National Geographic : 1967 May
Emerald arrow of Point Frederick, guarding Kingston Harbour at left, commands the upper most reach of the St. Lawrence where it spills from Lake Ontario. Venerable halls of the Mohawks always held our heads higher than the other nations. When we lost our lands and our way of life, our self-respect went too. For generations the men of the band tried to re store it through hazardous jobs. When the fur trade needed canoemen, we were canoemen. When loggers were needed, we were loggers. Then we discovered high steel. Today, once again, the children of this village can look at their fathers with pride." Atlantic Comes to Continent's Heart Before 1959, most ocean-going ships ended their voyages at Montreal. But the comple tion of the St. Lawrence Seaway in that year opened Great Lakes ports to ships that ply the Atlantic.* Seven locks bypass the rapids that churn the St. Lawrence between Mont real and Lake Ontario, and last year they lifted 7,330 vessels up the Seaway. On the Seaway stretch of the upper St. Lawrence, a strange affinity seems to unite ship and shore. I remember standing one night on the deck of M.S. Rimouski as we glided through the channel beside the Lachine Rapids. Never more than 100 or 200 feet from the sleeping houses on the southern bank, Rimouski 662 slipped past Caughnawaga. Dogs barked at our approach and gruffly ceased when we had passed. On the road skirting the channel, a car passed-two stabbing headlights, a roaring motor, two receding rubies-almost as though we shared a common freeway. Nor is this highway analogy exaggerated. Capt. Reginald Belcher of Rimouski care fully cut speed the next day as we reached the narrows by Wellesley Island. "The U. S. Coast Guard scans the river on radarscopes," he explained. "If they catch a ship exceeding the limit-nine miles an hour, in either direction-they levy a fine ranging from $50 to $300." North of the beige-colored stream, from Cornwall to Kingston in the Province of On tario, lies old Loyalist country, and proud of it. The monuments that dot the shore at fre quent intervals celebrate neither freedom nor independence, but rather those Americans of 1776 who, scorning the radical appeals of the Continental Congress, bore arms in defense *See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: "New St. Law rence Seaway Opens the Great Lakes to the World," by Andrew H. Brown, March, 1959, and "New Era on the Great Lakes," by Nathaniel T. Kenney, April, 1959.