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 Toronto Patriot, of 25 March 1834 gave some information about the COBOURG, viz.:

"The Gentlemen's cabin is 70 feet long, with a dining table 50 feet long. There are 40 berths in this cabin, including two family staterooms, one with four berths, and one with six berths. There is also a bar. The Ladies' cabin has a Turkey carpet and blue damask curtains; two sofas, mirror and matresses all made from the best curled hair. There are twelve berths, plus two family staterooms, of two berths each. A water closet and wash room is attached. The forward cabin has 20 berths. All cabin work was done by Mr. Nathan Sandford."

Management of the vessel was taken over in 1834 by Wm. Bethune.[sic: James Grey Bethune]

One of the first sailing notices published in 1834, was that of the steamboat CONSTITUTION. Her master was Edward Zealand, who thus made the transition from sail to steam. She left Port Hamilton at 6 a.m., called at Oakville, and arrived at Toronto (no longer "Muddy York") at 9 a.m.

In this season of 1834, the Burlington Canal was said to be completed, at least until the next major rehabilitation had to be carried out. Along the waterfront, there were four wharves in business and one under construction. Of these, one was isolated from the rest. This was Abel Land's wharf, situated on a point extending into the Harbour near the line of Victoria Ave. It could be reached from the foot of Wellington Street. Hughson's Wharf protruded from the point of land between John and Hughson Streets, while at the foot of James Street, Sheldon's Wharf and Daniel C.Gunn's Wharf extended out from shore with a very irregularly shaped slip between them. To the west, just past MacNab Street, a large wharf was being built. This area, from the foot of Catherine St. to the foot of Bay St. became known as the "City Docks", and with the exception of the Railway Wharf, of later date, was the centre of shipping activity for the rest of the Nineteenth Century. Many changes took place, and the only one of those wharves mentioned above to survive into the next century would be Gunn's.


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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.