The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 2 Sep 1898

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Toronto, Sept. 2nd - This morning at 1:30 a.m. the Bertram shipyard at the foot of Bathhurst street was discovered to be on fire. The R. & O. passenger steamer, that slid so majestically into her element some two months ago, was in danger of being destroyed. Spontaneous combustion was the cause of the fire, and with the west dock in flames and dock No. 3 igniting, it was feared that the damage to machinery and building would be great. It took 1,200 feet of hose to reach the Toronto bay. The hydrants were not in use, the water being pumped from the bay. The lumber piles, stationed along the maze of railway tracks, caught and added to the glare.

Chief Graham, when he arrived, soon got the work of fighting the flames down to a system, and the fire was practically under control at two o'clock. The lumber was owned by James Terrant & Co., Albert Oakly and the Booke manufacturing company. The damage is estimated at $150,000. Had the building and the steamer Toronto gone up, the damage would have been half a million.

The railway companies shifted their standing cars from the scene, but the boats at the yards were considered in no danger. The fire will temporarily throw 120 men out of work. A sister ship to the steel barge Hilda, launched a few weeks ago, was burned. She was being built for the Prescott elevator company. The insurance was not carried by local companies, but by outside firms. Mr. Bertram says the insurance covers the damage to the amount of $75,000 to $100,000. The tug Petrel towed the Toronto out into the bay.



The sloop Minnie, light, reached port last night.

The sloop Rover cleared for Wolfe Island last evening with a cargo of lumber.

The schooner Fabiola arrived from Oswego last night with a cargo of coal.

The schooner Fleetwing reached Swift's wharf this morning with a cargo of coal.

The steamer Corsican, from Toronto, and steamer Bohemian, from Montreal touched in port today.

The sloop Laura D., with 2,100 bushels of peas from bay ports, unloaded at Richardsons' elevator this morning.

The tug Bronson, with four light barges, arrived from Montreal yesterday and returned with three barges, grain laden.

It is said that government inspectors will investigate the actions of the captains of the steamers St. Lawrence and Columbian in racing for priority at United States docks.

Calvin's tug Reginald succeeded in pulling off the steamer New York with little trouble yesterday. The New York arrived in port last night, and will remain here until her damaged wheel is repaired.

Personal Mention - The schooners John C. Bauer and S. Thal, Chicago, are in the hands of the United States marshal, to be sold for their bills.

p.6 Late Afternoon Events - The tug Edmund and barge Columbia arrived from Bedford Mills this afternoon with hard wood for the penitentiary.

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2 Sep 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), 2 Sep 1898