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No. 13.


ANNUAL REPORT of the Superintendent of the

St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal.

Sr. Many December 120, 1860. OFFICE, } To his Excellency, Moses WISNER, Governor of Michigan :

In accordance with the provisions of the law, I have the honor to make this, my annual report, for the year 1860.

There was a wide-spread apprehension on the part of those persons interested in the Lake Superior trade, that in consequence of the improvements then in process of being made, that the opening of the Canal would be delayed to so late a period that much inconvenience would be experienced, but their apprehension proved to be unfounded.

The contractors, Messrs. Holmes & Clark, manifested a determination from the outset, to accomplish the work within the time prescribed, and by great personal effort and liberal outlay of means, had so far progressed with the work as to make it safe to introduce the water into the Canal by the 10th day of May, and on the 11th boats were successfully passed through the Canal

Since that time nothing has occurred to interrupt the navigation to its close, which took place on the first of December.

The results of this year's operations have more than realized the expectation of those persons interested in the success of the St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal, and have most abundantly vindicated the wisdom and sagacity of the projectors of this important national work.

It was confidently predicted that this year's busines w uld exhibit a large improvement in all the valuable interisis Cone nected with and depending upon the proper management of this great work, but few were prepared to witness the amazing results which have been accomplished.

By consulting the following tables, the amount received from tolls and from other sources, will be seen, as well as the disbursements and amount deposited in bank to the credit of the Canal Fund : 1860. Cash on hand,

$ 638 32 May. Received from Clark & Holmes,

161 66 Stone,

5 00 Received for tolls, .

2,712 38 June.

5,506 97 July

5,878 26 Aug.

5,228 26 Sept.

1,979 49 Oct.

2,007 64 Nov.

1,347 00

$25,464 98 Of this amount, there has been deposited as follows: 1860. May. Deposited in bank, ....

$1,400 00 June.

3,400 00 July.

4,200 00 August.

5,000 00 September.«

995 00 November

880 13


$15,875 13 There has been expended on the embankment during the season, $1,758 87 but this is not all that is properly chargeable to this account, as the men employed to operate the locks were required to labor on the embankment, when not otherwise engaged, and by this means a large amount of earth was moved to strengthen the embankment. $1,000 00 would not be too large a sum to be subtracted from the amount charged as paid out for wages and charged to the embankment account.

Ten thousand square yards of earth have been added to the embankment this season, which has cost at the rate of 25 cents a yard.

There has been paid out for salaries and wages for labor, $5,988 34, less $1,000 00 charged to embankment. $1,044 33 has been paid for repairs to the piers, painting the gates, snubbing-posts and towers, ropes, oil and other materials necessary to keep the entire work in good order, leaving in the office at the close of navigation, $799 89.


Cash received from all sources, ..

deposited in bank,
on embankment,..
salaries and wages, .

expenses, .
" in the office,

$25,464 98 $15,875 13

2,758 87 4,988 34 1,044 33 798 31

$25,464 98

But as this canal, and the commercial interests connected with it, are destined to occupy so important a relation to the general interests and prosperity of the State, as well as to affect very materially the industrial and commercial interests of the adjoining States, I have so arranged the statistics as to show their increasing importance, and thus attract the attention of capitalists to the inexhaustible riches deposited upon the shores of Lake Superior.

Previous to my charge of the canal, there had been no estimate made of the value of the exports and imports of the Lake

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Superior trade, and it is therefore impossible to know the ratio of increase from the beginning ; but for the last two years there has been as accurate an estimate made as the nature of the case will admit of. It is undoubtedly sufficiently so to aid in approximating very nearly to correct results. A comparison of the gross receipts of the canal for each year, will indicate, in some degree, the growth of this trade. For the year 1855 there was collected $4,374 66 1856

7,575 78-gain of 73 p. C. 1857

9,406 74

24 1858

10,848 80 1859

16,941 84

56 16 1860

24,660 00 There was in 1858, in round numbers, 32,000 tons of iron ore. 1859,

70,000-gain 102 pr. ct. 120,000

71 Of copper in 1859, not far from... 6,500 tons. 1860,

9,000—gain 38 per ct. Flour in 1859, 39,459 bbls.; Coarse grains, 1859, 71,738 bush. 1860, 50,250

1860, 133,437 Butter, 1859, 343,421 lbs; Nerchandise,... 1859, 10,134 tons. . 1860, 400,610 lbs;

1860, 12,250 Cattle, 1859, 2,031 head ; Machinery,...1859, 927 An annual average increase of... 1860, 2,813 head;

...1860, 1,398 Engines and boilers, 1859,...


24 And as an exhibition of the capacity of the people of Lake Superior to consume a staple product of Detroit, I will mention the article of liquor and beer. There was consumed of this valuable article in the year 1859,.......7,312 barrels ; malt.......1859, 235,712 pounds, 1860,.......9,317

....... 1860, 309,864 The total value of imports and exports, 1859, ...$ 9,887,404 60

1860,.... 12,158,865 94



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Of this amount about two-thirds are imports, and one-third exports, consisting of copper, iron ore, fish, fars, &c.

This will appear at first to be a bad showing for this trade. as the imports are so largely in excess of the exports; but when properly considered, it indicates a most promising prospect for the future. The great interests of this region are, as it were, in their inception, and in process of development; and during this stage of the enterprise, it must appear obvious that the outlay must necessarily much exceed the product. Towns are springing up as by magic, and the nature of mining is' such that a large expenditure is necessary before any returns can be realized. Several new mining enterprises have been commenced this season, and many old companies have been encouraged to very much enlarge their operations, and with that view, have introduced large amounts of machinery, and made other valuable improvements.

The question of the reliability of the iron ore and copper of Lake Superior, as a permanent business, is most emphatically answered by this year's product, and the amount to be produced in future is only to be determined by the amount of capital invested.

The total amount of tonnage for 1859, was 352,642 tons, and in 1860, 410,088 tons.

The quantity of iron ore shipped this year would have been much larger, had it not been for the great advance in freights, occasioned by the immense amounts of grain accumulated at Chicago; and the want of facilities for transporting the ore is the only discouraging feature in regard to this interest, as the low rates of freight for some time past has opperated to discourage the building of vessels, to any considerable extent, which, with the disasters of the past season of navigation, involving the loss of a large number of vessels, will necessarily limit these facilities, and consequently the amount of iron ore which otherwise would be brought into market.

The estimates of those best acquainted with this trade, fix the amount as high as two hundred and fifty thousand tons for

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