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" I send you a sketch of the locality, with the different shoals, placed agreeably to their relative positions, with the several courses laid down, showing where they converge, which will express the necessities of the case better than I can otherwise describe them. Very respectfully, MAXWELL WOODHULL, Lieut. Commanding U. S. N., Assistant Coast Survey. Prof. A. D. BACHE, Superintendent U. S. Coast Survey, Washington.
o APPENDIX No. 21.
Letter of the Superintendent of the Coast Survey to the Secretary of the Treasury, communicating a report of Lieutenant Commanding C. H. McBlair, United States navy, assistant in the coast surrey, on the erec
tion of “bug” or harbor lights at Holmes' Hole, Martha's Vineyard.
Coast Sunwey STATION,
SIR: I have the honor to report that the examination into the necessity for the erection of a light-house at Holmes' Hole, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, has been made, as required by the act of Congress of March 3, 1851, and the instructions of the department. ... I communicate herewith the detailed report of Lieutenant Commanding Charles H. McBlair, United States navy, assistant in the coast survey, the officer by whom the examination was made under my direction.
I would further respectfully report, that, instead of the light-house at Holmes' Hole, for which an appropriation has been made, three small beacon-lights, technically known at that port as “bug lights,” should be placed in the position shown on the accompanying Coast Survey chart, recommended by Lieutenant Commanding McBlair. For reasons stated in his report, these lights should be of the smallest class of beacon-lights used in harbors, on low wooden structures, the height being regulated by the elevation of the ground and the relation to surrounding objects. I would recommend that the light nearest the water should be red, and that all should be so screened as not to show, except on a moderately large sector, east side of the range line, which they are expected to
Vc. Three “bug lights,” or beacons, can probably be put up within the appropriation made by the act of Congress; and it is a question for the department to decide, whether its authority extends to their immediate erection, or whether the subject must be referred to Congress, under the act of March 3d, 1851. Very respectfully yours, y resp y y A. D. BACHE, Superintendent United States Coast Survey. Hon. W. L. Hodge, Acting Secretary of the Treasury.
U. S. SURVEYING STEAMER BIBB,
SIR: In obedience to your instructions, I have carefully examined Holmes' Hole harbor, for the purpose of ascertaining what additional lights are necessary, and the most suitable locations for them. I would respectfully recommend the establishment of three harbor lights of the smallest class, to be placed on the sites indicated by the accompanying sketch. The houses might be frame structures, similar to those erected for the small lights called bug lights of this port. Buildings of this description would be most economical, and answer every purpose. They would be placed in such immediate vicinity to the village, that a dwelling for the o may not be necessary. It is not important that the lights themselves should be visible over four miles. The greatest danger encountered in entering this harbor proceeds from the rocks and shoals lying near Low Point. The skirt of wood occupying the higher ground, at some distance from the beach, is sometimes mistaken at night for the shore line, leading vessels to double Low Point too closely to clear the shoal or rocks. Frequent disasters arise from this circumstance. The lights placed as proposed, furnish two well-defined ranges, the object of one of which is to guard against this danger, while the other shows the mid-channel and best water along the entire harbor. Holmes' Hole is used as a port of refuge by vessels navigating the sound, on occasion of head winds and tides and storms; and the adoption of these or similar improvements would add security to life and operty. #. lights suggested are established, it will be necessary to modify the present sailing directions. I have prepared the following, and present them to you in full at the present time, as the best means of exhibiting the value of the ranges referred to. Entering this harbor from the westward, east chop well open with west chop light-house, clears you of the middle ground. Give west chop a berth of half a mile, until you bring on the western range of the harbor lights, when, with the chart for your guide, bear up for your anchorage in the outer roads. If you want to stand into the inner harbor, bring on the eastern range of the harbor lights, and follow it. Approaching from the eastward, give east chop a berth of half a mile, and bring on the eastern range of the harbor lights; following which, you may cast anchor either in the outer or inner harbor. Ships may anchor in three and a half fathoms, muddy bottom; west chop #. just open, with woods on Low Point. Small vessels may anchor immediately off the town. You can beat in with safety, the shores being bold and clear. West jo. is fixed, elevated sixty feet above the level of the sea, and visible sixteen miles. Respectfully, C. H. McBLAIR, Assistant Coast Survey. Prof. A. D. BACHE, * - Superintendent U. S. Coast Survey, Portland, Maine
APPENDIX No. 22.
Letter of the Superintendent of the Coast Survey to the Secretary of the Treasury, recommending certain aids to navigation required by act of Congress and instructions of the Treasury Department.
Coast SURVEY OFFICE, April 29, 1851.
SIR: I have the honor to report upon the following objects referred to this office, embraced in the act of Congress making appropriations for light-houses, light-boats, beacons, and buoys, approved March 3, 1851: No. 4. The eleven buoys in the channel to Commercial Point and Neponsett river, in Dorchester, are recommended, accompanied by a special report to me from Lieutenant Commanding Charles H. McBlair, nited States navy, assistant coast survey, a copy of which accompanies this report, and a sketch showing a survey of the locality, from this office. No. 6. A beacon on Fawn bar, near Deer island, is recommended. For detailed opinions see special report from Lieutenant Charles H. McBlair, United States navy, assistant coast survey; also with a sketch of the locality. No. 7. The two iron spindles on the northeast ledge of the Graves, and on Harding's ledges, Boston harbor, are recommended. The special report of Lieutenant Charles H. McBlair, and accompanying sketch, may be referred to for detail. No. 8. The proposed light-boat off Brenton's reef, Narragansett bay, is deemed of great importance. A sketch accompanies the special report of Lieutenant McBlair, which will show the proper position for it. No. 14. The four spar-buoys for Fire Island inlet, Long Island, were recommended by this office, and are considered of the highest importance to the coasting trade of Great South bay. No. 16. The light-house on Bodkin shoal, intended as a substitute for the one now on the Bodkin Point, is considered of much importance. A chart of the Patapsco river, with the proper position for the tower marked upon it, accompanies this report. No. 19. The buoy for Middle Ground shoals, Beaufort harbor, North Carolina, was recommended by this office. Its proper position will be seen by reference to the accompanying sketch of Beaufort harbor. Nos. 22 and 23. The buoy for }. shoal, Cape Hatteras, and the floating bell-beacon for the outer shoal, Cape Hatteras, were recommended by this office. The recommendation, accompanied by drawings and estimates, was submitted to the department for its aproval. No. 24. The light on the “Upper jettee,” Cape Fear river, and the bridge leading to it, were understood, from a communication from the Fifth Auditor, to be included among the objects of appropriation referred to this office. A personal examination was made of the locality, which produced considerable doubt as to the necessity for the i". Subsequent to the personal examination referred to, the Fifth Auditor advises me that this is one of the objects which he does not desire to be examined by this office. It is deemed proper to say that it would be well to examine into this subject before the work is commenced.
No. 27. The light-houses authorized for Capes Disappointment and Flattery, and for New Dungeness, Oregon, have been recommended by this office, and are considered of the highest importance to the commerce of the northwest coast. The position on Cape Disappointment for the light will be marked in the Coast Survey chart of the Columbia river.
The light on New Dungeness should be placed near the .extremity of the point, about 27 miles from the main land. As this is a very low point, not visible at night, it will require a tower of about eighty feet in height.
The light for Cape Flattery should be placed on Tatooche island, a small island almost touching the northwest extremity of Cape Flattery. The light is considered of great importance, as it will enable navigators to enter the straits at night, which they cannot do now.
The four spar-buoys for Fire Island inlet, the buoy for Middle Ground shoal, North Carolina, and the buoy and bell-beacon for Hatteras shoals, having been recommended by this office, I have to request authority to purchase by contract, under the regulations of the department, and place them in their respective positions. We can also conveniently place those in the Neponset river, if desired by the department.
An abstract of the subjects referred to this office, in this connexion, is herewith sent. The objects referred to this office, not reported upon, require personal examination, which is now being made. So soon as the reports are received, the department shall be informed of the result.
The sketches and special reports accompanying this are numbered according to the paragraphs in this letter referring to them. A general abstract showing all the objects for which appropriations have been made, and the disposition of the several subjects at this date, is herewith submitted. Very respectfully, yours,
A. D. BACHE,
Superintendent U. S. Coast Survey. Hon. W. L. HODGE,
Acting Secretary of the Treasury.
nded by the regulas. We he de
Reports of Lieutenant Commanding McBlair, United States navy, assistant
in coast survey, to the Superintendent, on certain aids to navigation in Boston harbor, gc.
Coast SURVEY OFFICE
Washington, April 23, 1851. Sir: I respectfully submit the following report, accompanied by sketches of the localities, on the subject of the improvements for the navigation of coast, referred to in your letter of instructions.
The objects proposed stand in the following order:
1. “Eleven buoys in the channel to Commercial Point and Neponset river, in Dorchester.”
2. “A light-house at the head of Holmes' Hole harbor.”'
3. * A beacon on Fawn bar, near Deer island, Boston harbor.” 4. “Two iron spindles on northeast ledge of the Graves and Harding's ledge, Boston harbor.” 5. “A light-boat off Brenton's reef, Narragansett bay.” a. “Eleven buoys in the channel to Commercial Point and Neponsett river, in Dorchester.” A full report on this subject has been already laid before you in my letters of March 1, and February 22, 1851, copies of which I herewith enclose. It is only necessary to add that the buoys recommended have no other than local value. b. “A light-house at the head of Holmes' Hole harbor.” Further examination, which can be conveniently made during the approaching season, will better enable me to report on this point. c. “A beacon on Fawn bar, near Deer island, Boston harbor.” d. “Two iron spindles on the northeast ledge of the Graves and Harding's ledge, Boston harbor.” The northeast ledge of the Graves and Harding's ledge, as the outposts of the obstructions strewing the approaches to Boston, should be conspicuously marked, and spindles surmounted by cones of different colors would answer this purpose. Harding's ledge especially, now a danger in itself, and but imperfectly marked by a buoy, if distinguished by a spindle, would serve a valuable auxiliary guide in the approaches to the main ship channel. The northeast ledge of the Graves, similarly marked, would answer the same end with respect to the neighboring Hypocrite and the Broad Sound channels. In connexion with the spindle on the northeast Graves ledge, a beacon on Fawn bar would be serviceable as a good intervening mark between that ledge and the Deer Island beacon. Vessels using the Broad Sound and Hypocrite channels would thus be guided by a succession of distinct marks, each becoming visible in its turn before the one passed is entirely lost. ,The particular advantage of a beacon on Fawn bar would be the facility it would give to the navigation of the Broad Sound north channel; the buoy now moored on the bar, to further this end, could then be advantageously shifted to the narrowest part of that channel on the western side. e. “A light-boat off Brenton's reef, Narragansett bay.” The establishment of a light-boat here is of great importance. It would mark a dangerous shoal, and, in connexion with the Beaver Tail light, clearly define the entrance through the eastern channel into the harbor of Newport, Rhode Island. I am of opinion that all the foregoing improvements would conduce largely to convenience and safety in the navigation of the respective waters where it is proposed to introduce them. Their value would be purely of a local §. , and they would have no other connexion with existing marks or lights than what has been pointed out.
Assistant Coast Surrey. Professor A. D. BACHE,