The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 21 Jul 1908

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Has Drawn Crowds To The Drydock.

In the past two or three days fully three thousand people must have wandered down to the government dry dock to look over the great car ferry, Ontario No. 1, that is here for repairs, and she is certainly worth going to see. The Ontario is a wonder, and is one of the finest boats that ever entered the local dry dock. It is used as a car ferry between Cobourg and Charlotte, a distance of 62 miles. It was put in commission in November last, just after being completed by the Canadian Ship-Building company, Toronto, and has never lost a day since, running across the lake all winter long, never missing a trip on account of the ice.

The big steamer is 316 feet long, 60 feet beam, and 60 feet from bridge to keel. She is built of steel throughout, and is propelled by giant screw wheels, turned by two engines turning up 6,000 horse-power. The Ontario has four boilers and eight furnaces, and when running full speed will make seventeen miles an hour. The size of the steamer can better be imagined when it is realized that she will carry twenty-eight loaded cars, besides 600 passengers, and still make close to seventeen miles an hour. She makes the round trip from Cobourg to Charlotte, carrying a full load each way, in just nine hours, counting thirty-five minutes each way to unload.

When looking at the steamer from the bow, she looks like an ordinary large lake steamer of the passenger and freight variety, but when you get to the stern you see the difference. The Ontario is square sterned, the stern being uncovered for a distance of about thirty feet in, and she has a system of double tracks running from stem to stern. This is on her first or main deck, and all her powerful machinery and so forth, is down below this, and the quarters are above.

On the next deck is the regular promenade of large proportions, and around it are most of the quarters. The Ontario is fitted out with every modern convenience for the comfort of her crew from the cabin down. Everything is kept neat as a new pin on board and everything in its place.

The big boat is in charge of Capt. Forrest, a young man who has made himself very popular by his kindness to visitors during his stay here, and while he is about the steamer he is ever ready to show any one about and explain anything they wish to know. The captain stated that they had no trouble in running up there, and last winter went through the toughest weather. On February 17th last, the steamer broke twenty-seven inches of ice in the Genesee river on her way over loaded, and on other days she broke nearly as much. The steamer carries a crew of forty-eight, including captain, two mates, three engineers, eight firemen, and many hands needed to operate the car machinery.

The steamer has had very little trouble since she went on the run and the reason that she is in dry dock now, is not altogether due to an accident. The huge shafts of the steamer are coated with babbitt metal, and the beaming on the starboard shaft was worn away about an inch. Both sides will be repaired while she is in dock here. It is expected that the Ontario will get out on Wednesday and at once go back on her regular run.

Marine Intelligence.

The schooner Jamieson cleared for Sodus this morning.

The steamer Waterlily passed down, Monday night, on her trip to Quebec with freight.

The schooner Winnie Wing cleared for Oswego today after unloading coal at Crawford's.

The steamer Prince Rupert is at Richardsons' with grain from Toledo. She towed the barge Ceylon to Garden Island.

The steamer Alexandria was at Folger's on Monday night, on her way to Quebec, with a full load of passengers and freight.

Swift's: steamer Aletha for Ogdensburg this morning; steamer Caspian down and up today; schooner Keewatin cleared for Sodus.

M.T. Co.: steamer Turret Cape, Fort William, with 71,000 bushels wheat; tug Bartlett, from Montreal, with three grain barges; tug Emerson from Montreal; tug Bartlett cleared for Montreal with two grain barges; steamer Turret Cape cleared for Fort William.


At Kingston Would Be Necessary.

In the event of the Welland Canal being enlarged, the government drydock at Kingston would also have to be increased in size to hold the big steamers that would come down this way, steamers of from 400 to 600 feet long. At present the dock will hold a vessel 325 feet long. Two hundred feet at least would have to be added to the dock. To extend it north would require the use of the property on Ontario street, between Gore and Union streets, now owned by the Canadian Locomotive Works company, which, it is understood, intends to build shops there. From the present north limit of the dock to Ontario street is a distance of 100 feet. The other hundred feet would have to be secured by filling in at the south limit of the dock. This matter is a most important one for Kingston, should the Welland canal project be carried into effect.



Gale Did No Damage.

Sacket's Harbor, July 21st - The schooner Acacia is now high and dry on Bull Rock Point, so that the waves did not reach her during the gale of wind on Thursday and Friday. The wind blew from the north-west and the seas would break on the opposite shore. Her cargo of coal is intact, and the vessel is in as good a condition as when she went ashore on the rock. The captain had purchased the coal from the insurance company, so it is reported, and he has sold a part of it to F.M. Stearne, coal dealer of this village, to be delivered at his dock.

Capt. Cummings is positive that the schooner can be taken from the rocks with but little damage to her, which he will do as soon as the coal is lightered out. But for the unfortunate accident to the barge McDonald, which was engaged in lightering the wrecked craft, presumably there would have been some arrangements made towards the removal of the Acacia by this time. The McDonald is practically destroyed. The fire, it is thought, originated from the boilers.

p.5 Pith of the News - The barge Ed. McWilliams is loading 1,000 tons of coke at the plant of the Solway process company, Detroit, for Fort William. The company secured the contract in competition with Ohio firms.


Sacket's Harbor, July 21st - The government has ordered the blowing up of the old sunken hulks, Pinafore, Olive Branch, King of the Kids and Monitor in the harbor here and a man by the name of O'Brien has taken on the contract.

While engaged in the work an extra charge of dynamite was put in where there was a heavy piece of the hulk to be removed and it went off with effect, the reverberation being deafening. A heavy stick of timber about six feet long was dislodged and sent into the air so high that it looked the size of a man's hand. As it descended it struck the coal house of George M. Read, breaking the timbers and making a large opening in the roof. It landed 300 feet from where it came out of the water.

The work is being done at Navy Point, near the site of the old war ship, New Orleans.

p.7 What To Call It - prize for name of new ship to be built by Northern Navigation.

p.8 Saved Two Lives - crew of Rosedale at Clayton save 2 boys.

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21 Jul 1908
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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), 21 Jul 1908