Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), May 30, 1895, p. 7

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CHICAGO SHIP AND DRAINAGE CANAL. : (ILLUSTRATED. ) ‘By constructing an artificial waterway from Lake lichigan to Joliet, Chicago restores: an ancient outlet _ to the Mississippi. For ages the waters of the lakes were poured into the’ Gulf of Mexico, through this out- let-by. way of the Mississippi Valley and the trough hewn out of the rock for a distance of 20 miles, the bot- _tom of which is only six feet above the present level of the lake; is from one to two miles in width. It may be said to’begin:at Summit, 11 ‘miles west of Lake Michi- gan, and-toend at Lockport, 20 miles further west and south. Itis in the bed of this natural outlet that a new channel is now being excavated of sufficient depth to renew the outflow from the lake. Asremnant of the ancient stream is found in the Des- plaines River, which now, a mere thread, winds through the yalley over its rocky bed. This river rises in the southern part of thestate of Wisconsin, arid flows south- ward parallel with the western shore of Lake Michigan, 12 to 40 miles distant. At Summit it turns abruptly to the southwestward and follows the valley to a point 60 miles below Chicago where it unites with the Kankakee to form the Illin- ois River. The Iilinois River continues southwestward across the state emptying into the Mississippi at Grafton, 325 miles from Chicago. i : : The period of construction for the Illinois and Michigan Canal dates: back: to July 4, .: 1836,'and on April 23, 1848, the barge Gen- eral Thornton, of LaSalle, passed through: the entire length of the canal from LaSalle and arrived at Chicago on that date. The : route was used via the-Illinois River to reach St. Louis, with;more or less commer- cial success for many years though the water shoaling in the Illinois River event- ually rendered the canal worthless, either for traffic or sewerage. The general gov- ernment then took up the question and after _Tepeated surveys improvements were carried on in a desultory way for several years. In 1866, Col. J..O. Hudnutt, of Chicago, surveyed acanal route from Hennepin to Rock Island, which was adopted substan- tially for the present Hennepin Carial. <A’ later survey showed that the canal’would be 64 miles in length and it could be supplied * with water by a navigable feeder 38 miles in length from Rock River at Dixon.: * The connection from Chicago to Rock Island on the Mississippi being accom-' plished, all efforts will be turned in the future to improving the Illinois River’ from: - Hennepin to Grafton and so that all ves- sels that can reach St. Louis may be able to proceed through to Chicago and thence en- ter the lake trade. rr MARINE HOSPITAL SERVICE, WATERWAY. The marine hospital service is. maintained Heep aes out of the tonnage tax. In each of the large ports‘a hospital is located. In the smaller seaports a physician is appointed by the goy- ernment to care for all cases that come into the port. These physicians are paid serording to thei work, while at the large hospital stations the doctors are paid a yearly salary. Only sailors are admitted to the hospital who have served 60 days continuously on an American vessel pre- vious to their application for admission. After such service a seaman is entitled to free treatment for 60 days, whether he is at work or as an indoor patient. ‘This provision was adopted to prevent men not sailors from getting the benefit of the service. Before the rule was adopted it was a common practice when sick to ship on a vessel and at the first port go into the dospital for treatment. Even now men attempt the same thing. They often succeed, especially when the master is somewhat careless or sympathetic and gives them a false certificate of 60 days’ service, when per- haps they had worked but afew days on the vessel, or in some cases, not since the previous season. The seamen belonging to the navy are treated by the service, but the Navy Department has to pay the bills. All applicants for positions on life-boat stations are THE ILLINOIS Miasissipe: River. THE MARINE RECORD. examined at the marine hospital. The service does an immense amount of good and is one of the most bene- ficial departments under the control of the government. Se ea ee WOMEN LIGHT-KEEPERS. About 20 women are now engaged by the Light-House Board to look after the light-houseson our coasts. ‘Two of.them are on the coast of Rhode Island, several are in Maryland and in New York State, one at Michigan City, Mich., one at Milwaukee, one on the Mississippi at Biloxi, several off the coast of California, and two or three near the mouth of the ateeiasinel River in Louisiana. The light-keeper in charge at Michtgan City, Mich., is Miss Harriet Colfax, a cousin of the late vice presi- dent Schuyler Colfax. When she was appointed the lights were of lard oil, and it was her nightly duty to pick her way along a wet and slippery causeway, often in the teeth of a heavy gale or when the rain and hail were descending in torrents. After reaching the end of 3 \ Galena & 9 fo Joliet Kankakee Bul Bloouit ngtop LEP GAY (3 here —— = + = Vandalia ° the causeway she had to climb up’a slippery ladder and set the lamps. At midnight it was her duty to refill the lamps, so that they might not become extinguished be+ fore daylight. This shows a good deal of the spirit of Ida Lewis, keeper of the Lime Rock light-house off the coast of Connecticut and the Grace Darling of the United States. — rrr oe + A GOVERNMENT DREDGE LAUNCHED. The large government sea-going dredge General C. B. Comstock was sucessfully launched in the ship yard of Hugh Ramsey, at Perth Amboy, N. J.,on Monday morning. The vessel was built for the government under con- tract with the Bucyrus Steam Shovel & Dredging Co., of South Milwaukee, Wis. The first work of the dredge will be in the harbor of Galveston, Texas. The dredge was designed by chief engineer A. W. Robinson, of the Bucyrus company. The vessel is thoroughly sea-going sae has compound engines of 500 horse-power which will enable her to _ make a speed of ten knots an. hour. She ‘also ig ue ‘ye powerful electric search lights. ( Just as the dredge was leaving the ways she was | christened the General C. B. Comstock. by Miss Lulu Ramsey, the daughter of the builder, after the distin- guished officer of the corps of RAREST who recently retired. Among the government officials who witnessed the launch of the vessel were Major Miller, of Galveston, Texas; Capt. J. B. Rauter, of the Engineers’ Depart- ment, of Galveston; F. A. Kimmer, Colonel Ross Valen- : tine, of Woodbridge; Dr. Lancaster, H. B. Wilson, of the Engineers’ Department, of Galveston. eo ro — HAY LAKE CHANNEL, : Thomas R. Harvey, proprietor of Harvey’s marine bu- reau at the Sault St. Marie, replying tothe recent pub- lished statements made by Commander Mead, U.S. Navy, says that the currents of the Hay Lake channel will not interfere with any craft if the channel is properly buoyed. The trouble heretofore has not been that the masters have been running the channel when it was too dark to see the buoys, but that there were no buoys to see. Harvey also claims that buoys were not properly placed in position in the channel until $75,000 worth of damage had been inflicted upon grounding boats, and he wants to know the cause of the delay. He also says the second black stake at the foot of the dyke is about 150 feet south of the channel, and there is at this point a bar of boulders and mud which is likely to cause seri- ous damage. There are no buoys from the turning stake in Mud Lake up to the first two stakes at the foot of the dyke, and more stakes are certainly needed at this point. Harvey further states that there should be at least five additional pairs of stakes placed from the turn at the foot of Hay Lake and leading on mo Nine- Mile Point. —_er a — 90 — 0 THE LUCANIA’S NEW RECORD. A cablegram from Queenstown, May 24, says: The Cunard Line steamship Lucania, Capt. McKay, from New York May 18, has beaten her daily average speed record. She made the trip in five days, eleven hours and forty-one minutes, being three hours and thirty minutes behind her own eastward record of five days, eight hours and thirty- eight minutes, made in Septem- ber, 1894; but on the trip just completed the Lucania made an average daily speed of 22.01 knots per hour, Her best previous daily speed record was 21.89 knots made in June, 1894. The Lucania, according to her log passed Sandy Hook lightship at 2.24 P. M. on Saturday last, May 18, and arrived off Daunt’ s Rock at 6:40 A. M. on the 24th. In lat. 48° 35’ north and Jon.29° 45’ west she passed a au elict whose timbers were showing six feet above water. The United States cruiser, Columbia was not sighted by the Lucania, after the latter passed Sandy Hook. ‘The cruiser passed the Hook two minutes after the Lucania. ——e_—— 92 — COAST DRY-DOCKS. re The dock at Port Royal, South Carolina, which is nearly completed, is the largest in the country, and is capable of accommodating the battleships now building, No other dock is large enough to hold them. Its dimen- sions are 627 feet and 76 feet, and is the first of the three large docks now building to be finished. The dock build- ing at New York is practically of the same dimensions as that at Port Royal, though it seems problematical when this one will be completed. A third dock, which is to be the greatest in the country, is now rapidly pro- gressing toward completion at Puget Sound, and, when finished. will be one of the finest in the world, This dock is intended to be used in docking the battleships and large cruisers stationed on the Pacific coast, where there are no facilities now adequate for the purpose. Land has been purchased at Algiers, opposite New Or- leans, for the site of a fourth great dock, and an appro- _priation of $250,000 has been asked by the Secretary of the Navy to begin the work, which will cost $1,250,000. > EEEee —e BRITISH CRUISER LAUNCHED. : The new British cruiser Terrible, was launched in the Clyde on Monday. She is of 14,250 tons, with en- gines of 25,000 horse-power, and is expected to develop a speed of 22 knots an hour. Her dimensions are 538 feet long, 71 feet beam, and she is fitted with 326 water- tight compartments, and is as unsinkable a man-of-war as can be built.

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