p.2 meeting at Trent about possible alterations in works now in progress on Trent. (full column)
OPENING OF ST. ANN'S LOCK.
This beautiful piece of mechanical art, after exactly three years of labor, has been finished, and was opened on Tuesday morning. No person, who is not acquainted with its situation, can form an estimate of the difficulties which have retarded, and in any other hands than Messrs. Crawford & Wilkinson's, would have altogether prevented its construction. The St. Anne's Lock is situated at the extreme upper end of the Island of Montreal upon the Ottawa, and by a large and beautiful wingdam is placed in the midst of the Rapids, celebrated in the Canadian Boat Song. The Lock, which is built of hewn stone, is about two hundred feet long, and forty five wide, and capable of containing from four to six barges at a time; the wingdam which sweeps in a gentle curve upward from the lock is of wood and stone. The situation is extremely picturesque; to the right, embowered among trees, lies the little village of St. Ann's, formerly a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company; on the left, just rising above the bosom of the swift flowing waters, are many little islands clothed with a luxuriance of vegetation, impervious to the sight, and in their numberless bays and shady nooks, offering a most tempting field for the sportsman, either with rod or gun; in the distance, stretching away as far as the eye can reach, are the Two Mountains, which give their name to the Lake, around which they rise, throned among clouds, and clad in the native garb of forest majesty. Here and there, like a child of the element, skims over the quiet waters the bark canoe, while the merry voices of the voyageurs, keeping time to the quick strokes of their paddles, are borne gently over the Lake, fit music for such a scene. And here a crowd of schooners and barges, their taper masts dressed in canvass of dazzling whiteness, come swiftly down, or move more quietly up, and across the Lake. Here are also large rafts of timber, floating lazily along, while the raftsmen ply their ponderous oars; or moored among the islands, wait a more favorable wind to descend the stream. All around the lake is enchanted ground, every moment discloses some new feature of beauty and interest; here a deep indented bay, with a silver beach, bowered round with foliage of every shade of green, so beautiful that one might swear it was the very spot where,
"Beneath the rising Moon, fair Venus leads
Her various dance;"
and there an island fit to be the earthly bower of Nereids, where they might lie on mossy couches the live long day, and comb the pearl drops from their glittering hair, and twine sweet flours about their glowing limbs.
But our Pegasus is fairly galloping into the ideal, and we must with "many a lingering look behind," return to the realities of the day. Soon after seven o'clock, the Dolphin being engaged by Messrs. Crawford and Wilkinson for the occasion, and having on board a large party of gentlemen, their guests, left Lachine. The morning was as beautiful as heart could wish, a clear sky, and the sun shining warmly, with just enough of air to make it pleasant. Breakfast was served on board, and by the time that the meal was discussed the Lock was within sight. The occasion had been made a holiday by the inhabitants, who lined the sides of the Lock in great numbers. Everything was in readiness, and while the cannon peeled and the trumpets blew a merry welcome, amidst the shouts of the multitude, the Dolphin passed gallantly through - the Lock occupying about two and a half minutes in filling. At the invitation of Messrs. Crawford and Wilkinson, a large party of ladies joined the Steamer for a trip around the Lake of Two Mountains. A violinist was also pressed into their service, and dancing upon the deck was kept up with much spirit, in spite of the heat - thanks to the iced punch. After proceeding around the Lake, the Dolphin returned again to the Lock, and passing through, disembarked its fair freight, who appeared highly delighted with their jaunt, and many a one will remember with more than ordinary interest the opening of St. Anne's Lock.
The Dolphin then got under way for Lachine, and the gentlemen sat down to a splendid cold collation, provided by their generous hosts; everything which the season affords, far or near, or heart could wish, was there in profusion. The Champagne kept up a brisk fusillade, and the greatest conviviality prevailed. Loyal and friendly toasts were drunk, so were not the company; songs were sung, and speeches made; and when Lachine was reached, there was not one who did not feel the day had been too short.
Thus ended the opening of the St. Anne's Lock, which, whether regarded as a work of art, or of honesty, - for, be it remembered, it was completed at an expense of £3000 over and above the contract - reflects the highest honor to the contractors, Messrs. Crawford and Wilkinson; and great credit to the able management of Mr. Francis, their superintendent.
p.3 Accident to the Canal - We regret to state, that the navigation of the Welland Canal has been obstructed, for several days past, in consequence of the destruction of a full set of gates, in the lock just below St. Catharines, by accident. It appears that a schooner was passing up, on Sunday morning last, which, coming into the lock under considerable head way, without being properly checked, struck against the head gates with so much force as to press one of them open, when the water rushed thro' with such tremendous power as to carry away successively, every gate in the lock. The damage was repaired, as speedily as possible, at the expense of the master or owners of the vessel, and the navigation is now resumed, as usual.
[St. Catharines Journal]
For Montreal Direct - steamer Charlotte, Capt. Marshall. July 1st, 1843.