In 1865, after the collapse of the Rice Lake Bridge, John Dumble drew up plans for the delivery of Blairton Iron Ore to Cobourg, including the use of scows to be towed upstream to Harwood, where a steam conveyor belt loaded the ore into the Cobourg bound trains.
The steamer "Otonabee" (built by entrepreneur par excellence, James Gray Bethune) was used to tow such barges across Rice Lake. Although her contract ended in 1873 when she was sold off and replaced by the the paddle steamer "Isaac Butts", the Otonobee made the news again in 1909, in the Kingston Whig:
"The steamer Rainbow, bound for Peterboro with an excursion party of Indians, was struck by the steamer Otonabee, at a bend in the Otonabee River. The escape from a great calamity was fortunate. A hole fifteen feet long was torn in the side of the Rainbow and she ran aground hard and fast. The excursion party was taken back home."