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ANNUAL REPORT of the Board of Internal Im
Detroit, 1st December, 1845.
The undersigned, Commissioners of Internal Improvement, in ac. cordance with law, respectfully report. No changes have been made in the engineer corps since our last annual communication, and the former secretary of the board is still continued. During the past year, the board have had under contract, forty-four miles of rail road, the completion of sixteen miles of canal, which also includes the contract for locking Clinton and Kalamazoo Canal into Clinton river, and the improvement of the navigable portions of the Flint and St. Joseph rivers. The season has been in most respects 'propitious for the prosecution of these works, and they have progressed in a satisfactory manner. The rail roads would have been completed by this time to Kalamazoo, had there been no difficulty in procuring sawed timber, and some unforseen delay in the receipt of iron and spike.. Notwithstanding these untoward circumstances, some sixteen miles of the road are now finished, and the balance will be completed in six or eight weeks. The whole number of miles in successful operation at that time, will be two hundred and twenty-two, seventy-four of which will have been added within the twenty-two months last past. The receipts from the Central and Southern roads, the only paying works, for the last two years, are as follows: Central road,
8413,916 41 Southern do,
$536,992 54 Of this sum there has been received and disbursed under the admin. istration of the present board, within the last nineteen months, four
hundred seventy-eight thousand, five hundred eleven dollars and eighty-four cents. Within the time last before mentioned, the stock of the Central and Southern rail roads have been increased, two hundred four thousand eight hundred ninety-four dollars and eightytwo cents, lo wit : Central road,
$150,365 92 Southern do,
54,528 90 This is over and above the amount paid for construction in internal improvement and land warrants, which are issued upon certificate of the acting commissioner, and for which amount we respectfully refer the legislature to the report of the Auditor General.
The present cost and value of the rail roads, and furniture of the road and shops, including materials on hand, are as follows: Central road, as per auditor's books,
$1,837,046 29 Iron purchase of 1843, '44 and '45,
103,071 53 Furniture of road and shops, &c.
Total value of both roads,
$3,363,380.37 In addition to the above sum, the invoice of sundries in the internal improvement office, and instruments, books, maps and furniture in the office of the chief engineer, to the amount of one thousand dollars, should be added.
The destruction of West Lowell bridge, which occurred on the 23d of August, resulted in the following damage and loss : Total loss of flour,
$281 57 Damage to cars,
825 00 The passenger cars made regular daily trips with but slight inter
ruption, but very great delay and difficulty was experienced in forwarding freight. A large number of men were industriously employed for twenty-six days, without interruption, and, until the breach was repaired. The bridges upon the Rouge and Huron have always been to the Board a source of lively anxiety, and they have frequently been subjected to the close and careful examination of engineers and mechanics. No prudential measures for keeping them unquestionably safe had been spared, and the failure of the one in question, though disastrous to the character and revenue of the road, is undoubtedly to be classed among those providential occurrences which no human foresight could anticipate or avert. The present bridge is remarkably well planned and built, and the materials used were selected with great care. All the bridges over the streams before named have been thoroughly examined and strengthened, and no fears are entertained of any present danger. Nevertheless, the time is not very distant when they must all be rebuilt.
Since the date of our last annual communication, the car-house at Ann Arbor, with a large amount of private property has been destroyed by fire. This calamity was occasioned, it is supposed, by sparks froin the engine finding their way through some crevice in the plastering to the under side of the roof. The original cost of the car-house was about six thousand dollars, and the value of the fixtures connected therewith was, as nearly as can be ascertained, about one hundred dollars mere. To supply the wants of that station a cheap water-house and wood-shed are being built, at an expense of seven hundred and seventy-five dollars, which will answer all the indispensable demands of business for some time.
The increase of business on the line of the Central Railroad has made it necessary to construct several new side tracks, especially in the immediate vicinity of mills, and very much to extend some others which were constructed when the road was built. The expenses
of this work have been charged in the construction account and been paid for out of the receipts of the road.
The Tecumseh branch of the Southern road, which has been under contract for renewing the superstructure, has been completed, and the iron is now being laid. At the date of our last annual communication to the legislature, it was supposed that twelve thousand
five hundred dollars would fit the road for the iron as far as the vil. lage of Tecumseh. This belief was founded upon the presumption that a long and expensive bridge over the valley of the River Raisin could be repaired and made sale for the passage of a train of cars for about seven hundred dollars. Upon a closer examination, however, it was thought to be impracticable to repair it, and the Board decided to erect an other bridge, and in this way $5,160 of the appropriation was absorbed, leaving a balance of $7,340 which has all been expended upon five miles of the road. There is still due the contract
this part of the road in land warrants, the sum of one thousand, five hundred seventy-seven dollars and forty-nine cents. Most of the road north of the bridge (four miles) has been renewed by the citizens of Tecumseh under the supervision of the engineer having charge of the road, and it is believed to be well done. The timely aid afforded by the patriotic citizens of Tecumseh has enabled the work to go on to completion at least twelve months sooner than it otherwise would. The amount of their expenditures is $3,739 62. There is about one thousand dollars due for engineering, well-digging and putting in turn round at Tecumseh, which, added to above sums, exhibits a deficit for this work of seven thousand two hundred and fifa ly-two doliars in land warrants. The parties to whom this amount is payable rely upon the justice of their claim in enlisting the early action of the legislature, and the Board respectfully recommend a provision for its payment. Could this branch have been completed by the 10th of August, its receipts would have more than confirmed the favorable opinion we expressed in our last report. There have been manufactured and forwarded from the two mills at Tecumseh the past autumn, 26,133 barrels of flour. The number of bushels of wheat sent to Monroe and Adrian by teams is not definitely known, but the quantity is exceedingly large. To above add the flour made at Clinton, Manchester, Brooklyn, Jefferson and other points, whose natural outlet would be this road, besides the large amount of mer. chandize which would have been carried over this road to these flourishing villages. The destination of the flour of the Manchester mills for the last three years has been such that it has paid no revenue to the state. The owner says, “my flour for the last three years has all gone to Toledo, all of which would have gone to Tecumseh had
the Railroad been completed to that place. This branch will prove to be an important addition to the Southern road, and may always be relied
upon for more than the interest upon its cost. Application will be made to the legislature for an appropriation to repair and iron the Palmyra and Jacksonburg branch of the Southern Railroad to the village of Clinton, five miles north of Tecumseh, its present termination. This road, when in the hands of the company, was completed and used upon wooden rails as far as Clinton, and of the seventy thousand dollars expended in its construction, twenty two thousand were contributed by the citizens of Clinton and vicinity. But this fact, though showing the deep interest felt by the citizens of that place in the completion of the work, and their faith in the profitableness of the investment, would constitute but a feeble argument in favor of now completing the road in connection with the Southern road, unless from authentic data it could be shown that the business that wouid be done upon it, would pay the interest of the arnount now required to put it in operation.
An estimate was made by Mr. Hart, the Engineer upon that branch of the Southern road, at the request, and in behalf of the ci izens of Clinton, of the amount necesary to fit the five miles between Clinton and Tecumseh for iron. He reports 6,347 acres of land as heretofore appropriated, sufficient for that purpose. Should the legislature appropriate 8,000 acres of land, and ten thousand dollars for the purchase of iron and spike, it would give $20,000 as the amount necessary to put the road in operation. Seven per cent interest upon this sum, would produce $1,400. From statements furnished the board as obtained from the actual business done at the several mills, whose business would be done upon this road, if it were completed 10 Clinton, we select the following: The Atlas mills made and sent off 8,000 barrels of flour from last harvest up to Dec. 1st. The Manchester mills over 8,000, the Jefferson and Brooklyn mills 4,000 each, and the Novelty mill 3,000, within the same period. Had it not been for the low stage of water, 12,000 barrels at least would have been floured in the time mentioned in each of the mills at Clinton and Manchester, and a like increase at the other mills. Estimating this at one third of the year's business at the above mills, the Clinton and Manchester mills would furnish annually for transportation from