Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), August 15, 1895, p. 7

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~ THE MARINE RECORD: AIDS TO NAVIGATION. WHAT THE LAKE CARRIERS WANT. The officers of the Lake Carriers’ Association ,expect to get together early date to prepare a list of aids to navigation, which are considered essential to the in- terest of the Among the most important improvements which will be recommended to. Congress is the matter of widening Hay Lake Channel.,.The cut was made 300 feet wide in order that a navigable direct channel for vessels might be opened as soon as possible, but. the..engineers in charge of the surveys have always pointed out in their.reports, that there was space of 150 feet on each side which should be cut out in the future, as the needs of lake commerce demands a wider channel. .It is now obvious .that.. with..three large locks,at,. Sault. Ste Marie, the Hay Lake cut will very soon be too narrow. for the safe passage of vessels, and. likely to be demonstrated in a manner very expensive to the insurance companies before the improvement can be completed. The cut is almost entirely through stone, and it would require some time to make the channel twice as wide as at present. The Association will also urge upon Congress the necessity for better facilities at the foot of the St. Clair river. The St. Clair Flats Canal is only 295 feet in width, and through it must pass all the traffic to and from Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, in addition to that between Lake Superior and the lower lakes, which alone taxes a channel 300 feet in width. An improvement of the St. Clair Flats Canal has long been urged by the Lake Carriers, but has not yet met with the approval of Congress. The plan of improve- ment which meets with most favor is to leave the canal stand as at present, and to construct a third pier or bank 300 or 400 feet to the westward of the west bank, dredging the water in the new channel thus formed to the requisite depth. Regulations constituting one the up-bound, and the other the down-bound channel might be enacted, giving, however, to the engineer in charge of the improvement full power to suspend this rule and to allow both up and down bound vessels to use either cut should the other channel suddenly become obstructed. - The Lake Carriers presented a request to the last Con- gress fot appropriations aggregating $123,000 to be in- corporated in the sundry civil bill, nearly all of which were granted, although none of them have yet been erected. They includea light and fog signal on North Manitou Island, Lake Michigan; range lights and fog signal at Death’s Door Passage, entrance to Green Bay; and north and south ranges on Grassy Island, Detroit River, besides gas buoys for Gravelly Island, in Pov- erty Island Passage, entrance to Green Bay, and for Lansing Shoal, north of Squaw Island, Lake Michigan, which may be provided at any time by the Light-House Board. ‘The Lake Carriers will, in their next memorial, press the claims of two other very important light and fog signal stations, for which they have asked for a number of years, but which Congress has each time seen fit to pass over. One of these is at Middle Island, one of the - most dangerous localities on Lake Huron, and the other <> ad is at Crisp’s Point, west of White Fish Point, Lake Su- perior. Ljife-saving stations have been established at both these places for some time, and the crews have done a great deal of important work, a convincing argument for the need of lights and fog signals to keep vessels off the rocks at these points. The memorial addressed to Congress last year refers to Middle Island as follows: ‘‘ Middle Island is a low island lying near the west coast of Lake Huron, and is an important turning point for vessels. The shelter be- hind this islandis very much used as a natural harbor of refuge, and a light and fog signal are very necessary to aid vessels to seek this shelter, which can now only be sought in the daytime. South-bound vessels here shape their course for St. Clair River, and the courses of north-bound vessels here diverge, one course being for the Straits of Mackinaw and Lake Michigan, and the other for St. Mary’s River and Lake Superior. During the ten years covered by the tables in the last report of the life-saving service, there were sixteen strandings on Middle Island and the adjacent reef.’’ A number of these casualties are then referred to in detail. Concerning Crisp’s Point, the memorial said: “Every vessel bound down Lake Superior from the St. Mary’s River and'canal has to.round White Fish. Point.. It is one of the most dangerous localities on the Great, Lakes, a fact which can. perhaps. be most conclusively proved to your committees by the fact that the government has established not less than three life-saying stations in the immediate vicinity. . Vessels. bound down Lake Su- perior in thick weather, and trying to round White Fish Point, need. to.. locate. their positions as accurately as possible before reaching the dangerous point itself. If they, get at all out of their course to the southward, the shape of the land is such that they ruu aground ona dangerous shore... Many,,vessel masters consider this the most important light on. the list,.and a petition signed by a large number of vessel owners and masters for this light was filed with the Light-house Board last winter. The report of the life-saving service shows thirteen strandings in the vicinity of Crisp’s Point dur- ing the last ten years. It is believed that nearly all of these strandings could have. been avoided if vessels bound down the lake had had a light and fog signal at Crisp’s Point, 18 miles west of White Fish Point, which would. have enabled them to determine their proximity tothis dangerous shore before the present light and signal at White Fish Point could be seen or heard.” rr + Se A STORY OF BOIS BLANC LIGHT. A Newfoundland dog, according to the Detroit Jour- nal, was responsible for the location of the light-house > DEVICE FOR RAISING SUNKEN SHIPS. on Bois Blanc Island, at the mouth of Detroit River. In 1837, Sir Francis Rond Head, then governor of Upper Canada, paid an official visit to Amherstburg. Capt. James Hackett was the owner of a valuable Newfound- land dog, which attracted the Governor’s attention. When he stopped to admire the dog, Capt. Hackett’s wife approached him with the suggestion that a light- house on Bois Blanc Island wasa great necessity, and asked, in the event of its erection, that her husband be appointed keeper. Sir Francis evidently thought the suggestion a good one, for twenty acres of land were immediately purchased, and the light-house was erected that year. Capt. Hackett held the position until 1864, when he was superannuated, and his son Andrew was appointed in his stead. rr oe Or TONNAGE TAX COLLECTION. The tonnage tax collected for the last fiscal year is shown by the records of the Navigation Bureau to have been $522,234, compared with $539,028 for the previous year. The number of entries of vessels on which the tax was first paid was 11,500, compared with 12,340 for the previous year. The decrease in receipts is mainly due to the new measurement law, which has brought our tonnage sys- tem into accord with that of the maritime world. Brit- ish vessels paid $344,637 of the tax and American vessels $69,316; steam vessels paid $362,124 and sail vessels $160,100. Receipts at New York were $187,051; Boston, $48,881; Philadelphia, $47,522; New Orleans, $38,929; San Francisco, $38,158. The tax maintains the marine hospitals. ee ee. THE MARINE RECORD is the headquarters for marine publications of every description. No. 144 Superior St., Cleveland. ss APPARATUS FOR RAISING SUNKEN SHIPS. (ILLUSTRATED.) mes Among the methods usually adopted to carry out the operation of raising sunken ships, two may be taken as the typical methods’ that have been successfully em- ployed. The one method is the raising of the vessel by means of camels, or vessels at the surface of the water and ropes or hawsers passing round or attached to the sunken ship, and made fast to the camels or vessels on the surface of the water; and the other method is the building of a coffer-dam from the vessel to above the surface of the water, and pumping the water from the space enclosed thereby. It has long been known that the disadvantages attaching to the first method, among others, are—the danger of the camels capsizing if allow- ed to sink too deep in the water;.the.great length of hawsers required for attaching in deep water; the lia- bility of the hawsers to break by the strain produced by the motion of the water at the surface; and lastly, the inability to raise a large sunken ship to the surface of the water. The second method is only applicable when the sunken ship isin shallow water, and is very costly to carry out. Mr. W. Syer, of James Place, Old Trafford, Manches- ter, has an invention consisting of two sinkable and raisable iron submarine vessels, which are perfectly controlable, and which are adapted to operate under two strong steel girders placed transversely across the deck of a sunken ship, to which they are at- tached in a most simple and efficient manner. These submarine vessels are construct- ed somewhat in the form of a canal boat, with an air-tight deck, and having air- tight bulkheads across the middle, ex- tending from under the deck to the keelson, thus leaving two vast chambers,. one in the fore and the other in the after part, either of which can be filled with water, or emptied independently of the other. On the deck of the submarine vessel, fore and aft, are constructed two permanent air cases or air-receptacles, of sueh dimensions as not to prevent the vessel from sinking when its chambers are filled with water, although they are of sufficient dimensions to retain its deck uppermost when submerged, thus’ rendering the submarine vessel non-capsizable and exceedingly buoy- ant when resting at the bottom of the water. , When the submarine vessels are required to be raised, the water is driven out of the chambers by the applica- tion of air, which is forced down a pneumatic hose in a similar manner as is done in the case of a diver. By regulating the admission or escape of air through the pneumatic hose, the ends ofthe submarine vessels can be raised or lowered to any convenient angle with the greatest nicety, and they are, we are informed, ca- pable of being moved to any required position by means of their great buoyancy. The construction of the submarine vessel is on such lines as to render it perfectly navigable when floating on the surface of the water; it can be operated in any depth of water where divers can work, and can be constructed of such dimensions as to be capable of rais- ing ships of very large tonnage. ee 9 le LITERARY NOTICES. Another issue of the Fall River Line Journal, issued by the management of the well-known Sound steamers of this line, has just made its appearance. It is full of the usual well-selected fun and information for travelers. The Milwaukee Journal began publishing a serial story of mystery on Saturday and will give $100 in cash prizes to its women readers who make the best guesses as to the outcome of the story. The story runs for over 30 days—beginning Saturday, August 3. Harper & Bros. announce for publication some time in August the following books: About Paris, by Richard Harding Davis; The Money We Need, by Henry Loomis Nelson; The Front Yard, and Other Italian Stories, by Constance Fenimore Woolson, a new addition of Thomas Hardy’s Two On a Tower. A new magazine that comes to hand is ‘‘Information,”’ a sort of current encyclopedia which takes up weekly about sixty subjects in biography, mechanics and pass- ing events, giving concise and yet comprehensive infor- mation. Itis published by the Transatlantic Publish- ing Co., in New York and London, the former address being No. 63 Fifth avenue.

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