The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Feb. 1, 1837

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[Watertown Eagle]

The village of Dexter is situated at the head of navigation, at the mouth of Black River. It is five miles from Sackets Harbor, and the same distance nearer to the centre of the County, than it can be approached by water at any other point. The Harbor is as good, as any on the Lake, having a sufficiency of water, to float the largest vessels, and is so situated, as to give a safe harbor to 1000 vessels, where they may lie during the greatest storms on the lake, perfectly safe. The entrance to the harbor, has hitherto been obstructed by a bar of land; an appropriation was passed at the last session of Congress, to remedy this evil, by the construction of piers, etc. The U.S. Engineer is now engaged in procuring materials, and making the necessary arrangements, to commence the work as soon as the ice is out in the Spring.

This place possesses as valuable and extensive water power, as any in the State; having the whole water of the Black River, and a Fall of 10 to 15 feet. It must be at this place that the immense forests of pine timber, bordering upon the banks of the Black River for many miles above its mouth, are to be manufactured into Lumber, and from thence sent to the eastern markets. A company from Lake Champlain and Quebec, have already commenced operations at this place, having purchased large quantities of timber lands on the Black River, and have now in operation four Saw Mills, on a very extensive scale. I am informed this Company will manufacture from five to seven millions of feet of lumber annually, for ten years. This will employ at least six large vessels constantly, during the season of navigation, to transport this lumber to Oswego, on the way to market.

This place possesses all the advantage of Rochester or Oswego, for any kind of mechanical business, where water power is required, and is superior in the latter, for flouring business, being surrounded by a far better wheat country. Thousands of bushels of wheat are taken from this county to Oswego, annually, and can always be purchased here at less price than there, and in the event of having to rely upon Ohio or Canada, for wheat, it may be transported to Dexter as cheaply as to Oswego. Another advantage over Oswego, is that a water power sufficient to carry an extensive Flouring Mill, cannot be procured there, for less than from thirty to seventy thousand dollars; whereas one equally as good can be procured here, for as many hundred or less. It is but forty-five miles from Dexter to Oswego by water, and the transportation of the article manufactured to that place, on its way to market, would be more than paid by the interest in difference of capital invested. There is already one flouring mill at Dexter sufficiently extensive to manufacture over one hundred barrels of flour per day. Fifteen thousand barrels were manufactured and sent to New York last season, from this mill.

The Dexter and Oswego Steamboat Company are now engaged in building at Dexter a Steamboat of 200 tons burthen, to be completed by 1st April next, and will be fitted and furnished in the best style for passengers, and is to be in all respects, a first rate Boat. I believe it is the intention of the owners, to have her perform the trip to Oswego and back to Dexter daily, during the season. This will be a very great convenience to the travelling public, and will add much to the facilities of transporting property from the county to Oswego, and vice versa.

There were built at Dexter the last season a wharf and two storehouses, the owner of which succeeded in doing a very good business in forwarding and receiving property. Many merchants in the country, including, as we are informed, a majority of those at Watertown, received a part or all of their goods at Dexter the last season, and very large quantities of produce and other property were shipped from this place to market.

The present arrangements for building at Dexter next season are already very extensive, it is believed there will be more building at this place, during the next season, than at any other place in this County. Among the buildings to be erected, is a very large Woolen Factory. Its dimensions will be 190 feet long, 50 feet wide, and three stories high, to be built of stone; the capital of the Company is one hundred thousand dollars. A large Iron Forge for making Iron and manufacturing axes and edge tools, etc., this is under contract to be completed by the 1st May next. A Storehouse and Wharf are to be done by 1st April. A large number of dwellings, mechanics' shops and stores are to be erected, a bridge across the main branch of the river is to be done by 1st May.

The charter provides that the Rome, Watertown and Cape Vincent Rail Road shall run through or have a lateral track to Dexter.

We are informed that a daily line of stages will commence running in the spring from Dexter to Utica, to arrive and depart in time and after the arrival of the boat.

The policy of the Proprietors of the place is very liberal indeed, and offers great inducements, particularly to mechanics and persons wishing water power, as well as all classes of citizens to locate in this place.

p.3 The River Trent Navigation - Bill passed the House of Assembly on 26th; list of yeahs and nays.

A List of Bills which have passed the House of Assembly during the present Session:

4 - to incorporate the Grafton Harbor Company.

19 - to improve Windsor harbour, etc.

24 - to incorporate Colborne Harbor Company.

27 - to complete the Welland Canal.

28 - to grant a loan to the Louth Harbor Company, Niagara District.

29 - to grant a loan to the Gananoque and Wiltsie Navigation Company.

32 - to improve the navigation of the Trent.

34 - to compel vessels to carry a light during the night, and to make sundry provisions to regulate the navigation of the waters of this Province.

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Feb. 1, 1837
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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), Feb. 1, 1837