The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 11 Jul 1906

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New Steamer Iroquois Called Here.

Around five o'clock yesterday, Swift's wharf was the scene of rather unusual marine activity. On one side lay the steamer Toronto, on the end the steamer North King taking on and letting off passengers, and on the other side the steamer Rideau King, discharging her freight, when blew the whistle of a boat, unfamiliar in the waters of Kingston, the palatial new steamer Iroquois, of the Niagara and St. Lawrence Navigation company. The monster three deck possessor of the fair Queen City's name, backed out, allowing the Iroquois to dock. This new craft excited quite a bit of curiousity, mingled with praise from the many on the wharf as she glided easily into her berth. She is very similarly constructed to the steamer Turbinia, steel hull, double deck and two smoke stacks. She, however, has more cabin room, fitted out in a thoroughly up-to-date manner, with every thought paid in detail to the convenience of the tourist. She makes eighteen to twenty miles an hour.

The Iroquois made Kingston port of call yesterday, principally to take on board Inspector Davis, and he went down the river to make his Canadian inspection.

The Iroquois will now be on her regular route from Lewiston, down the lake to Oswego, across the lake to Kingston, and down to the Thousand Islands, east bound on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and west bound on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The minister of marine has granted this fine boat special permission to make the old limestone city a port of call. It will, undoubtedly, be a good thing for Kingston, as now many "from the other side," particularly Oswego, have a direct route of reaching this city. James Swift & Co. have the local agency, and Joseph Nash, an energetic young Kingstonian, is general passenger agent at Clayton, N.Y. for all the river points.

It is understood the Iroquois is to make a special trip down the river on Sunday, leaving here at noon and taking as guests of the company, the Kingston Board of Trade.

Deck Hands Scarce.

Just at present, with business in steamboat circles booming captains on the majority of the river-plying boats are experiencing their usual summer difficulty in getting deck-hands.

"Can you pick us up a couple of deck-hands?" is frequently the call of the boat's officer on landing in port, and one sees two or three men in their working clothes, their bundle of belongings under their arm, step from the gang-way to the wharf and off. Some dissatisfaction, and they refuse to continue their sailing. And not infrequently there are a few fellows hanging around the wharf willing to fill the vacancies. Down in Montreal they go by the name "wharfrats," and are more often than not, aptly termed. Here and along most river ports the men who go decking are of a little better type than in the Quebec metropolis.

That wages are too small for the work to be done, is the plea of the deck men. The usual wage, locally, is from $18 to $22 a month, and principally the lower figure. The men are fed and bunked (much as it usually is).

"Not only is the wage the stickler with these men," declared a certain captain, today, "they are human, though many are treated far from so. I find no trouble in keeping my men, for though they are of a necessity hard worked, they are properly fed and given clean berths, and, by the way, it perhaps would not be a bad idea, if it was within their jurisdiction, if the board of health would visit the forecastle of some of our steamers, which make Kingston a port of call."

Really good men are hard to find for decking, and when "found" soon work up to baggagemen and wheelmen.

Marine Notes.

Steamer Rideau King left for Ottawa this morning.

Steamer Iroquois passed up at nine o'clock this morning.

Crawford's: schooner Clara Youell cleared for Oswego today.

Capt. McCuiggan, of Buffalo, is the captain of the new steamer Iroquois.

Craig's wharf: propellor Persia, from St. Catharines to Montreal, down today.

Schooner Tradewind, from Gananoque, passed up last night, for Oswego, for coal.

Propellor Business, from Lake Michigan, was in port this morning, taking on Capt. Macdonald as river pilot. She proceeded east.

Sloops Granger and Laura D., with hay from Wolfe Island, unloading at the G.T.R. wharf today.

A new windlass was made at the government dry dock and shipped on the schooner Clara Youell today.

S.S. Westmount, grain-laden from Fort William, passd down to Prescott last night. She left her consort here.

Steamer Arundell left the dry dock last night, and proceeded direct to Charlotte to go on her regular run today.

Steamers North King and Kingston went down the river today, each with a goodly number of passengers aboard.

M.T. Co.: barge Hamilton with 75,000 bushels of wheat from Fort William; steamer Westmount from Fort William to Prescott; barge Melrose with 50,000 bushels of wheat from Fort William; tug Thomson cleared for Montreal with three grain and one coal barges.

Supply Boat's Work.

The government supply boat Scout, in port the past two days, left this morning, proceeding, proceeding to Prescott. Capt. Sughrue came up this way to attend to the buoy at Four Mile Point, which had become displaced. He has replaced the buoy at the foot of Wolfe Island, which recently was dragged to near Clayton, N.Y. The Scout will remain at Prescott a couple of days before proceeding to Montreal. She will then be engaged in painting some of the buoys down the St. Lawrence.

p.8 Incidents of the Day - Sloop Granger cleared this afternoon for foot of Wolfe Island.

The steamer Strathmore is at Richardsons' elevator from Fort William.

The steamer Wolfe Islander was busy today, bringing over pressed hay from the island for shipment.

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11 Jul 1906
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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), 11 Jul 1906