The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 28 Oct 1912

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Oct. 29, 1912

p.1 To Cap Concrete Pier - at Oswego pier.



The Sinking of the Steamer Keystorm

The steamer Keystorm, which sank below Alexandria Bay last Saturday, struck the rocks on the starboard side, the impact being so great as to tear away several feet of the hull to such an extent that she filled quickly. The pumps being of no avail the crew of twenty men were forced to take to the life boats. Two yawls were quickly lowered and the crew landed safely on an island near by. For a time they anchored at a black buoy in the vicinity and were able to visit the boat again for personal effects, which were all obtained. Owing to the wind and the heavy cargo the Keystorm was badly pounded against the rocks and when disappearing from view did so in a great burst of swells. The boat was 254 feet long and 43 feet beam, and was built of steel three years ago. She was valued at $125,000. The loss is partly covered by insurance. Owing to the great depth of water, it is doubtful if the vessel will be raised.

Rock Ferry Released - The steamer Rock Ferry, which went aground on Charity shoal, off the head of Wolfe Island, Friday night, was released by the Calvin Wrecking company on Monday afternoon. She was taken by the steamer Cornwall and tug Frontenac to Ogdensburg, N.Y., where she will be docked for repairs. Most of the damage appears to be about the rudder. The Cornwall went to her assistance on Saturday morning, but the steamer was too badly aground for her to be of much avail. On Sunday morning there was too much of a sea for the wrecking vessels to work, but the Cornwall and Frontenac released her on Monday afternoon.

Ran On a Mud Bank - The steamer Alexandria ran on a mud bank in Coteau Lake on her last trip to Montreal, and was delayed for a considerable time. She went on Tuesday morning, and was not released until Thursday. The steam-barge Waterlilly took part of her cargo off and afterwards succeeded in pulling her off. As a result of the mishap the Alexandria did not reach Kingston on her up trip until 1:30 Sunday morning, and passed down again at 1 o'clock, on Tuesday morning.

Movements of Vessels.

M.T. Co's elevator - The steamer Tagona cleared Monday afternoon for Belleville, to load cement for Port William; steamer Canadian, from Port William, is discharging 72,000 bushels of wheat; steamer Glenmount, grain-laden, from Fort William, is due to arrive tomorrow, to discharge, and the steamer Fairmount is due on Thursday; tug Bronson cleared for Montreal, with three grain barges; tug Bartlett is due from Montreal, tonight, with three light barges; tug Emerson cleared for Oswego with barge Quebec, to load coal for Montreal; tug Emerson due to arrive during the day from Oswego, and will clear for Montreal, with two grain barges and one coal barge.

The schooner Major Ferry arrived from Charlotte, with a cargo of coal for Booth & Co.

The steambarge Jeska arrived at Crawford's wharf, with coal from Oswego.

The tug Florence arrived with the barge Gladys H., loaded grain at Richardson's elevator, and cleared for Quebec.

Capt. Joseph Rinfret has been placed in command of the steamer Alexandria, taking the place of Capt. Hicks, of Picton. Capt. Rinfret has been a pilot on the river for some time.

The steamer Wahcondah, from Fort William, discharged a full cargo of wheat at Richardson's elevator, and cleared for Toronto.

The steamer Buena Vista arrived in port, light, from Oswego.

The schooner Julia B. Merrill had a lively time on her trip over from Fairhaven to Belleville on Sunday. She lost three of her spars, and suffered other damage.

The steamer Majestic went west on Monday night.

The steamer Dundurn went east on Sunday morning.

The steamer Belleville went west on Sunday.

The steamer Scout coaled at Swift's and went east on Tuesday morning.

The steamer Rideau King cleared for Westport on Monday morning.

The steamer Aletha was down and up the bay on Tuesday.

Oct. 30, 1912

p.1 Heavy Gale on the Lake -

p.5 I.M.C. - Maize.

Oct. 31, 1912

p.1 The Coal Trading Still Very Heavy - plan to keep port of Oswego open as late as possible.

p.5 I.M.C. - coal barge sank near Washburn, being towed by str. Capt. Hemmens; Major Ferry.

p.8 In Danger of Sinking - Rapids Prince.

p.11 Ready To Launch - large passenger steamer for Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Co.

Nov. 1, 1912



Port Hope, Nov. 1st - Late last night the steambarge Juneau, with the barge Lock (sic - P.B. Locke) in tow, from Point Anne, Belleville, to Toronto, loaded with stone, sprung a leak and had to be cut adrift from the Lock, putting into Cobourg, where she sank at the pier. The barge, left to her own resources, was anchored, but during the fierce storm, broke away from her anchorage, sprung a leak and sank near the Gull lighthouse. The crew, consisting of nine men and one woman, took to the boat and reached this port safely this morning, after a terrible experience on the rough lake. This is the first known wreck of the late navigation season this year. Captain McGregor, of Deseronto, commanded the Lock, and Capt. McIntyre, Toronto, the Juneau.

p.2 I.M.C. - steambarge General S. Moffat collied with Toiler in Lachine Canal.

-change of captains for Wolfe Islander.

Worst Gale in Years - on Thursday, Ramona and America in Anglin's Bay almost broke away.

p.8 Claims He Was Robbed - deckhand on str. Glenmount.

Nov. 2, 1912

p.1 Seventeen Drowned When Steamer Sank - In Little Lake St. Louis, 10 miles west of Montreal - Cecelia ( L. ) a ferry running between Montreal and Valleyfield.

A Serious Accident In the Welland Canal - 4 gates of lock 13 carried away, by str. Samuel Marshall.

p.8 I.M.C. - steamer Samuel Marshall damages lock 13, Welland Canal; St. Louis, Britton, Toiler getting repairs.

Capt. John Black Dead - of M.T. company.



Has Grown To Be A Leading Industry

An industry which has grown from a very small beginning is often the most substantial, and this is true of the Davis Dry Dock Co's works, which, from the small one-man concern which was begun by Robert Davis in 1880, has grown to be one of the city's vital assets. It now comprises a plant worth $50,000 and has a yearly turnover of about $200,000, of which about half is for boat building.

The present plant requires about fifty men to operate, and is still, as ever since its inception, gradually enlarging and growing to meet the demand of the marine highway.

The firm had its origin in a floating dry dock which began business in 1880 in the place where the Kingston Shipbuilding company now has its wharves and dock. In 1888 Mr. Davis acquired the property where the plant now stands, and built the present dry dock. The yards and buildings as they now stand cover an area of 100,000 square feet. About half of this space is occupied by the buildings and the rest is taken up by the dock yard. There is a water frontage of 250 feet and piers for the accommodation of boats either undergoing minor repairs or waiting for dockage are provided.

The manufacturing, a branch of work which was commenced by the firm in 1890, ten years after its origin, has now grown to be half the business. The plant for this includes buildings which cover about half the area occupied by the entire works, and some very complete machinery. The shops, besides turning out the necessary materials for the building and repairing of boats, manufacture all kinds of engines, both steam and gasoline. This branch of the work has had such a long term of healthy growth that the equipment is being reinforced by some new and up-to-date machinery. The last two years have seen a wonderful growth in this line of business, due to the much wider use of small power boats.

There are now three buildings devoted to the manufacture of boats and launches, one where water tube marine boilers are built, and one large machine shop which handles the engine work. One of the assets of the plant is a planing and woodworking mill where the boat materials are prepared beforehand, and a blacksmith shop. There are also material stores and offices in connection with the works.

The dry dock itself is capable of accommodating a boat 135 (185 ?) feet in length, with 32 foot beam and eight foot draught. It is equipped with a modern pump, with which it can be dried out in one hour and a half. The yard includes a slip and derrick and various minor accessories. The yards and dock are busy from the opening to the close of navigation with the building and repairing, and the company usually retain a fair percentage of its staff throughout the winter. Pending the coming of the winter season this year, a number of contracts are soon to be closed, and it is hoped that there will be a busy winter.

The company generates its own power and has an individual lighting system which renders it independent of any mishap to the city power.

The growth of the firm from the founding of it has been slow and steady, and the closing of the year 1912 finds it a firm of considerable proportions, one of the oldest of its kind in Canada, and still under the management of its original founder Robert Davis. The business has now a strong support in its mechanical superintendent, J.H. Davis, the son of the proprietor, who has grown into the work and has given it new life and impetus.

** Daily Standard, Nov. 2, 1912

p.1 Steamer Burned - Russel Sage, wrecked and burned at Oswego, Capt. Russell.

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28 Oct 1912
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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), 28 Oct 1912