The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Aug 1906

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p.1 Veteran Navigator Dead - Alexandria Bay, N.Y., Aug. 6th - John A. Davis, one of the oldest steamboat captains on the river, died at his home on Sunday of typhoid fever. He had been ill about four weeks. Besides his wife there survives three grandchildren. He was fifty-nine years of age. For the past nine years Capt. Davis has been known as the owner and the captain of the H.P. Bigelow. For the twenty years previous to that he served on the boats owned by H.H. Warner, of Rochester, who, until a few years ago, was the owner of a magnificent summer home near here. Capt. Davis was universally liked among the sailors of the river.



Wherenow Crossed Bow Of America.

Saturday afternoon the steamer America went among the islands from Kingston, with one of the banner crowds of the season on board. The passengers were treated to quite an interesting and lively trip. Just as the America was leaving Thousand Island Park, the yacht Wherenow attempted to cross her bows, and a collision seemed inevitable. Fortunately the Folger boat had little headway on, and Capt. Allen instantly signalled the engine room. The America came to a full stop, and the smaller boat did so a moment later. Seeing what was about to happen, passengers on the forward deck of the America and of the Wherenow jumped to their feet and women were in a slight panic. The two boats came together, the America's bow striking the Wherenow, about midships, but the force was so light that no damage resulted.

However, the crew of the Wherenow did some lively hustling to save their life-boats and davits from being carried away. The practice of smaller boats crossing deliberately in front of the larger steamers is becoming altogether too prevalent along the river, and a serious disaster will yet result.

On the return trip just after Alexandria Bay had been left, the America encountered the steamer Picton of the R. & O. line. As their courses ran side by side for about a mile, an interesting brush ensued with the two boats, but a few yards apart. At first the steamer America forged ahead. Then the green hull crept to the front as the Picton put on a temporary spurt. But the representative of the White Squadron had no trouble in leaving her rival in the rear, when this little burst of speed was expended, and by the time the courses of the boats began to diverge, the staunch old America was showing the mail boat a clean pair of heels.

As for the ramble itself everyone on board enjoyed it immensely. Numerous visitors from distant points in the United States were among the passengers, and they all declared they had never seen anything near equaling the magnificent Canadian scenery through which Captain Allen piloted them. The other officials of the boat sustained their reputation as painstaking and courteous officers. Purser Hunter carried his happy countenance about unclouded midst hailstorm of enquiries and worries which come his way in the course of a day's work. The dining room staff, under Steward Sparham looked well after their patrons and this branch of the steamboat service is every day becoming more popular with the travelling public. The steamer arrived home again about a quarter past nine o'clock in the evening with as satisfied and happy an excursion party as ever left the city.

Tin Can Cargo.

The schooner Annie Minnes, partially wrecked in one of last fall's storms and which has since been "dismantled" and converted into a tow barge, owned by Hepburn Bros., Picton, is in the harbor loading cans for the South Bay canning factory. This has been commented upon as an unusual shipment, but really is not, it being a frequent sight in Picton to see a cargo of tin cans arrive in the port for the several factories of the district. South Bay factory is the only one in Prince Edward county not yet equipped to make her own cans and has to import them to "do up" her goods. The Minnes, it is expected, will be towed out tomorrow.

To Raise Old Dredge.

The dredge J. Israel Tarte, which sank near Port Hope about two years ago, is to be raised and put into service by the Polson Iron Works, limited. The discovery of the whereabouts of the J. Israel Tarte was made in a rather peculiar manner. A Port Hope coal

dealer sailing along in his schooner a few miles out from the shore, while there was a big swell on the lake, felt the keel of his boat strike something. He marked the spot, and prepared for exploration when the lake was calmer. He dragged the water, and found the J. Israel Tarte sitting tight, keel down, at the bottom of the lake.

Marine Notes.

Steamer Aletha made the Picton trip today.

Crawford's: schooner Suffel cleared for Charlotte.

Richardsons': tug Reid and barges from Montreal.

Schooner Charlie Marshall is at the penitentiary wharf with coal from Oswego.

Craig's wharf: steamer Persia passed up yesterday.

The tug Frontenac loaded withes for Garden Island yesterday.

The steamer Rideau Queen left for Ottawa this morning.

The schooner Bertie Kalkins, at Rockwood, with coal from Oswego.

Swift's wharf: steamer Kingston, Toronto to Prescott, down this morning; S.S. Strathmore, Montreal to Fort William, passed up Saturday night.

The schooner Clara arrived Saturday from Oswego, with coal for Swift's. She will have to wait until the barge Cornwall and schooner Acacia unload, before she can discharge her cargo.

The steamer Varuna passed up this morning with a large crowd of excursionists, who had gone down from Trenton and other Bay of Quinte to spend over Sunday among the Thousand Islands.

The steamer Niagara arrived in port this morning with four hundred excursionists from Oswego. Tomorrow, the Niagara brings the circus crowd from South Bay ports and Wednesday runs a special trip from Picton.

M.T. company: steamer S.N. Parent, with 79,000 bushels of flax seed, from Duluth, last night, clearing again this morning for the same port; schooner Queen of the Lakes from Sodus with coal; tug Glide with two barges from Montreal; tug Emerson with two barges from Montreal, cleared again for Charlotte light; steamer Bothnia en route from Montreal to Oswego, N.Y.

p.4 No Blame Attached - Detroit, Aug. 6th - The United States inspectors of steam vessels find that no blame attaches to the steamer John B. Cowle, which sank the Canadian steamer Erin, with a loss of five lives in the St. Clair river last spring. A light fog and the fact that another steamer crowded up alongside the Erin forced the Cowle to the choice of a collision with one of the two up-bound boats, and that it was believed to be a case of self-preservation was considered a vindication of the Cowle's crew. Although the surviving members of the Erin's crew denounced the officers of the Cowle very strongly at the time, claiming the big boat went on at full speed, leaving the Erin helpless, none of the crew appeared at the investigation to testify, although every opportunity was given them to do so.



The captain of the steamer Niagara, of Picton, and customs officials were in close communion this morning, and trouble was scented. It was learned that the Niagara has been running without having her certificate hung in a conspicuous place aboard, the law requiring all passenger steamers to have their certificates of inspection hung so that anybody may read and see how many the vessel is entitled to carry. Generally, such a certificate is framed and hung on the wall by the staircase leading to the promenade deck. The owners of the Niagara, though the certificate was issued to them, had failed to hang it aboard, and when passengers complained, the customs had to act. The Niagara brought an excursion from Oswego, this morning, and landed at Swift's wharf. Customs officials required the captain to show the steamer's certificate, but he could not do so. He was notified to have it hung in a conspicuous place aboard as soon as he returned to Picton.

Inspection certificates are for the benefit of the travelling public. They show how many passengers steamers are allowed to carry and hence it can be estimated if vessels are overloaded. The Niagara is allowed 450 on the river and bay and 250 on the lake.

p.7 Gananoque, Aug. 6th - The schooner Tradewind is unloading coal at Taylor & Green's coal sheds. The barge Muskoka was towed into port, last evening, with coal for Taylor & Green.

p.8 Had An Ideal Trip - steamer North King in Islands, chef W. Mills and assistant E. McCaskey prepare fine meals.

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6 Aug 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), 6 Aug 1906