The Burlington Canal Bridges

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#41
Scott

“I don't know if the Federal Government was broken down into branches as it is today, but Transport Canada is responsible for the piers and the canal, not Public Works. I don't know which part of the government paid the Ferryman.”

Scott, if we knew when the canal scow seased operating, we could perhaps find news paper articles for that year, which might indicate which level of government had been paying the ferryman. And with that information, we might be able to dig up old records regarding the canal ferry.

My guess is, that the ferry seased operating when the Hamilton and North Western Railroad’s (H&NW) first swing bridge began operating in 1878.
________________________________________
 

scotto

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#42
From the book, The Sand Strip;

"When the radial electric railway line was constructed in 1897, a second bridge was needed. This one had wooden sidewalks and a narrow lane for vehicles beside the tracks.
The days of the ferry were over-or almost. The old scow was retired from service, and was towed to the bayside home of Thomas Irwin at Station 26 where it served as a wharf for many years."


Collection's Canada


Another; © JOHN F BROMLEY, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, please do not re-use without permission.


One more; © JOHN F BROMLEY, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, please do not re-use without permission.


Added photo, just compare the radial bridge to the newer bascule bridge with a radial car travelling towards Hamilton.

Bascule3_zps46462807.jpg
 

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#43
Scott

"From the book, The Sand Strip;

"When the radial electric railway line was constructed in 1897, a second bridge was needed. This one had wooden sidewalks and a narrow lane for vehicles beside the tracks.
The days of the ferry were over-or almost. The old scow was retired from service, and was towed to the bayside home of Thomas Irwin at Station 26 where it served as a wharf for many years.""
***************

Okay, so the ferry seased operating when the road swing bridge used by the Hamilton Radial Electric Railroad (HRER) started. However, Tom Luton indicates on his HRER page, that the year was 1896, not 1897.

"The first trip over the HRER was made by the board of directors and their families on HRER #20 on the morning of (September) 7, 1896, running from the powerhouse to the Hamilton station. The return trip was marred by a piece of equipment that jammed the truck of the car, making it impossible to make the tight turn onto the wye behind the station, and forcing the car to run backwards back to the powerhouse. Quick repairs were made, and the car returned to Hamilton without incident. Full service between Hamilton and the powerhouse started the next day."
http://www.trainweb.org/hamtransithist/HRER.html

so if we assume that '1896' is correct, and that 'September' is also correct, then it won't take much work to find any news paper articles.
 

Drogo

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Feb 8, 2005
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#44
David and Scott

Last kick at the can. Obviously Fred has been reading the replies I've added but you are still asking the same questions. Please read numbers 38 and 40 above.

Additional to that information I see, in the 1871 diaries of the lighthouse, that by this year Thompson is still getting his cheques from the "Customs House" and additionally he is getting cheques from the government. Unfortunately, being the only "government" of his day he doesn't get more specific than that.
 

David O'Reilly

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#45
These articles from the Hamilton Harbour 1826/1901 page about supplies being made to lighthouses, seems to indicate that there was government involvement in the operations of the various canals.

Perhaps the best way of getting to the heart of the matter, is to find a coppy of the ‘Burlington Canal Act’.

1873- “A minor collision occurred in the Welland Canal on the 13 August, when the schooner HENRIETTA P. MURRAY of St. Catharines ran into the propeller BRUNO, doing about $400 worth of damage to the latter's bow. The schooner's owner-captain was Alex. Reid, while the BRUNO was now owned by Hadley & Roberts of Chatham and was engaged in supplying light stations on the Lakes.”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1873

1876- “The propeller CITY OF MONTREAL, chartered by the Government to deliver the annual supplies to the light stations, arrived at the Burlington Canal on the evening of Saturday, 15 July and after leaving supplies with Capt. Thos. Campbell, departed for Fort Dalhousie and the Upper Lakes.”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1876

1877- “The contract for supplying Light Stations went to the Lake & River Steamship Co. and the propeller LAKE ERIE was assigned to this duty. She was to leave Montreal, under Capt. Alex. Pollock, on or about the 2 July. The advertisement stated:”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1877

1879- “The propeller CELTIC was chartered for the Lighthouse Supply trip this year and was advertised to leave Montreal on or about the 30 June for all light stations on the Lakes.”

“The CELTIC, on her light-house supply trip, left Port Colborne on the 9 July and proceeded to the Light Stations at Mohawk Island,Pt. Maitland,Pt. Dover and Long Point. She left the Point on the 11 July and steamed across to Cleveland to unload some cargo and to take on bunkers.”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1879

1882- “The Government chartered the propeller CALIFORNIA for the Lighthouse Supply Trip this year and she was advertised to sail from Montreal on the 3 July and would be expected in Hamilton one week later.”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1882
 

David O'Reilly

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#46
A bit more on the lighthouse supplies.

“"The steamer CELTIC with Lighthouse supplies stopped at Burlington Piers at 6:30 p.m. yesterday, on her way out. On her arrival at the station, Mr. P. Harty, Superintendent of Lights and his assistant Mr. J. A. Robinson proceeded to inspect the Lights and surroundings and were much pleased with the manner in which they were maintained. After they had finished the inspection and delivered. the supplies, the following were invited to Capt. Campbell's residence:”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1884

I think that most of the information on this ‘Hamilton Harbour’ page has been taken from old news papers. So if we can find the paper for 1884, the article that reported this might indicate what level of government it was that the ‘Department of Lights’ was part of.
 

Drogo

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Feb 8, 2005
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#47
Level of government

A bit more on the lighthouse supplies.

“"The steamer CELTIC with Lighthouse supplies stopped at Burlington Piers at 6:30 p.m. yesterday, on her way out. On her arrival at the station, Mr. P. Harty, Superintendent of Lights and his assistant Mr. J. A. Robinson proceeded to inspect the Lights and surroundings and were much pleased with the manner in which they were maintained. After they had finished the inspection and delivered. the supplies, the following were invited to Capt. Campbell's residence:”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1884

I think that most of the information on this ‘Hamilton Harbour’ page has been taken from old news papers. So if we can find the paper for 1884, the article that reported this might indicate what level of government it was that the ‘Department of Lights’ was part of.
In the winter months of the 1871 Lighthouse Diaries Thompson speaks of the government cheques and custom house cheques he receives. He then got more specific to say he received the cheque from Inland Revenue Office. He also mentions two men from that office that came to inspect the whole canal/lighthouse facility and said it was more than satisfactory. He also indicates they came to collect money so they must handle the income from the ferry.
 

David O'Reilly

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#48
Scott,
““Public Works Canada wouldn't of became involved with the canal until the Bascule Bridge was built and the railway would of been responsible for the the swing bridges.
I always wondered what ever happened to any records, if there were any, for the operation of the bascule bridge(s).””

Scott, do you have a reference for the commencement of ‘Public Works Canada’s involvement in the canal?

This issue of exactly what level(s) of government, were involved in the running of the canal and the light house, and the Hamilton Harbour, needs some clarification.

1898 - “The local vessel-men were beseeching the Government to place a range light on the Bay-end of the pier, as they had been doing for some years.”

“City Council had recently set up a
"Harbour Committee"
consisting of six aldermen and this group held their first meeting on 17 May with Alderman Fearnside as chairman. Capt. Campbell, light-keeper at the Canal was invited to attend. When the question of an additional range light came up, Capt. Campbell stated that he had attempted to promote this, but was told by the Government
"to mind his own business".”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1898



1896 - “"Ore Shipments by Water"
brought to light a problem that would affect the port for many years. Although the Hamilton Blast Furnace Co. wharf would have at least 14 feet of water when it was completed in June, it would be useless as long as the Government continued to take so little interest in the Burlington Canal. Even with the improved Lake level, there was but 12 feet available in the canal.
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1896
 

scotto

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#49
I can only comment on the different levels of government that are in place today, Public Works & Government Services Canada operate the lift bridge at present, Transport Canada is responsible for the piers and the canal. Any lights or buoys out in the harbor are looked after by the Hamilton Port Authority.
Add in the lands around the Skyway Bridge of which, MTO has easement but much of it is owned by the Port. And lastly, the Coast Guard, DFO have the land on and around the Canada Centre for Inland Waters.

 

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#52
What I meant is a thread on the history of the canal, starting with the original cut through the beach and all subsequent widenings, deepenings, and improvements. And, exactly what levels of government were involved. And information about lighthouse(s).
 

David O'Reilly

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#53
Scott,
“Public Works would of been in charge of building the canal, but not running the scow across it. If the Public Works of the day (PWGSC) could get rid rid of the bridge that is there now, they would. They have no interest in the ownership once built, federal buildings are another story.
Public Works did their best to unload the present bridge to the Province, but they wouldn't have any part of that.”

Scott, what does (PWGSC) stand for?
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scotto

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#54
What I meant is a thread on the history of the canal, starting with the original cut through the beach and all subsequent widenings, deepenings, and improvements. And, exactly what levels of government were involved. And information about lighthouse(s).
It has been posted in here a few times on when the first canal was cut through the Beach, the rest would be a lot of research.
Scott,
"Public Works would of been in charge of building the canal, but not running the scow across it. If the Public Works of the day (PWGSC) could get rid rid of the bridge that is there now, they would. They have no interest in the ownership once built, federal buildings are another story.
Public Works did their best to unload the present bridge to the Province, but they wouldn't have any part of that."

Scott, what does (PWGSC) stand for?
________________________________________
PWGSC;
Public Works & Government Services Canada, the present owners of the lift bridge.

Map of the original area, thanks to Ray Mifflin;



And another, a post card showing the Radial Bridge.

 

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#55
Scott,
“Public Works Canada wouldn't of became involved with the canal until the Bascule Bridge was built and the railway would of been responsible for the the swing bridges.
I always wondered what ever happened to any records, if there were any, for the operation of the bascule bridge(s).”

Scott, there must be news paper articles on the 1921 opening of the first bascule bridge, that indicate who or what operated the canal until that time.

Scott,
“It has been posted in here a few times on when the first canal was cut through the Beach, the rest would be a lot of research.”

Scott,
There is a lot of information on this in the ‘Hamilton Harbour 1826/1901’ page. So I’ll take the time to go through it all and coppy all of the relevant information.

http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp
but as I still haven’t figured out how to start a new thread, I’ll send it to you in an e-mail, and ask you to start the thread.


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David O'Reilly

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#56
Sory, what I meant to say is, the ‘Hamilton Harbour 1826/1901’ page has lots of information on the improvements that were made to the Burlington Canal. But nothing about what level(s) of government operated it.
 

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#57
Scott,
“From Public Works Government Services Canada (PWGSC)
The present (lift) bridge first carried two lanes of vehicular traffic across the canal and was opened to traffic in 1962.
The railway was removed in 1982, and the road then widened to a total of four lanes. The bridge is a tower drive type, vertical lift movable bridge.
The lift span is 116 meters long, 19.8 meters wide, weighs 1995.8 tonnes, and has a vertical lift of 33.5 meters.”

A page on the lift bridge.
http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=ontario/burlingtoncanalliftbridge/
 

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#58
Drogo
“Lets go boys. Ships went in and out and the ferry kept going back and forth. If you look at this picture you see the ferry arriving. We know they are arriving because the horse didn't turn around. You can see the chain going into the water on the trailing end. They must have had chain long enough on each end so that when the ferry was pulled to the other side the chain on the back end sunk to the bottom. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Note: The quote was "For decades after the accident, a wooden scow, pulled by heavy chains, was used to transport people, animals, and goods across the canal.” It simply says pulled and no mention of pulleys.”

“The steamer MACASSA fouled the ferry cable at the Canal on the 2 August and broke the flywheel on the winding drum. The ferry was expected to be out of service for several days.”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1893
 

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#59
Scott,
“Public Works would of been in charge of building the canal, but not running the scow across it. If the Public Works of the day (PWGSC) could get rid rid of the bridge that is there now, they would. They have no interest in the ownership once built, federal buildings are another story.”

1893 – “The supplementary estimates provided by the Dominion Government included $1,500 for the scow ferry at the Canal and $6,000 for further dredging in the Harbour. On receipt of this news, a delegation approached the Minister of Railways and Canals, urging that the antiquated ferry be replaced by a road swing bridge.”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1893

Scott, does this mean then that the original canal scow was purchased by the Department of Public Works (DPW), but that it was operated by a local level of government? If yes, then (dpw) records should have a description of the mechanism that was used to draw the scow across the canal.
 

Drogo

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Feb 8, 2005
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#60
Scott
I'm replying to you as I know you are reading the replies. I think I have mentioned a few times that Thompson (whom I think knew his trade) makes two references in 1871 to putting new cast iron rollers on the ferry twice and that twice the large chain broke when the ice came into the canal. I also gave my best guess, as to operation, that it was as simple as a chain over rollers to protect the wood and that the chain was long enough to lay on the bottom so as to not hinder ships.

I've copied this from http://hokianga.com/ferry/action.html

People are fascinated and attracted by ferries of all kinds. This is especially true of cable ferries. Tourism would thereby benefit as the ferry will be unique in New Zealand. What is a cable ferry? It is a ferry guided by two (sometimes only one) steel cables along which it pulls itself. Originally chains were used, and some examples of chain ferries still operate, as you can see below in the British example..

Most of the time the cable lies on the bottom: only in front of the moving ferry does it reach the surface, so there is very little disturbance of other river traffic.

The ferry trip is a welcome break on a journey.

There is only one cable ferry in New Zealand, the Clutha flow-operated ferry, but there are many in Australia, Canada the UK and the USA and also in Sweden and Finland. Tourism would benefit as the ferry will be unique in New Zealand. Cable ferries are taken as a fact of life in many countries, as may be seen on the Internet. In Canada, conventional ferries are being converted to cable operation: see below.

The advantages of cable ferries over conventional ones are lower capital cost and much lower running costs, because a comparatively small engine is used, with about the power (and therefore the fuel consumption) of a medium sized truck.

No steering is required and radar is hardly needed. Many cable ferries overseas operate on a crew of one, the driver doubling as deckhand
.[/COLOR]

If you follow the link below it shows you how a chain ferry operates.
http://hokianga.com/ferry/action.html

Here is another version of the operation
Chain Ferries
Chain Ferries are another design that date back many centuries. They also go by the name of 'Floating Bridge'. An early form of Chain Ferry is seen crossing the Thames in the film 'A Knights Tale'. Here, the boat is hauled across the river by a man pulling a rope which normally resides on the river bed, but is dragged up and over pulley wheels as the boat crosses. Modern Chain Ferries are powered by engines, but still rely on a permanent cable on the river bed, which is lifted and passes through some form of pulleys to drag the boat back and forth.

The benefits of such a system are that the boat is guided across the river, minimising the effects of the tide or wash from passing ships. This largely eliminates the need for a skilled driver to steer the ferry according to the current, instead it is only a manner of operating a brake, and in modern chain ferries this can even be controlled by 'signals' on the cable either mechanically or via computer control.


I haven't read anything on the canal that indicates the ferry was powered. If it was I think a hand crank would have been the best.

My final contribution to the mystery of the ferry. A bigger mystery was how Thompson was able to take the ferry down to the pier end. Somehow he could disconnect it then hook it back up. Chain was connected to both sides of the canal. Stupid me. It is simple. Tie the ferry to the recess, disconnect chain on that side, pull it through the opposite end, and connect it to the recess until the ferry came back. Hooray now all my concerns are met.
 
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