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To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island,

etc. :

The Board of Harbor Commissioners respectfully submits its Sixteenth Annual Report.


At the May Session of this General Assembly, His Excellency, the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, reappointed J. Herbert Shedd, of Providence, to serve as Harbor Commissioner for a further term of three years from the first of July.


The harbor line on the westerly side of the Pawtucket river opposite land of the Conant Thread Company and land of the Pawtucket Gas Company, southerly of Spencer street, for a distance of 221.07 feet was changed by a resolution of the General Assembly, passed April 29, 1891.

Upon petition, a harbor line was designed ou the easterly side of Pawtucket river from Bass Rock below Dunnell's wharf to the Central, or Red, bridge along the Pawtucket and East Providence shores, and a public hearing was given to the several towns and all parties interested on the 28th day of November, 1891. A report upon this line, accompanied by plans, will soon be presented to the General Assembly.

A petition was received from the Old Colony Railroad Company on December 30, 1891, asking that a change be made in the harbor line


along their property near India street in Providence. A report upon this matter will soon be presented to the General Assembly.

No definite action has been taken in regard to barbor lines proposed in the south county, one from near Saunderstown to near Bonnet Point and another along the shore opposite the District of Narragansett.


The encroachment upon the Pawtucket river, near the extension of Tockwotton street, to the extent of several thousand yards, caused by the city of Providence in filling the shore contrary to the advice of the Harbor Commissioners, has not yet been removed ; but the city is under contract, approved by the Attorney General, to do this, and it is not anticipated that any trouble will be made by the city when the Commissioners request a compliance with the contract It is intended to ask the city to remove the obstruction at an early day.

Complaints have been made to this board of various minor encroachments which have received the attention of the Commissioners.

Permits have been given, under restrictions, in a few cases for the dumping of limited amounts of dredged material in other places than the common dumping ground below Prudence Island.

The usual care has been required to check obstructions and encroachments, by the dumping of ashes from steamers, unauthorized building from the shores, and in other ways which would, apparently, in the absence of such care, grow into a serious injury in the public waters.


Proposals have been received from the U. S. Engineer in charge, in these waters, looking to the preparation of bulk-heads or other barriers along the channels, behind which the U. S. Government will deposit dredged material without cost to the littoral owners. Some action has been taken by the city of Providence towards availing of this plan for the improvement of the flats from Hill's wharf to Sassafras Point.


On the first day of May, 1891, an act was passed prohibiting the discharge, or allowing to escape, into the waters of the Providence or Warren rivers any material from the making of gas which may cause disagreeable odors or defile the surface of vessels, or other property, or the shores, or injure the healthy growth of fish or shell-fish.


Licenses have been granted during the year for structures in the public waters as follows:

No. 140. January 21, to the estate of Alexander Duncan to drive piles and repair a wharf at the foot of Peck street in Providence.

No. 141. April 7, to the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad Company to drive piles, repair and make additions to wharf at Wilkesbarre Pier in East Providence.

No. 142. April 24, to the Rhode Island Lumber Company to drive piles and repair the Manchester wharf on the west side of Providence river south of Point street in Providence.

No. 143. June 10, to the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad Company to drive piles to strengthen the foundations for coal pocket at Harbor Junction wharf on the west side of Providence river in Providence.

No. 141. August 5, to the Rocky Point Oyster Company to extend their wharf east of Gano street, on Wickenden street, on the Seekonk river, in Providence.

No. 145. August 12, to the Pawtucket Gas Company to extend their wharf and build a retaining wall on Tidewater street in Pawtucket.

No. 146. June 17, to the city of Providence to construct a sewer outlet on the west bank of the Seekonk river opposite Blackstone Park in Providence.

No. 147. August 26, to the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad Company to fill in with earth the pile trestle approach to the Harbor Junction Pier in the city of Providence.

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