United States. Inland Waterways Commission.

Preliminary report of the Inland Waterways Commission. Message from the President transmitting a preliminary report online

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Coal coming by river to Cincinnati cannot, therefore, profitably go
out on the Baltimore and Ohio Southwestern to nearby points o\\Tng
to the above charges for switching. The river business has thus been
practically killed to suburban points around Cincinnati and mate-
rially diminished to points in Indiana and Illinois.

A Cincinnati operator in river coal cites other instances of what he
calls the ''fence" the railroad interests have been building for a
niunber of years back around the coal operators that make use of
the river for transportation. He asserts that —

the fence has been built so high, and has been moved in a little more every year,
until it is so close to Cincinnati that river coal can not compete with this all-rail coal
that comes from the same districts, in the outskirts of Cincinnati, although it can
where the coal has to be hauled by wagons farther in the city of Cincinnati.

He also states :

We formerly enjoyed a fine trade out on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, but
some years ago that road, in the interest of its coal mines in Tennessee and southern
Kentucky, advanced the rates south on their road to as much as for going 25 to 50
miles as they charge for bringing coal from Tennessee mines to Cincinnati, the whole
distance. Of course this resulted in cutting us out of business.

This operator thinks there should be a law whereby terminal and
switching charges should be just as low on river coal as is paid, aside
from rebates or other offsets, on coal that comes in from the same
initial sections on railroads. He concludes:

Protection of this character will be necessary on coal, and we presume on other
goods, particularly large bulk commodities, if the rivers are to continue unhampered
in their usefulness, and the people are to have the benefit of the large sums of money
which are being and should be spent upon navigable waters of the United States,
particularly those of the Ohio Valley.

River Sand

A number of companies are engaged in dredging and delivering
sand and gravel from the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio rivers
in the neighborhood of Pittsburg, and from the Ohio river at other
points. This sand and gravel is largely used in building operations,
niore especially in all kinds of concrete work. Sand is also exten-
sively used in the steel and glass industries around Pittsburg.



From its tributaries in West Virginia and Kentucky, the Ohio
River receives great quantities of logs of pophir, oak, walnut, and
other woods, which are brought by tram roads to the smaller rivers
and creeks from points as far as 50 miles back from these streams.
They are floated down the creeks and rivers to the Ohio, where they
are made into rafts and towed to mills at points along the Ohio. At
Cincinnati are several important mills. All the logs used at the
mills of one of the largest companies are brought by river, the cost of
this river transportation being estimated at about 50 cents per thou-
sand feet. The rail rates on these logs are prohibitive, amounting
to 10 and 15 cents per hundred, making a cost of about $4.50 per
thousand feet delivered at Cincinnati. Logs and railroad ties are
also received by river at Evansville, coming from the Green, Wabash,
Tradewater, Saline, and Cumberland rivers. Much of this towing is
done by small steam and gasoline towboats. The logs are sawed at
Evansville, a considerable proportion entering the export trade.

It is claimed that water transportation means an annual saving to
the lumber operators of the Ohio Valley of about S3,000,000,


Grain, principally corn grown in Vanderburg, Gibson, and Posey
counties, Ind., and in the adjacent counties of Illinois, is shipped
by river to Evansville, Ind., and Henderson, Ky., for market in the
southeastern cotton-growing States. This grain-growing territory
tributary to Evansville extends up the Ohio River for about 25 miles
above Owensboro, Ky., and as far down as Paducah, K}^., up the
Wabash for a distance of 40 or 50 miles, and also up the lower courses
of the wSaline and Little Wabash rivers. The farmers haul the grain
to the rivers, selling it to the buyer delivered there, and at several
points along the rivers buyers maintain warehouses and landings.
From these points the grain is brought to Evansville and Henderson
both by packets and barges; and whenever practicable shippers
prefer to send it in bulk to save sacking.

From Evansville and Henderson this grain goes south both by rail
and river. Whenever there is sufficient water on the Tennessee
River, the grain can be carried directly to Nashville for distribution
at that point. Through rates to points in the Southeastern States
give this water rate to Nashville an advantage of several cents per
hundred; and the farmer receives more (sometimes as much as 2
cents per bushel) than when shipments must be made from Evans-
ville and Henderson by rail.




According to the reports of the Government engineers, the total
traffic movement on the Ohio River for a period of years is repre-
sented by the following figures :



7, 795, 501


13, 529, 729



13, 103, 056

These statistics are compiled from reports made by owners, agents,
and masters of vessels and transportation companies, in compliance
with act of Congress approved February 21, 1891. The detailed
statistics for the year 1905 are presented in the following table:



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Online LibraryUnited States. Inland Waterways CommissionPreliminary report of the Inland Waterways Commission. Message from the President transmitting a preliminary report → online text (page 10 of 83)