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

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Opinions Of Marine Men On Various Topics.

A local captain, who closely watches marine interests, stated in conversation last evening, that the American ship owners might be successful in their appeal to have the tolls struck off the Welland canal. They have enlisted the assistance of the Chicago board of trade, an influential body of men, who have submitted a strong petition in favor of the removal, to the international commission, which opened conference in Quebec today. Their request probably seems an extraordinary one, but they have two arguments to support them. The American government has given free travel through the Sault Ste. Marie canal, and this will no doubt be argued in support of the request. The second argument will be that freedom from tolls in the Welland canal will increase freight traffic from the upper lakes to Montreal, thus benefitting Canadian trade. A strong effort will be made to have the tolls taken off.

Should Take Mariners' Advice.

"The suggestion that the government authorities, when improving navigation, consult with competent pilots and marine men, was the best article I have seen in the press for some time," said a retired mariner last evening. "Many dollars have been unintentionally thrown away on canal and channel improvments, which would have been avoided had the department authorities even listed to unsolicited advice given by competent mariners. In the St. Lawrence canals there are many existing grievances which should never have been thrown in the way of boat owners. Besides the pier at Morrisburg and the old dilapidated wharf in Cornwall canal, already mentioned in your paper, there is a guard lock a short distance above Cornwall in the canal. Its sides extend only a few feet above the surface of the water, and sidewheel steamers passing through often run their guards over the edge with considerable damage. On that lock the steamer Algerian did great damage to herself this summer, which delayed her a full trip. That guard lock alone has cost between $1,500 and $2,000 damages to boats this year. When the wind is blowing hard, and boats have a high side to the weather, it is practically impossible to enter the lock without striking the side. I would suggest that a row of spiles be driven down at each corner, so that boats would strike them and prevent their guards from catching on the corners of the lock."

Fall Trade Will Be Better.

Capt. Thomas Donnelly, in speaking of the condition of present freight rates on the lakes, expressed a belief that the fall trade will see a more satisfactory scale of rates. The vesselmen this season have had to accept terms lower than for many seasons past, simply because there was little traffic in freight, owing to little demand in foreign markets. Because of a good harvest of her own, Europe has imported less grain from Canada and the United States, but even though the depression has been felt during the summer the fall trade will show a different condition. The western grain crops are estimated for a large yield, and besides there is a large stock of grain in western houses. These will have to come east, and although the rush may not extend over many weeks, it will be heavy while it lasts. This summer the bulk of the grain trade has been attended to by one or two companies.

Heavy Loss In Grain.

Within the past two weeks a local grain firm has lost nearly $50,000 on two grain deals. When corn was thirty-two cents they purchased 250,000 bushels and now that grain has fallen to twenty-nine and a quarter cents, with a tendency to drop still further. They also bought heavily in wheat before the market took a slump. Considerable quantities of the Leiter wheat are still stored in several houses in America. Much of the wheat stored in Mooers' elevator is Leiter stock. This grain is still in the hands of the banks, which corporations are very slow to make sales.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Dalhousie, Aug. 22nd - Down: tug Saugutack, Toledo to Ogdensburg, scows in tow; steamer Langdon, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; steamer Glengarry, Fort William to Kingston, wheat; barge Minnedosa, Fort William to Kingston, wheat.

Port Colborne, Aug. 22nd - Down: steamer Badger State, Toledo to Oswego, general cargo.

Marine Paragraphs.

Sloops Pilot and Minnie cleared for Bay of Quinte ports yesterday.

The tug James A. Walker arrived from Montreal today with four light barges.

The steamer Quebec from Montreal with a cargo of general merchandise arrived in port last evening.

The steamer Glengarry and consort Minnedosa with 90,000 bushels of wheat from Fort William arrived at the M.T. company's elevator today.

The tug Ira A. Smith, Chicago, while hanging lights on the Lake View crib, caught fire, and required the assistance of the life saving crew. The flames were extinguished after $200 damages had been done.

Sunday morning the schooner Alert, in tow of the steamer I. Watson Stephenson, bound from Menominee to Chicago with lumber, collided with the steamer and sank in Sturgeon Bay. The steamer was forced aground.

Today Capt. Donnelly, government steamboat inspector, left for Lake Temiscamingue and Lake Pakawagamingue to inspect and measure boats. From there he goes to Sudbury for the same purpose. His trip will cover ten days.

The United States revenue cutter Onondago will after all proceed to the Atlantic coast, although the government ordered her return to the lakes. R.L. Newman, foreman of the Globe iron works, Cleveland, has received instructions to cut her in two and take her to the coast. She will belong in the revenue service and not the navy.

The steamer International left Anglin's Bay for Prescott last evening. The steamer, damaged by fire last fall, arrived at Davis' drydock last June for extensive repairs, which kept several men busy for nearly two months, and cost over $6,000, a draft for the last $1,500 being paid yesterday. Mr. Howard, manager for the company owning the International, was in the city yesterday, and expressed extreme satisfaction with the work done by R. Davis & Sons.



The tussle between the steamers Columbian and St. Lawrence for Round Island wharf Saturday afternoon apparently did not end with the Columbian taking the dock. It is learned that the management of the Thousand Island steamboat company has reported the matter to the government. When the steamers were approaching Round Island the Columbian had the inside position, but was a few feet astern of her rival. Being the faster boat she overhauled the St. Lawrence and squeezed in ahead.

The managers of the St. Lawrence claim that the Columbia should have held back and allowed their boat to land first as she had a slight lead, and that the captain of the St. Lawrence answered a signal from the Columbian stating that he would not give way to the overhauling steamer. Capt. D. Mills, of the Columbian, on the other hand, claims that the captain of the St. Lawrence was the offender, and by his action his papers should be taken away from him. The steamer St. Lawrence left Clayton dock just ahead of the Columbian, which landed at a dock some feet astern of her. The former had to take a round turn and the Columbian steamed straight ahead. Both boats cut the water at full speed, and the Columbian soon overtook her. Capt. Mills says he blew one whistle, signifying that he would pass the St. Lawrence on her starboard side. She answered back with three whistles, which Capt. Mills interpreted as a signal to check speed. He tooted another whistle and the same answer came back. As he had the best position he did not feel obliged to check down until necessary. When he did the Columbian had a few feet lead, and then the St. Lawrence attempted to head him off and take the wharf. This forced the R. & O. boat against the wharf, without any injury.

The law respecting this matter is found in article twenty-four of the revised statutes governing navigation, and reads thus: "All vessels overtaking another vessel shall keep clear of the overtaken vessel."

General Paragraphs - The officers of the steamer New York declare that the Spartan did not outrace her the other day on the trip to Montreal, as detailed yesterday. The information came from a Kingston passenger on the New York.

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23 Aug 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), 23 Aug 1898