The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 15 Jun 1909

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Harder To Get Cargoes Than Men.

Detroit, June 15th - President Livingstone, of the Lake Carriers' Association, states that the association now has 276 vessels in commission, an increase of thirteen since the last report. "This is about all that we can find cargoes for under present business conditions," he said. "It is harder to get cargoes than it is to get men."


A Royal Trip & Royal Entertainment.


Royal entertainment was provided for over 250 guests by the Grand Trunk railway company and the Northern Navigation company on the occasion of the inaugural trip of the S.S. Hamonic on Saturday and Sunday last. The weather was superb, the company brilliant and the ship and its appointments the finest on fresh water. As one put it: "If I had a mouth like the St. Lawrence, a tongue as long as that of a suffragette or of the Grand Trunk railway system, a voice like Niagara's roar, and an imaginative eloquence as picturesque as the scenery enjoyed, I could but inadequately present the beauties of the trip and the cordiality and hospitality of our hosts."

"And that is going some," as Peter Patten, the official entertainer, remarked.



Length over all 365 feet

Length between perpendiculars 341 feet

Extreme breadth 50 feet

Molded depth 27 feet

Gross tonnage 5,000 tons

Passengers 475

Crew 110

Cargo capacity 100,000 bushels of wheat


Kingstonians were greatly interested in the trip as former residents were largely concerned, for was not H.H. Gildersleeve, the genial manager of the company, a boy "to the manor born." His name is one honored in navigation for a century of Kingston history. As one of a third generation of steamboat men he had "bread in the bone" the experience and courtesy of his ancestors. He did the honors with the smoothness and suavity that has ever characterized them; nothing was too hard for him to do to make his friends happy. Capt. C.H. Nicholson, the traffic manager, too, was a former son of Kingston. He was the embodiment of kindness and geniality. His wit, his handshake and his smile spoke even more eloquently than his ready tongue. But it was Capt. "Jim" Smith that Kingstonians looked upon with pride. As manager of the Collingwood Shipbuilding company he had put upon the waters a Canadian ship unrivalled for beauty of lines, strength of timber and speed. The Hamonic simply took away one's breath, even to those who had long experience in shipping. A finer boat has yet to be built and the fact that the Hamonic was of Canadian design and Canadian workmanship marked an era in Canadian navigation which the superb entertainment of last week fittingly exemplified. While Canadians rejoiced over the occasion they fondly wished that the craft might be but one of a fleet that will rock upon the billows of the great lakes in years to come. Capt. Smith is the finished product of the old apprentice system of Calvin & Breck, Garden Island, and the Canadian Locomotive Works.

The Whig has already given a picture and description of the steamship, but she has to be seen to be appreciated. Her equipment is the finest, her embellishments substantial and rich, her accommodations ample and her steadiness, even in storm, a matter of supreme confidence to the most timid. Saturday night, when Lake Huron rolled high, the steamer's passengers were unaware of any conflict outside so swan-like did the vessel pierce the waves.

The Toronto Star happily hit off the boat's qualities in these words:

"Already they call the new visitor to lake ports, "the Queen of the Inland Seas," and apparently with good reason. The reputation of some of the large passenger boats plying between United States ports has been deservedly high, but the Hamonic equals their capacity and excels them all in the beauty, harmony and luxury of her interior arrangements. All the conveniences of the most perfectly appointed homes and the best ideas in the construction of all the latest trans-Atlantic liners have been adopted in fitting out and finishing the ship. When, by her performance, Saturday and Sunday, she showed herself, in addition to these things, to be a marvel of steady locomotion, the title "Queen of the Inland Seas" seems none too good for her."

One of the most attractive features of the whole boat, is the observation room on the shade deck. This is decorated in "L'Art Nouveau" style, the dimensions of the room being twenty-four feet by seventy-three. Whether by day or night this apartment forms a charming picture, for the passengers may sit in easy chairs or divans and enjoy unobstructed views of the scenery by day, while at night the apartment is used as a ball room or concert room.

The Hamonic is to be put on the regular route between Sarnia, Fort William and Duluth, plying on connection with the Grand Trunk railway system.

At Sarnia, the Grand Trunk has built fine new terminals to be used in connection with this boat service. The landing station alongside the wharf has been surmounted by a large observation room overlooking the lake, and a covered promenade is being provided so that passengers may pass from train to boat under shelter. It was at this fine building that Alfred Martin, land steward, and a former Kingstonian, was found in good health and as pleasant as ever.

That the trial trip of the Hamonic marks the entry of the Grand Trunk as a factor in the competition for western trade both by rail and by lake was amply attested by the presence of Charles M. Hays, general manager of the Grand Trunk, and practically all the general officers of the system in Canada. Insofar as the Grand Trunk was concerned, no detail was lacking for the comfort of the guests. Messrs. G.T. Bell, J.D. McDonald and H.R. Charlton were on hand at Toronto and met the guests of the company, looking after their interests in a manner that left nothing to be desired. E.W. Smith, superintendent of the dining and parlor car service, had everything in readiness, and the journey from Toronto to Collingwood took the visitors through a portion of Ontario which, in its summer dress, was most attractive to the eyes of the tourist. The train service was even swifter than this swift company has before provided; it demonstrated that its roadbed was as smooth as glass, and as hard as granite; flying at the fastest speed no untoward experiences resulted. The provision made on the train and on the ship for dining was ample, and excellent. Not a thing was lacking, even the toothpicks given by the Grand Trunk were jewelled. The Hamonic's dining hall is a dream, a feast in itself. The service was remarkably fine even though the whole staff was new to the boat. Many encomiums were passed upon the performance of this delicate part of the entertainment. So gratified were the guests that they took occasion to mark their appreciation in a substantial manner by subscribing $250 for the purchase of silver plate for the state room, which will later be presented, with a suitable inscription. As the Hamonic pulled into Sarnia a meeting was held presided over by Hon. Frank Cochrane, minister of mines, at which this piece of silver was presented, and speeches were delivered by Hon. W.J. Hanna, provincial secretary; Capt. Foote, of the Hamonic; C.M. Hays, general manager of the Grand Trunk railway; J.F. MacKay, of the Toronto Globe; L.J. Tarte, of La Patrie, Montreal; and Gabriel Marchand, M.P.P., of St. John's, Que.

(followed by a very long list of guests)

p.2 To Attend Conference - H.W. Richardson, president, and Francis King will represent the Kingston Board of Trade in Toronto regarding deepening of Welland Canal.

On Waterworks Plant - ..... In regard to the offer made to the Donnelly company, re the leasing of the dock at the plant, the chairman said that he had no report to offer, but that the superintendent had been given a verbal report from the company, to the effect that they would not accept the offer made by the committee at its meeting last Friday afternoon.

It was reported, however, that a copy of the resolution had not been forwarded to the company, and on motion of Ald. Clugston it was decided that a copy be sent to the company for a reply in writing, to be subject to the approval of the council.

- plans for new cement coal shed to be built on waterworks dock.

p.5 Pith of the News - The steamer Wyoming, which, Monday, went aground on the Lime Kiln crossing, was released on Tuesday. She is now unloading her cargo of ore.

p.6 Thousand Island Park, N.Y., June 14th - The schooner Cornelia brought a load of soft coal for the use of the power house last week......The steamer Island Belle has commenced her regular route between Clayton and Ogdensburg. The Nightingale is also on the Clayton-Fine View route....

p.8 Wreckage Near Long Point - Captain J. Cavanagh, of the big grain carrier Nevada, stated yesterday shortly after his arrival in town that he noticed the spar of a vessel about ten miles south by west from Long Point, and southwest from Salmon Point, Prince Edward County. "I was abreast of the object and about fifty yards away when I first noticed it," said he. "I cannot say definitely whether it was a steamer's or a sailing vessel's spar, but I am inclined to think it was the latter." "Did you run alongside it to investigate the matter?" the captain was asked. "No, I did not; we see those kind of things right along, and I have heard nothing of a steamer or vessel being lost there this spring or last fall. The spar of the vessel was 10 ft. above water."


The steamer Sowards, unloading coal at Crawford's, cleared for Oswego.

M.T. Co.'s elevator: tug Glide cleared for Montreal, two barges; tug Bartlett cleared for Fairhaven, two barges.

The schooner Kitchen, loading feldspar at Richardsons', cleared for Charlotte.

Swift's: steamer Belleville up Wednesday; steamer Aletha from bay points.

The steamer India discharged her cargo of grain at Richardsons' elevator, and cleared for French River, to load timber for Garden Island.

The steamer Alexandria was in port last night, on her regular trip to Montreal. About 450 boxes of cheese were put on here, making in all 5,200 boxes of cheese, an exceptionally large cargo of cheese. Considerable other freight was also on board.

The steamer Donnelly and lighter Grantham returned today from Farran's Point whither they went to release the steamer Seguin. When they got down the steamer was off the shoal and was not so badly damaged that she could not proceed alone.


The news of the death at Picton on Sunday night of Capt. Robert Clapp was received with profound regret in local marine circles. Captain Clapp, widely known on the lakes, was an old mariner with a vast experience. For sixteen years he was in the employ of the Niagara Navigation Co., Toronto. He sailed the steamer Chicora the greater part of his service with the company. Two years ago he was obliged to retire from active service on account of an illness which developed from paralytic stroke, which seized him while crossing the lake. He was taken to Waupoos, where he lived until recently, when he and his family took up residence in Picton.

He is survived by a wife and two children, Harry, formerly purser of the steamer Chicora and Corona, and Miss Gertrude Clapp, who lives at home.

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15 Jun 1909
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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), 15 Jun 1909