Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

a fall in the water-way, outside the locks, of nearly 7 feet per mile, it may well hare been called an uphill business.

The navigation works between the head of Little's Falls and the mouth of the river commencing at the head of Little's Falls, consisted of,

1st. A lock of 6 feet lift.
2d. A sluice 2,000 feet long, falling 5 feet.
3d. Open river for 4,000 feet, falling 8 feet.
4th. A sluice and mill-race 1,800 feet, falling 1 foot.
5th. A lock of 10 feet lift.
6th. Open river for 38 miles, falling 15 feet to the foot of Bull's Falls.

7th. A canal bebind Virginius Island, 9,200 feet long and about 30 feet wide, with a single lock of 5 feet lift, and a double lock of 15 feet lift, leaving 16 feet of fall to be passed over outside of the locks.

All traces of the works above tbis section bave disappeared, and the works, as abore named, are in a dilapidated condition, no attempt having been made to use them since the freshet of 1877.

The lock at Little's is a comparatively recent one, built to replace an old ore washed out, and is so badly built that it is not worth repairing. The other locks are the original ones put in by the old navigation company, and are fairly constructed: one of them veeds one new wall, and they all need new gates, clearing out of sani. débris, &c.; they are all 90 by 12 feet in the chamber.

The training wall at Little's Falls, originally built of small slabs of slate, lai dry, has almost entirely disappeared.

The canal and mill- race at Suyder's mill as well as the main caval below require clearing out of the débris, and possibly the removal of some projecting points a ledges.

The trade formerly using this water-way for access to a market consisted of grain. flour, lumber, and iron, which was floated down in flatboats to Harper's Ferry, as through the Chesapeake avd Obio Canal to Washington and Georgetown. Since the war this trade has been small, and since the freshet of 1877 nothing at all, if wees cept iron shipped 72 miles down the South Branch from Millon's Iron Works to the Manassas Railroad, at Front Royal. It is claimed, however, that if the river in ima proved so that navigation can be maintained during the low-water stages, not on, the former business will revive, but that it will be largely increased.

The following approximate estimates of cost are based upon an open-river, down stream navigation, with channels through all bars and ledges, 18 inches deep lg 2 feet wide, with only such amelioration of slope, &c., as can be gained by an ecouomica

, distribution in wing-dams, &c., of the rock removed from the ledges; the portion of the river below Little's Falls to be restored to its original condition. This plan, I usderstand, would meet the expectations of all parties concerned.

ESTIMATES.

Between Port Republic and Iron Iorks (22 miles). 4,600 cubic yards rock excavation, at $2.50. 4,000 cubic yards loose rock excavation, at $1. 25.

$11,5

16,3

$17,50

7,00

24,5

Total..

Between Iron Works and Front Royal (72 miles). 7,000 cubic yards rock excavation, at $2.50. 5, 600 cubic yards loose rock excavation, at $1. 25.. Total..

Front Royal to Little's Falls (459 miles). 3,500 cubic yards rock excavation, at $2.50 2,000 cubic yards loose rock, at $1.25 Total......

Little's Falls and Harper's Ferry (64 miles). 1,000 cubic yards lock masonry, at $6....

11,

[ocr errors]

4 sets lock gates, at $100 3,600 cubic yards training wall, &c., at $2.50

500 cubic yards rock excavation, at $2. 50 4,000 cubic yards loose rock, sand, &c., at 50 cents.

1,11 2, 00

Total..

19,50

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

3 sheets, tracings of Mr. Herron's maps of Shenandoah and South Branch (1332). Respectfully submitted.

N. H. HUTTON,

Assistant in charge of Reconnaissance. Col. WM. P. CRAIGHILL,

Vajor, Corps of Engineers, U. S. A.

AN ACT to incorporate the Shenandoah River Navigation Company. Passed February 27, 1872.

Be it enacted by the legislature of West Virginia : 1. That it shall be lawful to open books under the superintendence of Edward Terry, George W. Eichilberger, George H. Turner, Jobn G. Cockrill, M. Rowe, S. V. Yantic, and Edward W. Miller, or any four of them, at Harper's Ferry, in the county of Jefferson, for receiving subscriptions to the capital stock of the company hereby incorporated, for the purpose of improving the navigation of the Shenandoah River.

2. The capital stock of the said company shall not be less than three thousand dollars, to be divided into shares of one hundred dollars each, and which at any time hereafter, by vote of the stockholders, may be increased to an amout not exceeding ten thonsand dollars, each share thereof shall entitle the holder to one vote in all the meetings of the stockholders, to be given either in person or by proxy.

And for the purpose of obtaining subscriptions to the capital stock, or so much thereof as may be deemed pecessary for the lawful purposes of the said corporation, books shall be opened under the direction of the persons named in the first section of this act or a majority of them, at such time and place as the persons who act in that behalf shall deem expedient ; and in case the company shall organize before a sufficient amount is subscribed to the said capital stock, for the lawful purposes of said corporation, the president and directors thereof shall have authority and power, at any time thereafter, and without opening new books of subscription, to receive further subscriptions to said capital stock until the full amount authorized by this act shall have been subscribed.

3. As soon as ten shares or one thousand dollars shall have been subscribed, the subscribers, their executors, administrators, and assigns, shall be and are hereby incorporated into a company by the name and style of “The Shenandoah River Navigation Company,” with all the rights, privileges, and immunities, and subject to responsibilities of a body politic or corporate, and may make such by-laws, rules, and regulations, not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of this State, and of the United States, as they may deem necessary and advisable.

4. The said company sball have power to improve the navigation of the said river by removing any and all obstructions existing to the navigation of said river, or by locks, dams, sluices, canals, or by the usual modes of improvement now used or here. tofore used to render rivers navigable; and may acquire lands and materials for said improvements, under the general laws now in force.

5. The said improvement shall commence at the boundary line on the said river, between Jefferson County, in this State, and Clarke County, in the State of Virginia, and be prosecuted toward the mouth of said river, so far as may be deemed practicable, or the resources will permit, and so soon as the said river is improved to Shenandoah City, the said company shall be authorized to demand and receive a rate of tolls not exceeding the following, to wit: On flour, one and one-balf cents per barrel; on all grains, one-half of one cent per bushel; on iron, twenty-five cents per ton; on lumber, twenty-five cents per thousand feet; on all boats loaded with cooper stuff, hoop-poles, or other articles not herein specially enumerated, one dollar on each boat; and on failure to pay such tolls, wben demanded, tbe articles whereon the same are charged, and the contents of cargoes of the said boats shall be liable therefor, and may be proceeded against by attachment, as in other cases of attachment for debts.

6. If the president and directors of said company shall not commence this improvement within one year from the passage of this act, and complete the same within two years thereafter, as far as Shenandoah City, then the interest of said company, in the navigation and tolls aforesaid, shall be forfeited and cease.

7. The legislature reserves the right to alter or amend this act at any time, in such manner, however, that no injustice may be done to the corporators or their creditors.

AN ACT to amend and re-enact section six, of chapter ninety-eight, of the acts of 1872, entitled

"An act to incorporate tbe Shenandoah River Navigation Company, approved December 30, 1873.

Be it enacted by the legislature of West Virginia : 1. That section six, of chapter ninetyeight of the acts of 1872, entitled "An act to incorporate the Shenandoah River Navi. gation Company," passed February 27, 1872, be amended and re-enacted so as to read as follows:

“6. If the president and directors of said company shall not prosecute this improvement within one year from the passage of this act and complete the same within four years thereafter, as far as Shenandoah City, then the interests of said company in the navigation and tolls aforesaid shall be forfeited aud cease.”

REPORT NO. 1, OF MR. JAMES HERRON, CIVIL ENGINEER, ON THE SURVEY AND EX

AMINATION OF THE SHESANDOAH RIVER AND VALLEY.

January 18, 1833. GENTLEMEN: Pursuant to your resolution of the 4th April, 1832, I resumed the surveys of the Shenandoah River and Valley, commenced by me under the late principal engineer. As the estimates and plads required by law cannot be prepared in time to be laid before the present legislature, I have thought that a summary report of the progress made, with a description of some of the geological features of the country, so far as they relate to the subject, and have been developed by the surveys, would be acceptable to your honorable body, as well as those interested in the proposed improvements. In conformity with these views, I have the bonor to report:

That in resuming operations this season I commenced at the mouth of the Shenan. doab, wbich enabled me to survey the rivers before the sickly season, after which I carefully surveyed the country froin Staunton to Winchester with a view to a railroad.

At Harper's Ferry a reference was taken to the level of the Chesapeake and Obio Canal, now being constructed. The reference is to the surface of the canal 246 feet above mid-tide at Georgetown. To this beight they also then contemplated raising the water in the mouth of the Shenandoab, by means of a dam across the Potomac; this dam bas been abandoned, at least for the present, and they were constructing a lift-lock to receive the trade of the Shenandoab.

From Harper's Ferry an experimental survey was conducted up the northwestern bank of the Shenandoah to the main forks. From this the survey continued up the North Fork to the month of Stony Creek, where it closed on the operations of the previous year. Returning to the forks, the general western side of the South Forks was surveyed to the head of the Massanntten Valley. Here the river being found to wash the base of the mountain, we crossed to the eastern side, which was kept as high as Port Republic. From this point surveys bave been made up the Middle and North Rivers to where these streams are respectively crossed by the main valley road.

In making these surveys, the three modes of improvement were, so far as practicable, kept in view, as east of the Massanutten they would all be contined to the immediate valley of the river.

I at first endeavored to connect with these surveys an examination of the bed of the river, but owing to a sudden rise of the water and the inadeguacy of my assistance I was obliged to abandon it. Ample data, however, bave been obtained to determine the propriety and relative advantages of the ditterent works, and on which to predicate approximate estimates of their cost, with the exception of the lock and dam improvement, which would require particular measurements and an actual location. This mode of improvement, however, is certainly not eligible, in consequence of the great fall in the river, which could render danis too numerous, whereas, this fall is actually required by the laws of nature to enable it to disembogne the floods that are poured simultaneously from the steep sides of the adjacent mountains. What is to become of the margival property of we interrupt its course by a series of dams that sball back the water to each other sufiiciently deep for navigable purposes ? It is evident that we raise the general surface of the river, when at its minimum, about three feet, the depth required for oavigation. Now, though this river may be crossed

by dams which, when placed sufficiently far apart, will not occasion any material rise in the waters beyond wbat would naturally have occurred; yet, as it is a well ascertained fact that the greatest rise takes place below the dam, even with the natural inclination of the bed to facilitate the egress of the waters, in how much greater degree then will be the rise when this natural inclination is raised to a horizontal level, and this level raised 3 feet? Even now the bottoms are furrowed, and contain long and deep ponds, some of which bave been recently formed. These are features which should not be overlooked, as they but too clearly mark the character of this mountain torrent of the first magnitude.

THE SHEXAXDOANI.

The surface of tbe water at the junction of the Shenandoah and Potomac was ascertained from the foregoing reference to be 242.43 feet above tide.

The distance from the mouth to the main forks near Front Royal measured by the survey 53 miles 1,201 yards; in a straight line it is only about 38} miles, showing an increase of distance of more than 15 miles.

The surface of the river at the forks stood 210.48 feet above the Potomac, and 452.91 feet above tide; the average fall in the river is, therefore, 3.91 feet, and in the country 5.62 'feet per mile; the fall of the river, however, is by no means regular, for in the first 8 miles from its mouth it has attained an elevation of 84 feet, which is 10.5 feet per mile.

An attempt has been made to overcome this rise by six badly constructed locks, a windlass, and sluices. From Newcomer's Mills, wbere the last of these locks was observed, to the main forks, the rise is proportionably diminished, and with the exception of the long cliffs at the Sbanondale bend, and some narrow places, no difficulty of magnitude presents itself in the way of a construction.

NORTH FORK.

From the forks, the survey took up the North Fork, through good bottom lands, with but one short bluff before reaching Cedar Creek. Above this, the river seems to have cut though a spur of the Three-ton Mountain, round the base of which it winds, forming a good bottom in the bend.' The valley side, however, which was occupied by our survey, consists of high and steep slate rocks, forming a deep crescent of a mile and a half in extent, against which the river impinges with great violence in times of freshets ; beyond this, very good bottoms continue to some distance above Strasburg. The distance from the forks to Bench 0, near Strasburg, is, by the survey, 11 miles 70.50 chains; the surface of the river was found to be 48.96 feet above the forks, or 501.87 above tide.

From this to the mouth of Stony Creek, the North Fork is extremely crooked, so much so, indeed, that no adequate idea of it can be conveyed. The tongues of land that form its numerous bends consist alternately of the high slate spurs from the Fort Mountain, interlocked with equally high limestone ridges of the valley. There are 29 of these tongnes, each one of which forms one or more small but higbly cultivated farms, in a distance of about 20 miles. The distance to the mouth of Stony Creek, by the survey, is 42 miles 43.03 chains, showing an increase of distance amounting to 221 miles; the course of the stream is still longer, for the survey cut off the bottoms in the bends.

The level of the river at the mouth of Stony Creek was ascertained to be 515.53 above the Potomac, 757.96 above tide, and consequently 256 feet above its surface near Strasburg, which is at the rate of 6 feet to the inile ; and did it run in a straight line it would be 12.8 feet. The latter is the general fall of the country, and bas been found to hold with regard to the ridges and streams crossed by the line I have selected for a railroad, though remote from the river, the latter being left at Stony Creek.

It does not appear to me that any improvement can be effected on this portion of the river, the advantages of which would be at all commensurate with the cost.

SOUTH FORK.

The South Fork of the Shenandoah constitutes the principal branch. It generally preserves as great a width, but is not so deep, as the Shenandoah. From the main forks to Port Republic by the survey is 95 miles 78.54 chains, or from the Potomac it is 149 miles 57.48 chains. A straight line from the forks to Port Republic is only about 524 miles, showing an increase of distance by the sinuosities of the river of 434 miles.

For the first 22 miles the survey passes through good bottom-lands very favorable to the construction of a canal. The next two miles, walling in the river would be required along the base of a high and steep spur of the Massanntten Mountain, composed of hard slate. This bas brought us to Page County line. From this to the end

of the 26th mile good bottoms, but here another slate spur would require walling for a mile. From the 27th to the end of the 34th mile no difficulty of moment is met with, but here we encounter another of these spurs, which would require walling for 14 miles. From this to the end of the 50th mile there would be about another mile of walling along cliffs; the rest is generally tbrough good bottom-lands.

This bas brought us to Mauk's Mills, opposite which walling for another 4 mile along a steep billside.

There are very good rich bottoms from this to the end of the 55th mile, wbere it becomes necessary to cross to the eastern bank, the western being one series of precipitous cliffs and steeps from the top of the mountain to the water's edge.

For 3 miles, or to the end of the 58th mile, we have good bottoms. This brings us to the perpendicular limestone cliffs above Honeyville.

From the 58th to a little beyond the 76th mile, the river winds its course between the rugged spurs of the Peaked Mountain and Blue Ridge, which here converge and interlock. Numerous steep limestone clitt's project into the river on either side. They are, however, generally short on eastern side, which is that occupied by the survey. The uplands witbin this distance are very poor, and even the broad bottoms that sometimes occupy a large part of the numerous bends are composed of sand, with bat little fertility, and deeply furrowed in places by the river. Kemper's Falls are passed in the above distance.

From the 76th to near the end of the 90th mile, the country opens into fine broad and rich bottom or flat lands, that extend in places to a width of 2 miles.

The survey continued up the eastern side of the river to Port Republic ; a work of any kind should however cross to the western side near the 90th mile. This is to avoid the steer, sideling ground opposite Mr. Gilmer's fine bottoms, which would require wall. ing in the river for 14 miles. The water is deep, and the bottom treacherous. Beyond this, on either side, the broad bottom continues to the forks.

The surface of the river at Port Republic was found to be 796.83 feet above the Po. tomac, or 1,039.26 feet above tide; the rise from the forks 536.35 feet, which is 6.109 feet per mile.

It being the middle of July, and the waters unusually low, I gauged the river be tween Port Republic and New Haven, above where it receives the South River. The surface of the water measured 266 feet. This was divided into 27 sections, and repeated trials with a float having a deep arm were made within each for periods of from 10 to 15 seconds. Four-fifths of the mean result collectively gave 128.56 cubic feet per second as the prism of water passing, which may be regarded as the winimum quantity.

From which it follows, that exclusive of the supply from the South River, there would be ample water to pass a boat every two minutes through locks as large as those of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

THE NORTH AND MIDDLE RIVERS.

The North and Middle Rivers will be described when I conclude my reports. The mode of improvement that may be adopted on the principal branch will determine the character of its tributaries.

THE CANAL,

In conformity to law, I am progressing with the plan and estimate of the cost of a canal to extend from Harper's Ferry to Port Republic.

THE RAILROAD,

I have carefully revised that portion of the line that was run by me under the late principal engineer, and leaving the river at Stony Creek, have extended it through Woodstock to Winchester. I am not prepared at present to report on the subject, as the estimates are, or ought to be, predicated on actual calculations, which require time, and vary with the different plans of construction. I have only to remark, that though I had great difficulties to encounter, I became perfectly satisfied of the practicability of the scheme as I progressed with the surveys.

REMARKS.

From the facts set forth, it is clear that the choice rests between a canal or other improvement of the river from Harper's Ferry to Port Republic, a distance of 150 miles, or a railroad from Harper's Ferry to Staunton, along the river of about 175 miles, or of a railroad through the valley from Staunton to Winchester of about 105 miles.

« AnteriorContinuar »