The Burlington Canal Bridges

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#61
1864 - “there was another launching, this time at James Bowman & Co.'sCity Wharf, The vessel launched was a scow ferry for use at the Burlington Canal. She was built by Charles Lee and was christened PRINCE OF WALES by Miss Annie Phelan, daughter of the boatbuilder, Dennis Phelan.”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1864

if this was reported in a Hamilton news paper, it would be interesting to find the article, to see if it gave any specifics on the size of the scow.
 

scotto

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#62
Scott,

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.
I have checked into the records of the bascule bridge and can't seem to find much, there a logs kept at most facilities like bridges, but they don't seem to exist.
That being said, I wouldn't have any idea where to look to see if the Department of Public Works kept records of the old scow.
 

scotto

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Scott

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.
The original canal wasn't that wide, a hand crank would of done the job perfectly, but long pull to the end of the piers would a little much. Would to idea of bringing a horse team in the early days be far fetched? Later on a prop driven boat could of easily done the job.
But I guess there would of been writings on this because it would of cost money.

Anyway, I doubt the chain resting in the canal would of been much of an issue until propeller driven ships came into the picture, other vessels would just get the occasional hull cleaning.
 

Drogo

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#64
The original canal wasn't that wide, a hand crank would of done the job perfectly, but long pull to the end of the piers would a little much. Would to idea of bringing a horse team in the early days be far fetched? Later on a prop driven boat could of easily done the job.
But I guess there would of been writings on this because it would of cost money.

Anyway, I doubt the chain resting in the canal would of been much of an issue until propeller driven ships came into the picture, other vessels would just get the occasional hull cleaning.
Horse is a possiblity as in the 1871 diary he refers to checking on the horse and Mrs. Joyce who is I believe on the north side is mentioned as to a horse. Referred once to a horse being lame. That being said if you google chain ferries you will see there are ferries still running today that are hand pulled.
 
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Drogo

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#65
As to the records of the old canal I doubt they will be found. When I called the Hamilton Harbour Commission to see what records they kept I was informed that the old records of the Bay were lost when the building burned down. I was looking for information on Capt. Hall. One being that he won the Top Hat award 3 times for being first through the canal when the season opened and second I wanted a copy of his Master Mariner papers. That one was a surprise as they said they would be kept at the Marine Museum in Toledo Ohio.

As to some of the recent comments about the government having papers on the original ferry that is mixing apples and oranges. You can't look for Canadian Government involvement until after 1867. Before then Thompson only got the Custom House cheques from Quebec that he paid the ferrymen out of. By 1871 he is getting the Custom House cheque and a cheque from the government which part of paid canal expenses. Off the top of my head I can't remember the branch but I posted it somewhere on page four of this thread.

On page 354 of The Monthly Review: Devoted to the Civil Government of Canada, Volume 1 it refers to the repairs and rebuilding in 1841. It refers to "Civil Government" and the report was being done for His Excellency the Governor General. I assume that is what you would refer to as government before 1867.
 

David O'Reilly

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#66
Drogo
“As to some of the recent comments about the government having papers on the original ferry that is mixing apples and oranges. You can't look for Canadian Government involvement until after 1867. Before then Thompson only got the Custom House cheques from Quebec that he paid the ferrymen out of. By 1871 he is getting the Custom House cheque and a cheque from the government which part of paid canal expenses. Off the top of my head I can't remember the branch but I posted it somewhere on page four of this thread.”

Drogo, the Department of Public Works seems to have been involved in the construction of the 1869 road swing bridge. So my thinking is/was that any records would have been transferred to a ‘government’ department at the time of, or following confederation. Hence, my use of the word ‘government’.

Drogo
“On page 354 of The Monthly Review: Devoted to the Civil Government of Canada, Volume 1 it refers to the repairs and rebuilding in 1841. It refers to "Civil Government" and the report was being done for His Excellency the Governor General. I assume that is what you would refer to as government before 1867.”

It seems that ‘His Excellency, the Governor General’, (what ever that was)was still involved after confederation.

1876
“Much discussion took place in the press in 1876 regarding the construction of the Hamilton & North Western Ry., with which was merged, the Hamilton & Lake Erie.”

When this plan was made public, the Shipping fraternity split into two camps - for, and against a swing bridge over the Burlington Bay Canal. Petitions were drafted and sent to His Excellency, the Governor General, the Earl of Dufferin. Those merchants, forwarders and shipmasters opposed to the bridge were basing their objections on the supposition that a centre pier would be placed in the canal, thereby seriously reducing the width of the channel. Those members of the community who were in favour of the railway's proposal understood that the bridge was planned with its turntable on the North Pier, leaving a clear opening and they bore in mind also, the tonnage of grain and forest products that this new railway would bring to the port.”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1876
 

Drogo

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#67
My comment about mixing apples and oranges was just my way of seperating the two different forms of governing. Pre Confederation we were a colony with the Governor General's stamp of approval on most things. And government was still fairly by area. Meaning Upper Canada, Lower Canada and Nova Scotia. Post Confederation it was a country with provinces therefore having provincial and federal governments. A structure more definite than local governments that often disagreed.
 

David O'Reilly

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#68
It would be interesting to see if there is a coppy of ‘the 1823 Burlington Canal Act’ still kicking around, and see what it says. There has to be documentation on the original construction of the canal some where.
 

David O'Reilly

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#69
Scott,

Before 1867 there was Upper Canada. And The Department of Public Works (DPW) was involved in the construction of the 1869 road swing bridg. So DPW must have been associated with some level of government. But you’ve said that the DPW didn’t become involved in the running of the canal until commencement of the 1921 bascule bridge. So what I’m wanting to know is, who operated the canal until 1921.
 

Drogo

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#70
THE BURLINGTON CANAL ACT

From
Statutes of Upper Canada
Third Session - Eight Provincial Parliment
1823

Chap. VIII
An Act to Provide for Constructing a Navigable Canal between Burlington Bay and Lake Ontario.
Passed 19th March, 1823

Whereas a Canal navigable for Vessels between Burlington Bay in the District of Gore, and Lake Ontario, would tend to promote the general interest of this Province, and particularly that part of the Country contiguous thereto: And whereas it is expedient to raise a sum of money by way of Loan to make and complete the said Canal, the annual interest on which to be paid from a fund to be raised and collected by a Toll to be levied on Goods, Produce, and all other articles as well as Vessels and other craft passing in or through the same, and also to establish a fund for the redemption of the said Loan, Be it therefore enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Assembly of the Province of Upper Canada, consituted and assembled by virtue of and under the authority of an Act passed in the Parliament of Great Britian, entituled "An Act to repeal certain parts of an Act passed in the fourteenth year of His Majesty's Reign, entituled "An Act for making more effectual provision for the Government of the Province of Quebec, in North America, and to make further Provision for the Government of the said Province, " " and by the authority of the same, That it shall and may be lawful for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Person administering the Government of this Province, so soon after the passing of this Act as he may deem expedient, to authorise and direct His majesty's persons, bodies corporate or politic, who may be willing to advance the same upon the credit of the Goverment Bills or Debentures, authorised to be issued under this Act, a sum of money not exceeding Five Thousand Pounds, to make and complete the said Canal, and also such works as may be deemed necessary to protect and secure the entrance thereof, as well from Burlington Bay as from Lake Ontario.

II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the Receiver General for the time being, to cause any number of debentures to be made out for any such sum or sums of money, not exceeding in the whole the said sum of Five Thousand Pounds, as any person or persons, body politic or corporate, shall agree to advance on the credit of the said debentures, which debentures shall be prepared and made out in such method and form as His Majesty's Receiver General shall think most safe and convenient, and that for each loan or advance a debenture shall issue, bearing date at the day on which the same shall actually be issued, conditioned for the payment of the said sum of Five Thousand Pounds, or such part thereof as may be actually received and redeemable at a period not exceeding sixteen years, and shall and may be signed by the said Receiver General of this Province for the time being.

III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person or persons shall forge or counterfeit any such debenture as aforesaid, which shall be issued under the authority of this Act, and uncancelled, or any stamp, indorsement, or writing thereon or therein, or tender in payment any such forged debenture, or any debenture with such counterfeit indorsement or writing thereon, or shall demand to have any such counterfeit debenture, or any debenture with such counterfeit indorsement or writing thereupon or therein, exchanged for ready money be any person or persons who shall be obliged and required to exchange the same, or by any other person or persons whomsoever, knowing the debenture so tendered in payment, or to be exchanged, or the indorsement or writing thereupon or therein to be forged or counterfeited with intent to defraud His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, or the persons appointed to pay off the same, or any of them, or any other person or persons, bodies politic or corporate, then every such person or persons so offending, being thereof lawfully convicted, shall be adjudged a felon, and shall suffer as in cases of felon, without benefit of Clergy.

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the Receiver General of this Province for the time being, shall before each Session of the Parliament of this Province, transmit to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Person administering the Government of this Province, a correct account of the numbers, amount , and dates of the different debentures which he may have issued, under the authority of this Act, of the amount of the debentures redeemed by him, and the interest paid thereon respectively, and also of the amount of the said debentures outstanding and unredeemed at the periods aforesaid, and of the expences attending the issuing the same, the periods aforesaid, and of the expences attending the issuing the same, to be laid before the Legislature of this Province.

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the interest growing due upon the said debentures shall and may be payable in half yearly periods to be computed from the date thereof, and shall and may be paid on demand by the Receiver General of this Provence for the time being, who shall take care to have the same indorsed on each debenture, at the time of payment thereof, expressing the period up to which the said interest shall have been paid, and shall take receipts for the same from the persons respectively, and that the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Person administering the Government of this Province shall, after the thirtieth day of June, and the thirty-first day of December in each year, issue warrants to the Receiver General for the payment of the amount of interest that shall have been advanced, according to the receipts to be by him taken as aforesaid.

VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the Receiver General of this Province, and the person or persons necessarily employed under him in the execution of this Act, shall severally have and receive such rewards and allowances as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Person administering the Government of this Province, and the Executive Council thereof, shall adjudge to be reasonable, and direct to be allowed them for their respective services in the execution of this Act, and that the same shall be paid in discharge of such warrant or warrants, as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Person administering the government of the Province shall from time to time issue for that purpose.

VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That a separate warrant shall be made to the Receiver General, by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Person administering the Government of this Province for the time being, for the payment of each debenture as the same may become due, and be presented in favour of the lawful holder thereof, and come due, and be presented in favour of the lawful holder thereof, and that such debentures as shall from time to time be discharged and paid off shall be cancel and made void by the said Receiver General.

Viii. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That at any time after the said debentures, or any of them, shall respectively become due according to the terms thereof, it shall and may be lawful for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Person administering the Government of the Province, if he thinks proper so to do, to direct a notice to be inserted in the Upper Canada Gazette, requiring all holders of said debentures to present said notice for three months, and debenture then payable shall remain out more than six months from the first publication of such notice, all interest on such debentures, after the expiration of the said six months shall cease and be no further payable, in respect of the time which may elapse between the expiration of the said six months, and their presentment for payment.
 
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Drogo

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#71
second half of 1823 Act
IX. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That so soon after the passing of this Act as he may deem proper, it shall and may be lawful for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Person administering the Government of this Province, from time to time to nominate and appoint under His Seal at Arms, not more than five Commissioners, any three of whom shall be a quorum, who may appoint two of their Body to be a President and Vice President, one of whom shall preside at all meetings of the Board, which Commissions' duty it shall be to cause a plan or plans of a Canal to connect Burlington Bay, in the Gore District of this Province, with Lake Ontario, of not less than ten feet depth of water, and forty feet wide at the top, with an estimate of the expence to be made, and shall and may contract with such person or persons as shall, after public notice being given for that purpose, undertake to make the same, and all works therewith connected, or any part thereof, at the cheapest and lowest rate, in the shortest time, and most convenient terms, and giving security to the satisfaction of the said Commissions, or a majority of them, for the due performance of the Contract to be entered into for that purpose, ;and shall and may do and perform all and whatsoever act and acts, thing and thins necessary and proper to carry the intention of this Act info full effect, and shall and may fix such rate of Toll after the redemption of the Loan to be effected, and interest thereon, as to them may seem proper, (for the purpose of keeping the Canal in repair) less than that established by this Act, and shall report to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Person administering the Government of the Provence, once in three months during the progress of the work, all matters by them done or performed by virtue of the authority so vested in them, to be laid before the Legislature at its next meeting.

X. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That so soon as the said Canal shall be opened, it shall and may be lawful for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, of Person administering the Government of this province, to nominate and appoint a careful and discreet person to collect the Toll and Dues imposed by this Act, who shall account to His Majesty's Receiver General of this province for the time being, on the thirtieth day of thirtieth day of June, and thirty-first day of December in each and every year, which account shall be rendered in detail on oath, and specify the number of Barrels, Packages, and all other articles passing through the said Canal, together with the number of Vessels, Boats, and other Craft, with their respective tonnage, in or upon which the same shall be laden, and every other source from which the same has arisen, and shall retain to his own use Five per cent, on all monies so collected and paid by him.

XI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the Toll and Dues mentioned in the following Schedule, and no other, shall be exacted and paid on all Goods, Wares, Merchandize, Produce, :umber, Vessels, Boats, Raft or Craft, previous to their passing through or into the said Canal, until the Loan for making the same, and interest thereon, shall be fully redeemed and paid as herein-before mentioned; and the said money so to be raised and collected, shall be paid by the said Collector into the hands of the Receiver General of this Province, to and for the redemption of the said debentures and the interest thereon annually accruing.

VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Person administering the Government of this Province, from time to time during the continuance of this Act, to issue his warrant to the Receiver General of this Province in favour of the said Commissioners, for such sum or sums of money, not exceeding Five Thousand Pounds, to enable them to carry the Provisions of this Act into effect, which sums shall be paid out of any monies which may have been advanced to him upon debentures by virtue of this Act.

Xiii. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all monies required to be paid by the authority of this Act, shall be paid by the Receiver General in discharge of such Warrant or Warrants as shall for that purpose be issued by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or person administering the Government of this Province, and shall be accounted for to His Majesty through the Lords Commissioners of his Treasury for the time being in such mane and form as His Majesty his Heirs and Successors shall be graciously please to direct.

SCHEDULE of TOLL and Dues, payable under the foregoing Act,
£ s. d.

Flour per Barrel 0 0 8
Pot Ash per Barrel 0 1 4
Pork per Barrel 0 1 0
Whisky per Barrel 0 1 0
Plaster of pairs per Barrel 0 1 0
Oil per Barrel 0 1 0
Staves per Thousand, Standard 0 10 0
Boards per one hundred pieces 0 1 3
Salt per Barrel 0 1 0
Dry goods per hundred wt. 0 0 8
Boats or craft, under five tons each 0 5 0
Vessels over five tons, per ton
Measurement, per ton 0 1 3
Apples, cider, Potatoes, and all other Roots, Vegetables and fruit FREE

All articles not enumerated to pay in proportion to the above rates, subject to the direction of the Commissioners appointed by virtue of this Act, Provided nevertheless, that any Boat, Vessel, or Craft entering the said Canal shall be at liberty to pass and return through the same on payment of the Toll or dues herein specified, and such Toll shall not be exacted more than once for such passing and return.

XIV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the Commissioners appointed under the authority of this Act, shall cause a sufficient Draw-Bridge to be erected on the said Canal, upon which no Toll or Due for passing the same shall be demanded.
 

Drogo

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#72
David
As I'm sure you read the government was the Governor. (Represented King George) The Governor or his representative made the decisions. He set up Commissioners to oversee the canal and appointed a toll keeper who, if memory serves me, was William Chisholm who was as crooked as a dog's hind leg.
 

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#73
Drogo, great work on the Burligton Canal Act! Thank you for all your work on it.

Right now there doesn’t seem to be much on the web about the act. Doing a Google search, I got results for two or three books, and for ‘the Burlington Canal Bridges’ thread. But the only text that appeared with that result,was what I quoted from the Hamilton Harbour 1826 page. Because you didn’t write ‘Burlington Canal Act’ at the top of your first post on the act. So if somebody else does a Google search and clicks on that result, and then does a word search for ‘act’, they won’t find anything.

Can I suggest inserting ‘the Burlington Canal Act’ right at the top of the first post?
 

Drogo

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#74
Drogo, great work on the Burligton Canal Act! Thank you for all your work on it.

Right now there doesn’t seem to be much on the web about the act. Doing a Google search, I got results for two or three books, and for ‘the Burlington Canal Bridges’ thread. But the only text that appeared with that result,was what I quoted from the Hamilton Harbour 1826 page. Because you didn’t write ‘Burlington Canal Act’ at the top of your first post on the act. So if somebody else does a Google search and clicks on that result, and then does a word search for ‘act’, they won’t find anything.

Can I suggest inserting ‘the Burlington Canal Act’ right at the top of the first post?
I made the change. I did take the Act itself off of Google Books. I downloaded the whole 175 pages. I went through them and there is nothing else that is specific to the Beach or Canal. However, it is now in my historical pdf file.
 

David O'Reilly

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#75
Drogo
“Everytime Thompson mentions a strong east blow or ice being pushed into the canal he also notes that he "took the scow to the south-west pier end". Now you know the distance from the west side of the lighthouse to the bay end of the pier is a fairly long way but apparently he was able to disconnect the scow from the canal span and physically drag it all the way to the bay is rough or freezing weather. When you look at the size of the scow it is obvious that he was a driven man to care for his equipment. When he "brought the scow back to the recess" he did it the same way.”

1890 – “Capt. Campbell's worries were not confined to shipwrecks. As the storm sent its great rollers through the canal, the scow ferry, usually an inert lump of woodwork, had suddenly become a thing of life. It was in fact, more like a bucking bronco, until the chain broke. Freed of its tether, it lurched out of its slip and happily disappeared into the snow and sleet driving across the harbour. Capt. Campbell's comments, as he watched its departure, went unrecorded, but a little imagination can put appropriate words in his mouth, although no one would have heard them, with the scream of the tempest. When the storm passed, the ferry aprons in both slips were found to be damaged beyond repair.” “By the 15 April, summer-like weather had arrived. Capt. Campbell was repairing his ferry which had been found on the north shore of the harbour after the big storm. The chain had been sent to Burlington to be welded and the Killey Beckett Engine Works in Hamilton was making new castings for the aprons.”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1890
 

David O'Reilly

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#77
1893 - "The patience of those people who found it necessary to use the Canal ferry must have been wearing exceedingly thin by mid-October. A westerly gale had torn it loose and sent it lurching out into the Lake and on the 17 October, (Major Grey), the Government Engineer came to ponder over the problem. Having slept on it, he advised Capt. Campbell to charter a tug and search for the errant scow. His theory was simple. Since there was now an east wind, he assumed that the scow should be drifting homeward."
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1893

We've had a discussion in this thread as to when the Department of Public Works (DPW) became involved in operating the canal. Or more correctly, if it operated the canal ferry. A 'Major Gray' was involved in the Department of Public Works' construction of the 1896 road swing bridge. So if this was the same 'Major Gray' it would seem that the scow was operated by the DPW. Or, perhaps, like the swing bridge, it was owned by DPW, but operated by something else.

"On the 28 August, plans of the new bob-tailed swing bridge were exhibited. The cost was estimated to be $40,000." Major Gray, of the Dept. of Public Works, visited the Beach on the same day and decided upon the location for the new bridge. It was to be just west of the ferry landing and Mr. Webb, the contractor, had been instructed to begin work immediately. It was hoped to have the bridge completed before the opening of navigation in 1896."
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1895
 

Drogo

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#79
1890 – “Capt. Campbell's worries were not confined to shipwrecks. As the storm sent its great rollers through the canal, the scow ferry, usually an inert lump of woodwork, had suddenly become a thing of life. It was in fact, more like a bucking bronco, until the chain broke. Freed of its tether, it lurched out of its slip and happily disappeared into the snow and sleet driving across the harbour. Capt. Campbell's comments, as he watched its departure, went unrecorded, but a little imagination can put appropriate words in his mouth, although no one would have heard them, with the scream of the tempest. When the storm passed, the ferry aprons in both slips were found to be damaged beyond repair.” “By the 15 April, summer-like weather had arrived. Capt. Campbell was repairing his ferry which had been found on the north shore of the harbour after the big storm. The chain had been sent to Burlington to be welded and the Killey Beckett Engine Works in Hamilton was making new castings for the aprons.”


Unfortunately Capt. Campbell didn't do the diaries like Thompson. Maybe he did something and it's not come to light yet. When I was first researching my great grandfather John Campbell Hall I didn't know his Mother's last name. I knew the Hall family was from Dublin. I thought perhaps Campbell was his mother's maiden name. When mentioned to my Dad's cousin I found out he was named after Capt. Campbell the lighthouse keeper. You just never know.

I have a pile of news articles up to and including 1881 so this story would be before 1881. Capt. Campbell attended a July 12 Irish celebration on James St. Hamilton. He was there with his brother James Campbell. They were born in Ireland. A group of Catholic Irishmen showed up to break up the celebration. James Campbell was killed. One would hope that problem stayed on the other side of the Altlantic but it didn't. This also wasn't too far off the Donnelly massacre.
 

David O'Reilly

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#80
Scott
“With the completion of the Burlington Canal in 1826, a wooden bridge was constructed to allow the passage of land traffic across the new waterway. However, this bridge sustained heavy storm-damage and was torn down. It was replaced by a swing bridge in 1830. Unfortunately this bridge too came down when struck by a schooner. For decades after the accident, a wooden scow, pulled by heavy chains, was used to transport people, animals, and goods across the canal.”

1896 - “Many people were eyeing the Beach and thinking of cool lake breezes while at the same time, worrying because there did not seem to be any activity regarding the new bridge. ..this was the road swing bridge.. The make-shift ferry could. handle only pedestrians.”
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1896
 
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