With the spring of 1849 the various steamships that were running in the previous season between the lake ports resumed their journeys. The line from Toronto to Rochester ran as in the season preceding, and consisted of the same vessels. There was a slight change on the Niagara line, though, the advertisement issued from the steamboat office, 22 Front street, Toronto, announcing that
WILL, until further notice, leave Toronto for Niagara, Queenston and Lewiston, every Morning. (Sundays excepted), at half-past seven o'clock, commencing on Monday, April 1st. returning, will leave Lewiston at one o'clock, P.M.
As an instance of the time it then took for a journey from Toronto to Ottawa, it may be mentioned that, with hard work, it might be accomplished in 48 hours; that is, from Toronto to Kingston in twenty, and from the latter town to Ottawa in twenty-eight hours. The following advertisement will show how tedious was the journey. Under date Kingston, June 5th, 1849, Macpherson & Crane thus advertise:
WILL ply. during the Season, between KINGSTON and BYTOWN, and vice versa, twice a week, as follows--leaving Kingston every Tuesday and Friday Morning, at Nine o'clock, and Bytown every Wednesday and Saturday Evening, after the arrival of the Phoenix from Grenville, affording to Western Travellers the most interesting and comfortable route to or from the Caledonia Springs,
And arrive at Bytown at 12 o'clock, noon. The season of 1849 witnessed a terrible accident to many of the passengers on the steamer Passport, while on her journey from Montreal to Kingston. It is thus described by the Globe of July 1st in that year:--
We regret to announce that a most frightful accident occurred to the steamer Passport on Thursday evening, on her trip up from Montreal to Kingston. We have as yet received no accurate account of the lamentable affair, except what we have been enabled to glean from passengers who reached here last evening, but we believe that the following narrative will be found substantially correct: --
It appears that the chief engineer of the Passport has recently been appointed to a better situation, and his successor not having been appointed, the boat on the night in question was in charge of the second engineer. Unfortunately at the time of the accident the second engineer had retired to his berth, leaving an inferior officer in command--he being, as afterwards appeared, an illiterate person, unable to read or write.
About 9 o'clock p. m. the Passport was off Lancaster (16 miles below Cornwall), the under deck being loaded with steerage passengers--when the boat took the ground. Orders were given to stop the engine and back out; it appears that to do this, from the peculiar construction of the engine, the engineer should have opened one cock and shut another. He opened the first, but it is said neglected to shut the other. The steam in consequence rushed from the cylinder, through the hot-well, in among the steerage passengers--and the scene which followed may be imagined. The shriek which broke from the unhappy sufferers we are assured was frightful and was heard several miles off. The utmost consternation struck all on board, the character of the accident being for some time unknown; four persons jumped overboard, of whom two were saved, but it is feared the other two were drowned.
Capt. Bowen and his officers were most energetic, and the simple nature of the disaster having been ascertained and confidence somewhat restored, every exertion was made to relieve the sufferers. A surgeon came off from Lancaster to their assistance, and the scalded passengers having been brought on deck, it was found that 44 were severely injured. We are told that the scene during the night was horrible in the extreme; the cabin was strewed with men, women and children suffering the most frightful agony, and the shrieks of the dying rang throughout the night. After some delay the boat proceeded to Cornwall, by which time nine of the sufferers had expired. A coroner's inquest was held by Dr. McDonald and Mr. Dickson, and evidence taken--but we learn that no verdict was rendered, the enquiry having been adjourned.
The sufferers in this unfortunate affair were all immigrants. About twenty of them were left behind at Cornwall, and the remainder were brought up to Kingston. We understand that four additional deaths have resulted since, the coroner's inquest sat, and that many others are very seriously injured.
The following correspondence has taken place between Capt. Bowen and the cabin passengers who were on board the Passport at the time of the accident, and from what we know of Capt. Bowen's assiduity as a commander, and his kindness to his passengers, we are satisfied that he deserves all that is said of his conduct on this lamentable occasion:--
"Dear Sir,--We, the undersigned passengers on board the steamer Passport, feel it our duty to record our sense of the prompt and able manner in which you succeeded in allaying the fears of the passengers as well as in averting, as far as possible, the danger to which we were exposed on the evening of the fatal disaster, which occurred on the 27th inst., on our journey from Montreal to Kingston. We feel satisfied that the lamentable occurrence was not in any way attributable to a want of due vigilance on your part, as commander of the steamer, and we have much pleasure in tendering to yourself, as well as to Mr. Howard and other officers of the ship, our heartfelt thanks for their kind attention to the unfortunate sufferers on this melancholy occasion
"A. Logie, Francis Lee, Wm. H. Lee, R. L. Lee, Julia Kirchoffer, Margaret Blews, Frances Lamb, Jemima Cleland, Lucy Alcorn, Anne Alcorn, Jane Hutton, James Gullier, James Gullier, jr.,James Hutton, Wm. W. Woodcock, John Come, Timothy Lamb, Thomas Yerman, G. H. Cutling, G. Powell, Frederick A. Ball, H. D. Black, Wm. Heighton, A. W. Clelland, A. Baird, B. Cosgrove, Samuel Alcorn."
"Dear Sir,--I beg to return our sincere thanks for the very handsome testimonial, which yourself and fellow-passengers now on board the steamer Passport, have so kindly offered as a testimony of the conduct of myself, Mr. Howard, and others, officers of the ship, on the evening of the fatal disaster which occurred on the 27th inst., on the steamer's passage from Montreal to Kingston, and to assure you that we shall ever entertain a high sense of the kind consideration shown to us upon that melancholy occasion by the whole of the cabin passengers.
A very peculiar vessel plied at this time on the bay between Toronto and the Island opposite, known as the "Cigar Boat," from the peculiar nature of its construction. The hull consisted of three hollow cylinders, bolted well together and pointed at each end like a cigar. She was a steam side wheel vessel, the property of Mr. R. Tinning, the wharfinger.
She was anything but a success and in the spring of 1850, owing to the floods that had occurred both at the east and west of the city, whereby the Don and Humber bridges were swept away, Mr. Tinning leased the vessel, her machinery having been removed, to the Toronto City Council, for use as a pontoon bridge over the Don until the bridge was repaired. Of course all the upper portion of the vessel had been taken away as well as her machinery. The very first night she was moored at the Don the ferrymen who, when she arrived found, like Othello, " their occupation gone," sank her, and she had, of course, to be raised. Nevertheless, she was again placed in position, and guarded each night by special watchmen to prevent further outrage. When the bridge was repaired, the old "Cigar," or what was left of her, was not used for any other purpose, but laid by, and was eventually broken up.
The "Horse Boat" has been fully described in the "Landmarks," but the subjoined advertisement relating to that old institution on Toronto Bay will prove interesting to many readers; it is headed thus: --
THAT Safe and Convenient Horse Boat, the PENINSULA PACKET, will leave Mr. Maitland's Wharf, foot of Church street, every day at 10 o'clock, a.m., 12, 2 4 and 6 p.m., for the Peninsula Hotel. Returning at 11 a.m., 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. precisely.
Terrible floods, the result of two days' successive rain occurred on April 3rd. They were attended by great destruction of property throughout the entire province, especially at Toronto. The Don bridge on the Kingston road was completely carried away, communication from the east with Toronto was for a time entirely cut off, and the eastern mail delayed for about two days. The bridge at the Credit was also greatly damaged, the mail for two days having to be carried over in a scow. The swing bridge at the mouth of the Humber was carried away, as was also that over the Mimico creek. In addition to the great destruction of property, unfortunately loss of life had to be added, more than one person being carried away by the floods and drowned. In the closing days of April the Toronto Examiner reports a meeting held in Kingston of the various steamboat owners on Lake Ontario under this heading:--
"The agreement they came to was this: That through line should pay to the owner of lake boats $1 on each cabin passenger and half a dollar on each deck passenger brought by them, the through line, from Montreal to Hamilton.
"Mr. Bethune was to receive the amount of the fares for all passengers carried from Toronto to Lewiston that the through line brought to the former place from below, no matter in what boats they had their passage.
Notwithstanding this agreement there was something of an opposition, though it was not sufficiently powerful to have any effect upon the rates of passage. The freight steamers that ran from Montreal to Toronto and Hamilton, which included the Ottawa, Britannia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Hibernia, Western Miller, Free Trader and Commerce, were all able to carry from twenty to thirty cabin, besides a large number of steerage, passengers. Depending as they did upon freight for remuneration they were able to carry these passengers at very low rates. The agreement therefore that the other steamboat proprietors had entered into was just what the owners of the steam freight ships wished for. Several schooners, among them the Western Miller and Governor, chartered by Mr. Dawson, of Halifax, N. S., ran in the season of 1850 between Toronto and Halifax. They took Canadian and brought back West Indian produce and Nova Scotian fish. Another schooner owned by Mr. Thompson Smith was engaged on the same enterprise.
While ascending Lake Ontario on April 22nd the propeller St. Lawrence was struck by lightning and very seriously injured. Happily no lives were sacrificed. The Kingston Whig of the same date has a short paragraph announcing the " first boat of the through line, the Comet, Captain Taylor, leaves Kingston for Toronto and Hamilton at twelve o'clock noon to-day. This is the first boat of the new line, and will be followed in due succession by the New Era and Passport as soon as they can be got ready."
The Admiral had new boilers put in during the spring, and in June was put on the Niagara route as a morning boat from Toronto to Lewiston. On June 7 the Governor-General accompanied by seventy members of both houses of the Legislature, about eighty Government clerks and some dignitaries and reporters, started from Toronto in the Chief Justice for the Welland Canal, for the purpose of visiting the Public Works there progressing. The steamer returned to Toronto the following day. A sad disaster, accompanied by awful loss of life occurred on Lake Erie on June 17th, the steamer Griffith,with passengers for Buffalo, being burned to the water's edge. The number of deaths exceeded 250 souls. A new vessel named the Highlander, afterwards one of the through line from Montreal to Toronto, was built and completed in July. She was described by the press of the time as " a splendid boat," The Sovereign for a very brief period in 1850 formed one of the R. M. line from Toronto to Kingston, but in the end of May was placed on the Niagara route and remained thereupon during the rest of the season.
On Lakes Simcoe and Huron there was also what was known as the Royal Mail Line of Steamers. On the former the Morning ran from Holland Landing to Orillia, from thence passengers were conveyed by stage to Sturgeon Bay, which port the steamer Gore left each week for the Sault Ste. Marie, calling at all the intermediate ports.
The new steamer Mazeppa, Captain William Donaldson, was in the very beginning of the season of 1851 announced to commence running on or before the 15th day of April, between Toronto and St. Catharines, leaving Toronto at 7 a. m., and returning leave St. Catharines at 1:30 p.m.
Passengers who left Toronto by this route arrived in St. Catharines in time to take the line of stages (meeting the Emerald, for Buffalo) passed through a beautiful tract of country, conspicuous in which was the Welland Canal, with its many splendid docks, and also a view of Niagara Falls from the British side of the river.
It will be seen by the following correspondence that a system of signals for the convenience of the public attending the wharves of Toronto by which the uncertainty as to which wharf vessels entering the harbor would touch at. was removed:--
SIR,--I, this morning, suggested to Captain Richardson, our active Harbor Master, the convenience it would afford to the citizens generally as well as to the carters and cabmen, it a signal were carried by all steamers entering the port of Toronto during the day, designating the wharf at which they intend to put up,
All vessels possess a Union Jack, or ought to, and thereupon I consulted with Capt. Sutherland of the Magnet and we agreed upon the following, to designate Wharfs, with something like the following announcement, if your Worship should see fit.
All vessels arriving at the Port of Toronto in the day time, and desirous of protection from the authority of the Corporation, will designate the Wharf they intend to stop at by the following signals: For Gorrie's Wharf, Union Jack at Bowsprit end.
There were but few changes in the early part of 1851 in the vessels plying upon Ontario or the St. Lawrence. The steamer Comet met with an accident on April 21st, whereby not only was the vessel rendered a total wreck, but three lives were also sacrificed. While lying at one of the wharves in Oswego her boiler exploded, and in addition to those killed, many others were dreadfully injured. Running on the St. Lawrence from Kingston to Montreal in connection with the steamers on the upper lakes were the Commerce, Western Miller and Scotland, all steamers under the command respectively of Captains Purdy, Cochrane and Marshall. There were no alterations on either Lakes Simcoe and Huron in the sailing arrangements which had obtained in 1850.
The Highlander, which has been mentioned as having been built in the summer of 1850 with the Champion, also a new boat, and the May Flower, formed a line which began its career on August 26th. It was widely advertised thus:
At 2 o'clock p.m., and Lachine on the arrival of the 5 p.m. Trains.
IN addition to the above named ports, the boats will call at the other important Lake and River Ports. After the 20th day of September, the Boats will discontinue calling at, Lewiston, and make Hamilton the port or departure at 74 o'clock, on the mornings of Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The establishment of this Line will enable the merchants of Canada West to remain throughout, the business day in Montreal, and to reach their homes almost as early as if they had gone by the Mail Line at noon, and connecting, as the boats will do, with the up and down Express Trains at Ogdensburgh, they will afford direct conveyance for passengers and freight between the Canadian ports and the Eastern States.
It is deemed unnecessary to dwell upon the advantages of first-class steamers passing direct from the head of Lake Ontario to Montreal, and vice versa, over those Lines that involve a transhipment (on the downward trip) at an unseasonable hour in the morning.
For Freight or Passage apply to the Captains on board, or at the NEW THROUGH LINE OFFICE, No. 30 1/2 McGill Street, or for Champion and May Flower, to Macpherson, Crane & Co., Montreal; Macpherson & Crane, Prescott, Kingston and Hamilton.
A terrible accident occurred near Kingston on Thursday, August 14th. A party of thirty-five persons, all well-known residents of Kingston, started from there on a picnic to the foot of Long Island in a yacht, and on their return the boat was capsized and nineteen of their number were drowned.
The Maple Leaf, Captain Wilkinson, made occasional trips throughout the summer from Toronto to Brockville direct, without transhipment at Kingston, also between Toronto, Hamilton and intermediate ports.
The Niagara Chronicle of January 1st, 1852, commenting on the difficulties of communication from one part of the province to the other, throughout the winter, says, "The steamer Chief Justice still continues her trips hence to Toronto, but the weather not infrequently interferes with her regularity, besides which the ice in Toronto Bay for some days past has prevented her from reaching any of the wharves. On Monday she was run into the slip at this port; next morning the ice had made so fast she had to cut--a work of no little difficulty and labor, and her owner, Mr. Hern [sic: Heron], deserves no little credit for his exertions in keeping open a communication of so much public importance,'
will, until further notice, leave Toronto daily at half-past 7 a.m., and half-past 2 p. m., connecting at Buffalo with the express trains going East, also with the State Line Railroad and steamers going West.
Besides the Niagara line to New York there was yet another by Rochester, which was by no means backward in letting the public know the advantages it could offer; the arrangements for 1852 were advertised as follows:--
DAILY LINE OF STEAMERS TO ROCHESTER.
Passengers for New York by this conveyance, may take the morning express train of cars from Rochester at 10 minutes after 8. and arrive at New York about 10 o'clock same evening, or take a steamer at Albany and arrive at New York during the night. Passengers leaving New York by the express train at ( o'clock p. m. will arrive at Rochester the following morning in ample time for the steamers
The steamer Admiral leaves Toronto for Rochester every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning at half-past 10 o'clock; and leaves Rochester (or Toronto every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 9 o'clock, calling at Cobourg and other intermediate ports, weather permitting.
Passengers by the above steamers can purchase tickets, at the office, or from the Pursers on board, for the Cars to Albany. New York or Boston: and also, for the steamboats from Albany to New York. State Rooms on the Hudson River boats, can be secured by application to the Pursers of the Admiral or America,
Passengers from Hamilton, by leaving on Monday and Friday afternoon, at three o'clock, in the Mail Steamers Princess Royal and Passport, will arrive in Toronto in time to take the America for Rochester and arrive in New York in 31 hours.
Leave St. Catharines every Morning at half-past six o'clock. (Sunday) excepted.) Returning leaves Toronto at 2 P. M. Passengers taking the Mazeppa, will reach Toronto in time to take the boats for Rochester, Kingston, Montreal and Hamilton.
A third route from Canada to the United States was from Hamilton, where the steamer Rochester, upon the opening of navigation, resumed her trips to Lewiston, leaving Hamilton at 7 a.m.; returning, left Lewiston at 1 p.m., connecting with the United States express and mail line of steamers to Ogdensburg, touching at all the intermediate ports.
In addition to fill these various means of transit there were the six steamers forming the through line from the head of the lake to the lower Province and all parts of the United States. It was described in a business like way, thus:
Between Toronto, Lewiston, Cape Vincent, Brockville and Ogdensburgh, there was a daily service of steamers. At the commencement of the season these were the Northerner and Bay State, each of 1,000 tons burthen. They connected with the steamers British Queen, British Empire, and Jenny Lind, at Ogdensburgh for Montreal. Later in the season the Northerner was displaced by the New York, Captain R. B. Chapman, the Bay State remaining under command of Captain J. H. Ledyard.
There was also a line of freight steamers between Toronto and Montreal, consisting of the Britannia, Comet, Dawn, Free Trader, Ottawa, Ontario and Western Miller. They made each of them one trip weekly.
A law suit instituted by the owners of the steamer Magnet against those of the Maple Leaf terminated on October 23rd, after occupying the court the whole of that day, the evidence being so conflicting, in a verdict for the plaintiff with damages of $2,400. One the same date expired in Toronto the commander of the Maple Leaf, Captain Neil Wilkinson.
The "independent through line steamer," as such she was described, the Ocean Wave, Allison Wright, commander, ran during the season once a week from Hamilton to Montreal, leaving the first place each Tuesday at 1 o'clock a. m., calling at the intermediate ports between there and Toronto. She continued her journey eastward from Helliwell's wharf at 7 a.m., and called at Whitby, Oshawa, Port Darlington, Bond Head, Port Hope, Cobourg, Kingston and intermediate ports on the River St. Lawrence, running through the whole of the rapids, and arrived at Montreal on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, November 11th, a terrible storm swept over the lake. The wind blew a perfect hurricane, which did not abate until the evening of the 13th. The effects were moat calamitous. The schooner Albion was driven ashore on the Island opposite Toronto. Nearly all her cargo was lost. Serious as the matter was, yet it provokes a smile to read in a report of the disaster that " the sugar was much melted." It would have been very strange had it not been so.
The brig Erberts, of Chatham, was also driven aground on the bar, close to the Queen's wharf,Toronto. An American vessel, the Mobile, of Sackett's Harbor, was also ashore at the same place, and narrowly escaped being a total wreck. As it was, the damage done to her was very great.
The engines and boilers were supplied by Gartshore, of Dundas. The hull of the Queen was built at Oswego, and she was taken to Hamilton to have her boilers put in. Her total length of keel was 214 feet, and her breadth of beam 56 feet over all.
Another noticeable vessel, the Peerless, was in course of construction in the autumn of 1852. She was an iron steamer, built at Dumbarton, Scotland, and was for the lake route between Toronto and Queenston. Her builders warranted her to run 21 miles an hour.
Navigation remained open until very late in 1852, the schooner Eliza White arriving in Toronto on December 15th, while the Queen of the West was still running from Toronto to Hamilton. It finally ceased about a week later.
The Mazeppa commenced on December 23rd to run between Toronto and Wellington Square, and she continued on the course throughout the whole of the winter. The Chief Justice, Capt. Wilder, left the Queen's wharf,Toronto, daily all through the winter of 1852 and 1853 for Lewiston. The imports at the port of Toronto for 1852 amounted in value to $2,557,268 48.
The Princess Royal and the Admiral formed the daily line between Toronto and Rochester. The first of these two vessels supplanted the America, sold for $10,000 and sent to the Bay of Quinte as a tow-boat. The Cape Vincent Railway Company, through Messrs. McPherson & Crane, purchased the Mayflower, Champion and Highlander, and under the name of the latter firm ran them as a daily line from Hamilton to Cape Vincent, calling at all intermediate ports.
Among the freight steamers the Britannia, Lord Elgin and St. Lawrence, the property of Mrs. Brown, of Hamilton, ran from there to Montreal. The Scotland, Western Miller and Ottawa, owned by Messrs. McPherson & Crane, took the same route. The England, Ontario, Hibernia and Free Trader, owned by Messrs. Hooker & Holton, were also on this route, as also were the Dawn and Protection, besides a third vessel, all the property of Messrs. H. Jones & Co., of Montreal. These were all the freight steamers between the head of the lake and Montreal. In addition to these the Montmorenci ran from Hamilton to Quebec, the Reindeer from the latter place to Port Stanley, and the propeller Brantford from St. Catharines to Montreal.
Quinn was a very popular man and had previously been steward on board the Maple Leaf and City of Hamilton. The schooner Jenny Lind, Robert McClean, master, carried freight from Toronto, ascending the Welland Canal to Dunnville throughout the season of 1853. The Mazeppa, Captain Donaldson, resumed her course between Toronto and St. Catharines.
HAS to announce that she will leave Dunnville on MONDAY, 2nd MAY next, for the Sault de St. Marie and Sturgeon Bay, in order to commence the usual trips, on the Old Northern Route, between the above ports, under the command of CAPT. ALEX. McGREGOR, and will stop at the fifteen different ports on her upward trip, between Danville and the Sault de St. Marie.
In the latter end of April a change occurred in the command of the Chief Justice, Captain W. Milloy replacing Captain Wilder. The fast-sailing schooner Defiance, Captain Moodie, ran twice a week throughout the season of 1853, between Toronto and Niagara. Robert Maitland, Church street wharf, was the principal owner.
One of the most melancholy disasters that ever occurred on Lake Ontario took place on the morning of April 30th when the steamer Ocean Wave was destroyed by fire, when she was about twenty-three miles west of Kingston and two from the Ducks. The vessel was well provided with both boats and buckets, but it was found impossible to obtain the former for the use of the passengers, as the fire in the brief space of twenty minutes had consumed the cabin. This catastrophe resulted in the loss of twenty-eight lives, fifteen of these being members of the crew. The schooner Emblem, Captain Belyea, of Bronte, and the Georgina, Captain Henderson, of Port Dover, rendered the passengers of the ill-starred vessel every possible assistance. The former conveying those rescued to Kingston.
On Friday, May 6th, the new steamer Citizen left Brown's wharf,Toronto, at half-past three o'clock, passed through the east-era channel recently formed through the peninsula, proceeded to the river Humber and returned to Toronto in the evening. Only the day previously one of the local papers pronounced this feat "to be impossible."
A fore and aft schooner known as the John Hiseman was launched at the marine shipyard, Kingston, on May 10th. She was of 310 tons burthen, the property of Mr. W. Myers, and intended for the timber trade.
The Toronto Leader of May 20th remarks that " a first-class schooner called the Admiral was launched at Port Hope on the 11th inst. She is of about 140 tons measurement." This vessel was intended for the timber trade. On June 1st the coroner's jury which sat to investigate the Ocean Wave disaster and the deaths caused thereby returned a verdict of what really meant "accidental death." The captain was exonerated, as were all his officers, in fact no one was to blame. The Toronto Leader-- and other papers concurred in its remarks --very justly observed that "the public will hardly be satisfied to be told in effect that in this melancholy case no one is to be blamed." The steamer Victoria, L. J. Privat, commenced her regular trips between Maitland's wharf,Toronto, and the hotel on the peninsula on June 3rd. This note is appended to her advertisement: " No connection with any other boat or racing,"
On Friday, June 10th, in the early morning, the steamer Admiral met with a similar fate as had a few weeks earlier befallen the Ocean Wave. While lying at the foot of Browne's wharf,Toronto, she was burnt to the water's edge; happily no lives were lost. The cause of the fire was supposed to be purely accidental.
On Saturday, July 9th, yet another steamer fell a victim to fire, the Queen of the West being entirely destroyed while lying at her moorings in Hamilton Bay. The loss of this fine vessel was looked upon both in Hamilton and Toronto as a public calamity and much sympathy was felt for Captain Harrison, who was the largest shareholder in the vessel, losing, besides, everything in the shape of wearing apparel and personal property that he had on board. The Queen was insured for only $28,000, her value being quite double that sum.
Two new steamers to run between Hamilton, Toronto and Oswego were commenced this summer at Niagara. They were for the Canadian G.W.R., and were to be 288 feet long and the cost of their hulls was to be $63,000 each.
Plying between the Bay of Quinte and Montreal, in 1853, was the St. Elmo, a steamer intended more especially for the freight trade, but carrying a few passengers. Captain Crysler, formerly master of the Prince of Wales, commanded her. She also made occasional trips to Cape Vincent and Ogdensburgh.
The George Moffatt was built at Chatham expressly for the Western trade She has large and handsome accommodation for passengers. with safe and ample stowage for freight; is strong built, and propelled by a powerful engine.
The Moffatt will ply regularly between her native Port and Montreal, touching at any point down or upwards where she may have passengers or freight offered or to deliver, removing thereby an impediment to intercourse with the West, heretofore seriously felt. Apply to
The navigation opened in 1854 early in April. There were several changes. The May Flower, that in 1853 belonged to the Cape Vincent line, was purchased by Stark, Hall & Co., of Ogdensburgh, to form in connection with the Boston, a freight line between Ogdensburgh, Toronto and Hamilton.
The Welland (2nd), Captain Donaldson, built at St. Catharines early in 1853, ran from that port to Toronto in place of the Mazeppa, which made a daily trip from Toronto to Whitby. The Welland was 184 feet long and 22 feet wide, " her speed was to equal that of any boat on the lake"--of course!
On June 10th the Highlander, Captain McBride, until now on the Cape Vincent line, began to make daily trips from Hamilton to Toronto and return. She called at all intermediate ports Captain McBride was a most obliging man. If any passenger residing on the lake shore between the Credit and Oakville was on his vessel, he would always, when opposite their residence, sound the steam whistle so that a conveyance might be sent by their families to meet them.
Among sailing vessels on the lake trading between the various ports were the barque Northerner, owned by Messrs Gooderham & Worts of Toronto, the Caroline and the Alert, the two latter schooners also belonging to the same port.
On May 6th was launched at Niagara the steamer Zimmerman, Captain James Dick. This vessel was built by Oliver T. Macklem, of Chippawa, and she was bound to complete the distance between Niagara and Toronto under two hours. She received her name out of compliment to Mr. Zimmerman, the famous financier and railway magnate of the early "fifties," who met such a fearful death a few years later in the Desjardins Canal accident.
The following is the list of vessels, with their captains, which formed the through freight line from Hamilton to Montreal during the season of 1854:--Ottawa, Captain McGrath; Britannia, Captain Beatty; England, Captain Hannah; Hibernia, Captain Mowat; OntarioCaptain Stoker; St. Lawrence, Captain Savage, with the Free Trader, Lord Elgin and Gartshore, under Captains Moore, Bruce and Herd respectively. In November another change was made in the route of the Highlander, likewise in her captain, Robert Kerr succeeding Captain McBride. She then made two trips a week from Toronto to Rochester, calling at all intermediate ports.
The Chief Justice and Queen City also ran during the winter season of 1853 between Hamilton and Toronto and vice versa. A deplorable accident occurred on Lake Huron on November 28th to the steamboat Bruce Mines, on her passage from Goderich to the Bruce and Wellington mines. She was totally wrecked off Cape Huron [sic: Hurd]. During a heavy gale which prevailed on the night of November 27th she sprang a leak, which so gained on her that on the morning of the 28th it was discovered she was sinking, the captain and crew having barely time to take to the boats and get clear of her before she foundered. One man, the carpenter, was actually dragged down by the sinking vessel and drowned without the possibility of being rescued. Both steamer and cargo were a total loss, but they were fully insured.
On December 28th arrived at Queen's wharf,Toronto, the steamer St. Nicholas from St. Catharines, the schooner James Hunter with damaged wheat from Niagara, and the schooner Defiance with wood from the same port. This shows to what a late date navigation remained open.
On the morning of February 7th, the steamer Chief Justice, in endeavoring to make the Humber harbor, the weather being thick, hazy and snowy, it being impossible to see a hundred yards ahead of the vessel, kept too far up the lake and grounded at Van Every's Point, about one hundred and fifty yards from the shore. The mate immediately left for Toronto to consult Captain Dick. Two days later the Toronto Patriot announces:--"The steamer Chief Justice is off and all right and will leave on her regular trips to-morrow at 8:30 a. m. for Lewiston." The steamers Zimmerman and Welland went alongside of her on the morning of the 9th, shifted her cargo on to the Welland, then all three boats backing off together, the Chief came off at once without any trouble and without suffering any damage.
In a great storm which occurred on Lake Ontario on April 18th, in this year, the schooner Defiance, Captain Corkin, was lost with all on board. The steam tug Porcupine, on May 19th, was burned to the water's edge on the river St. Lawrence, near Prescott, but happily no lives were lost.
The steamers Champion and May Flower formed the Cape Vincent line. The Chief Justice was commanded by Captain Murdock, a new man among the list of captains, and ran, as previously, from Toronto to Hamilton. The Highlander and Maple Leaf formed the line that ran from Toronto to Rochester, and there was no change in their commanders.
A three-masted sailing vessel, called the City of Toronto was launched at Toronto as the close of the summer. She was an oceangoing vessel, and arrived in Liverpool after a safe and prosperous voyage on October 4th, 1855. Unhappily, her life was a very brief one, as she was lost in the Straits of Belle Isle on August 17th, 1857. Her first voyage was accomplished in just twenty-four days.
The Kaloolah,Oxford and Mazeppa ran from Collingwood to Owen Sound and intermediate ports. An American steamer, known as the Keystone State, ran in connection with the Northern Railway each Thursday from Collingwood to Chicago.
Daring the winter of 1855 and '56 there was, as usual, little movement of any vessels, either steam or sailing, on the lakes. Upon the re-opening of the harbors in 1856, the following steamers began to ply:--The Peerless, between Toronto and Hamilton; the Chief Justice, between Toronto and Presqu' Isle; the Mayflower and Champion, between Toronto and Cape Vincent; the steamers Canada and America, from Hamilton, forming a separate line for both freight and passengers between that city,Cape Vincent, Brockville and Ogdensburgh.
Besides these lines there was in addition the American Express Line of river steamers, described as being from Montreal, " the shortest and quickest route to all western ports, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo."
One of the above river steamers left Montreal (Sundays excepted), at 12 o'clock, noon, from the Canal Basin, and Lachine on the arrival of the cars which left Montreal at 3:45 o'clock, p.m., for Prescott and Ogdensburgh and intermediate ports.
The river steamers connected at Ogdensburgh with the American Express Line of mail steamers--Cataract, Bay State, Northerner, and Niagara--connecting at Brockville with the Grand Trunk Railway, where passengers could embark on one of the above-named boats, direct for Cape Vincent, Niagara Falls, Hamilton and Buffalo.
These lines of steamers connected at Niagara and Lewiston with the Erie & Ontario Railroad, Lewiston & Buffalo Railroad, Great Western Railway, Michigan Central Railroad, Michigan Southern Railroad, and Lake Shore Railroad, and steamers from Buffalo--for all ports west
Between Montreal, Kingston, Belleville and River Trent the steamer St. Helen, C. B. Crysler, master, left Montreal every Thursday at 2 p.m. The agent was J. A. Glassford, Watson's Buildings, Canal Basin.
Other freight steamers between Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal were the Ranger, Dawn, Protection and Oshawa, belonging to H. & I. Jones, of Montreal. Besides these, there were the Western Miller, Scotland, George Moffatt and Colonist, of Holcomb & Henderson's Line, also of Montreal, and the Free Trader, Hibernia, Lord Elgin and Prescott of the same place, the property of Hooker, Jacques & Co. There were, in addition, the Huron and Bowmanville on the same route. Between Toronto, Kingston and Montreal were also the City of Hamilton, Kentucky and Willy Nickol, of Wilson Brown's Line. All these vessels were principally freight steamers, but if they could obtain passengers they were quite willing to carry them.
In addition to these vessels Jones & Co., of Montreal, ran from that port to Kingston, Picton, Belleville and Trenton The new upper cabin steamer Trenton, Captain DeWitt, left the Canal wharf for the above and intermediate ports each Tuesday at one o'clock. N. M. Bockus, of the Canal wharf, was the agent.
The person just named was also the agent for that steamer which had such a very short life on the lakes, namely, the Monarch. She ran from Montreal to Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton and North Shore ports, being described as "the new and powerful steamer Monarch," under Captain A. Sinclair. She left the Canal wharf for the above ports on Thursdays at six o'clock.
Jones & Co. occasionally ran a freight steamer direct from Montreal to Chicago. They thus advertise one of these ventures on September 12th:--"Steamer for Chicago, calling at ports on the Welland Canal, Port Stanley, Amherstburg, Windsor, Detroit, and Port Sarnia.' The new low-pressure propeller Whitby, Lepine, master, will leave the Canal basin for the above ports, on or about Thursday, the 18th inst., at six o'clock. For freight or passage apply to S. Jones & Co., Wellington street."
An advertisement, dated May 12, appeared in the Toronto and Kingston papers in the same month, inviting tenders for the removal of the wrecks of the steamer Queen City and the schooner Royal Tar, which were impeding the navigation of Toronto harbor. It was signed by Hugh Richardson, harbor master, of Toronto. The schooner had been wrecked in the early part of the year.
March 12th, 1857, is a date long and sadly remembered by many families throughout Canada, as there occurred on that day the lamentable railway accident by which so many people lost their lives at the Desjardins Canal, near Hamilton. It would be foreign to the scope of this narrative to more than refer to this sad event, as the railways of the province are only indirectly connected with its marine, but it may be mentioned that two prominent owners of lake vessels perished and another well-known owner narrowly escaped with his life. Those who were killed were Mr. Samuel Zimmerman, of Niagara Falls, after whom one of the best known steamers on Ontario was called. The second was Captain Sutherland, whose name has so many times been mentioned in connection with the various vessels. Captain Sutherland was buried at Hamilton on March 16th, and Mr. Zimmerman at Niagara on the same date.
Another victim was Edward Duffield, who had been for some time an officer on board the Europa. The late Mr. Thomas C. Street was the prominent ship-owner who, though injured, was happily preserved. He was a near relative of the Macklem family, of Chippewa, like himself extensively interested in the shipping of the lakes.
With the opening of the season in 1857 the steamers Passport, Captain Harbottle; Banshee, Captain Howard; Champion, Captain Sinclair; and New Era as a spare boat, formed the through line between Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal. The Peerless and Zimmerman were again upon their old route. The Welland also resumed her journeys as in 1856, while the Maple Leaf and Highlander were on the lake from Toronto to Rochester and intermediate ports.
The steamers New York and Northerner plied from Lewiston to Toronto, thence to Cape Vincent, calling at Port Hope and Cobourg, and from there to Brockville and Ogdensburgh. Another line between Toronto, Rochester, Oswego and Ogdensburgh consisted of the Bay State, Niagara, Ontario and Cataract. A small vessel called the Rochester made daily trips from Kingston to Cape Vincent, and vice versa.
The Kaloolah made her usual trips throughout the season to the Sault Ste. Marie, but even then it was a very long and tedious journey from Toronto to the "Soo." On Lake Simcoe the J. C. Morrison made daily trips. The freight steamers from Montreal to Toronto and Hamilton were greatly augmented. These were divided into three lines, exclusive of several independent lines. Hooker, Jacques & Co.'s boats were the Wellington, Avon, Ottawa, Free Trader, England, St. Lawrence, Hibernia and Prescott.
They also had what they described as " Hooker, Jaques & Co.'s through line of steamers for Lake Erie, Windsor and Chatham." These steamers left on Saturdays at six p. m., calling at St. Catharines, ports on Welland Canal, Port Dover, Port Burwell and Port Stanley.
Their steamers ran to Brockville, Kingston, North Shore ports, Toronto and Hamilton. They also in this year as in the previous one occasionally ran a steamer for Chicago, calling at St. Catharines, Thorold, Port Colborne, Port Dover, Port Burwell, Port Stanley, Amherstburg, Windsor, Port Sarnia, and at Goderich if sufficient freight offered.
Another of this firm's so-called "through lines" was to Windsor, Amherstburg and Detroit, calling at Port Stanley, Port Dover, Port Burwell, and ports on the Welland Canal; and taking freight for Chatham, Sarnia and Goderich.
Of steamers belonging to independent owners, and who were a law unto themselves, were the Bowmanville, Captain Perry; the Malakoff, Captain Tate; the Inkerman, Captain Mackintosh: and the Oliver Cromwell, Captain Kidd.
On April 4th the Toronto papers announced the death at Niagara on the day previous of Captain Colcleugh, late commanding the Arabian. He was in his 50th year, and had made many friends all through the province.
The vessels of the through line between Hamilton and Montreal connected throughout the season of 1857 at Cobourg with the Maple Leaf for Rochester, and at Kingston with the Bay of Quinte steamers, and with the Rochester, already mentioned as running to Cape Vincent.
A regatta was held in Toronto harbor on Queen's Birthday, May 24th. The events announced were a yacht race for the Queen's cup, valued at £15 currency, or $60, and two rowing matches. For the Queen's cup five yachts entered-- the Queen, Osprey, Wave, Cygnet, and Rivet. After a spirited contest, in which some handsome sailing was shown, the race was won by the Wave, she coming in in gallant style three minutes ahead of all her competitors. Several entries had been made for the rowing matches, but at the time appointed there were but one or two appearances, consequently, greatly to the disappointment of the public, no race took place.
On May 29th the boiler of the propeller Inkerman, of Kingston, exploded while that vessel was backing out from Upton & Brown's wharf,Toronto. Her entire crew were either killed instantly or dreadfully wounded. There was but one passenger on board, a young lady named Eliza McGill; she too, was dreadfully injured. After the explosion the only portion of the Inkerman presenting anything like its original appearance was that part lying forward from the office where the books and papers of the vessel were kept, to her bow, a distance of some twenty feet. The vessel was, in fact, an absolute wreck and only a small portion of the cargo was ever recovered.
Yet another fearful disaster occurred on the St. Lawrence river at a point called Carvugo when the Montreal steamer, with over 400 passengers, was burnt to the water's edge and about 200 of those on board, chiefly Scotch emigrants, were drowned.
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This electronic edition is based on the original in the collection of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston.