Chapter 3
Port Hamilton
Table of Contents

Title Page
1 A place called Hamilton.
2 Public Works and Private Enterprise
3 Port Hamilton
4 1837-1839
5 Ericsson Wheels
6 1844-1847
7 Good Times in Port
8 Boom Town Days
9 Depression Years
10 Better Times Ahead
11 1867-1870
12 Prosperity for the Shipbuilders
13 The Second Railway Building Era
14 1884-1888
15 The Electric Era
16 The Iron Age
Table of Illustrations


The Niagara Gleaner published a list of most of the Canadian steamboats on Lake Ontario, on 27 April 1833, and it read as follows:

GREAT BRITAIN, 1830 Prescott CANADIAN, 1833, Kingston
QUEENSTON, 1824, Queenston CANADA, 1826, Rouge River
UNITED KINGDOM, 1828, Niagara JOHN BY, 1832, Kingston
WILLIAM IV, 1832, Gananoque RIDEAU, 1829, Kingston
SIR JAMES KEMPT, 1829, Kingston CONSTITUTION, 1832, Oakville
TORONTO, 1824, York ST. GEORGE, 1833, Kingston
BRITANNIA, 1833, Kingston NIAGARA, 1826, Prescott

With regard to the little steamboat JOHN BY, the Niagara Gleaner stated that she arrived at that port about the end of July, and that she was to operate between Hamilton and York. Her master was William Kerr. Another new vessel calling regularly at Hamilton was the ST. GEORGE,Lt. Harper, R. N. Her sailing notice included this:

"This beautiful vessel is propelled by a low pressure engine of 90 H. P., manufactured by Bennet & Henderson, of Montreal; she is schooner rigged and has accommodation for upwards of 60 passengers."

The steamboat CONSTITUTION, listed above, was built by William Chisholm at Oakville, and seems to be the first vessel specifically for the Hamilton and York service. She measured 133 x 23 ft.; 150 tons. She was sailed by Lt. Critchell, R. N. and made her runs on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Later in the season, two more steamboats were completed for the Lake trade, one being the COMMODORE BARRIE, built by Henry Gildersleeve, at Drummond's shipyard in Kingston. She was named for the commander of the Royal Naval Dockyard there. The other vessel was the COBOURG, built at Cobourg by Hathaway for Charles and James McIntosh, of Prescott.Charles McIntosh was her first master. She measured 152 x 36 x 11 and her tonnage was given as 418. She was powered by two low-pressure beam engines rated at 50 HP each, built in York by Sheldon, Dutcher & Co., the "York Foundry". This establishment was located on Yonge Street,

"a few doors North of King Street"
according to the firm's advertisement of January 1833. The principals were William B. Sheldon,F. R. and Wm. A. Dutcher,Samuel Andruss, and J. and B. Van Norman.


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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.