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MANISTEE HARBOR, MICHIGAN.

LETTER

FROM

THE SECRETARY OF WAR,

TRANSMITTING,

WITH A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, PEPORTS OF EXAMINATION AND SURVEY OF MANISTEE HARBOR,

MICHIGAN.

FEBRUARY 13, 1906.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and ordered to be printed, with illustration.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 12, 1906. SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a letter from the Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army, dated 10th instant, together with copies of reports, with map, from Col. M. B. Adams, Corps of Engineers, dated November 1 and December 7, 1905, of a preliminary examination and survey, respectively, of Manistee Harbor, Michigan, made by him in compliance with the provisions of the river and harbor act of March 3, 1905.

Very respectfully,

WM. H. TAFT,
Secretary of War.

The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, February 10, 1906.

SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith for transmission to Congress reports of November 1, 1905, and December 7, 1905, with map, by Col. M. B. Adams, Corps of Engineers, upon preliminary examination and Survey, respectively, authorized by the river and harbor act approved March 3, 1905, of Manistee Harbor, Michigan, with a view to obtaining a uniform depth of 18 feet.

In the opinion of the local officer, and of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors whose duty it is under the law to review all reports of this character, Manistee Harbor is worthy of improvement to the extent indicated; but in view of the existing local conditions and the advantages to be derived from the proposed increase in navigation facilities, the Board recommends that the project be approved, but with the proviso that no work be undertaken by the United States until local authorities have reconstructed the bridges as recommended, have deeded to the United States the land necessary for the proposed widening of the river channel, and have protected the United States against all claims for damages which may result from caving of the river banks due to the proposed improvement. The cost of the dredging and other work to be done by the United States is estimated at $147,488, with $1,500 annually for maintenance after completion.

I concur with the views and recommendations of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, with the additional suggestion that the work to be done by the General Government need not necessarily be required to await the completion of the work to be done by local authorities, but that the Government work may be commenced upon receipt by the Secretary of War of satisfactory pledges that the private and municipal work will be completed within a reasonable time. Very respectfully, A. MACKENZIE, Brig. Gen., Chief of Engineers, U. S. Ármy.

Hon. Wм. H. TAFT,
Secretary of War.

PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF MANISTEE HARBOR, MICHIGAN.

UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,

Grand Rapids, Mich., November 1, 1905. GENERAL: Replying to instructions of the Chief of Engineers, dated October 9, 1905, I have the honor to state that it seems desirable to take up the report of preliminary examination of Manistee Harbor, Michigan, with a view of obtaining a uniform depth of 18 feet de novo, and as follows:

To comply with section 9, river and harbor act approved March 3, 1905, I have the honor to transmit a map of Manistee Harbor, Michigan, showing the general characteristics of that harbor as surveyed June 12-15, 1905, and to state that the commerce of the harbor, as reported for the year 1904, was as follows:

Number. Tonnage.

Vessels entered and cleared

1,720

355, 811

a Not printed.

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A meeting of the citizens of Manistee who are interested in affording greater depths than those provided under the existing 15-foot project was called at my request October 18, 1905, at which the subject of the necessity for greater depths to meet the needs of commerce was freely discussed, as well as the difficulties encountered in the improvement of the harbor owing to the narrowness of the drawbridges and the shallow depths at which the city water pipes cross the channel between Manistee Lake and Lake Michigan. The narrowness of the channel throughout and the clayey character of the bottom and banks were also matters of consideration.

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There are letters herewith from the

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* * Louis Sands Salt and Lumber Company, J. O. Nessen & Co., Edward Hines Lumber Company, and Michigan, Indiana and Illinois Line, setting forth the necessities for an 18-foot channel depth at Manistee. Of course it is understood that a depth of 1 to 2 feet greater than the draft of vessels is needed in order to provide for their safe navigation, inasmuch as a boat when she "smells bottom" is liable to sheer and otherwise become unmanageable. It is claimed that a boat will sometimes squat onto the bottom if she comes too close to it.

From considerations of the necessity of providing a depth of at least 17 feet to accommodate boats that at present frequent this harbor, the increased commerce that is promised in consequence of increased draft being provided in the channel, and the likelihood of such boats being at once placed in trade with the harbor if an 18-foot channel depth existed, I have the honor to recommend that the project for Manistee Harbor, Michigan, be changed so as to provide a depth of 18 feet from Lake Manistee to Lake Michigan.

An estimate of cost can be prepared from data at hand.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brig. Gen. A. MACKENZIE,

M. B. ADAMS,

Colonel, Corps of Engineers.

Chief of Engineers, U. S. A.

[Second indorsement.]

BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS,

Washington, D. C., November 22, 1905.

Respectfully returned to the Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army. The Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors has considered the within report of the district officer upon a preliminary examination of

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Manistee Harbor, Michigan, with a view to obtaining a uniform depth of 18 feet.

The original project for improving this harbor, adopted in 1867, provided for a channel of navigable width and a depth of 12 feet in Manistee River from Lake Manistee to Lake Michigan, a distance of about 2 miles, the outlet into Lake Michigan to be protected by piers and revetments. Under it a narrow channel was dredged following the bed of the river, and piers constructed at its mouth 170 feet apart. This project has been modified so as to permit of dredging to 15 feet, and the piers have been extended with a width between them at their outer ends of 200 feet. The river, however, is obstructed by three drawbridges having draw spans of 70, 60, and 58 feet, and has a sharp bend near its mouth, which renders navigation by large vessels difficult. Its channel is also subject to deterioration from material caving in from its banks, which are for some distance unrevetted.

The Board is of the opinion that the further deepening of this harbor by 3 feet, as recommended by the district officer, is not advisable unless the project be otherwise extensively modified. Lake vessels ⚫ of 18 feet draft have beams of from 48 to 56 feet, and it is doubtful if they could pass the drawbridges. They are also of such a length that they would be liable to ground in making the bends near the harbor entrance. It is also questionable if a channel of suitable width for vessels of this class can be excavated between the piers without reconstructing those originally built for a 12-foot channel.

The commerce of Manistee is of importance, varying in the past twelve years from 452,000 to 968,000 tons, and from statements presented to the Board it appears that a considerable increase is reasonably prospective if the harbor be developed as desired.

The Board believes that the commerce of this port is sufficient to justify a further increase in depth of channel to 18 feet, provided the cost be reasonable, and therefore recommends that a survey be made and an estimate of cost submitted. It is suggested that when the district engineer prepares the estimates he provide for straightening the channel and giving it a depth of 18 feet and suitable width, with revetted banks where necessary, and that he carefully consider what changes, if any, should be made in the location of the piers at the harbor entrance, and in existing bridges, to enable vessels to make use of the increased depth proposed. For the Board:

D. W. LOCKWOOD,

Lieut. Col., Corps of Engineers,
Senior Member of the Board.

[Third indorsement.]

WAR DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, November 24, 1905.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.

This is a report on preliminary examination of Manistee Harbor, Michigan, authorized by the river and harbor act of March 3, 1905. Inviting attention to the report of the Board of Engineers for Rivers

and Harbors, in the preceding indorsement, I recommend that a survey of the locality, as proposed, be authorized.

A. MACKENZIE,

Brig. Gen., Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army.

[Fourth indorsement.]

WAR DEPARTMENT,

November 27, 1905.

Approved as recommended by the Chief of Engineers.

ROBERT SHAW OLIVER,

Assistant Secretary of War.

LETTER OF THE LOUIS SANDS SALT AND LUMBER COMPANY.

MANISTEE, MICH., October 23, 1905. DEAR SIR: We respectfully request you to use your best endeavors and do what you can to have the channel of the Manistee River deepened to 18 feet. The steam barge Wotan belonging to this company was purchased with a view of carrying freight from this port, and although she draws but 15 feet when loaded we are unable to pass through the Manistee River with full cargoes, and are required to use her in other ports or go down the river but partially loaded. It is a well-known fact that the depth of water in the Manistee River varies a great deal from time to time, and other vessels of much less draft in navigating the river in its present condition run dangerously near the bottom.

Your efforts to bring about a better condition of water in this port, I am sure, will be greatly appreciated by the shipping interest of this community.

Yours, truly,

LOUIS SANDS SALT AND LUMBER COMPANY, By R. W. SMITH, Vice-president.

Col. M. B. ADAMS.

LETTER OF MESSRS. J. O. NESSEN & CO.

MANISTEE, MICH., October 30, 1905. DEAR SIR: Referring to the meeting had between you and the writer and a number of our citizens relative to the Manistee Harbor, we wish to say that we are very much inconvenienced here on account of the condition of the Manistee Harbor. In addition to it barring up outside the piers, the channel inside is barred up all along, so that we can hardly load a boat to 14 feet of water and get out of the harbor with it.

The steamer N. J. Nessen loaded down to 14 feet 3 inches and hung up here on a bar in the river for some time, but finally succeeded in getting over it. While we have endeavored in our fleet of boats to get them all light draft, so as to do business out of Manistee, we find that with all of our efforts we are unable to carry full cargoes with the boats we have.

The inclosed letters from two other heavy shippers speak for themselves.

Manistee is the largest shipping point on this whole east shore, and we have the poorest harbor and the most neglected one. From the statements made to you by the writer and our citizens, you, no doubt, are thoroughly confirmed that it is a necessity for the Government to cut an 18-foot channel here, so that we may be able to carry in our commerce. Most of the boats owned here and that are plying here at the present time carrying a full load would draw 15 feet.

We can furnish you requests from parties with whom we deal and that have boats drawing 16 feet loaded that would be glad to enter this port, providing there was water sufficient to do so. For instance, we ship a great deal of salt to Duluth, Minn., by water, and boats plying between Lake Superior and Chicago, coming back light, eould load salt, which would be a great advantage to them, but on account of the present condition of our harbor they are unable to get in and out of here with a bad.

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