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Transportation of 13 men and material from Sawyer to Hart.
$26.00 540 00 144 00
90 00 60 00 300 00
This amount is in gold coin=$22,549 33 in currency at 90 cents.
As a steamboat can certainly carry freight, with improved navigation from Roseburg to Scottsburg, at $20, coin, per ton, the difference or amount saved on imports of the valley alone, for less than one year, will more than pay for the removals of obstruction to the navigation of the river. It is therefore to the interests of the steamboat company, as well as to those of the valley, to remove the rocks. Very respect. ully, your obedient servant,
Major of Engineers. Brig. Gen. A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Chief of Engineers United States Army.
SAN FRANCISCO, December 23, 1870. GENERAL: I have the honor to forward herewith a report of a surres of the Willamette River above Oregon City, Oregon, by my assistaut, Lieutenant W. H. Heuer, United States Engineers. The object of the survey being to afford data to determine the nature of the obstructions to the navigation of the river, and the probable cost of its improve. ment, it was evidently not necessary to make a minute survey except of those portions of it where obstacles exist. The portions of the river examined extended from Cornwallis to the falls at Oregon City. The obstacles above Cornwallis are so numerous at the low stages of the river, and so difficult of removal, that I did not think it necessary to titend the survey above that place. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. WILLIAMSON,
Major United States Engineers. Brig. Gen. A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Chief of Engineers United States Army.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA,
December 23, 1870. MAJOR: In accordance with your order of September 7, 1870, I left Portland, Oregon, with my party, on September 8, and proceeded up the Willamette River by steamboat to Salem, Oregon. This was done in ve the obstructions to the navigation of the river, as well as what had been done toward improving it by the steamboat company. After Iraving Oregon City we steamed up the river for about five miles and arrived at Rock Island, where the river widens and the channel becomes ivrigous. During high water the river rushes down the channel, which contains points of rocks and rocky reefs under which eddies are formed, tridering navigation difficult, but during ordinary stages of the river scatuboat men cousider it perfectly safe. They do not, therefore, deem alut immediate improvement necessary. After leaving Rock Island, the mit contains a good depth of water until we arrive opposite the mouth fulalla River, one of the tributaries of the Willamette, ten miles above Orr-200 City, where a shoal is formed consisting of small gravel and banners. As the boats cross the shoal without difficulty, no improvement is deemed necessary bere. Proceeding further up the river, we find deep water until arriving just below the mouth of the Yamhill River, another tributary, about thirty-five miles above Oregon City. Here a shoal extends entirely across the river, carrying about three feet of water. The river is about 1,000 feet wide, the channel narrow, and current rapid. The shoal is gravel, which vary in size, but averaging about four inches in length, nearly flat, with rounded edges. This shoal is probably due to the increased width of the river, as well as to the gravel brought down by the Yamhill River during its annual freshets. The river inight be temporarily improved here by a system of wing-dains, but the boatmen say that other bars higher up the river are so much worse than this one that they do not consider the Yamhill Bar a serious obstacle to navigation.
Below Yamhill Bar and Salem are numerous shoals, covered by twentyfour to thirty inches depth of water, with deep water between them. The names of the bars are Runaway Bar, Bennett's Dread, Five Islands, Tow-head, Matheney's, Beaver and Lone Tree Rapids, McCloskey's Chute, aud Chitwood Bar. Each of these shoals are of the same nature. Of the bars just mentioned, Matheney's, Beaver and Lone Tree Rapids, and Chitwood Bar are the worst, on account of the channel being less wide and more tortuous than on the other bars. The depth of water is about the same on each of these bars.
Steamboats navigate the river between Oregon City and Salem (65 miles) during the entire year, and as far as Corvallis, 42 miles above Salem, during nine months of the year. During a high-water stage of the river, they run up as far as Eugene City, about 30 miles above Salem.
From the 1st of October to the 1st of August the river is said to be high, and the boats make their trips regularly, transporting heavy loads of freight; after that navigation above Salem ceases, and all towns above Salem either have to wagon their grain and supplies to or from Salem, or stow them away until navigation reopens.
The bars between Salem and Corvallis are not very numerous; they are of a similar nature to those below, but have a few inches less depth of water, and the boulders become larger as we go higher up the river. Above Salem we surveyed Humphrey's Rapid and Bower's Bar. They are considered the worst bars in the whole river; and, if they were improved, it is thought that navigation would be open to Corvallis during the entire year. The names of the other bars above Salem are Eola Bar, Rocky Rapids, Independence Bar, Buena Vista Bar, Luckamute Bar, and Long Crossing; none of these, however, are considered serious obstacles to navigation.
The Upper Willamette River varies in width from 300 to 1,000 feet; its average width from Albany to Oregon City is probably 500 feet. At every shoal on the river it is wider than it is immediately above or below the shoal. The difference between the highest water and low water of this river varies at different places. Where the banks are bigh it is said to be as much as 60 feet; at Salem it is about 40 feet. The banks of the river generally are low, and heavily timbered for a distance of about half a mile in width; beyond that is fine prairie land, forming by far the most valuable farming land in the State.
During the year, (October 1, 1869, to October 1, 1870,) 51,437 tons of freight were carried by the boats navigating the river. The People's Transportation Company monopolize the carrying trade of the river. They run seven steamboats above the falls at Oregon City and two below. Within the last few years this company has improved the navi. gation at Chitwood, Matheney's, and Runaway Bars, by building wingdams in the river, thereby contracting its width and causing the increased current to wash the finer gravel from the shoals into deeper water below the dams. The results in some cases were satisfactory, and would have been better had the dams been better constructed and placed in more favorable localities. As a rule, they were roughly constructed, and consisted of a log being thrown into the stream, making an angle of about 1350 with the current; willow bushes and gravel were then thrown in
on the up-stream side of the log. The log, being aground, would remain in place until the water raised, when it would be carried away. In a few instances the dams were constructed by driving light piles into the grarelly bed of the river, then placing logs against the piles and brush and gravel against the logs. The dams so constructed are still standing. The danger to be apprehended in building wing dams in the river is that the current, striking the dam, is deflected to the opposite shore, which, if it be of a soft character, is gradually washed away, leaving the river as wide as before the dam was constructed. When the banks are washing away, the trees fall into the river, ground, and offer a partial protection to further wash until the river rises and floats them off. The current then carries them off until they lodge on some gravel bar, where they form a wing dam and sometimes produce a bad effect. The river pilots say that at nearly every bar the channel changes from year
It is therefore probable that any change which a wing-dam will produce on a bar will be temporary. It will produce an increased depth of water, but the gravel which it scours out will be deposited below, and may make another shoal as bad as the original.
Surveys were made of the following-named bars of the river, viz, Bower's Bar, Humphrey's Rapid, Chitwood Bar, Beaver and Lone Tree Rapids, and Matheney's Bar. Maps of each of these bars accompany the report. They will now be described in the above order, commencing at
This obstruction is 3 miles above Albany. The river suddenly widens from 225 feet to 400 feet, where the shoal is found. The distance from 3 feet depth of water above to the same depth below the shoal is 150 feet. Average depth of water on the shoal is 2 feet. The current Aows nearly west, with a velocity of 400 feet per minute. Immediately above the shoal the current is less rapid. The bed of the river is gravel, av. eraging about 2 pounds in weight. Some of them, however, weigh as much as 20 pounds. Near the shoal are three bare gravel bars, two of thein on the north side of the channel, the other near the mouth of the creek on the south side of the channel. The lower of these bars is gradually washing away on the channel side. The south bank of the river is clay, stands nearly vertical, and is also gradually wearing away. The north bank is a gravelly shore, having a gradual slope from the water's edge for a distance of about 200 feet; beyond that we find timber. The river can be improved here by building a wing-dam from the foot of the northerly gravel bar to the head of the lower bar. This would be 325 feet long, would concentrate the current and cause it to scour the shoal, but would also undermine the south bank and cause it to wash. This can be remedied by piling close to shore and then throwing in logs and brush behind the piles. Five hundred lineal feet of piling would probably suffice. The estimated cost of the wing-dam is $900; that of the bulkhead for shore protection, $2,600, making a total estimated cost of this improvement, $3,500. After leaving Bower's Bar we pass down the river without meeting with any serious obstacles until we arrive at
This obstruction is about 20 miles, by river, above Salem. The bed of the river is gravel, like that on the other shoals, but the obstruction consists of two rocky reefs, nearly parallel to each other, about 150 feet apart, putting out from opposite sides of the channel. The lower one
S. Ex. 14-2
projects from the south shore, and is 125 feet in length, by an average width of 75 feet. The upper reef puts out from an island on the north side of the channel for a distance of 250 feet, and has an average width of 100 feet. These two obstacles cause the boat, in ascending or descending, to make two sharp turns in contrary directions, (like the letter S,) and the current being rapid, nearly 400 feet per minute, has a tendency to throw a boat, in crossing, broadside on the lower reef, which is covered by about 2 feet of water. The upper one is barely covered. A channel can be made by blasting through either of these ledges of rock, but the work would be very expensive. An equally good channel, at a small cost, can be made between the island and the north shore. This chute contains an average depth of 15 feet of water, except at its upper end, for a distance of 300 feet, where there is less than 3 feet of water. This shoal, however, is all small gravel, none of it any larger than an egg, and if a wing-dlam 220 feet long was constructed diagonally across the current, its lower end abutting against the head of the small gravel bar near the head of the island, the increased current would soon scour out the small gravelly shoals, and give a channel 75 feet wide in its narrowest part. At the end of the island was an immense accumulation of drift, probably 20 feet high, which lodges there during every freshet. This was set fire to and burned out in a few days. The only objection to building a dam at the head of this bar is that it might catch the drift and choke any channel which it might form. This is not probable, because the gravel bar against which the dam would abut is about 3 feet high, whereas the top of the dam would be but a few inches above the water surface. The estimated cost of building this dam, 220 feet in length, is $700.
The next important obstruction below this is called
This is about a mile and a half below Salem, and gives the steamboat men considerable trouble during low-water stage of the river. The river contains a long gravel bar or island, the foot of which is about 600 feet above the shoal. At the shoal the river widens suddenly from 300 to 675 feet. Immediately above and below the shoal is a good channel, carrying upward of 3 feet of water. Length of the shoal between the 3foot curves, above and below, is 475 feet. On the west bank, a little above the shoal, is a wing-dam 150 feet long. Another was built from the foot of the island, and is 550 feet long. The shoal commences at the foot of the long wing-dam, and extends across the river, covered with from 20 to 30 inches of water. In the prolongation of the shorter wing-dam, and distant from its foot about 140 feet, is a pile driven into the gravelly bed of the river. In ascending the river, the boats hug the west bank until they arrive about 150 feet below the wing-vlam; a line is then taken from the boat and one end made fast to the pile, the other end remaining on board wound around the capstan; the boat then backs; the result is that she is carried into mid-stream and held there by the line. The engine is then quickly reversed, a few feet of progress made, and the spare line taken in. The probabilities are that by this time the boat is aground. She again commences to back, which throws a little water under her and causes lier to rise a trifle on the wave so produced. The engine is again quickly reversed, and more progress made. This process is repeated sometimes for hours, until the boat reaches the pile, after which she has no more difficulty: While surveying this bar a break 100 feet long occurred in the long dam near the foot of the island. The water, which was 2