The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), April 18, 1840

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p.1 Trade On the Lakes - Col. Kearney, of the U.S. Engineers, gives the following statistics in a late report to Congress. Steamboats, tonnage 17,324, value $2,741,200. Sail vessels, including brigs, schooners, ships and sloops, tonnage 17,988, value 658,400. This does not include the vessels from Lake Ontario, or those on Lake Superior. During the last winter, shipping to a considerable amount has been provided on Lake Superior, to carry on the fur business, and to engage in the fisheries.... [Buffalo Republic]



Upwards of Fifty Houses Destroyed by Fire.

At a little past 12 o'clock last night, the alarm of fire was sounded. The roof of the building on Counter's Wharf, occupied by the Ottawa and Rideau Forwarding Company as an Office, was discovered to be in flames, and the wind blowing a gale from the south-west, the destructive element communicated to the adjoining stores with fearful rapidity - in one of which, belonging to Mr. James Fraser, grocer, was deposited a large quantity of Gunpowder, about 100 kegs, which exploded with such violence as to shake the whole Town, breaking the windows generally throughout the place. The burning timbers of this building were thrown to a great distance, and it is supposed that one of these fell on the Chequered Tavern occupied by Mr. Irons, and in consequence of which, that building as well as the whole of the houses on the north side of the Market Square were destroyed.....

The origin of this great calamity is as follows: The American Steamer Telegraph was lying on the West side of Counter's wharf, and in consequence of the gale of wind the Captain thought it advisable to raise the steam and put off from the shore. In doing this, however, the sparks from the flue of the vessel communicated with the roof of the office of the Ottawa Company as already mentioned.

From the high winds and the dry state of the atmosphere the progress of the conflagration was so rapid that but little opportunity was afforded to save much of the property. The Ottawa Company had 15,000 barrels of flour, whiskey and port, totally consumed, and Mr. Counter had 1,500 barrels of flour and pork destroyed in the large new store adjoining. In the Ottawa Company's stores were 50 bales of goods valued at from 3 to 4,000 Pds. belonging to William Wilson, Esq., which were burnt, and not insured. The Ottawa Company's steamer Cataraqui as well as the Schooner Nelson were consumed. The hulls of the vessels, while burning, glided along towards the Cataraqui Bridge, which would have been destroyed but by the active exertions of Commodore Sandom and his men.......

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April 18, 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 18, 1840