UPPER-CANADA-L ArchivesArchiver > UPPER-CANADA > 2006-09 > 1159197415
From: (Harry Dodsworth)
Subject: [UPPER-CANADA] Travel on Lake Erie in 1834
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 11:16:55 -0400 (EDT)
Montreal Gazette, July 15, 1834
The steamer Adelaide was in on Monday and left a few passengers
and pursued her course to Sandwich [Windsor]. The Thames also came in
on Monday night with a number of passengers. We regret that we are not
furnished with lists of the passengers arriving by the steamers - for
as many of the passengers arriving have come from New York via Buffalo,
they are not enumerated with others in coming to the Province.
>From St. Thomas Journal.
First posted on TheShipsList: a comment on the lack of passenger lists.
I found my ancestors, after 11 years of searching, arriving at New York
on June 21, 1834 on the Barque 'Lady of the Lake' from Greenock, Scotland.
I 'assume' they would then travel up to Albany then via the newly opened
(1833) Erie Canal to Buffalo. Your post now makes me wonder if they could
have then gone across Lake Erie on one of the steamers you mentioned.
They went to Kent County.
The trip from New York City to Buffalo would not have likely taken a
month, so did the two steamers make regular trips from Buffalo across
the lake and to which ports? I've often wondered now how they would
have arrived here having no wagons or such.
Bob Neil, Chatham-Kent, ON. Edited. Posted with permission.
Most local papers had advertisements for ships but the Canadian
Emigrant didn't. I did gather that steamboats ran frequently on
This snippet was extracted from a story praising the opportunities
in the Western District (Essex and Kent counties; Chatham is the
centre of Kent County).
Canadian Emigrant, Sandwich, U.C., August 22, 1835
Emigrants coming from New York to Buffalo, can take the steamboat
from thence to Detroit (2d cabin $2 or $3). From that city they can
be conveyed in sailboats, which ply weekly to Chatham, on the River
Thames. It is expected that a steamboat will ply on that route
Emigrants coming from Montreal will be conveyed by steamers to
Queenston; from whence they travel by land to Chippawa (passing the
Falls of Niagara) where they will find steamboats plying to Port
Stanley, in the London District. But this route is above 100 miles
from the settled part of the Co. Kent, and, unless they wish to
view the interjacent country, far more expensive than proceeding
to Buffalo by the Welland Canal, and then taking the steamboat to
Detroit, as before mentioned.
[The Welland Canal, joining Lakes Ontario and Erie, opened in 1834]
So a reasonable route from Buffalo to Chatham would have been
by steamboat to Detroit or Sandwich, and sailboat to Chatham.
Although Chatham is only 30 miles from Lake Erie, there was no port
and poor roads, so it was easier to sail over 200 miles round.
Canadian Emigrant, Sandwich, U.C., August 29, 1835
MARRIED On the 7th instant, at the Mansion Hotel, City of Buffalo,
by the Rev, Mr. Tucker, Captain G. R. Williams, of the steamer
Thames, to Miss Ann Lewis, both of Port Stanley, Kettle Creek,
I did find the following timetable for service between Goderich,
Sandwich and Buffalo for 1836. The service may have been the same
in 1834; however I always warn researchers that transport was
changing very quickly and the standard route for one year may be
quite obsolete the next.
This was primarily a service between Goderich and Sandwich, with
occasional continuations to Buffalo. There were other steamers
between Buffalo and Detroit/Sandwich.
Canadian Emigrant, Sandwich [Windsor] U.C. August 2, 1836
THE CANADA COMPANY'S Steamboat Menissitunk, commanded by Captain
Wright, R.N., will sail during the present season between Goderich,
Sandwich, and Buffalo, on the following dates, touching at Port Stanley
on each route through Lake Erie.
Sandwich at 1 A.M.
June 6, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29
July 5, 9, 13, 16, 20, 27, 30
Aug. 3, 6, 10, 17, 20, 24, 27, 31
Sept, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 25
Goderich to Buffalo
at 1 P.M.
June 6, 29
August 10, 41 [31?]
[and similar dates for Buffalo - Sandwich - Goderich]
For Passage and Freight apply to the Captain on board
Canada Company's Office
1st June 1836
This is the first reference I have seen to the Canada Company
operating a steamboat. The name Menissitunk, was quite clear in
the newspaper but Google doesn't know the name. I found a reference
to a steamer called Minnitunk, which I think is the same one,
and another reference to the Minnesetung, also the same one!
Minnesetung, 250 tons, built Goderich 1834, sunk at Malden 1839,
raised and renamed Goderich.
History of the Great Lakes. Volume I : List of Lake Vessels
The name was apparently Indian, meaning "water with islands in it".
Harry Dodsworth Ottawa Ontario Canada
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