The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 31 Oct 1898

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Handled Ten Million Bushels.

Alderman James Stewart, manager of the K. & M. forwarding company at Coteau, was in the city today. He says the company has handled ten million bushels of grain at that point this season, and will conclude the season's work in three weeks. The company's barges will be laid up for the winter at Portsmouth.

Break In Welland Locks.

Port Dalhousie, Oct. 30th - This afternoon the steamer George Spencer, of Fairport, ran in lock eight and carried away 3 gates. There will be no locking here until the break is repaired. The following boats are bound up this side of the break: schooner Pennington, steamer Erin and barge; steamer Ralph and barge.


Selkirk and Melrose Adrift on Lake Huron.

The schooner Eliza White cleared for lake ports to load grain today.

The tug Thomson left for Oswego today with two barges to load coal.

The schooner Cornelia, from Oswego, is discharging coal at Crawford's wharf.

The tug D.G. Thomson reached port last evening with four light barges from Montreal.

The steamer King Ben arrived from Montreal this morning with a cargo of general merchandise.

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

The schooner Fleetwing, from Oswego, is unloading coal at the penitentiary wharf, the balance of the contract supply.

Capt. Powers docked the steamer Ocean in the government dry dock on Saturday to receive a new wheel. She cleared for Hamilton yesterday.

The steamer North King made her last Sunday trip to the city yesterday. A small number took in the harvest home excursion to Rochester.

The S.S. Rosemount and S.S. Bannockburn were discharged at the M.T. company's elevator and cleared for Fort William, light, last night.

The Kildonan Released.

Work on the stranded barges Kildonan and Hector on Wellington beach is progressing very satisfactorily, the former having been safely floated and will reach this port this evening. A telegram to the local office of the M.T. company announced that she had passed through the Murray canal. The tug Active and lighterer reached the Kildonan first on Friday, when the steam pumps were set in motion, and about 200 tons of coal transferred to the schooner Grantham. When the rising sea forced the wreckers to quit work at four o'clock on Saturday morning, the Kildonan had been raised two and one half feet and placed on even keel. The tug took the Grantham into Brighton bay, from where she was towed down to Kingston by the steamer Pierrepont, which took the schooner Two Brothers up Saturday night. The Grantham reached here at two o'clock this morning and was discharged of her cargo of coal today. The Two Brothers received her full complement of coal yesterday, which raised the Kildonan sufficiently to allow the tugs Active and Bronson to pull her off the sandy beach. She is leaking very little, the pumps reducing the water in her hold seven feet in one hour. The pumps have been placed on the Hector, but greater difficulty will be met with in releasing her, as she is high and dry on a rocky shore.

A Very Rough Experience.

The S.S. Rosemount arrived in port Saturday evening with her consorts Melrose and Selkirk, which, on their way down from Fort William, experienced the roughest trip they have endured since they were launched. The heavy gales which swept the upper lakes during the week before last caught them on their way down, the roughtest seas being met with on Lake Huron. When about twelve miles below Thunder Bay island both consorts broke away from the steamer, which was unable to turn about to pick them up. The parting occurred about eight o'clock in the morning and until ten o'clock the same night the Selkirk, with disabled steering gear, was tossed helplessly about on the merciless seas. The south-east wind raised a sea, the size of which is never thought of on Lake Ontario, and was "just as heavy as was wanted." One of the crew in describing the sea said: "It was the worst tempest I was ever in. The seas were enormous and broke over us in sweeping quantities making it impossible for us to go forward. When we ascended a wave our bow seemed to be directly over our heads, and when descending the boat almost stood perpendicularly on her bow. The boats being about 180 feet long a faint conception can be had of the height of the seas." With the mainsail set to keep her head to wind as much as possible, the Selkirk drifted and rolled around until she reached the shore near Thunder Bay island, where the anchors were dropped. The strain of the tossing opened up some of her seams, and a considerable quantity of water had reached her hold. The pumps were kept going to keep her afloat until two tugs came out and took her into Alpena.

The Melrose had a harder experience, drifting about under the mizzen sail, until three o'clock the following afternoon. Her steering gear had become disabled and the crew were unable to do anything to better their condition. When two steamers picked her up the following afternoon, the Melrose had three feet of water in her hold, and at Capt. Fleming's request she was placed under the lee of Middle Island, and the pumps were kept going. When the Selkirk was repaired, the Rosemount picked up the Melrose and continued the journey down. The Rosemount was not free from danger in the heavy sea. Every time her stern would lift on the seas her propellors would rise out of the water and cleave the air with frantic rapidity. Chief Engineer J. Evans and assistant engineer Napper were constantly on watch for eighteen hours, with their hands continually on the throttles, checking steam when the wheels left the water. Much of the cargoes of wheat in the Melrose and Selkirk has been damaged by water.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Colborne, Oct. 30th - down - steamer Rosedale, Duluth to Kingston, wheat; steamer Haskell, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo.

Locking through the Welland canal all day commenced Sunday and will remain so until the close of navigation.

The St. Lawrence Canal.

Ottawa, Oct. 31st - The contractors for the deepening of the St. Lawrence canals will work as late into the season as the weather will permit, and in the case of rock work no stop will be made until it is fully completed. This measure of activity is necessary to ensure the completion of the several works for the next season of navigation. The deepening of Lachine canal from thirteen to fifteen feet is now is now nearing completion and will be fully finished by the first of May next.

p.6 Late Afternoon Events - The schooner White Oak and propeller St. Joseph while going into Toronto this morning through the western gap struck bottom and were delayed for several hours. Captains assert that the channel should be deepened so that vessels with heavy cargoes can get through.

The sloop Maggie L. arrived from Trenton at eleven o'clock this morning with wheat for Richardson's elevator. An hour later she was ready to leave for bay ports to load barley for Prescott.

The steamer Richelieu is cleaning her boilers today, but will resume her regular Cape route tomorrow.

General Paragraphs - The schooner St. Peter lies in more than twenty fathoms of water.

The steambarge Water Lily, owned by Hepburn of Picton, lost her wheel in the Cornwall canal near Farran's Point on Friday night.

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31 Oct 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), 31 Oct 1898