The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Nov. 23, 1844

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p.2 We readily give insertion to our old friend McIntyre's communication, respecting the entrance to the Harbours on the Lakes. We have received several others which we have suppressed, because they appeared to us to be written under an improper influence; they all, however, agree that very little, if any real, benefit has been derived from the large sums expended - and in some cases it is asserted that, injury has been sustained by the injudicious way in which the work is done.



To the Editor of the Chronicle & Gazette.

Mr. Editor, -

As I am under promise to several Masters on Lakes Ontario and Erie, to give them what information I can gather relative to Harbours and Shoals on these Lakes, I beg leave to trouble you with this communication.

I have just read an article in your paper of the 15th inst., signed by a Captain on Lake Ontario, on the subject of Harbours on that Lake. In case that his statement might cause doubt on some Masters of vessels, especially those not well acquainted with the North Shore of the Lake, and prevent them from taking the Harbours of Presqu' Isle and Windsor Bay for shelter in stormy weather - I beg to state for their information that the present low state of the waters of Lake Ontario, (the Lake being three inches lower at this season of the year than I have ever known it before,) there is ten feet on Presqu' Isle bar, with the gravel Point bearing W.S.W. On the first September there was 11 feet, but the Lake has fallen a foot since that time. Vessels can go in over all drawing 6 1/2 feet.

On the Bar at Windsor Bay there is 7 1/2 feet: at the end of the East Pier there is 8 feet: and at the end of the West Pier 14 feet: inside of the Bar and at the end of the Spit between the Piles, there is 10 feet. At present this is the best place for vessels to come to at. Before any dredging was done, with the present height of the Lake there would have been only 6 feet four inches on the Bar; and had not an accident occurred to the dredge on the night of the 18th October last, there would have been 9 feet all over the Bar. However, at the usual rise of the Lake, there will be on the 10th of April next a foot more than at present.

I have just received a letter from the keeper of the Lighship, Long Point Cut, Lake Erie, in which he states that on the night of the 18th Oct. last, the Sand banks on the West side of the Cut have been washed away nearly level with the water, as far as the first Trees, which is almost 3/4 of a mile West of the Cut; a few miles out on the Lake, the Cut will now appear much wider than it has formerly. The proper way to run into the Cut is to bring the Lightship to bear N. by W. 1/2 W.; with this course they will go in, in 13 feet water.

The keeper also informed me that on the night of the 18th, the American schooner Birmingham came in solely by the light, not being able to see the land, and was the means of saving themselves and the vessel. This he states to be the Captain's own words.

What I have now stated is only from an anxious desire that the true state of these Harbours should be known to those whom it may concern; and also from a duty that one sailor owes to another - especially on these Lakes, where Charts with proper soundings cannot be had.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient servant,

John McIntyre

Whitby, 18th Nov., 1844.

p.3 Lake Propellers - The Buffalo Commercial speaks in terms of high praise of the propellers which are in use in five steamboats on Lake Erie. They have acquitted themselves much better than last year, and it is anticipated that the introduction of Loper's four-fanned wheel will give them increased speed, while it lessens the consumption of fuel. The Ericson wheel has eight fans acting a cylinder. Loper's has half that number, acting directly upon the shaft, with a diminished bevel. The former has had a fair trial, and the owners of the Hercules, on the lake, are determined to test the other. A pair has been procured from the manufactury in Philadelphia, and are now being put in. The Advertiser adds that the leading ship owners of some of the upper lake ports contemplate building propellers soon, perhaps one immediately at Milwaukie, and watch with much interest the progress now making in this new application. - These and many other improvements are fast coming into use on the lakes. Those most interested find that wrought iron shafts for the large boats are the only ones to be relied upon and are taking measures to procure them. The owners of the St. Louis have sent their engineer to Pittsburgh for that purpose.

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Nov. 23, 1844
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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. 23, 1844