexandria Bay had over 300 passengers on board; the Columbian had less than twenty, from which you will understand no sane man would have tried to compete in the matter of speed. I have no doubt that the R. & O. management regret as much as I these sensational reports that frighten the people and injure the business. Sincerely yours, Henry Folger, President.

Clayton, N.Y., July 2nd, 1898.

Capt. Andrew Miller, steamer Empire State; Capt. Coleman Hinckley, steamer New York.

Dear Sirs; - The Thousand Island steamboat company, as you know, have run on the St. Lawrence river for over twenty-five years. In that time we have handled thousands of passengers each season, and have a record of not having injured a single passenger, not having wet a foot, and not having lost a steamer.

On account of the growth of our business, we have inaugurated the new American line to Montreal, making daily service, commencing Monday, July 4th. We wish to carry our record into this extension of our business, as formerly. As you know, the competition with the steamers of the Richelieu & Ontario navigation company will be very keen, and cool heads and good judgement will be required to avoid trouble.

Under all circumstances keep in mind that our aim is for the safety of our passengers and protection of our property. We do not wish to create the impression among the public that we are racing our steamers down the rapids each trip. In all cases of doubt give way rather than take any chance of accident, collision, or anything of the kind. If we can keep in the lead by the superior speed of our steamers, well and good, but we must not have any close-quarters, or cutting of short corners, with liability of trouble.

The following regulations I wish to be carried out strictly on the trips down the rapids:

The Captain will stand in front of the pilot house, by his bells.

The mate at the tiller with four men.

The second officer on the main deck forward, with deckhands, to keep the boat in trim.

The engineer constantly alongside his engine.

Be cautious, cool-headed and careful. We must under no circumstances have any accident. Yours truly, (Signed)

HOWARD S. FOLGER, general manager.

Personal Mention - James Hanley, jr., shore steward for the R. & O. navigation company, has been notified that his services are no longer required. The office has been abolished. Hereafter the chief steward will do all such work for the boats.


Steamer Caspian Aground.

The second accident to the Richelieu & Ontario navigation company's western steamers this season occurred this morning at Alexandria Bay. The steamer Caspian, formerly the Passport, left the bay at the usual hour with a fair load of passengers. For some reason the steamer was not headed for the regular channel, but kept close to the shore, and she ran on a shoal a short distance below the bay. The shoal is covered with three feet of water, and fortunately the Caspian had not got under full headway, so no trouble is expected in releasing her. The passengers and baggage were transferred back to Alexandria Bay. The steamer left here with twenty-five passengers, and in command of Capt. McDonald, formerly with the Collins Bay Rafting company. Capt. McDonald engaged with the Richelieu company this spring, and this was his first trip down on the Caspian. The steamer Columbian, which met with an accident on Monday by breaking her rudder gear, is in port and ready to start on her regular trip tomorrow morning.

The steamers Parthia and Chieftain went down to the stranded steamer's assistance this morning.

Later - While coming up the river today the steamer the R. & O. steamer Bohemian ran close up to the stranded steamer Caspian. Officers of the last named steamer say the Caspian is in bad shape. Her bow is out fully three feet and her bottom seems to be badly damaged. She is on a shoal almost directly fronting Thousand Island park. The shoal is marked by buoys.

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7 Jul 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), 7 Jul 1898