The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), July 15, 1835

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We have seen with pleasure and surprise, this noble work, which has been effected by a private Company, consisting only of a few individuals, whose spirit of enterprise is beyond all praise. The cost must have been prodigious, but it is happily visible, that the seed which has been scattered with such a liberal hand, must ultimately be again gathered into the garners with abundant increase. The Wharf, which is 600 feet in front, has a depth of water sufficient for the accommodation of the largest vessels navigating the Lake; it contains 50,000 solid feet of square Timber, besides about 2,000 trees driven down as piles; some idea may be formed of the cost, when we are assured, that upwards of 13,000 pounds was expended on the Marine Railway and Basin, before it could even be deemed in safety. At the western extremity of the Wharf, is a cove 125 feet wide, and, we should suppose, about 500 feet long, at the end of which is a cradle upon which the largest vessels can be taken up in twenty minutes with their cargoes on board, by means of a Steam Engine and Chain, manufactured by Sheldon & Dutcher. At about 130 feet from the entrance of this cove, branches off another parallel with the river, about 500 feet long and 125 feet wide, both forming a T of fine deep water, affording the most secure shelter for vessels of any burthen, and have been literally scooped out with a dredging machine from what seemed an impractical swamp. Between the latter cove and the front of the Wharf, stands a building 100 feet by 40, divided into nine separate compartments, to serve as stores for the necessities of as many Steam Boats, or Schooners, while under repair, or lying up in the docks. The Company have not spared, and seem determined not to spare, either pains or expense to render the whole undertaking convenient, substantial and effective; may it prove as profitable to the Company, as it has already been, and is certain hereafter, to be serviceable to the public. There is a fine Ship-Yard belonging to the Establishment, where the Hon. Jno. Hamilton has another Steam-Boat on the Stocks, about 10 feet only shorter than the Great Britain, intended, as we learn, to ply between Toronto and Niagara. She somewhat differs from the general construction of Steam Boats, but in what particulars we are not fully informed. The foundation of an extensive Foundry is now being laid, which, when finished and stocked, will render the establishment complete, and unique in the Province, for beauty, convenience, and general utility. The whole of this grand design having been executed in a swamp, it will naturally occur to everyone, that the expense must have been enormous. The Company have received no aid whatever from the Public, except the granting of the site by Government, but it is hoped the Parliament will grant them a few thousand pounds to enable them to make an excavation yet deemed necessary to render the work perfect. We know not on what foundation the hopers build, for we can see none, the majority of the present Assembly being doggedly opposed to every kind of improvement, and wanting the whole Revenue to fatten their creatures, and one another. A totally different description of men must represent the people, before merit of any kind can reasonably expect public aid or reward. Niagara contains at this time about 2,000 inhabitants. It is beautifully situated, handsomely laid out and thriving - its pure air is so refreshing and invigorating, that it may be called the Buenos Ayres of North America. It is the key of a charmingly rich and fruitful district, and is consequently the residence of several opulent importing Merchants, who possess extensive and well-stocked Stores of merchandize imported directly from Europe. The main Street is handsome and more than half as wide again, as the Streets of Toronto, but the town is decidedly in the wrong place; it ought to be on the elevated ground, in front of the Docks to the westward of the present site. There, it must eventually be, and as the ground is a Military Reserve, and of no earthly use for any military purpose, our liberal Government will doubtless, soon be induced to sell or concede it in such a form, as shall tend to promote the public prosperity.....

[Toronto Patriot]

The Great Britain, on her trip downwards on Monday had about 70 Cabin passengers on board, chiefly American travellers on their route to Montreal and Quebec.

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July 15, 1835
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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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Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), July 15, 1835