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Headquarters Corps of Engineers, November 29, 1886, I have the honor to make the following report, viz:
At only two of the works committed to my charge are “piers, breakwaters, locks, and dams or other structures or works built or made by the United States in aid of commerce or navigation”
"used, occupied, or injured by a corporation or by an individual." *
(1) At St. Mary's Falls Canal, the water supply of the village of Sault Ste. Marie is taken by means of a pipe through the pier on the south side of the canal, near the western end, under permission granted by a revocable license dated December 8, 1885, signed by the Secretary of War.
By a revocable license dated July 31, 1886, the Secretary of War granted to the Board of Water Commissioners of the village of Sault Ste. Marie permission to lay water-mains through a certain portion of the grounds pertaining to St. Mary's Falls Canal.
(2) On Saginaw River. The works at Carroliton have frequently been injured and partially destroyed by fire, caused by sparks from passing steam vessels, which use pine slabs for fuel and are upprovided with spark-catching devices.
The pier at Crow Island is often used by the boom companies and private parties as a mooring place for temporary storage of rafts of logs. An actual damage to the pier itself by reason of such use and occupation is not apparent, but the navigable channel opposite the pier is obstructed during such occupancy to the extent of the width of the rafts. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
0. M. Por, Lieut. Col. of Engineers,
Bvt. Brig. Gen., U. S. A. The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Detroit, Mich., August 8, 1887. SIR: In compliance with the provisions of section 4 of the river and harbor act, approved August 5, 1886, I have the honor to report that the only cases in my district where “piers, breakwaters, locks, and dams or other structures or works built or made by the United States in aid of commerce or navigation are used, occupied, or injured by a corporation or by an individual,” bave occurred at St. Mary's Falls Canal.
First, use.-By permission of the War Department, the northwestern pier of the canal is used by the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Company as a landing place for materials required in the construction of the bridge next referred to.
Second, occupation.-The Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Company, by vir. tue of authority granted by the Secretary of War, under section 2 of an act entitled “ An act to authorize the construction of a railroad bridge across the Sainte Marie River," approved July 8, 1882, has entered upon the right of way across the canal and grounds, and is constructing the bridge provided for.
Third, injuries.-On October 15, 1886, the steam-barge Smith Moore, bound up, ran into the lower gate of the lock of 1881, while the lock
was emptying, there still being a head of about three feet in the lockchamber.
The boat pushed the gates open and forced her bow some 40 or 50 feet beyond the miter-sill, the result being to break the fastenings of one of the gate cables, warp the north leaf of the gate so that when afterwards closed the gate would not miter at the top by about 10 inches, start the tenons at the heel and toe posts, and injure three of the straps and ties.
When the gate was closed the water pressure due to the rising head in the lock chamber as it filled forced the distorted gate into position again, and the slight repairs to the iron work were quickly made, the whole cost not exceeding $30.
The injury arose from error on the part of the engineer of the barge, who misunderstood the correctly.given signals of the captain and turned the engine ahead when he had been signaled to back. am, sir, very respectfully, your
O. M. POE,
Brt. Brig. Gen., U. 8. A.
REPORT OF MAJOR L. COOPER OVERMAN, CORPS OF ENGINEERS.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Cleveland, Ohio, January 12, 1887. GENERAL: In compliance with General Orders No. 6, Headquarters Corps of Engineers, United States Army, Washington, D. C., November 29, 1886, I have the honor to submit the following report:
MONROE HARBOR, MICHIGAN. The bank of the United States Canal at this harbor is occupied by the Monroe Fishing.club houses. There are two or more buildings be. longing to this club. There are also two fish-houses and two ice-houses, belonging to individuals, on the bank of the United States Canal. The occupation and use of said bank of canal is without permission, as far as records of the office show, but no especial injury to United States property is occasioned by the occupancy.
Would respectfully suggest that all parties trespassing be compelled to obtain written permission to so occupy the United States Canal bank, and be subject to the orders of “engineer in charge of the harbor.
TOLEDO HARBOR, OHIO. The United States has not built any piers, breakwaters, or other structures” in aid of commerce or navigation for this harbor, hence there can rot be occupancy or use of same by individuals or corporations.
SANDUSKY CITY HARBOR, OHIO.
Similar case to that at Toledo Harbor.
PORT CLINTON HARBOR, OHIO. Piers, etc., built at this harbor by the United States are not used or occupied by any corporation or individual. Considerable trouble has
been occasioned, at times, by parties removing sand (for sale) from off the narrow sand-beach which separates the river from the lake, at the inner end of the west pier. The parties removing the sand have permis. sion from the owners of the beach.
It is respectfully suggested that some action of Congress should be had to protect the junction of piers, etc., with the shore or defining the right of the United States to control said beaches, which, in most instances, are the result of structures built by the United States for the improvement of the harbor.
CLEVELAND HARBOR, OHIO.
Piers and breakwaters are occupied and used both by individuals and corporations.
East Pier.-Occupied, in part, by the tracks of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railway Company, by special act of Congress, approved August 14, 1876, by which act the railroad company were to have use of and occopy part of said east pier, provided the railroad company should keep the pier in good condition.
It is respectfully suggested that the pier is not kept in good condition by the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railway Company.
West Pier.-Occupied and used by club houses of the “Gardner Canoe Club," of Cleveland, Ohio. Permission given by the honorable Secre. tary of War.
Occupied and used by Mr. Samuel Law, of Cleveland, Ohio, with boat-houses, where pleasure boats for fishing and rowing, etc., are kept for hire. Have so occupied and used part of said west pier for a number of years (over eight years). No record of any permission as to a sort of " squatter privilege,” or by sufferance at first, which possession has strengthened.
The keeper of the Life-Saving Station,” which is located on the west pier, has constructed a dwelling-house and boat-house, where boats may be rented for pleasure. Permission given to erect said extra building by Col. John M. Wilson, Corps of Engineers (the then officer in charge), in October, 1882. Fishing boats land at or near the said boat-houses and give much annoyance at times, with uploading and dressing of fish.
Whilst these boat-houses, etc., which occupy and use the said west pier, do not materially injure said pier, their occupancy is a precedent for other parties who desire to get a foothold, and the trespassers already there make every effort to increase their privileges (?).
I would respectfully suggest that all parties now occupying this pier be given to understand that they are trespassing, be compelled to obtain permission to occupy and use said pier, and to be subject, in all respects, to the orders of “the engineer in charge" of the harbor.
Breakwater-Shore-arm.—On beach, near inner end of shore-arm, a boat-house, for hire of pleasure boats and sale of refreshments, was erected in the spring of 1884. Parties claim to have rented privileges of the owner of the land, but one of the houses is certainly on pile of riprap stone placed by the United States for protection of the junction of breakwater and shore. Their occupancy and use do not materially injure the breakwater, but it is an encroachment upon United States property which may become hereafter very objectionable. They should be placed subject to the orders of “the engineers in charge.” The lake arm of the breakwater is not used or occupied in any way. It will, perhaps, be attempted by vessel men when the harbor of refuge is completed.
In conclusion I would respectfully suggest that it would be advisable if Congress should take some action, in a general act, giving the engineer in charge of any United States improvement some definite and fixed power to regulate the improper use of piers, breakwaters, etc. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. COOPER OVERMAN,
Major of Engineers. The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A.
REPORT OF CAPTAIN F. A. MAHAN, CORPS OF ENGINEERS.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Buffalo, New York, November 1, 1887. SIR: In compliance with General Orders No. 6, Headquarters Corps of Engineers, series of 1887, and with your letter of October 28, 1887, I have to report that the north pier at the mouth of Buffalo Creek is occupied by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railway Company, for the use of their coal-pockets and tipples.
While the occupancy of the pier in this way does not inflict any directly apparent injury on the pier, still these structures are of such a nature as seriously to interfere with repairs that may be needed at any time and will be needed before very long, greatly increasing the cost of, and the time required in making such repairs.
The occupancy of this pier by the railway also seriously interferes with work going on under the auspices of the United States, as has been very well shown during the present summer and fall with the work going on at the breakwater.
The United States does not possess a single square foot of unoccupied ground convenient of access by water, except the banquette of the south pier, in the harbor of Buffalo. During the operations of the present summer and fall, the only place that could be found available for the storage of material was a pier belonging to the State of New York. This pier was used through the courtesy of the officials of the Erie Canal, but with the understanding that it must be vacated on demand. The pier was inconvenient of access, and it made pecessary a double handling of all material arriving by rail, which would have been avoided had the United States been in possession of its own property.
If operations are to be continued on the breakwater during future seasons the use of a landing like this pier will be more and more neces. sary.
While the occupancy of the pier belonging to the State of New York did answer for the present season (in a certain way), it would not be sufficient for work on a large scale owing to lack of space for storage purposes, and it would be necessary for the United States to obtain, probably at great cost, a place suited to the demands of the work, while having a piece of property easily worth from $20,000 to $25,000 a year, if rented for a term of years, in its possession.
While the presentation of the above facts may not be just such as may be required by section 4 of the river and harbor act of August 5, 1886, it seemed to me proper to show how the interests of the United States
suffer from the occupancy of a piece of its own property from which
F. A. MAHAN,
Captain of Engineers, The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A.
REPORT OF CAPTAIN CARL F. PALFREY, CORPS OF ENGINEERS.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Oswego, N. Y., November 11, 1887. GENERAL: In compliance with General Orders No. 6, current series, Headquarters Corps of Engineers, I have the honor to report the following occupation and injury of United States harbor works under my charge.
AT OSWEGO, NEW YORK.
December 10, 1886.- Extension of lighthouse pier was damaged by collision of steamer Baltic under stress of weather; four courses of timber on channel face were broken in, and the deck.plank secured to them were displaced and broken. Damage was repaired December 12-16, at a cost for material and labor of $92.08.
December 12, 1886.-Light-house pier extension damaged by collision of steamer Bell Wilson under stress of weather; three courses of timher on channel face were damaged and deck-plank displaced and broken. Damage was repaired December 13-16, at a cost for material and labor of $100.75.
September 12, 1887.-East breakwater damaged by collision with unknown vessel. Timber displaced and split and deck-plank started. Damage was repaired September 13, at a cost for material and labor of $7.60.
AT CHARLOTTE, NEW YORK.
In 1885 or 1886 the Ontario Beach Improvement Company rebuilt superstructure over about 600 feet of the old west pier within the present shore-line, as a revetment of the river front of lands leased by them, and have since occupied this as a private dock.
They have not held this as private property as against the United States, but complaints have been made through this office to the War Department of their so holding it as against private parties.
A chain ferry plying between the east and west piers, within the shore-line, authorized by the honorable the Secretary of War, May 24, 1873, is kept open during the summer.
A ferry plying between the east and west piers outside the shore-line was authorized by the honorable the Secretary of War, June 11, 1883. It is understood to be discontinued.
No other occupation or injury of United States harbor works under my charge is known to me. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CARL F. PALFREY,
Captain of Engineers. The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A.