The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 26 Mar 1904

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Vessel Men Getting Their Craft Ready

With the coming of the spring air and birds, there has been hustle in marine circles. Owners of sailing vessels wintering here have begun active preparations for the opening of navigation. On the Kingston front, since December, there have been lying forty-nine registered vessels, which comprise twenty steamers, four tugs and twenty-five schooners and barges. There is besides a number of small unregistered craft.

In a trip from Davis' dry dock on the east to Portsmouth on the west, the extent of the marine activity is seen. Davis' shipyard is busy with several good-sized steamyachts. In Anglin's Bay is the steamer Valeria which will be moved into the dock for an overhauling of the hull. Slight repairs are being made to the steamer Islander, which requires very little in that way, as it was rebuilt two years ago.

In the bay is the sunken little steamer Belle Ritchie, which Capt. Roys has almost raised. This vessel sank last spring and has been lying there ever since. She will likely be put into serviceable condition.

The steamers Rideau Queen and Rideau King are also in that section. The latter is to be docked for an overhauling of the hull and to receive new bulwarks.

The usual amount of repairing to the M.T. company's vessels has taken place, men being engaged throughout the winter on them. The barges Bella, Minnedosa and Jennie have been partly rebuilt.

At Crawford's wharf the schooner Tradewind is receiving repairs to her stern. Capt. Simmonds is busy at the schooner Acacia, and the government dredges are being got ready for another season's work around here. Repairs are also being made to the schooner Collier which last fall carried away its jib and bowsprit.

At Richardson's wharf the steambarge King Ben and the schooner Menzies (sic - Metzner ?) are receiving an overhauling. Other small vessels of the "Mosquito fleet" are also being put into trim for their run up the bay when the way is clear.

At the ferry wharf the steamer Pierrepont, that old reliable "gunboat," is emerging from a season of extensive repairs. She received new guards, wheel beams, bulwarks and some new decking. The steamer New Island Wanderer is receiving new deck frames and being otherwise overhauled.

The steamer North King, at the Clarence street wharf, has been extensively repaired. She has new deck frames and much new joiner work. The steamer Caspian at Swift's wharf will require little as she was overhauled last year.

The "tied-up" steamer Glengarry still lies at Craig's wharf unrepaired for lake traffic. Capt. Oliver's schooner has received quite a rebuilding.

In the government dry-dock, the big steamer Chicora, of Toronto, has been reposing all winter. On it fully $10,000 worth of repairs have been done, and the work is not yet complete.

The steamer Aletha has been on the Kingston foundry marine railway all winter. She has received a new piece of keel and has been caulked. Steel arches, and a ladies' cabin have been added to this little bay steamer.

At the shipyard in Portsmouth the "Clergue Industry of Hatter's Bay," the usual repairs are being made to the barges of the K. & M. Forwarding company.

The little schooner Pilot, owned by Capt. Mahoney, which was blown ashore a few miles down the river last October, during one of those heavy gales, is ready to be floated. It could not be released until the ice came as a means.

p.6 A Word For C.F. - C.F. Gildersleeve, the retiring general manager of the Richelieu & Ontario Navigation company belongs to the 6th generation of his family engaged in shipping. His father went to Kingston in 1816 to assist in building the Frontenac, the first steamboat launched on Lake Ontario. Mr. Gildersleeve was born there in October 1833, and studied for the bar, to which he was called in 1859, but after a few years he gave it up to take charge of the family business. For thirty years he was engaged in the steamboat business in his native city, building and owning a great number of vessels, many, if not all of which are still in active service. In 1894 he came to Montreal to assume his present position. [Montreal Herald]

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26 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.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 26 Mar 1904