Frontenac (Ship)

The Frontenac was the first steamboat launched on the Great Lakes. She was built by American contractors in 1816 at Ernesttown [Bath, Ontario] for a company of mainly Kingston (Ont) investors. The following spring she began her regular schedule on Lake Ontario between Kingston, York [Toronto] and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Measuring in all about 700 tons, Frontenac was 51.8 m along the deck and 9.1 m across the beam, with a hold 3.5 m deep. Her 50-hp Boulton & Watt steam engine propelled the steamboat at about 10.6 km/h. Costing in excess of £15 000 and operating in a province of only about 100 000 people, Frontenac rarely turned a profit. After 8 years, she was sold at auction for£1550 to John Hamilton who, with his brother Robert, operated Frontenac for another 2 years. In 1827, she was taken to Niagara where, while being scrapped, she was burned by an arsonist.