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 shipyard at Niagara turned out the steamboat TRAVELLER in 1835 and she proved to be fairly long-lived. A direct service between Hamilton and Rochester was established by the steamboat TRANSIT;Capt. Hugh Richardson, master and managing owner. The TRANSIT was the former CONSTITUTION and she left Hamilton on Sunday and Thursday, calling at Oakville,Toronto,Port Hope and Cobourg, before crossing to the Genesee River.Richardson owned the CANADA as well, and operated her between Toronto and Niagara.

In August 1835, the schooner MARGARET,Capt. McArthur, owned by Perry & McArthur, of Hamilton, was bound down the lake, with a small cargo of some 40 bbls. potash when she was struck by a squall, west of the Ducks, and capsized. Three men were lost and the captain and one seaman were picked up the following morning by the schooner COMET,Capt. Bray of Oakville. While on the subject of turbulent waters and howling winds, here is a sign of the times:

"A Card. - The undersigned, in name of the passengers of the steamboat COMMODORE BARRIE, now on her way from Oswego to Lewiston, very gratefully acknowledge the guardianship of Almighty God in their preservation amid the perils of the last forty-eight hours; and would tender to Captain Sinclair their cordial thanks for his unremitted care and courtesy; as also the assurance of their entire satisfaction with the prudence and skill displayed in the management of his fine vessel on the bosom of a boisterous lake. Signed, John B. Graham,Brooklyn, N.Y.,Jas. Arbuckle, Orange Co., N.Y., Jos. Moffat, Orange Co., N.Y., and D. Macaulay,Toronto, U.C., August 22nd, 1835."

On 2 June 1835, this advertisement was published:

"To Lease. For one or more years, a large and convenient Stone Tavern, situated at Port Hamilton, on Burlington Bay, in front of which is a very extensive wharf and storehouse are now being built. The house is 70 feet by 40 feet and four stories high. It is new and no expense had been spared in finishing it in the most elegant and substantial manner, and its beautiful and commanding situation must attract the notice of every traveller landing at the port of Hamilton. The out-buildings will be very complete, the stable being 80 feet by 40 feet ... No person need apply for this desirable establishment who is not prepared to satisfy the Proprietor that he has the means of furnishing it in a suitable style, and that he is well qualified to conduct it in a creditable manner. Signed, Allan N. MacNab."


Previous    Next

Return to Home Port

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.