Word came from Belleville on the 11 January, of the death of Capt. Edward Harrison at the age of 84. An Irishman, he was born at Bally Bay in county Monaghan and at the age of eight, he came with his parents to settle in Kingston. After attaining his schooling there, he pursued the occupation of sailing for some 30 years, his last venture being the EUROPA. In 1856, he settled in Belleville and engaged in the selling of books and stationery for the rest of his life.
A fire caused some damage to a building in the shipyard on the 16 January, but did not interfere with the construction of the two hulls to any great extent. The building contained the plate bender and some other machines, but repairs were expected to take but a few days.
The Hamilton Steamboat Co. was calling for tenders for the construction of a wharf at Burlington Beach on the 30 January. It was to be situated on the Armstrong property, near Church Crossing and was to be 600 feet long. It was primarily for the use of the steamer MAZEPPA.Capt. W. Zealand, who commanded her in 1892, was promoted to the MACASSA and Capt. Sharp would again have the MODJESKA.
Fears were expressed by the residents at the Beach that the proposed wharf would interfere with small boats and members of the Parks Committee approached T. B. Griffith of the Hamilton Steamboat Co. in this respect. It was agreed that one section of the wharf would have an additional 2 1/2 feet clearance, to permit row boats, etc. to pass beneath it. It was announced on the 7 February, that the successful bidder for the wharf job was a Mr. Coleman of Burlington. The company stated, also, that a parcel service would be provided.
One of Hamilton's oldest citizens, John MacKay, died on the 9 February at his home, 366 Bay St. North. He had come to Hamilton in 1829 from the county of Sutherland in Scotland and when the railroad building boom commenced in the early 1850's, he built a hotel on Stuart St., across from the new Great Western Railway station. In 1856, he sold the hotel and retired. In the 1860's, he sailed the little sidewheel steamer ARGYLE, in which he had a financial interest.
On the 2 March, an editorial dealing with the coal business appeared in the Hamilton Spectator and suggested that a car-ferry be placed in service between Erie, Pa., and Port Dover. The Editor maintained that such a service would reduce the rail-haul by some 64 miles.
At this time, also, rumours were rampant about opposition to the Richelieu & Ontario Navigation Co., who seemed somewhat undecided as to whether they would provide service to Hamilton. A Montreal dispatch added fuel to this fire by stating that an opposition line had in fact been formed, with a capital of $1,000,000. It mentioned E. B. Osler,W. D. Matthews and Mr. Beatty as being the principals in this organization.
The new steam yacht under construction for Albert E. Gooderham was described, in some detail, by the Spectator on the 7 March. It read, in part: "She will be entirely of steel and her dimensions are: Length, over-all, 118 feet, length l.w.l, 100'10", beam 17' 0 1/2" beam l.w.l., 16'10", least freeboard 3' 6" and draught, 8'6". The deckhouse which, with all deck joiner-work will be of teak, is 17' long containing a smoking room forward, with the galley aft, just over the forward end of the boiler room and venting into the funnel. The forecastle, with six hammocks for seamen is finished in clear white pine and varnished.
The dining saloon is 12'6" long and the full width of the vessel. It is finished in quarter oak, the wainscotting about four feet high, with tapestry hangings above. The space between the dining saloon and the machinery, 10'3" is given to the owner's room on the port side, a stairway and pantry being to starboard. The owner's quarters will be finished in birdseye maple, with tapestry hangings. It will have a wardrobe, dresser, folding berth, etc. as well as a small connecting toilet room, taken out of the boiler space. The pantry, which is located beneath the galley and opening into the dining saloon, will be finished in black ash.
Engine and boiler space took up 28 feet and abaft this is a ladies' cabin 8' x 15', finished the same as the owner's cabin, with a divan around three sides. A bath tub was concealed beneath the deck. To starboard of the after companion-way, is a stateroom and to port are two toilet rooms, the after one being for the officers who occupy two cabins aft, finished in quarter oak.
The yacht was powered by a triple expansion engine, 10/15/25 x 12, designed by Redfield H. Allen of Detroit and built by the Kerr Engine Co, of Walkerville, Ont. The engine would run at 330 r.p.m., on steam pressure of 200 p.s.i., provided by a Thornycroft boiler, equipped with a Sturtevant forced-draft blower. A condenser would be fitted. Her screw was a three-bladed one of manganeze bronze, made by Thornycroft. The steam steering-gear and the windlass were manufactured by Reid & Co. of Paisley, Scotland. She would be schooner-rigged on two pole masts. She was being built under the supervision of Joseph Ewing, a surveyor in the employ of Watson of Glasgow, the designer. The launching was expected to take place about the end of March. Her master would be Capt. Crawford, late of the MACASSA.
The MacKay propellers ST. MAGNUS and LAKE MICHIGAN were undergoing repairs at Muir's dry dock during March and $12,000 would be spent on them. On the 23 March, one of the boilers, weighing 21 tons for the new steamer for the Niagara Navigation Co., was moved from the plant of the Hamilton Bridge & Tool Co., to the shipyard.
"satisfactory arrangements regarding wharfage, etc."could be made, it was highly likely that steamers of that company would call at Hamilton in 1893.
The supplementary estimates provided by the Dominion Government included $1,500 for the scow ferry at the Canal and $6,000 for further dredging in the Harbour. On receipt of this news, a delegation approached the Minister of Railways and Canals, urging that the antiquated ferry be replaced by a road swing bridge.
A strong westerly wind on the 29 March drove the ice against the Beach and did considerable damage to the Hamilton Steamboat Company's new wharf, which was nearing completion. Any further work was postponed until the ice moved out.
Capt. Manson of the schooner ERIE BELLE, arrived in Hamilton on the 5 April, to fit out his vessel, which had wintered here. It was expected that the MACASSA would begin service to Toronto on the 22 April.
A couple of Yankee company-promoters, by the names of J. J. Morehouse and W. V. Reynolds arrived in Hamilton on the 8 April. Attracted, by the $2.00 per ton bonus on pig iron, they had been to Toronto looking for a likely site, plus lots of extra inducements, on which to erect a blast-furnace plant. In Toronto, they were shown a swamp by the name of Ashbridge's Bay and were not impressed. They were now in Hamilton, where they would be shown Huckleberry Point, which had the advantage of being above water, an important consideration. These men, together with their cohorts, who would accompany them from time to time, would spend many hours haggling with the Board of Trade before an agreement, satisfactory to them, would be reached. In the meantime, they would derive much pleasure as they strutted about, followed by the local reporters who thought that anyone
"from New York"was in the J. P. Morgan category. We will hear more of them before their final departure, which was somewhat less glorious than their arrival upon the local scene.
Navigation opened on the 11 April, with the arrival of the scowschooner P. E. YOUNG from Bronte and the schooner W. J. SUFFELL came in the next day with coal from Charlotte.Wm. Robertson, son, of the late A. M. Robertson, got the contract to build. a new scow ferry for service at the Canal. The schooner L. D. BULLOCK arrived with coal from Charlotte on the 13 April. This vessel, together with the W. J. SUFFELL,OLIVER MOWAT and the FLORA CARVETH had been chartered for three months by Thos. Myles & Son.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, 11 April, Tom Cross, who had sailed for about 40 years and was well known along the waterfront, rented a skiff from H. L. Bastien and rowed across to the Beach. He visited Capt. Campbell and talked about anchors for buoys off the James St. Slip. After loading two castings, weighing about 40 lbs. each, he departed at 5:30 p.m., saying that he was returning via Dynes' on the Beach. He was not seen again, nor had he been seen at Dynes'. The skiff, with one casting still aboard, was found near the Desjardins Canal entrance. One oar was in the skiff and the other was found floating near McIlwraith's Wharf. Cross was born in Ireland and was believed to be about 66 years old. He had lived in Hamilton approximately 50 years.
A storm whipped the Lake on the 13 April and the stonehooker NEWSBOY had a rough time of it. Approaching the Burlington Canal, her captain decided that his chances of getting her into the harbour were slim, since she was light of cargo and well-nigh unmanageable. So he let go his anchors, which held for a short time and the vessel then began to drag, finally pounding on the bottom. He then scuttled her in six feet of water. Two days later, after much hard labour, she was refloated and sailed into port.
The schooner SIR C. T. VAN STRAUBENZEE, Capt. John Williams, came into port with coal from Oswego for McIlwraith. The Burlington Canal was in such poor shape that, with her draft of only 11 feet, she stirred up mud all the way through.
By the 17 April, there was much activity along the waterfront. The propeller ACADIA and the fleet of the Hamilton Steamboat Co. were in the James St. Slip and looking very smart in their new coats of paint. The OCEAN was being fitted out in Toronto, while the ARABIAN was in Hamilton and was expected to sail within a week. Down at the foot of Simcoe Street, M. O. & A. A. Mathews were building a small passenger steamer to be named ACACIA. She was 102 feet long and was to be powered by a high pressure engine built by Neil Currie & Bro. of Toronto. The date of build was not recorded.
An easterly gale which began to gather considerable strength about midnight on the 19 April made things lively along the Beach and also around the City Docks. Murton's and Myles' coal docks were taking quite a pounding. The schooner W. Y. EMERY, with coal from Charlotte for Myles, driving before the gale, successfully passed through the Canal and anchored in the Harbour. She was built in 1868 at Port Burwell by Henry Daken.
The schooners L. D. BULLOCK,TRADE WIND and FLORA CARVETH, all with coal cargoes for Myles had got in just ahead of the storm. The schooner ALBACORE, with coal for McIlwraith and the MARIE ANNETTE, with coal for MacKays were riding at anchor. Both had come from Oswego. The steamer MACASSA, which had been moved over to McIlwraith's Wharf, and, had only two watchmen aboard, went adrift about 8:00 a.m. on the 20 April. She tore away about 30 feet of the wharf, as well as her own fairleads and part of the forward railing. She drifted into the southwest end of the Harbour, near the Grand Trunk wharf and the watchmen let go her anchors. The water intake for the Street Railway power house was also destroyed. The damage resulting from this storm was widespread and the City was cut off from many other centres when miles of telegraph and telephone poles were blown down.
The schooner WAVE-CREST was caught by the gale, lost her staysail and jib-boom and was forced to seek shelter in Fairhaven. She had coal from Oswego for McIlwraith and finally came in on the 24 April. The same day, the schooner KATIE ECCLES arrived, at MacKay's Wharf with coal.
The largest vessel on Lake Ontario, the CHIPPEWA had a very distinctive appearance. In general, Frank E. Kirby had maintained the profile of an American sidewheeler with three passenger decks and a beautifully designed pilot-house, placed well forward. The American style was obvious, with the huge
"A"frame and walking-beam of her engine, but this was balanced nicely by having two boiler rooms, forward and abaft the engine space, each with one large funnel. This wide-spacing of the funnels always brought to mind the famous Clyde paddlers, many of which presented a racey appearance. As originally built, the CHIPPEWA had but one mast, placed against the after side of the pilothouse. She had a very fine counter stern. Her dimensions were: 308.5 x 36.3 x 12.5; Gross 1,514; Net 764. Her extreme beam, over the guards was something like 67 feet. Her beam condensing engine had a cylinder 75 x 132" and was built by W. & R. Fletcher & Co. of Hoboken, N.J. and steam was provided by five fire-box boilers 10 x 21'.
An interesting arrival on the 7 May was the schooner MARY JANE LEESON, with a cargo of cordwood for the propeller OCEAN, which she had loaded in Dunnville. Also in port were the schooners FLORA CARVETH and OLIVER MOWAT, unloading coal for Myles.
Establishment of the proposed blast furnace plant seemed. to be a little closer to reality after a meeting on the 8 May. The City of Hamilton was represented by Mayor Blaicher, Aldermen Carscallen and Dewey and John Patterson of the Board of Trade. City Solicitor Mackelcan was present to attend to the legal aspect. On the other side of the table were J. J. Morehouse,W. V. Reynolds and their lawyer, A. F. Card from New York. The City agreed to purchase 70 acres, 10 of which were within the City Limits and the plant was to be built on these 10 acres. The estimated cost of this land was $40,000. A cash bonus of $40,000 was to be paid to the promoters on completion of the plant, which was to cost not less than $400,000. The company would be known as the Hamilton Iron & Steel Company and its directors would be as follows:
The wharfingers were loud in their protests regarding the Rush Bed dredging project. Not only were the old wharves being battered by every easterly gale, but the slips were silting up with material disturbed by the dredge. McIlwraith in particular, complained that vessels had to lighter across the end of his wharf before they could move in on either side. Four schooners were unloading coal on the 11 May. The DUNDEE and the TRADE WIND, both from Charlotte, were at Browne's, the WAVE CREST from Oswego was at McIlwraith's and the SIR C. T. VAN STRAUBENZEE was at Myles' Wharf.
The propeller OCEAN arrived on the 12 May on her first trip from Montreal, in command of Capt. J. V. Trowell. She cleared next morning and her cargo included 5,000 bus. of peas, shipped by Magee Bros. for W. Luxton and Jas. Dunlop. The ACADIA and the LAKE MICHIGAN were expected from Montreal.Myles & Co. contracted to supply 5,000 tons of bituminous coal to the Hamilton Light & Power Company.
The schooner VIENNA,Capt. David Ewart, with coal for MacKays of Hamilton, went ashore at Manitou Beach on the night of 16 May, according to a report from Oswego. This was the third vessel that Ewart had lost in two years. She was later refloated.
The long arm of the law reached out across the Beach and arrested Capt. Titus of the scow-schooner ROYAL, for stealing gravel off City property near the Filter Basins. The case came up on the 23 May and Capt. Titus was fined $10.
The schooner ERIE BELLE,Capt. D. Manson, arrived on the 30 May with coal from Ashtabula for the Hamilton Gas Light Co. and the round trip took only four and a half days. Capt. Manson claimed he had set a record.
A company was formed in Dundas to purchase a steamer for service from that Town to Burlington Beach and Rock Bay and Jas. Reynolds was sent to Kingston to inspect the steamer SWAN, which was up for sale. On the 1 June, Reynolds wired that the SWAN was unfit for service and he was looking at another prospect.
The steamer GREYHOUND was chartered by A. E. Gooderham and T. G. Blackstock to bring about 300 guests, all charter members of the Toronto Social Register, to witness the launching of the steam-yacht CLEOPATRA on Thursday 15 June. Again, two girls were chosen to christen the vessel, Charlotte Gooderham and Lizzie Blackstock. Between the two of them, they couldn't break the bottle, but a shipyard worker on the bow managed to smash it before she entered the water. This laurching was very highly organized and everything went according to plan. After viewing the yacht, the guests were entertained aboard the GREYHOUND.
An item in the Hamilton Spectator, on the 22 June, laid to rest for all time, the trumped-up stories hinting that the blast furnace promoters were millionaires. Mayor Blaicher, having inner doubts about these men, had, through the Bank of Hamilton and their New York agents, obtained credit ratings and he was not at all happy.
"if Hamilton doesn't want us, we will go somewhere else". However, things were smoothed over and the proinoters posted a bond which would insure the City's investment of $35,000 in the land required, for the plant.
The old grain wharf at the foot of Bay Street was partly burned on the 12 July. It was getting pretty rotten, but was still being used by W. Magee, who leased it from the Birely Estate. This old wharf stood about 20 feet above water and the outer end was torn down by the firemen who doused the blaze before it spread to anything else.
An accident happened at the Shipyard on the 20 July. The yacht RIPPLE, owned in Rochester, had stranded at the Beach on 1 July and sustained bottom damage, which was repaired by Wm. Robertson. While being re-launched, the cradle collapsed and, she fell over on her side.
Up to the 21 July, 50,483 tons of coal had been imported and the distribution was as follows: Myles & Son, 20,975 tons, Thomas McIlwraith 8,310 tons, John W. Murton, 7,761, E. Browne & Son, 6,279, MacKays, 3,664 and the Hamilton Gas Light Co., 3,494, with 4,000 tons yet to come.
The CHIPPEWA made her trial run on the 20 July and, on board, to see her put through her paces were J. J. Foy and Barlow Cumberland of Toronto,Andrew Fletcher and S. Taylor of New York,Frank E. Kirby of Detroit and Mr. McNichol, manager of the Hamilton Bridge & Tool Co.
On Saturday, 22 July, the CHIPPEWA,Capt. McGiffin, sailed for Toronto at 2:00 p.m. In port on that day was the launch ELECTRIC, owned by J. J. Wright, manager of the Toronto Electric Light Co., the schooner MARCIA A. HALL from Toronto, to load stone, the ST. MAGNUS in from Montreal and out to Duluth with general cargo and the OCEAN which took on over 1,000 bbls. of flour for Montreal.
J. J. Morehouse was back in town, on one of his frequent visits and this time he was in a good frame of mind. He talked of applying for a charter for his company and said he expected work to begin by the 1 August.
William Tallman passed away on the 27 July at the age of 83. He was born on the 7 April 1810 on a farm near St. Ann's, in the County of Lincoln. On the 20 October 1835, he married Catharine Culp, who survived him and shortly afterwards, he moved to Hamilton. For a year or two, he worked on the Ferguson farm and following that, he worked as a carpenter for ten or twelve years. He then established himself in two trades - those of house-moving and marine salvage - and carried out many notable jobs. Among these were the raising of the ELEONORA which sank in the Burlington Canal and the hulls of the QUEEN OF THE WEST and the CITY OF CHATHAM, after they had burned. He refloated a number of vessels ashore between Hamilton and Toronto, at different times and, he was credited with the successful unloading of the first locomotive for the Great Western Railway in Land's Inlet, near the future site of the Sawyer Massey plant. Another of his more unusual jobs was the floating of a large grain warehouse down the Desjardins Canal to a point near the Valley Inn. He was survived by 3 sons, 6 daughters, 41 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
The Richelieu & Ontario Navigation Co. announced, on the 7 August, that the old steamer MAGNET, lying at Sorel, had been refurbished and would be placed in service between Hamilton and Montreal. Calls would be made at Toronto,Pt. Hope and all Bay of Quinte ports, both ways. She would sail from Browne's Wharf.
The tug HECTOR and dredge MAPLE LEAF arrived in the harbour on the 8 August, to continue work on the Rush Bed, under the supervision of John McNamee. It was expected that the dredge would be on the job for the rest of the season.
Capt. S. C. Malcolmson arrived in Hamilton on the 16 August, having lost his schooner LAURA in Lake Ontario on the 13 August during heavy weather. The vessel was abandoned and sank in about 700 feet of water.
Activities in the harbour on the 23 August included the schooner VIENNA with coal from Charlotte for Myles, propeller CUBA, which departed for Montreal with passengers, the steam-barge CHUB, in from Toronto to load moulding sand, schooner ERIE BELLE, which sailed for Ashtabula and the steamer A. J. TYMON, which cleared for Toronto. The dredge was having machinery trouble and was taken in tow by the tug ST. GEORGE to Welland, where M. Beatty & Co. would handle the repairs. The propeller LAKE MICHIGAN arrived from Montreal and was loading cargo for Cleveland, while the MYLES arrived from Ogdensburg and tied up at her owners' wharf. The MACASSA was held up in Toronto by a broken steam pipe.
A spectacular fire started at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, 16 September in the old Northern & Northwestern Elevator, which had not been used for two or three years. It had a capacity of 90,000 bus. and stood on the end of a 900 ft. long wharf, less than half of which was left after the fire. The building had cost $50,000 when built and was insured for $18,000. A high north-west wind did an excellent job of supporting combustion.
Magee was still doing business with the remains of his wharf and on the 19 September the propeller CUBA loaded 8,000 bus. of wheat for Montreal. She had to pick up an additional 4,000 bus. at Burlington. The steamer MAGNET left for Montreal with general cargo. The following day, J. H. Larkin took the MASONIC out for a trial run on the Bay.
On the 5 October, the members of the Board of Health visited the infamous Coal Oil Inlet which was the recipient of drainage from Lawry Pork Packing Factory,Stroud's Cattle Byres, Rowlin's and Freeman's fertilizer factories, plus a generous contribution from the East End. Sewer. The stench was such that some of the members refused to go near it. They decided that it should eventually be filled in and that a channel should again be cleared into the Bay.
The patience of those people who found it necessary to use the Canal ferry must have been wearing exceedingly thin by mid-October. A westerly gale had torn it loose and sent it lurching out into the Lake and on the 17 October, Major Grey, the Government Engineer came to ponder over the problem. Having slept on it, he advised Capt. Campbell to charter a tug and search for the errant scow. His theory was simple. Since there was now an east wind, he assumed that the scow should be drifting homeward.
By mid-November it was announced, that a delegation would go to Ottawa and endeavour to convince the Minister of Public Works, J. A. Ouimet, that it was essential to build a swing bridge over the Burlington Canal. The delegation consisted of the Members of Parliament for Halton, South Wentworth and Hamilton as well as Major Grey of the Dept. of Public Works.
Navigation closed on the 5 December when the propeller ST. MAGNUS arrived from Toronto. She had loaded coal in Oswego, but had run for shelter in Toronto. In the attempt, she went aground in the Western Gap and had to be lightered before a tug could refloat her. The propeller MYLES had the misfortune to lose her rudder off Cabot Head, but managed to get within 18 miles of Owen Sound before calling for a tug. She wintered in that port. The season had opened on the 12 April when the W. J. SUFFELL came in and during the season over 60,000 tons of coal was landed, on the docks. There were 774 arrivals and departures and the Montreal trade had been very good. The Government dredge NIPISSING was in the harbour and had cleaned out the Rush Bed as well as some of the slips.
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This volume is copyright The Estate of Ivan S. Brookes and is published with permission of the Estate. The originals are deposited in the Special Collections of the Hamilton Public Library.