The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 7 Apr 1910

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p.2 Two Challenges For Cup - Both the R.C.Y.C. of Toronto, and the Crescent Yacht Club of Watertown, N.Y., have challenged Kingston for the George Cup for small boats. The R.C.Y.C. challenge is on behalf of the Owen boat building at Oakville for Aemilius Jarvis' son, William Jarvis, a youngster who is "following in his father's footsteps," much to the delight of Canada's cleverest racing skipper.



Marine Men Are In Favor Of It.

Marine men in this city would hold up both hands in support of the proposition made to do away with the Cataraqui bridge, and build a new one over at Belle's Island. Many of the marine men in the city have spoken to the Whig, stating that if this scheme was carried out, it would be a great thing for marine business.

"It would certainly be a fine thing to have all open water at that section," remarked a leading marine man to the Whig today. "It would be a great place for vessels to stay in time of a storm. It would afford great shelter, as when the heavy gales are on, it is very difficult for some of the vessels to anchor in the harbor."

The swing bridge has for some time been looked upon as a "hoodoo" by the marine men, as every year vessels have been damaged in their endeavor to go through it. It is stated that it is a very difficult matter for some of the boats to get through, in spite of all the care that is taken. Last season, it will be remembered, there were several mishaps. On one occasion, the roadway was blocked on a Saturday, just when the farmers were on their way to the city with produce, and besides having to go a roundabout way, several miles out of their usual route, they were made late for the market, and put to a great deal of inconvenience.

The scheme to have the bridge built across to Belle's Island would do away with all this trouble, and then there would be ample space for all the vessels to be laid up here.

Marine Tidings.

Rideau Lake is free of ice and ready for navigation if the locks were open.

The steamer Varuna, thoroughly overhauled during the winter in Trenton, reached Belleville on the first trip of the season on Wednesday.

The steamer Alexandria will be launched on Saturday at Picton. Extensive repairs have been made to her hull.

The steamer Corona, of the Niagara Navigation company fleet, will come down to the drydock to be overhauled before going on her regular run.

The steambarge Sowards cleared on Wednesday afternoon for Oswego.

The schooner Cornelia arrived from Oswego, and is at Portsmouth unloading coal for Shortt's.

The schooner Britton is at the foot of Garden Island, wind bound, on her trip to Oswego.


The Captain's Body Found.

Niagara Falls, April 7th - A body, believed to be that of Captain John McLeod, of the Marquette Bessemer car ferry, which foundered between Conneaut and Port Stanley, on December 10th, with a loss of thirty-five lives, was found in the intake of the Niagara Falls Power company. The body was badly decomposed but the clothing was intact and in the pockets were found $125 and a bundle of documents. One of the car ferry's life belts was attached to the body.

Daily Standard, April 7, 1910



Mutual And Canadian Lines Are Amalgamating.


Hamilton, April 7th - Another amalgamation of package freight line boats on the great lakes has just been put through, by which the Canadian Lake and Ocean Navigation Company's line is operated from the head offices of the Mutual Steamship line. The merger is not an absorption of either company, but Capt. J.W. Norcross, the general manager of the Mutual, is appointed general manager of the Canadian Lake and Ocean line and the two large fleets of these companies will work in conjunction in carrying of package freight.

The appointment of Capt. Eorcross follows the retirement of Capt. J.B. Foote, who has gone over to the Canadian Northern Steamships, Limited, as superintendent.

The Mutual Steamship company has made great strides in the last few years and owns two boats of its own, has two building now, and controls in all between 20 and 25. Last year it managed one or two of the boats of the Canadian Lake and Ocean Navigation company, but this year it gets them all and will operate this season a fleet of about 30 large passenger and freight boats. The Mutual runs the three-weeks' Montreal-to-Chicago-and-return trip.

No More Pursers.

The year the company hopes by the adoption of an idea that has proven successful in the United States, to cut down the expenses very materially, without any inconvenience or disadvantage in the operation of the lines. The method is to do away with the purser on the boats and install agents at ports of call on the routes.

Pursers cost $100 a month, and their work is hardly thought to be worth that. They do not check any freight as that all has to be weighed and checked at the ports where it is discharged. All they do is act as ordinary ticket takers and keep the book on board the boats.

Local Agents.

The new scheme is very comprehensive and will take care of the old pursers at their old salaries or better. They will be appointed local agents at the various ports of call, and a ticket taker will be on each of the boats. The captain will keep the books. By this scheme, the salaries of a couple of dozen pursers for the whole season will be done away with, and ticket takers students of the colleges probably, will be employed for $50 or thereabouts a month during the passenger season.

The fleet of the Canadian Lake and Ocean Navigation company consists of the following boats: A.E. Ames, J.H. Plummer, and H.M. Pellatt, package freighters, and Turret Court, Turret Cape, Turret Chief and Scottish Hero, bulk cargo vessels.


Ottawa, April 7th - The Railway Committee of the Commons yesterday passed the bill incorporating the Morrisburg Ferry and Dock Co. The ferry, it was explained, is intended to carry Canada wood pulp across from Morrisburg, Ont., to Waddington, N.Y., where there is a paper making industry. It will be a railway ferry and will connect with the Grand Trunk and New York Central Railways.



The schooner Burton is anchored at the foot of Garden Island. She came up from Gananoque to go on the Davis' dry dock.

The crews of the Calvin Co. boats will go on board next Monday.

The steamer Island Wanderer is being painted and otherwise made ready to go on the route between Kingston and Cape Vincent. The steamer Pierrepont will run on the route till the Island Wanderer is ready.

The steamer Ottawa will go on the run between Alexandria Bay and Clayton on April 16th. She may be ready a few days earlier.



Mr. King On Lessening Marine Rates.

[Toronto Globe]

A novel feature is likely to be introduced into the marine underwriting business on the great lakes, possibly in this year's new policies. Mr. Francis King, of Kingston, counsel for the Dominion Marine Association, speaking of the matter at the King Edward last night, on his way back from a meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Great Lakes Protective Association, said this recently organized association of vessel owners was working in the interests of cheaper insurance.

The Increase In Rates.

It appears to be a foregone conclusion, Mr. King stated, that an addition of one per cent will be made this year to the rate of five per cent now in force on the lakes above Lake Ontario, and the fact that it is also practically decided by underwriters to restrict the sailing dates to November 30th, indicates that recent heavy losses in the last days of the season, are responsible for the increased charge. A proposition has now been made that the vessel which makes no claim for damages under her policy should be entitled to a refund of this extra premium.

The Bonus Officers.

Prominent underwriters are interested in favor of the proposal, on one condition - namely, that a substantial proportion (say twenty-five per cent) of the refund should go to the master or executive officers of the ship by way of bonus, thus not only rewarding those directly responsible for the safety of the vessel, but also affording a positive incentive to all masters to navigate with caution, and so decrease the risk of loss on all boats, even in cases where the bonus is not actually earned. The underwriters apparently refuse to trust individual owners to administer the bonus properly, and feel that this stipulation should be part of a general scheme.

Counter Conditions.

Mr. King says that while the Protective Association will continue to protest against any extra premium, it will, if forced to submit to the increase, support the above proposition, on a counter condition that while 75 per cent of the refund shall to to the owner, the 25 per cent shall be adminstered by the committee of the Protective Association, subject to certain settled rules; for, granting that the underwriters are correct in requiring a disinterested trustee for this 25 per cent, cases will frequently arise where a master whose vessel has not had any claims under her policy will still have been grossly negligent and possibly responsible for a considerable number of minor troubles less than the amount of the deductible average, the amount of loss which the owner himself bears in all cases.

Tried In Pittsburg.

The Insurance Institute, which will meet at a very early date in London, England, will be largely guided by representations from New York, and the Protective Association is now negotiating with underwriters in the American metropolis, hoping to have matters settled without delay. Mr. King states that all his colleagues on the committee are in favor of the bonus principle and that the results of a similar system in force in the big Pittsburg Steamship Company show conclusively that a plausible theory has in that case worked well in practice.

High Premium In Montreal.

In addition to the five per cent mentioned, vessels which trade down Lake Ontario pay one per cent more and trading all the way to Montreal pay still another premium of one per cent additional. The rate this year from Montreal would thus be eight per cent. A strong effort is being made to have these two additional premiums on lower waters reduced at least one half, and the proposed reduction is being considered in connection with the present revision. Vessel owners complain that losses on the lower waters do not by any means justify the present additional premiums. Data of the Protective Association to the present time support this contention.

Pleased With Insurance Bill.

Asked about the insurance bill now before Parliament and its effect on inland marine risks, Mr. King expressed the gratification of vessel owners that the Senate had amended the bill, at their instance, so as to exclude inland marine insurance from its operation. He added that the best information available at Ottawa was to the effect that the Senate bill would be adopted in the Commons, and that at least there would not be further contention on the concession granted him in the Senate.


Montreal, April 7th - The proposal to increase the premiums on lake vessels running to Montreal has aroused the owners and they are talking of an association to insure themselves.

Mr. L.L. Henderson, manager of the Montreal Transportation Co., said yesterday that if the insurance rates on vessels plying between Montreal and the upper lakes continued to rise, the owners would band together and carry the whole of the insurance themselves. "Our representative at the conference in Detroit is making a strong effort," said Mr. Henderson, "to have the rate below Lake Erie reduced by half, that is, half of one per cent to Lake Ontario and one per cent to Montreal over and above the basic assessment. Losses on the lower waters, in our estimation, do not warrant these high insurance prices." Not only is it the intention of the underwriters to increase the premiums but also to shorten the season to Nov. 30 instead of Dec. 5, as formerly. Shipping men feel they have real grievances.

p.8 Storm Warnings On Lakes - While general navigation will probably not be resumed until April 15th, 1910, on account of hull insurance, a few vessels will be in operation next week, and it has been recommended that the display of storm warnings be resumed on all lakes on April 10, 1910. In Lake Ontario all the harbors are free of ice with the exception of Kingston, and the ice here is expected to disappear in a day or two.

Trenton-Picton Steamboat Route - The steamer Varuna, which was thoroughly overhauled during the winter in Trenton arrived in Belleville yesterday, on the first trip of the season. She will take the steamer Brockville's route between Trenton and Picton for some time.

Belleville-Kingston Steamer - The steamer Aletha is expected to arrive at Belleville Saturday next, and begin her regular trips between Belleville and this city on Monday morning.

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7 Apr 1910
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 7 Apr 1910