The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 1 Mar 1904

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p.2 The Royal Commission - on transportation to sit here and take evidence of mariners.

March 2, 1904



Writes Interestingly Of The John Counter.

Kingston, March 1st - To The Editor

The steamer John Counter that Capt. John Breden and "Mariner" write about, was built at the Kingston shipyard, now government drydock. She was a large, light-draught side-wheel steamer, about the length of the steamer Caspian. Her paddle wheels were very large; a person could walk under the shafts, they were so high above the main deck. She was built by a company expressly to run between Kingston and Cape Vincent through the then new Wolfe Island canal, or ditch, as some called it. She was named after the late ex-mayor John Counter, who had a great deal to do in getting the canal dug, but I think he also held stock in the steamer. She proved a failure as to going through the canal; her wheels were so large that she would lower the water around her so much in the narrow cut, that she would get unmanageable. Then again the so-called "bogs" would get into her wheels by the current she would make, and choke them up. The steamer Star ran opposition to her, she was a side-wheeler about the size of the St. Lawrence. It was amusing to see them racing past Garden Island to get first to enter the canal, as they could not pass one another until they got through. They were both very fast boats. Finally the Counter was taken off the route. Some time afterwards she was taken to Montreal or Sorel. I think her machinery was taken out and put into a new freight boat, called the Monarch, and sometime afterwards another engine was put in the Counter. I think A. Milne could tell what became of her. The Calvin company never had anything to do with her, and she never found a resting place south of Garden Island as "Mariner" stated in last night's Whig. As to the Monarch I remember her well. When she was coming up through the canals from Montreal, the Kingston sheriff had instructions to seize her on arrival. The sheriff telegraphed to some one at the Cardinal canal to find out when she would arrive at Kingston. At the same time her agent at Kingston had telegraphed to her captain not to land at Kingston - to stop at Garden Island, and put her Kingston freight out there, then proceed to Toronto. She arrived at the island after dark, put her freight out, and shortly afterwards left for Toronto. On her way up a heavy north-east gale with snow came on, she ran ashore on Toronto point near the eastern gap, and became a total wreck. This happened late in the season; she was a new boat.


Mr. Nash's Recollections - more names of old steamers mentioned by G.R. Nash.

Personal Mention - Capt. Robert Fraser, appointed marine superintendent of the M.T. Company, will remove from Montreal to Kingston.

Captain Lefevre, of the Calvin company's steamer Parthia, died at his home at Coteau on Friday. He was the father of David Lefevre, Garden Island, and Frederick Lefevre, engineer of the str. Donnelly, who with their wifes attended the funeral.

p.5 Incidents Of The Day - Twenty-nine years ago, on March 28th, a party of six drove from Point Traverse to the Main Ducks, fifteen miles on Lake Ontario, to fill an ice-house. They found the crew of the stranded Star, lightering the vessel to have her ready when navigation opened. The return was made on April 3rd, round by Pigeon Island, quite safely.

p.8 Will Be Late - the steamer Pierrepont's first trip will be later than last year.

March 3, 1904

p.2 Another Old Steamer - the Dawn mentioned.

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1 Mar 1904
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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), 1 Mar 1904