Early Harbor Appropriations -- The Great Lakes Not Favored -- An English Opinion In 1833 -- Dangers To Navigation From Lack Of Harbors -- Early Improvements On Lake Erie -- Annual Appropriations From 1824 To 1845 -- Later Government Support More Generous -- Lake Ontario Harbors -- Lake Erie Harbors -- Lake St. Clair Harbors And Connecting Rivers -- Lake Huron Harbors -- Lake Michigan Harbors -- Lake Superior Harbors -- United States Engineers -- Hydrographic Department.
AN appropriation for the support and maintenance of harbors was made in 1791 by the first Congress of the United States under the present constitution, and no subsequent Congress has failed to make similar appropriations. Commerce has always been considered a subject of vital interest to the nation. But prior to 1824 the harbors on the lakes had received no attention direct from the government. Up to that time but little benefit was received from the natural advantages presented by the Great Lakes. The mouths of the rivers were usually so obstructed by sand that they prevented the entrance of vessels except in the early part of the season for a short period. On this account, wheat, flour and other produce did not pay for shipping to the Atlantic cities. After much effort, a law was passed in 1826 making appropriations and providing for the examination, survey and improvement of the harbors on the northern lakes.
But for many years the improvements made were small and inadequate. There seemed little opposition to the maintenance of seacoast harbors, but the expenditure of large sums of money for the development of a new inland country did not appeal so strongly to the representatives of seacoast States, where lay the balance of legislative power, and valiant service had to be rendered by the Western congressmen to secure even small appropriations for lake harbors. Commerce on the Great Lakes, nevertheless, expanded to a wonderful degree without corresponding aid from the government in providing adequate harbors.
An English author of considerable repute, Charles Joseph Latrobe, wrote as follows, in 1833, of the southern shores of Lake Michigan: "The total absence of harbors round this southern extremity of the lake has caused the wreck of many a vessel, as the action of the storm from the northward upon such a wide expanse of fresh water is tremendous; and from the great height and violence of the surf, which then thunders in upon the base of the sand hills, and the utter solitude of this coast, lives are seldom if ever saved." The same statement applied, with little modification, to all the lakes.
In his annual report for 1837, Henry Smith, general superintendent of public works for Lake Erie, said: "Until the commencement of the system of improvement of the lake harbors by the Government of the United States, the immense extent of country occupying the south shore of Lake Erie, or dependent on it for commercial facilities, was a wilderness. The navigation of the lake was attended with the utmost delay, difficulty and danger. The mouths of the several streams emptying themselves into the lake were uniformly obstructed by sand and vegetable matter, creating stagnant bodies of water, which overflowed the lowlands for miles, generating an atmosphere which rendered the country nearly uninhabitable from disease, at the same time that the streams themselves were entirely inaccessible as a refuge for vessels, and in all respects an evil rather than a benefit to the surrounding country. It is almost unnecessary to say that the judicious improvements made under the Acts of Congress have entirely changed all this, and many millions of acres of land of the most fertile description, embracing the western portion of the State of New York, the northern part of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois and the whole of Michigan, owe their present settlement and improvement in a very great degree to this cause. The mouths of the Huron, Black river, Cuyahoga, Grand river, Ashtabula and Conneaut (across the sand), and of the Raisin, in Michigan, were opened and kept open by piers and other improvements. Beacon lighthouses have been erected, and these streams, as well as other works at the east end of the lake, now afford secure harbors, accessible at all times to vessels navigating the lakes. These works, originally but experiments, were built of perishable material. Unless this work is made permanent, the elements will speedily render useless all that has been found of such vast benefit to the commerce of the West. This has been done at Buffalo heretofore, and is fairly commenced at Cleveland. By using the old work as a foundation, permanent works may be erected at comparatively small cost, sufficient to delay the action of the elements for ages; but I beg leave to urge again that the commencement should not be delayed a moment."
Lake Erie ports were more fortunate than those located on the upper lakes. Writing as late as 1846, Thomas L. Barton said: "With the exception of Lake Erie, which is partially furnished with harbors, constructed by individual enterprise and appropriations by Congress, the upper lakes are almost entirely destitute of these indispensable requisites for the safety of commercial interests engaged in that great and growing trade. With here and there a lighthouse above Detroit, everything remains almost in the same state it was found by the commercial pioneers when they first broke their way through Lake Michigan." He continues: "Within ten years many thriving cities and towns, besides Chicago, have sprung into existence on Lake Michigan. Amongst the most prominent may be mentioned Navarino, Sheboygan, Milwaukee, Racine, Southport and Little Fort, containing an active and busy population from 1,000 to over 8,000 each, and annually increasing. On the eastern side the St. Joseph's and Grand river towns, and others, are pushing forward with great zeal, and adding largely to their numbers yearly."
The scantiness of appropriations for lake harbors from 1839 to 1847 and the veto of the river and harbor bill by President Van Buren led to the great convention at Chicago, in 1847, which is made the subject of another chapter. Congressional appropriations for lake harbors up to that time were as follows: 1824, $20,000; 1825, $1,000; 1826, $49,620; 1827, $52,326; 1828, $83,982, 1829, $107,531; 1830, $80,130; 1831, $130,438; 1832, $121,300; 1833, $107,400; 1834, $221,978; 1836, $115,194; 1837, $300,415; 1838, $680,673; 1843, $80,000; 1844, $375,000; 1845, $15,000 -- Total, $2,861,964.
Most of the lake towns are built upon rivers which empty into the lakes, and these rivers are usually obstructed at their mouths by bars of sand and clay. The formation of these bars is due largely to the fact that the currents of the rivers are constantly bringing down with them an amount of soil, which is deposited at the point where the current meets the still waters of the lake. Another cause, as we are told by Col. Graham, in his Report for 1855, is the following:
"Although the great depth of Lake Michigan prevents the surface from freezing, yet the ice accumulates in large bodies in the shallow water near the shores, and is driven by the wind into the mouths of the rivers. A barrier being thus formed to the force of the lake waves, the sudden check of velocity causes them to deposit a portion of the silt they hold in suspension upon the upper surface of this stratum of ice. By repeated accumulations in this way, the weight becomes sufficient to sink the whole mass to the bottom. There it rests, together with other strata, which are sunk in the same way, until the channel is obstructed by the combined masses of ice and silt. In the spring when the ice melts the silt is dropped to the bottom, which, combined with that constantly deposited by the lake-shore currents, causes a greater accumulation in winter than at any other season." These bars at the natural river-mouths had frequently not more than two or three feet of water; and some of them have entirely closed up the entrance, although, at a short distance inside there might be a depth from twelve to fifteen feet, or even twenty feet of water.
The channels of these rivers have also a tendency to be deflected from their courses, on entering the lake, by the shore-currents, which, driven before the prevailing winds, bend the channel off at right angles, and carrying it parallel with the lake-shore, form a long spit of sand between the river and the lake.
Thus in constructing an artificial harbor at one of these river-mouths, the first object aimed at by the early engineers was to prevent the further formation of a bar; and the second, to deepen and improve the river-channel. The former is attained by running out piers into the lake from the mouth of the river; and the latter, by the use of the dredge-boat to cut through the obstructions.
Harbors of this kind were constructed prior to 1856 at Chicago, Waukegan, Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Michigan City and St. Joseph, on Lake Michigan; at Clinton River, on Lake St. Clair; at Monroe, Sandusky, Huron, Vermilion, Black River, Cleveland, Grand River, Ashtabula, Conneaut, Erie, Dunkirk and Buffalo, on Lake Erie; at Oak Orchard, Genesee River, Sodus Bay, Oswego and Ogdensburgh, on Lake Ontario.
Besides these river-harbors, Colonel Graham, in 1855, recommends to the government the construction, at certain points on the lakes, of sheltered roadsteads, or harbors of refuge, to which vessels might run for shelter in bad weather, when it might be difficult or dangerous to enter the river-mouths. These were proposed to be made by building breakwaters of crib-work, loaded with stone, and extending along the shore in a sufficient depth of water to admit vessels riding easily at anchor under the lee.
Generous appropriations are now made by Congress for the maintenance and improvement of lake harbors and river. The total from 1824 to 1890 reached $37,247,993, and subsequent appropriations bring the aggregate to about $50,000,000. This national aid has been invaluable to the magnificent expansion of lake commerce in recent years, and in consequence the region of the Great Lakes has enjoyed a prosperity unequalled elsewhere in the United States. On the following pages are presented the harbor improvements that have been made at the various ports on the Great Lakes.
Kingston, a leading Canadian port on Lake Ontario, is also the oldest. It is situated at the foot of the lake. Here, in 1673, at the mouth of Cataraqui creek, was established a French fort in the territory of the fierce and unfriendly Iroquois. It was called Fort Frontenac, in honor of the Count de Frontenac, who was governor of New France from 1672 to 1682, and from 1689 until his death in 1698. This post had varying fortunes at first, but was held to be of the first strategic importance. It was here, in 1678, that the first vessel on the
Great Lakes was built, the little schooner Frontenac, of about ten tons, in which La Salle and Father Hennepin sailed up Lake Ontario a few months before the Griffin was built. One or two other small schooners were launched at Frontenac soon after, but their names have not been preserved. During the French and English war, from 1756 to 1762, or shortly before, a small fleet of war vessels was built at Frontenac. Seven vessels fell into the hands of the British when, during that war, Frontenac was taken by Colonel Bradstreet. Under English dominion the marine interests of Lake Ontario were developed, and quite a fleet appeared in the government service. Merchant vessels followed. In 1795 there was running between Kingston, Oswego and Niagara the schooner Sophia, described as a fast sailor. In May, 1795, she accomplished her journey from Kingston to Niagara in eighteen hours. The Simcoe Gazette, in 1799, thus describes Kingston harbor: "Kingston, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence, being the best harbor for the shipping at this end of the lake, and the place where the bateaux from Montreal resort, must be a town of some consequence, though it is incapable of defense. It cannot under present circumstances be of great importance. It has astonishingly increased since the establishment of the government." The first Canadian steamboat on the Great Lakes, the Frontenac, was built at Finkle's Point, Ernestown, now within the corporation of Bath, eighteen miles from Kingston. She was commenced in October, 1815, and launched September 7, 1816. Before the advent of the railways, and during the period of steam navigation, Kingston was a most important port of travel and trade, being the terminus of both lake and river navigation. It is now a flourishing city of about 20,000 people.
Kingston harbor is one of the best natural harbors on the lake; but the approach to it is dangerous. There are three channels by which it may be reached: 1. -- The Batteau channel, between Wolfe and Gage islands, which is generally used by vessels of small draft; 2. -- The South channel, between Gage island and Snake island; and 3. -- The North channel, between Snake island and the main land, which, in 1857, was by far the deepest, having from four to ten fathoms of water.
This is a very important harbor. It is 172 miles west of Montreal. During the seasons of 1874-75-76 Carruthers shoal was being dredged so as to obtain a depth of 13 feet of water at low water. The total expenditure from July 1, 1867, to June 30, 1882, was $14,814.
In 1882 there was voted for the harbor here $12,500 for the removal of the top of Point Frederick shoal, so as to obtain a depth of 15 feet at low water in Lake Ontario. In 1883 $12, 500 more was voted by Parliament for continuing this work.
In March, 1889, a contract was entered into for the construction of a dry dock here, an admirable site being selected in the center of the harbor. This dry dock was to be entirely of stone, and of the following dimensions: Length of floor, 280 feet; width of floor, 40 feet; width at coping level, 70 feet; depth from coping to floor, 26 feet; depth of water on sill, at low water in the lake, 15 ½ feet; width of entrance, 48 feet. The entrance was to be closed with an iron caisson, and centrifugal pumps were to be used in emptying the docks.
The lights in the vicinity of Kingston are the following: At Barriefield Common two lights, the front light 370 feet east from the end of bridge to Kingston, established in 1892, and a light 1,500 feet northeast from the front light, and established in 1892. These two lights are headlight lanterns, which show over a small arc on each side of alignment, which leads inside Carruthers and Point Frederick shoals.
Nine Mile, or Gage Point light, on the southwest point of Simcoe island, nine miles west of Kingston, established in 1833. There is here also a steam fog horn, blasts 8 seconds, silent intervals 22 seconds.
The lighthouse here is at Windmill Point, about one and one-half miles below Prescott. Cole Shoal lighthouse is situated on a pier five miles west of Brockville, three-fourths of a mile from north shore. It was established in 1856. Grenadier Island lighthouse is on the southwest point of the island, on the north side of the channel, two miles below Rockport. It was established in 1856. Lindow Island lighthouse is on the northwest point of the island, on the south side of the channel, five miles west of Rockport. It was established in 1856.
Gananoque harbor is in the county of Leeds, at the mouth of the. Gananoque river. It is eighteen miles northeast of Kingston. In 1881 there was expended here $245 in dredging the Gananoque river, in order to permit the larger class of vessels to enter the harbor.
The lighthouses in the vicinity of Gananoque harbor and above it on the St. Lawrence river are the following: Gananoque Narrows, on the northeast end of Little Stave island, on the south side of the channel, five miles below Gananoque. It was established in 1856. Jackstraw Shoal, on the north side of the channel in the river, two miles below Gananoque. It was established in 1856. Spectacle Shoal, on the north side of the channel in the river St. Lawrence, one-fourth of a mile west of Gananoque. It was established in 1856.
Red Horse Rock, at the head of Buck's island, on the southeast side of channel, and one mile above Spectacle Shoal. It was established in 1856. Burnt Island, on the southeast part of the island, north side of channel, one-half mile above Red Horse Rock light, was established in 1856. Wolfe Island lighthouse is on Quebec or East Point. It was established in 1861. Brown's or Knapp's Point lighthouse, was established in 1874.
Portsmouth harbor is situated on Portsmouth bay, two miles from Kingston. Dredging in 1882-84 resulted in a depth of 13 feet of water at low water in Lake Ontario. The government has done little work here since the latter date.
Napanee harbor is situated on the right bank of the Napanee river, about five miles above its discharge into the Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario. In 1861 the government spent $1,078 in excavating a channel one-half a mile in length to a depth of nine feet through a shoal, over which there had been previously a depth of only six feet.
At the Session of 1882 there was voted to continue the work here the sum of $5,000, and a dredge was engaged a portion of the year in opening a channel 15 feet deep through two shoals below the town of Napanee. Since 1884 but little has been done here by the government.
Picton harbor is on the south side of the Bay of Quinte, 36 miles southwest of Kingston, and eight miles east of Belleville. Prior to Confederation the government expended $8,424 in dredging the channel to a width of 140 feet, and to a depth of nine feet from the wharves at the head of the bay to deep water outside. Later, in securing a depth of 10 feet of water, the sum of $5,684 was expended. The total expenditure of the government under Confederation up to June 30, 1882, was $13,488, since which time but little has been done.
Consecon harbor is at the head of Weller's bay. During October and November, 1881, dredging was done on the shoals which obstructed the harbor, affording partial relief, and subsequently continued. From Confederation to this time there was spent here $8,178. But little has been done since that time.
Shannonville harbor is situated on the Salmon river, about nine miles from Belleville, and about 40 miles west of Kingston. It is two miles from the mouth of the river, which has a deep channel leading to the wharf, but at the mouth of the river there was a bar composed of sand and sawdust. In 1874-82 there was dredged a channel through the bar of 1,700 feet in length, 40 feet wide and 8 feet deep. The total expenditure from the time of Confederation to June 30, 1882, was $4,906. Considerable work has since been done.
Belleville harbor is situated at the mouth of the river Moira, which flows into the Bay of Quinte, 40 miles west of Kingston and 113 miles east of Toronto. This harbor is naturally well sheltered, but was originally obstructed by several shoals partly formed by sawdust and mill refuse brought down by the river. The municipality first took up the work of dredging here, and in 1874 the department spent $10,000 in continuing the work thus commenced. From 1875 to 1882 there was spent in this work the further sum of $12,688, of which the municipality contributed $3,000. From the time of Confederation to June 30, 1882, there was spent $22,688, besides that spent by the municipality.
In 1886, $10,000 was voted toward dredging the mouth of the Moira river, so as to afford an outlet for the waters during freshets. Progress was very slow because of the hardness of the material to be removed. The contract was completed in July, 1889.
The work done here was of great value, preventing the recurrence of floods, which caused the river to overflow its banks. A number of cuts have been made up the river, varying in depth from 7 to 9 feet.
The lighthouses in the vicinity of Belleville, the Bay of Quinte and the Murray canal, are as follows: One on the northern-most point of Centre Brother island, established in 1890. One on Point Pleasant, or Indian Point, at the entrance to the Bay of Quinte, established in 1866.
One at Deseronto on the railway wharf, established in 1885. One on Telegraph island, in the Bay of Quinte, established in 1870. The Belleville lighthouse, on the southeast edge of the shoal at the entrance to the harbor, 450 feet west from the end of the railway wharf, established in 1881. One at the Bay of Quinte bridge, immediately west of Belleville, established in 1891. One on Nigger Island shoal, in 11 feet of water on the north side of the steamboat channel, established in 1894. One on the north pier 30 feet from the outer end, east entrance to Murray canal, established in 1891. One above the center of the swing pier of the Carry Place Highway bridge, 4,725 feet from the preceding, established in 1891. One above the center of the swing pier of the Central Ontario railway bridge, 1,500 feet from the preceding, established in 1891. One above the center pier of the Smithfield bridge, 6,600 feet from the preceding, established in 1891. One above the center of the swing pier of Lovatt's bridge, 7,700 feet west from the preceding, and 6,490 feet from the west entrance to the canal, established in 1891. One on the north pier 30 feet from the outer end, west entrance to Murray canal, established in 1891. Brighton range light, No. 3, on the north side of the channel on the prolongation of the axis of the Murray canal, 7,200 feet from the end of canal piers, and 3,920 feet from Brighton wharf, Presqu' Isle bay, established in 1891. Brighton range light, No. 2, 5,360 feet from Brighton range light No. 3, and 1,440 feet from Brighton wharf, established in 1891. Brighton range light, No. 1, 1,420 feet S. E. by E. N. E. from Brighton range light, No. 2, and 1,000 feet from Brighton wharf, established in 1891. Salt Point, on extremity of sand spit, established in 1851.
Trenton harbor is at the head of the bay of Quinte, 60 miles above Kingston, and 12 miles from Belleville. In 1878-79-80 dredging operations were carried on to obtain a channel 150 feet wide and 10 feet deep, at low water. Up to June 30, 1882, there had been spent here the sum of $6,418.
Presqu' Isle Harbor. -- Twenty-four miles east of Cobourg, is the west point of Presqu' Isle, which has 90 feet of water within a short distance of the shore. A lighthouse was erected here in 1856, five miles northeast by east of the point, and 67 feet high. It was lighted for the first time in September, 1856, and had a fixed bright light visible from 12 to 15 miles. There had then also just been completed a lighthouse on Egg island, or the Scotch Bonnet, which was one mile south-southwest of Nicholas island, the light from which was visible 13 miles. This harbor of refuge, when once entered, was perfectly secure, as it had plenty of water with good holding ground.
Prior to the Confederation the government had placed buoys to mark the harbor. A channel varying from 220 feet to 160 feet, and having a depth of 12 feet of water, has been dredged through the shoal, known as the "Middle Ground," and up to June 30, 1882, the government had expended here the sum of $26,981.
Presqu' Isle lighthouse is on the east point of the peninsula. It was erected in 1840. Point Peter lighthouse is on the point established in 1833. Salmon or Wicked Point lighthouse is on the extremity of the point, established in 1891. Scotch Bonnet, or Egg island, lighthouse, is on a small island one mile southwest of Nicholson's island, established in 1856.
Colborne harbor is about eight and one half miles east of Grafton, and had a wharf for the accommodation of vessels in the early days. The vessels in this part of the lake were exposed because there was no shelter for them to occupy, particularly when the wind was off shore. The harbor here is entered only by small schooners, carrying wood or produce of different kinds in the fall of the year.
Cobourg harbor is seven miles east of Port Hope, 96 miles west of Kingston, and 72 miles east of Toronto. The work of forming a harbor here was commenced in 1829, by a company organized under an Act of Parliament passed that year. The works were assumed by the government in 1842, and held until May 27, 1850, when they were sold to the town company or council of Cobourg for $16,000. Prior to the union of the provinces in 1841, the government had spent on this harbor $20,010; after the union the sum of $41,999.98 was advanced as a perpetual loan at six per cent. interest.
At the time of Confederation, July 1, 1867, the works consisted of two piers, the united length of which was 2,047 feet, and they were 190 feet apart at the entrance of the harbor, and inclosed an area of about I2 ½ acres, the depth of water within this area being at the outer end of the east pier, 14 feet, and decreasing to about 8 feet in the center of the basin. In 1873 a survey of the harbor was made and an agreement entered into with the harbor commissioners for the improvement of the harbor, the commissioners to pay one-third of the cost and the government two-thirds. Under this agreement a contract was entered into in September of that year for the construction of a pier 1,500 feet long and 30 feet wide from the foot of Hibernia street. In 1881-82 an arm was placed under contract extending 150 feet in a southeasterly direction, but at the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1892, it was not completed. Up to that time the entire amount expended by the government on the improvements here was $92,161.
In 1882, $12,000 was appropriated toward extending the piers. In 1883 Parliament appropriated $20,000 more, for the extension of the eastern pier. The expenditures from Confederation to 1884 were, $116,861. The basin has since been deepened inside to 16 feet along the wharf, and along the breakwater to 17 feet, and a channel through the center of the basin was dredged to 16 feet. In 1888 the harbor
The lighthouses in the vicinity of Cobourg are the following: One on the east pier, established in 1844, and maintained by the municipal corporation. One on the east pierhead, 409 feet south by west one-half west, outside of the corporation light, established in 1886. One on the west pier at the elbow, 190 feet from the extremity, established in 1883, and moved to its present location in 1887. It is visible from all points seaward.
Port Hope harbor is seven miles above Cobourg and twenty-three miles east one-half north of Darlington. The Port Hope Harbor & amp; Wharf Co. was incorporated in 1829, and in 1832 obtained a loan from the government of $8,000. In 1852 this company sold the harbor to the town commissioners of Port Hope for $46,000. In 1864 authority was given to the Port Hope, Lindsay & amp; Beaverton Railroad Co. to acquire and hold the harbor.
In 1857 two rows of piers were extended into the lake to the 13-foot contour, and a basin was thus formed at their inner or northern extremity. The harbor was perfectly safe for vessels from any wind northeast or west, but not from wind from any other direction, because of the swell that then entered the basin. A lighthouse was erected on the east pier.
Prior to Confederation the amount expended on this harbor by the government was $58,680, the works consisted of two piers, the eastern one extending 600 feet into the lake, and the western one 480 feet. The width of the entrance was 104 feet, the piers reaching to the 13-foot contour, at low water. There was a depth of 9 feet at the entrance to the harbor, which had an area of about three acres. In 1875 -- 76 the western pier extended 150 feet, and the eastern pier 120 feet, and the entrance was dredged to a depth of 13 feet. During the summer of 1882 the work of extending the eastern pier 100 feet more was commenced, and considerable dredging also done. Up to June 30, 1882, the government had expended here $30,401.
Port Britain is situated in the center of the township of Hope in the county of Durham, about 60 miles to the eastward of Toronto, four miles west of Port Hope, and nearly opposite Rochester, N. Y. The harbor here was constructed in 1857 by the Port Britain Harbor Company, of which J. Morrell was the president. It was constructed as a harbor of refuge, and its great advantages were derived from the fact of the splendid anchorage afforded by a blue clay bottom entirely free from boulders. It is protected to the east and west by bluffs, which form an excellent shelter. The inner harbor is formed by the natural basin, having an area of about fifteen acres, with 12 feet of water; and the outer harbor is formed by piers extending about 700 feet into the lake 300 feet apart at the entrance, with 14 feet of water and an area of 6 acres. Lights were placed on both piers. This harbor was ready for vessels in June, 1857, the inner harbor being ready by the fall of the same year.
New Castle harbor is 47 miles east of Toronto, and four and one-half miles east of Darlington. In 1857 the harbor consisted of a wharf running out into the lake to the one-foot contour. But it was then little used, as it could not be approached except in fine weather. Four miles east of this port there is a large boulder some distance out in the lake, called the "Peach Stone," and four miles east of the Peach Stone there was a reef of boulders about 300 yards out in the lake in a southerly direction.
Port Darlington is forty miles east of Toronto, the harbor consisting of two piers, one of which is 1,180 feet long, and the other 1,620 feet long. They were built by the municipality. In 1875-76 the government dredged the harbor to a depth of 10 feet.
The harbor company in 1857 had much improved this little port by extending the piers into 12 feet of water, and dredging the basin within. Raby Head is one and one-half miles west of Darlington, and is a high, perpendicular, clay bluff. Darlington is the port of Bowmanville, two miles distant. A lighthouse was early erected here. Up to June 30, 1882, the government had expended in the improvement of this harbor but $5,000. The Darlington lighthouse is located on the pierhead.
Oshawa harbor is six miles east of Whitby, in the bend of a small bay, and consisted in 1857 of a well-constructed wharf running out from the mainland, into the lake, to a depth of ten feet of water. At the south end of the wharf there was then a small store house painted red, and under the angle formed by the roof there was a large lamp, intended to benefit sailors when in the vicinity. The town of Oshawa is on Warren's creek, in Ontario county. The harbor is about a mile and a half from the Grand Trunk station, and in 1875 the government granted $5,000 toward enlarging the pier mentioned above, and dredging the harbor; the harbor trust at the same time expending $9,968. This is all that was spent on the improvement of this harbor, except that spent in earlier days by the municipality. The Oshawa lighthouse, located on the pierhead, was established in 1863.
Whitby harbor, formerly Windsor harbor, is about thirty miles east of Toronto. It is one of the best on the north side of the lake, standing near the center of a deep bay, between Raby Head on the east and Scarborough Heights on the west. The harbor is formed of a string breakwater of riprap work stretching across the head of the bay, by which it is separated from the lake and includes a spacious basin, the entrance to which is at the eastern extremity between piers running south a considerable distance into the lake, 250 feet apart, and with a depth of about 14 feet of water in the channel. A strong current sets in and out of this harbor, and in 1857 there was a lighthouse built on the end of the pier to the west.
The breakwater mentioned was built in 1843-46, and the harbor was dredged in 1847-50, the total expenditure up to October, of the latter year, being $178,703. By an Order in Council, dated August 13, 1850, this harbor and the road leading from it to Lake Scugog was sold for $80,400, to the Port Whitby & amp; Lake Scugog, Simcoe & Huron Road Company, which company defaulting in its payments, the government resumed possession in 1863. On March 21, 1864, the harbor was sold to the Port Whitby Harbor Company for $35,150, and the road to another company for $10,000.
During the latter part of the year 1890, dredging was carried on to the extent of removing 9,930 cubic yards of material. The dredge Nipissing was engaged here from September 16 to October 1, 1894, removing a shoal. In 1894 the government made two cuts of 578 feet long, 44 feet wide on the shoal, extending beyond the piers, and one cut in the harbor alongside the east pier 116 feet long, 22 feet wide, all to a depth of 12 feet, removing 3,780 cubic yards of material. The lighthouse at Whitby is on the west pier, and was established in 1844. It is not under the Marine Department.
The Port of Liverpool, or Pickering, is situated 26 miles east of Toronto. It is formed by a deep bay, formerly known as Frenchman's bay, running into the land, and it is separated from the lake by a gravelly beach, through which the harbor company previous to 1857 cut a channel 100 feet wide. The average depth of water inside the bay was then 9 feet, at the outer mouth between the piers 11 feet and at the inner mouth 7 feet. Through this channel a current runs in and out of the bay with great regularity once in about four minutes. The harbor is completely land locked, and is therefore well sheltered. In 1857 there was a lighthouse on the east pier, but the light could scarcely be seen five miles into the lake. Two piers were built here by the local authorities in 1878 and 1879, and the government extended the western pier 60 feet, and dredged between the piers so as to give a depth of 11 feet of water.
Toronto has the best natural harbor on Lake Ontario. It is bounded on the north by the mainland, and by a long, low, narrow strip of land on the east, south and southwest, formerly a peninsula, but now an island. This peninsula or island extends in a southwest direction from the highlands in the township of Scarboro, and terminates in a point which suddenly turns to the north opposite the old garrison. Upon this island there have been trees growing ever since it was first mentioned in history, and it has been said that from the mainland these trees appeared to be standing on the water, the Indian name for which appearance is "To-ran-to."
Toronto harbor is 333 miles southwest of Montreal, 169 miles from Kingston, and 39 miles northeast from Hamilton. At the northeast corner it receives the river Don, and the eastern side is bounded by marshy land many acres in extent, which separates it from Ashbridge's bay. The island was separated from the mainland in 1858, when a small breach was opened by the water through the beach, the opening continually increasing in size until now it is about 2,000 feet wide, when the lake is at its lowest level. The island has been constantly changing its shape, becoming narrower at its eastern end and wider at the western end, so much so that for some years previous to 1882 dredging had to be extensively carried on in order to maintain a width of 300 feet in the channel entrance to the harbor, and to a depth of 14 feet. It was found necessary, from 1874 to 1880, to blast into the solid rock in order to obtain a depth of 16 feet.
The first official mention of this harbor in history was made in 1788 by J. Collins, deputy surveyor-general, in a report presented to Lord Dorchester, Governor General, on the military posts and harbors on Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Huron. Mr. Collins said that the harbor was "near two miles in length from the entrance on the west to the isthmus between it and a large morass on the eastward. The breadth of the entrance is about half a mile, but the navigable channel for vessels is only about 500 yards, having from three to three and one half fathoms of water. The north or main shore, the whole length of the harbor, is a clay bank from twelve to twenty feet high, and gradually rising behind. Apparently the land is fit for settlement. The water is rather shoal near the shore, having but one fathom depth at one hundred yards, and when I sounded here the waters of the lake were very high."
The first actual survey of the harbor was made by Bouchette in 1793, in which year the site upon which Toronto now stands presented but one solitary Indian wigwam; but notwithstanding this limited population it was, in the spring of 1794, selected by Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe as the seat of government for Upper Canada.
Mr. Bouchette in his work on the "British Dominions in North America," published in 1832, describes the harbor of Toronto (York) as follows: "The harbor of York is nearly circular, and formed by a very narrow peninsula, stretching from the western extremity of the township of Scarborough in an oblique direction for about six miles, and terminating in a curved point nearly opposite the garrison, thus including a beautiful basin about a mile and a half in diameter, capable of containing a great number of vessels, and at the entrance of which ships may remain with safety during the winter. The formation of the peninsula itself is extraordinary. Upon a narrow slip of land in several places not more than sixty yards in breadth, but widening toward its extremity to nearly a mile, it is principally a bank of sand, lightly overgrown with grass. It is in its widest part very curiously intercepted by many large ponds that are the natural resort of large numbers of wild fowl; a few trees scattered upon it greatly increase the singularity of its appearance; it lies so low that the wide expanse of Lake Ontario is seen over it; the termination of the peninsula is called Gibraltar Point, where a block house has been erected. A lighthouse at the western extremity of the point has rendered the access to the harbor safely practicable by night. The eastern part of the harbor is bounded by an extensive marsh through which the river Don runs before it discharges itself into the basin."
With the growth of population, and the resulting clearing and cultivation of the surrounding lands, and the disappearance of Scarboro Heights to the eastward, whence was derived the material forming the peninsula, changes soon became apparent in the state of the harbor; and the necessity of its preservation early attracted attention. The changes which had taken place in the dimensions of the peninsula and the encroachment of the shoal from Gibraltar Point northward, to the great detriment of the entrance, made it necessary that steps be taken to check these tendencies, if the harbor were to be preserved and to remain of value to commerce.
In 1850 the harbor was placed in commission. Numerous reports and recommendations were made by different persons, but little work was done for many years. The western entrance, however, appears to have been maintained at the width of about 400 feet, and to the depth of 13 feet. Kivas Tully, engineer to the harbor board, reported that during 1866 an additional arm had formed which tended in a northerly direction about 300 yards west of the island, making another bay. This arm, now known as Hanlan's Point, kept increasing up to 1880, and extended north beyond Gibraltar Point, until it narrowed the western entrance down to 230 feet.
In 1882 $100,000 was voted for the construction of extensive works for the protection of the eastern portion of this harbor, and a contract was entered into for the construction of 13,130 feet of protection works on the eastern side of the island and the eastern side of the harbor, the aggregate of the two contracts amounting to $203,385. In 1885 only the eastern portion of the work had been undertaken, a total length of 6,550 feet. From the Confederation to 1884 there had been spent the sum of $376,894.
At the close of the year 1884 the work at Toronto island was virtually completed, and the channel at the western entrance materially improved. In 1885 and subsequent years the work on the breakwater was carried on, and the work done consisted in placing large stones on the exposed portions of the outer breakwater. In 1888 more large stones were placed on the eastward side of the protection works to the island. In 1889 a contract was made for dredging the channel to a width of 300 feet at the eastern entrance to the bay, to a depth of 12 feet, and the work of making good the stone slope in front of the island works continued. During the year a channel 250 feet wide and 12 feet deep was dredged through the gap, and a large quantity of heavy stones was placed in the talus in front of the breakwater at the island, a total length of 3,700 feet being thus protected. In 1891 additional talus was constructed, enough to bring the total length up to 4,900 feet. During the year 1892 two rows of crib work were put in, one row on either side of the channel.
During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, eight cribs were sunk on the west side of the channel, making 54 cribs in all in position, 1,105 feet of superstructure was constructed, making a total of 3,760 feet completed.
During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1896, two cribs were sunk on the west side of the channel completing the west pier. During the year 1897 the dredge was kept at work on the eastern channel, in maintaining its depth and width, as that channel is now used more than the western one.
During 1897, 2,988 vessels arrived at Toronto, as against 2,820 in 1896, with a tonnage of 954,597 as against 909,146 in 1896. Receipts of coal by water totaled 128,217 tons against 153,146 tons in 1896.
Port Credit resembles Oakville, the piers running out to deep water, and the basin within being large and capable of accommodating a large number of vessels. It is twelve miles southwest by west of Toronto. The lighthouse is on the east pier. Two small ports are situated between Oakville and the Burlington canal, their wharves running out into the lake to the 10-foot contour; but because of their exposed situation they are seldom visited, except by the smallest class of vessels, and by them only in fine weather.
Oakville harbor is situated 22 miles west by south of Toronto, and 14 miles northeast by north of Burlington canal. The piers here run nearly north and south into the lake to the 12-foot contour, and are 100 feet apart. Within them is a basin capable, when properly dredged, of accommodating a large number of vessels. The lighthouse is on the east pier, and carries a light visible about seven miles into the lake.
Hamilton harbor is at the extreme west end of Lake Ontario. It is separated from the lake by a long, low beach of sand and gravel. This beach stretches across from the northern to the southern shore in a south-southeast direction, converting that portion which lies to the west into a large bay, named Burlington bay, the entrance to which is by a canal about one-half a mile long and 200 feet wide. During the year 1856 several changes were made in this canal, additional crib work was added to the eastern or lower end of the south pier 300 feet in length, and considerably higher than the old work. The old lighthouse, which stood near the center of the canal on the isthmus, was destroyed by fire, and a new one erected on the east end of the south pier. Burlington bay is upward of five miles in length, and about three miles wide, with from 20 to 40 feet of water, and there is good holding ground immediately inside of the canal.
There are two lighthouses in the vicinity of Burlington bay, the main light being on the middle of the south pier at the entrance, 1,570 feet from the front light; it was established in 1838. The front lighthouse is near the outer end of the south pier. It was established in 1845.
Port Dalhousie is at the outlet of the Welland canal, and the harbor was originally capable of being made safe in any weather or in any wind. The piers run north and south to the bend, and then to the lock northeast and southwest. They are about 3,000 feet long and 200 feet apart.
There are two lighthouses near Port Dalhousie. The main lighthouse is on the east pier 324 feet from the outer end. It was established in 1852. The other light is near the outer end of the east pier, 298 feet from the main light. It was established in 1879. There is also the Niagara Bell Buoy, in 20 feet of water off the west side of the Niagara river.
Ogdensburg. -- Near where the Oswegatchie river mingles its waters with those of the St. Lawrence, at the site of Ogdensburg, Francis Picquet, a Sulpitian, in 1749 erected a stone habitation and a small fort, called Le Presentation. The French at that time were seeking to convert the Iroquois, and the fort was added as a protection against English encroachments. It was a few years later dismantled, and the English occupied the site in 1760. They are believed to have maintained the fort as a protection to their fur trade. Permanent settlement was made here under Samuel Ogden, the proprietor, by Nathan Ford, his agent, in 1796. Settlement would have begun several years earlier, but the British retained possession. A gristmill was built in 1798 and another in 1799, and lumber interests were quickly developed. Ogdensburg was named from Samuel Ogden. During the Revolutionary war all his brothers except Abram, also his father David Ogden, adhered to the Royal cause. Samuel married a sister of Gouverneur Morris, and was the father of David B. Ogden. In 1804 only four families lived at Ogdensburg. The schooners Experiment and Collector were launched here in 1809. In 1810 the third schooner, the Genesee Packet, was launched and rigged. One of her owners, Mr. Rosseel, wrote in 1810, "We have renounced the project of building boats, since with them we could not enter into competition with the Kingstonians, in the line of transporting produce down the St. Lawrence, a rival ship which we are solicitous to maintain, though we work for glory; we have therefore resolved to combine building arks." At the breaking out of the war of 1812 the vessels belonging to the port of Ogdensburg had become the principal carriers on the lake, and the commerce was growing more rapidly than that of any port on the lake. The approach of the war checked the growth of the village, and the embargo stopped commerce. Ogdensburg was taken by the British in February, 1813, and partially destroyed. The construction of Fort Oswegatchie had been commenced here, but was not completed. The village of Ogdensburg was incorporated in 1817. The completion of the Oswego canal conferred a benefit upon Ogdensburg, and the construction of the Northern railroad, in 1850, gave it an impulse toward prosperity; but the advantage of the port as the natural limit of lake navigation by sail vessels has contributed perhaps more than any other factor to the commercial importance of the city.
Ogdensburg harbor is at the mouth of Oswegatchie river, which here flows into the St. Lawrence river. The object of the improvement here has been the formation of a channel of adequate width and depth along the wharf frontage of the port of Ogdensburg and up the Oswegatchie river to the bridge, with entrances connecting this channel with deep water in the St. Lawrence river, and as the wharf line is very crooked a variable width is required with a minimum width of 150 feet.
The first appropriation for this improvement was made August 30, 1852, and the last on June 3, 1896, the entire amount appropriated being $282,356. There was expended to July 1, 1898, the sum of $282,206. The various appropriations have been as follows: 1852, $3,000; 1867, $40,000; 1870, $15,000; 1871, 25,000; 1872, $10,000; 1873, $6,000; 1874, $6,000; 1875, $5,000; 1879, $300; 1880, $50; 1882, $10,000; 1884, $15,000; 1886, $10,000; 1888, $15,000; 1890, $42,000; 1892, $40,000; 1894, $20,000; 1896, $20,000.
During the year 1896 the foreign receipts by river at Ogdensburg amounted to 97,952 net tons, of which 81,606 tons were lumber. Foreign shipments were 209,875 tons, included in which were coal, 115,286 tons, and cereals, 69,880 tons. Of coastwise trade 516,102 tons were received, including grain, 217,181; coal, 181,156; lumber, 46,478 tons, bran and feed, 35,079 tons. Coastwise trade shipped aggregated 62, 509 tons. Total freight tonnage for 1896.
In 1897 the total freight received and shipped was 866,035 tons, including 412,883 tons of grain, 162,929 tons of coal, and 162,218 tons of lumber. There were 1,938 arrivals and 1,929 clearances; registered tonnage, 1,173,021.
Shoals Between Ogdensburg and the Foot of Lake Ontario. -- In its original condition the channel of the St. Lawrence, for 11 miles, extending from Sister islands light down to the head of Brockville narrows, 15 miles above Ogdensburg, was obstructed by 12 shoals (ledges) in the track of vessels, on which the depth was 9 ½ to 16 feet at low water. The original project, Act of September 19, 1890, was to remove to 18 feet below the zero of the Ogdensburg gauge, Blind bay, Dark island and Haskell ledges, between Sister islands and Crossover light, at an estimated cost of $43,305- In 1893 the project was amended to include the removal of outlaying spurs of Haskell shoal, increasing the cost of the project to $54,772.
The Acts of August 18, 1894, and June 3, 1896, authorized expenditure for improving shoals in the St. Lawrence between Ogdensburg and the foot of Lake Ontario, and on October 25, 1894, the project was extended to include the removal of certain smaller shoals. The removal of Dark island shoal and Blind bay shoal to the depth of 18 feet below the zero of the Oswego gauge was included in the improvements April 13, 1897. To June 30, 1898, $47,763 had been expended, and appropriations amounting to $48,000 had been made.
Alexandria Bay was selected by Cadwallader Child in 1804 while surveying a road to the St. Lawrence, as an eligible site for a fort, and a village site one mile square was reserved by Mr. Le Ray, the land owner. The village was surveyed in 1818. For many years a thriving lumber trade was carried on, continuing as long as the timber supply lasted. The lower wharf was built in 1823 by Fuller & Walton, and the upper wharf in 1840 by Walton & Hamblin. In early years the port was an important wooding station for steamboats, about 12,000 cords having been sold annually about 1852. A custom house was established in 1828. The population in 1850 was 164, in 1890, 1,123. The name Alexandria was derived from Alexander, a son of J. D. Le Ray. Alexandria bay lies opposite the Thousand Islands, and presents the most delightful scenery. As early as 1844 it began to attract the attention of fishing parties and tourists. For romantic scenery it has scarcely a parallel.
Clayton. -- Near this pleasantly situated port of about 2,000 inhabitants commences the head of the Thousand Islands, and directly opposite is Grindstone island, one of the largest of the group. Clayton was named in honor of Hon. John M. Clayton, United States Senator from Delaware. An ancient Indian fort had been located here, but in 1799 there was a solitary log cabin, which had probably been occupied by timber thieves. A sawmill was built here in 1803. Lumbering was very active in and about French Creek bay in subsequent years. Clayton was surveyed in 1824, but in 1830 contained only about 30 people. In 1835 there were 426; in 1854 about 1,000; in 1890, 1,748. Ship building was commenced at Clayton in 1832 by Smith & Merrick, the schooners Jesse Smith and Horatio Gates coming out that year. During the next twenty years the following schooners were built at Clayton: Franklin, Jefferson, Willet, Monroe, Madison, Cleopatra, Morgiana, D. Webster, Robert Wood, E. G. Merrick, Oneida, Western, St. Lawrence, John Oades, D. N. Barney, Niagara, Superior, Invincible, New York, Quebec, Manchester, Utica, Reindeer, Oneida, Chief, America, Flying Cloud, Sovereign of the Lakes, Northern Light, White Cloud, White Squall, and Thousand Islands. There were also built the steamers Niagara, 473 tons; Cataract, 577 tons; Ontario, 832 tons; Bay State, 900 tons; and New York, 994 tons. The principal builder in 1850 was John Oades, who also owned a shipyard at the foot of Wolf or Grand island, five miles distant, and on Canadian soil. There were built the steamers British Queen, 279 tons; British Empire, 330 tons; the brigs Quebec and Manchester and other craft. Lumbering interests were large from about 1825 to 1850.
Cape Vincent. -- This village is delightfully located on a plain that rises by a gentle slope near the head of the St. Lawrence. Cape Vincent was named from Vincent Le Ray, son of the landholder, who owned, at an early day, the town and many others in Jefferson county, N. Y. Carlton island had been occupied by a British fort for a long period before the adjacent land had been purchased and colonized. In 1801 Abijah Putnam, from Rome, N. Y., located two miles below Cape Vincent at a place early known as Port Putnam, where he established the first ferry to Wolf island. In the summer of 1809 Eber Kelsey, with a force of 20 men, cleared for LeRay at Cape Vincent a tract of 50 acres, erected a wharf and a number of buildings. A village was platted two years later. The lumbering business was established here in 1809, the timber being exported as staves and square timber. In 1810 about 200,000 staves were imported in vessels from the Genesee and Niagara countries. The business of building arks for the Montreal trade was developed to some extent; but the war of 1812 stopped it. There were then only about a half dozen families permanently located at Cape Vincent, but the transient population had been much larger. During the war the place was much exposed; and several minor but thrilling episodes occurred in that vicinity. After the war lumbering was resumed. The Cape Vincent custom house district was organized in 1818, including, beside Cape Vincent, the ports of Alexandria Bay, Clayton, Millen's Bay, Grenadier Island, Three Mile Bay, Chaumont Bay and Point Peninsula. Ship building began about 1819 The following vessels were built at Cape Vincent from 1819 to 1853: Schooners Henry, V. Le Ray, Lafayette, Ainsworth, Hannah, O. P. Starkey, L. Goler, Victor, Free Trader, Chief Justice Marshall, Henry Crevolin, John E. Hunt, Napoleon, Merchant, Amelia Roscoe, Potomac, Montezuma, Troy, Allenwick, Globe, Charles Smith, Algoma, Silas Wright and Port Henry; brigs Merchant, Iowa and Patrick Henry; sloop Elizabeth Goler; and propeller St. Nicholas.
The village was incorporated in 1853, at which time its population was 1,218. In that year it possessed a railroad, a wharf about 3,000 feet long, a grain elevator and a line of steamers, consisting of the Champion, Mayflower and Highlander, running daily, in connection with trains, to all Canadian ports from Kingston to Hamilton. The population in 1890 was 1,324. In Lake Ontario, opposite Cape Vincent, is Grenadier island.
The harbor of Cape Vincent has as yet been but little improved. But in compliance with the River-and-Harbor Act of 1888, a preliminary examination was made for the purpose of establishing a breakwater. The local engineer reported the harbor worthy of improvement; but the chief engineer in his annual report for 1889 stated that "Having carefully considered the report made by the local engineer, in my opinion this locality is not at present worthy of improvement, and no instructions were therefore given for the survey proposed."
At this point the seas produced by northerly winds, having a sweep of five miles up a reach of the St. Lawrence river, surge directly against the wharf front of this harbor, and seas brought in by southwesterly winds from Lake Ontario surge along the harbor directly into the anchorage.
It was finally determined to improve the harbor here, the first appropriation made therefor being $25,000 in the Act of 1896, to build a breakwater, 1,600 feet long, parallel to and 600 feet from the railroad dock, at an estimated cost of $320,000. During the two years ending June 30, 1898, only $247 was expended, leaving a balance of $24,754 of the first appropriation.
During the year 1896 there were 836 arrivals with a registered tonnage of 128,760, and of these 84 vessels sought the harbor for refuge; 409 vessels were American owned and 427 Canadian owned. Departures were 828, registered tonnage 124,801. Greatest draft of vessel was 15 ½ feet; greatest registered tonnage of vessel 2,127; greatest load of vessel 933 net tons.
During 1897 there were 680 arrivals, 679 departures, registered tonnage 151,431. The freight received and shipped in 1897 amounted to 5,885 tons, of which, grain composed 693 tons; coal, 240 tons; hay, 510 tons; lumber and posts, 2,060 tons; general merchandise, 1,052 tons.
Three Mile Bay, situated in Jefferson county, N. Y., was in early years a shipbuilding station of some importance. From the yard of Asa Wilcox were launched the following: In 1835, schooners Florida and Eton Bronson; 1836, schooners Pennsylvania and Kentucky; 1837, schooner Missouri; 1838, schooner Patriot; 1841, schooners Asa Wilcox and Havana; 1842, schooners D. D. Calvin and Rocky Mountains; 1843, schooners Cambridge and Neptune, and brig Empire; 1844, schooners Cuba and Oregon, and brig Ontario; 1845, schooner Milan and brig Hampton; 1846, propeller Clifton, brig Iroquois and schooners Champion and Rio Grande; 1847, schooners Palmetto, Seminole, Portland and Acadia, and brig H. R. Seymour; 1848, brigs Saxton and Ocean; 1848, schooner D. J. Schuyler; 1852, schooner Melrose; 1853, three-master Hungarian.
Brownville is a village of about 700 people; situated in Jefferson county, N. Y., on the right bank of the Black river, three miles from its mouth and at the head of navigation. The river has a fall of 24 feet, and manufacturing has been active for many years.
Sacket's Harbor is situated on the southwest side of a deep inlet, known as Black river bay, at about eight miles distance from the lake. The harbor was early regarded as by far the best on Lake Ontario for ship building, and as a naval and commercial depot. Its early commerce suffered when rival ports received railroad and canal facilities of trade. Settlement was commenced here in 1802 by Judge Augustus Sackett, who migrated from New York, and was agent for the owners of the land.
The first mercantile operations at Sacket's Harbor, on a large scale, were commenced in 1808 by Samuel F. Hooker. A trade in potash had sprung up with Canada, but the embargo of 1808 prohibited this commerce. The embargo was evaded at Sacket's Harbor and various Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence river ports. The difficulty of exporting this great staple of commerce directly from Atlantic ports to Europe led to extensive and systematic measures by traders for forwarding from the interior and southern counties of New York large quantities of potash by lake and river to Montreal, where it was valued at from $200 to $320 per ton. To check the contraband trade, two companies of United States regulars were, in 1808 and 1809, stationed at Ogdensburg and Sacket's Harbor.
During the war of 1812 Sacket's Harbor was twice attacked by the British without success. It was the station from which were fitted out the expeditions against Toronto, Fort George, etc., and the disastrous enterprise of General Wilkinson in 1813.
A prominent and attractive relic of the war at Sacket's Harbor for many years was the hull of the frigate New Orleans, which had a keel of 187 feet, beam 56 feet, hold 30 feet and a measurement of 3,200 tons. She was pierced for 110 guns, and could have carried 120. The vessel was commenced by the United States Government to match the St. Lawrence, a three-deck man-of-war of 120 guns, built by the British, but the New Orleans was not completed when the war closed, and was never launched. The hull was covered by a house and preserved at considerable expense for many years. The Chippewa, a vessel of like size, had been commenced at Storr's Harbor, further up the bay, but had not advanced so far as the New Orleans when peace was declared.
The harbor at Sacket's Harbor is formed and preserved by a tongue of land known as Shiphouse Point, which projects about 800 feet into the water of Black River bay. During the years of 1826 and 1828, inclusive, there was expended the sum of $6,000 in deepening this harbor, and when its improvement was resumed in 1882 its use was limited to vessels drawing from six to nine feet of water.
The project adopted in 1882, which was from a survey made in 1881, was to deepen the harbor to twelve feet. In 1884 the project was again extended to build a wall of stone in about six feet of water parallel with the beach at Shiphouse Point to arrest its erosion; but by the authority of the chief engineer this project was modified in 1896 to build two low groins of stone perpendicular to the line of beach, instead of a wall parallel with it. In 1897 an area of about five acres in the harbor was redredged to the depth of twelve feet.
Oswego is the most important city on the United States side of Lake Ontario. It abounds in stirring historical associations. As early as 1615 Champlain in his first trip across Lake Ontario passed through or near it. Between 1690 and 1696 its site was made the base of operations by Frontenac, Governor of Canada, in his expeditions against the Iroquois. In 1722 Gov. William Burnet, of New York, built a trading house at Oswego, and thereby gave the English their first hold upon the Great Lakes. The following year 57 canoes went from Oswego to Albany with 738 packs of beaver and deer skins. In 1727 Governor Burnet built here a masonry redoubt, loop-holed for musketry, to protect his trading post. It was thirty feet by sixty feet and forty feet high, and was known as Fort Oswego. The French called it Fort Chouaguen and, later, Fort Pepperell. The fort was strengthened, and in 1743 a traveler thus described it: "On the point formed by the entrance of the river stands the fort or trading castle; it is a strong, stone house, encompassed with a stone wall, near twenty feet high and 120 paces round, built of large, square stones, very curious for their softness. I cut my name in it with my knife. The town consisted of 70 log houses, of which one-half are in a row near the river, the other half opposite to them." Parkman says that no English establishment on the continent was of such ill omen to the French as Oswego. Fort Ontario was built here in October, 1755, a substantial fortification, 180 feet on each side, built of pickets 18 inches in diameter, rising nine feet from the ground, and surrounded by a ditch eighteen feet wide and eight feet deep. A third and inferior fort, called Fort George, was also built. In August, 1756, soon after hostilities opened, Oswego, containing a force of 1,800 men, divided among the three forts, was invested by Montcalm with a force variously estimated at from 3,000 to 5,000 men. The post soon capitulated and 1,500 men, seven vessels, 139 guns and large stores of provisions and ammunition were captured. Among the captives was Francis Lewis, afterward a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The forts were demolished, and the loss in England was regarded as a national calamity. The French evacuated Oswego soon after, and the English crept back into possession. In 1758 General Bradstreet crossed Lake Ontario from Oswego with 3,000 men, and captured Fort Frontenac, now Kingston. The following year the French attempted in vain to retake Oswego. In that year Fort Ontario was rebuilt, and became the English base of operations against Montreal. After the peace of 1760, the post of Oswego was garrisoned by a regiment of Highlanders.
During the Revolutionary war two grand councils of the red men were conducted by the British at Oswego to organize and lead them against the Colonists. In July, 1777, Colonel St. Leger set forth from Oswego with 2,000 Canadians and Indians, and besieged Fort Schuyler on the Great Carry. There was fought the bloody battle of Oris-kany, and the relief of Arnold turned the tide against the British, who fled to Oswego and thence dispersed, leaving Fort Ontario unoccupied. Between 1780 and 1782 the British reoccupied and partly rebuilt the fort. Perhaps the last military movement of the Revolution was directed against Fort Ontario. Washington recognizing its importance in January, 1783, before news of the signing of the treaty of peace had been received, instructed Colonel Willett, with a small force to surprise and capture Fort Ontario. Owing to the snow and the severity of the weather, the expedition was unsuccessful. Willett reached the fort, but failed to surprise it.
Fort Ontario remained garrisoned by the British until July, 1796, when the detachment there stationed gave possession to American troops. For some time prior to 1812 Fort Ontario was unoccupied. A British fleet of eight vessels, carrying 220 guns and 3,000 men, appeared before Oswego May 5, 1814, and bombarded it. The post fell the following day. The British leveled the fortifications and abandoned the place. In 1839 Congress voted an appropriation to restore the fort, and since then Fort Ontario was continuously garrisoned by United States troops until 1894, when the historic fort was abandoned.
Oswego harbor comprises the inner harbor, the outer harbor, and the Oswego river up to the lower end of the basin of the Oswego & Erie canal at the first bridge, 3,200 feet above the entrance through the inner breakwater. The first appropriation, which was of only $200, looking toward the improvement of this harbor, was made March 20, 1826, and the improvement was begun in 1827, a further appropriation having been made in 1827 of $33,349. At this time the harbor was an open roadstead between widely receding shores at the mouth of Oswego river, which latter could be entered only by vessels of light draft.
The project adopted that year was to build a breakwater of timber cribs filled with stone, on a chord joining the receding shores, inclosing about forty acres, and consisting of an arm 720 feet long from the east and 1,430 feet long from the west shore, and separated by an opening of 350 feet forming the entrance to the harbor and river. This project was afterward enlarged at different times, in 1896, to build an east breakwater of 1,435 feet long, also by the rebuilding of about 100 feet of breakwater to reduce to about 75 feet the width of the breach 175 feet long which had been made in the outer breakwater by a storm in 1884. The amount expended on this improvement to June 30, 1898, was $1,882,192.
The commerce of the port of Oswego is quite extensive. In 1895 it amounted to about $4,300,000, of which seventy-two per cent. was coal shipped from the port in vessels, and eighteen per cent. was lumber received, and five per cent. general merchandise received and shipped, all by vessel.
The dredging done in this harbor, previous to 1881, was by private enterprise and by the city of Oswego. In 1847 there was some work of this kind done in dredging a gravel bar which had formed across the channel 1,000 feet inside the inner harbor, and in 1855 the city of Oswego deepened the channel near the head of the upper islands.
The outer harbor has a rocky and sandy bottom, and consequently has poor holding ground. When vessels are driven from their moorings at the outer breakwater they seek refuge in that part of the river which is being widened and deepened by this rock excavation. This part of the river is much better sheltered, being above the two islands and about 1,800 feet above the entrance through the inner breakwater.
Appropriations. -- 1826, $200; 1827, $33,348; 1828, $9,583; 1829, $7,472; 1831, $22,015; 1832, $19,000; 1833, $8,400;1834, $30,000; 1836, $20,000; 1837, $15,000; 1838, $46,067; 1844, $20,000; 1852, $40,000; 1860, $30,000; 1864, $25,000; 1866, $45,000; 1867, $60,000; 1868, $20,000; 1869, $28,270; 1870, $50,000; 1871, $100,000; 1872, $100,000; 1873, $100,000; 1874, $75,000; 1875, $90,000; 1876, $90,000; 1878, $90,000; 1879, $90,000; 1880, $90,000; 1881, $50,000; 1882, $80,000; 1884, $80,000; 1886, $71,250; 1888, $100,000; 1890, $30,000; 1892, $40,000; 1894, $37,000; 1896, $60,000. Total, $1,902,613.
Commercial statistics show for 1896 a total net tonnage of 783,972, an increase of 34,397 tons over 1895. Of this lake traffic 600,335 tons were coal; 131,146 tons, lumber; 31,915 tons, grain; and 13,130 tons, posts and wood.
Arrivals in 1896 were 1,642, registered tonnage, 441,112; departures, 1,637; registered tonnage, 440,936. Of the vessels arriving 663 were American and 979 Canadian. The greatest draft of vessels was 14 feet; greatest registered tonnage of vessels 2,166; greatest load of vessels, 2,032 net tons.
Arrivals in 1897 were 1,520, clearances 1,518, registered tonnage 787,876. The total freight received and shipped in 1897 was 706,805 tons, of which 528,552 tons were coal; 114,426, lumber; 44,101, grain.
At Sodus Point, on Great Sodus bay, was a thriving village a half century ago. The settlement had been formed prior to the war of 1812. The British fleet appeared before Sodus June 18, 1813, to capture provisions known to have been stored there, but a regiment of militia, hastily assembled, prevented a landing. The enemy withdrew, but reappeared the following day, when the militia had been discharged. The public stores had in the meantime been removed from the water's edge to the adjacent forest, and the militia, again summoned, saved them from the enemy, who had landed and found the storeroom empty. The fleet moved up the lake the following morning.
The main part of Great Sodus bay is two and one-half miles long, one-half a mile to one mile wide, six to seven fathoms deep, has a muddy bottom, good holding ground, is land-locked from Lake Ontario, and is the most capacious and secure anchorage on its New York shore. It has an arm a mile long and one-quarter of a mile wide, permitting a draft of 14 feet to be carried 3 ½ miles from the entrance. The bay was used during the war of 1812 as one of the bases of supply for the army operating on the Niagara frontier.
The Northern Central Railroad Company has a track to the mouth of the bay, where it delivered to vessels, during the calendar year 1895, 42,669 tons of coal, which was 98 per cent of the entire commerce of the bay in tons during the year.
In 1829, when the United States Government began to improve this harbor, its entrance to Lake Ontario was closed to vessels drawing more than 8 feet of water by a bar that stretched entirely across it at a distance of 1,150 yards,
The project then adopted by the government was to improve this entrance, wide and shallow, as it was, by building from its opposite sides two breakwaters following the crown of the bar until their ends should be about 500 feet apart; and second, from the approaching ends of the breakwaters to build into the lake two parallel piers to form and confine the entrance channel through the bar.
The construction of these four structures under this project of 1829 was begun that year, and completed in 1835. The two breakwaters, having a total length of 3,636 feet, were completed in 1834, the east one being 1,436 feet long, and the west one 2,200 feet long, and the ends being 1,473 feet apart. The 2,355 feet of piers completed in 1835 embraced an east pier 940 feet long outside the east breakwater, with a return of 150 feet long from the breakwater into the bay, and a west pier 1,265 feet long extending 200 feet further into the lake than the east pier. In October, 1829, the depth of water on the bar was reported to be only eight feet.
In 1881 the project was to obtain a depth of water by dredging to 12 feet, and to protect this depth by extending the piers to the 12-foot curve in the lake. In 1882, when $361,772 had been expended, the project was to obtain a channel 15 feet deep and to extend the two piers an aggregate of 1,100 feet to the 15-foot curve, at an estimated cost of $100,000, so as to provide for vessels the draft which could pass through the Welland canal, when deepened to 14 feet, which that canal attained in 1887.
Appropriations: -- 1828, $400;1829, $12,500; 1829, $15,280; 1831, $17,450; 1832, $17,000; 1833, $15,000; 1834, $15,000; 1835, $11,790; 1836, $12,600; 1837, $12,000; 1838, $10,000; 1844, $5,000; 1852, $10,000; 1866, $53,151; 1867, $80,000; 1870, $5,000; $1872, $15,000; 1874, $15,000; 1875, $10,000; 1876, $5,000; 1878, $5,000; 1879, $2,000; 1880, $3,000; 1881, $5,000; 1882, $25,000; 1884, $10,000; 1886, $16,875; 1888, $24,000; 1890, $10,000; 1892, $15,000; 1894, $15,000; 1896, $8,000. Total -- $475,647.
Coal is transported from various Pennsylvania mines to Great Sodus, whence, in 1896, 34,540 tons were shipped by lake, 46 per cent. down the St. Lawrence river and 54 per cent. to Canadian ports on Lake Ontario.
Fair Haven, situated on Little Sodus bay, contains a population of about 700. It is the northern terminus of the Southern Central railroad, and does considerable shipping of coal and grain, and receives lumber and other articles by lake. In 1828 Congress appropriated $400 for a survey of the shores of Lake Ontario between the Genesee and Oswego rivers. Little Sodus was deemed of secondary importance, but its improvement was recommended. The entrance of the bay was then closed by a gravelly beach except at two narrow openings, and in 1845 when a re-survey was made the same conditions prevailed. The first government appropriation of $10,000, was made in 1852, and some pier work was made by the Ontario Bay Harbor Improvement Company a few years later. The present lake traffic is due chiefly to the Southern Central railroad, a coal line, completed in 1869.
Little Sodus Bay Harbor. -- This bay extends two miles in length due north from the shore of Lake Ontario, has a greatest and least width of five-eighths and one-fourth of a mile, bold shores, a clay bottom, and is from four to six fathoms deep.
When the United States began to improve the entrance to this bay, in 1854, the bar of sand and gravel extending across was cut through by a narrow channel only fifteen inches deep. When the improvement of this bay was begun, it was with the view of deepening the harbor by building two parallel piers commencing on the shore and extending into the lake to a depth of fifteen feet of water.
In 1854 there was built 240 feet of the west pier. A channel of eight feet depth was also excavated between the bay and the lake. It is believed that the improvement commenced with the appropriation of $10,000 made in 1852; but in 1856 the work was suspended from want of funds, and it was not resumed until 1867, in which year the project was extended so as to extend the west pier to I 5 feet of water, to build a short east pier, to dredge a channel to the depth of 12 feet, and to close the openings between the shore and the piers.
In 1882 the project was again enlarged to obtain a depth of 15 feet at the extreme low water by extending both piers a total length of 1,500 feet to the 15-foot curve, at a total cost of $80,000. Up to June 30, 1898, there had been expended on this improvement $329,188, at which date the minimum depth in the channel was 15 feet at extreme low water.
Appropriations: -- 1852, $10,000; 1864, $4,012; 1866, $33,840; 1867, $50,000; 1869, $1,500; 1870, $5,000; 1871, $15,000; 1872, $15,000; 1873, $15,000; 1871, $15,000; 1875, $10,000; 1876, $5,000; 1878, $10,000; 1879, $5,000; 1880, $20,000; 1881, $20,000; 1882, $25,000: 1884, $10,000; 1886, $12,500; 1888, $16,000; 1890, $13,000; 1892, $6,000; 1894, $8,000; 1896, $8,000. Total, $332,942.
The lake traffic for 1896 was 65,418 tons, an increase of 1,710 tons over 1895. The coal tonnage was 63,501, or 97 per cent. During 1896 the total arrivals were 205; registered tonnage, 42,174; departures, 206; registered tonnage, 42,082; greatest draft of vessel, 12 feet; greatest registered tonnage, 567; greatest load of vessel, 882 net tons.
Pultneyville is a small village of about 500 people, located on the shore of Lake Ontario in Wayne county. It was attacked by the British squadron May 15, 1814. Peaceable surrender was demanded, and as the defensive forces were inadequate the reply sent offered to surrender 100 barrels of flour stored in a building at the water's edge. The enemy was proceeding to further depredations, when they were fired upon by the Americans in the adjoining woods. The British shelled the village for a short time and withdrew.
Pultneyville harbor comprises Salmon creek, Wayne county, N. Y. ,and a cove at its outlet into Lake Ontario, and is sheltered by a point of land on the west, but is exposed to the north and east. The creek is from 40 to 60 feet wide, and is navigable for small light-draft boats for about 900 feet from its mouth, where it ends abruptly in a small brook. The village of Pultneyville stands on the shore of the cove.
The United States Government began the work of improvement here in 1871. At that time there had been built by private enterprise a pier 171 feet long, and there had been some dredging done, the amount of money expended being $30,000.
The project adopted by the government was to extend the pier already built 470 feet, so as to form a west pier 641 feet long; to build an east pier 425 feet long 200 feet from the north arm of the west pier, to shelter and preserve the approach to the cove and creek, and to dredge between the piers a channel 10 feet deep.
Appropriations: 1870, $5,000; 1871, $5,000; 1872, $10,000; 1873, $10,000; 1874, $10,000; 1875,$10,000; 1876, $3,000; 1878, $5,000; 1879, $4,000; 1880, $3,000; 1881, $2,000; 1882, $4,000; 1890, $2,000; 1892, $1,000; 1894, $1,500; 1896, $1,500.
Charlotte harbor is a safe and commodious one at the mouth of Genesee river, seven miles below the city of Rochester. The United States Government began the work of improvement in this harbor in 1829. At that time there was a bar extending nearly half a mile into the lake, through which ran a channel allowing vessels to pass, drawing eight feet of water. But this channel was so tortuous that it could not be followed except in fair weather.
The project adopted by the government then was to construct parallel piers 360 feet apart, and scour a channel through the bar by confining and directing the action of the spring freshets. By 1834 a depth of 11 feet of water was obtained. By 1863 the work was in bad condition, but from 1864 to 1871 it was restored, and a depth obtained of 12 feet at extreme low water. The amount of money expended up to this time was $127,784.
In 1882, on account of the deepening of Welland canal, the project was extended to obtain a depth of 15 feet of water at extreme low water in the lake by extending the two piers an aggregate length of 3,250 feet to the 15-foot curve, and by dredging.
In 1896, the piers having been extended a total of 1,444 feet, the project was amended to preserve the depth by dredging without further extension of the piers, at least for the present, and in 1897 it was altered to obtain a depth of 16 feet at extreme low water. The amount expended to June 30, 1896, was $520,854. At that date the depth in the channel across the bar between the piers and in advance of them was 14 feet at extreme low water.
Besides the transport of coal the passenger transport in and out of the harbor amounts annually to about 50,000 excursionists from the city of Rochester, situated on the river at the crest of the Genesee Falls, about seven miles from the mouth, with which it is connected by a line of electric cars on each bank.
The approach to Charlotte harbor is so well protected under the lee of Braddock Point in the prevailing northwesterly winds and gales, it is a very good harbor of refuge near the middle of the American shore of the lake, or about midway between the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers. A survey made in January, 1898, showed that there was a channel 16 feet deep, at zero of the Oswego gauge, 125 feet wide. Another survey made June 28, 1898, shows that there is now a channel 150 feet wide and 15 ½ feet deep at same stage.
Appropriations: 1828, $300; 1829, $13,335; 1831, $16,670; 1832, $16,000; 1833, $15,000; 1834, $20,000; 1835, $2,390; 1836, $20,000; 1837, $10,000; 1838, $25,000; 1844, $10,000; 1852, $20,000; 1853, $176; 1864, $25,000; 1866, $75,607; 1868, $1,100; 1869, $1,000; 1870, $12,000; 1871, $10,000; 1875, $5,000; 1878, $1,000; 1879, $1,000; 1880, $5,000; 1881, $2,500; 1882, $35,000; 1884, $20,000; 1886, $26,250; 1888, $45,000; 1890, $25,000; 1892, $25,000; 1894, $15,000; 1896, $12,000. Total -- $521,328.
The total commerce at this port during the year 1897 was 385,981 tons, of which 372,713 tons were coal brought by rail from the mines in Pennsylvania to Charlotte; 81.1 per cent. of it was shipped down the St. Lawrence, 17.3 percent, to Canadian ports on Lake Ontario, and 1.6 per cent. through the Welland canal.
Oak Orchard harbor is at the mouth of Oak Orchard creek. The original plan for its improvement was adopted in 1836, and consisted in constructing two breakwaters, one on each side of the creek, in such a way as to reduce its width to 200 feet, the channel extending from the 12-foot curve in the lake to the same depth in the creek. In 1892 the piers extended to the 12-foot curve in the lake, and the shore protection was 91 feet long. The channel had a depth of 13.5 feet at mean lake level for the whole of the width between the piers with the exception of 10 feet alongside of each pier. Nothing has been done here since then except to keep the works in repair. The entire sum appropriated is $205,000.
Olcott harbor is at the mouth of Eighteen-mile creek. The first project of improvement of this harbor was submitted in 1846, but it was not executed. The next project was adopted in 1866, and has since been substantially in vogue. It provided for two piers extending into the lake with a channel between them of about 200 feet in width and nearly parallel with each other. The east pier was 850 feet long, and the west one 873 feet long. Between the piers the channel was 180 feet wide in 1892, the limiting lines being ten feet from the pier on each side. The width decreased to 98 feet at the Main-street bridge. In 1894 the channel was in good condition, and nothing has been done since that time, except to keep the works in repair. The total amount appropriated up to September 19, 1890, was $163,000.
Wilson harbor is at the mouth of Twelve-mile creek, a small stream flowing into Lake Ontario. In its original condition there was a depth of water inside the mouth sufficient for ordinary sized lake craft, but it was closed by a bar upon which there was ordinarily but about one foot of water.
The present project was submitted in 1873, and proposed to extend piers to the 12-foot curve in Lake Ontario, and to dredge a channel 12 feet deep between the piers and from the shore end of the piers to the deep water in the creek. The original estimated cost of the work as made in 1873 was $90,000. This was increased in 1877 to $100,000.
There had been built two piers at the harbor entrance, and a shore protection. The piers are prolongations of piers built by private parties in 1846. At present the west pier is 832 feet long and the east pier 850 feet long. There is also a shore protection for the east pier. This is 360 feet long.
The commerce of Wilson by water is small, amounting in 1896 to 1,296 tons, chiefly lumber, and in 1897, to the single item of "beer, 12 dozen bottles." In 1889 126 vessels of 27,996 registered tonnage arrived; in 1896, 42 vessels, tonnage 9,850; 1897, 14 vessels (passenger steamers), tonnage 3,840.
Lake Erie harbors, on the American side, are among the most highly developed on the chain of Great Lakes. They are the receiving ports for most of the immense ore traffic, and also for the grain trade of the Northwest. They are important factors in the lumber trade, and practically all the coal traffic on the lakes originates here. The cities along the southern shores are prosperous and growing rapidly.
From Port Day up the river in front of Niagara Falls City is very shallow, and has a rock bed until Conners island is reached. Between Conners island and the main shore is a snug little harbor of about five acres, with a depth of 12 feet at mean river stage, and with a maximum depth of about 18 feet.
The project for the improvement of the Niagara river from Tonawanda to Port Day, as it now stands, is to make a channel 200 feet wide and not less than 12 feet depth at mean water level, by excavating through the shoal at the head of Conners island and through the shoal above Cayuga island.
The total cost of the work contemplated by the project will be $95,000. Up to June 30, 1898, there had been expended on the project $44,389. At this time the channel through the shoal at the head of Conners island had been completed to its full width of 200 feet, and a depth of I 2 feet or more at mean river level. Total appropriations are $45,000.
There is practically no use made of this channel of the Niagara river below Tonawanda, except by excursion boats running to resorts along the shore of Grand island. At Niagara Falls 19 steamers and tugs arrived in 1897 with a tonnage of 964. At Schlosser's dock there were no receipts by river in 1897. At the foot of Grand island there were unloaded from vessels and rafted to Port Day 36,000 tons of pulpwood in 1896, and 70,764 in 1897.
Tonawanda. -- The first settler in the vicinity of this port was Henry Anguish, who located here in 1808. Improvement was slow. The construction of the Erie canal in 1823 gave the place a start, for about that year a company of Buffalonians laid out a town here. In 1827 there were three small stores doing business at Tonawanda. It is now an ore-receiving port of considerable importance, and in 1890 had a population of 7,145.
Originally the navigation of Niagara river was obstructed by several reefs and hummocks, which materially limited the draft of vessels. The water in the harbor between Tonawanda island and the main shore was shoal, and the river had in some places a rapid current.
The object of the improvement undertaken early in the history of navigation on this river was to provide a navigable channel from the head of Niagara river at Lake Erie to the north end of Tonawanda harbor, and to dredge that harbor to such a depth that vessels drawing 16 feet of water could enter it.
The project adopted in 1888 was to remove obstructions so as to make a channel 400 feet wide and 18 feet deep, which included work at the following places: 1. -- On the Horse Shoe reef at the entrance to Niagara river. 2. -- On the shoal at the head of Strawberry island. 3. -- At a few shoal places abreast of the lower end of Rattlesnake island. 4. -- The full width of the river between Tonawanda island and the mainland, along the entire front of Tonawanda.
By the terms of the River-and-Harbor Act of June 3, 1896, the project was extended so as to include the river to the north line of the village of North Tonawanda. The cost of the work, as estimated in 1891, was $1,152,988, but the present estimate is considerably less. Appropriations have been $350,000, all of which has been expended.
The results of operations during the year ending June 30, 1897, were the completion of the 18-foot channel for a width of 180 feet through the whole length of the Strawberry island reef; the excavation of a channel 18 feet deep and 200 feet wide through the shoal at the foot of Tonawanda island, and the removal of the most troublesome ridges from Tonawanda harbor.
The commerce of Tonawanda is large and increasing, and it is in a high degree desirable that all impediments be removed which interfere with vessels drawing 16 feet of water reaching the docks. An appropriation of $250,000 is estimated as the amount which can profitably be expended during the next fiscal year under the project.
Receipts by lake at Tonawanda in recent years have been as follows: 1890, 2,001,209 tons; 1891, 901,997 tons; 1892, 996,370 tons: 1893, 860,142 tons; 1894, 838,267 tons; 1895, 894,408 tons; 1896, 1,015,396 tons; 1897, 1,242,495 tons. Lumber was the chief import, with iron ore second in importance. Of the receipts in 1897, lumber comprised 1,014,232 tons; iron ore, 172,187 tons. Shipments in 1897 were only 1,628 tons. In 1896 1,311 vessels entered, and 1,281 cleared; in 1897, 1,355 entered, and 1,373 cleared; total registered tonnage, 1,116,559.
Black Rock. -- In 1800 the sole inhabitant at Black Rock was an Irishman named O'Niel, who kept the ferry and charged $2. 50 for the ferriage. Porter, Barlow & Co. built a store here a little later. There were only a few houses at Black Rock during the war of 1812, but they were shelled by British batteries, and in December, 1813, burned by the enemy. It was in this vicinity that Lieutenant Elliott, in October, 1812, captured the Adams and Caledonia. Here in Scajaquada creek, were secreted four vessels which later formed part of Perry's fleet. Fort Erie stood opposite Black Rock, and stirring incidents were frequent in that locality during the war of 1812. The steamer Walk-in-the-Water was built at Black Rock in 1818, and her owners had to use the "horn breeze," or a dozen yoke of oxen, to get her up the rapids. Black Rock is memorable for its contest with Buffalo to secure the terminus of the Erie canal. It had at that time the only harbor at the foot of Lake Erie, and flourished for ten years after the war of 1812. It was, in 1853, included in the city of Buffalo.
Buffalo harbor was the first constructed on the Great Lakes, and was at first built by private enterprise. The village was made a port of entry by Act of Congress March 3, 1805. In the spring of 1820, when Buffalo had less than 2,000 inhabitants, when there were in reality no harbor facilities, and when there was not yet sufficient business on the lakes to be dignified by the name of commerce, a plan was projected by Hon. Samuel Wilkeson for the improvement of the harbor. In order to raise the necessary funds for this improvement a subscription paper was circulated among the citizens, to which was finally appended the names of sixty-two subscribers, the total amount subscribed being $1,361. The largest sum subscribed by any one individual was $110, and there were four others who subscribed not less than $100. The entire sum collected was but $110.
This small sum of money, no matter how economically expended, could not effect much of a change in the condition of the mouth of Buffalo creek; but it showed that the people were alive to the necessity of doing something to lead to the building up a city, and that small beginning has resulted in one of the largest commercial cities in the world. When it was decided by the canal commissioners to locate the western terminus of the canal at Buffalo creek, there were only three or four small vessels owned in Buffalo, and these three or four received and discharged their cargoes at Black Rock. A better harbor was, therefore, a necessity to the terminus of the canal, for, unless a harbor at the mouth of Buffalo creek were constructed, that terminus might be located at Black Rock, and this would destroy Buffalo's chances of becoming a port of entry or a city, at all, instead of becoming the port for commerce at the lower end of Lake Erie.
The people of Buffalo therefore resolved on having a harbor, and made application to the Legislature at Albany for a survey of the mouth of Buffalo creek. On April 10, 1818, an Act was passed authorizing and directing the supervisors of Niagara county to pay $3 per day to a surveyor to survey the mouth of this creek. This survey was made gratuitously in the following summer by Hon. William Peacock. Then a public meeting was held to consider the question as to how the money was to be raised. This meeting sent Hon. Charles Townsend to Albany to obtain a loan, and on April 17, 1819, an Act was passed authorizing a loan to certain parties in Buffalo of $12,000 for twelve years, to be secured by bond and mortgage in double the amount, the State reserving the right to cancel the securities, and to take possession of the harbor when it should be completed.
The next difficulty was to secure signatures to the securities. Every one refused to execute them except Judge Charles Townsend, Judge Oliver Forward and Judge Samuel Wilkeson, each of whom gave his several bond and mortgage for $8,000. An "experienced harbor builder" was employed at $50 per month, a contract was made for 100 cords of flint stone at $5 per cord, and 400 hemlock piles from twenty to thirty feet long at 31 cents each. An agent was dispatched to the nearest furnace, which was in Portage county, Ohio, for a hammer and machinery for a pile-driver and scow.
The engineer that was receiving $50 per month was discharged on the ground of incompetency, and as no one else could be found who had any practical experience in such matter, Judge Samuel Wilkeson was at last prevailed upon to take charge of the work. The harbor was therefore constructed under his supervision, and completed as well as could be expected with the money at command.
An incident in connection with this work is worthy of note: On the 7th of September, 1820, after the timber work had been completed, and while the pier was but partially filled with stone, two vessels came into the lee of the pier and made themselves fast thereto. Toward evening a storm appeared in the horizon, and while the superintendent of the construction of the harbor and the captains of the two vessels were considering the question as to whether the pier was in danger from the two vessels being fast to it, the storm came on, and it was agreed that if necessary to save the pier the vessels should be cut loose and permitted to drift upon the beach. The pier and the vessels remained uninjured, and this was regarded as no mean test as to the strength of the work. The pier then extended out into the lake about fifty rods, and was afterward entirely filled with stone. The names of those two vessels appears not to have been preserved, but the names of their captains were Austin and Fox.
The harbor was constructed in 221 days, not including Sundays, as the laborers rested on that day, and when completed for that season it was about eighty rods in length. At its extremity the water was twelve feet deep. It was begun, carried forward to completion and completed principally by three private individuals, though they received material assistance from George Coit.
Even after the completion of this work the mouth of the creek was still obstructed by sand, and vessels could not get in and out without running aground. The schooner Hannah, of 49 tons, could not get over the bar at the mouth of the harbor, and had to unload her cargo, pass over the bar, anchor outside in the lake, and there be reloaded. This, however, was the only vessel under 50 tons that was compelled to discharge her cargo in order to get out of the harbor; though the schooner Beaver, of 37 tons, stuck fast on the bar, and remained there for some time before being got off; the schooner Red Jacket, of 53 tons, remained thus fast for about half a day, and the schooner Erie, of 78 tons, was on the bar for twenty-four hours.
Buffalo and Black Rock were strong rivals at that time. In February, 1822, the canal commissioners resolved to carry the canal to the mouth of Buffalo creek, the Legislature having made the loan to citizens of Buffalo to enable them to construct a harbor. This resolution, however, did not touch the question of harbors, the commissioners having no authority over matters of that kind. In April of this year the State Legislature relinquished all claim to the $12,000 loan provided the people of Buffalo should construct their harbor by January I, 1824, and the Legislature also gave the canal commissioners discretionary power to contract with the people of Black Rock for a much more spacious and splendid harbor. The commissioners, therefore, advised the people of Black Rock to erect a portion of the mole required to raise the water in the river sufficiently to form a harbor, in order to test the question as to whether it would withstand the ice in the winter time, and, in case of success, to recommend to the Legislature the construction of the harbor, or the refunding of the cost of the experiment.
In October, 1824, during a severe storm, several of the cribs of the Black Rock pier were raised by the force of the waters and carried off down stream, leaving a break of about eighty feet. This misfortune seemed to prove that the work was not stable, and could not be depended upon. It was largely on account of this break in the pier that the attempt to build a harbor at Black Rock was finally abandoned.
But it took a long time and much hard labor to so clear the mouth of Buffalo creek that vessels could enter and leave without difficulty. It was the knowledge of this fact that in 1822 led the owners of the steamer Superior to hesitate about building her within the harbor at Buffalo, and they were only induced to do so by the guarantee on the part of prominent citizens of this place that they should be paid the sum of $150 per day for every day that she was delayed beyond the first of May, provided she should be ready to leave the harbor on that day. The Superior did get out of the harbor without difficulty when empty, but after coming back and taking on her load of passengers for an excursion on the lake, she had considerable difficulty in getting over the bar.
Since 1826 this harbor has been very greatly improved by the United States Government. At first it was determined to construct piers on the north and south sides of Buffalo creek, and the work has been so carried forward that at the present time the water in the creek for a mile from its mouth is from 12 to 14 feet deep, and its average width is 200 feet. The harbor is protected by a substantial stone pier and sea wall jutting out into the lake, and at the end of the pier is a lighthouse 46 feet high and 20 feet in diameter.
The works projected by the United States Government for the improvement of this harbor consist of a masonry sea wall along the lake shore for nearly a mile, running south from the shore end of the south pier, and a channel pier of about 650 feet in length.
The great storm of October 18, 1844, wrought great injury to the south pier, and it became necessary to rebuild the parapet wall. The old wall was but two feet thick. In 1845 it was determined to rebuild in a much more substantial manner. The new wall was of heavy stone averaging four feet in length, and weighing from one to three tons, dressed on the bottoms and joints and having a rough face, and they were laid in hydraulic cement. This wall is eight feet thick at the bottom and gradually becomes thinner until it is only four feet thick at the top, and was crowned by a heavy coping one foot thick.
This work was begun in 1845, suspended in 1846, and resumed in 1853, an appropriation having been made of $14,000 in 1852. During the years 1853 and 1854, there were constructed about 1,000 feet of exterior slope, averaging twelve feet, the top being covered by a broad flagging, over 400 feet of parapet wall raised 5 ½, feet being completed. Some 300 feet of the old wall were removed, excavations made and a new wall built, completing the parapet within the appropriation made for this purpose.
Subsequently the government made appropriations for the Buffalo harbor as follows: August 23, 1866, $100,000; March 2, 1867, $100,000; May 11, 1869, $89,000; July 11, 1870, $80,000, and March 3, 1871, $100,000.
In 1874 it was determined to extend this breakwater to a total length of 7,609 feet, which was completed in 1893. In 1874 it was also proposed to build a shore arm to the breakwater, the inshore end to consist of pile work near shore and crib work in deeper water. Upon reaching the 16-foot contour line in the lake this shore arm was planned to continue in a direction making an angle of about 45 degrees with the shore and to overlap the south end of breakwater, leaving an opening of 150 feet. In 1886 a project was approved for replacing the superstructure with concrete as fast as it decayed.
In 1895 a new project for improving the harbor was adopted, consisting of the abandonment of the shore arm and the extension of the breakwater to Stony Point, leaving the necessary openings for the convenience of commerce, and also to extend the sand-catch pier to the established pierhead line.
Appropriations made for improving harbor at Buffalo, from May 26, 1826, to the present time have been as follows: 1826, $15,000; 1828, $34,206; 1830, $15,488; 1831, $12,900; 1832, $10,300; 1833, $31,700; 1834, $20,000; 1838, $68,500; 1844, $40,000; 1852, $14,000; 1853, $349; 1855, $452; 1864, $15,000; 1864, $37,500; 1866, $131,000; 1867, $100,000; 1869, $89,100; 1870, $80,000; 1871, $100,000; 1872, $75,000; 1873, $75,000; 1874, $20,000; 1874, $75,000; 1875, $100,000; 1877, $85,000; 1878, $80,000; 1879, $100,000; 1880, $90,000; 1881, $90.000; 1882, $125,000; 1884, $100,000; 1886, $112,500; 1888, $225,000; 1890, $300,000; 1892, $300,000; 1894, $70,000; 1897, $481,250; 1898, $489,746; total, $3,808,991.
The total amount expended by the United States on the improvement of Buffalo harbor up to June 30, 1898, was $2,896,190, with the result of obtaining and maintaining a very good harbor. The principal features of the harbor work are a north and south pier at the mouth of Buffalo creek, protecting the entrance to the creek, and Blackwell Ship canal, in which the principal part of the business of the port is done; also an outer breakwater, 7,608 feet long, built of timber and stone. The superstructure on 3,879 feet of this length has been replaced with concrete. A seawall 5,400 feet long was also built along the lake shore south of the harbor entrance, and a sand-catch pier of piles and stone built out from the shore 870 feet long. The maximum draft that can be carried June 30, 1898, at mean low water over the shoalest part of the locality under improvement is 20 feet.
By the Sundry Civil Bill of 1897, $483,000 was appropriated, and was available July 1, 1897, for the extension of the breakwater southeastward to Stony Point, in according to the contract which is now in existence, a distance of 12,500 feet. In this extension there are to be two openings, one called the Middle entrance and the other the South Harbor entrance. The work is to be completed by January 1, 1901. The estimated cost is $1,765,451. The fiscal years ending in 1897 and 1898 must be considered largely as experimental and preparatory periods, and the next two fiscal years ending in 1899 and 1900 as the seasons of greatest activity, when the work will progress in all its branches at the maximum rates.
The lake commerce of Buffalo is phenomenally large. Some details of the traffic are given in other chapters. In 1897 5,374 vessels entered at Buffalo, and 5,404 cleared; total, 10,778; tonnage, 11,299,091, an increase of 245,885 tons over 1896. About 7,500,000 tons of freight are now received each year. Of this 80 per cent., approximately, consists of grain; 10 per cent. ore; 10 per cent. lumber and miscellaneous. Shipments by lake approximate 3,000,000 tons, consisting chiefly of coal. The total freight received and shipped by lake in 1897 was 10,748,204 tons.
Receipts by lake in 1893 were 6,447,730 tons; 1894, 5,506,402 tons; 1895, 5,581,428 tons; 1896, 6,864,097 tons; 1897, 8,062,151. Of the receipts, 6,517,347 tons consisted of grain, flour, malt and seed products; 787,157 tons iron ore: 550,496 tons lumber and lumber products; 207,150 tons miscellaneous. Shipments by lake in 1897 were 2,686,053 tons, of which 2,234,329 tons were coal.
Dunkirk, now a city of over 10,000 inhabitants, was first settled in 1805. Seth Cole was the pioneer. At the home of his widow, at the mouth of the creek, in July, 1812, was stationed a company of militia to protect the small commerce of the lake, salt boats and other small craft occasionally touching here. A salt boat, during the above mentioned month, was chased by a British cruiser, and entered the mouth of the creek. The cruiser anchored 500 yards from shore and lowered a boat with thirteen men to capture the salt boat. It was fired upon by the militia, and put back with a loss of ten men killed and wounded, it was claimed, but that report was never confirmed. A vessel is said to have entered the harbor as early as 1810. In 1818 a company, composed of Isaiah and John Townsend, DeWitt Clinton and others, bought 1,008 acres of land on the site of Dunkirk, surveyed a village, built a wharf and warehouse and made other improvements. The village in 1825 contained 50 people, and in 1830 the population was increased to 1,000. Dunkirk was originally called Chadwick's Bay, after Solomon Chadwick, one of the early settlers. The village was incorporated in 1837. There was considerable traffic here in the early years of the century, but the railroads drew off the trade. Dunkirk is now a manufacturing point of some importance.
Dunkirk harbor -- The harbor at Dunkirk is naturally a simple indentation of the south shore of Lake Erie. It lies between point Gratiot on the west and Battery Point on the east, Between the two points is a distance of about 9,600 feet, and the maximum breadth of the bay behind the line of the two headlands is 3,600 feet. The general natural depth of water in the bay is about 10 feet. The bay is underlaid with rock at an average depth of 15 or 16 feet.
The original project of improvement was adopted in 1827, and provided for the construction of a pier running out from the west shore of the bay and a detached breakwater parallel with the pier and about 2,000 feet distant from the city. An opening between the two structures provided an entrance to the harbor.
In 1870 a plan was recommended which provided for a detached breakwater 2,860 feet long, of which 2,300 feet was to be nearly parallel with the shore, the other 560 feet to be nearly parallel with the axis of the channel entrance. This breakwater and the pier previously built were to form a harbor, the channel of which was to be enlarged to a width of 170 feet, and made 13 feet deep.
The project adopted by Congress, and provided for by the River-and-Harbor Act of June 3, 1896, consists of completing the breakwater as before planned by the addition of 360 feet to its eastern end, and adding the channel arm 560 feet long.
Appropriations for improving the harbor at Dunkirk from 1827 to the present time have been as follows: 1827, $3,000; 1828, $6,000; 1829, $9,812; 1830, $1,342; 1831, $7,102; 1832, $10,200; 1834, $4,000; 1835, $10,988; 1836, $11,000; 1837, $15,000; 1838, $10,000; 1844, $5,000; 1852, $30,000; 1867,$100,000; 1869,$2,000; 1870, $25,000; 1871, $25,000; 1872, $25,000; 1873, $48,133; 1874, $35,000; 1875, $35,000; 1876, $18,000; 1879, $2,500; 1880, $10,000; 1884, $10,000; 1886, $20,000; 1888, $15,000; 1890, $20,000; 1892, $20,000; 1894, $20,000; 1896, $10,000; 1897, $398,258. Total, $962,337. Expenditures to June 30, 1898, were $820,518.
The commerce of Dunkirk by water is quite limited at the present time. During the year 1895 the arrivals and departures of vessels numbered 69, with a total tonnage of 15,650 tons. The receipts by lake were 9,918 tons, of lumber, and there were no shipments. In 1896 arrivals were 21, tonnage 6,080. In 1896 9,968 tons of lumber (5,692,000 feet b. m.) were received. There were no exports. In 1897, 101 vessels arrived and 96 cleared. The registered tonnage was 14,745. Freight received in 1897 amounted to 25,498 tons, of which 10,664 tons were lumber and 14,826 tons stone. There were no shipments in 1897.
The Bay of Presque Isle, forming the harbor of Erie, is a beautiful body of water about four and one-half miles long and from one and one-fourth to one and one-half miles in width. The long and narrow sand bank which divides it from the lake is known as the peninsula, or in French as Presque Isle, "almost an island." Misery bay is a small sub-division of the bay proper at its northeastern extremity. It was so named by Lieutenant Holdup during the war of 1812, when the vessels of the Lake Erie squadron were anchored there. Here were sunk the Lawrence and the Niagara, of Perry's fleet. The former was raised and taken to the Centennial Exhibition in 1876; the latter still lies at the bottom of the bay on the east side. The peninsula is a low sand formation about six miles long and varying in width from 300 feet at the head, where it joins the mainland, to one and one-half miles at its widest part. It is covered with trees and bushes. Several breaks have occurred through the narrow points, and constant vigilance is exerted by the government to prevent storms from breaking through the narrow neck.
The site of Erie was a prominent spot during the French and English struggle. A fort was erected at Presque Isle by the French in 1753, and another at Le Boeuf (now Waterford). These forts were surrendered to the English in 1760. During Pontiac's war in 1763, both forts fell into the hands of the savages, that at Presque Isle surrendering June 22, five days after the fall of Le Boeuf. At Presque Isle in August, 1764, General Bradstreet, on his return from Detroit, made a treaty with the Delaware and Shawnee Indians. In April, 1792, a bill for the laying out of a town at Presque Isle was passed by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, but on account of Indian troubles it was not until 1795 that 200 men from Wayne's army landed at Presque Isle under command of Capt. Russell Bissell, and erected two block houses on the bluff overlooking the entrance to the harbor just east of the mouth of Mill creek. The town was laid out the same year and troops remained at the post until 1806. The first vessel launched at Erie was the Good Intent, built at the mouth of Mill creek in 1799 by Capt. William Lee, Rufus S. Reed and others. She was sunk at Point Abino in 1806, with all on board. The Harlequin was built at Erie in 1800 by Eliphalet Beebe, and was lost the first season with her entire crew. About 1801 the Wilkinson, of 65 tons, was owned at Erie, and another early Erie vessel was the schooner Mary, of 100 tons, built in 1805.
Erie is memorable for the fitting out of the fleet with which Commodore Perry, in 1813, won the battle of Lake Erie. Here were built, in that year, the sloops of war Niagara and Lawrence, the schooner-rigged pilot boat Ariel, and the gunboats Porcupine and Tigris. The other five vessels comprising the fleet, the brig Caledonia, sloop Trippe and schooners Ohio, Amelia and Somers were brought up from Black Rock. The new vessels crossed the bar early in August and on the morning of the 12th sailed up the lake to meet the enemy. Commodore Perry, at a dinner given him by the citizens of Erie, just before his departure, expressed a desire to return a victor or in his shroud. The badly wounded in the battle were taken to Erie, September 23, thirteen days after the battle. Here a portion of the squadron wintered.
The first steamboat launched at Erie was the William Penn, of 200 tons, May 18, 1826. She was the sixth on Lake Erie, and was built by the Erie & Chautauqua Steamboat Company. Gen. C. M. Reed built at Erie the steamboats Pennsylvania, in 1832, Thomas Jefferson, in 1834, and the James Madison, in 1836. The Madison is said to have cleared $30,000 on her first trip. The ill-fated steamboat Erie was built here in 1837 and the Missouri in 1840, all large, elegant, rapid and popular boats. In 1826 three steamboats and from two to ten schooners entered and cleared from Erie harbor each week. Lake traffic was stimulated in 1845 by the completion of the canal from Erie to the Ohio river. It continued until, by the completion of the Lake Shore road to Toledo in 1853, the tide of emigration was turned.
The United States steamer Michigan was built at Erie in 1843-44, hers being the first iron hull ever set afloat on the Great Lakes. Until recently Erie was the station for the United States revenue cutters in service on the lakes. The first cutter was the Benjamin Rush of 30 tons, built at Erie, about 1827. The second was the Erie of 62 tons, launched in 1833. She was succeeded in 1846, by the iron steamer Dallas, which was removed to the Atlantic coast in 1848. Six steam cutters were built in 1857.
The first lighthouse upon the Great Lakes was erected at Erie in 1818 on the bluff overlooking the entrance to the harbor. A new brick structure was built in 1858, and replaced in 1866 by a third building of stone. The light was discontinued in 1880, but restored in 1882.
In its earliest traffic lake freight was landed at Erie on the sand beach near the mouth of Mill creek. Rufus S. Reed, one of the pioneers in the lake trade, constructed the first dock near the foot of Sassafras street, which has ever since been known as Reed's dock. The pier reached out from the shore to eight feet of water, which was all the depth then required to float any vessel on the lakes. The business at Reed's dock was greatly increased by the opening of the Erie Extension canal early in the forties. The opening of the canal led to the building of a series of docks, extending from the foot of State street east and west, later known as the public dock. The water lots, now occupied by the Anchor line and the Philadelphia & Erie docks, were utilized in 1866 by David Burton & Sons, the pioneer shippers of anthracite coal at Erie. The Anchor line commenced doing business at Erie in 1868 with one small grain elevator. Its business has since grown to great magnitude. At Erie it has forty acres of dock property. The Pittsburg docks, Nos. 1 and 2, were opened in 1865, and soon developed an iron ore and bituminus coal trade. The Carnegie Company operates three wharves, and transacts a large business in iron ore. Several other docks add to the facilities of this port.
In its original condition the harbor of Erie was landlocked, the only entrance being to the east; the channel leading in and out was narrow and tortuous, variable in position, and with a depth of only about six feet.
The project for the improvement of the harbor, as originally prepared in 1823, provided for closing the eastern end of the harbor by means of a breakwater, in which should be left an opening 200 feet wide, and for extending to deep water in the lake two parallel piers, one on each side of the opening. This project is substantially in force at the present time, excepting that the piers are 350 feet apart.
The results obtained were to establish and maintain a good entrance channel to Erie harbor, fixed in position and of a depth of 18 feet and at least 275 feet wide, and a commodious deep harbor inside.
Appropriations made for improving harbor at Erie from 1823 to the present time: 1823, $150; 1824, $20,000; 1826, $7,000; 1827, $2,000; 1828, $6,223; 1829, $7,390; 1831, $1,700; 1832, $4,500; 1833, $6,000; 1834, $23,045; 1835, $5,000; 1836, $15,122; 1837, $15,000; 1838, $30,000; 1844, $40,000; 1852, $30,000; 1864, $15,000; 1866,
$36,961; 1867, $25,000; 1868, $40,000; 1869, $22,275; 1870, $20,000; 1871, $29,000; 1871, $10,000; 1872, $15,000; 1874, $20,000; 1875, $80,000; 1876, $40,000; 1878, $25,000; 1879, $25,000, 1880, $25,000; 1881, $20,000; 1882, $20,000; 1884, $50,000; 1886, $37,500; 1888, $83,000; 1890, $40,000; 1891, $4,716; 1892, $40,000; 1894, $10,000; total, $946,584.
Receipts at Erie by lake in recent years have been as follows : 1891, 917,763 tons; 1892, 1,399,103 tons; 1893, 1,175,732 tons; 1894, 1,240,748 tons; 1895, 1,397,517 tons; 1896, 1,719,785 tons; 1897, 2,422,041 tons. Iron ore receipts increased from 441,669 tons in 1891 to 1,442,756 tons in 1897. Flour and grain constitute most of the remaining receipts. Shipments increased from 756,452 tons in 1891 to 873,910 tons in 1897. The shipments are mainly coal, 70 per cent, of which is anthracite and 30 per cent, bituminous.
Presque Isle Peninsula forms the harbor at Erie, which is a landlocked bay about five miles long and of a maximum width of one and one-half miles. The peninsula is a low sand formation about six miles long, and varying in width from 300 feet at the neck, which unites the main body of the peninsula to the mainland, and is nearly two miles long, to one and one-half miles at its widest part. The preservation of this peninsula is of vital importance to the preservation of Erie harbor, and the preservation of the peninsula resolves itself into the preservation of the neck at the western end of the peninsula.
In a report upon the examination of Erie harbor made in 1885, it was recommended that the neck of this peninsula be protected by a breakwater, and that the movement of sand around the eastern end of the peninsula, which threatened to close the entrance to the harbor, be arrested by the construction of jetties perpendicular to the shore of the peninsula, at an estimated cost of $173,044.
Work on this project was, in October, 1889, discontinued because it was found that structures built could not withstand the violence of the storms. In the spring of 1896, a plant growth was started on the more exposed portions of the neck to catch the drifting sand, and thus increase the width and height of the neck, rendering it less liable to a breach from the waves, and to increase its resistance to erosion.
There were planted in 1896 1,000 Carolina poplars, 200 Wisconsin willows, 200 yellow locusts, and 200 Scotch pines, besides grass seed of different kinds. At the close of the fiscal year an examination of the trees planted was made, when it was found that all the Carolina poplars were growing vigorously except six, which had been destroyed by tramps; the locusts were all growing vigorously; the Wisconsin willows were all doing well, except seven that had been destroyed by tramps; but the Scotch pines were not doing so well, fifty-two out of the 200 having died. The experiment was successfully extended in 1897 and in 1898. In the spring of 1898 2,000 honey-locust trees were planted and 200 willow cuttings. The preservation of the neck of the peninsula by the utilization of plant growth is confidently expected, thereby causing the peninsula to become higher and wider.
Conneaut, the Lake Erie harbor, which has risen to great importance as an iron ore and coal port during the past year or two, was the Plymouth of the Western Reserve. Here, at the mouth of Conneaut creek, the first surveying party landed July 4, 1796. The party numbered fifty-two, led by Moses Cleveland, agent for the company. The next day a large log building was erected on the sandy beach and named "Stowe Castle" after one of the party, Joshua Stowe, the commissary. The name Conneaut in the Seneca language signifies "many fish," and was originally applied to the river. One of the party, Amzi Atwater, described the spot as a "mere sand beach overgrown with timber, some of it of considerable size." The mouth of the creek was frequently choked up with a sand bar so that no visible harbor appeared for several days. This would only happen when the streams were low and after a high wind, either down the lake or directly on shore for several days. As soon as the wind had subsided, and the water in the streams had sufficiently risen, they would often cut their way through the bar in a different place and form new channels. Thus the mouths of the streams were continually shifting until the artificial harbor was built.
Judge James Kingsbury arrived soon after the surveying party, and wintered with his family at this place. He was compelled by business to return to New York that fall, and was delayed by illness from rejoining his family. He arrived in the dead of winter to find a child born in his absence, dead from starvation, and his wife almost on the point of death from the same cause. The first permanent settlement was made in Conneaut in 1798. Some thirty Indian cabins were then standing at the mouth of the stream.
In 1846 Conneaut harbor was an important shipping point. It had a pier with a lighthouse upon it, two forwarding houses and eleven dwellings. It was a frequent stopping place for steamers. Its recent growth has been the result of railway traffic. The Nickel Plate railroad shops are located here, and when the Pittsburg, Bessemer & Lake Erie road was completed to the great furnaces of the Carnegie Steel Company, the assurance of an immense ore traffic was possible.
Soon after the first government appropriation for the improvement of Conneaut creek, the marine fraternity began to develop an ambition to make it a ship building center, and in 1830 a small schooner was built and launched under the name of Farmer. She was lost during a great freshet or flood in Chicago river. The schooner New Connecticut was the next vessel built there, followed by the commercial steamers Lady of the Lake and Conneaut Packet, schooner J. B. Skinner, sloops Humber and Red River, schooner North America, steamers Wisconsin and Constitution, brigs Sarah C. Walbridge, Lucy A. Blossom Banner (the largest vessel on the lakes at the time), schooners Dan Marble, Telegraph, Traveler, and bark Stambach, brig Belle, and schooner J. W.
Brown, all constructed previous to 1850. Since that year there were many vessels constructed, notably the schooners Nightingale, Snowdrop, brig Greyhound, schooners Mary M. Scott, Henry M. Kinney, scows Seabird and Times, schooner Ann Maria, schooner Zouave, barks Rosenberry, Oga-ritta, Monitor, scows Indianola, Tom Swayne, May Guthrie, schooners T. B. Rice, Valentine, Kate Gillett (now the Horace Badger), Conneaut and M. Capron.
Conneaut harbor is at the mouth of Conneaut creek, 13 miles east of Ashtabula harbor, and within a short distance of the boundary line between Ohio and Pennsylvania. It was known early in the century as Conneaut creek, and has, from time to time, received government aid, but developed little business prior to 1892. Originally the channel over the bar was but two feet in depth. The first appropriation was made March 2, 1829, of $7,500 for the improvement of the navigation of Conneaut creek, "by removing the bar at the mouth of the same." Under this appropriation improvements were commenced, and were continued at intervals until 1880, the amount appropriated and expended during this time being $112,629. As a result of these improvements the channel increased its depth from two feet to a usual depth of eight feet, and in favorable circumstances the depth was sometimes 11 feet. From 1880 to 1892 the business of the port did not justify further expenditure, and the work already done was permitted to go to decay and ruin.
In 1892 a project was adopted for extending parallel piers 200 feet apart to a depth of 17 feet in the lake, the estimated cost being $500,000. There had been expended by June 30, 1896, the sum of $79,819, out of a total of $120,000 appropriated. During the year 1896 there was completed a part of the east pier 600 feet in length, and an extension 526 feet long was made from the inner end to form a substantial revetment to the channel bank.
The Pittsburg, Shenango & Lake Erie Railroad Company, now the Pittsburg, Bessemer & Lake Erie, has within the past few years made this harbor a terminus on the lake, and has expended a large amount of money in improving the harbor by dredging and construction, by which means the commerce of the port has largely increased. This harbor is well situated with reference to the transfer of ores by water and rail from the mines to the furnaces, as well as for return freights of coal. This harbor enjoys one great advantage over most others on the south shore of Lake Erie, and that is the water here is more uniformly of the same depth throughout the season than elsewhere, because the high west winds do not lower it here as they do in harbors further to the west.
It was in 1892 that commercial interests again began to develop at Conneaut harbor. Early in the year Capt. Erastus Day, of Cleveland, went there in the interest of the Pittsburg, Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Company, and began the work of deepening the channel and building docks. This proved to be a labor of many difficulties as there was no railroad laid to the harbor upon which to transport timber and piles, necessitating the alternative of floating all material to be used down the river by means of raft or scow. Before the close of the season, however, the river was dredged, dock room completed and three Brown hoists erected. On November 3, 1892, the first cargo of ore, 1,130 tons, arrived on the steamer C. J. Kershaw. Since that time, under Captain Day's industry and supervision, Conneaut harbor has been provided with the best modern appliances for the speedy handling of ore, coal and railroad iron, the latter being handled by means of an ingenious patent invented by Captain Day.
The machinery for loading and discharging ore and coal comprise nine Brown hoists, six King hoists and conveyors, twelve hoists of the McMyler fast plant for transferring from vessels into cars, ten whirlers and one coal car dump of an improved type. The railroad company is about to dredge a new slip 1,200 feet long on the east side of the river, and construct docks upon which will be erected twelve additional hoisting and conveying machines, and the river spanned by a railroad bridge at its intersection with
The railroad from Conneaut to the coal and iron districts near Pittsburg, Penn., has recently been greatly improved, both in curves and grades, and equipped with the patent hopper cars, which greatly add to the speedy transport of ore. It may be said that some of the largest industries in the country are developing Conneaut harbor as a port for the transfer of coal and iron.
Appropriations for improving Conneaut Harbor. -- 1829, $7,500; 1830, $6,135; 1831, $6,370; 1832, $7,800; 1836, $2,500; 1837, $5,000; 1838, $8,000; 1844, $5,000; 1852, $10,000; 1866, $20,513; 1867, $10,000; 1869, $8,910; 1870, $6,000; 1873, $400; 1874, $1,500; 1875, $1,000; 1880, $6,000; 1892, $40,000; 1894, $40,000; 1896, $40,000. Total, $232,629. Expended to June 30, 1898, $231,643.
Vessels entering the harbor in 1896 were 582, with a tonnage of 761,634; vessels entering in 1897, 668; tonnage, 939,173. During 1897 560,198 tons of freight were received and 29,700 tons shipped, a total of 589,368, as compared with 443,031 tons for 1896. Of the receipts in 1897 551,417 tons were iron ore, and of the shipments 29,170 tons were coal.
Ashtabula harbor. -- In the year 1796 a surveying party was sent out from the colony of Connecticut for the purpose of discovering desirable points on Lake Erie for the location of harbors and for early settlement. That was the date when the first craft under the control of white men entered the harbor where the prosperous commercial city of Ashtabula now stands, and sailed up the river. A good report relative to this locality was made by this expedition, but no further decisive steps were taken relative to its improvement for several years. In 1801 Judge Austin, an adventurous frontier settler, sailed into the harbor from Buffalo in a small boat, and located. He was followed a year later by the Rev. Joseph Badger, who, after shoveling a channel through the bar at the mouth of the river, succeeded in landing a boat load of goods, and quite a flourishing settlement soon sprang up. For the next twenty years small crafts, owned and manned by settlers frequented the port, but there was no general commerce.
Congress, in 1826, made the first appropriation for the improvement of Ashtabula harbor, $12,000 being the sum granted for that purpose. This was expended under the direction of M. Hubbard, a dike being built and the east pier commenced in the following year. From this time until railroads were built, in 1872, no considerable growth or enterprise attached to Ashtabula, and even the small business of the port declined from 1845 to 1872, and the harbor began to present the appearance of a decaying village. The cause of this decline was the opening of railroads.
In 1853 the Ashtabula & New Lisbon railroad was incorporated and work commenced, but was not opened for traffic until 1873. One year later it was leased to the Pennsylvania Company for ninety-nine years. In 1872 the Lake Shore built the Jamestown and Franklin division from Ashtabula to Oil City and Youngstown, reaching the iron and coal regions so that Ashtabula harbor became the terminus on the lake of two southern railroads almost simultaneously. The effect was instant. The shipping, which had before amounted to little, assumed good proportions, and the harbor began a wondrous growth. The small village of a few hundred inhabitants became a prosperous city of from 12,000 to 14,000.
With the advent of the southern railroads began the receiving of iron ore and the shipping of coal which have since made the harbor famous. The Pennsylvania Company at first built about two hundred feet of docks on the west side of the river and the Lake Shore company the same on the east side. Ore was then discharged from vessels by buckets raised by tackle and horse power, and coal was loaded by use of the wheelbarrow. This process being necessarily slow, vessels were detained, and it was soon found necessary to introduce improvements to facilitate the handling of cargoes. This was done gradually, until Ashtabula harbor possessed the latest improvements for loading and discharging cargoes of coal and ore, respectively. It is during the past nine years that the harbor has made her great record as a receiving and shipping port.
Ashtabula has never been noted as a shipbuilding port although there are two ship yards located there, the one owned and managed by Capt. John P. Devney, succeeding his father, Capt. James Devney, who died in 1894. The other yard, on the west side of the river, is owned by J. G. Laird & Sons. Both yards do general repair work and are kept comparatively busy, owing to the great amount of tonnage entering and clearing at the harbor. The last vessels built for commerce were launched in 1868, but a number of tugs have been built since then, the last one constructed at Devney's being the Sunol, while Laird launched the William D., in 1892.
Previous to 1826 the natural conditions at the mouth of this creek varied from time to time. In the summer of that year the depth of water over the bar was but two feet, and the rock bottom was nine feet below the surface of the water. Improvements were that year commenced by confining the channel over the bar between piers of timber cribs filled with stone. The appropriation of May 20, 1826, was $12,000, and was made for removing obstructions at the mouth of Ashtabula creek. The work has since been continued by repairing, extending and modifying as the increase of commerce made necessary. The piers were 168 feet apart.
In 1891 a new and enlarged project was adopted to widen the outer part of the channel 45 feet, so as to make the distance between the piers 213 feet; to extend the piers to a depth of 22 feet in the lake; to remove the rock bottom to a depth of 20 feet, and to rebuild the superstructure of part of the west pier at an estimated cost of $325,000.
At the end of the fiscal 1897 year work was in progress constructing a section of west breakwater, shore end, 432 feet long and 30 feet wide. The effect of the small section of breakwater, both upon the bar and upon the seas in westerly winds, is already apparent and beneficial, although it was hardly anticipated that so small an amount by itself would produce any appreciable effects.
Appropriations for improving Ashtabula harbor have been as follows: 1826, $12,000; 1828, $2,404; 1829, $6,940; 1831, $7,015; 1832, $3,800; 1833, $3,400; 1834, $5,000; 1835, $7,591; 1837, $8,000; 1838, $8,000; 1844, $5,000; 1852, $10,000; 1853, $43; 1866, $24,709; 1867, $54,000; 1871, $15,000; 1872, $15,000; 1873, $16,000; 1874, $35,000; 1875, $25,000; 1876, $5,000; 1878, $12,000; 1879, $9,000; 1880, $20,000; 1881, $20,000; 1882, $20,000; 1884, $22,500; 1886, $30,000; 1888, $25,000; 1890, $40,000; 1892, $70,000; 1894, $75,000; 1896, $50,000; total, $662,402. Expended to June 30, 1898, $661,147.
During 1897, 1,715 vessels, with a registered tonnage of 2,280,771, arrived at Ashtabula; 1,720, with a tonnage of 2,329,828, departed. Freight received during 1897 was 3,381,107 tons, of which 3,365,699 tons were iron ore. Shipments were 935,564 tons, including 926,904 tons of coal.
Madison dock was a pier built out into the lake in front of the town of Madison, about 18 miles west of Ashtabula and 12 miles east of Fairport, for the shipment of staves, lumber and produce from that neighborhood.
Fairport harbor. -- The mouth of Grand river, or Kichisibi (big river), as the Indians termed it, is 28 miles southeast by east of Cleveland. At that spot Fairport, one of the great ore depots of Ohio, is located. Fairport was a growing settlement in 1818, and in 1820, in point of size and enterprise, it ranked second to none in the northern part of Ohio, and bid fair to distance its competitors for commercial honors along the shores of Lake Erie in the race for supremacy.
With the lapse of time Fairport became quite an important ship building point, many good vessels having been launched there. It is now the "port of hail" of many of the large vessels owned in Cleveland and in other contiguous ports, it is thought, on account of tax considerations.
Two years later these representatives purchased a valuable tract of land fronting on Grand river, and in 1887 commenced dredging, constructing docks and making other general improvements. They also continued for a number of years in putting up machinery for handling ore and coal.
The "narrow gauge" Painesville & Youngstown railway was, in 1886, rebuilt from Fairport to Niles, a distance of fifty-two miles, with all bridges, trestles, water-tanks and sidetracks, and had a standard-gauge train running between the two points forty-five days after commencing work.
Attention was turned to the making and dredging of an ore and coal slip in 1890. It is 1,000 feet long and 300 feet wide, and with its machinery is considered one of the most convenient slips on the lakes. It is capable of accommodating six vessels at one time. Since its first projection a continuous line of dockage extends from the government pier 6,000 feet inland along the eastern front of the river, at the terminus of which is the slip mentioned above. The company has five sets of Brown hoists on their docks, and can put a rig into a vessel at any point. It has thirty-seven McMyler hoists, two steam shovels, two locomotives, a large machine shop and an electric-light plant -- in fact, it is one of the best equipped plants for the purpose on the lakes. A large gas well furnishes light and fuel for the coal dock, which is equipped with six McMyler hoists, besides a patent dumping machine. Their ample dock room for ore makes extra labor unnecessary, and insures good despatch for vessels.
Ore is also handled by the Pennsylvania & Lake Erie Dock Company; and coal by the Pittsburg, Fairport & Northwestern Dock Company, both of which are controlled by Pittsburg capitalists, with their general offices in that city.
Statistics show that since the docks have been in operation about a million tons of ore and three hundred thousand tons of coal ore handled annually. Coal and ore are not the only industries of this point. On the west side of the river, about one-half mile from its mouth, in Richmond, has been erected a grain elevator of one million bushels capacity, fully equipped with steam and electrical appliances. Adjacent to this, and erected at the same time, are two large freight houses built entirely of steel, each fronting on the river for a distance of 460 to 500 feet. These buildings were erected by the Baltimore and Ohio managers for service in their lake trade. Manufacturing interests are increasing rapidly.
Grand river is navigable for small vessels for a distance of two miles above its mouth. Previous to 1825 the mouth of this river was more or less obstructed by sand bars which occasionally closed the mouth entirely during the summer months when the outflow was small. In 1825 this sand bar was so hard and dry that it was used as a roadway for crossing the river; but in that year plans were made to protect the channel and confine the current by parallel piers of timber work filled with stone extending across the bar.
By Act of Congress of March 3, 1825, an appropriation was made of $1,000 for "completing the pier at the mouth of Grand river," from which it is inferred that this pier was begun by private enterprise; and from that time on up to July 1, 1892, the plans were modified and extended. At that time a project was adopted to extend the piers out into the lake to a depth of 18 feet. The width between these piers varies from 200 feet at the extreme end of the old piers to 185 feet, which is the general distance they are apart. The construction of a breakwater was authorized in 1896, and since commenced.
The situation of Fairport is such that bars form around and between the piers nearly every spring and fall, and while the amount of material thus collected is not large, yet its removal has to be made when the difficulty of doing so is the greatest, on account of the continuous winds. It is confidently believed that the construction of the breakwaters will entirely prevent the formation of bars by the action of winds and waves, though it will of course not effect any reduction of material which may be brought down the river.
Appropriations for improving Fairport harbor have been as follows: 1825, $1,000; 1826, $5,620; 1828, $9,135; 1830, $5,563; 1831, $5,680; 1832, $2,600; 1834, $10,000; 1836, $6,000; 1838, $10,000; 1844, $10,000; 1852, $10,000; 1864, $24,453; 1866, $24,072; 1867, $60,000; 1874, $20,000; 1875, $15,000; 1876, $5,000; 1878, $5,000; 1880, $3,000; 1881, $10,000; 1882, $10,000; 1884, $10,000; 1886, $18,750; 1888, $10,000; 1890, $20,000; 1892, $35,000; 1894, $20,000; 1896, $30,000. Total, $405,873. Expended to June 30, 1898, $377,384. Balance unexpended July 1, 1898, $28,489.
Fairport harbor is an important one, being the third in handling iron ore, and the fifth in amount of water freights. The draft of the largest vessels using this harbor is 20 feet. In 1895 the number of vessels entering and leaving this port was 1,532, and the total registered tonnage was 2,184,982 tons. In 1897, 523 vessels with a registered tonnage of 887,543 arrived; 492 vessels with 790,006 registered tons cleared. Freight received in 1897 reached 1,565,906 tons, of which 1,128,198 tons were iron ore; 268,098 tons, grain; and 169,610 tons merchandise. Shipments were 185,318 tons of coal.
On July 22, 1796, Gen. Moses Cleveland entered the mouth of the Cuyahoga river from the lake. At that period the passage was very uncertain by reason of shifting sand bars, which were driven across the mouth by currents from the east. At times it was possible for persons to cross from shore to shore without the aid of boats.
Penn., district. It was at this time that Hon. Gideon Granger said: "In fifty years this will be the site of an extensive city, and vessels will sail directly from this port to seaports on the other side of the Atlantic ocean." This prophecy has been fully verified as to both salient points, the growth of a great city and the departure of the vessels. The first vessel to depart for the ocean from the port of Cleveland was the brigantine Eureka, Capt. William Monroe, in the spring of 1849, with passengers bound for San Francisco, Cal., and the first vessel to leave this port for Liverpool was the schooner Vanguard, Capt. A. Davis, with staves, in 1859, both of which reached their destination.
The first vessel built at Cleveland was the Zephyr, 30 tons, by Lorenzo Carter, in 1808. She was destroyed by fire at Con-gocketa creek, near Black Rock, N. Y. The next was the Ohio, 60 tons, in 1810. She was one of Commodore Perry's gunboats, but did not take part in the battle of Lake Erie September 10, 1813. The Pilot was built by Philo Johnson, in 1821; the Prudence by P. Taylor, in 1821; the Macedonia, 60 tons, by John Blair, in 1826; and the Lake Serpent, 40 tons, by Captain Burtiss, who sailed her that year.
From the above chronological sequence has grown one of the most important harbors on the lakes, when it is considered in the light of its commercial enterprise and ship-building industry. It was not until artificial changes were made at the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, that Cleveland gained any manifest advantage of location. The first government appropriation, March 3, 1825, of $5,000, was exhausted in the construction of a single pier from the east shore of the river; but no reliable entrance was obtained, as the water in the river was frequently so shallow that it was customary for vessels to lie off in the lake and transfer their cargoes to the docks by means of flatboats. In 1827 Mr. Walworth, who was harbor master and collector of customs, was sent to Washington, and succeeded in having an additional sum of $10,000 granted for harbor improvements. A channel was then dredged and the river made to flow on the east side of the first or east pier, and another pier was run out on the east side of the new or straight channel. In 1854, during which year Ohio City, on the west side of the river, was annexed to Cleveland, a project, on a small scale, was commenced for widening the river.
The next new improvement of consequence was the construction of the west breakwater, for the commencement of which Congress, in 1875, appropriated $50,000, in addition to $3,000 which had been provided in 1870 for a survey. The appropriations previous to the adoption of the project for a harbor of refuge reached the sum of $346,882, and subsequent to that time $1,756,750, making a total of $2,103,632.
Appropriations for improving Cleveland harbor have been as follows: 1825, $5,000; 1827, $10,000; 1829, $12,179; 1830, $1,786; 1831, $3,670; 1832, $6,600; 1834, $13,315; 1836, $15,006; 1837, $10,000; 1838, $51,856; 1844, $25,000; 1852, 30,000; 1853, $146; 1864, $20,000; 1866, $59,806; 1868, $17,000; 1869, $13,380; 1870, $20,000; 1871, $636; 1873, $1,000; 1874, $30,500; 1875, $50,000; 1876, $58,000; 1878, $100,000; 1879, $100,000; 1880, $125,000; 1881, $200,000; 1882, $175,000;1884, $100,000; 1886, $93,750; 1888, $100,000; 1890, $75,000; 1892, $100,000; 1894, $50,000; 1896, $30,000; 1897, $350,000; 1898, $294,000. Total of appropriations, $2,397,631.
The shore arm of the west breakwater was built from 1876 to 1881, and is 3,130 feet long; the main or lake arm, 4,030 feet long, from 1881 to 1887, and the east breakwater, 2,490 feet long, from 1888 to 1893. An extension of the east breakwater has been asked for by the manufacturing and kindred interests as far east as Wilson avenue, thence to lead in to the shore line. A light was placed on the east pier in the year 1869, and one on the west breakwater in 1885.
The Supreme Court of Ohio has granted to the city of Cleveland permission to issue bonds in the sum of $500,000 for the purpose of widening and deepening the channel of the river. Part of this work has been done, that is, between the viaduct and the Main street bridge. Relative to Colonel Smith's project for widening the river entrance, it is his purpose to remove the old pier on the west side and build a solid concrete structure 100 feet west 6f the present line, with a box-filled foundation, in every respect like the east pier.
Nature has done much for Cleveland harbor, and with the completion of the breakwater east and west of the entrance to Cuyahoga river it will become one of the best harbors of refuge on Lake Erie. There is no harbor on this lake to which a vessel captain will as readily make for during the prevalence of a living gale. It is free from the maximum force of the tempests which sweep without hindrance along the other lake harbor entrances. It is in a shallow "bight" and when vessels are inside the protecting arms of the U they ride with comparative safety.
Cleveland has a lake frontage of eight miles, and a river frontage of sixteen miles. More than a mile of this is taken up in passenger and freight boat landings, warehouses and grain elevators, the balance being devoted to furnaces, limekilns, and the handling of immense quantities of iron ore, coal and lumber, which products are the backbone of the city's commercial prosperity. There are four large ore-receiving docks, and numerous coal docks, all equipped with the best modern machinery for loading and discharging cargo. These are owned by the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad Company, New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio, Messrs. Corrigan, McKinney & Co., and the Cleve-laud Rolling Mill Company.
Cleveland, during the last ten years, has been the greatest shipbuilding center on this continent. More vessel property is also owned there than in any other city, and thousands of tons of vessel property owned in Cleveland ostensibly hails from other ports. The principal shipbuilding firms of Cleveland during later years were Thomas Quayle's Sons, Presley & Co., both of which built wooden boats, and the Globe Iron Works Company and the Cleveland Ship Building Company, builders of iron and steel vessels. The latter company recently removed its plant to Lorain, leaving but the steel plant of the Globe Iron Works in Cleveland.
The total freight tonnage of Cleveland in 1895 was 5,282,599; in 1896, 5,522, 111; in 1897, 6,118,731 tons. Total registered tonnage of vessels entering and departing in 1895 was 5,649,537; in 1896, 5,991,656; in 1897, 6,556,455.
During the season of 1897, 3,379 vessels arrived at Cleveland, having a registered tonnage of 3,257,492; 3,852 vessels departed, registered tonnage, 3,298,963. Freight received in 1897 aggregated 3,739,281 tons, including 2,770,265 tons of iron ore, 465,115 tons of lumber, and 213,007 tons of stone. Shipments for the season aggregated 2,367,592 tons, including 2,028,243 tons of coal.
In recent years the Great Lakes have been represented in journalism by two able weekly newspapers, both published in Cleveland, the older of these two being the Marine Record. It was established in 1878, and for many years was published and edited by A. A. Pomeroy. It is now published by the Marine Record Publishing Company, of which George L. Smith is president. C. E. Ruskin is now manager, Captain John Swainson being editor.
The publication of the Marine Review was commenced in 1890, the initial number appearing March 6 of that year. John M. Mulrooney and F. M. Barton were the publishers, Mr. Mulrooney filling the position of editor, Mr. Barton being business manager. The partnership continued until July, 1898, when Mr. Mulrooney became sole proprietor by purchasing the half-interest of his partner.
The lakes also have two annual publications: Beeson's Marine Directory, which has been published by Harvey C. Beeson, Chicago, since 1890, and the Blue Book of American Shipping, published since 1896 by Mulrooney & Barton, Cleveland, Ohio.
Lorain has been a promising port for many years. Its nucleus, Black River, was of some importance as early as 1818, and in 1828 a great ship-building industry was carried on there, the brig Globe having been built that year. Many good vessels have been turned out since that date. It was also a noted place for the shipment of staves, etc., and numerous cargoes of Black River staves found their way to the European markets, in vessels built at that port.
The excellent natural harbor attracted vesselmen, and in 1871 the Cleveland, Lorain & Wheeling Railroad Company, then known as the Tuscarawas Valley road, reached the lake at Lorain. This road has a dock frontage of almost a mile in extent besides numerous sidings and storage tracks on the water front, and its facilities for handling coal and ore have been increased during the last year by the erection of improved machinery, so that the capacity in that way equals about 12,000 tons per day. The location at Lorain of the Johnson steel plant, on June 10, 1894, at which time the site was decided upon and stakes driven, greatly brightened the future for the little port. The site selected is about two miles from the mouth of the river, and about 4,000 acres of land was secured, 1,700 of which was set aside for manufacturing purposes, one-third being on the north bank of the river, the remaining 1,200 acres comprising a continuous tract bounded on two sides by the river, and a third by the Cleveland, Lorain & Wheeling railroad. The total river frontage, therefore, is about six miles, half of which is navigable water.
The sole request made of the town of Lorain by the Johnson Company to justify this immense outlay of capital was that the municipality should take such action as would provide for the immediate and future improvement of the river. This was promptly acceded to, and by ordinance harbor and dock lines were at once adopted which should straighten the river channel; to dredge immediately a channel sufficient to accommodate the largest lake vessels for a distance of four miles from the river mouth, and thereafter, as rapidly as was consistent with financial conditions, proceed with the widening of the channel to the dock lines. This promise has assured for Lorain one of the finest harbors on Lake Erie, and its fulfillment to the letter is already assured in a very short time. Already a channel ninety feet in width and sixteen feet deep has been opened for a distance of three and a half miles from the mouth of the river.
Another important factor of the growth of Lorain as a port is the removal of the Cleveland Ship Building Company of its large and complete steel ship-building plant to that port. It has constructed two dry docks, capable of accommodating the largest vessels on the lakes. The transfer of the plant took place in 1897, the James Watt being the last steamer constructed by the company while the plant remained in Cleveland.
Harbor improvements at Lorain were commenced, in 1828, by the construction of parallel piers of wooden cribs filled to protect and confine the channel over the bar. As the demands of navigation increased the plans for the improvements here were modified and extended. By 1892 the piers had been extended to a depth of 16 feet in the lake, and the channel ordinarily had the same depth in the middle between the piers.
Appropriations for improving Black River harbor have been as follows: 1828, ,$7,500; 1830, $8,559; 1831, $9,275; 1832, $8,000; 1833, $2,400; 1834, $5,000; 1835, $4,400; 1836, $6,660; 1837, $6,410; 1838, $5,000; 1852, $5,000; 1864, $20,000; 1866, $10,000; 1872, $20,000; 1873, $20,000; 1874, $20,000; 1875, $10,000; 1876, $6,000; 1878, $1,000; 1880, $1,000; 1881, $7,000; 1882, $7,000; 1884, $10,000; 1886, $10,000; 1888, $10,000; 1890, $12,000; 1892, $20,000; 1894, $10,000; 1896, $30,000. Total, $292,204. Expended to June, 1898, $292,202. Balance unexpended July 1, 1898, $2.
During the season of 1897, 779 vessels, having a registered tonnage of 495,085, arrived, and 818 vessels, with 460,426 registered tons, cleared. Freight received by lake in 1897 amounted to 435,357 tons, of which 394,511 tons were iron ore; 21,908 tons lumber, and 13,440 tons limestone. Shipments were 207,224 tons, consisting of 195,000 tons of coal, 2,480 tons of steel billets, and 9,744 tons of steel rails. The shipments of steel products will doubtless greatly increase in the near future. The total freight tonnage in 1897, 642,581, is an increase of 77,362 over 1896.
Vermilion harbor is near the mouth of Vermilion river, which flows into Lake Erie about 20 miles east of the entrance to Sandusky bay. When improvements were commenced here in 1836 there was less than two feet of water over the bar at the mouth of this river. The first work done was to construct parallel piers 125 feet apart over the bar and into the deeper water. These piers were repaired from time to time until 1874, when the east pier had obtained a length of 1,075 feet and the west one of 1,125 feet, a total length of 2,200 feet, and they extended to a depth of 12 feet into the lake. The channel had also been deepened occasionally by dredging.
Since 1874 no additional length has been given to the piers, but the rock and other material between them and on into the lake has been dredged to give a depth of 14 feet of water. This was previous to 1879. Up to this time the work for construction, repair and maintenance had been carried on under eleven appropriations, amounting to $113,701, and since 1879 the money spent has been for repairs. From June 14, 1880, to June 30, 1898, the appropriations amounted to $19,000. Total appropriations since 1836 have been $132,701; expenditures, $132,681.
Vermilion harbor is not a commercial port, but it is used to a small extent by boats engaged in fishing, and vessels often lay up there for the winter or for repairs. The draft of the largest vessels using this harbor is eleven feet. There is a lighthouse of the fifth order on the west piers.
Huron. -- In 1709 French traders selected Huron, on Lake Erie, as a site for the location of one of their trading posts. It is one of the best natural harbors on the lake. Huron was one of the first towns on the Western Reserve, but although well situated has never attained to anything like importance.
No sooner was the site on which Huron stands recognized, than the river with its great depth of water brought to its banks those interested in marine business, and quite an extensive traffic sprung up in many commodities of trade and commerce. Early in the thirties there were engaged in the forwarding business at this point a number of business men who later became well-known lake mariners. In the earlier days of navigation Huron was a general stopping place for the large carriers of the lakes, but that custom does not, to any great extent, obtain at the present date, the railroads having deflected the passenger and freight traffic
In 1828, and subsequent thereto, Huron was noted as an important ship building point and many fine vessels were turned out. Among the earliest vessels constructed at Huron were the steamer Thomas Sheldon, built by Capt. F. Church, followed soon after by the United States, and the Columbus, built by Wickham, Walker & Co., in 1836; the same year Capt. William Squire built the DeWitt Clinton and Little Erie. In 1837 the Cleveland and in 1838 the Great Western, the latter the first upper cabin steamer on the lakes, were built.
In order to show the profits on handling freights in the early days, the following instance may be cited: In 1836 Wickham, Walker & Co., the senior member of which firm was John W. Wickham, built the steamer Columbus, at a cost of $37,000. The vessel more than paid the expenses of her cost the first season, leaving the boat, as good as new, a net gain. Capt. F. D. Ketcham built quite a number of vessels and steamers at Huron, as did also Capt. John F. Squier, the latter constructing about thirty. In 1874 the steamer Ohio, the first four-masted boat on the lakes, was built by Ryan & Johnson, and in 1883 the steamer Sakie Shepherd was launched by her owner, R. Shepherd. These, with Valentine Fries' fleet, the Wm. Edwards, Golden Age, Charles W. Foster, and Marvin W. Paige, built in the seventies, closed the shipbuilding industry in Huron.
In 1839 the Milan canal, connecting that town with the lakes, was completed, thus inflicting a severe blow on Huron, and dividing the great wheat industry usually done at the latter port. Sandusky also soon began to outstrip her competitors, and this continued until the building of railroads from Sandusky to the southern portion of the State, rendering the canal useless, the railroads rapidly pushing Sandusky into prominence.
During these years the fishing industry at Huron assumed respectable proportions, various firms investing in the business to the amount of many thousands of dollars, and hundreds of tons of fish were caught annually and shipped to foreign cities, New York City being the principal market. An army of men and many tugs and boats were in demand.
In 1882 the Wheeling & Lake Erie railway entered Huron by a branch from Nor-walk, and a slip 1,000 feet in length was built by that road and the Huron corpora-ation jointly to be used by vessels loading or discharging cargoes. This road enters the prolific coal fields of Ohio, and places Huron well to the front as a port of shipment of coal.
Some five or six years ago the docks passed into the hands of a corporation known as the Huron Dock Company, the incorporators being men of large vessel interests, who have equipped the plant with four hoists at an expense of $50,000, and seven derricks, costing $20,000 additional.
In 1826 the mouth of Huron river was closed by a sand bar, and a plan of improvement was adopted with the view of confining the currents by two parallel piers which should extend into the lake 140 feet apart. From time to time, as the necessities of the case required, the plan was modified until 1890. By this time twenty-two appropriations had been made and expended on this harbor, amounting in the aggregate to $123,273. The piers had been extended to a depth of 14 feet in the lake, and the channel had a depth of 15 feet. Appropriations were then made for this improvement as follows; September 19, 1890, $16,000; July 13, 1892, $15,000; August 17, 1894, $10,000, and June 3, 1896, $8,000, a total of $49,000. Total expenditures to June 30, 1898, were $172,261.
The east pier was extended 80 feet and the west pier 160 feet, the total length of the former pier under the latest project being required to be 720 feet, and of the east one 760 feet, and the channel had been dredged to a full depth of 16 feet. Receipts of freight by lake at Huron in 1896 were 262,796 tons, mainly iron ore, shipments 255,971 tons, consisting entirely of coal. In 1896, 198 vessels, of 182,121 tons, entered, and 203 vessels, of 168,191 tons, departed. In 1897 freight receipts were 233,482 tons, including 228,182 tons of iron ore; shipments consisted of 211,543 tons of coal.
Sandusky harbor. -- The city of Sandusky has a brilliant past. Its magnificent harbor is measured by miles in every direction, and its encircling shores insure security to craft of all sizes and descriptions.
The history of Sandusky as a port dates back to 1805, when by Act of Congress Sandusky bay was declared to be a port of entry, and was included within the customs district of Miami. Seven years later, in the year 1812, the customs district of Sandusky was created, with the seat thereof located at Danbury, across the bay from the present city. In 1821, the collector's office was removed to Sandusky, where it has since remained.
The glory of Sandusky harbor culminated during the '40s, when the city, then the northern terminus of the only north and south railway reaching the lakes, was also the terminus of the "floating palaces," plying between Buffalo and Sandusky and carrying all the travel to the southwest. The importance of this traffic is a tradition among the older navigators of the lakes.
For many years it has been an important entrepot for iron ore, thousands of tons of which pass over its docks each season, bound inland for the furnaces of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, while the vessels which bring this ore to the docks are laden in return with coal, which is brought north to the lake over the Baltimore & Ohio, the Big Four, and the Columbus, Sandusky & Hocking Valley railroads for the upper lake ports.
While the draught of vessels on the lakes did not yet exceed ten feet, this harbor compared in importance with the harbor of any city; but as the vessels improved in size the shoalness of the water precluded the entrance of the great freighters until recent years, or until the government improvements, referred to below, were made, and which are a source of gratification to all persons interested in shipping and commerce to and from this port.
While Sandusky is out of the way of through traffic of the larger class of freighters, a large commerce is carried on in the more important commodities, and fast and elegant pleasure and passenger steamers ply regularly semi-weekly between this port and Detroit and Cleveland.
The harbor of Sandusky is in the lower part of Sandusky bay. The bay is formed in two parts, partially separated by points on opposite sides, and by the railroad bridge and embankments which cross the bay at the narrowest place. The waters of both upper and lower bays are shallow, being in general but 8 to 12 feet deep. The lower bay is separated from the lake by points of land a little more than 1 ½ miles apart; a sandy bar with 4 to 6 feet depth of water extends between the points, except over a small distance near Cedar point, where a concentration of the waters which ebb and flow as the surface level is varied has maintained a deep channel about one mile in length. The deep channel is separated from the lake by the "Outer bar," and from the city front by the shallow water of the bay.
Previous to 1888 the improvements consisted mainly of dredging in the natural channels of greatest depth, but it was then considered better to make a straight channel 17 feet deep and 200 feet wide inside of Cedar Point to east side of city front. When the channels were completed the other channels were 13 to 15 feet deep and 30 to 90 feet wide.
The present plan of improvement contemplates a permanent channel of 18 feet or more depth and not less than 400 feet wide over the outer bar, the channel to be partly formed and wholly maintained by scour of the currents which will be directed by a jetty of stone and brush from Cedar Point and a dike on the opposite side. Channels on inside to and along city front to be made 200 feet wide and 17 feet deep by dredging.
The River-and-Harbor Act of June 3, 1896, required "a survey to be made of the bar at the mouth of the harbor and the cost of improvement to be estimated, with a view to securing and maintaining a permanent channel of sufficient depth next to Cedar Point." Total appropriations to June 30, 1898, were $476,792, and total expenditures $476,435.
The city of Sandusky is a thriving place, and is exceptionally well situated for shipments by water from the coal fields of Ohio. The commerce of the place has been increasing both in freight and registered tonnage, and its great increase in tonnage during the last few years has been made possible only by the improvements which have been made under the appropriation of August 17, 1894. Besides the freight steamers which carry about 800,000 tons of freight to and from this port in a year, these are several passenger steamers.
The total freight tonnage of 1894 was 600,454; 1895, 761,208; 1896, 1,383,455; 1897, 991,974.Receipts in 1896 were 967,245 tons, of which 637,017 tons were iron ore; shipments were 416,610 tons, of which 379,487 tons were coal; receipts in 1897 were 577,889 tons, of which 91,486 tons were iron ore; shipments in 1897 were 414,085 tons, of which 367,951 tons were coal. Vessels arriving in 1896 were 3,248, with a tonnage of 530,866; departing 3,213, tonnage 515,466; vessels arriving in 1897, 4,191, tonnage 706,475; departing 4,176, tonnage 704,736.
Port Clinton. -- -The harbor of Port Clinton is not a commercial port, though there are many tugs and other small vessels, mostly engaged in fishing, which frequently visit the place. A passenger steamer also runs regularly between Port Clinton and Put-in-Bay, during the season.
Improvements in this harbor were not commenced before 1867. In that year an examination was made with a view to its improvement. The channel was narrow and crooked, with a depth of not to exceed five feet over the bar.
In 1872 and 1873 the improvement was commenced by dredging a channel eight feet deep through the bar, and constructing a fence to stop the sand which drifted into the channel. In 1875, after $10,000 had been expended, and when it had become apparent that the channel could not be maintained without piers, a plan was adopted to confine and direct the channel over the bar by piers on each side. In 1883 these piers had been extended as far it was thought necessary, a depth of 10 feet having been reached. The place is not exposed to heavy storms and seas, and the commerce of the port is small, so that a cheap class of work was thought sufficient, the estimated cost of this work being $90,000.
The entire length of these two piers is about 4,000 feet. The east pier has, at its outer end, a pierhead about 12 feet square of piling, with timber superstructure filled with stone. A similar construction occurs at two other places between the outer end and the shore; otherwise the east pier is simply a row of oak pilings driven in the bottom and secured with walling pieces which support a sheet piling.
About 720 feet of the west pier at the outer end is a substructure of piles, with a superstructure of crib work 14 feet wide, filled with stone. Inside of this end this pier is similar to the east pier, with small riprap protection.
Total appropriations from July 10, 1872, to June 30, 1897, were $88,000, and expenditures $80,285. Receipts from outside the district in 1895 were 4,165 tons; 1896, 3,275 tons, mostly lumber. In 1896, 29 vessels entered with a tonnage of 2,245; in 1897, 36 with a tonnage of 2,570. Receipts in 1897 were 5,457 tons; shipments 769 tons. The total freight tonnage in 1897 was 6,226 against 3,257 in 1896.
Toledo. -- It was but natural that the pioneers of the northwestern counties of Ohio, guided in their choice by the small size of the vessels then in use, and the military importance of Fort Miami, should have decided that the future metropolis of Ohio should be near the site upon which Perrysburg was built, and that its sister village of Maumee should be the Brooklyn of the future Gotham. This would have placed the port about six miles up the river from where Toledo now stands. Perrysburg advanced rapidly for several years.
The turning point came with the completion of the Miami and Erie canal, which instead of finding its terminus at Maumee, was continued down the river until its waters were emptied almost into the bay itself. Here a town sprang up bearing the name of Manhattan. Good docks and great warehouses were rapidly built. To off-set the shallowness of the bays the warehouses were built upon piling, and extended almost to the center of the river, so that the deepest laden boats could enter the river and touch at the warehouses without literage.
This changed the base of operations by a distance of nearly nine miles, and resulted in a bitter war between Perrysburg and Manhattan. Influences were at work to again change the terminus of the canal, and abandoning several miles of its old bed, it found a new outlet with its last lock upon Swan creek, near the point where it enters the Maumee river. In the absence of railroads, the canal was the great feeder for lake business, and in what was then the newly-founded town of Toledo.
The commodities mostly dealt in by Toledo shippers are grain, coal and lumber. The four largest coal docks are controlled by the Hocking Valley, the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton, the Ohio Central, and the Wheeling & Lake Erie railroads, and the coal is handled directly by the coal companies in connection with the railroads and boats.
The Wabash and Clover Leaf lines of steamboats, the former now known as the Lake Erie Transportation Company, are important factors in the commercial growth of Toledo. The boats of these lines ply regularly to this port, and transport vast quantities of merchandise of all descriptions.
The channels through Maumee bay previous to 1866 were very indirect, and in shoalest places the depth did not exceed 8 ½ feet at mean lake level. A project for deepening the channel by dredging was adopted in 1866, pursuant to the requirements of the River-and-Harbor Act of June 23, 1866. The original project was to secure a depth of 12 feet. The plan was amended from time to time until the old channel had been dredged to a depth of 16 feet. In 1892 the midchannel depth in old channel was but 15 ½ feet, since which time it has not been surveyed.
The project was subsequently modified by increasing the width proposed for outer section of channel, about three miles in length, to 300 feet, and by including the dredging of "The Crossing" and "Lake Shore Shoals" in the Maumee river, each about 4,000 feet long, to a depth of 18 feet and width of 400 feet.
The dredging of the straight channel had been practically completed 200 feet wide before the close of the season of 1892, but a large amount of filling was subsequently found to obtain from various causes which have since been made a subject of careful observation. Dredging has been continued not only for the purpose of removing the material filled into the channel, but for increasing its depth to such extent that a shoaling might occur in places, or even throughout, without seriously interfering with navigation.
The Sundry Civil Act of June 4, 1897, required" a survey and estimate of cost of deepening and widening the straight channel in Maumee river and bay, with a view to obtaining and permanently securing a channel of uniform width of 400 feet and 20 feet deep at low water."
Appropriations have been made for old channels as follows: 1866, $20,000; 1867, $20,000; 1869, $29,700; 1870, $50,000; 1871, $50,000; 1872, $15,000; 1873, $100,000; 1874, $75,000; 1875, $75,000; 1876, $60,000; 1878, $50,000; 1879, $20,000; 1880, $30,000; 1881, $40,000; 1882, $50,000; 1884, $20,000; 1886, $9,632; 1888, $5,000; 1890, $5,000. Total for old channel, $724,332.
Appropriations have been made for straight channel as follows: 1884, $15,367; 1886, $112,500; 1888, $150,000; 1890, $200,000; 1892, $200,000; 1894, $70,000; 1896, $150,000. Total for straight channel, $897,867. Total of all appropriations for Toledo harbor, $1,622,200. Total expended to June 30, 1898, $1,611,821. Total for straight channel to June 30, 1898,
The total lake freight tonnage of Toledo in 1895 was 2,037,500; 1896, 2,154,728; 1897, 2,409,594. Receipts in 1896 were 1,049,891 tons, of which 314,000 was iron ore and 230,000 sand and gravel; shipments 1,104,837 tons, of which 706,500 tons were coal. Receipts in 1897 were 940,002, of which 417,721 consisted of ore; 98,432, sand; 149,107 lumber; 89,305 coal. Shipments in 1897 were 1,469,592 tons, including 935, 534 tons of coal; 226,030 tons of wheat, 130,118 tons of corn. Vessels entering in 1896 were 2,379, with a tonnage of 1,121,964; departing, 2,381, tonnage 1,130,430; vessels entering in 1897, 2,409, tonnage, 1,251,241; departing, 2,407, tonnage, 1,240,803.
Monroe. -- The village of Monroe was established in 1817, but before that time it had been occupied by fur traders, and was known as Frenchtown, occupying both banks of the River Raisin. Monroe became a city in 1837, but the population in 1838, including Frenchtown, was only about 1,800. At that time Monroe was struggling with its great rival, Toledo, and was in the ascendancy until the Wabash & Erie canal was completed, when Toledo gained rapidly. Monroe struggled valiantly against its fate, but in vain. A line of steamers was established in 1852 and 1853 between Buffalo and Monroe, including the Southern Michigan, the Northern Indiana and the City of Buffalo, the largest and most sumptuous steamboats on the lakes, but a little later the railroad was completed along the southern shore of Lake Erie, and the magnificent steamers could not compete with the new carriers. Situated midway between Detroit and Toledo, Monroe lost in the great race. The population of the city in 1874 was 5,782; in 1890, 5,618.
Monroe harbor is on the Raisin river about two and one-half miles above the mouth of the dredged canal, which forms the outlet into the lake. The mouth is protected by two piers, the one on the north side being a crib work built with stone, and the one on the south side being a construction of piling and crib work. In 1834 the Raisin river emptied into the lake at the southerly end of a low marshy peninsula lying between the channel and the lake. The water at the mouth of this river was very shallow, being over a bar on which the deepest soundings were but five feet. From 1835 to 1882 improvements were made, consisting in part of a canal 4,000 feet long, 100 feet wide and 10 feet deep, across the neck of the peninsula at a point one and a half miles above the mouth of the river. The total cost of construction and maintenance to June 30, 1897, was $240,534. The result has been a mid-channel depth of nine feet or more from the lake to the wharves, where the depth is eight to nine feet, with a bottom of solid rock.
The commerce of Monroe is small, because of the shallowness of the water, and also because of the location between Toledo and Detroit. It is almost entirely limited to receipts of telegraph poles, most of which are brought in rafts with tugs of light draft to tow the rafts in the river. During the warm season of summer several small steamers carry passengers to the small resorts near the mouth. The steamers land at the piers and do not generally run to the Monroe wharves.
The lighthouses in the vicinity of Port Colborne are the following: Port Colborne main lighthouse, at the Lake Erie entrance to the Welland canal, on the west pierhead. It was established in 1852 and rebuilt in 1890.
Port Dover harbor is on the north shore of Lake Erie. Work was begun here as early as 1832, and continued, as necessary, from year to year. On November 5, 1894, an agreement was entered into between the United States, the Ontario Steam Navigation Company and the Department of Public Works of the Dominion of Canada, for the performance of certain work at the entrance to the harbor of Port Dover, the company to receive a subsidy of $15,000 when the work was completed to the satisfaction of the department. The company, having expended $45,200 in dredging and constructing the works necessary to operate the lake ferry boats, a certificate was given November 5, 1896; stating that the company was entitled to receive the $15,000. Afterward the company went on improving the harbor, deepening the approach to the piers and also the space used by the ferry boats.
Port Rowan is situated on the north shore of Lake Erie, .in Long Point bay, 21 miles from the town of Simcoe. There having been appropriated the sum of $6,000 toward the construction of a landing pier here, a contract was made in 1892 for the construction of a pier 1,060 feet long, the structure to consist of a shore approach 535 feet in length, of stone and gravel, and the remaining 525 feet to consist of 12 cribs, with spans between them covered over. The work was completed in June, 1894, at a cost of $9,498.
In this vicinity there are two lighthouses, one named Long Point, or North Foreland, on the eastern extremity, established in 1843. The other lighthouse is on the west end of Long Point, on the east side of the new channel, established in 1879.
Port Burwell is situated at the mouth of Big Otter creek, 20 miles to the eastward of Port Stanley, and 37 miles west of the extremity of Long Point. In 1832 a company was chartered for the construction of a harbor at this place, and in 1837 Parliament granted ?3,000 to aid the enterprise; but notwithstanding this, in 1843 the works were in a dilapidated condition, and the channel between the piers had, to a great extent, been silted up.
In 1849 a new charter was granted authorizing the company to raise ?20,000 for the purpose of reconstructing the harbor, and from that time on for several years a large amount of money was expended in extending the piers and deepening the channel between them. For a few years immediately prior to 1870 important improvements were made. Originally the entrance to the harbor was formed by two piers placed 175 feet apart, each pier having a direction nearly due south; but about 1869 the west pier was extended, so that it was fully 730 feet long, and the east pier was made 419 feet long.
Port Stanley. -- A survey of the north shore of Lake Erie was made by Patrick McNiff, who, in his report made to Patrick Murray, commandant at Detroit, and dated June 16, 1790, said: "From Point aux Pins to the portage at Long Point, no possibility of making any settlement to front on this lake, being all the way a yellow and white sand bank from 50 to 100 feet high, covered with chestnut and scrubby oak, and no harbors where even light boats may enter except River Tonty and River a la Barbue (Kettle and Catfish creeks). In consequence of this unfavorable report, townships were directed to be laid out on the Thames river, instead of the lake shore.
Col. Thomas Talbot, in 1803, settled at Port Talbot some ten miles west of Port Stanley. At that time the nearest settlement on Lake Erie was at Turkey Point, 60 miles distant. During the war of 1812 the settlement was visited by Americans or their sympathizers, and considerable property destroyed. Colonel Talbot controlled, under a grant, most of the land lying along the north shores of Lake Erie. Port Stanley was named after Lord Stanley, afterward Earl Derby. Lord Stanley was visiting Colonel Talbot about the time the place was named.
Port Stanley harbor is at the mouth of Kettle creek on the north shore of Lake Erie about 85 miles from the entrance to the Welland canal and Port Colborne. It is the terminus of the London & Port Stanley railway, by which road the distance to London, Ontario, is 24 miles. In the early day it was believed that the mouth of this stream possessed facilities for the construction of a harbor that would accommodate the trade of an extensive agricultural region lying to the north, of which region the flourishing city of London now forms the center.
In 1827 an Act was passed by the Parliament of Upper Canada, appointing commissioners to construct a harbor, and authorizing the expenditure of ?3,000 for the erection of the necessary piers. This sum was supplemented by further grants before the union of the provinces. When the union was formed, the control of the harbor was transferred to the then newly-estab-lished Board of Works, which made extensive improvements. The total sum expended up to Confederation was $230,531. In 1853 the trade of the place had so much increased that it ranked as one of the most important ports in Western Canada. In 1856 railroad communication was established between Port Stanley and London with the view of benefiting the trade of this port; but the hopes of the projectors were not fully realized, as it was shortly afterward found that the bulk of the commerce was carried by the Grand Trunk railway, and the Port Stanley line acted for years at least as an outlet for the overflow of the traffic of the main trunk line.
By an Order-in-Council, dated September 1, 1859, the control of this harbor was transferred to the London & Port Stanley Railway Company, on condition that the tolls collected should be applied to the maintenance of the works. For several miles before entering the lake the creek here has a tortuous course through a deep, clay valley, is subject to heavy spring freshets, which bring down a large amount of detritus and frequently cause considerable damage. The entrance to the harbor is formed by two lines of piers that have a direction nearly south, and are from 82 feet apart at the inner end to 86 feet apart at the outer end. In 1870 the western pier was 1,456 feet long while the eastern pier was 1,150 feet long. The narrow space between the piers, together with the bar at the entrance, rendered it difficult for a vessel to enter the harbor during stormy weather; but when once inside the basin she was perfectly safe. This inner basin was 850 feet long by 280 feet wide, and thus contained nearly five and a half acres, a small portion of which was from 7 to 11 feet deep, but the greater portion was only from one to five feet deep. Much work has since been done.
The lighthouses here are the following: Port Stanley lighthouse, on the west pierhead, established in 1844 and rebuilt in 1882, the light being visible from all points eastward, and the Port Bruce or Catfish Creek lighthouse, established in 1876.
Morpeth harbor, on the northern shore of Lake Erie, is 10 miles east of Rondeau. In 1883 there was voted $4,000 toward location of the pier 500 feet long, the water to be 12 feet deep at the outer end. At the session of 1884 there was voted the further sum of $12,000 toward continuing the pier.
Rondeau harbor is 42 miles northeast from Point Pelee, and 92 miles west by south from the lighthouse at Long Point. Its eastern side is formed by a low, sandy ridge running along it fully 7 miles in a direction nearly due south from the mainland, and terminating in an angular point covered with a growth of pine trees. Hence its name, "Point aux Pins." From this point the ridge has a westerly course for 2 ½ miles, when it becomes a flat, low ridge, but little above the water surface, and continues in that direction until it unites with the main shore at a point 7 miles distant from the Point. Within the triangular space thus bounded lies what is called the "Rondeau," a sheet of water 6 miles long, with a width of from one to two miles, and containing an area of about 6,000 acres of open water. The average depth of the water in the "Eau" was at first from 7 to 9 feet, the bottom being generally soft, thick mud, into which a pole could be thrust from 4 to 6 feet.
Attention was early drawn to this point as being favorable for a harbor, and in 1843-44 certain works were projected and carried out, which it was thought would be likely to effect the object. There were three openings through the low portion of the ridge, the eastern and deepest one being 2,170 feet wide. Nearly in the center of this opening were placed the entrance piers, parallel with each other and 150 feet apart, and extending to the length of about 700 feet. They had a direction nearly due south, and were flanked by breakwaters running at right angles to them, the western breakwater being 1,000 feet long, and the eastern one 800 feet long.
On March 21, 1853, a petition, addressed to the Governor-general of British North America, asked government aid in establishing a steamship line from Rondeau harbor to the city of Cleveland, which is nearly opposite this point. The petitioners stated that the leasing of the harbor in 1851 to a private company had not been attended by the great public benefits that had been expected; but that on the contrary since the transfer of the harbor to this private company the lighthouse had been a mere decoy, and several wrecks with loss of life and property had been the result. No light had been kept in the lighthouse during the entire season of 1852.
In consequence of these representations D. Brown was sent to Rondeau harbor in 1853, to examine and report upon the condition of the works there. In his report of January 1, 1854, Mr. Brown stated that the piers were two in number, running north and south, each pier being about 732 feet long. They appeared to be about as they were in the fall of 1849, and in quite good repair. The depth of water between them was about 16 ½ feet, and in the harbor it was about 9 ½ feet. The breakwater at the east pier was 833 feet long, and in good condition, and the western breakwater was about the same length, and in the opinion of Mr. Brown, far too short. The lighthouse stood as erected, but no attempt had been made to keep a light in it for two years.
December 30, 1857, a report was made to Thomas A. Bigby, Secretary of Public Works, by William Scott, C. E., in which he described the works at the harbor as being in a state of almost utter dilapidation, except that the eastern breakwater was entire and nearly as good as when built. The lighthouse had been burned down accidentally in the spring of 1857 by two fishermen who had gone into it for shelter. The tower burned to the water's edge, but there had been no light in it for six years. Mr. Scott said that Rondeau harbor had advantages unequalled by any place on Lake Erie for affording shelter to vessels in distress, and for doing a large trade, if the entrance were permanently improved and a good lighthouse erected. He made recomenda-tions for the improvement of the harbor and submitted an estimate of the cost, which was $13,500. The government had resumed possession of the works, but all that was done up to 1870 was comparatively valueless. At the village of Shrewsbury on the northwest side of the "Eau," and two and a half miles from the entrance, a wharf was built 2,000 feet long, but by 1870 it was so completely destroyed by ice that scarcely a vestige was to be seen.
At Rondeau harbor there are two range lights, one on the outer end of the east breakwater pier at the entrance to the harbor, established in 1876, and one on the east breakwater, 780 feet from front light, also established in 1876.
Kingsville harbor is on the north shore of Lake Erie, about midway between Point Pelee and the mouth of the Detroit river. In 1883 there was granted for the improvement of the harbor here the sum of $32,500 and for the construction of a harbor of refuge, which was dredged to the depth of 12 feet at low water. The harbor of refuge was completed during 1886, the total expense up to that time having been $47,609.
The two lighthouses here are located as follows: One on the outer end of the east breakwater pier, ten feet from water's edge, established in 1886; and the other, also established in 1886, on top of bank at head of east pier, 1,060 feet from front light, both lights being visible from all points seaward.
Detroit. -- Perhaps no city on the Great Lakes is so intimately associated with the history of the Great Lakes as Detroit. It is the oldest on the lakes, one of the oldest in the country. The name is the French term for strait. Indian villages flourished on its site and in its vicinity in prehistoric times. Antoine Cadillac, founder of the city, received from the French king prior to 1704 a grant of an extensive tract at Detroit and vicinity. A French fort had been built here in 1701, but was partially destroyed by the Indians two years later. It was rebuilt in 1718 and made one of the strongest in the country. Cadillac had been appointed French commandant at Michillimackinac in 1694. He returned to Quebec in 1699, and in 1701 he established the post at Detroit. He was at Detroit in 1711, but in 1713 became Governor of Louisiana. While at Detroit he induced many French families to settle along the strait. In 1709 the population was about 200, and in 1760, when surrendered by the French to the English, the population exceeded 2,000. The gallant defense of Detroit during Pontiac's conspiracy is narrated elsewhere in this volume.
During the Revolutionary war the English feared an attack on Detroit by the colonists. The Indians were rallied to the defense of the British, and Capt. Henry Hamilton was, in 1775, appointed Lieutenant-Governor at Detroit. Several expeditions against the colonists were sent out from Detroit during the war, and in one of them Governor Hamilton was captured by the colonists at Vincennes. An expedition against Detroit was planned by General Washington, but had not been undertaken when peace was declared. After August 10, 1776, and during the war, no vessels were permitted on the lakes except such as were enrolled at Detroit and armed and manned by the Crown.
A few English and Scotch settlers arrived a little later, but the post had not grown materially when surrendered to the United States in 1796. Settlers from the Eastern States began to arrive about 1805. Until about 1830 the growth of the young city was slow, but steady. In 1812 the population was stated to have been only Soo. Hull's surrender of Detroit, in that year, was a crushing blow to American supremacy on the upper lakes, retrieved only by the success of Perry on Lake Erie the following year.
Two wharves are shown on the map of Detroit for 1796. In 1819 permission was granted to H. Berthelot to build a wharf at the foot of Randolph street, and other wharves soon followed. At present good and substantial docks over five miles in length line the river along the city front. The harbor formed by the Detroit river is larger than the harbors of Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Chicago combined. There has been no need of government work, since the magnificent harbor is the work of nature.
During the period of early steamboat navigation Detroit was the principal western post for many years, and the interests of the city were chiefly marine in nature. Vessel interests have always been large. The first craft known to have been built at Detroit was the Enterprise, launched in 1769. Many sail vessels were subsequently constructed during the period of English rule. When steam navigation followed, Detroit maintained her interests. Of the thirty-seven steamers plying on the lakes in 1837, seventeen were owned in Detroit. The growing city maintained an unrivaled supremacy in lake navigation until the railroads usurped the western passenger traffic. The city now contains many prominent lake men. One of the best ship-building plants on the Great Lakes is tributary to Detroit.
No other city can boast of such a magnificent water front as Detroit possesses. Deep enough to allow vessels of the heaviest draught to its docks, the river is also wide enough, and of sufficient length to afford anchorage room for the combined navies of the world; in fact it is questionable whether there is another spot on the continent similarly favored by nature with so many advantages.
Rouge River, in Michigan, flows into the Detroit river. Originally it had a channel depth of about 10 feet or 17 feet, for a distance of about three miles from its mouth. Its improvement was commenced in 1888, under a project for securing a regular channel depth of 16 feet, with a width of 240 feet for a distance of 800 feet from its mouth, and thence with a width of 100 feet to the Wabash railway bridge, 2 2/3 miles further up. The work or improvement was completed in 1892. The appropriations made for this improvement up to June 30, 1896, amounted to $41,690. The commerce of this river is rapidly increasing with the establishment of large interests dependent upon reliable water communication. Receipts by vessels for 1896 were 120,590 tons, of which 57,030 tons consisted of lumber, and 47,500 tons logs. Shipments were 2,905 tons of lumber. Vessel receipts in 1897 were 115,987 tons, of which 51,345 tons were lumber, and 43,750 tons logs. Shipments were 9,386 tons.
Clinton River, in Michigan, is a navigable stream emptying into Anchor bay in the northwesterly part of Lake St. Clair. It had originally a channel depth of 10 feet, except at shoals over which there was but 5 or 6 feet of water, and there was a broad flat at the mouth of the river where the water was not over 3 or 4 feet deep.
In 1870-1871 a channel of 9 feet in depth, 60 feet wide and 2,700 feet long was dredged through this flat, but as it was left without works of protection it soon refilled. In 1885 a general project of improvement was adopted which provided for a through channel 8 feet deep to Mount Clemens, eight miles up stream. Up to June 30, 1897, there had been expended $67,673.
Pine River, Michigan. -- The project for the improvement of Pine river at St. Clair is for dredging the river from its mouth to Belknap's brick-yards, a distance of about 5,800 feet, to dredge the channel to a width of 100 feet with a navigable depth of 14 feet up to the "ship yard," and thence 75 feet wide and with a navigable depth of 12 feet. The estimated cost of this work is $10,560.
The lake commerce of Pine river is small. In 1896, 455 tons of limestone were received, and 2,228 tons of brick shipped. In 1897 350 tons of limestone were received, and 6,470 tons of brick and lime shipped.
Marine City. -- Situated on St. Clair river, near Lake St. Clair, is a pleasant little city devoted largely to marine interests. It was formerly known as Newport. Here Captain Samuel Ward settled about 1819, and the year following a little schooner, the St. Clair, of 30 tons, was built for Captain Ward. She was shaped like a canal boat, full ends, with rudder "out doors." In this boat Captain Ward gained his start, trading in general merchandise. The Captain made several extensive trips in this little boat, one of which was from Green Bay to New York. The schooner Grampus was built by Henry Robertson and Isaac Pomeroy soon after. About 1831 Captain Ward built the schooner Marshal Ney, of 75 tons, the first boat built in Ward's shipyard proper. About 1835 the schooner Harrison, of 100 tons, came out. She was somewhat long and narrow, and somewhat crank, but a good sailor. E. B. Ward, afterwards one of the most prominent marine men of the lakes, sailed in her as mate. In 1839 he built the hull for the steamboat Huron No. 1, but had not the means to complete it. His nephew, Eber B. Ward, took the matter in hand and developed a rare business sagacity. The Huron was placed on Lake Erie and run in opposition to a line of steamers at great profit. In 1841 the Wards bought out the steamer Champion, and two years later the steamer Detroit. In 1848 the Franklin Moore was built, and the steamer Sam Ward the same year. Shipbuilding was active in subsequent years. In 1851 four side-wheel steamers were built here, the Arctic, Ruby, Pearl and Caspian. Marine City still contains several shipyards, and has a population of 3,500. Many lake vessels are owned by residents of the village.
Belle River, Mich. -- The improvement of this river was commenced in 1880, the object being to obtain a channel 50 feet wide, 13 feet deep to the first bridge, and 12 feet deep thence to the second bridge, the prime object being to provide a winter harbor for vessels. The work was completed in 1885 according to the above project at a total cost of $14,000, and gave satisfaction until 1892, when the width and depth of channel became insufficient to accommodate the increased number and size of vessels seeking refuge during the winter months. The plan adopted in 1896 provided for a navigable depth of 15 feet. Arrivals in 1896 were 482, with a tonnage of 101,967.
Port Huron. -- In 1686 M. Du Lhut (Duluth), in command of the French post at Mackinaw, was directed to establish a fortified trading post on the straits between Lakes Huron and Erie. He accordingly erected Fort St. Joseph on the present site of Fort Gratiot. It was abandoned two years later. The place was a favorite settlement for Indians, and within the memory of those now living as many as 3,000 Indians have at one time been encamped there. During the summer of 1790 seven Frenchmen with their families settled on the spot, built shanties and dwelt amicably with the Indians. The settlement was called Desmond for a time, but more commonly Delude. Black river was then known as la Riviere Dulude. A village was platted in 1835 by the Hon. Daniel B. Harrington, and the name Port Huron given to it. Fort Gratiot had been built by the United States in 1814. It was garrisoned in 1817-18 by Maine troops, many of whom at the expiration of their enlistment located in the vicinity. About 1839 the last of the Indians left the vicinity. A village was organized in 1849, and the city government was formed in 1857. It has a population of 18,147. Port Huron is a lively manufacturing city, and is pleasantly located on ground well elevated above the river level. The current of the river is swift and is not obstructed by ice oftener, on an average, than once in ten years.
The mouth of Black River, in its natural condition, had an extensive bar and shoal in the St. Clair river adjoining it. This bar, lying close to the American side, obstructed the approach to the Port Huron docks, while the shoal, known as the "middle ground," comprised an area of nearly 50 acres, crowded the main channel into a sharp curve close to the Canadian side. The vast through commerce of the lakes was thereby exposed to the dangers attending upon passing the narrow and crooked channel with a swift current. In 1871 a project was adopted for dredging the bar and middle ground to a uniform depth of 15 feet. The work commenced in 1873 and was completed in 1878, and in 1886 a deposit of about six inches had been made, but no further work was done until 1889, when a new project was adopted for dredging to a uniform depth of 16 feet. This project was carried out and completed in 1892. It is very important that the channel at this place should be kept in the best possible condition. The entire amount of appropriations made for this improvement, including that of June 3, 1896, was $94,500.
Black river passes through the city of Port Huron, and empties into St. Clair river. In its natural condition it had a depth of about 10 feet, reduced to 8 ½ at several shoals. By the River-and-Harbor Act of September 19, 1890, an appropriation was made of $25,000 for dredging this channel to a depth of 16 feet. The total appropriations to June 3, 1896, inclusive, were $43,000.
Receipts by lake at Port Huron, in 1896, were 186,987 tons; shipments, 2,598 tons; in 1897 receipts were 96,925 tons; shipments, 1,455 tons. During 1896 628 vessels, with a tonnage of 72,950, entered and cleared; during 1897 1,612 vessels, with a tonnage of 578,489.
Amhertsburg [sic: Amherstburg] harbor is situated five miles above Lake Erie. Amhertsburg is a port of entry and a coaling station. Beginning at Mullen's new dock and continuing down the Detroit river, the Canadian Government has made cuts of 75, 130, 140, 350, 400, 550 and 800 feet in length, all of them adjoining, having a width of 25 feet, and being dredged to a depth of 18 ½ feet at the lowest stage of water in the river.
Amherstburg range lights, the front range light being on the east bank of the Detroit river, 80 feet from the edge of the water, and 2,300 feet north of Fraser's dock, established in 1889; and rear range light, 475 feet north, 1,630 east from front light, established in 1889; both these lights being maintained by the Lake Carriers Association.
Head of Bois Blanc island range, front light being 300 feet from the extreme north point, established in 1875, rebuilt in 1892; and the rear light, 450 feet from front light, established in 1875 and rebuilt in 1892.
Limekiln Crossing range, the front light being on a pier on shoal at the foot of the dredged channel, opposite Fort Maiden, above Amherstburg, established in 1886 and and rebuilt in 1891; and a rear light, on a pier 899 feet from front light, established in 1886 and rebuilt in 1891.
Fort Maiden range, the front light being on the edge of the bank of the east side of the Detroit river, about 2,000 feet east of the railway station, and abreast of the lower end of Limekiln Crossing cut, established in 1889, and a rear light, on the east side of the street, 646 feet from the front light, 108 feet above high water, established in 1889; both lights being maintained by American vessel owners.
Texas Dock range, front light on lower end of railway transfer slip, a fixed red light, reflector, lantern on a mast, with day beacon attached, and a rear light, 375 feet from front light, on the bank above Texas dock; both these lights being maintained by Duff & Gatfield, pilots, at the head of the dredged channel.
Little Bear Creek empties into the Chenal Ecarte, on the eastern side of St. Anne's island, Lake St. Clair, about 10 miles from Chatham and seven miles from Wallaceburg. At the Session of 1883 the sum of $5,000 was voted toward dredging a channel 40 feet wide and having a depth of eight feet, from the Chenal Ecarte to the highway known as the "Bear Line," a distance of about a mile. In 1884 the sum of $5,000 was voted for the construction of a pier at this place, 150 feet long. In 1885 there was voted $2,250 more.
Sydenham River has its outlet into Chenal Ecarte, which is a passage between St. Anne's island and the mainland of Lake St. Clair. The river is navigable from its mouth to Wallaceburg, above which place it divides into two branches, one north to Wilkesport, 14 miles, and the other east to Dresden, 15 miles. These branches were so obstructed as to be unnavigable until 1883, at which time $5,000 was voted toward clearing them of logs, etc., this work being steadily carried on during the year, at the close of which the east branch had been cleared to a distance of 11 miles, and the north branch to a distance of six miles, the expense up to this time was $14,869, from the time of Confederation.
In 1884 the sum of $2,500 was granted to continue the work of removing sunken logs and other obstructions from the north branch of this river. The work of sheet piling the northwest side of the turning basin at the town of Dresden was completed in 1889, and vessels were then enabled to turn without disturbing the banks.
The lights in the vicinity of the mouth of the Thames river are the following: One at the mouth of the river on the south shore, established in 1837, and a range light, 300 feet from main light, established in 1845.
In the St. Clair river there are two lights, called the Corunna range, the front light being in the village of Corunna, on ground 10 feet above the water, at the foot of Fane street, established in 1890; and a rear light, on the west side of Beresford street, 568 feet south, established in 1890, and rebuilt in 1892.
"Lake Huron is ill provided with natural harbors," writes Mr. Andrews in his report on lake commerce in 1852, "having none on the eastern shore, except that afforded by the entrance of a small river at Goderich. The western shore has only two or three safe places of shelter in heavy weather, the principal and best of which are Thunder bay and Saginaw bay, the latter of which contains several secure and commodious havens."
Sand Beach, located 60 miles above Port Huron, is a prosperous village of 1,400 inhabitants, and was first settled in 1837. Not until recent years has it made any considerable improvements. In marine circles it is best known for its harbor of refuge.
The Harbor of Refuge at Sand Beach is believed to be of as great importance to commerce as any harbor of the kind on the Great Lakes. The site was selected after careful consideration in 1872, an appropriation having been made for the purpose of establishing a harbor March 3, 1871, of $100,000, and the artificial harbor built there is the only safe refuge on that coast from the foot of the lake to Tawas bay, 115 miles above. The work of construction was commenced in 1873, and by 1885 the breakwaters were completed. The project under which this work was carried on provided for three sections of breakwater so located as to shelter a water area of some 650 acres, and for deepening this area by dredging where necessary. The sheltering breakwaters were completed in 1885 at a cost of $975,000, and since that time the expenditures have been directed to keeping them in repair, dredging and supervising the burthen of vessels entering the harbor for refuge.
The harbor comprises three separate breakwaters so located as to cover and shelter the area on the north, northeast and east sides. The northerly breakwater, called the west pier, starts in shallow water 750 feet from the shore line and extends about east-southeast for a distance of 1,503 feet. The main pier commences 300 feet eastward of the end of the west pier, extends in a southeasterly direction 4,675 feet and bears the brunt of the northeasterly gales. The south pier commences 600 feet south of the southerly end of the main pier and extends 1,956 feet on a due north and south line. This arrangement provides an entrance 300 feet wide from the north, and 600 feet wide from the east. The original estimate of the coast of this work was $1,442,500. The amount of money appropriated up to and including June 3, 1898, was $1,336,000, and up to June 30, 1898, the amount expended was $1,201,350. During 1877, 493 vessels were sheltered in the Sand Beach harbor of refuge; in 1880, 1,317 vessels; in 1890, 1,575 vessels; in 1896, 1,073 vessels; in 1897, 1,205 vessels.
Sebewaing River flows into the eastern part of Saginaw bay. The project for its improvement adopted by the River-and-Harbor-Act of June 3, 1896, provides for dredging the entrance channel for a distance of about 15,000 feet to a width of 100 feet and to a depth of 8 feet, at an estimated cost of $37,000. Three appropriations from 1875 to 1896 aggregate $20,000, of which $15,000 has been expended.
The Saginaw Valley was claimed 30 years ago by its inhabitants to be the largest and most valuable tract of timbered country in the world. The head of Saginaw was famed for its fur trade in early times, and its earliest white inhabitants were two Indian traders, Louis Campau and John B. Cushway. It was first settled by agricultural emigrants about 1836, and lumbering advancement began about 1850 under the enterprise of Charles Little and others. Buena Vista, afterward called East Saginaw, was incorporated in 1859, and speedily became a shipbuilding port. The salt manufactures of Saginaw have been an industry of some importance.
In early days it was difficult to navigate the Saginaw river above Bay City. The Governor Marcy was the first steamboat to enter the river. She visited the place in 1836. The sloop Mary was the first trading vessel on the river. Capt. B. F. Pierce arrived in 1839 and built the first steam tug on the river. He also built the first dock. Many sawmills were erected along the river and the lumber interest grew rapidly. The first lake vessel built at Bay City was the schooner Essex, launched in 1860. The first regular river steamer was the old Buena Vista.
West Bay City, located on the west banks of Saginaw river, four miles from its mouth, is an important shipbuilding port. The F. W. Wheeler Company owns a large plant, where, for many years, both wooden and steel vessels have been constructed. James Davidson, also located at West Bay City, is one of the largest builders of wooden hulls on the lakes. The yards of these two builders employ about 2,500 men. West Bay City has a population of about 16,500 and comprises within its boundaries the old villages of Wenona, Banks and Solzburg.
Bay City, on the opposite side of the river, is one of the most important lumber ports on the lakes, exporting, annually, large quantities of manufactured lumber. It was formerly known as Lower Saginaw.
Saginaw, situated on the Saginaw river, twelve miles above Bay City, is a populous city of 65,000 people, and was formed in 1890 by the union of Saginaw City and East Saginaw. It has large manufacturing interests, and is reached by several lines of river steamers.
Saginaw river originally had a navigable depth of about 8 feet, being limited to this depth by the bar at its mouth, and by several shoals between its mouth and the City of Saginaw. Its improvement was begun by the Government of the United States in 1867, by dredging a straight channel through the bar at the mouth to a depth of 13 feet, which channel was completed by 1869 with a width of 195 feet. In 1882 a more comprehensive scheme of improvement was reported for the entire river, its purpose being to obtain a channel 200 feet wide and 14 feet deep from Saginaw Bay to and along the front of Bay City, and thence a channel of the same width and 12 feet deep to the head of navigation. The results of the work done are a channel 14 feet deep and mainly 200 feet wide from Saginaw Bay to South Bay City, and from there up to the head of navigation a channel 12 feet deep. An examination was made in April, 1898, to ascertain the condition of the channel between Saginaw and deep water in Saginaw bay, and it was found that the available depth at many places between Saginaw and Bay City had become reduced to 10 feet, the least depth found in the channel before Bay City, being 13 feet. A large amount of dredging is therefore necessary to regain the depths required for commerce on this stream. The appropriations for improvement began in 1866, and the aggregate amount is $748,750. The entire amount expended up to June 30, 1898, was $708,420.
Receipts by vessel at Saginaw and Bay City were 995,960 tons, including 382,852 tons of logs; 278,856 tons of grain; 162,500 tons of gravel; 67,498 tons of lumber, 54,741 tons of coal. Shipments in 1897 were 354,860, including 124,000 tons of coal; 133,690 tons of lumber, and 59,285 tons of salt.
Au Sable harbor is at the mouth of Au Sable river. Before any improvement was made here the Au Sable river was 150 feet wide and 5 feet deep over the bar. Above the mouth for about a quarter of a mile there were from 7 to 10 feet of water, and above this stretch there was only about 5 or 6 feet.
The project of improvement for this harbor adopted in 1879 was to obtain a channel of not less than 10 feet in depth for a width of 100 feet from Lake Huron to the State road bridge at Au Sable. While the shipments from this port were large and important, they were made principally from private piers built into the lake entirely outside the harbor, and in 1892 Gen. O. M.. Poe, who had charge of the improvements did not feel called on to recommend appropriations for further improvement by the United States Government, for the reason that he could see no fair prospect of securing permanent improvement. At that time there had been appropriated $114,970.
Alpena, situated at the head of Thunder bay and at the mouth of Thunder Bay river, was first occupied by transient fishermen, who began to arrive in the early thirties. Jonathan Birch visited the site in 1836 for the purpose of erecting a sawmill; but the Indians discouraged the enterprise and he withdrew. The village of Fremont was surveyed on the site of Alpena in 1856. A small house was built by A. F. Fletcher in 1857. In November, 1858, a small schooner, the J. S. Minor, entered Thunder Bay river, having on board a number of prospective settlers. The first lumbering began in the winter of 1858-59. Up to that time communication between Alpena and lower lake ports had been by means of an occasional sail boat, or the upper lake steamers would land passengers on Thunder Bay island, to be conveyed to Alpena by some fisherman; but the steamer Forest Queen then began to make occasional trips to Alpena, and the little steamer Columbia soon after made regular trips to and from Bay City. The steamer Huron followed the Columbia. The population in 1860 was 290; in 1864, 674;in 1870, 2,756. In July, 1872, fire swept 15 acres of the business district, occasioning a loss of $175,000. It was quickly rebuilt, and the population in 1874 had reached 3,964. The lumbering interests expanded rapidly, and in 1890 the population numbered 12,139 souls. It is now 15,600. In 1861 the name was changed by Act of Legislature from Fremont to Alpena. A government fish hatchery is located at Alpena, and there are large fishing interests.
Alpena harbor has been the subject of improvement by the Government of the United States since 1876. All appropriations prior to that date were in the name of Thunder Bay harbor or Thunder Bay river. The original depth of water over the bar at the mouth of the river was but 7 feet; but in 1871 when the first improvement by the government was made this depth had been increased by local enterprise to 12 feet. The work of improvement by the government has resulted in increasing the channel to 13, 14 and 16 feet under successive projects, and was completed in 1893. The dredged channel has a total length of about 7,000 feet. Total appropriations from 1876 to 1897 were $51,500, of which $41,697 was expended.
The number of vessels entering and clearing at Alpena in 1893 was 940; tonnage, 247,278; in 1896, 1,040, tonnage 272,921; 1897, 1,245, tonnage 353,982. Lake receipts in 1896 were 94,067 tons, chiefly lumber and coal; shipments, 255,687 tons, mainly lumber. In 1897 receipts were 78,378; shipments, 293,161.
Cheboygan has for many years been a lumber center of considerable importance. Its first impulse toward growth was given by this interest. The name Cheboygan is said to be a corruption of the Indian word Chab-wa-e-gun, meaning a place of ore. Its population in 1870 was about 800; in 1890, 6,956.
Cheboygan harbor is at the mouth of Cheboygan river, which in its original condition had a depth of six feet. In 1870 the first survey was made. The project was to dredge a channel 200 feet wide and 14 feet deep. The first appropriation for this work was made March 3, 1871, the total reaching $160,000 June 3, 1896. To June 3, 1897, $148,254 was expended.
Receipts of lake freight in 1896 were 163,362 tons, of which 107,236 were logs and 13,000 tan bark. Shipments were 362,011, of which 330,126 were lumber, ties, poles, etc. Receipts of lake freight in 1897 were 147,259 tons; shipments; 193,077 tons.
One circumstance may be noted in regard to storms on Lake Huron. The prevailing winds are from the west, the Canadian shores of Lake Huron being peculiarly open to their influence; and as the heaviest storms are from the northwest the central portion of the east coast receives the full sweep of the sea from the Straits of Mackinac, a distance of 170 miles, and the lower part of Lake Huron is open to storms from the Bay of Saginaw, a distance of 80 miles.
The only rivers which flow into Lake Huron on its eastern side are the Saugeen and Maitland, the former of which drains an area of about 1,400 square miles, and the latter an area of about 600 square miles; but owing to the nature of the soil through which they flow, they are not overloaded with debris as they enter the lake. Some of the rivers which flow into the northern side of Lake Erie carry down into that lake more detritus than do either of those entering Lake Huron from the east. This fact is important in connection with harbor improvements on these lakes.
The Saugeen river is liable to heavy floods in the spring, that generally carry with them large masses of driftwood and great quantities of ice, which, in the earlier day, from the narrowness of the outlet, sometimes formed a dam that raised the water to an unusual height, and threatened the destruction of warehouses in the vicinity. In the spring of 1868 the water rose about 15 feet above its usual level.
At the village of Southampton the banks of the river are nearly 50 feet high, and the river from 300 to 400 feet wide, and from 1,000 feet within the piers the water varies from 3 to 7 feet; but higher up there were boulders that in times of low water became dry. At that time a pier had been carried out 600 feet parallel with the stream on the north side, and on the south side a pier had been built 350 feet long, and of a curved form, and placed diagonal to the current.
The amount expended in improving this harbor up to and including 1882 was $8,559. During 1882 700 feet of the breakwater across the mouth of the river was reconstructed, the flooring of the west breakwater was laid; 500 cubic feet of stone on the lake side of this breakwater at its junction with Chantry island were laid, and a small breakwater was constructed, 155 feet long, opposite the lighthouse, in order to protect the island at that point.
Bayfield harbor is situated at the mouth of Bayfield river, which empties into Lake Huron 12 miles south of Goderich. Immediately north of this river the clay banks are 100 feet high, and south of it they are from 60 to 70 feet. The entrance as originally constructed by the municipality were each about 620 feet long and 200 feet apart at the renewed part, and 330 feet apart at the inner end. In 1874 an appropriation was made by Parliament of $34,000 for the improvement of the harbor, the municipality of Stanley contributing $10,000. The improvements consisted of a prolongation of the northern pier, 105 feet on the outer side, with an arm of 156 feet in length turned to the southwest, and of a pier on the south side generally parallel with the main line of the opposite pier, 180 feet distant, and 553 feet in length, with a return to the coast line of 153 feet. The total amount expended here from Confederation to June 30, 1886, was $68,049.
Goderich, the county seat of the west riding of Huron county, Ontario, and "the healthiest and prettiest town in Canada," enjoys the distinction of being the only Harbor of Refuge on the east coast of Lake Huron.
Goderich was founded, about 1825, by William Dunlop and John Galt, agents for the Canada Company, and was named after Lord Goderich. Situated 130 feet above the level of the lake, with two sides falling abruptly toward the lake and the Maitland river, the location of Goderich is readily distinguished at a considerable distance by vessels passing or seeking to make the port; and many a mariner in a storm or heavy gale has welcomed the sight of its towering bluffs and bright lights, knowing that in the bay, which may be said to be crescent-shaped, no better or safer anchorage can be found along the entire coast. The river, which flows into the bay on the north side of the harbor, was originally called by the Indians "Minnesetung" (i. e. river with islands in it), which name was changed by 1830 to Red river, and still later to Maitland river, in honor of Lieut.-Governor Maitland. The spot was in early times a well-known rendezvous for white people, in search of trade and barter with the Indians. The date of the first arrival of any sailing vessel, with pretensions to the title of "schooner," is not precisely known, although it is on record that Carver had voyaged in Huron waters during the year 1768, in the schooner Gladwyn, which vessel without doubt anchored near the Minnesetung (Maitland river). And still farther back in history it is recorded that in 1618 Champlain landed at the mouth of that, then, magnificent stream.
Huge canoes were for a long time used in bringing supplies from Detroit and taking in return pelts and furs secured from the Indians, and many amusing as well as tragic tales have been told of their voyages. In 1818, for the first time, Goderich was visited by a steam packet, the Walk-in-the-Water, and some time in the twenties the British gunboat Bee touched at Goderich, when on an exploring expedition with John Galt and Dr. Dunlop,
In an excellent work on Canada recently published, entitled "In the Days of the Canada Company, 1825-1850," we read: "In 1828 the 'Castle' and some half-dozen log cabins constituted Goderich. French and half-breeds, Indians, and a few Europeans belonging to the Canada Company, made up the inhabitants. * * * Gooding's big canoe was in the harbor, and Crabb's schooner, the Mary Anne, rode at anchor there. * * * The pioneers preferred the canoe called a 'dug-out.' There were three kinds of these vessels made by the Chippewas on the Flats (at Goderich) -- the birch-bark, the dug-out and the elm canoe. * * * One famous dug-out was a pine tree 26 feet long and 3 feet 9 inches in the beam. It could easily carry nine barrels of pork, and four or five men to paddle. * * * The squaw invariably steered, and did her duty admirably. One enormous Indian canoe emerged from the fog one morning and made for the harbor, the people ashore mistaking it for a schooner. It had crossed from Saginaw Bay with 25 Indians aboard, and a load of bales of furs. There were main and top sails, with an ingenious contrivance for hoisting and lowering them instantaneously, a good precaution for stormy weather. On dark nights they fixed a bark torch in a cleft stick in the bow."
In 1827 a survey of the lake, and of the rivers running into it, was made by Captain (then Lieutenant) Bayfield, in the Gulnare surveying schooner, and his charts made from these surveys were in use upon the lakes until 1884, and are even yet considered fair authorities.
From "In the Days of the Canada Company "we again quote: "The bar formed at the entrance to the river by the action of the northwest wind caused the swamping of four schooners which attempted to cross. The Canada Company applied to the Legislature for permission to levy tolls on incoming vessels, in order to obtain interest on the expenditure necessary on the harbors. The bill was thrown out, the bar increased, and the summer of 1835 saw the Minnese-tung [the first vessel built in Goderich] laid up within, to the great cost of the company as well as the inconvenience of the settlers. Flour, in consequence, was eight or nine dollars per barrel. The company got a lease afterward of the whole harbor, and charged wharfage to those landing goods. They had the water's edge, but the river being navigable could not be made over to them. * * * The second Minnesetung made her first round trip July 20, 1834. * * * Her sailing life was short, as she was run into by a United States vessel near Fort Maiden and blown up."
To Capt. T. N. Dancey, a veteran lake mariner, since deceased, we are indebted for the following graphic account of the stranding, on the night of November 24, 1864, of two American schooners, Newhouse and Curtis Man, behind the north pier: "It was one of the worst nights of the year, fearfully cold and freezing very hard. There was a crew of twenty on the two vessels, and they came within 100 feet of the beach, the water being bold to the shore. The only way we could save the sailors was to tie lines round our waists, rush out into the surf and pick them up as they fell or were washed overboard. The vessels both filled as soon as they struck the beach, leaving thereby no place but the deck for the sailors, who were so benumbed with cold that they could help themselves but very little; and it is certain that, if they had not received assistance, there would not have been a man of them living in the morning. The coast line from Cape Hurd to Sarnia is over 150 miles, and if these two vessels had stranded one-quarter of a mile either north or south from where they did, they would not have been seen or helped, and that would have been the last of the crews of those ill-fated schooners. We were five hours in the water before we got them all rescued."
Between the years 1827-35 Goderich harbor was constructed and piers built, and the harbor has been enlarged twice since -- in 1868 and 1878 respectively. The entrance into the harbor is between two piers. On the west end of the north pier there is a red light, and on the east end there is a green light. On the south pier there is no light. The first lighthouse (a small- one) was built about 1830-31, and the present lighthouse, which stands on the "Castle " hill (now known as "Lighthouse Point"), was erected about 1847; it has a fixed white light. The next lighthouse north is at Point Clark, 22 miles distant, and the next one south is at Sarnia, 60 miles distant. The mean depth of the water in the harbor is 17 feet, fully that at the entrance. The anchorage, as already stated, both inside and outside the bar, is excellent, and well sheltered inside.
The Canadian Government has, since the above was written, concluded to put the harbor in a condition second to none upon the Great Lakes. A contract has been awarded for building a new breakwater, turning the waters of Maitland river out to the lake farther north than formerly. The government dredge Arnoldi is now cutting out the harbor basin, their contract being to make a uniform depth of 22 feet of water from the entrance and between the piers through the basin to the new elevator. When completed, the bottom of the basin will be rock, and from the harbor construction no sediment or drift can ever enter to fill any part of it. At present the largest vessels can enter with safety, and when the entire work is completed (in 1899) this will undoubtedly be the safest and deepest water harbor upon these lakes. The new elevator of the "Goderich Elevator and Transit Co." is now completed, and is ready to receive grain. It is considered one of the best yet constructed, having all the most approved modern appliances. The capacity is nearly 600,000 bushels, and the marine leg is capable of moving easily 18,000 bushels per hour.
Some correspondence is now going on with western cities with a view of working this port all winter, of which there will be no difficulty if the Straits of Mackinac can be kept open all the year round.
Names of some of the oldest lake captains belonging to Goderich: Capt. Thomas N. Dancey*; Murray McGregor; Colin Munro; John McPherson; Finlay McPherson; John Spence; David Hay*; Duncan Rowan; Angus McLeod* ; John Murray; Andrew Bogie; Donald McLeod; Neil McNeil; Henry Marleton*; Christopher Crabb*; Hugh Donnelly; Frank Tranch; Murdoch McLeod; Thomas Marks; Edward Marleton; Charles Mclntosh; Peter Campbell; Alexander Campbell*; William S. McKay*; William McKenzie; James Bogie*. [Those marked with a * are deceased.]
Port Albert harbor is located about nine miles north of Goderich, at the mouth of Nine Mile Creek. A small pier was constructed here early by the municipality, and in 1875 the department built an arm to the pier fifty feet long at a cost of $6,000. In 1881 and 1882 a row of close piling 300 feet long was driven from the eastern corner of the pier eastwardly, and the basin thus formed dredged to a depth of 10 feet. The total expenditure from Confederation up to 1884 was $11,712. Repair work and extensions have since been completed.
Kincardine harbor is situated at the mouth of the Penetangore river, about 27 miles south-southwest from the Saugeen river, and 31 miles north of Goderich. The coast here is remarkably uniform. The banks are chiefly high and bluff, but at many places they recede from the shore with a quick slope through which the streams that drain the interior have cut deep channels, with ravines as they approach the lake. The Penetangore is one of these rivers, and although it is not a large one, yet it furnishes in its winding course a rapid descent through the village power sufficient to drive several mills.
The harbor consists of an inner basin and two lines of piers 100 feet apart, which extend out from the shore, the northern pier being, in 1856, 540 feet long, and the southern one 290 feet. The cost to the government, up to Confederation, was $19,044, and in 1868 the sum of $4,500 was appropriated to aid the municipality to complete the southern pier. The municipality also expended about $23,000 in improving the harbor.
In 1869 a survey was made by which it was found that the depth of water at the entrance was from 7 to 10 feet, except for a short distance within the south pier, where it was only from 5 to 7 feet. The depth in the basin varied from 7 to 10 feet. From 1872 to 1877 the whole of the inner basin was dredged to a depth of 12 feet, and the entrance to a depth of 13 feet. Afterward dredging was continued until a depth of 14 feet was given in the basin, and 15 feet at the entrance. In November, 1881, a contract was entered into for the construction of 790 feet of pile protection work on the south side of the south pier. The work was completed in 1882. The total amount spent, from Confederation to 1884, was $90,921. A depth of 16 feet at low water, between the piers, was obtained in 1888, and the harbor was deepened to 15 feet below low water in Lake Huron.
The lights in this vicinity are the following: The main light in the town on the hillside, established in 1881. One on the north pier 1,185 feet from main light, a fixed red light, reflector, established in 1874.
Port Elgin harbor is situated 24 miles from Kincardine and four from Southampton, about five miles south of the mouth of the Saugeen river. It is formed by an indentation in the shore, the bay thus formed being about three-fourths of a mile across, and is about one-fourth of a mile deep. A wharf was constructed here in 1857. This pier was 380 feet long and extended to 13 feet of water. There was a breakwater constructed 420 feet long, at right angles to the pier, and out from it about 650 feet. During the summer of 1882 a pier 600 feet in length was commenced with the view of making a harbor of refuge. Total expenditures by the Government up to 1883 from the time of Confederation were $23,336.80. In 1888 and 1889 dredging on the bar at the entrance to the harbor was carried on to the extent of enabling vessels with a draught of 12 feet to enter. A channel 760 feet long, 75 feet wide and 13 feet deep, was opened in line with the public wharf out to deep water.
Chantry Island is a small rocky island lying one and three-quarter miles from the mouth of the Saugeen river and about three-fourths of a mile from the mainland. It is about half a mile long, and contains an area above ordinary high water of about nine and one-half acres. The island is surrounded by reefs on the north, south and west sides. In the center of this island the government in 1839 erected a lighthouse 80 feet high, which in 1870 had a lenticular apparatus of the second order, and was visible from the deck of a vessel to a distance of about eighteen miles in clear weather.
Directly east of this island and between it and the mainland there was an area of about 267 acres, and of this space there was about 140 acres in which the depth of water was from 5 to 20 feet, the bottom of which was generally covered with boulders, yet in a few places good accommodation was furnished for vessels which enabled them to ride out gales of considerable force. In 1870 Mr. Page recommended Chantry island for a harbor of refuge. A contract was signed and the work began in 1871.
In 1856 there was constructed a breakwater, 650 feet long and having a depth of 18 feet of water at its outer end. This work was raised in 1865, and prior to Confederation there had been spent here $31,910. The work carried on under the contract of 1871 consisted of a breakwater 1,600 feet long, extending in an easterly direction from the old breakwater at the northern end of the island. A breakwater 2,000 feet long on a curved line from the mainland to within 400 feet of the end of the pier taken out from the island, and a landing pier, were built, and a quantity of boulder stone was removed from a shoal adjoining the anchorage.
An octangular structure of timber, carried up 40 feet above the water line, was placed in 16 feet of water on the extreme point of the shoal, running southwest from the island, and a light placed upon it.
Inverhuron harbor is situated 23 miles from Southampton and 114 miles from Sarnia. It is about four-fifths of a mile across in a southeast direction from the north point to the opposite shore, and from this line extends inland about one-third of a mile. In 1856-57 a pier was built here about 450 feet long, the total expenditure up to Confederation being $15,125. The pier was maintained by the municipality, and some addition made to its length. In 1874-75 the old pier was thoroughly repaired, and in 1881 additional work was done. The total amount spent was $21,377.
Southampton harbor is at the mouth of the Saugeen river on Lake Huron, 143 miles from Sarnia. At the session of 1883 there was voted the sum of $10,000 toward the extension of the pier to a length of 250 feet and to a depth of 14 feet of water.
In this immediate vicinity there are three lighthouses, the first named Saugeen, situated on the breakwater on the north side of the mouth of the river, established in 1883 to guide fishing boats into Saugeen river. It is a lantern on a mast. The other two lights are in the harbor of Southampton, one being on the east end of the west breakwater, 2,799 feet from Chantry Island light, established in 1877. The other light, established the same year, is on shore south of landing pier, 6,300 feet from former light.
Other lighthouses in the vicinity of the Saugeen river are the following: The Pine Tree range, each of which is a fixed white light and a lantern on a mast. They are not under the Marine Department. Lyal Island lighthouse is on the west side of the island. It was established in 1885, and is a coast light and guide to Stokes' bay, and to small boat harbor near by. Isle of Coves lighthouse, at the north point of Cove island, at the entrance to Georgian Bay, was established in 1859.
Lion's Head is on Georgian Bay, 35 miles northeast of Wiarton. . In 1884 the extension of the pier at this place was directed. By dredging, a channel cut was made 175 feet long, 130 feet wide, to a depth of 14 feet, through a shoal behind the breakwater.
Wiarton harbor is situated on an inlet or arm of Georgian Bay, about 20 miles northwest of Owen Sound. Most of the work of improvement done here has been in recent years. In 1882 there was voted for the improvement of this harbor the sum of $35,000, the corporation of Wiarton, and the Grand Trunk, Georgian Bay and Lake Erie Railroad Company agreeing to contribute $7,500 each. On the 26th of September, 1882, a contract was entered into for the construction of a wharf, 1,040 feet long, with from 14 to 18 feet of water along its face, the contract price being $42,500. From Confederation down to 1883 there had been spent $55,232.
Colpoy's harbor is situated on the west side of Colpoy's bay, three miles north of Wiarton. In 1880 the inhabitants of the village built a pier 123 feet long, with a depth of 9 feet of water at the outer end, and in 1893 the municipality built an additional 118 feet to the pier. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, the government further extended the pier at the outer end.
Owen Sound harbor is on the Sydenham river, which flows into the head of Owen Sound, an arm of Georgian Bay. This town is the terminus of the Toronto, Grey & Bruce railway, and the center of an extensive agricultural district. The harbor here was formed by the municipality of Owen Sound prior to Confederation, and in 1856, and also in 1866, small grants were made by the government to assist in improving the channel of the Sydenham river from its mouth up to the town of Owen Sound.
In 1874-75 there was expended $10,367 in making a generally straight channel, 150 feet wide, from the wharf at the foot of Peel street, to the outer light, a distance of three-fourths of a mile. The depth of water obtained was 10 feet at low water. In 1876 and 1877 a channel was dredged from the dry dock a length of about 2,000 feet, to a point just outside the outer light. This channel had a width of 150 feet and a depth of 12 feet, and cost $6,589. In 1879 a narrow channel, 65 feet wide and 14 feet deep, was dredged. In 1882 there was voted the sum of $8,000, and in 1883 $5,000 to dredge the harbor to a depth of 16 feet. The total sum expended, from Confederation to 1884, was $74,710. Of this amount the town of Owen Sound contributed, according to agreement, $13,000, in order that there might be obtained a depth of water sufficient to accommodate the largest vessels navigating Lake Huron.
The lights on Owen Sound are the following: Griffiths Island light, on the northeast side of the island, 17 miles from the town of Owen Sound, established in 1859. Presqu' Isle light, near McKenzie's wharf, Owen Sound. Front range light, on pile work on east side of the mouth of Sydenham river, established in 1883, and removed to its present location in 1895. Rear range light, on pile work 915 feet from front light, established in 1895.
There is another light considerably farther north, called the Cabot Head light, on top of the cliff, Cabot Head, about half a mile eastward from the entrance to Wing-field basin. Surprise Shoal bell buoy, in 36 feet of water, is just north of the nine-foot patch at the west end of Surprise shoal, between Cabot Head and Cape Croker, a red iron buoy surmounted by an open frame holding bell, which is rung by the action of the waves.
Meaford harbor is on the southwest side of Georgian Bay, 18 miles from Collingwood and 20 miles from Owen Sound. Prior to Confederation there was constructed a pier 500 feet long, and having a depth of 14 feet of water at its outer end. This was built by the local authorities, aided by the government. During the years 1874 and 1875 this pier was extended 600 feet and an arm 200 feet was built in a northeasterly direction. The total harbor expenditures from Confederation to 1885 were $45,485. A channel 675 feet long, 50 feet wide and 15 feet deep was obtained in 1892.
Thornbury harbor is situated at the mouth of Beaver river, which empties into Georgian Bay, 13 miles from Collingwood. Work done there in earlier years by residents of the locality was later permitted to fall into decay. In 1881 Parliament voted $7,000 to reconstruct the pier and to dredge a basin 100 feet wide and 10 feet deep on the eastern side. The town of Thornbury also voted $7,000 to carry on the work, which was placed under contract. Up to 1884 there had been spent here $21,286. A channel has been dredged through the hard pan and stones at the harbor entrance to a depth of 13 feet. In May, 1893, the landing pier was greatly damaged by a severe storm.
In 1895 a cut was made 900 feet long, between the piers and into the harbor, leaving a depth of 15 feet for a distance of 700 feet, and 10 feet the remaining 200 feet, the width of the cutting varying from 100 feet at the entrance to 50 feet in the harbor.
Collingwood harbor is on Nottawasaga bay, which is on the southern shore of Georgian Bay, 94 miles from Toronto. It is an important town, the terminus of the Northern and Hamilton & Northwestern railways. The trade is principally in grain and lumber. The lighthouse erected here prior to Confederation was completely swept away in a storm, in 1872. The pier was also swept away by the same storm. In August, 1873, the work of reconstruction was commenced, and was completed in 1874, at a cost of $57,468, one-half of which was paid by the government, one-fourth by the Northern Railway Company, and one-fourth by the town of Collingwood.
The work consists of a breakwater and pierhead 700 feet long, and a lighthouse, all of unusual strength. The cribs recede to 19 feet six inches at water-line, the point where the slope commences, to five feet below water-line, and the angle is protected by boiler plate. The portion above water is carried up to the height of six feet, and is 12 feet and six inches on the top. The eastern end terminates in abroad pier-head, 60 feet long by 80 feet wide, on which is erected the lighthouse. The depth of water in the harbor was 11 feet, but as vessels navigating Lake Superior required deeper water, it was dredged in 1879 and following seasons to a depth of 14 feet.
In 1882, with the view of accommodating the largest vessels on the lakes, a contract was entered into for the construction of 600 feet of breakwater extending northward from the north wharf. In November, 1883, a contract was entered into for a further extension of 600 feet. The total expenditure from Confederation to this time was $139,371. In March, 1885, a contract was made for building the final length of breakwater for $101,000. At the Session of 1885 $24,000 more was voted for the breakwater extension of 600 feet.
The lighthouses in this vicinity are the Nottawasaga Island lighthouse, two miles northwest of Collingwood harbor, established in 1859. Collingwood breakwater lighthouse is on the outer end of the west breakwater pier, established in 1858. Collingwood Lighthouse, located at the turn of the dredged channel in the harbor, was established in 1884 and rebuilt in 1894.
Penetanguishene harbor is situated on the north end of the eastern peninsula of Georgian Bay, formed by the waters of the Nottawasaga bay and the Severn river. During the summer of 1880 dredging was done at the western point south of the Reformatory wharf, and to the north of the wharves at the village, to give a depth of 16 feet in the channel. In 1888 -- 89 a pile structure was constructed 850 feet long and 12 feet wide, at an average depth of 12 feet of water. Behind this structure an embankment was formed with brush, stone and earth, giving to the wharf, so completed, a width of 42 feet. In addition to this wharf a similar structure 350 feet long was built at the foot of Barrie street. This harbor is the terminus of one of the branches of the Grand Trunk railway, on Georgian Bay, and a large amount of lumber is shipped to this point for distribution. In August, 1889, the harbor improvements were completed, dredging being carried on during the year with the view of securing a greater depth of water, which is now 16 feet.
The lights in this vicinity are the following: Penetanguishene, on the outer end of Reformatory pier, established in 1876. Whisky Island light, at the entrance to Penetanguishene harbor, established in 1882. Gin Island, on the west side of Beausoleil island, established in 1875. Giant's Tomb, established in 1893. Hope Island, established in 1884. Christian Island, on Bar Point, established in 1859, and Western Islands, on Double Top rock, established in 1895. The Gin Island light is for guiding vessels into Penetanguishene and Midland harbors.
Midland harbor is at the head of Gloucester bay, an arm of Georgian Bay, Midland being the Georgian Bay terminus of the Grand Trunk railway. In 1883 $10,000 was voted toward dredging to the depth of 17 feet at low water, in front of a proposed new railroad wharf. In 1890 there was completed 2,000 feet of wharf front. A shoal of hardpan and boulders was dredged out at the entrance to the harbor, seven adjoining cuts being made, 96, 175, 225, and four, each of 300 feet in length, each cut being 24 feet wide and 17 feet deep. The dredge also made four cuts in front of Play-fair's mill, 200, 250, 325 and 400 feet long, 20 feet and 10 feet deep.
In 1896, in front of the Grand Trunk Railway wharf, a cut was made 300 feet long, and on the west side of the wharf, a cut 150 feet, each 25 feet wide and to a depth of 15 feet, at low water. Alongside the Esplanade a cut was made 300 feet long and to a depth of 14 feet. In front of Thew's mill a cut was made of 450 feet long by 40 feet wide, and to a depth of 9 feet.
Parry Sound Narrows are situated respectively seven miles and two miles south of Parry Sound, and form a portion of the channel called the North or Inner channel of Georgian Bay, usually taken during heavy weather and in autumn by steamboats plying between Midland, Penetanguishene and Parry Sound. At low water both these channels were formerly impracticable for boats drawing more than 5 feet of water, and it often happened that regardless of the weather they were obliged to take the outer channel. To obviate this difficulty the government in 1892 began the work of improving them, so that there might be a depth of 8 feet at low water in Lake Huron. This work was commenced in June, 1891, and it was found exceedingly difficult at Two Mile Narrows, the shoals consisting of the hardest kind of conglomerate granite. Hand drills were found useless, and so steam drills were procured and put to work June 30, and a channel procured 67 feet wide and 8 feet deep. A channel was also obtained at Seven Mile Narrows 50 feet wide and 7 feet 9 inches to 8 feet deep.
In Parry Sound are the following lighthouses: Snug Harbor range, one on the westernmost Walton island, established in 1894, and the other on the southern extremity of the island on the north side of the entrance to Snug harbor, 3,100 feet from the preceding. It was established in 1894.
Jones Island range consists of two lights, one on the summit of the northernmost Gordon rock, established in 1894, and the other on the southwest point of Jones island, 8,700 feet from the preceding, established in 1894.
Besides the above Parry Sound lights there are the following on Georgian Bay, in the vicinity of Parry Sound. Point Au Baril lights, two in the range; front range light is on the southern extremity of the point, close to the water. It was established in 1889. The other, or rear range light, is on the summit of the island, 4,800 feet from the preceding, and was established in 1889. Gereaux Island light is on the south side of the entrance to Byng inlet. It was established in 1870, but moved to its present location in 1885. Lone Rock Bell buoy is 300 feet from the rock, Wabuno channel. It was established in 1889.
Byng Inlet range lights are two in number, the front range light being close to the south side of the channel, three-fourths of a mile from Gereaux Island light. It was established in 1890. The rear range light is 1,520 feet from front light. It was established in 1890. Bustard Rocks main light is on a rocky islet two and one-half miles southwest of the entrance to French river. It was established in 1875, the building being rebuilt in 1893. Bustard Rocks Inner range light, front, is 229 feet from the preceding. It was established in 1875. Bustard Rocks Outer range light, front, on the rocks 193 feet from Bustard Rocks (main) light. It was established in 1893.
The French River lights are two in number, the first being on Lefroy island, on the west side of the mouth of the river. It was established in 1875. The other light is near the creek on the east side of the river, 4,300 feet from light in Lefroy island. and was established in 1875. Lonely Island lighthouse is on the summit of the north bluff, at the north side of the channel leading into Killarney harbor from the eastward. It is 195 feet above high water, and was established in 1870.
Killarney East, or Red Rock Point, lighthouse, is one mile east of Killarney. It was established in 1866. Killarney West, or Partridge Island, lighthouse is one mile northwest of Killarney, and was established in 1866.
Clapperton channel is obstructed by Robinson's Rock, which is situated in the main passage between Clapperton and Crocker islands, 17 miles northward from Little Current, and about a mile from Clapperton light. The rock is a red granite reef, having an area of about 600 feet, the whole of which had to be blasted and removed. Work began June 1, 1892. There is a light on the north point of Clapperton island, established in 1866.
Little Current is the channel between La Cloche and the Great Manitoulin islands, and is on the direct route from ports on Georgian Bay to Sault Ste. Marie, 140 miles from Collingwood. Owing to the existence of a rocky ledge the navigable channel was much narrowed and intricate of navigation, so much so that heavily-laden vessels were obliged to take the outside passage through Lake Huron, which in the fall of the year is very dangerous.
In May, 1881, the work of removing this rocky ledge was commenced. The rock removed was deposited between Manitoulin and Spider islands, reducing the current in the steamboat channel, the water afterward running northeast of Spider island where the water is wide and deep. The channel was, in 1893, made 200 feet wide, and an average depth of 13 feet was secured.
In the vicinity of Little Current there are two range lights -- the south light being close to shore, between docks in the village, established in 1866, and the north light, on the eastern extremity of Spider island, 1,350 feet north, three-fourths west of the south light, established in 1866.
Besides the lighthouses already mentioned as being in the North Channel, there are the following: Manitowaning lighthouse, on the hill in the village, Grand Manitoulin island, established in 1885. Strawberry Island lighthouse, on the northernmost point of the island, established in 1881. Kagawong lighthouse, at the foot of Mudge bay, 75 feet back from shore, and 100 feet west from the dock, established in 1888. Boyd Island lighthouse, on a small rock near Boyd island, 1 ¾ miles from the Spanish River Lumber Company's mill, on Aird island, established in 1885. Gore Bay lighthouse, on Janet head, established in 1879. Cape Robert lighthouse, on the northern extremity of the cape, established in 1885. Mississauga Island lighthouse, on the south end of the island, established in 1884,
Mclnnis Bank, Mudge bay, lies directly in the course of vessels taking either the inside or outside channel of Clapperton island, the shoal consisting of a nest of boulders covering a space 300 feet long and 100 feet wide. Work was commenced in 1892.
Thessalon is located on the north side of North channel, Lake Huron, in the Algoma district. On April 3, 1895, a contract was entered into for the construction of a landing pier at this place. The superstructure was to be 325 feet in length, and to have an approach of stone work 80 feet long, the whole length thus to be 405 feet.
Other lights in this vicinity are the following: Sulphur Island light, on the south end of the island, established in 1869. Bruce Mines light, on the outer end of the wharf. North Sister Rock light, east side of the channel, established in 1885. Bamford Island light, on the eastern extremity of the island, one-half a mile southwest of Wilson's channel, established in 1885. Richards Landing light, on the outer end of wharf, established in 1894. Shoal Island light, on the northern extremity of the island, and south side of the channel, established in 1885.
At Point St. Ignace, across the strait from Mackinaw City was founded a mission by Marquette in 1671, and two years later the French built a fort there. In 1714 a fort was built at "Old Mackinaw" on the south side of the straits, the post at St. Ignace having been abandoned several years earlier. The village of St. Ignace was organized in 1882. It now has a population of 1,000. A railroad transfer ferry connects Mackinaw and St. Ignace during both summer and winter.
Petoskey is one of the best known summer resorts in Michigan. It bears the name of an old Indian chief, who once held sway in that vicinity. Petoskey was incorporated as a city in 1896 and has a population of 3,700.
Petoskey harbor is situated on the southeast shore of Little Traverse bay, and its water front is wholly exposed to winds coming from the west and northwest, and when high gales with a sweep of more than 100 miles across Lake Michigan blow from that quarter it is dangerous to attempt to make a landing in that vicinity. The question of improving this condition of affairs was first provided for in the River-and-Harbor Act of July 5, 1884, which directed an examination to be made with a view of constructing a harbor of refuge there. While the conclusion arrived at was that a harbor of refuge was not needed there, yet it was necessary to provide a safe landing for vessels engaged in an extensive local commerce. Work with this object in view was commenced in 1895. The object in view was the construction of an outer and detached work so designed as to shelter the landing and if possible to furnish additional area within which vessels could take shelter on occasion. The work comprises the west breakwater, commences 220 feet from the shore in about eight feet of water, extending 600 feet and terminating in about 29 feet of water; the north breakwater commencing at a point 150 feet easterly from the outer end of the west breakwater, and extending a distance of about 500 feet.
By the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1898, the work as above described was nearly completed. The appropriations made, four in all, amounted in the aggregate to $53,000; and expenditures to June 30, 1898, were $51,731.
The total number of vessels entering and leaving this harbor during the year 1895 was 4,360, with a tonnage of 28,000; 1896, 3,156 vessels, 24,000 tons; 1897, 4,362 vessels, 91,600 tons; tons of freight received by vessel in 1896, 14,608; shipments, 7,412 tons; receipts by vessel in 1896, 13,670 tons; shipments, 15,486 tons; 1897, receipts, 15,643; shipments, 4,690 tons.
Charlevoix harbor is situated on Round lake, which originally connected with Lake Michigan by a narrow stream about one-third of a mile long and named Pine river, through which boats drawing from 2 to 3 feet of water could pass. Local enterprises aided by a land grant from the State had improved the natural conditions prevailing here to the extent of obtaining a depth of 11 feet of water and building short piers at its outlet into Lake Michigan, and an entrance had been obtained which was 6 feet deep. This was the condition of things when the Government of the United States took hold of the work in 1877 under an Act which appropriated $10,000 to the work. The project was to obtain a dredged channel 100 feet wide and 12 feet deep through Pine river to Round lake.
The total appropriations to June 30, 1898, amounted to $140, 500. The amount expended on the work up to June 30, 1898, was $127,340. The year 1894 was a remarkable one for the commerce of Charlevoix harbor, there having been 1,701 vessels enter and leave there, with a total tonnage of 338,015 tons. In 1895 the number of vessels entering and leaving was but 528, and their total tonnage was 92,387; 1896, 420 vessels, tonnage 75,265; 1897, 545 vessels, tonnage 110,474. Receipts by vessel in 1896 were 8,137 tons; shipments, 175,641 tons; receipts, in 1897, 24,011 tons; shipments, 110,225 tons.
Traverse City, situated at the head of the west arm of Grand Traverse bay, at the mouth of Boardman river, is a city of 9,000 inhabitants, and is a popular summer resort. The site was a favorite camping point for Indians, and permanent white settlers arrived in 1851. The city was incorporated in 1895.
Manistee harbor is at the mouth of Manistee river, to which local enterprise had opened an entrance for vessels drawing seven feet of water, by the construction of slab piers on each side of the mouth of the river. This was also the limit of depth that could be carried over the bars of the river until deep water was reached in Manistee lake, about one and three-quarters miles from Lake Michigan. Systematic work was commenced here by the Government of the United States in 1867, to construct two parallel piers of crib work extending about 960 feet into Lake Michigan to the 12-foot curve. In 1890 the scope of operations was extended to include dredging a channel 15 feet deep throughout the length of Manistee river, a distance of about 8,000 feet from Lake Michigan to Lake Manistee, and to extend the north and south piers respectively, to the 18- and 14-foot curve in Lake Michigan, with a view of maintaining that depth of water at the entrance to the harbor.
1867, $60,000; 1870, $20,000; 1871, $9,000; 1872, $10,000; 1873, $10,000; 1874, $10,600; 1875, $25,000; 1876, $14,000; 1878, $15,000; 1879, $10,000; 1880, $10,000; 1881, $10,000; 1882, $15,000; 1884, $10,000; 1886, $10,000; 1888, $10,000; 1890, $50,000; 1892, $50,000; 1894, $12,000; 1896, $15,000; total, $375,000.
The entire amount of money appropriated was $375,000; expended, $361,858. The number of vessels that entered and left this harbor during the year 1895 was 3,054, with a tonnage of 930,645; freight received by water, 78,761 tons; shipped, 596,846 tons; vessels arriving and clearing in 1896, 2,355; tonnage, 643,048; 1897, 2,371; tonnage, 666,000. Freight receipts in 1896, 32,800 tons; 1897, 24,542 tons; freight shipped in 1896, 495,444 tons; 1897, 551,066, of which 338,913 consisted of lumber and 196,027 of salt.
Frankfort. -- Charles Burmeister, of Frankfort, in a "Short History of Benzie County," has related how the first sail craft entered Frankfort harbor. He said: "A rather peculiar incident brought Frankfort to the notice of ' outsiders.' Mr. George W. Tifft, a wealthy vessel owner of Buffalo, sent his vessel on a trip to Chicago in the season of 1854. We cannot ascertain the name of the craft, but she was commanded by Captain Snow. The craft was caught in a terrible gale abreast of this place, and became nearly unmanageable and was drifted towards the beach. The mouth of the Betsey river was seen between the green timber growing on both sides, and knowing that his craft was fated anyway, Captain Snow ordered all sail hoisted, and headed her for the mouth of the river, taking his chances of grounding on the bar. Fortunately the water was of sufficient depth to float his craft, and she sailed safely into the river. This was the first vessel to enter Frankfort harbor. Mr. Tifft, learning of the splendid location, bought land extensively in 1859, and settlement soon after began."
Previous to 1867, when the United States Government took up the work of improving this harbor of Frankfort Lake (Lake Aux Becs Scies) the natural outlet of this lake had been slightly improved by local enterprise, and a narrow channel had been obtained with a depth of from three to four feet. The first appropriation for this improvement was made under the River-and-Harbor Act of June 23, 1866, and was $88,541. The project was to dredge a straight channel from lake to lake 750 feet south of the old outlet, and to protect it by revetments and piers 250 feet apart and extending to the 12-foot curve in Lake Michigan, the object being to establish a reliable entrance channel with a navigable depth of 12 feet. This project was afterward modified, and in 1892 work was proceeded with by which the crib work in the north pier would be 1,002 feet long, and, in the south pier, 1,250 feet long. The total number of appropriations made for this work up to and including that of June 3, 1896, was 23, and the aggregate amount appropriated was $348,659. In addition to the pier extensions made by the United States Government the Toledo & Ann Arbor Railway Company, under authority of the Secretary of War, issued January 10, 1896, added 400 feet to the south pier extension at its own expense for the protection of its translake car-ferry service.
The number of vessels entering and leaving this harbor during the year 1895 was 1,182, with a tonnage of 412,951; in 1896, 1,374 vessels, tonnage 509,277; 1897, 1,714 vessels, tonnage 706,546. During 1897 freight receipts by vessel were 25,367 tons, shipments 556,450 tons. The car ferries between Frankfort, Mich., and Kewaunee, Wis., also carried, in 1897, 16,639 freight cars, weighing 224,627 tons.
Harbor of Refuge at Portage Lake. -- The necessity for a harbor of refuge at this point had long been recognized before work was begun upon the project. The peculiar adaptability of Portage lake led to its selection for this purpose as early as 1878. The River-and-Harbor Act of June 18, of that year, directed that a survey and estimate of the cost should be made with this end in view. The conditions then existing were a dangerous coast line extending 175 miles from Grand Haven to Traverse Bay, Mich., with no intermediate harbor into which vessels could safely attempt an entrance for shelter from gales on Lake Michigan. Upon survey Portage lake was found to include nearly four square miles where the water was from four to seven fathoms deep; it was landlocked except where it was connected with Lake Michigan by an artificial ditch, in which the water was only four feet deep; but the distance between the 18-foot depths in the two lakes was only 2,000 feet. The project thereupon adopted was to dredge a channel 18 feet deep from Lake Michigan to Portage lake, and to project it by parallel piers and revetments 300 feet apart. The first appropriation for this work was made March 3, 1879, and the aggregate amount is $150,000. Expenditures to June 30, 1898, $141,223.
At the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1897, the north pier was 1,493 feet long, of which length 1,342 feet were of pile work, and 151 feet of crib work. This pier projected 560 feet into Lake Michigan. The south pier and revetment had a total length of 1,380 feet, and projected 350 feet into Lake Michigan. The harbor is very much needed for the general commerce frequenting that portion of Lake Michigan; but this can not be obtained until the harbor piers reach the 2O-foot curve in Lake Michigan, and they now end at the 10-foot curve. The work done during the past two years has simply restored the piers to the condition in which they were more than ten years ago, and unless they are now prolonged to deep water the whole expenditure of nearly $150,000 will have been useless.
Ludington was known in earlier years as Pere Marquette. Under that name it was incorporated in 1867, but became the city of Ludington in 1874. Its population in that year was 2,177. It was 8,242 in 1890, and is now about 9,000. It is the eastern terminus of the F. & P. M. car ferry line. At this place private enterprise undertook to improve the harbor by making a narrow channel seven feet deep from Lake Michigan to Pere Marquette lake, and maintained it for several years. The United States Government commenced work in 1867, with the view of enlarging the channel to a width of 200 feet and to a depth of 12 feet, and protecting it by piers projecting into Lake Michigan, at an estimated cost of $270,682.
In 1885 a project was adopted for establishing a harbor of refuge here with a depth of 18 feet and by replacing the south pier by a new one 200 feet farther south, so as to increase the width of the channel between the piers to 400 feet. But this harbor-of-refuge plan was in 1890 transformed into one which contemplated a channel 18 feet deep and 250 feet wide at the entrance without changing the existing width between piers already built. Work thereon was promptly commenced, and in 1891 500 feet was added to the north pier and 700 feet to the south pier. A depth has been maintained at from 14 ½ to 16 ½ feet.
Pentwater. -- The early industrial activity of Oceana county, Michigan, of which Pent-water is the port, consisted chiefly of lumbering. The branches of Pentwater river were used to transport millions of feet of logs to the mills, thence to be carried by lake to distant markets. The lumbering interests are passing away, but Pentwater lies in the fruit belt, and horticulture flourishes in that vicinity.
Originally there was an unnavigable connection between Lake Michigan and Pentwater lake, which was improved by local enterprise in such a way as to afford a narrow 4-foot channel. Work commenced in 1867, and the project of improvement then adopted has been followed without modification until the present time, and has aimed at increasing in the channel the depth of the water to 12 feet, and to a width of 150 feet.
The works here on June 30, 1898, were as follows: North pier, with a total length of 2,223 feet, the pier projecting 610 feet beyond the shore line; south pier, 2,115 feet, and projecting 610 feet beyond the shore line. The depth of water in the channel was 9 ½ feet.
Vessels entering and leaving the harbor during 1895 were 500, with a tonnage not reported. The year 1891 appears to have been the most prosperous for this harbor, as during that year 1,140 vessels entered and left the harbor with a total tonnage of 71,260. The freight received by vessel during 1895 was 628 tons, and the freight shipped 17,719 tons, of which 11,200 tons were lumber. In 1896 740 tons of freight were received and 16,350 tons shipped, and in 1897 1,945 tons were received and 28,820 shipped.
White Lake harbor is at the outlet of White lake into Lake Michigan. Originally there was only a narrow and crooked outlet which was improved by private enterprise so as to permit vessels drawing about 5 feet of water to enter; but the government abandoned this channel and a straight cut was dredged from lake to lake.
The first appropriation for this work was made in 1867. The aggregate amount appropriated is $289,550. The work done up to 1898 was a north pier 1,515 feet long, projecting beyond the shore line 365 feet, and a south pier of 1,854 feet, projecting 630 feet beyond the shore line.
The total number of vessels that entered and left the harbor during 1895 was 281, with a tonnage of 34,574 tons; 1896, 245, tonnage, 27,962; 1897, 247, tonnage, 33,409. Receipts by vessel in 1896 were 9,158 tons; shipments, 62,412 tons. Receipts in 1897, 84,528 tons; shipments, 81,701 tons.
Muskegon. -- In 1812 John Baptiste Recollect occupied the mouth of Bear lake as a trading post, and other trading posts soon followed in the vicinity. The land was brought into market in 1839, and a village plat was made ten years later. The first sawmill on Muskegon lake was built in 1837 by Benjamin H. Wheelock. The harbor at the mouth of Muskegon river and lake remained in its natural condition until 1863, when improvement was begun by the Muskegon Harbor Company. The water had previously ranged from 4 to 6 feet. The current of the river is so strong that the channel never freezes over. The city was incorporated in 1869. Its population in 1874 was 8,505, and in 1890, 21,141. Muskegon is an Indian word which signifies "marshy river" or "wet prairie."
Muskegon harbor is at the outlet of Muskegon Lake into Lake Michigan. Private enterprise began improvements here, and improved the natural outlet of Muskegon Lake by building revetments and slab piers extending into Lake Michigan, whereby a depth of 13 feet was obtained is the channel so protected; but entrance was obstructed by a bar, over which the best channel was originally from 6 to 7 feet in depth.
The United States Government commenced operations in 1867 with a view of remodelling the old piers and extending them to deep water beyond the bar. Afterward the piers were prolonged as became necessary by the steady lakeward progress of the bar. In that way a channel 12 feet deep was maintained between the piers, but it was only 180 feet wide, and considered dangerous.
In 1882 this difficulty was remedied by building extensions on the north pier in a line 300 feet from the south pier, and connecting the old and new lines by an oblique wing of crib work 330 feet long. In 1892 the project of improvement provided for a channel with a navigable depth of 15 feet.
Lake receipts at Muskegon in 1896 were 186,046 tons; shipments, 109,795 tons. In 1897 receipts were 245,721; shipments, 278,733- During 1897 a new car-ferry line was established between Muskegon and Milwaukee.
Grand Haven. -- The commerce of Grand Haven began in 1825, in which year Rix Robinson, agent of the American Fur Company, established a trading post at the mouth of Grand river. The first dock was built in 1835. In 1836 the Gilberts built a large scow to supply the Buffalo steamers occasionally calling for cord wood. The first vessel employed regularly in the lumber and passenger business between Grand Haven and Chicago was the schooner St. Joseph, which arrived in 1836 from Buffalo. Grand Haven was the gateway by which the early pioneers entered the country. It was incorporated in 1867. Its population in 1874 was 4,363, and in 1890, 5,260. Grand Haven was formerly known as Ottawa, an Indian name signifying "traders," and applied to the powerful tribe that once occupied northwestern Michigan. The name was changed to Grand Haven in 1863.
Grand Haven harbor is at the mouth of Grand river, which in its natural condition has a shifting channel with a depth of nine feet at its mouth. The first steps toward the improvement of this harbor were taken by the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railway Company, but systematic work was not undertaken until the United States Government took hold in 1867. The operations of the government have resulted in the establishment of a harbor that not only satisfies the necessities of an extensive local commerce, but gives to general commerce its only harbor of refuge from westerly gales on this coast south of Grand Traverse bay.
The project adopted by the United States Government had in view the protection of the entrance of the harbor by piers projecting into the lake. The outflow of Grand river has done much toward keeping this necessary depth between the piers, and it also carries sand out into the lake until its velocity is sufficiently reduced to permit this sand to be deposited in the open lake, and to form a bar in advance of the entrance.
The first appropriation for this improvement was made in 1852, and the aggregate amount appropriated to 1898 was $759,366. At this time the works here were as follows: North pier and revetment, with total length of 3,538 feet, and projecting beyond the shore line 1,512 feet; south pier and revetment, with a total length of 5,774 feet, and projecting 1,680 feet beyond the shore line. The available channel depth was 17 feet.
The year 1888 appears to have been the most prosperous one experienced by this port, there having been that year a total of 1,508 entrances and clearances, with a total tonnage of 1,405,600 tons. In 1897 1,151 vessels arrived and departed, having a tonnage of 1,018,805. In 1896 receipts were 141,972 tons; shipments, 31,197 tons. 1897, receipts, 102,550 tons; shipments, 25,063 tons.
Grand River. -- From 1881 to 1884 $50,000 was appropriated for Grand river, and expended in excavating a channel four feet deep through the shoal crossings below the city of Grand Rapids. The channels dredged have maintained themselves, but the work did not extend a sufficient distance down the river to materially improve navigation.
The existing project, adopted by Congress in the River-and-Harbor Act of June 3, 1896, provides for dredging a channel from Grand Haven to Grand Rapids with a depth of ten feet and bottom width of 100 feet. The distance by river from the piers at Grand Haven to the foot of Ganoes canal in Grand Rapids is 40 miles.
The estimated cost of this work is $670,500. An appropriation of $50,000 by the River-and-Harbor Act of June 3, 1896, is being expended in excavating a channel way with a minimum depth of five feet and bottom width of 30 feet.
Holland was first settled in 1847 by a band of religious pilgrims from Holland. The colonization was led by Rev. A. C. Van Raalte. The village was incorporated in 1867. It was visited by a disastrous fire October 8, 1871, the date of the Chicago fire. The flames originated in the adjoining timber tracts, and a fierce gale from the south drove the conflagration into the city. Three hundred and fifty-eight buildings and several vessels were burned. The loss reached $900,000, and there was scarcely any insurance. The work of rebuilding began at once, but recuperation for many years was slow. The population of Holland in 1874 was 2,469, in 1890, 6,307. It is now estimated at 7,000.
The first steps toward the improvement of Holland harbor, situated on Black lake, about five miles from the present harbor, were taken by the citizens of Holland by opening a channel having a navigable depth of about 5 feet from Black lake into lake Michigan, and by protecting this channel by piers and revetments made of brush and stone. The improvement was taken in hand by the United States Government in 1867, the structures then existing being strengthened by piles and crib work, and being extended until in 1880 the north pier and revetment had attained a length of 1,850 feet, and the south pier a length of 1,675 feet.
The condition of the work June 30, 1898 was as follows: North pier, 1,137 feet long in pile work and 713 feet of crib work, and projecting into the lake a distance beyond the shore line of 480 feet; the south pier comprised 993 feet of pile work and 698 feet of crib work, and projected beyond the shore line 705 feet.
Saugatuck is an Indian word meaning the mouth of a river. William G. Butler was the pioneer white man, settling on the site of the village in 1830. The village of Saugatuck was organized in 1868. For many years lumbering has been its chief industry, but fruit culture is succeeding it. Shipbuilding commenced here about 1837, when James McLaughlin built the Crook, a lumber vessel. Quite a number of vessels have since been constructed, among the earlier being the Octavia, and the C. C. Trowbridge, a flat-bottomed steamboat, intended for river navigation. Prior to 1846 flatboats ran from Kalamazoo to Saugatuck, but the completion of the Michigan Central road killed the business. River steamboats plied between Allegan and Saugatuck from 1858 to 1869, among them being the Mayflower, Adelaide, Helen Mar and the Aunt Betsey, the last three having been built at Allegan. The propeller Ira Chaffee was the first boat put on the Chicago line. She was followed by the steam barge G. P. Heath. The brig Milwaukee was lost off Saugatuck harbor November 17, 1842, and the crew of nine perished.
Saugatuck harbor is at the mouth of Kalamazoo river, which originally had a depth of not over five feet. Its condition was first improved by a private company which obtained a depth of seven feet of water in the channel. Its further improvement was commenced by the United States Government in 1869, from which time to the year 1882 the piers were extended and interior channel revetments constructed until they had a total length of 1,907 feet on the north and 3,863 feet on the south side, all of pile work. Since 1882 appropriations have been too small to keep these structures in repair, and they have largely gone to decay. The navigable channel which has been opened up from time to time by dredging fills up again very soon after the dredge disappears.
The port of shipment out of this harbor is the town of Saugatuck, three miles above the entrance of the Black river into Lake Michigan, and the natural difficulties in the way of making and maintaining a reliable navigation by the present line of water travel are exceedingly great. The abandonment of the present improvement is probable.
South Haven is pleasantly located at the mouth of Black river, and is a village of 2,000 inhabitants. It is a well-known summer resort, and has a daily steamship line to Chicago. There is a safe and commodious harbor for shipping.
Improvements were commenced hereby the citizens of South Haven, and they had obtained a channel into Lake Michigan of from six to seven feet in depth. The improvements were taken up by the government in 1867 on a plan that provided for increasing the channel to a width of 120 feet between piers extended far enough into Lake Michigan to obtain and hold a depth of 12 feet. The original project was subsequently modified to make the entrance width between the piers 177 feet, and to extend the navigable channel up stream to the highway bridge, about one-half a mile. The total length of piers and revetments built up to 1888 aggregated 3,145 feet, since which time no further extensions have been made.
The total appropriations made up to June 30, 1898, was $252,000. The north pier has a total length of 1,594 feet, and projects 650 feet beyond the shore line, and the south pier has a total length of 1,554 feet, and projects 470 beyond the shore line; the depth of water is about 12 feet.
St. Joseph. -- The St. Joseph river was discovered by Father Allouez about 1669. Father Marquette four years later visited and named the river the Miami. About 1775 a trader named Burnett established a post near the mouth of the St. Joseph river. In 1830 St. Joseph was first permanently settled. There was then on the brow of the hill overlooking the mouth of the river a cleared spot of ground of about one acre, formerly an Indian burying ground. Captain Hinkley in 1830 visited the mouth of the river in the sloop Savage. A gale was blowing, and the captain anchored. The sloop turned round and the heavy seas carried her over the bar stern first, as the captain cautiously paid out the cable. That was the first vessel arrival in the river.
The population is now 5,000, and the beautiful little city is one of the most popular summer resorts upon the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, especially among Chicago and Milwaukee residents, with which city St. Joseph is connected by daily lines. St. Joseph is the center of a famed fruit-growing Michigan belt, and exports a large product. In recent years about 1,000 vessels have entered annually. Freight receipts by lake in 1896 were 350,659 tons, and shipments, 274,981 tons; in 1897, receipts, 267,752, shipments, 128,017 tons. In addition to the above, car ferries in 1897 carried 39,625 freight cars, weighing 832,125 tons.
St. Joseph river is now navigated from its mouth at St. Joseph, to Berrien Springs, a distance of about 25 miles by river, though not much more than half that by. land. It is very crooked, obstructed by numerous shoals and rapids, over which the water flows in thin sheets, and with channel depth of from 2 feet to 2 ½ feet, the intervening pools being from 4 to 6 feet deep, and occasionally from 6 to 8 feet deep. The approved plan for the improvement of this river provides for the removal of sunken rocks and snags, and the maintenance of a depth of 3 feet at low water navigation over the obstructed shoals and bars.
The first appropriation was made in 1888. The entire amount appropriated has been $5.500. The river has been increased in depth of channel from its original depth of about 2 feet to a depth of 3 feet at most of the worst places. The largest boat plying on this river during 1895 was the May Graham, 95 tons, with a loaded draft of 30 inches. She carried during the year 5,860 tons of freight, and many passengers.
The outlet of St. Joseph river was originally a shifting channel with a depth fluctuating between 3 and 7 feet. The object of the government improvement undertaken was to provide a channel 16 feet deep and 270 feet wide, from Lake Michigan to the upper limits of St. Joseph harbor, and 13 feet deep from there to Benton Harbor, about one mile above, via the Benton Harbor canal.
Work was begun on the improvement about 1836, and from July 4, 1836, up to June 30, 1898, there had been appropriated for carrying it on a total amount of $493,113. The entire amount expended up to June 30, 1898, was $490,614. The result of the work done is as follows: North pier and revetment, comprising a total length of 2,013 feet, projecting 1,300 feet beyond the shore line; south pier, comprising a total length of 819 feet, and projecting 550 feet beyond the shore line. The navigable depth at the entrance is but little more than 12 feet, but after getting inside the depth it is about 13 feet up to Benton harbor. Benton Harbor canal is a long, narrow slip, wholly artificial, dredged from the upper end of St. Joseph harbor to Benton harbor, for local benefit. It is from 85 to 100 feet wide, over 4,000 feet long, and its navigability is maintained by repeated dredgings, once or twice a year, made necessary by want of revetment.
Michigan City. -- In 1831 Isaac Elston, of Crawfordsville, Ind., purchased from the government the land on which Michigan City is now located, and in October, 1832, he laid out a town. The town site was uninviting, but it was believed a good harbor could be made here for the State of Indiana. Trail creek made its way over the sands to the lake, winding around the foot of Hoosier Slide, and a bar at its mouth was so shallow that one could cross afoot without difficulty. The first settlers arrived in 1833, Jacob Furman and B. F. Bryant building the first cabin. In 1834 there was only an Indian trail between Michigan City and La Porte, and for several years the best communication with the outside world was over the waters of Lake Michigan by means of the occasional arrival and departure of a boat. Only the smallest craft could reach the wharf, and cargoes were discharged by means of lighters. This continued until the government began to make improvements. The growth was rapid between 1834 and 1836, and in the latter year it was estimated that the city numbered over 3,000 inhabitants. The government began the work of improving the harbor in 1836. From that year to 1840 valuable improvements were made. Piers were built into the lake until a depth of 18 feet was reached, and the channel was dredged so that vessels of 200 tons could enter the harbor. But through the failure of appropriations the work was not completed and fell into ruinous decay. In 1865, the citizens determining to have a good harbor, organized the Michigan Harbor Company, to which Congress ceded the old harbor. After an expenditure of over $100,000 the government again took up the work. The first cargo of wheat shipped from Michigan City was hauled through the woods in 1836 and loaded on the steamer Post Boy. It consisted of 1,500 bushels, and was shipped to Buffalo. This was the commencement of a grain trade which grew rapidly. From 1837 to 1844 grain arrived at Michigan City from points as far south as the central part of Indiana. It was not uncommon for 300 or 400 teams to arrive in one day, and the vessel movement was correspondingly large. The railroads subsequently killed the trade. The present population is about 12,000.
The mouth of Trail creek originally had a depth of from three to four feet under favorable conditions. The improvements date from 1836 and supplied an inner harbor for local commerce, and partly completed an outer harbor designed to facilitate entrance to the inner harbor and to serve as a harbor of refuge.
The inner harbor has been made by deepening the entrance to Trail creek, and protecting the channel by pier extension to deep water in Lake Michigan, and prolonging the entrance channel up the creek. The work done from 1836 to 1869 gave a good entrance channel with a depth of 12 feet at the mean stage of water in Lake Michigan.
In 1882 the project of operations was modified to provide for extending the harbor up stream by dredging as far as the local authorities or property owners might build substantial revetments of approved design. In this way the total length of inner harbor has grown to be 9,159 feet. The channel depth at the entrance was 14 feet, and above the entrance from 11 to 12 feet. The total length of piers and revetments built by the United States Government was 3,572 feet, the width of the channel way between them being 225 feet at the entrance and narrowing down to 100 feet about 500 feet above. There are turning tables 350 feet wide at suitable intervals. The total amount appropriated for the inner harbor from July 4, 1836, to June 30, 1898, was $431,763.
The outer harbor comprises an outer basin of some 40 acres, and is located to the east of the inner harbor, and an exterior detached breakwater to the westward, designed to give increased safety to vessels entering the harbor during stress of weather, and to provide sheltered outside anchorage where vessels near this portion of Lake Michigan might find refuge against all northerly gales. The structures, including the basin, comprise a pile pier 1,225 feet long, extending in a northerly direction from the shore and closing the basin on the east; a crib breakwater 30 feet wide and 1,215 feet long, and a breakwater pier 30 feet wide and 500 feet long; in all 2,940 feet. These breakwaters were all completed from 1870 to 1885.
The exterior breakwater projected in 1882 is to be 2,000 feet long, comprised in two equal arms making an interior angle with each of 135 degrees. The total amount appropriated was $841,875. The importance of this work as a harbor of refuge in this part of Lake Michigan is well recognized.
Receipts by vessel in 1896 were 121,036 tons; in 1897, 130,970 tons. Arrivals in 1896 were 437, registered tonnage, 106,543; 1897, 249, registered tonnage, 60,645. No record is kept of traffic between Michigan City and Chicago.
Chicago. -- The fame of Chicago has spread beyond the boundaries of America. Its growth has been surpassingly swift. The memories of living men go back to the time when the prosperous city that now shelters 2,000,000 human souls was the home of less than 100 people. The development of Chicago is without a parallel in history.
To account for this phenomenon there is but one explanation. Chicago is the favored child of the Great Lakes. In the struggling days of first municipal existence, sagacious men predicted for both Milwaukee and Michigan City a more flattering future than they were willing to yield to Chicago. The neighbors of the future metropolis were more comely in appearance, more decently garbed, but the matchless location of Chicago as the point of greatest distance for lake traffic towards the growing West, gave it a power that outweighed all other considerations.
The city had thrived on lake commerce, and had started well upon its future career of greatness when the railroads lent their second aid. The fact deserves prominent mention that Chicago's first locomotive, the "Pioneer," for use on the Galena & Chicago Union road, now part of the Chicago & Northwestern system, arrived at this city by boat. It was transported from Buffalo to Chicago in the brig Buffalo, and arrived in October, 1848. The railroads added to the city's growth by stretching out in various directions, and bringing to this port traffic for transportation by lake eastward or by rail eastward at rates which were made necessarily low by virtue of lake competition. The first and chief cause of the city's greatness is the Great Lakes.
In the days of the French traders and explorers Chicago was the seat of the powerful Miamis. The word Che-cau-gou was originally applied to the Illinois river, and the present Desplaines river was also known by that name. The origin of the name is in dispute. It was spelled in various ways, as Chikagu, Chikagou, and Chicaqu. One of the meanings is said to be "great" or "strong," from Ka-go something, and chi, from gitchi, great. Another explanation is that the term means skunk weed or onion, and was given to the Chicago river on account of the abundance of this bulbous plant throughout the country.
Marquette is usually mentioned by historians as the first white man to visit Chicago, crossing the portage to the Illinois river in 1674. A trading post in the eighteenth century existed for some time at the site, and in Wayne's Indian treaty of 1795 a piece of ground "six miles square at the mouth of the Chicago river, where a fort formerly stood," was ceded by the Indians to the United States. Fort Dearborn was erected there in 1803, the garrison arriving in the schooner Tracy from Detroit. The massacre of the garrison in 1812 is related elsewhere. There were then five houses in Chicago. The fort was rebuilt in 1816, and garrisoned for some years later. Fur traders had engaged in business here, and annually transported many furs by lake. Prior to 1830 there was no town at Chicago, only a few scattered buildings around Fort Dearborn. A village was platted in 1830, and the population then was less than 100. The next year Cook county was organized, and Chicago became the county seat. Black Hawk's war, in 1832, brought General Scott and his troops to Chicago, and also the cholera.
The commerce of Chicago may be said to have commenced in 1832, although schooners had occasionally touched here previously. Two steamers arrived during the Black Hawk war, and trade grew rapidly during the remainder of that decade. From the year 1832, different steamboats made occasional trips to Chicago, the Daniel Webster, Monroe, Columbus, Anthony Wayne, Bunker Hill, and others. In the year 1833, three brothers, Leonard C., Peter D. and Hiram Hugunin, sailed a yacht named the Westward Ho from Oswego to Chicago. After a voyage of nearly three months, they in August arrived outside the sandbar, went ashore, hired eight yoke of oxen, and hauled their vessel over the barricade into the river. The Westward Ho may, therefore, be considered the first lake boat belonging to private parties to fairly enter the river. The next year, when immigration to Chicago was active, the vessel interests received added impetus. Early in April a schooner arrived from St. Joseph, Mich., and two vessels cleared for that port.
The most noted of early steamers was the old Michigan, built by Oliver Newberry, of Detroit, who for many years was largely engaged in the commerce of the lakes. This was the first steamboat which entered the river below Dearborn street, arriving in June, 1834. The appearance of the first schooner as it sailed up the river to Wolfe Point was greeted with even more enthusiasm than hailed this craft. She was the Illinois, a vessel of nearly 100 tons, launched during the spring at Sacket's Harbor, N. Y., and commanded by Captain Pickering. Her topmast was covered with streamers, and her canvas was spread to invite the gentle breeze, the banks of the river were crowded with a delighted crowd, and as she reached the wharf of Newberry & Dole, where she stopped, she was greeted with loud and repeated cheers. On her passage up the river more than 200 visitors were on board. Two days after the arrival of the Illinois, came the Philip. In the fall of 1834 the Illinois made her return trip from Cleveland, bringing provisions to the settlers at Chicago and Milwaukee. The old steamer Michigan made one or more pleasure trips around Lake Michigan, and she with her veteran commander, Captain Blake, were great favorites with the traveling public. In 1834 three steamboats landed at Chicago.
The heart of the growing town was at last connected with the navigable heart of the great Northwest. Soon afterward a large class of steamers commenced making regular trips from Buffalo, touching most of the intermediate ports. Among the number was the James Madison, owned by Charles M. Reed, of Erie, and built with particular reference to the upper lake trade. Her capacity for freight and passengers was the largest upon the lake at that time. Still later, in 1837, came the steamer Illinois, owned and built by Oliver Newberry, and designed for the Chicago trade.
The work of improving Chicago harbor was commenced by the United States Government in 1833. Previous to this time Chicago river made a sharp bend southward, near the present depot of the Illinois Central railroad, and had its outlet into the lake fully half a mile from the bend, leaving between the river and the lake a long sandbar showing above water, formed by the action of the northeasterly gales. The work of improvement was inaugurated by giving the river a straight outlet by cutting through this bar, and the construction of a pier on the north bank. The direction of this pier was east by south, and its length about 1,000 feet, beginning at the shore line as formed at that time. A pier was also constructed on the south side of the river, running parallel to the pier above mentioned, through which subsequently cuts were made by the Illinois Central railroad for the purpose of forming ship basins in connection with other improvements. In 1837 the north pier was extended 400 feet, and its direction changed to about east by north. This change, however, proved unfavorable, as a sand bar soon formed in the channel south of the east end of the pier, which necessitated a return to the direction given to the first part of the pier, and in the construction the change was made gradually by building the pier in the form of a crescent, to which the old pier would be a tangent, and ending in the direction desired. This work was done in 1838-40, and in 1852 a pier head was built at the outer extremity, to be used as a lighthouse. The lighthouse, however, was constructed on piles at a point about fifty feet further north. The depth of water in the harbor at that time was about eight feet, and as the vessels were of small dimensions, this was sufficient for the largest class.
Chicago harbor is at the mouth of Chicago river, and consists of an inner and an outer harbor, the inner harbor being within the mouth of the river, and the outer harbor being a portion of Lake Michigan to the south of the entrance to Chicago river. The project for the improvement of this harbor was adopted in 1870, and since modified.
The original project contemplated: The formation of an outer harbor or basin by inclosing a portion of Lake Michigan just south of and adjoining the Chicago river, and the construction of an exterior breakwater north of the entrance to Chicago river, and about one mile distant.
The outer basin originally covered 455 acres of the area of Lake Michigan, of which 270 acres lie seaward of the dock line established by the Secretary of War September 22, 1890, and 185 acres west of this dock line. The dock line is about 1,300 feet east of the right of way of the Illinois Central railroad, and 2,000 feet distant from, and parallel to, the easterly breakwater of the basin.
At the northern end of the basin are several slips and docks now in possession of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, but title is in litigation. In view of the restricted capacity of Chicago river these outer slips and docks become more important to the commerce of the city, and the wisdom of dredging the outer basin to 20 feet depth becomes apparent. The northern part is now in use for commercial purposes, and the entire basin would be useful as a safe roadstead for large vessels if dredged.
The breakwater is 5,413 feet in length, 30 feet wide, and constructed in water varying from 18 to 32 feet in depth. All of it, except 1,200 linear feet, which is on a foundation of riprap stone, has been built upon the natural sand and clay bottom. The work was begun in 1880 and completed in 1890.
1870, $100,000; 1871, $100,000; 1872, $90,000; 1873, $90,000; 1874, $75,000; 1875, $78,000; 1876, $5,000; 1878, $75,000; 1879, $75,000; 1880, $145,000; 1881, $150,000; 1882, $200,000; 1884, $100,000; 1886, $75,000; 1888, $200,000; 1890, $100,000; 1892, $72,000; 1894, $80,000; 1896, $50,000; total appropriated $1,860,000.
The extended project of 1896 contemplated the dredging of Chicago river from its mouth to the stock yards on the south branch, and to Belmont avenue on the north branch as far as existing docks would permit, to admit the passage of vessels drawing 16 feet of water. Appropriations to June 30, 1898, amounted to $563,000 and expenditures to $112,127.
Prior to the passage of the Sundry Civil Act of July 1, 1898, no money was available to pay expenses of acquiring title to lands needed for widening the river at certain points under the adopted project; but much preliminary work has been done, viz.: Maps, plats and descriptions of all lots of land required have been made, areas computed, and forms of proposals for purchase and sale made out and printed. The general project, showing approximately the lots required and the estimated cost of the same, has been approved by the Secretary of War.
The following extract is from the report of Major W. L. Marshall, of the Corps of Engineers, U. S. A., on the use and commerce of the Chicago river: The capacity of Chicago river is insufficient to accommodate the largest sized modern vessels, which require a channel 225 feet in width, 20 feet deep, and nonobstructive bridges with spans exceeding 60 feet in width. The largest vessels that can now use Chicago river are about 325 feet in length, 45 feet beam, and 16 feet load draft.
To accommodate vessels 450 to 500 feet long, 19 feet or more draft, and 50 feet beam will require changes in many of the bridges, widening the river at many points, the removal or lowering of three tunnels, and the practical rebuilding of one-half of the docks and wharves along Chicago river. Under existing laws the larger part of this work must be performed by and at the expense of the city of Chicago or the owners of the obstructive bridges, docks and tunnels.
The commerce of the river amounts to from 10,000,000 to 11,000,000 tons per annum. Of this probably 70 per cent. originates in the form of manufactured articles in the Chicago district, or lodges permanently within the city limits and is consumed by its population or put in other forms by manufacture. The remaining third or fourth is freight simply handled at Chicago, or in transit at Chicago, such as grain, salt, coal, lumber, especially the two first named.
The lumber and coal and salt in transit at Chicago river is growing less. The western plains now in great measure get their lumber from Lake Superior ports or from the Upper Mississippi Valley. The coal trade as shown by the Sault Ste. Marie records is largely going to Duluth and Superior, and the grain, coal, and salt now handled at Chicago is appreciably going to South Chicago.
The Chicago river has been improved, docked, dredged, and bridged by the city of Chicago and by the riparian owners, as the city grew to keep pace with their requirements for commerce primarily and for sewage disposed for convenience incidentally, without aid from the Federal Government, until it has grown to be a great artificial waterway, without public landings or docks, defiled and putrescent with sewage and filth, but one of the most important waterways (measured by its commerce) on the globe. The adoption by Congress of the project for a comparatively deep waterway, 20 to 21 feet, to replace the 15-foot channel between Duluth, Chicago, and Buffalo, has been followed by such a revolution in the lake marine as to make the Chicago river, as limited by docks, by bridges, and by tunnels, utterly inadequate in capacity to accommodate the great vessels of to-day, and at once make necessary either (1) a complete remodeling of the river, (2) a new harbor at Chicago for largest vessels, or (3) a loss of commerce as far as may relate to heavy commodities "in transit" at Chicago, which require the lowest rates of transportation and, therefore, the most capacious vessels and commodious channels.
The fact that Chicago river can accommodate vessels of 16 feet draft only, and for but a small part of its length can admit vessels not exceeding 325 feet length and 42 feet beam, when large modern vessels now being rapidly added to the fleets of the Great Lakes are 432 feet in length, 48 feet beam, and designed for a draft of water of 19 to 20 feet, is disquieting and hampering to all interests at Chicago dependent upon commerce by water, and the demand for better accommodations in Chicago river is growing in intensity.
The extent to which Chicago river may be improved without undue cost in view of its commerce, and without undue sacrifices on the part of individuals, corporations, or the community, is a question that should appeal to the people of Chicago, and they should take the initiative and practically decide the matter.
Calumet River courses its way from Indiana through a portion of Illinois into the southern end of Lake Michigan. The original depth of water in this river was from 6 to 10 feet, and the project for its improvement, adopted by Congress in 1883, contemplated a channel 200 feet wide at bottom from the mouth of the river to a point one and one-half miles east of Hammond, Ind., to a depth of 16 feet below the harbor datum at ordinary low water in Lake Michigan, in order to increase the facilities for handling the commerce of this region and in this way to give relief to the overcrowded port of Chicago. This object was afterward modified so as to provide, so far as it was practicable, for a channel for 2 miles southward from the mouth of the river to be dredged to a depth of 20 feet.
It is proposed to maintain the 2O-foot channel, re-dredge the 16-foot channel from One Hundred and Sixth street to One Hundred and Eighteenth street, and to extend the channel southward under the original project.
The object of the improvement here is to provide a safe and practicable entrance to Calumet river and the port of South Chicago, by means of parallel piers 300 feet apart extending from the shore to deep water in the lake. The work was commenced in 1870, and by June 30, 1896, there had been constructed 2,020 feet of the south pier, and 3,640 feet of the north pier, which completed the project as far as authorized, giving a channel 16 feet deep, instead of one seven feet deep, as originally. A supplementary plan contemplated an outer breakwater to shelter the entrance to the Calumet river and to the Illinois Steel Company's harbor, and to form a sheltered roadstead to be dredged to a depth of 20 feet. The appropriations from 1870 to 1896 amounted to $537,400. At present there is a good channel 20 feet deep at present stage of water between the piers, but storms have somewhat filled the channel seaward of the piers with drifting sand. Vessels, however, of the largest size and draft that can use the so-called 2O-foot channel between the upper Great Lakes can freely enter and leave the harbor.
The tonnage of this harbor has increased very materially since 1894, and is now about one-third that of Chicago, the main articles of freight being iron, grain, salt and coal. Iron is nearly two-thirds of the total tonnage, and the loads of iron vessels can now carry is limited only by their capacity and by the depth of the Calumet river.
The average steam vessel trading at South Chicago is larger than at any port on the globe, the reason for which is that the trade is almost entirely in the bulky, heavy freights; the more valuable freights, merchandise, package freight, etc., as well as pleasure, passenger and excursion traffic go to Chicago river and harbor, and the smallest vessels are in sufficient number to reduce the average tonnage.
This harbor is now the finest on Lake Michigan, capable of receiving and accommodating the largest vessels yet afloat or projected on the Great Lakes, as long as the bar at its mouth may be kept dredged. The construction of an exterior breakwater, now so urgently needed, will leave but little to be desired at the present stage of development of wharfage at South Chicago.
Chicago has many establishments closely related to marine interests, prominent among which are the works of the Chicago Shipbuilding Company, located on the Calumet river at South Chicago. The lake commerce of the city is growing steadily. In 1897 the total shipments of grain by lake aggregated 168,131,000 bushels. Receipts of lumber aggregated 906,241,000 feet, and iron ore receipts were 1,820,000 tons.
There are only two ports in the world which outrank Chicago in the volume of tonnage handled, and, with only one exception, the margin of difference by which they maintain a lead is inconsiderable. These ports are London and New York. In this connection the following statistics from the United States Treasury Department, showing the details of tonnage for 1897, will furnish a forcible illustration of the high rank held by Chicago: New York, 15,333,398; London, 14,433,580; Chicago, 12,965,832; Hamburg, 12,447,706; Liverpool, 10,489,578; Cardiff, 10,478,394; Antwerp, 10,083,228.
In 1897 the lake receipts included 1,820,212 tons of iron ore and 1,301,288 tons of coal, besides a large amount of miscellaneous freight. The shipments are mainly grain, the volume of which for many years past is presented in the chapter on grain. The lake traffic of the port is steadily increasing, the decrease in the number of arrivals being much more than overcome by the larger tonnage of the vessels.
Waukegan harbor is situated near the mouth of a little stream which was and is of no importance for harbor purposes. The shore line is practically continuous. The only natural feature favorable to harbor construction is in the existence of low ground between the shore line and bluff, composed of sand or other material easily removed, by which means an artificial basin of any desired extent could be dredged.
The project adopted here in 1852 was to provide a harbor for vessels engaged in commerce with the city of Waukegan, by the construction of a breakwater parallel with the shore in 2O feet of water. One crib was placed in position, but it was carried away by a storm, and the work was then abandoned. A new project was adopted in 1880, providing for the construction of an exterior basin large enough for local trade by inclosing a portion of Lake Michigan, with pile piers, the entrance channel between the piers and the enclosed area to be dredged to a depth of 13 feet.
In 1882 the project was modified to locate the south pier 850 feet south of the shore end of the north pier, and extending the north pier easterly from its outer end as it then stood. This diminished the area of the harbor considerably, and for this reason additional room was to be obtained by dredging an interior basin in the low ground between the shore and bluff, connected by a narrow channel with the exterior basin. The piers are now completed.
Kenosha, known in its earlier years as Southport, was first settled in 1835 by John Bullen, William Bullen and E. C. Hart, who had reached Chicago in a schooner from Grand Haven, Mich., and thence journeyed by land up the shores of Lake Michigan. The year following the two Bullens purchased at Oswego the schooner Martin Van Buren, of about 100 tons burden, and dispatched her with seeds, provisions, implements, etc., to Southport, and brought home from Chicago a drove of cattle which they disposed of at great profit. The first cargo landed at Southport consisted of lumber from Sheboygan. It was thrown into the lake and floated ashore in rafts. Schooners ventured within a mile of the shore, and small craft went nearer shore. Captain Robinson, of the schooner Hiram, brought lumber in 1835, and the schooner Fly brought potatoes from Michigan the same year. In 1836 the steamer Detroit landed passengers and provisions. In 1837 the Daniel Webster touched here and arrivals then became more numerous. In October, 1837, the steamboat Detroit was wrecked off Kenosha. An outside pier was built from 1840 to 1842 by B. P. Cahoon. It was said to be the first of its kind on the lakes, and was greatly ridiculed at first. It is related that the captain of the steamboat Wisconsin, wishing to demonstrate the fragile character of the pier, made fast his best lines and started the boat. The engines caused no perceptible motion to the pier, but the lines parted. Considerable expenditures were made by the village for harbor improvements.
Kenosha harbor is at the mouth of Pike creek, which discharges into what is called "The Basin," the southerly section of an extensive bayou trending northward, and separated from Lake Michigan by a point of sand. In the basin the original depth of water was about six feet, and the original depth at the mouth of Pike creek varied from absolute closure to four feet.
The original plan of improvement, adopted in 1852, was directed to the securing of a channel 13 feet deep by constructing parallel piers. This plan was modified in 1866 to secure 16 feet of water. A further modification, in 1889, provided for the extension of the north pier 300 feet and the south pier 600 feet.
The condition of the improvements in 1898 was as follows: North pier, 1,750 feet long, projecting 800 feet beyond the shore line into the lake; south pier, 1,366 feet long projecting 1,170 feet beyond the shore line. The least distance between the piers is 150 feet.
The total number of vessels arriving at this harbor during the year 1896 was 221, with a tonnage of 38,267; in 1897, 278 vessels arrived. The exports by water in 1896 were 21,151 tons, valued at $125,000, and of imports, 50,046 tons, valued at $8,000,000. In 1897, 13,766 tons of freight, valued at $400,000, were shipped, and 70,206 tons, valued at $1,500,000, received.
Racine. -- The first permanent settlement at Racine was made in 1834, one year after the Indians by treaty ceded to the United States all the land now lying in southeastern Wisconsin. The first settler was Gilbert Knapp, a sea captain, who had for a number of years been in the government service on the Great Lakes. The settlement of the place was made by land, and the village grew slowly. The name Racine is of French derivation. It signifies root, and was applied to the Root river by the early missionaries. In 1835 the first vessel arrived with provisions from Chicago. It was a small craft, and the settlers pulled it up stern foremost on the shore, and safely landed the cargo. During the early years of settlement about three steamers touched here from Buffalo or Chicago. There was no harbor, and the shore was given a wide berth. Passengers and freight were landed by means of a scow and a large yawl-boat, called the Peacock, owned by the people of Racine. Lumber was frequently thrown overboard and allowed to drift ashore, where it was gathered up. In 1842 there were 800 inhabitants. A great event was the arrival of the propeller Racine, June 8, 1844, when a stand of colors was presented to the new vessel. Thomas Wright delivered an address, and Captain Hawkins responded in a felicitous manner. Piers were commenced here by the residents in 1842, but a large limestone rock in the middle of the stream at the entrance to the harbor was several years an annoying obstruction. The Root river is navigable for about one and one-half miles. In the early years of its history Racine was an important point for receiving emigrants, and for shipping grain and flour. Many vessels were built here, the first of which was the schooner Diamond. The first steamboat to enter the harbor was the Chesapeake, July 14, 1844. The Goodrich Transportation Company established an agency at Racine in 1862.
Racine harbor is located at the mouth of Root river, the natural depth of which was never more than 7 feet, and usually much less, a northeasterly storm closing the mouth to such an extent that scows drawing 18 inches of water could not get in or out.
The original project of improvement, adopted in 1842 or 1843, contemplated a channel 13 feet deep from Lake Michigan into Root river, between parallel piers 160 feet apart, the distance from the shore to 13 feet of water in the lake being 800 feet. In 1866 provision was made for a channel 16 feet deep, and, in 1889, for a channel of 17 feet.
The works at this harbor June 30, 1898, had reached the completion of the 1889 project. The north pier is 1,760 feet long, projecting into the lake beyond the shore line 1,150 feet; south pier, 1,470 feet long, projecting into the lake beyond the shore line 1,350 feet. The width between the piers at the entrance is 265 feet.
Milwaukee is the second port in importance on Lake Michigan, and one of the most important upon the Great Lakes. The site of the city had been occupied by an Indian village, and Father Membrau, the missionary, passed through or near Milwaukee in 1679 on his way from Mackinaw to "Chicagu." Father Pierre Marquette had also visited the place in 1674. During the French and Indian wars, or as early as 1757, there were traders at Milwaukee. The English trader stationed here in 1760 is said to have been so objectionable to the Indians, on account of the high prices he demanded, that they journeyed to Mackinaw and asked that another trader be sent to them. After the war of 1812 James Kinzie was sent to Milwaukee to represent the American Fur Company. Prior to the year 1800 a dozen or more cabins had been built by the traders, and there are evidences that in the early French days quite a village flourished here. Jean Baptiste Mirandeau, a Frenchman, settled at Milwaukee about 1790, married a Chippewa woman, and died here in 1820, leaving a large family. Solomon Jeneau became a permanent settler in 1818. The first Anglo-Saxon settlers arrived November 18, 1833. They were Albert Fowler, Quartus G. Carley, Andrew J. Lansing and Robert J. Currier, the Indian title to the land having been extinguished in September previous. Settlers came in rapidly, and the land craze of 1836 sent prices of lots to $500 or $1,000. After the panic of 1837 many of these lots were sold for a barrel of flour or a suit of clothes.
The schooner Chicago Packet, of 30 tons, anchored off Milwaukee in 1823, and received a cargo of furs. The schooner Virginia, of 130 tons, visited the river the same year, and the Aurora arrived from Green Bay. There was a demand for a harbor as early as 1835, and in 1836 a survey was made by Lieutenants Center and Rose. During that year 314 vessels are said to have arrived at Milwaukee.
The schooner Solomon Juneau, of 90 tons burden, was built at Milwaukee in the winter of 1836 by Capt. George Barber. She was lost on Lake Ontario. The sloop Wenona, of 30 tons, had been built earlier, but was used only as a lighter. The steamer James Madison arrived May 26, 1837, "with 1,000 passengers and 4,000 barrels of freight." In 1837 the steam scow Badger, of 50 tons, was built. She was wrecked the same year, and the little steamer Menomonee was built in 1838 to take her place as a harbor steamboat.
A lighthouse was built at the foot of Wisconsin street in 1838. According to J. S. Buck, writing in 1876: "There have been four changes in the mouth of the river in the last 50 years. In 1822 it debouched near the present elevated ore tracks, opposite Wolf & Davidson's ship yard; in 1836 it was at the old harbor; in 1837 it cut for itself a new channel near where the present harbor is, where it discharged all the summer, when it returned to its old mouth;" and then the present artificial mouth. A pre-historic outlet was evidently at Deer creek. At the date of settlement a narrow stream flowed from near the quarter-line of Section 33, southward for more than half a mile, reunited with the main stream, which ran to the westward and curved to the east again, forming an island of 40 acres or more. For more than half a mile a narrow strip of land only a few rods in width, separated the river from the lake. The East-siders demanded that a cut be made at the head of the island, which is practically the site of the present harbor, by which means two-thirds of a mile might be saved in the run of vessels up the river. The curved stream, filled with grass, was almost impassable from the head of the island to the outlet. Congress was slow to make the appropriations for improvements, and in 1842 an indignation meeting was held by citizens, and committees were appointed to secure local subscriptions for the harbor improvements. The imports at Milwaukee had grown from $588,950 in 1835 to $1,805,277 in 1841. Exports in 1835 were valued at $26,145, and in 1841 $286,777. The first propeller to visit Milwaukee was the Vandalia, in 1842. The first propeller built at Milwaukee was the Allegheny, in 1856. In 1843 the first pier was built by Tafts & Kendall. It was the second pier on the lake, the first having been built at Southport (Kenosha) in 1840. Finally, in 1843, an appropriation of $30,000 was made for harbor construction "at or near" Milwaukee. The harbor was made at the mouth of the river. An appropriation of $15,000 was made in 1852 to construct the "straight cut," an improvement which the city greatly desired.
Prior to 1860 the number of vessels of all classes built in Milwaukee was about 70, the largest of which were the Hans Crocker, measuring 496 tons, and the propeller Allegheny, of 593 tons. The Wolf & Davidson shipyard was started in 1858 by William H. Wolf and Theodore Lawrence. The Milwaukee Shipyard Company was organized in 1874 with a working capital of $51,000. The Milwaukee Tugboat line was incorporated in 1872 with a capital of $80,000.
The first cargo of grain was shipped from Milwaukee in 1841. The exports of wheat in 1845 were 95,510 bushels; in 1846, 213,448 bushels; in 1849, 1,148,807 bushels. Statistics of Milwaukee's grain traffic are given in another chapter.
Milwaukee harbor is at the mouth of Milwaukee river, the natural entrance of which had a channel not over 4 ½ feet deep. This river for the latter 3,000 feet of its course flowed parallel to and a short distance from the lake shore, separated from it only by low land, mostly sand drift. Inside the mouth of the river its natural depth was about 11 feet.
The first improvements made looking to the formation of a harbor here were directed to the opening of the natural mouth of the river, and extended over the period from 1836 to 1846. The principal work was done in 1845 and 1846, when the original mouth was dredged, and protection piers built on the sides of the channel to the line of 11 feet of water.
The first really valuable project for the improvement of the harbor was adopted in 1852, and was to provide for a channel 260 feet wide and 13 feet deep, by dredging across the point which overlapped the mouth of the Milwaukee river at the distance of 3,000 feet to the northward of its original outlet, and by the construction of parallel piers of crib work, each 1,120 feet long, for the protection of the sides of the channel thus formed. In 1868 this project was modified to secure a channel 19 feet deep by extending the piers 600 feet and dredging.
The first appropriation for the improvement of the original mouth of the river, made July 4, 1836, was of $400. Two other appropriations were made for this improvement, one on March 3, 1843, of $30,000, and the other on June 11, 1844, and of $20,000. The first appropriation for the straight-cut improvement was made in 1852, and to the present the appropriations have aggregated $353,425, the total amount appropriated from July 4, 1836, being $403,825.
Appropriations: 1836, $400; 1843, $30,000; 1844, $20,000; 1852, $15,000; 1853, $164; 1866, $48,283; 1869, $35,640; 1870, $40,000; 1871, $38,000; 1873, $10,000; 1874, $10,000; 1875, $25,000; 1876, $26,000; 1878, $15,000; 1879, $7,500; 1880, $10,000; 1881, $8,000; 1882, $10,000; 1886, $4,736; 1888, $10,000; 1890, $6,100; 1890, $6,000; 1892, $14,000; 1894, $7,000; 1896, $7,000. Total, $353,425.
The number of arrivals of steam and sail craft at Milwaukee in 1853 was 1,483; passengers landed at that port during the season, 25,222; tons of merchandise landed, 33,700; barrels of salt, 48,709; lumber, 15,000,000 feet; lath, 5,000,000; shingles, 9,100,000; railroad iron from England via Canada, 2,228 tons. Exports: Wheat, 1,048,064 bushels; barley, 325,866 bushels; rye, 80,375 bushels; flour, 225,000 barrels; brick, 2,367,000; pork, 6,519 barrels; beef, 2,621 barrels; departures of steam and sail vessels during the season, 1,458.
Freight received by lake in 1895 was 1,940,218 tons; 1896, 2,122,878 tons; 1897, 2,656,889 tons. Of the receipts in 1896, coal comprised 1,487,483 tons, and in 1897 1,493,528 tons. Wood, tanbark, lumber, iron and iron ore are other large imports. Freight shipped in 1895 aggregated 732,516 tons; in 1896 1,096,350 tons; in 1897 1,093,457 tons. The exports of grain and mill products exceed 80 per cent. of the whole.
The Harbor of Refuge at Milwaukee is in Milwaukee bay, which, while protected from storms from all directions except from the northeast to the southeast, was exposed to gales from these directions. And while the anchorage ground was good, vessels seeking shelter in the bay during storms were in danger of dragging their anchors or of failing to effect an anchorage at the proper place during a gale from an easterly direction.
The project for the improvement of this harbor of refuge was adopted in 1881, and contemplated the formation of an artificial harbor by inclosing that portion of Lake Michigan which formed Milwaukee bay within a breakwater of crib work on a stone foundation. This harbor thus improved furnishes a safe mooring ground of 417 acres outside the 19-foot curve in the lake, and of about double that area outside the 13-foot curve.
The first appropriation for this improvement was made in 1881, and the total appropriations have been $800,000. Work was begun in 1881, and up to June 30, 1898, there had been constructed a crib breakwater on stone foundation 4,650 feet long, and from 20 to 30 feet wide.
The Harbor of South Milwaukee is at the mouth of Oak creek. The depth of water at the mouth of this creek in its natural condition varied from 3 feet to nothing, and a depth of 21 feet was to be found in Lake Michigan at a distance of 1,350 feet.
At the present time there are two piers at this harbor, which were built by private enterprise, as follows: North pier, 600 feet long, 16 feet wide, projecting 450 feet into the lake beyond the shore line, built in 1891-1892; south pier, 300 feet long, 16 feet wide, projecting 275 feet into the lake beyond the shore line, built in 1891-1892.
For this improvement the first appropriation made by the United States Government was$5,000, made June 3,1896. Freight shipped in 1897 amounted to 16,153 tons, chiefly iron; freight received, 110,837 tons, largely coal, railroad ties, iron and steel and general merchandise.
Port Washington. -- Wooster Harrison, the first permanent settler of Washington county, Wis., and of Port Washington, had been a trader up and down the shores of Lake Michigan, and in 1835 entered the land covering the present site of Port Washington. Here he laid out a town and called it Wisconsin City. The financial crash of 1837 wiped it out, and not until 1842 was any attempt made to revive the deserted village. Port Washington lies in a beautiful little bay, and in the early steamboat days vessels touched here regularly. The passenger steamer Niagara burned four miles off Port Washington pier in August, 1856, with great loss of life, and the propeller Toledo was lost with many lives near the pier a little later. The present population is 3,500.
Port Washington harbor is at the mouth of the Sauk river, the natural channel of which at the mouth was narrow and at the shoalest point had a depth of only one foot. The volume of water discharged is inconsiderable, and the stream was entirely valueless for the formation of a harbor; but, on account of the large amount of alluvium brought down in freshets, it would be a positive detriment were it allowed to empty in the harbor. It is, therefore, shut out of the harbor by a pile revetment and an artificial bank.
The original project for the improvement of a harbor here was adopted in 1869, and provided for two parallel piers 150 feet apart, extending from the shore line to 11 feet of water in the lake, and excavating a basin 600 feet long and 200 feet wide inside the shore line. A second basin to the northward and nearly at right angles with the first, and extending the piers to the 15-foot curve in the lake has been excavated. The two interior basins have a combined area of about 5| acres and a depth of 13 feet.
The north pier is 920 feet long, projecting 830 feet beyond the shore line; south pier 1,326 feet long and projecting 725 feet beyond the shore line. The object of the improvement is practically accomplished, the depth of water in the basins being, for the most part, 13 feet.
The total number of vessels arriving at and departing from this harbor during the season of 1895 was 994, with a total tonnage of 161,950 tons; 1896, 1,847, tonnage, 125,050; 1897, 1,088, tonnage, 87,300. Lake imports in 1896 were 33,232 tons; exports, 38,196 tons. The imports of freight in 1897 were 54,185 tons; exports, 27,282 tons.
Sheboygan. -- The early history of Sheboygan was much like that of other ports on the Wisconsin shores of Lake Michigan. The land was open for settlement in 1835. The land craze of 1836 sent values enormously high. The panic of 1837 wiped out all semblance of value. There had been squatter occupation in the vicinity as early as 1818. Charles D. Cole came in 1836. There were about 20 buildings in the following year, when the financial crash came. All business stopped and the population was reduced to one family. A few years later came recuperation. For a number of years connection with the outside world was maintained only by means of boats on the lake, which occasionally touched at Sheboygan. About 1840 a lighthouse was built on Sheboygan Point, and in 1860 the present lighthouse was erected. A lighthouse was placed on the north pier of the harbor in 1873. The first pier was built in 1841 by William Farnsworth, and four years later it was extended out 800 feet. In 1847-48 Kirkland's pier south of the river was built, and in 1852 a fierce gale swept away both these improvements. They were rebuilt, and lasted till the harbor made them unnecessary. In a memorial presented to Congress in 1849 it was recited that every vessel owned at that port had been stranded or wrecked, and a list was given of nine vessels wrecked in the bay. The catching of white fish has been an important industry at Sheboygan since an early day. The population of Sheboygan is 25,500.
Sheboygan harbor is situated at the mouth of Sheboygan river, which previous to the commencement of improvements never had a depth of more than seven feet, the width being about 150 feet during freshets, and running down to about 40 feet with a depth of three feet. The first improvement made was by commissioners appointed by the city and county of Sheboygan, and consisted of two parallel piers, the north one being 900 feet long, and the south pier being 780 feet long.
The result of the work done here is as follows; North pier, 2,370 feet long, projecting into the lake beyond the shore line 1,600 feet; south pier 2,487 feet long, projecting in the lake 2,100 feet. The least distance between the piers is 170 feet, and the distance between them at the entrance to the harbor is 275 feet; depth 19 feet.
The arrivals at and departure of vessels from this harbor in 1895 were 2,012, with a tonnage of 1,047,187; 1896, 2,101, tonnage, 1,228,916; 1897, 2,183, tonnage, 1,159,112. The imports by water during 1895 were 275,105 tons, and of exports, 7,725 tons; 1896, imports, 362,817 tons; exports, 236,749 tons. In 1897 tons of freight received by all ways of transportation were 509,930; shipped, 277,519.
Manitowoc. -- An Indian village flourished at the mouth of the Manitowoc river as early as 1822, and travelers frequently tarried there. Between 1835 and 1837 the first permanent settlement began. Speculation was wild in those times, and to offset the reputed gold resources of Kewaunee, the promoters of Manitowoc, in 1836, proposed building a railroad to the Pacific. William and Benjamin Jones, of Chicago, organized the Manitowoc Land Company, and lots were sold as high as $1,000. Benjamin Jones reached the village on the schooner Oregon in July, 1837. The panic came about this time and killed the ambitious little lake port. Commencing about 1846 a tide of settlers poured in, and the village took a fresh start, its lumber interests developing rapidly. Ship building has been an active industry of Manitowoc. The Citizen, a small sailing craft, of 61 tons, was built in 1847 by Capt. Joseph Edwards. From that year to 1881, 123 vessels with a tonnage of 34,214 were built at Manitowoc. This list includes 9 side-wheel steamers, one of which was the Northwest, built in 1866 for the Goodrich Transportation Company by G. S. Rand & Co. She was of 1,100 tons burden, cost $120,000, and was then considered the finest craft of her kind on Lake Michigan. Manitowoc was the center of the shipbuilding interests of Wisconsin. The population is now estimated at 12,000. The city has made large appropriations for harbor improvements.
Manitowoc harbor is on Lake Michigan at the mouth of Manitowoc river which was originally obstructed at its mouth by a bar with a depth of about 4 feet of water. In the river inside the bar the water was about 11 feet deep.
The result of the work up to June 30, 1898, is as follows: North pier 1,970 feet long, from 20 to 24 feet wide, and projecting into the lake beyond the shore line 1,650 feet, built in 1854-1885; south pier, 2,400 feet long, from 20 to 24 feet wide, projecting beyond the shore line 1,950 feet, and a breakwater 400 feet long and 24 feet wide; depth of channel projected is 20 feet.
The importance of this harbor was materially increased in 1896 by the action of the Wisconsin Central Railroad Company and the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, the former building a short section of railroad that gives them a connection with existing railroads and a car-ferry across Lake Michigan, a short through line between the East and the West. The latter company also established a car-ferry line across Lake Michigan from this point in connection with lines of railroad already built.
The arrivals and departures of vessels from this port during 1895 were 1,876, with a tonnage of 930,787; 1896, 2,205, tonnage, 1,220,062; 1897, 3,320, tonnage, 4,205,414. The imports, in 1896, consisted of 301,698 tons, chief of which was coal and coke, 220,000 tons; exports were 121,578 tons.
Two Rivers, at the junction of East and West Twin rivers, 7 miles north of Manitowoc, was in early days the center of a flourishing lumber district. Oliver Louguire, a French Canadian known as "Alon-zo," was the first permanent settler. The first sawmill was erected in 1836, but not until 1845 was much progress made. Since the timber has disappeared other industries have appeared. The population in 1880 was 2,052, and is now 4,100.
Two Rivers harbor is situated near the junction of the east and west branches of Twin rivers, which unite a short distance from the lake shore, the water flowing into the lake through a channel or outlet which originally had a depth of from three to four feet.
The project of improvement of this harbor, adopted in 1870, provided for the formation of a channel of navigable width, and not less than thirteen feet in depth below the plain of reference in coast charts for Lake Michigan, viz.: 3.06 feet below the high water level of 1838, by the construction of two piers extending from the mouth of two rivers lakeward to the 19-foot curve line in Lake Michigan, and an entrance channel between them, the piers to be 270 feet apart. This work was completed during the past year. The actual depth June 30, 1898, was 12.5 feet.
In 1897, 1,644 vessels arrived with a registered tonnage of 255,713. In 1896, 47,506 tons of freight, including 45,000 tons of logs, were imported, and 2,593 tons exported; in 1897, 51,281 tons were exported and 10,919 tons imported.
Kewaunee once aspired to become the rival of Chicago and Milwaukee. Early in the thirties the report gained circulation that rich gold deposits had been found in that locality. Preparations were made in 1836 to lay out a city of magnificent proportions. Capitalists became interested. Lots in the swamps sold for $1,000 per acre. There was a serious decline before the village was fairly started. In 1843 the first. cargo of lumber was taken from a mill on Kewaunee river. Navigation was very difficult on account of shallow water. Business improved when, in 1851, a pier was built out into the lake. The population in 1860 was 1,050, and is now estimated at 500.
Kewaunee harbor is situated at the entrance to Kewaunee river, the natural entrance to which had in August, 1880, a channel 25 feet wide and three feet deep. This entrance was obstructed by submerged boulders. For the last 2,000 feet of its course the river flowed nearly parallel with and a short distance from the lake shore. Inside the bar at its mouth the river bad a depth of about 11 feet.
The result of work is as follows: 1,900 feet of north pier from 16 to 20 feet wide, and projecting beyond the shore line 1,825 feet; the south pier being 1,850 feet long and from 16 to 20 feet wide, and projecting beyond the shore line 1,575 feet. The depth is 14.5 feet.
Vessel arrivals in 1897 were 925, registered tonnage 476,187. Freight received by lake in 1896, 109,557 tons; 1897, 32,772 tons; freight shipped in 1896, 33,065 tons; 1897, 276,671 tons, mainly flour.
Ahnapee. -- In 1834 Joseph McCormick, of Manitowoc, visited Ahnapee, and bore back an enthusiastic report of the richly timbered country. But it was not until after 1851 that Ahnapee was permanently settled. Edward Tweeddale and John Hues located there in 1851, and other pioneers soon after followed. In 1856 the first steamboat, the Cleveland, of Manitowoc, landed at Ahnapee. The north pier was built the same year. The village in 1860 contained 948 inhabitants, and has now 1,600.
Ahnapee harbor is near the mouth of Wolf river, which was originally obstructed by a bar with a depth of about 4 feet of water. Inside the bar in the river there was a depth of about 8 feet. The first appropriation, made in 1872, was for $25,000. The entire appropriations aggregate $183,220.
The result of the work here up to June 30, 1898, was as follows: Two piers, the north one being 1,102 feet long, and the south one, 1,125 feet long. The depth of water at the entrance was about 16 ½ feet and 11 feet at the shore end of the piers. The distance between the piers is 205 feet.
Sturgeon Bay came into prominence with the construction of the Sturgeon Bay ship canal. This enterprise was agitated as early as 1860 by Joseph Harris, who four years later, when State senator, secured the passage of an act of incorporation. Land grants were secured, but not until 1872 was the first shovelful of earth thrown. In 1880 light draft vessels passed through, and the canal has since been greatly improved. By the construction of this canal the passage through Death's Door has been avoided, and a large traffic built up between Green Bay and Chicago.
Sturgeon Bay Canal Harbor of Refuge is at the Lake Michigan end of the canal leading through into Sturgeon bay from Lake Michigan. In its natural condition the shore line was continuous, there being no protection from storms raging from northeast to southwest.
The project of constructing a harbor here was adopted in 1873. As completed in 1884, it consists of two piers, each 1,344 feet long and 850 feet apart on the shore line, converging in such manner as to form a harbor entrance of about 335 feet in width. The inclosure is about 17 feet deep.
Green Bay is one of the oldest historical points on Lake Michigan. Jean Nicollet, the discoverer of Lake Michigan, visited Green Bay in 1639. Here Father Allouez, in 1669, established an Indian mission, which remained for many years. La Salle and the Griffin arrived at Green Bay September 2, 1679. Father Charlevoix, who visited Green Bay in 1721, says the French posts, which had been built many years earlier, stood on the west side of the Fox river, half a league from its mouth. The first permanent settlement was made here in 1745 by Augustine De Langdole, an Indian trader from Mackinaw. A detachment of British troops took possession October 12, 1761, but abandoned the post two years later, during Pontiac's war. In 1815 a United States trading post was established at Green Bay, and in 1816 Fort Howard was erected there by the government. In 1820 there were over sixty dwellings and 500 inhabitants at Green Bay. The Walk-in-the-Water arrived with troops and passengers August 5, 1821. A line of steamboats was established, a few years later, between Detroit and Green Bay. In 1834 John P. Arndt built the first schooner in Green Bay, the Wisconsin. Tail Point light was established in 1848, five and one-half miles north-northeast from the mouth of Fox river. A new lighthouse was built in 1859. The population is 22,000.
Green Bay harbor is near the mouth of Fox river, the river discharging into the southern end of Green bay. In its original condition direct entrance to the harbor was blocked by Grassy island, situated in Green bay about one and a half miles from the mouth of the river, and the channel was intricate and tortuous with a minimum depth of about 11 feet.
The project of improvement for this harbor was adopted in 1886, the object being to provide a dredged channel 200 feet wide, 15 feet deep and two miles long, in place of the natural channel, with a revetted cut across Grassy island to the 13-foot curve in Green bay. The project was modified in 1892 so as to increase the depth of the channel to 17 feet, and extend it in a direct line through the bar off Sable point, making its total length 16,500 feet.
Appropriations made up to June 30, 1898, amounted to $372,602, when the condition of the work was as follows: Pile revetments at Grassy island 220 feet apart, the east revetment being 705 feet long and the west revetment 620 feet long. The channel for a width of 200 feet is 16.5 feet deep, and is used by the largest vessels on the lakes. The location of Green Bay is favorable for a large local trade, being the terminus of two railroads and of a transportation line from the lower lakes. The arrivals of vessels at this harbor, in 1896, were 591, tonnage 233,004; 1897, 589, tonnage 239,313. Imports for 1896 were 352,097 tons, of which 170,311 were coal, and 149,276 general merchandise; exports were 211,196 tons.
The Improvement of Fox River. -- Fox river rises in Columbia county, Wis., and empties into Lake Winnebago, which is about 35 miles long and 15 miles wide. From Lake Winnebago it flows northward into Green Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan.
At Portage City the Fox river is separated from the Wisconsin river by a distance of only two miles, and these two rivers were the early route from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi river. From Portage City to Lake Winnebago the distance is 110 miles, and the fall is about 30 feet; from Lake Winnebago to Green bay the distance is 35 miles, and the fall is 170 feet.
The upper Fox river flows through extensive marshes and lakes, and its flow is inconsiderable. Near Lake Butte des Morts it unites with the Wolf river, the latter having a larger discharge than the Fox. The lower Fox carries off all the water brought down by the Upper Fox, the Wolf and other small streams, and discharges about 900,000 cubic feet per minute when at the maximum flow. A low-water discharge of 2,320 cubic feet per minute has been given. But the average high and low water discharges have as yet not been accurately ascertained. From Lake Winnebago to De Pere the river was obstructed by rapids, and at places portages had to be made.
When Wisconsin was admitted into the Union, in 1846, Congress granted it a quantity of land for the purpose of improving the navigation of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, and for the construction of a canal to unite these two rivers at or near the portage. To carry out the object of this Act of Congress the State of Wisconsin, in 1848, established a board of public works, which began the improvement and carried it forward until 1853, when all the property and franchises were transferred to the Fox & Wisconsin Improvement Company. After various vicissitudes, financial and otherwise, the entire property was sold in 1866 to the Green Bay & Mississippi Canal Company, and finally by this company to the United States in 1872 for $145,000, with reservations, somewhat indefinite in terms.
When the United States Government purchased the works there was but one stone lock, the others being temporary structures and in bad condition. There was no low-water navigation and the lower Fox navigation was uncertain.
The project of the government for the improvement of this river contemplated the replacing of the temporary structures with permanent works, the construction of five additional locks on the upper river, and widening and deepening the channel throughout the river and canal to a depth of six feet and to a width of 100 feet. The estimate for both rivers made in 1874 and 1879 was $3,745,663. To carry out this project required the deepening of Fox river by rock excavation, and dredging from Portage City to Montello to four feet, and from Montello to Green Bay to six feet, the widening of the river channel to 100 feet throughout; dredging the channel in Neenah river, and the removal of the bar at the mouth of Fond du Lac river.
The works at the close of the year ending June 30, 1898, were as follows: On the upper Fox river, nine locks, seven dams and four canals; on the lower Fox river, 18 locks, nine dams and eight canals. Of the locks 15 were of stone, 14 of them built by the United States Government, and one by the canal company, the latter repaired by the United States in 1878. The remaining 12 locks are of wood.
During the year 1895 there were transported on Fox river 229,109 tons of freight, 140,675 tons of which were of logs; 1896, 148,110 tons, of which 58,159 were logs; 1897, 191,236 tons, of which 97,342 tons were logs. Of the boats navigating the river, in 1895, 25 were steamboats (6 of the steamboats being pleasure yachts), 6 sailing vessels and 6 tows.
Pensaukee was the site of the earliest settlement in what is now Oconto county, Wis. A sawmill was built on Pensaukee river, two miles from its mouth, in 1829. In 1860 Pensaukee had 295 inhabitants, but the number is now less than 100.
Pensaukee harbor is situated at the mouth of Pensaukee river, Green Bay, and in its natural condition it had a depth of water of but three feet. Private enterprise undertook the improvement of this harbor, and when the United States Government took hold of it the depth had been increased to from eight to ten feet to a width of 30 feet, and there had been constructed 1,600 feet of pile and slab pier.
The project adopted in 1883 was the construction of a single slab pier 2,650 feet long, in continuance of the pier previously built, and dredging a channel 100 feet wide on the south side of the pier to a depth of 11 feet, connecting the deep water of the river with the deep water in Green bay. The three appropriations made aggregate $16,000.
The slab and pile pier, built by private enterprise, was nearly destroyed by a storm in 1885, and this destruction left the portion of the pier built by the United States Government a detached work. During the seasons of 1895, 1896 and 1897 there were no arrivals of vessels reported at this harbor.
Oconto, situated at the mouth of Oconto river, on Green bay, has been prominent in the development of the lumber interests of that region. Settlements began, and mills were erected as early as 1836. Growth was slow, and in 1860 there were only 889 people in the village. The present population is 7,000.
Oconto harbor is situated at the mouth of the Oconto river, which empties into Green bay some miles southwest of Menomonee harbor. In its natural condition the channel at the entrance to this river was obstructed by a bar with less than three feet of water over it. Private interests increased this depth to four and one-half feet. The first appropriation made by the government for this improvement was in 1881, and the aggregate amount appropriated has been $78,000.
The project of improvement adopted in 1882 proposed to secure a nine-foot channel from Green bay to the city of Oconto, a distance of two miles, at an estimated cost of $150,000, the piers to be parallel and 150 feet apart. The north pier is 1,603 feet in length and the south pier 2,151 feet long.
Menominee, Mich., and Marinette, Wis., lying on opposite sides of Menomonee river, Green bay, may properly be considered as one port. Menominee is known chiefly as a shipping port for iron ore from the Menomonee range. An Indian trader, Louis Chappee, came to Menominee in 1796 as the agent of the American Fur Company. William Farnsworth and his intelligent wife, Marinette, granddaughter of a Menominee chief, also engaged here in the fur trade in 1822, dispossessing their French predecessor by strategy. Farnsworth & Brush built the first sawmill on the Menominee river in 1832. The New York stopped at Menominee in 1836, and from that time the marine interests of the port gradually improved. In 1869 the Goodrich Transportation began making regular trips. In 1871 the Chicago & Northwestern railroad was extended from Green bay to Menominee, and the next year to Escanaba. The Wisconsin & Michigan road was built a few years later. Menominee has a population of 15,000 and Marinette has 16,000 people. The present lumber interests are very large.
The improvement of Menominee river by the United States Government was begun in 1891 under the provisions of the River and Harbor Act of September 19, 1890. At this time there had been dredged by private enterprise a tortuous channel with a governing width of 50 feet, and a depth of 14 feet, extending up the river for a distance of about two miles. The original approved project was for dredging a channel 200 feet wide and 17 feet deep from Green bay up the river as far as the funds available would allow, the object being to create a navigable channel 17 feet up to N. Ludington Company's mill. The project was modified by reducing the upper 2,600 feet to a width of 100 feet. In 1896 the project of 1890 was modified by the formation of a turning basin 600 feet long, 250 feet wide and 17 feet deep, and extending the channel 425 feet to the west line of Wells street with a width of 75 feet and a depth of 17 feet.
Menominee harbor, or Marinette, is situated at the mouth of Menominee river. Previous to the commencement of improvements here the depth of water at the mouth of this river was about. 5 feet, and the river was navigable for boats of that draft for a distance of 2 miles above its mouth.
A survey of this harbor was made in 1871, and a project was adopted, providing for a channel entrance 200 feet wide and of a depth of not less than 15 feet. This project as modified has been completed, and all the necessities of commerce are fully met by the present condition of the harbor.
The total appropriations from 1871 to 1898 were $229,212. The two piers are 400 feet apart, the north pier being 1,854 feet long, and the south pier, 2,710 feet long, with a dredged channel 3,000 feet long, 200 feet wide and 17 feet deep from the 17-foot curve in Green bay to the lower end of the Menominee river.
Lumber is the principle article of exports by lake, shipments being, in 1896, 252.752 tons out of a total of 254,157 tons, and in 1897, 544,500 tons out of a total of 612,926. Receipts by lake were 7,534 tons in 1896 and 16,337 in 1897. In 1897, 798 vessels arrived, having a registered tonnage of 227,696.
Cedar River, Mich., is at the mouth of Cedar river, thirty miles northeast of Menominee. A bar gave a depth of about 4 feet of water, while in the river above the water was about 9 feet deep. The width of the river at its mouth was about 175 feet. A channel about 9 feet deep and 50 feet wide extending through the bar was dredged by private enterprise before the United States Government took up the work of improvement. The first appropriation by the government, made in 1882, amounted to $15,000, and a like amount, was appropriated in 1884.
The project of improvement was to secure a channel of 15 feet from Lake Michigan into Cedar river, and the construction of two parallel piers, 200 feet apart, extending from the mouth of the river to the 17-foot curve in Green bay.
Escanaba. -- For many years the peninsula that forms the site of Escanaba was known as Sand Point. The first house was built in 1852 by Sinclair & Ludington, who operated a sawmill at Flat Rock. This dwelling stood alone until 1863, when the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company broke ground for the construction of a line between Negaunee and Escanaba. Two years later the road was completed. In the meantime dock No. 1 had been constructed by the company, and the shipment of ore began at once. Escanaba has grown steadily, and is the chief iron ore shipping port of Lake Michigan. Besides iron ore, it carries on a fair lake traffic in lumber and other commodities. The population in 1890 was 8,124, and is now estimated at 9,000.
Escanaba is situated on a point of land dividing Green bay from Little Bay de Noquette, and the latter forms one of the best harbors on the lakes. The entrance is three miles in width and its depth sufficient for the largest vessels. The port has four enormous iron ore docks, fitted with all modern improvements.
Manistique was formerly known as Epsport. Lumbering is its principal industry. Its population in 1881 was 600, in 1890, 2,100, at present 3,500. It is situated at the mouth of Manistique river, and is one of the oldest towns of the upper peninsula. It has lumber, iron and lime interests, but is also winning an enviable reputation as a summer resort.
Originally the depth of water at this place was but eight feet. There had been built by the Chicago Lumbering Company about 3,200 feet of slab piers at the mouth of the river, and a channel had been dredged to a depth of 11 feet, the piers being each about 1,600 feet long and 350 feet apart. Little work has been done by the government.
Equal to its name, this great body of water may be called a lake of magnificent distances. Its harbors as compared with those of the other lakes are few. Its shores for long and uninterrupted stretches are often desolate, though charming in scenic effect. In the measure of industrial life its years are few, and for its age it promises best of them all.
Sault Ste. Marie. -- In point of historic interest Sault Ste. Marie is, perhaps, unsurpassed on the lakes. As the crucial point in the magnificent commerce to and from Lake Superior its value is unequaled. It was visited by the early missionaries. It was here that St. Lusson, in 1671, formally took possession of the region of the Great Lakes. It was a favorite resort for the migratory aborigines on account of its most excellent fishing. The construction of the Sault canals have immortalized the locality. The village was organized in 1874, and is now a city of 9,000 inhabitants.
Grand Marais, Michigan, lies between White Fish Point and Marquette, south shore of Lake Superior. It was first permanently settled in 1879. The village contained a small sawmill and headquarters for two lumber companies. The sawmill shut down in 1884, and the village gradually died out until 1892 there were only about 100 inhabitants and one store. The only industry is fishing.
In the fall of 1893 the Manistique railroad was completed to Grand Marais, and a vigorous growth at once started up. The old mill was reconstructed, and enlarged to three times its former capacity, and fitted with all the latest improvements in machinery.
The harbor is seldom entirely empty. Frequently twelve or fourteen vessels are to be seen at once loading lumber for other lake ports, or timber for Liverpool market. The population has increased to about 2,000, and as soon as the projected improvements on the harbor are completed there will be further industries established.
The present lumber company occupies all the water front on the west end of the harbor, and until the dike closing the east end of the harbor is completed there can be no further industries requiring a water front established.
The harbor of refuge at Grand Marais was originally accessible only for vessels drawing less than nine feet of water, but within the bay there is ample depth to float the largest vessels. As a harbor of refuge it is of pressing importance to the shipping navigating the lakes in its vicinity, as the many wrecks in that neighborhood bear testimony.
The project for the improvement of this harbor was adopted in 1881, and has for its object the creation of a safe entrance into the bay for vessels of the largest size. This object is attained by the construction of parallel piers projecting into the lake and dredging out a channel between them, connecting the deep water in the lake with the deep water in the bay, and by closing up the natural entrance, some 5,700 feet in width, by a solid pile dike driven with a slope toward the waves and strongly braced. The proposed length of the east pier is 1,800 feet, and the west pier had attained a length of 1,656 feet, and the east pier a length of 1,153 feet. A channel 150 feet wide and 17 feet deep had been dredged between them in 1889, but it shoaled, and in 1891 it was again dredged, this time to a width of 175 feet, and to a depth of at least 17 feet. The entire amount expended on this project up to June 30, 1898, was $299,160. A very safe and commodious harbor of refuge now exists for vessels drawing 13 feet of water. The total appropriations for this work from 1880 to 1898 were $305,250.
The traffic is rapidly increasing. In 1892 155 vessels arrived; in 1896, 328; in 1897, 404. In 1887 freight received and shipped was 1,910 tons; 1890, 9,405 tons; 1895, 56,208 tons; 1896, 90,497 tons; 1897, 142,536 tons. Exports in 1897 were 128,536 tons, of which all, but 600 tons of fish, consisted of logs and lumber products; imports were 14,000 tons.
Munising is located on Munising bay, within three miles of the Pictured Rocks. Lumbering interests have been active. The population is about 3,000. The harbor is formed by Grand island, and is one of the finest on the lakes.
Marquette. -- This thriving city and iron ore shipping port is located on Iron harbor, an inlet of Lake Superior. The coming of the white men in 1844-45 changed the scene from a picturesque wilderness to an active mining camp. Progress, however, was comparatively slow until the Sault canal was opened in 1856. In the following year the Iron Mountain railroad was completed from the mines to the harbor. In 1856 the Jackson company completed an ore dock. Shipments of ore have been advancing since, with comparatively few interruptions. In 1867 the Peninsular division of the Chicago & Northwestern road was completed from Negaunee to Escanaba, which partially destroyed the monopoly enjoyed by Marquette up to that year. The early name of the village was Worcester. A charter was received from the Legislature in 1859, and a city government was established in 1871. The population in 1890 was 9,724, and has since increased.
Marquette has been the metropolis of the mining regions of Lake Superior. It now possesses immense ore docks, and is connected by rail with large iron ore mines in the Marquette and Gogebic ranges. There are large manufacturing interests located in the city, and in addition to its magnificent business advantages Marquette has all the attractions of a cool and delightful summer resort.
The harbor at Marquette was originally entirely unprotected from east or northeast storms. In 1866 a project was approved for the construction of a breakwater extending from the shore into the bay a distance of 2,000 feet. This breakwater was completed in 1875, but in consequence of the increased shipments of ore from this port it became necessary to extend the breakwater. The construction of a concrete breakwater was begun in June, 1895, 470 feet being built that season, and in 1898 1,000 feet were completed.
The cross section of this superstructure, designed by Major Sears, is at variance with the established practice both in this country and abroad, inasmuch as it presents a slope to the waves of 45 degrees, the intention being in the adoption of this slope to lessen the shock by leading the waves to slide over the top without impact and to fall onto a cushion of water inside, where they produce no disturbance. The admirable adoption of the new work is in the estimation of the engineer in charge justifying the construction.
During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1872, there were 390 arrivals of vessels, with a registered tonnage of 185,000 tons. In 1896 there were 1,032 arrivals with a registered tonnage of 793,092; in 1897, 731 vessels, tonnage 788,556. In twenty years the commerce of the port has amounted to at least $73,000,000. The exports in 1896 were 1,645,467 tons, of which 1,565,227 were iron ore. Imports were 186,590 tons, chiefly coal. Exports in 1897 were 2,381,756, including 2,282,556 tons of iron ore; imports, 147,765 tons.
The harbor of refuge at Presque Isle Point, Marquette bay, is a new work ordered by Act of Congress of June 3, 1896. Marquette bay is a small semielliptical one, which makes in from Lake Superior just north of Marquette harbor, proper. The shore of this bay is within the city limits of Marquette, and the bay is a little over one and a half miles across the channel which subtends the opening. The greater portion of this area has a depth of from 18 to 40 feet of water, with a hard sand and rock bottom. The project is a construction of 1,000 feet of breakwater, of which 500 feet were completed in 1897.
Up to 1896, there was no commerce for this bay except in connection with a lumber mill at the mouth of Dead river, a small, clear stream with fine water power several miles back. This mill has a dock from which to ship its lumber. Recently the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad Company has constructed a railroad for the shipment of ore from the mines near Ishpeming, Mich., and this road has its harbor terminus on Marquette bay. It has built a large ore dock and commercial dock. Arrivals of vessels in 1896 were 207; in 1897, 555. Shipments of freight in 1896 were 339,258 tons; 1897, 1,067,330 tons, chiefly iron ore. Receipts in 1896 were 8,523 tons; in 1897, 27,913 tons.
L'Anse is located at the head of L'Anse bay, and at the mouth of Fall river. The M. H. & O. R. R. Company's docks were built here in 1872. The village was platted in 1871, it had a speculative boom and lots sold for $1,000 to $2,000. The panic of 1873 necessarily killed the boom. The village is the center of a large lumber district and has a population of 1,100.
Copper harbor, near the extreme end of Keweenaw point, was an excellent harbor, and during the mining excitement in 1846 was thronged with adventurers and speculators. It was named Copper harbor on account of the copriferous veins outcropping there and plainly visible. The once thriving town has since fallen into decay.
Eagle harbor, sixteen miles west of Copper harbor, was first occupied about 1844. In that year the first piers were built by Edward Taylor. Additions were made from time to time, forming the present pier dock, dock. Eagle harbor was opened with a channel 13 ½ feet deep, in 1877, and is a good refuge for vessels, except in a severe northwest wind. The present population of Eagle harbor is several hundred.
Eagle harbor has been improved so as to form one of the harbors of refuge for the south shore of Lake Superior. Before improvements commenced here the entrance to the small bay, which forms the harbor, was protected by a rock ledge having but 8 ½ feet of water over it at the shoalest point.
The project for its improvement was adopted in 1866, and as modified it provided for a channel through the rocky ledge 130 feet wide and 14 feet deep, marked by two guiding cribs, one on each side of the channel. The work was completed in 1879, and appears to meet the present demands of commerce. The amount expended on the work up to June 30, 1896, was $95,992. Traffic is small.
Ontonagon. -- In 1847-48 the Ontonagon district came to the front as a producer of mass copper, and overshadowed the older Keweenaw district. The village of Ontonagon at the mouth of the river grew rapidly, and became for a time the leading town on the lake. The mines were situated in the interior 14 miles up the river. In 1843 James K. Paul had preempted a claim, where Ontonagon now stands, and the same year erected a cabin, but settlement was slow until the mining activity started up several years later. One of the first water crafts that arrived at Ontonagon from below was the Napoleon. Improvements of the harbor were commenced in 1856 by C. F. Harvey under a contract with the county, but not until the work was undertaken, in 1867, by the government did it progress satisfactorily. The population in 1880 was 780. It is now about 1,200.
The harbor at Ontonagon is at the mouth of Ontonagon river. In 1867, before the improvement of the mouth of this river commenced, it had a depth of but 7 feet of water. At that time the project for securing 12 feet of water was adopted.
The west pier was built to the length of 2,675 feet, and the east pier to the length of 2,315 feet. This brought the outer end of the west pier very nearly to the 18-foot curve; but this curve has since advanced out into the lake, because of the very considerable amount of sand carried into the lake by the river. This sand is deepest during the spring freshets, and the subsidence of each flood is attended by a deposition of material in the upper part of the harbor above and below the bridge. This port therefore needs dredging every year, while the part between the piers needs it on the average only every other year.
The total cost of this improvement up to June 30, 1898, was $336,205. The commerce of this port has been roughly estimated at about $1,000,000 per year. The appropriations from 1867 to 1898, for the improvement of this harbor, were $345,100. The total number of vessels entering and departing from this harbor in 1895 was 986, with an aggregate tonnage of 296,490 tons. A fire in August, 1896, almost obliterated the town, destroying all its commercial industries, and wiping out most of the business and residence portions. The great fire destroyed the principal commercial industry, the plant of the Diamond Match Company, and it has not been rebuilt.
Ashland, one of the important ports of Lake Superior, marks the site that was visited by the earliest French traders. Allouez in 1665 found at Ashland, or Che-quamegan bay, the Hurons, who had fled from the vindictive Iroquois, and sought refuge at almost the extremity of Lake Superior. Here he established a mission, which, however, was afterwards to La Pointe on Madeline island, and for almost two centuries Ashland's fine harbor facilities were neglected. In 1854 Asaph Whittlesey and George Kilborn left La Pointe in a row boat to select a town site near the head of the bay. They selected the plateau where Ashland now stands, and erected a cabin. An excursion from La Pointe visited the pioneers in the steamer Sam Ward, which thus became the first Ashland marine arrival. For six years the struggling settlement was known as Whittlesey, but in 1860 the name became Ashland. Martin Beaser built a dock in 1855. It was swept away in 1856. The steamer Superior came into the bay soon after, saw the fragments of the dock, and instead of landing put back to La Pointe. In 1872 the Wisconsin Central railroad began work on the bay. In that year S. S. Vaughn also built a dock extending about 1,000 feet into the bay. The docks of Ashland are now quite efficient, and a large iron ore traffic from the Gogebic range here seeks a lake outlet. The population of Ashland in 1890 was 12,310, and is now 16,000. Besides the large ore traffic there is a considerable lumber trade at Ashland.
The harbor at Ashland originally had no protection from the waves which rolled into the bay nor from the waves generated within the bay itself by storms. The length of this bay is considerable, and it was therefore necessary to protect the wharves from the waves.
The approved project is for the construction of a breakwater, 8,000 feet long, and for a channel of 16 feet of water. In July, 1898, the pier had attained a length of 7,363 feet, the total amount expended up to that date being $237, 503. The aggregate amount appropriated from 1886 to 1898 was $239,500.
The commerce of this port during this period has increased from 892 arrivals and clearances, with cargo tonnage of 1,400,000 tons, in 1887, to 5,164 arrivals and clearances, with cargo tonnage of 2,400,000 tons, in 1896. During this period the commerce of this port is roughly estimated at a valuation of $300,000,000. In 1896 estimated imports were 355,000 tons, and exports 2,036,337 tons, of which 1,566,337 tons were iron ore.
La Pointe was an important mission station under French occupation, and was also a port of some influence during the period of active fur trading. The American Fur Company, in 1835, established headquarters at La Pointe. Warehouses and docks were built, and the population at that time was about 2,000, composed of Indians, voyageurs, traders and half breeds.
Bayfield is located on the site of an Indian trading post. Alexander Henry built a house there in 1765. A few score of half-starved Indians dwelt at the place, the wars for several years having ruined the fur trade. The first permanent settlement was made in 1856 by a party of nine men under charge of John C. Henley. A dock was built the same year. Bayfield was made a port of entry in 1858, and in 1859 the revenue cutter John B. Floyd was stationed there. The harbor is formed by islands, which shelter it from winds and make unnecessary any engineering works. It has attained prominence as a summer resort, and its fishing industries are large.
Portwing is situated on Flag lake about three-quarters of a mile within the entrance to Flag river, which latter lies on the south shore of Lake Superior, nearly due east from Duluth and distant therefrom about 34 miles. A preliminary examination of a harbor at Portwing, Wis., was made in 1896 by Major Clinton B. Sears, with a recommendation that it is worthy of improvement by the general government.
Duluth. -- If Chicago is indebted to Lake Michigan and connecting waters for its marvelous growth, in like manner Duluth is the masterpiece of civilization in the Lake Superior region, younger in years than Lake Michigan's metropolis, but rich in prospects and promises. Duluth is geographically located to command a fabulous trade. It is an iron-ore shipping port of commanding importance; but not to iron ore alone, or chiefly, does it owe its power. It is a grain-shipping port of wonderful prominence, tapping with its feeding rail lines the immense productive regions of the northwest, but not to grain alone or chiefly does it owe its greatness. It receives a vast tonnage of coal by lake, to supply the great northwest with cheap and desirable fuel; but not to coal alone or chiefly is due the supremacy of Duluth. Each of these factors contribute to the upbuilding of the Zenith city, these and many others.
Minnesota point, a peculiar natural formation of land, quite narrow and over six miles in length, forms the natural breakwater protecting the harbor of Duluth and Superior from the waters of the great lake, and through which, in 1870, a canal as an entrance to the harbor was cut, thus greatly facilitating the approach of large vessels to St. Louis and Superior bays.
In the winter of 1855-56 steps were taken for platting Duluth. The founders of the city were George E. and William Nettleton, and J. B. Culver and O. W. Rice, all of whom then lived in Superior, and Robert E. Jefferson, who resided as a squatter on Minnesota point. These gentlemen, after considering several names presented to them, decided to bestow the name of an early French explorer upon their foundling and called it DuLuth, and in May, 1857, it was incorporated as a town by an act of territorial legislation. Duluth has to this day absorbed six separate towns, -- Portland in 1870, Lakeside in 1893, West Duluth and Oneota in 1894, and New Duluth and Fond du Lac in 1895.
The schooner Algonquin was the first sailing vessel to appear at Duluth, in 1855, owned and commanded by a captain named Davidson, and two years later she was chartered by Capt. J. J. Hibbard to carry supplies to Burlington bay on the north shore. In the fall of 1858 she was towed to the shore on the easterly side of Quebec pier at Superior, when the upper part of her hull was consumed by fire. The next boat owned at the head of the lakes was the small propeller Seneca. She was the property of Thomas G. Barnes, of Superior, and plied on the bays until 1861, when she was taken to Ashland, by Captain Walling, thence to Detroit, where her boiler exploded, scalding to death the captain and another man. In 1860 the schooner Neptune, scow built, engaged in the lumber trade between Oneota, Milford, Portage Lake and Marquette. On her first trip that year she was met by a northeaster and driven back, and in trying to make the entry ran ashore on the lower end of Minnesota point. She was released, however, and continued in the lumber trade until 1865, when she was wrecked near Eagle river while in command of Captain Mathews. Then followed the schooners Pierrepont and Ford. In 1868 R. G. Coburn chartered the tug Agats, of Onton-agon, and used her in towing scows in the stone trade from Fond du Lac for the construction of the government piers at the entry. She is yet in commission at Duluth and known as John H. Jeffrey, Jr., and owned by Captain Jeffrey. The first steam ferry boat to ply between Duluth and Superior was the side-wheel steamer Kasota, commanded by Captain George D. Greenfield, his brother, Charles T., being engineer. The steamer J. C. Frost was also used as a ferry boat the same year.
The harbor of Duluth, which was formerly attached to the Marquette district, was erected into a port of entry on May 23, 1871, but the first vessel enrollment, the schooner Charlie, was made in April, the same year.
Before the commencement of the building of the Lake Superior railroad in 1869, to connect the head of Lake Superior and St. Paul, Duluth was but a village of 100 inhabitants, some of whom had lived there for 15 years, awaiting the destiny which they believed would come. Within four years after this road was built the population was 5,000. The city has grown rapidly ever since. The construction of the Northern Pacific & Great Northern gave connection with the Pacific ocean, and stimulated the growth of the city to a wonderful degree. The population of Duluth is now about 60,000.
Duluth harbor is one of the best in the world. Its ore docks are among the largest and best equipped. Its traffic in 1897 reached the enormous tonnage of 4,776,080, while that of Superior was 3,699,144 tons, a total of 8,475,224 tons. The receipts of Duluth in 1897 were 885,623 tons, of which 682,274 were coal. The shipments were 3,890,457 tons, including 2,342,679 tons of iron ore, 1,062,208 tons of flour and grain and 454,856 tons of lumber.
Duluth harbor originally consisted of two parts, that upon the open lake exposed to storms, and that on the land-locked bay of Superior and St. Louis, where there was no water over eight feet in depth except in the St. Louis river, which touched the dock front at one point only, and to reach deep water in the lake required a detour of six miles to get through the natural entrance.
The original project for the improvement of this harbor, adopted in 1871, consisted of a breakwater in Lake Superior outside of Minnesota point, in continuation of one already commenced by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. This breakwater was destroyed by a storm in 1872 and abandoned. In 1873 Congress provided for maintaining the canal through Minnesota point, which had been constructed by the city of Duluth, and for dredging channels in Superior bay to the docks at Duluth.
Work under this project was continued until 1881, when the piers of the canal had been repaired and somewhat extended, the harbor basin dredged of moderate capacity, and a narrow channel dredged in Superior bay from Duluth to deep water at Connor's point. The amount expended under this project was $270,651.
The present project was adopted in 1881, and was modified in 1884 and in 1888. The project is to preserve the piers bordering the canal, to dredge an inner harbor to accommodate vessels drawing 16 feet of water, to make a channel parallel with the Bark Point dock line 100 feet wide, a channel east of Rice's point 200 feet wide and 16 feet deep, and a channel along the north shore of St. Louis bay 200 feet wide and 16 feet deep.
The total amount expended on this harbor up to June 30, 1898, was $893,218. The result is a good harbor basin to an extent of 104 acres, dredged to a minimum depth of 16 feet, the maintaining of the channel piers and channels east and west of Rice's point and on the north shore of St. Louis bay, and the carrying of the 16-foot depth to New Duluth, not far from the head of navigation on the St. Louis river.
The city of Duluth has deeded to the United States all its remaining landed interests in and adjacent to the Duluth canal, and condemnation proceedings for the balance of the land needed have been begun.
The lake commerce of this port, Duluth and Superior, during the last season of navigation amounted to over $118,000,000, as a very conservative valuation, and since the United States took charge of this harbor this commerce has amounted to over $1,100,000,000.
The Sundry Civil Act of June 4, 1897, appropriated $437,500, all of which will be expended under existing contracts for dredging and in purchasing land for the Duluth canal; for the land under and adjacent to the southerly pier of the Wisconsin entrance, and in executing contracts to be made this fall and winter for the Duluth canal piers.
The opening of the Sault canal in 1855 gave speculative values to prospective harbors at the head of Lake Superior. Lands on the site of Superior City had been surveyed in 1853, and in the fall of that year G. R. Stuntz, B. Brunson, E. F. Ely and associates made a town site settlement at the head of the bay, and named it Endion. The site was that of an old French trading post. Other tracts were pre-empted, and in 1854 W. W. Corcoran and others organized the town of Superior. The propeller Manhattan visited the head of the lake in 1855, and the same year the steamer Sam Ward brought emigrants and freight. But the vessels engaged in the Lake Superior trade seldom sailed to the head of the lakes, and the settlers obtained their supplies very largely in small boats from Ontonagon. Many improvements were made, including a wharf. Between 1854 and 1857 over 2,000 lots were sold. Ten railroads were projected, and vast enterprises of various character flourished in prospectu. The panic of 1857 almost depopulated the rapidly-growing port. The city has grown rapidly in recent years. In 1890 it contained 26,168 inhabitants and the present population is 31,000.
Superior possesses nine extensive coal docks, including two modern bee-hive docks, the largest on the lakes, several merchandise docks, five grain elevators, ore docks 2,400 feet long on the Duluth & Winnipeg railway. The American Steel Barge Company has at at West Superior a large steel ship-building plant, where the construction of the whale-back type of propellers and barges has been carried on very extensively. The plant includes a mammoth dry-dock, machine shops, etc. The company owns and operates 31 propellers and barges.
The harbors at Superior and St. Louis Bay consisted originally of a natural entrance protected by shifting bars with a scant 9-foot navigation, of the St. Louis river cutting diagonally through Superior bay and touching the dockage front at one point only, and of Superior, St. Louis and Allouez bays, with an average of eight feet of water only.
The United States Government began the work of improving the harbor in 1867, by building two parallel piers, which are 350 feet apart, and a good deal of dredging was done in order to obtain the required depth of water between them, and in the channels leading from Connor's point, and the Quebec dock, and the new connecting channel in St. Louis bay. The original project has been modified from time to time to meet the necessities of the rapidly-increasing capacities of lake vessels, the last modification being made by Act of Congress approved August 5, 1886, which added the improvement of the channel in St. Louis bay. The work done has resulted in giving 16-foot navigation at the entrance through the natural channel, through an artificial channel leading to the Quebec dock, and from there along the dock line to "the Gate," and an artificial channel along the dock line in St. Louis bay clear through to the natural channel at Grassy point.
The appropriations for improving the harbor at Superior Bay and St. Louis Bay have been as follows: 1867, $63,000; 1869, $45,000; 1870, $40,000; 1871, $60,000; 1872, $50,000; 1873, $64,284; 1876, $3,000; 1878, $3,000; 1879, $5,000; 1880, $5,000; 1881, $10,000; 1882, $40,000; 1884, $45,000; 1886, $22,500; 1888, $50,000; 1890, $65,000; 1892, $70,000; 1894, $50,000; total, $695,833.
In 1897 $437,500 was appropriated for improving the unified harbor, and in 1898 $770,138 was appropriated. Continuous contracts amounting to $3,080,553 have been placed for further improvements. This harbor consists now of the Duluth canal, the Wisconsin entrance, Superior bay, Allouez bay, St. Louis bay, and St. Louis river to the limits of the cities of Duluth and Superior, about twenty miles from the original natural entry.
Two Harbors, situated at Agate bay, 29 miles northeast of Duluth, is one of the largest ore shipping ports on Lake Superior. The entire product of the Vermillion range and a portion of the Mesaba output is shipped from this port. It contains a population of about 2,100, and has five good docks.
The harbor at Agate bay is semi-circular, of 2,000 feet radius. When breakwater piers are built it will form a harbor of refuge. There is is a good navigable depth throughout the harbor, or at least the greater part of it, but it is exposed to storms from the southwest, and from reverse swells of hard storms from the northeast.
Because of the rapid increase of commerce at this port, Congress, in 1886, made an appropriation of $22, 500 for its improvement, and the project approved in 1887 was to construct two breakwater piers on a line toward each other from the eastern and western points of the bay, to be 1,000 feet and 900 feet long, respectively, leaving an opening between the two piers of 1,340 feet, and enclosing an area of 109 acres. Work upon the east pier was begun in 1887, and by the close of the season of 1891 there had been built 750 feet of it. Of the west pier 550 feet have been completed. There had been expended on the work in July, 1898, $156,389. Total appropriations to 1898 were $172,500.
There is not yet perfect security from southwest storms for vessels lying at the merchandise dock, but it is no longer necessary to leave the harbor and seek security elsewhere. The favorable results already obtained with the portions of the breakwater now built are much greater than anticipated, and emphasize the advisability of speedily completing the remainders of the projected piers.
Vessels arriving and departing at Agate bay, the year, number of vessels and respective estimated tonnage being given: 1885, 174, 295,800; 1886, 263, 460,000; 1887, 465, 697,500; 1888, 749, 1,436,000; 1889, 1,255, 2,400,000; 1890, 1,050, 2,625,000; 1891, 1,250, 2,915,000; 1892, 1,330, 3,101,600; 1893, 1,178, 2,386,200; 1894, 1,618, 3,236,000; 1895, 2,494, 4,900,000; 1896, 1,982, 4,360,000; 1897, 2,064, 6,192,000.
Grand Marais harbor is the only harbor of refuge on the north shore of Lake Superior between Agate bay and the international boundary line. It is an elliptical bay of about half a mile by one-fourth of a mile in area. It has an opening on the south side, which was originally about 1,000 feet wide; but it was not of sufficient depth nor was it sheltered sufficiently either fo[r] commercial purposes or for a harbor of refuge. Before improvements commenced here there was a maximum depth over a limited area of 14 feet, but the average depth was not over 9 feet.
The improvement of this harbor commenced in 1880, and in July, 1898, there had been completed 350 feet of the breakwater, and the 16-foot average depth was 25 acres in extent. Total appropriations are $133.350.
In 1878, 4 tugs and 5 schooners entered and departed from this harbor, with a total business of 60 tons, valued at $6,000. In 1897, 185 vessels entered the harbor. Lake receipts in 1897 were 1,719 tons; shipment, 58 tons.
Sault Ste. Marie harbor is near the eastern end of the Sault Ste. Marie canal. At the session of Parliament of 1884 there was voted the sum of $4,000 for dredging the shoal of sandstone rock off the wharf so as to give a depth of 16 feet. In 1885 there was voted the sum of $4,000. At the session of 1886 $4,000 more was voted to continue dredging. The work was successfully carried forward to completion in June, 1889, the depth of water outside the face of the wharf varying from 14 feet 6 inches to 18 feet.
The lights in St. Mary's river are as follows: Sailors' Encampment, lower range light, on the west shore of St. Joseph's island, one half mile below Ross wharf, established in 1892, and a light 64 feet east from shore line and 246 feet from front light, a lantern on a mast, established in 1892. Rains Wharf range, one light on shore north of wharf, established in 1892, and another light, 436 feet from front light, established in 1892. Sailors' Encampment, upper range lights, one 640 feet from shore, established in 1892, and another light 260 feet from front light, a lantern on a mast, established in 1892. East Neebish, upper range, one light 150 feet from east shore, established in 1892, and another, 302 feet from front light, a lantern on a mast, established in 1892. Sault Ste. Marie light is on the Government wharf 25 feet from the southeast corner, established in 1894, to indicate the Government wharf. Footes Dock light is at the shore end of the dock near the bank of the river, established in 1890. Point aux Pins light, on the outer end of a low sand point, wooden structure, established in 1873.
Starting from the Sault Ste. Marie canal and passing toward the westward on this northern shore the lighthouses are as follows: Corbay Point lighthouse, on Batche-wan bay, established in 1889. Not far from this lighthouse is the Pancake Shoal Bell Buoy, in 30 feet of water on the southwest edge of Pancake shoal, established in 1894. This shoal is of considerable extent, and has only from 4 to 6 feet of water on it. Gargantua lighthouse is on the summit of a small island in the mouth of the harbor, established in 1889. Caribou Island lighthouse is on a small island southwest of Caribou island, established in 1886. Michipicoten Island lighthouse is on a headland on the east side of entrance to Quebec harbor, established in 1872. Agate Island lighthouse is in Quebec harbor, Michipicoten island, established in 1872. Peninsula harbor lighthouse is on the south end of the island at the entrance to the harbor, established in 1891. Battle Island lighthouse is at the eastern entrance to Ne-pigon bay. It is the farthest north of any lighthouse on the lakes. It was established in 1877. Porphyry Point lighthouse is at the entrance to Black bay, Edward island, Algoma, and was established in 1873. Lamb Island lighthouse is at the west entrance to Nepigon bay, and was established in 1877.
Port Arthur, situated on Thunder bay, is an important Canadian shipping port. It is on the line of the Canadian Pacific railroad, which controls a connecting lake line of steamers. It is the shipping port for the large grain crops transported from the farms of Manitoba by the Canadian Pacific road. The population of Port Arthur is 3,000.
In 1883 there was voted $50,000 toward the construction of a breakwater and the dredging of the mouth of the Kaministiquia river. In 1884 there was voted $150,000 toward the construction of a breakwater, and $25,000 was contributed by the town of Port Arthur. At the close of 1884 1,000 feet, or one-half the work, was completed, the amount expended during the year being $84,832.
The contract for dredging for a channel 3,700 feet long, 100 feet wide and 18 feet deep through the center, and 14 ½ feet deep at the sides, dredged through the shoal off the mouth of the river, was for the sum of $20,000. During the summer of 1885 dredging was completed, a channel 15 feet deep being provided up the river for more than a mile, which proved of great benefit to the trade of Fort William.
In 1885 the sum of $70,000 was voted for continuing the work of building the breakwater, and at the session of 1886 the sum of $16,000 more was granted. This sum added to the $70,000 and the $25,000 which Port Arthur had previously contributed, made a sum available of $111,000 for the work. In 1886 there was voted the further sum of $10,000 for the breakwater, which was carried eastwardly 1,600 feet.
In 1888 a contract was made for the construction of 1,500 feet more of the breakwater, with piers at each end. To the westwardly the work was practically completed, an opening 350 feet wide being left for vessels to enter, between the old work and the new. Work commenced again on this contract in 1889, and 300 feet built that year. The work done was very substantial, and the harbor was scarcely equalled by any on Lake Superior.
In 1890 considerable progress had been made on the 1,500 feet of breakwater, and a large amount of stone was placed on the talus in front of the wood work then under construction. During this same year considerable dredging was done on the shore line off the mouth of the river, in order to accommodate the large vessels that then were calling at Fort William to load with grain.
The lighthouses in the vicinity of Port Arthur are as follows: Two Kaministiquia lighthouses, one on the north shore of the river near Fort William, established in 1873 and rebuilt in 1876; the other 879 feet from the above, established in 1873 and rebuilt in 1895. Port Arthur, on crib work, 31 feet from west end of breakwater, established in 1882. Pie Island, about 400 feet from wharf, west extremity of island and west entrance of Thunder bay, established in 1895. Victoria Island, near the western end of the island, established in 1881 and rebuilt in 1887. Thunder Cape, at the entrance to Thunder bay, established in 1874.
The harbor work of the Great Lakes, on on the U. S. side, was in 1898 in charge of the following members of the U. S. corps of engineers: Lake Ontario, east of Oak Orchard, N. Y., Major W. S. Stanton, Oswego, N. Y.; Lake Ontario at Oak Orchard, N. Y., westward to Lake Erie at Erie, Pa., Major Thomas W. Symons, Buffalo, N. Y.; harbors on Lake Erie west of Erie, Lieut.-Col. Jared A. Smith, Cleveland, O.; Detroit river to and including Lake Huron, Lieut.-Col. G. J. Lydecker, Detroit, Mich.; eastern shore Lake Michigan to and including Michigan City, Ind., Lieut.-Col. G. J. Lydecker, Detroit, and Capt. C. McD. Townsend, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Chicago harbor and river and Calumet river, Major W. L. Marshall, Chicago, Ill..; west shore Lake Michigan, north of Chicago, Capt. George A. Zinn, Milwaukee, Wis ; Lake Superior, Major Clinton B. Sears. Duluth, Minn. The river and harbor work is in charge of the War Department at Washington.
In recent years the Navy Department became domiciled on the Great Lakes by the establishment of a hydrographic office at Chicago in 1893. Lieut. George B. Blow, of the United States navy, had been in charge of the naval exhibit at the World's Fair, and near its conclusion the Chicago Board of Trade and a number of prominent citizens petitioned the Naval Department for a permanent representation at this city. As a further inducement free office rent for five years was tendered by a prominent building management. As a result the hydrographic office was opened, with Lieutenant Blow in charge. At Cleveland in 1895 a second hydrographic office on the Great Lakes was established, and since then other similar offices at Buffalo, Duluth and St. Mary's. The officers in charge in the spring in 1898 were all transferred to active naval service, and the hydrographic work temporarily left in charge of nautical experts, except at Chicago, where Lieut. W. J. Wilson, formerly assistant, was assigned to full control. The Hydrographic Department constructs charts, locates reported shoals, issues monthly bulletins to mariners and in various other ways has made itself valuable to the lake marine. It is the only harbor representation of the naval department on the Great Lakes, except the officers in the lighthouse service, which is conducted by the Treasury Department with officers from both army and navy, the former in charge of buildings and the latter of buoys and other beacons.
Return to Home Port
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.