The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 19 Jun 1900

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The steamer Jessie Bain took the island route this afternoon.

The schooner Burton, from Oswego, is unloading coal at Booths.

The tug Bronson arrived from Montreal with two light barges.

The schooner Acacia arrived from Oswego with coal for Crawford.

The steambarge King Ben cleared for Deseronto to load ties for Oswego.

The steamer Pierrepont went to Gananoque this morning to take the 8th field battery to Deseronto.

The dredge Nipissing broke one of its anchors yesterday afternoon, and had to stop work for repairs.

The tug Nellie Reid and grain-laden barge cleared to-day from Richardsons' elevator for Montreal.

The sloop Volunteer has been purchased by Capt. Barney Black from Richard Arnott, Belleville.

The steamer New York took her first excursion of the season from Ogdensburg and Brockville among the Thousand Islands.

Arrivals at Swift's wharf: Steamers Caspian and Hamilton, from Toronto; Corsican from Montreal; schooners Fisher and Fabiola, from Charlotte, with coal.

The S.S. Rosemount and consorts, from Fort William, with 165,000 bushels of wheat, arrived at the M.T. company elevator this morning. The steamer Glengarry and consort, from Fort William, will also arrive tonight.


Another of Kingston's old and esteemed residents, Capt. William McKee, University avenue, passed, shortly after six o'clock yesterday to that bourne whence no traveller returns. He was an octogenarian, having only on May 27th last, celebrated the eightieth anniversary of his birthday. He was born in county Armagh, Ireland. In 1852 he came to Kingston, where he had ever since made his home. All his long and useful life he devoted to the calling of the sailor, for which he had a special liking and a special adaptation. He purchased many vessels, navigating them for a time and then disposing of them. He captained the schooners Richardson, Singapore, Falconer, and many others well known on the lakes and the St. Lawrence. He traded at all points between Lake Superior and Kingston. Several of his vessels were wrecked, but no fatalities ever happened to any of his crew. The schooner Richardson was lost near Oswego, 15 or 16 years ago, but no lives were lost. Five or six years later he gave up sailing, and from then led a quiet retired life.

His wife preceded him to the other shore by about seven years. Two sons and two daughters survive. They are: Joseph and Andrew at home; Mrs. Daniel Doran, Toronto, and Mrs. A.J. Johnston, University avenue.

The deceased gentleman was a member of Cooke's Presbyterian church, and a life-long conservative. The funeral will take place tomorrow at 2:30 o'clock, to Cataraqui cemetery. Rev. Alexander Laird will conduct the funeral services.

Incidents of the Day - The work of sinking cribs for the foundation of the new government breakwater at Cape Vincent was begun Friday.



Steamer Rideau Queen Exceeds Expectations.

Smith's Falls, Ont., June 18th - The new steamer Rideau Queen reached port this morning after a charming run through the beautiful lakes that abound on the Rideau route. The craft proved to be fully up to expectations. She ran smoothly; her machinery showing a greater degree of perfection than one would expect for such new equipment. Good time will undoubtedly be a feature hereafter. The Queen is a perfect little floating palace, and at night, when lit up, made a glow hitherto unknown on these waters. The company possess a craft as finely appointed as any on the lakes; her cabins are cosy and complete, her tables finely garnished with cutlery, ? and linen, while the cuisine is up to the queen's taste.

All along the route the sound of her whistle attracted attention, and at Seeley's Bay, Jones' Falls, Chaffey's Locks, Newboro, Westport, Portland and Oliver's Ferry, delegations swarmed about the wharves and were delighted with the first look at the new boat. The people were privileged to inspect the Queen and they minutely did so. All went ashore expressing pleasure and gratification that the Rideau route possessed such a gem of a boat, and wishing the company all the success it merited for giving such a good service.

The prophesies of many as to possible defects in the steamer were doomed to disappear, the last fading away as the boat sped under the stationary bridge at Newboro. The smoke stack had ten inches to spare at the road bridge and seventeen inches at the railway bridge. Matthew Davis, the designer, was on board, and he was a pleased man. He found that nothing was wanting to meet all the requirements for speed, vibration and quick handling. Mr. Davis, from his minute knowledge of the route, having sailed over it for several years, designed the craft as he conceived was needed and his judgement and accuracy has been unerring. Carpenters and painters, joiners and upholsterers were on board putting on the finishing touches, but their work did not interfere with the comfort or pleasure of the passengers. Manager Noonan was courteous and obliging, and the warm handshakes received at every port showed that he was a favorite among the residents. Capt. DePencier was skilful in pilotage, and many a sharp corner was rounded with the freedom that comes from good seamanship. The whole staff on the boat were most obliging and anxious for the comforts of their guests. The party enjoying the first trip were: Mrs. C.F. Gildersleeve, and party of three; Dr. R.E. and Mrs. Sparks, Miss Dunlop, Mr. and Mrs. B.E. Sills, A.J. Macdonell, J.G. Elliot and wife, M. Davis, Kingston; Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Leavitt, Mr. and Mrs. W.G. Parish, Athens; Mrs. A.W. Brown; Miss Dargavel, Elgin; W.C. Fredenburgh and wife, Westport; Mrs. D. Noonan and children, Chaffey's Locks.

Raddatz's Submarine Boat - Milwaukee, June 19th - The Raddatz, the sub-marine boat, made a short but successful trip yesterday under the surface of Milwaukee bay. A steam launch accompanied the boat, and was prepared to follow as nearly as possible the course of the submarine craft and to render any assistance required. The boat was only eighteen inches below the surface, but Mr. Raddatz said it would work as well fifty feet below. The boat is expected to be especially valuable in wrecking work.


Opening of the Rideau Canal - A Huge Cannon Burst.

In giving a short historic sketch of incidents happening seventy years ago, the Brockville Recorder includes this incident:

"May 31st, 1832 - The arrival of the first steamboat at Smith's Falls, Rideau canal, was announced at six o'clock, on Friday morning, 25th inst., by the discharge of a cannon. The boat was on the way down from Kingston with Col. By and suite on board. On her arrival at the first lock, about one-fourth of a mile above the village, a gun was discharged from the boat, which was returned by a salute from a long eighteen pounder belonging to Mr. Simpson, on the promontory north of the river in front of J.B. Westgate's inn. The boat passed the locks in safety, and in a few minutes her arrival was announced at the three locks, immediately in the village by another discharge from the gun on board, which was instantly returned by the inhabitants with the eighteen pounder. The piece was then reloaded the third time with about ten pounds of powder and damped with wet sods. On the steamboat's leaving the last lock for Sly's rapids, the match was again applied to the big gun; when lo ! a sudden cloud of dirt, dust, smoke and flying metal, told that the cannon was burst. The muzzle of the gun had been elevated upon timbers about two and a half feet, the breech resting upon the ground. About four feet of the muzzle was left whole. Twelve pieces of the remainder were found in different directions from the spot where it laid to the distance of twenty-six rods. Several pieces of 100 pounds and upwards were found ten to twenty rods distant - one man stood within eight feet, and several within a distance of thirty feet, but incredible as it may appear, not a man or a house was injured; all escaped unhurt."

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19 Jun 1900
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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), 19 Jun 1900