Chapter 13
The Second Railway Building Era
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


A news item In the Hamilton Spectator on the 11 March is of some interest, providing it is borne in mind for future reference. It stated:

"Mr. James Harvey, proprietor of this very beautiful property in the north-eastern limits, has disposed of 2,000 feet of splendid timber, grown thereon, to Messrs. Flatt & Bradley, timber merchants. It is all oak, and will be squared for home consumption. It is said that the removal of these few trees has greatly improved the appearance of the Point, which will probably yet be patronized as a summer resort by our citizens."
The Point referred to was none other than Huckleberry Point, the outer tip of James Harvey's farm, east of Sherman Inlet. It was later buried under a steel plant and became very valuable.

The propeller ACADIA was advertised for sale by public auction on the 12 March. Thomas Noakes Best was handling the sale which would take place at Malcolmson's Wharf on the 28 March at noon. The reason for this was the settling of the Estate of the late Capt. John B. Malcolmson.

The registry of the steamer FLORENCE was transferred, to Hamilton this year when she was purchased from H. & S. Jenking of Windsor, by Capt. John Balmer Fairgrieve and Lewis Springer, each taking 32 shares. Springer bought out Capt. Fairgrieve's interest on 27 February, 1880 and on the 8 April that years sold her to J. S. Playfair of Toronto. Her Hamilton registry was closed on 17 December 1880.

The machinery of the H. & N. W. swing bridge having caused some trouble, was, on the 2 April, replaced, tested and inspected by Mr. McLennan, railway engineer.

Capt. John B. Fairgrieve was instrumental in organizing the New England Transportation Company, whose function was to operate steamers between Chicago and Collingwood in connection with the Northern Railway.

The Hamilton Spectator announced the entry of yet another steamer into the Burlington Bay resort trade on the 19 April. The item read:

"We are pleased to state that a new steamer will make her appearance on the waters of Burlington Bay and Lake Ontario at the opening of navigation. She is called the PRINCE ARTHUR, owned by R. G. Lunt of Toronto and capable of carrying 1,000 persons. She is magnificently furnished and is commanded by one of the most experienced Lake captains, formerly of the Royal Mail Line. This steamer will run in connection with the street railway from MacKay's Wharf to the Beach during the day and it is the intention, we believe, to make regular evening excursions on the Bay and the Lake when the weather is favourable. Messrs. Wylie & Bowman are the agents in Hamilton and they will have season tickets for sale."

Mention of the Street Railway brings to mind the fact that, although the first horse-cars commenced service in Hamilton in 1874, the tracks were not extended down James Street to MacKay's Wharf until 1877.

On Thursday, the 25 April, the steamer JULIETTE was launched and the Spectator reported thus:

"At four o'clock, an immense crowd gathered at the dock to witness the launching of Mr. Bauer's new pleasure boat. It was a beautiful afternoon - the Bay was shining, the sky was cloudless and everything looked bright and cheery at the water's edge. Mr. Bauer and a number of his friends were present near his boat and it was plain to see that all were anxious and would be, until the trying moment was past. When the builder, R. J. J. Cooper of Mayville, N.Y., had pronounced everything ready, Miss Amelia Bauer, a beautiful child of about 10 years, was placed in the bow of the boat, accompanied by her brother and Mr. Stadelmann. She was tastefully dressed in white and bore in her hands the bottle of wine. The ways were cleared, the wedges and blocks knocked away. The builder gave a signal and a brace screw gave the vessel a start. Amelia successfully smashed the bottle and the steamer JULIETTE was on her way amid the cheers of the crowd."

The JULIETTE was 90 feet long and 16 feet beam and had a high pressure engine 15 1/4 x 16 1/2 built by the Mona Iron Works,J. H. Killey & Co.,Hamilton. Her owners were: Leopold Bauer, 22 shares, Wm. M. Meekin and Jas. Mitchell, each with 21 shares. She was named for Mrs. Bauer.

The editor of the Hamilton Spectator, in his issue of the 18 May, wailed in anguish over

"the crookedness of the present government in the matter of awarding contracts for public works"
, in this case the construction of the Lorne Dry Dock at Lauzon, P.Q. the dealings on which the Montreal Star had remarked. The editor then went on to dredge up the Goderich Harbour Scandal of Mr. Blake's regime and asked
"what is the reason behind these dealings?"
The reason was simple. One goes into politics on the chance of getting one's hands into the public trough.

An advertisement placed in the Spectator on the 20 May stated that

"The steamer BOUQUET will resume her regular trips to the Brant House, sailing from the foot of James Street."
The BOUQUET was built in 1847 somewhere on Lake Champlain with these dimensions: 104.0 x 17.9 x 5.7; Gross 190 and net 157. She was sold to Canadian buyers in 1860 and in 1877 she was rebuilt in Toronto, at which time she was owned by J. O. Clendenning of that city. Her new dimensions were: 110.0 x 17.9 x 5.7; Gross 196 and net 162. She was a sidewheeler and her master was Capt. George Carley. By 1882, her register was closed, she having been broken up.

At the same time, Capt. John B. Fairgrieve was promoting the steamer FLORENCE, sailing from the Simcoe Street Wharf to the Canal piers, while the steamer SOUTHERN BELLE was advertised as

"leaving the Ocean House, Burlington Beach for Toronto"
. Her connection to Hamilton was provided by the Hamilton & North Western Ry., which had a platform at the Ocean House.

A special excursion to Toronto on the 24 May, was billed for the steamer EMPRESS OF INDIA,Capt. James Collier. The steamer PRINCE ARTHUR made trips to the Beach on Wednesdays, going on to Grimsby in the afternoon. On Thursdays and Saturdays she ran to the Beach and, on Fridays she went to Grimsby,Niagara and Queenston. This steamer, originally named OLIVE, was built in 1865 at Carleton, N.B., by Geo. Fleming & Sons. She measured 161.0 x 23.6 x 8.3 and had a gross tonnage of 545; net 343. She was a sidewheeler with two engines, one condensing 28 x 72" and one non-condensing 22 x 72", both built by Geo. Fleming & Sons.

The JULIETTE was sharing the Simcoe Street Wharf and was making three round trips per day to Oaklands and the Beach.

This view, lookiing north east from the foot of Catherine St. shows Myles Coal wharf on the left and Murton & Reid's wharf, with the schooner ELLA MURTON wintering, on the right. Photo: Hamilton Public Library
As a rather dull season drew to a close, vessels went into winter quarters and were battened down until Spring. At Bastien's boathouses, the steamers JULIETTE and DENNIS BOWEN were laid up along with the sailing vessels ARCTIC,AIGLE DE MER,NEW DOMINION,LAVINA MALONE and GYPSY. In the area around Zealand's and Browne's Wharves lay the steamers ACADIA,ZEALAND and FLORENCE and the schooners VICTOR,E. H. RUTHERFORD,HERCULES and STEPHENSON. The steamers CALIFORNIA,COLUMBIA,CANADA and DROMEDARY were wintering at McIlwraith's Wharf, while the LAKE ERIE,LAKE ONTARIO,LAKE MICHIGAN and CELTIC were at MacKay's Wharf. At Myles' Wharf were the schooners GULNARE,UNDINE and ELLA MURTON.


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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.