The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 12 Aug 1898

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A Scene on Swift's Wharf.

There was an interesting scene on Swift's wharf yesterday afternoon near the hour of three o'clock. It all happened over the accident which befell the Columbian on her trip up the river in the morning, when she dropped one of her wheels. It was intended to keep the Columbian here for repairs, sending the island passengers back on the steamer Richelieu. The Columbian was advertised to carry an excursion down the river when leaving here to return her island excursionists. This outing was cancelled when it became known the Columbian was partly disabled. Some of the passengers demurred and objected to returning on the Richelieu, but the climax was reached when customs officer Geoghegan refused to allow any passengers aboard the Richelieu until the customs papers were produced, showing the steamer to have been inspected, etc. The captain of the Richelieu did not have the papers and they could not be produced to satisfy the customs official. Matters were at sixes and sevens for a few minutes.

Finally James Swift made his appearance and ordered that the Columbian return the island passengers. They thereupon went aboard that steamer and at a few minutes past 3:30 o'clock started down the river. Mr. Swift was seen in regard to the affair and said the papers had been issued all right, but unfortunately were not in the possession of the captain of the Richelieu. Mr. Swift had them in his possession in the morning and had handed them over to J.P. Hanley. At the time they were needed they were lying in the Grand Trunk ticket office. He could not complain of Capt. Geoghegan's conduct; he was performing what he considered his duty.

A new wheel was telegraphed for to Montreal for the Columbian. It arrived up this morning by express and was taken out to the marine railway at Portsmouth, where the steamer's stern will be hoisted out of the water and the new propeller adjusted. The accident which befel the Columbian is one that is likely to occur to any steamer propelled by a rear wheel. The propeller worked loose and dropped off.


The tug Bronson, with four light barges, arrived last evening from Montreal.

The tug Thomson cleared this morning for Montreal with four grain-laden barges.

The steamer Kelchern (sic), with consort Owen, cleared last evening for Oswego to load coal for an upper lake port.

John Murphy, formerly first mate on board the Badger State, has been promoted to captaincy of the Empire State.

Called at Swift & Co.'s wharf: steamer Algerian, Toronto to Montreal; steamer Corsican, Montreal to Toronto; steamer Hamilton, Montreal to Hamilton; steamer Arundell, Charlotte to Alexandria Bay; steamer Richelieu, from Gananoque.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Dalhousie, Aug. 11th - Down: steamer Haze, Buffalo to Ogdensburg, general cargo; steamer A. McVittie, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo.

Port Colborne, Aug. 11th - Down: steamer Onondaga, Cleveland to Ogdensburg, light; Calvin, Thessalon to Kingston, timber; barge Ceylon, Toledo to Kingston, timber.


Still Has Only One Wheel.

The steamer Columbian did not get her wheel on today as expected. The Portsmouth shipyard is not in operation, the government dry dock is occupied by the steamer Tilley, and the effort put forth this morning to raise the steamer's stern by weighing her bow with iron, salt barrels, etc. was not a success. It was thought that perhaps she could be pulled out on the Deseronto ways while up there this morning, but a telephone message received from there at one o'clock today announced the fact that the steamer could not be pulled out. It is probable an attempt will be made to haul her out at Garden Island tomorrow morning.

A Lighthouse Burning - Port Dalhousie, Aug. 12th - Shortly after eight o'clock this morning the largest lighthouse on the east pier was struck by lightning. It is now on fire and will be a total loss.

Snips - The steamer New York holds the time record from Alexandria Bay to Montreal. The New York and the Algerian started from the Bay at 7:40 a.m. Tuesday. The New York arrived at Montreal at 5:40 p.m., beating the Algerian by one hour and twenty minutes.

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12 Aug 1898
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Geographic Coverage:
  • 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), 12 Aug 1898