The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Nov. 2, 1842

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[Prince Edward Gazette]


Nothing can be more pleasing to him who takes an interest in the prosperity of this country, than to witness the rapid progress which its numerous Towns and villages are making, in extending their limits, and the appearance of commercial and agricultural wealth which they every where exhibit. Among the number of those which we lately visited, none afforded us more gratification than Wellington. A few short years ago, this beautiful and flourishing village could scarcely be said to have an existence. Now, however, it boasts of a long line of well built and good looking dwelling houses. That which is situated at the Eastern extremity of the village, possesses all the characteristics of elegance and substantial comfort. It was designed by a member of the Royal Academy of London, and certainly does his architectural credit no discredit. The population of Wellington is about 400. It contains 5 Stores, 1 Foundry, 1 Brewery, 2 School Houses, and 3 places of public worship, of which 1 is appropriated to the Catholics, 1 to the Society of Friends, and 1 to the Methodists. It appeared to us somewhat singular, that no place of worship in Wellington, appropriated to the Church of England, had been yet erected, although we heard that a spot of ground had been generously offered for the purpose. Why the offer was not accepted, we pretend not to say. But this we can say, that had there been an English Church in Wellington, the population of English and Scotch Emigrants, who will in general settle no where but in a place which affords them the means of religious and moral instruction in the peculiar doctrines of their creed, would have been much more numerous than it really now is. The wharf and storehouses at the Western end of the village, are extremely well conducted, and equal indeed, in point of durability, to any on the Lake shore. The skill which has been displayed in the construction of this wharf has called forth, we understand, the approbation of many competent judges. By means of a rail road, and a car which passes between the storehouses and the extremity of the wharf a vessel capable of carrying 3000 bushels of wheat might be unloaded in four hours. By the convenience afforded by the wharf just mentioned, a system of communication is kept up with all parts of the Lake. It has been frequently asserted, that no place in Canada can flourish, unless it be provided with water privileges; and the recent dormant condition of Bath, Adolphustown, and other places similarly situated, is cited as proof of the averment. Wellington possesses no water privileges, not even a steam mill; and yet it exhibits the most unequivocal proof of its rapid advancement towards wealth and importance. There are in this village no men of independent - no officers, deriving their pay from government - and no Courts of Law are held here. The riches of Wellington are derived exclusively from the industry of its surrounding rural population, and the close application to business of its merchants and mechanics. To form an idea of the productive power of the neighbourhood of Wellington, it is only necessary to state, that one merchant alone, A. McFaul, Esq., received within the short space of one month, during the present autumn, 8,000 bushels of Wheat; and that he exported in one season, of Wheat and Flour alone, a quantity equal to 60,000 bushels. Besides the agriculture and commerce of Wellington, another great source of its wealth is derived from the Fisheries pursued on the long ranges of sand banks which divide Lake Ontario from the East and West Lakes. Those Fisheries were commenced only about eight years ago. To form an estimate of their productiveness we may mention, that at one haul alone, lately made by a net about one quarter of a mile long, no less than 7,800 white fish were taken.

There are many delightful views in and about Wellington. That from the end of the wharf is however, perhaps the finest. The broad expanse of the blue waters of Ontario on the one hand, and the vast undulating range of the picturesque Sand Banks on the other, present by their simple combination a scene which can scarcely be surpassed.

Before closing this hasty description of Wellington, we ought in justice to state, that it is to A. McFaul, Esq., that it owes its first origin, and that it was by the enterprise, perseverance and integrity of this gentleman, that it has been elevated to its present prosperous and flourishing condition. At his sole expense, the Roman Catholic Church was originally built, although more than one third of the money expended has been repaid by the congregation. Enterprise and virtue are always sure to be ultimately rewarded; and accordingly, it is not wonderful (sic) that he should enjoy the good wishes and blessings of all by whom he is surrounded.

It was our intention to have accounted for the curious tides which agitate the water of the East and West Lakes; and to have described the singular beauties of those ranges of sand hills called the Sand Banks, that stretch along the shores of Lake Ontario. That pleasure however, we shall reserve until another occasion.

Died - On Sunday afternoon, Mr. James Knapp, of Barriefield.

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Nov. 2, 1842
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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), Nov. 2, 1842