The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 28 Jul 1903

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p.5 A Tragic Death - Robert J. Coleman, fireman, working with assistant engineer Hartrick, tightening nuts on low pressure cylinder of steamer America, wrench slipped and his head struck the fly wheel of the dynamo.



Against Dry Dock Being Occupied By Tug.

Kingston, July 25th - To The Editor:

In the Whig of the 24th a letter calls attention to the fact that the government dry dock here has been occupied by a small government tug, the Delisle, with the result that the Calvin company's large vessel, the Ceylon, was obliged to go to Detroit for repairs. The letter adds: "It was ever thus with Kingston. It has been this spirit which has kept the city as backward as it is." The following letters and telegrams will show that the small tug was not allowed to enter the dock without a strong protest, and that the department of public works, while at first inclined to ignore the claims of vessel owners altogether, finally expressed an intention to assist them, which if carried out, would have rendered the Ceylon's long journey to a dock in the United States unnecessary.

Yours truly,


Telegram to Hon. James Sutherland, minister of public works, Ottawa.

Kingston, July 2nd - Understand government tug Delisle to be docked Kingston graving dock tomorrow for repairs, probably lasting three weeks. On behalf of the Dominion Marine Association would respectfully, but strongly object as dock should be available in case accident happen to any of the many large vessels trading here this year. Delisle could use smaller dry dock or marine railway here.

FRANCIS KING, Secretary Treasurer,

Dominion Marine Association.

Ottawa, July 3rd - To Francis King, secretary treasurer Dominion Marine Association, Kingston: If company willing to pay cost of docking Delisle elsewhere there can be no objections. If not the department must use its own dock for its own vessels.

A. GOBIEL, Deputy Minister.

Kingston, July 3rd - To the deputy minister of public works, Ottawa: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram replying to mine of yesterday and I note the department must use its own dock for its own vessel unless this association is willing to pay the cost of docking the Delisle elsewhere. As this association is not prepared to pay the cost of docking a government tug I regret that it will be necessary for us to allow your original intentions to be carried out and to run the risk of accident to any of the large vessels now running in and out of this port.

FRANCIS KING, Secretary Treasurer.

Ottawa, July 6th - In reference to your letter of the 3rd July anent the graving dock at Kingston, I beg to state that as a proof of our desire to do all that was possible to accommodate the merchant marine on the upper lakes, this department, having been informed that a vessel which has received some damage will likely seek the Kingston dock within the next few days, we have instructed our officers not to strip the tug Delisle in order to make way for any merchant boat which may require repairs. You will admit, therefore, that there is a great difference between the fact of leaving a dock empty upon the chance of some accident occurring to some merchant vessel, and the other fact of gracefully making way for another vessel when the dock is required for one of our own. In the latter case we desire to show the public that we are alive to their interest and upon a choice between our boats and their own, we are disposed to give them the preference.

Yours very truly,

A. GOBIEL, deputy minister.

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28 Jul 1903
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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), 28 Jul 1903