The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Sep 1898

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p.1 The steamer Minneapolis, of the Soo line, ran ashore on the middle ground in Point Pelee passage Thursday morning, but will be released after lightering. Her cargo consists of 600 tons of steel rails and 1,500 tons of hard coal.

The Hiram Easton Sunk.

Ottawa, Sept. 24th - The tug boat Hiram Easton, belonging to Simon Easton, Merrickville, is disabled and is resting on the bottom of the Rideau canal. Thursday she arrived up the Ottawa with a barge in tow loaded with cordwood for Kingston. Next morning the crew found the hull full of water. Luckily the water is not deep, and the tug settled on the bottom without being entirely submerged. None on board know how the accident occurred but are of the opinion that a passing steamer struck her.



A Few of the Very Old Boats Still In Service.

Some of the steamers which ply the waters of the river and lake have an interesting history, associated in many cases with Kingston. There are a few of the boats, the age of which leads on to half a century, and yet are fit for the gales of today. With the history of these craft the names of many city captains and builders figure, an evidence that the limestone city has and still contributes its share to the army of mariners. Among the oldest steamers will be found the western line boats of the Richelieu & Ontario navigation company. The Hamilton, formerly the Magnet, was built at Niagara in 1847, making her iron hull fifty-one years old. Her upper works were overhauled in 1895. The Passport, built in Kingston by McCausland, came out the same year as the Magnet. She has an iron bottom sheathed with elm, and is valued at $28,000. This year her name was changed to Caspian. At one time there was not a steamer on the river that could touch the Passport for speed. Of this line of steamers the Kingston was the next built. She was launched at Montreal in 1855, and was a very speedy boat. Apparently under the name of Kingston she sailed in hard luck. She was burned at Chippewa point, on the river, was rebuilt and came out as the Bavarian, under the command of Capt. Carmichael. In 1878 she was again burned at Whitby-on-the-Lake, when the captain and some of the passengers were lost. Two of the sailors took possession of the last life boat and as cowards rowed away from the doomed boat leaving two lady passengers and the captain to choose between death by fire or by drowning. The steamer was burned to the water's edge. She was rebuilt again, Capt. Powers, marine architect, building a large portion of her upper works, and she came out as the Algerian, having had a successful career since. She is now sailed by Capt. Dunlop, and is valued at $26,000. Another old R. & O. boat is the steamer Richelieu, which was launched at Montreal in 1844, fifty-four years ago. She was formerly called the Belmont, and is now running a special ferry route between Kingston and Cape Vincent. She has an iron hull, classed B-1, and is valued at $9,000.

The Corsican was built in 1870 at Montreal with a composite hull. She is classed A 2 1/2, and is valued at $41,000. In 1891 she received new boilers, which were compounded in 1892. The Spartan, built in 1864 at Montreal, is now valued at $40,000. She has had an eventful career, her hull having kissed the rocks many times, but she is a staunch craft and is yet able for the storms of many seasons to come. It is possible that she with her sister boats on the lake service, will be transferred to the river next year to give place to larger boats on the lake. The Bohemian was launched at Montreal in 1873, classed ( ) and is valued at $30,000.

Calvin's wrecking tug Chiefain appeared in 1873. She was built at Garden Island, and was extensively repaired in 1889. The steamer Armenia was also built in 1873, receiving repairs in 1883 and 1886. The propeller Cuba, sailing from Hamilton to Montreal, was built in Kingston in 1875 by Capt. Powers for Patterson & Proctor, of Hamilton. She was lengthened in 1884. The steamer Ella Ross, first called the Gypsy, was built in Montreal in 1876. She was brought here from Lower Canada by James Swift and placed on the Rideau canal. She was overhauled by Capt. Powers and later passed into the hands of the Rathbun company for service on the Bay of Quinte.

Among some of the old schooners are the Hyderabad and Bangalore built at Powers' shipyard in 1876 and 1877, the former being twelve feet shorter than her sister boat. The Hyderabad was a swift sailor, once making the journey from Chicago to Kingston under favorable winds in four days.

Both schooners were dismantled in 1892, and converted into stone barges. The schooner Bavaria, built at Garden Island in 1878, was dismantled about seven years ago. Some ten years ago she capsized on Lake Ontario in a storm and drowned her whole crew, which was composed of Garden Islanders. The schooner Annie Falconer was built in 1867 by William Thurston for Capt. Taylor. About fourteen years ago she sank in the Welland canal with a cargo of coal, while in command of Capt. John Taylor. She is still sailing. The Annie Minnes, yet a staunch vessel, was built at Portsmouth in 1867. She is classed B1, and valued at $2,800.


The tug Active left last night with five grain-laden barges for Montreal.

The steamer James Swift, from Ottawa, touched at Swift & Co.'s wharf today.

The schooner Two Brothers, Capt. M. Patterson, cleared for Oswego today to load coal.

The M.T. company's barge Wheatbin left Davis' dry dock yesterday after receiving general repairs.

The sloop Laura D., with 2,500 bushels of rye from South Bay, was discharged at Richardsons' elevator this morning.

The steamer Sequin, Chicago to Kingston, wheat; steamer D.D. Calvin, Toledo to Kingston, timber, are in the canal.

The tug Maggie May, engaged in the local grain trade, broke the shaft of her wheel yesterday. The break is being repaired.

The S.S. Bannockburn and consorts from Lake Superior, are expected in port tomorrow. The two reached the Welland canal last night.

The steamer Alexandria, Montreal to Brighton, touched at Craig & Co.'s wharf this morning. She was delayed on the river owing to fog.

E.P. Wilbur's yacht Sport touched here this morning on her way down the Rideau river with a shooting party on board. J. Ryan piloted the yacht down.

The steamer Spartan, Toronto to Prescott, was three hours late in arriving in port this morning, owing to the storm. She had a lively time running down the lake but escaped considerable of the fury of the blow by coming through the canal and down the Bay of Quinte.

The contemplated daily service between Cleveland, Ohio and the Thousand Islands by the Northern transit company, will not affect Kingston. The boats will only touch at Toronto. The terminus will be at Ogdensburg. Connection will be made at Alexandria Bay for Montreal.

p.4 Taken To Supreme Court - The case of J.C. Kaine, Quebec, vs. Collins Bay rafting company, is entered for appeal in the supreme court for October 4th. This case was appealed from the court of appeal at Quebec by the Collins Bay company, and in the argument they will be represented by Hon. Mr. Fitzpatrick, solicitor general, and Dr. R.T. Walkem, Q.C.

p.6 Late Afternoon Events - The steamer Hamilton, aground on a mud bank in Coteau lake, is resting easy, but is hard on.

The steamer Colorado, stranded on Eagle river reef, is a total wreck.

There is a strong belief that several of the large vessels on the upper lakes will move to the Atlantic coast next year to trade to Cuba and Puerto Rico, as well as along the coast. It is understood that J.C. Gilchrist, American vessel owner, has arranged for the charter of ten of his vessels to a New York company for three years, the company having the option of buying any of the vessels during the period of the charter.

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24 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.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Sep 1898