The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), April 11, 1840

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p.2 Agency of Bank of Montreal - to open next month. "The commercial transactions between Kingston and Montreal have so much increased of late by the removal of the extensive Forwarding Establishments from Prescott and Cornwall...."

Disastrous Accident - It is with much regret that we have to announce a most untoward accident which befell the new steamer Ontario, while on her passage downwards, on Wednesday last, from Toronto. When opposite Whitby one of the shafts broke; the wheel attached immediately sunk, and a general derangement of the machinery of one engine taking place, the noble vessel was obliged to put back to Niagara for a new engine, or indeed two engines may probably be necessary. This disaster may be viewed as a public loss. The spirited proprietor, the Hon. John Hamilton, was on board at the time and though we learn that the Niagara Dock Company will bear the loss of the damaged machinery, still the loss of time and disappointment to Mr. Hamilton in not being able for the present to test the important experiment contemplated in the construction of this boat, must be great.

From the ascertained speed of the Ontario, 18 miles an hour, it is now generally conceded that she would accomplish with ease the object for which she was built, viz. the surmounting of the rapids of the Long Sault. The following description of this vessel, we find in the British Colonist:

I send you some dimensions of Mr. Hamilton's new steam ship, the Ontario, as well as a few remarks regarding speed, etc:- The Ontario's extreme length is 204 feet, breadth of beam 26 feet, extreme breadth, 53 feet, depth in hold 9 feet, the main cabin is about 170 feet long, the after part of which is converted by folding doors, into a ladies' sleeping cabin, and the forward part for gentlemen; the tables, which are mahogany, when set from end to end, will admit of about 200 people to sit down comfortably to dine; the cabins when finished will have a fine appearance, the hangings and furnishing will be of the most costly description; there is also a large cabin on deck, the after part of which will be a dressing cabin for the ladies, and the forward part a saloon, furnished with sofas, etc.; there are several other rooms on deck for the officers and crew, etc.

With regard to speed she fully meets the expectations of her spirited proprietor, and I believe his intentions in taking a trip to Toronto on such a thick and stormy day as Saturday, was more to try her qualities than her speed. Although it blew strong from the eastward, and considerable sea running, she proved an excellent sea-boat, and performed the trip from the Government Wharf to Niagara Wharf, 34 miles, in 2 hours and 29 minutes - in a fine day she will perform the distance in 2 hours.

The Ontario is propelled by 2 low pressure engines of 75 horsepower each, the length of stroke being 10 feet, diameter of paddle-wheels 26 feet; she is commanded by Capt. Hilliard, favorably known as Captain of the William the Fourth and Brockville steamers, and who has had a great deal of experience on the River St. Lawrence, his intended destination.

A Passenger On Board the Ontario Niagara, March 30, 1840

The steamer boat Albion arrived at this port on Wednesday evening, from Brockville, and proceeded up the Bay on Thursday as far as Fredericksburgh, where she was stopped by the ice. She is still in charge of her popular commander, Captain Johnson. She sailed again this morning for the head of the Bay, as it is expected the navigation is now clear; at all events Captain J. expects to go to Belleville.

The St. George, Capt. Moody, also arrived on Wednesday afternoon, from Toronto; she goes up again this evening.

Launch - Messrs. Calvin, Cook and Counter launched a splendid new schooner, about 190 tons burthen, from their shipyard on Garden Island on Thursday evening last, which they called the William Penn. She is to be employed in their extensive Stave and Timber trade.

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April 11, 1840
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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), April 11, 1840