The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Gazette (Detroit, MI), 15 Jan. 1829, page 2

Full Text
From the Buffalo Journal.

Report of the Engineer Department.--This document, which has just appeared, is one of no ordinary interest. It is alike flattering to the nation at large, and to the scientific acquirements of the department whence it is issued. Its great length precludes the possibility of publishing it entire, but we have copied largely, from such parts as we deem most interesting to our readers...

Deepening the channel of entrance to Presque Isle Bay.--The works projected for this purpose have been completed in a substantial and satisfactory manner, and have already accomplished the intended object, there being in no place less than 7 feet water on the bar, where four feet was formerly the greatest; and steam boats, and other vessels, navigating Lake Erie, enter and leave the port without difficulty. Violent storms on the Lake have caused a breach in the point of land forming the bay, which if not repaired, may cause serious injury to the harbor, by producing a bar inside. I would therefore suggest the propriety of asking for an appropriation for this purpose, as recommended by the local Engineer.

Completion of a pier at Buffalo, in the State of New York.--This work for which an appropriation was made by th act of the 15th of May, 1828, has been prosecuted to advantage, and the breaches made in the old pier have been closed by the new one constructed on the inner side of it, and protected by a mole of stone on the outside, raised fifteen feet above the level of the lake. This pier and mole have been extended complete for 240 yards, the benefit of which has been already experienced, and their strength tested by the late storms, from which no injury was sustained.

Erection of piers at the mouth of Dunkirk harbor in the State of New York.--This work, commenced last year, has been nearly completed by means of the additional appropriation made on the 19th of May last. Some injury was sustained in consequence of the storm which visited Lake Erie on the 15th October, the works being then in an unfinished state; but it is believed that its extent was not very great and will be soon repaired.

Removing obstructions at the mouth of Ashtabula creek, in the State of Ohio.-- The works constructed for this purpose have in part, effected the object in removing the sand bar which obstructed the channel, leaving but a small gravel bar next to the creek, the compactness of which is such, that it will probably require to be excavated by machinery. The portion of the piers commenced last season has been completed; and when they shall have been carried as far as the plan contemplates, they will form a safe and commodious harbor.

Removal of obstructions at the mouth of Cunningham creek, in the State of Ohio.--By the severe storms, the last winter and fall, a pier constructed by a company of citizens, together with an experimental pier, 60 feet in length, constructed by the United States Engineer, was entirely destroyed, in consequence of which the original plan was abandoned, and a succession of solid blocks of pier work, filled with stone, substituted for the old pier; and the same mode of construction will be continued until the work shall have been carried out as far as contemplated by the plan.

Removal of obstruction at the mouth of Grand River in the state of Ohio--The construction of works for this purpose has been successfully prosecuted, and the effect produced by them is such that the harbor has been accessible at all times during the summer; and when the contemplated works shall have been completed, there is every reason to believe that the benefits anticipated from them will be fully realized.

Improvement of Cleaveland harbor in the State of Ohio.--Under the act of the 2d March, 1827, works for this purpose were commenced, and the construction has been continued with success.--Most of the vessels navigating the lake already find little or no difficulty in entering the harbor. To prevent any accumulation of sand at the entrance in future, it is proposed to continue the works farther into the lake, the bed of which is of clay.

Removing the sand bar at the mouth of Black River, in the State of Ohio.--The execution of works for this purpose under the act of the 23d of May, 1828, was entrusted to an officer of Engineers, by whom arrangements were immediately entered into for the commencement of the work, by making contracts for materials, and procuring the necessary machinery. These arrangements were in such a state of forwardness as to permit of the commencement of the work about the last of October.

Removing obstructions at the mouth of Huron River in the State of Ohio.--The channel leading into Huron river continues to improve, so that vessels have found no difficulty in entering it, and the completion of the projected works will constitute a safe harbor.--The greater part of the sum appropriated by the act of the 19th of May last, has been expended in raising to their intended height the portions of piers already constructed; the deepening of the channel having occasioned a settling of from 5 to 9 and 12 feet in the work.

The completion of a pier in La Plaisance Bay, in the Michigan Territory.--The sum appropriated for this purpose by the act of the 2d of March, 1827 has been advantageously applied, and the construction of a breakwater is nearly completed; it will, however be necessary to extend the works, in order to give perfect security to the harbor.

In relation to the works on Lake Erie, I would here remark, that the openness of the weather last winter was such, that very little ice formed along its shores, and the works were consequently exposed to all the storms (which were frequent and violent) that occurred; notwithstanding which, no injury was sustained by any of those constructed under the direction of the United States' Engineer, except that of Dunkirk, occasioned by the works being moored on a smooth rock.

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15 Jan. 1829
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Dave Swayze
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Gazette (Detroit, MI), 15 Jan. 1829, page 2