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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business came by water.

Packet lines operating on the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal are
Bennett's North Carolina Line (or Bennett's Ferry Company) and
the Virginia-Carolina Steamship Company, of Elizabeth City, N. C.
Both lines run over practically the same route. They had a rate-
cutting fight for a long time, but they finally came to an agreement,
the rates now being on what is considered a fair basis. The Norfolk
and Southern Railroad competes with the route and refuses to make
prorating arrangements with lines operating on the canal. The Nor-
folk and Southern Railroad also competes with the division of the
Virginia-Carolina Inland Steamship Company running on the Dismal
Swamp Canal. The railroad company owns the steamer Newton
which runs on that canal for the Dismal Swamp Steam Packet Com-



« Gring V. Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Co., U. S. circuit court, Norfolk, Va.,
1899.



288



KEPOET OF THE INLAND WATERWAYS COMMISSION



pany, which does the largest business between EHzabeth City, N. C,
and Norfolk, thus giving the Norfolk and Southern Railroad a rail
and water route between these two points.

Below are presented comparative statements of vessels and traffic
passing through the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal during the years
ending September 30, 1905 and 1906.

Table 92 — Number, class, and tonnage of vessels passing through the Albemarle and

Chesapeake Canal





North.


South.




1906.


1905.


1906.


1905.




Num-
ber.


Tonnage.


Num-
ber.


Tonnage.


Num-
ber.


Tonnage.


Num-
ber.


Tonnage.




1,009
239
159
266


65,097
11,932
30,303


990
175
244

285


53,319
8,791
39,356


1,018
234
163


64,892
11,815
32,854


977
203
253


52,140


Sailing vessels


9,513
40,413


Rafts


















Total


1,673


107,332 1 1.694


101,466


1,415


109,561


1,433


102,066













1906.


1905.




Number.


Tonnage


Number.


Tonnage.


North


1,673
1,415


107,332
109,561


1,694
1,433


101,466


South


102,066






Total ,.


3,088


216,893


3,127


203,532







Table 93 — Freight traffic on Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal



Cotton

Fish

Iron

Wood

Corn

Railroad ties.. .

Potatoes

Oysters

Lumber, sawed.

Logs

Shingles

Staves

Piling

Melons

Passengers



...bales,
.barrels,
.pounds.
. ..cords,
.bushels.



.barrels,
.bushels.

feet-

....do...



.linear feet.



Com

Oyster shells

Iron

Guano

Coal

Salt...

Merchandise, not classified .
Passengers



.bushels.
....do...
.pounds.

tons.

....do...
....do...
.pounds.



1906.



1,230
1,050



18

45,456

3,122

25,560

15,610

17,907,176

12,648,565

5,601,000

2,797,000

1,108,864

113,500

876



33,168



400,000

3,541

3,356

656

9,604,000

733



1905.



098

28

51,000

228
40,275



27,518

11,135

15,546,998

12,163,807

3,337,000

4,248,000

1,369,395

39,700

771



29,500

2,000

203,000

1,424

4,035



8,350,000
749



ESTIMATED AMOUNT IN TONS



North


80,727
14,542


77,323
11,257


South : ....






Total


95,269


88,580







Traffic. — ^The freight through the Albemarle and Chesapeake
Canal represents all classes of merchandise and produce, the largest



STATE AND PRIVATE CANALS



289



item being lumber in all its forms,
several years has been as follows:

Tons.

1890 403,111

1900 195, 958

1901 210,264

1902 199,062



The annual freight tonnage for



Tons.

1903 203, 812

1904 144, 041

]905 88,580

1906 95, 269



The larger part of the shipments is northbound.

According to the report of the Chief of Engineers for 1906, the grad-
ual decrease in the commerce of the Albemarle and Chesapeake route
is attributed to depletion of the forests and the consequent decrease
in the timber shipments.

Relations ivith railroads. — The managers of the Albemarle and
Che-apeake Canal Company state that the canal is not leased to any
railroad and that in the handling of freight railroads do not prorate
with the canal company or with any transportation agencies operating
thereon.

Financial. — The present capital stock of the company is $558,200,
all of which is common stock. The company's funded debt is $615,000.
This is represented by the following:

First mortgage bonds dated July 1, 1879 (due July 1, 1909, bear-
ing interest at 4 per cent, payable semiannually), amounting to
$500,000.

Noncumulative income debentures dated July 1, 1903 (due July 1,
1909, bearing in|:erest at 3 per cent, payable annually when earned),
amounting to $115,000.

No dividends appear to have been paid since 1898. Gross earnings
for the year ending May 31, 1905, were $28,920.98; operating
expenses were $13,646.38.

Tolls. — Boat tolls are charged on the gross tonnage of vessels, with
certain exceptions. The minimum amount of toll on one boat or
vessel is $1.50. Tolls are collected without reference to cargo as a
general rule. Vessels measuring 100 tons or less, loaded or partially
loaded, pay 25 cents per ton, and when light the charge is 5 cents less
per ton. Vessels measuring more than 100 tons and not over 150
tons, loaded or partly loaded, pay 18 cents per ton, and when light are
charged 6 cents less per ton. Vessels measuring over 150 tons, loaded
or partially loaded, are charged 12 cents per ton, and when light, 6
cents less per ton. Mill logs in rafts are charged 5 cents per log, but
rates on piling of all kinds in rafts are one-half cent per linear foot.
In the case of barges or lighters decked over, ' ' tolls are to be charged
on the number of square feet surface measurement — length and
breadth over all being taken."

Rates on tugboats (measurements over all) are as follows for each
trip:

60 feet in length or less $5

60 to 65 feet 6

65 to 70 feet 7

70 to 75 feet 8

75 to 80 feet 9

80 to 85 feet 10

85 to 90 feet 11

90 to 95 feet 12

95 to 100 feet 13

100 to 125 feet 15

Over 125 feet 20



290 REPORT OF THE INLAND WATERWAYS COMMISSION

The toll sheet states that —

upon application to the office of the company at Norfolk, owners of tugboats plying
regularly through the canal will he allowed half rates on tugboats with tows. This
does not in any way apply to tugboats without tows.

The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Towing Company publishes
in the toll sheet of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Company the
following rates for towing through the Albemarle and Chesapeake
Canal. The rates are to or from the harbor of Norfolk — to or from
the mouth of the North River, North Carolina — and apply to sailing
vessels, barges, and other unrigged vessels.

58 tons or less:

Loaded or partially loaded per ton. . $0. 35

Light do 25

Over 58 and less than 100 tons:

Loaded or partially loaded per trip. . 20. 00

Light do. ... 15. 00

100 tons and over:

Loaded or partially loaded per ton. . . 20

Light do 15

The minimum amount of towing on any one boat or vessel shall not be less than $2.

Special rates will be given on dredges, scows, lighters, etc., based on size and desti-
nation.

Raft rates named are from Albemarle Sound to Norfolk Harbor. Not less than 100,000
feet in one raft of mill logs or lumber of any kind, per thousand feet B. M., $1. Not
lessthan 12,000 linear feet of piling in one raft, per linear foot, three-fourths of a cent.

Regulation of canal. — The superintendent of the canal directs the
movement of all vessels, giving northbound vessels with cargo pre-
cedence of all others. All vessels entering the canal are required to
have their jib booms rigged in and their anchors stayed on deck, so
as to prevent damage to the canal and to passing vessels. Center-
boards must be hoisted up when under way. Tows and rafts going
in the same direction are not allowed to pass each other. The follow-
ing regulation applies to rafts:

Rafts of mill logs or other timber must not exceed 20 feet in width; must be properly
put together and exhibit proper lights at night. Rafts of oak timber are not permitted
in the canal. Masters of towboats are required to inspect rafts before taking hold of
them and see that they start in good order. While towing these rafts they must
promptly secure any logs about to sink by attaching them to the floating ones.
Doubling up rafts in the canal will not be allowed.

The master of the towing steamer will be held responsible for the condition and
management of any raft he may Ijring into the canal.

Piling wood, logs, or lumber on the banks of canal, except by special permission, is
positively forbidden.

Relation to Government improvements. — As already pointed out, this
canal is a linl^ in the inland water route from Norfolk, Va., to Albe-
marle Sound, N.C., via Currituck Sound, the canal cuts being owned
by a private corporation. According to the report of the Chief of
Engineers, 1906, p. 246, this route originally had a good 5-foot mean
low-water channel, but navigation was obstructed by snags, sunlcen
logs, and overhanging trees. Until the act of September 19, 1890, the
Government's improvements were carried on under several separate
projects, upon which a total of $240,169.69 had been expended. By
that act all these projects were consolidated.

The present project, adopted September 19, 1890, says the above
report, provides for obtaining a channel 80 feet wade and 9 feet deep
at mean low water thi'ough the whole extent of the waterway, to be
improved by the United States at an estimated cost of $306,667.08,



STATE AND PRIVATE CANALS 291

including the previous expenditures above mentioned. Since Sep-
tember 19, 1890, and up to June 30, 1906, the sum of $61,987.64 has
been expended upon the improvement, and $21,547.40 upon mainte-
nance. The commerce has varied considerably since the route was
Qpened to navigation. The liighest record was for the calendar year
1890, when it amounted to 403,111 tons.

THE DISMAL SWAMP CANAL

Description. — The Dismal Swamp Canal extends from Deep Creek,
Va., to South Mills, N. C. The length of the canal is 22.15 miles, 14
of which are in Virginia and the remainder in North Carolina. There
is a branch known as the Gilmerton Level 3.46 miles in length, which
is little used for the purposes of navigation. The Dismal Swamp
Canal is a link in the waterway from Norfolk, Va., through the south
branch of Elizabeth River to Deep Creek ; thence via the Dismal
Swamp Canal to South Mills, and from the latter point through Turn-
ers Cut to the Pasquotank River and Albemarle Sound; thence to Pam-
lico Sound by Croatan Sound. The canal is a ship canal, open the year
round. Its surface width is 60 feet, and vessels drawmg 8 feet 6
inches can pass through the canal. There are two locks, their dimen-
sions being 250 feet long by 39 feet 3 inches wide. The estimated
cost of construction to 1907 is reported to the Bureau of Corpora-
tions at $2,650,000. The United States census reports the total cost to
1906 at $3,311,000.

History. — The Dismal Swamp Canal is one of the oldest artificial
waterways in the United States, having been commenced in 1787 and
opened in 1794. The Dismal Swamp Canal Company, the original
owner of the waterway, was incorporated by the general assembly of
Virginia December 1, 1787, and by similar act of the North Caro-
lina legislature at its session in 1790. This canal was the first step in
the drainage of the great Dismal Swamp, in the center of which is
Lake Drummond. The original capital stock of the company was
$80,000. The company was empowered under its original charter to
receive subscriptions "in Spanish milled dollars." Ten years were
allowed for the construction of the canal, which was to be 32 feet wide
with sufficient water to allow vessels to pass drawing 3 feet of water
during the dry season. The locks were to be 90 feet long and 32 feet
wide and to allow vessels drawing 4 feet of water to pass. By an act
of the general assembly of Virgmia passed February 14, 1816, the
company was authorized to raise $50,000 by lottery. Various other
acts were passed at later dates. The subscriptions to the original
stock of the company were as follows:

Shares.

By individuals 335

By Norfolk borough 49

By State of Virginia in —

1791 50

1793 20

1817 186

1837 504

760

By United States—

1826 • 600

1829 200

800

Total 1,944



292 EEPOET OP THE INLAND WATERWAYS COMMISSION

The money equivalent of these shares was as follows :

United States, 800 shares, at $250 $200, 000

State of Virginia, 760 shares, at $250 190, 000

Indi^dduals, 384 shares, at $250 96, 000

Total 486, 000

The Dismal Swamp Canal Company continued to operate the canal
until it was taken possession of oy the United States Army in 1862,
The United States held possession through an agent of the Secretary
of the Treasury until the close of the war, using it to transport troops,
munitions of war, and stores. At the close of the war the works were
surrendered to the company. It appears, however, that in 1867 a
deed of trust was executed for all the property of the company. At
a meeting of the stockholders held November 5, 1866, at which
the Government was represented hj proxy, the president and
directors of the company were authorized to borrow such an
amount of money as in their judgment was necessary to improve
the canal and pay the debt of the company, not exceeding $200,000;
to issue bonds to that amount bearing interest not exceeding 8 per
cent per annum, and to pledge the entire works of the company
for payment of said bonds. In pursuance of this authority and of the
sanction subsequently obtained from the legislatures of Virginia and
North Carolina, the president and directors issued 200 bonds in the
name of the company of SI, 000 each, payment twenty years trom
Juty 1, 1867, and executed a deed of trust of that date convejdng to
certain persons in trust the entire canal property of the company to
secure the payment ot the bonds so issued. By the terms of this deed
the trustees were required, on default in the payment of the principal
and interest on any part of the said bonds, on the request of any one
or more of the holders thereof, to dispose of the trust property at public
auction or private sale for cash or on responsible credit. By supple-
mentary deed, executed February 10, 1869, by authority of a meeting
of the directors of the company, it was made imperative upon the
trustees from the proceeds of sale to pay immediately to the bond-
holders the principal and accrued interest of the bonds, "whether said
principal be then due or yet to become due."

On July 1, 1877, the company was in default on these bonds for
interest to the amount of $52,000. On April 4, 1877, a majorit}" of
the bondholders had made demand in writing upon the trustees for
the sale of the property under the above-mentioned deeds of
trust. A called meeting of the bondholders and trustees was
held and a resolution adopted requesting the Secretary of the
Treasury to make an examination of the affairs of the company, and
if he should agree to recommend to Congress to appropriate a suffix
cient amount to put the canal in order, or by some other measure to
save the interest of the United States, amounting to nearly $1 ,000,000,
the trustees should be authorized to postpone the sale. As
the United States was the o's\Tier of a large interest in the canal, to wit,
800 shares representing $200,000 at par value, appropriated by Con-
gress in 1826 and 1829, the Secretary of the Treasury deemed it incum-
bent to protect the interests of the Government. He therefore
instructed the Solicitor of the Treasury to make ])ersonal exami-
nation into the affairs of the company. At a subsequent meet-
ing of the bondholders, the trustees were instructed in view of the
favorable response of the Secretary of the Treasur}'^ to postpone the



STATE AND PRIVATE CANALS



293



sale of the canal until after the regular session of Congress. On
January 21, 1878, the matter was referred to the Committee on
Railways and Canals.**

The deeds appear to have been foreclosed in 1880 and conveyance
made to certain purchasers who assmned the corporate name of the
Dismal Swamp Canal Company. This company (number two) in
turn executed a deed of trust upon all the property of the canal to
certain trustees, which was foreclosed and conveyance made in 1889
to certain purchasers who assumed the corporate name of the Norfolk
and North Carolina Canal Company. Tliis third company also exe-
cuted a deed of trust, wliich was foreclosed in 1892 and conveyance
made to purchasers who assumed the corporate name of the Lake
Drummond Canal and Water Compan^^, the present title under which
the canal is operated. This company now owtis the canal and all its
property and appurtenances. It is a corporation created under section
1233 of the Virginia Code, which provides that upon the foreclosure
of a deed of trust or mortgage covering the property of a company
the purchasers shall be forthwith a corporation by any name which
may be set forth in the conveyance to them. The same section also
provides that upon such conveyance the former company shall be
ipso facto dissolved.

Financial. — The company is capitalized for $1,000,000, represented
by 10,000 shares of the par value of $100 each, all of wliich is com-
mon stock. The funded debt is represented by first mortgage bonds
amounting to $1,000,000, bearing interest at 5 per cent, payable
Januarv and July. The company is authorized to incur an indebted-
ness of^Sl,200,000.

The gross earnings, expenses, and net earnings of the company
for the past three years, as reported to the Bureau of Corporations,
are as follows:



Year.


Gross
earnings.


Expenses.


Net
earnings.


1904


874,27&92
87,012.20
81,306.92


822,063.31
22,633.52
34, 156. 58


852,215.56
64 .378.68


1905


1906


47, 150. 34







Tolls. — The rates of toll on vessels and cargoes are set forth in the
toll sheet of the company.

Tolls are collected on the tonnage of vessels without reference to
cargo. These are as follows:

On vessels measuring 100 tons or less: Cents.

Loaded or partially loaded per ton. . 25

Light do. . . 20

On vessels of over 100 tons, light do. . . 20

Loaded or partially loaded, tolls are collected as per toll sheet.-

Vessels going one way light are credited with the amount of the
tolls paid if retm-ning in thirty days loaded, provided the amount of
tolls on cargo is 50 per cent advance over amount paid. The mini-
mum toll on schooners and sloops is $1.50; mill logs 5 cents per log,
under 20 feet long; those 20 feet long or over are charged the same
rates as piling, wmch is from one-half to three-quarters of a cent per

« Report of the Secretary of the Treasury (John Sherman) ; Executive Document
19, Forty-fifth Congress, second session; Executive Documents, vol. 10, page 2.



294 BEPOET OF THE INLAND WATERWAYS COMMISSION

linear foot. Tugboats 60 feet in length or less are charged $5 each
trip, and there is a gi'aded charge up to those 125 feet in length,
which pay $20 each trip. A statement in the toll sheet shows that
upon application to the office of the company in Baltimore boats ply-
ing regularly through the canal are allowed half rates on tugs with
tows.

The toll sheet specifies rates charged on various commodities. The
canal has no classification of freight. Taken at random from the
toll sheet, the toll on the following articles of merchandise is as
follows :

Bricks per 1,000. . $0. 40

Buggies:

Set up each. . . 75

Packed per 100 pounds. . . 15

Cotton per bale. . . 15

Com per bushel. . . 0075

Coal per ton (long) . . .20

Cotton ties per bundle. . . 03

Fertilizers or all material for fertilizer per ton (long) . . .20

Horses and mules each . . .50

Ice per ton (short) . . .20

Lumber, sawed, of all kinds per 1,000 feet. . . 45

Logs, when loaded in vessels:

Pine or gum per 1,000 feet B. M. . . 55

Ash do 80

Juniper do 80

Cyprus do 80

Poplar do 80

Oak do 80

Lime per ton (long) . . .20

Oil per barrel. . . 10

Oysters per bushel . . . 025

Piling:

Pine per linear foot. . . 005

All other kinds do 0075

Peanuts per bag. . . 025

Potatoes:

Per barrel 03

Per bushel . . . .• 01

Railroad ties, all kinds each . . .02

Rails, juniper and pine, split I^er 1,000. . 5. 00

Shingles:

6-inch per 1,000. . . 15

5-inch do 12

4-inch do 10

Staves do 50

Telegraph poles:

25 feet and less each . . .10

Over 25 feet per linear foot. . . 005

Watermelons per 100 . . .25

Wood per cord. . . 25

All articles not specified in the regular toll sheet are charged 2^
cents per 100 pounds.

Rules and regulations of the canal. — Among the rules of the com-
pany, one prohibits sailing vessels from sailing through the canal;
another prohibits any vessel from passing through the canal at a rate
exceeding 5 miles an hour, except by permission of the superintend-
ent in writing. The superintendent of the canal directs the movement
of all vessels. It is stated that —

for the better accommodation of vessels passing each other, recesses have been pro-
vided every alternate mile. If found advisable, the officer in charge of locks will
notify vessels leaving his lock of about the recesses he will meet, the tows and vessels



STATE AND PRIVATE CANALS



295



coming from the opposite direction, and the vessel or tow arriving at said recess
first will be required to wait at that point until the expected vessel shall pass. Ves-
sels passing through tlie canal shall keep to the right. When a ve.s.sel is overtaken by
another going in the same direction, the slower shall give the inner track to the faster,
unless within .300 yards of a lock or bridge. Steamers shall pass each other on the
right, and shall give signals as required by United States laws, and shall come to a
minimum speed in passing vessels.

No steamboat, except such as are engaged in the business of towing
under the directions and regulations of the canal company, is per-
mitted to use the canal for tow purposes, except by special permission
of the company.

Rafts, mill logs, piles, etc., must not exceed 18 feet in width, and
must be properly bound together.

Recent reopening of the canal. — The canal under its present manage-
ment was opened to trafhc in 1899. In that year an experimental
trip was made on a tugboat, in order to show how the Government
could get its torpedo fleet from the coast of North Carolina to Norfolk
without exposing it to the dangers of Hatteras.

Traffic. — The freight passing through this canal consists mostly of
North Carolina lumber destined for Norfolk and northern ports, and
fertilizers, general merchandise, coal, and cement, southbound. The
report of the Chief of Engineers for 1906 shows the tonnage for 1905
as follows:

Table 94 — Freight traffic on Dismal Sivamp Canal, 1905



Lumber feet B. M

Gum logs feet

Pine piles do. .

Mill logs do. .

Juniper logs cords

Do feet

Juniper rails

Pine logs feet

Cypress logs do..

Cypress piles do. .

Shingles

Laths

Railroad ties

Fertilizer tons

Potatoes bushels

Do barrels

Iron tons

Iron rails do. .

Steel rails do. .

Fish barrels

Stone tons

Cement do. .



Quantity.



134,196,660

1,187,714

1,089,394

5, 812, 461

8,958

229,789

11,699

115,076

21,088

7,620

12,260,850

648,000

8,146

28,345

8,896

2,437

769J

1,588.J

1,531

2,981

250

220



Articles.



Truck baskets

Oysters bushels

Canned oysters cases

Sand tons

Coal do..

Salt do..

Shells bushels

Melons

Lime tons

Cotton bales

Corn bushels

Staves

Plaster tons

Oil barrels

Potash tons

Peanuts bags

Tar barrels

Fireproof ceiling tons

Soda do..

Telegraph poles

Miscellaneous tons



Quantity.



62,500

109,777

7,052

4,850

9,164

2, 278 J

5,529

82,600

446

188

75,550

58,700

8271

159

286

3,135

80

150

50

359

56,045



Vessels employed on canal. — The number of vessels entering and
leaving the canal in 1905 were as follows:





Class.


Number.


Average
draft.


Average
tonnage.


Steamers


1,906

1,005

910

51

116

88

503

121


Feet.

8

. 9

7

6


Tons.
61


Barges ...


306


Schooners


48


Yachts


46


Launches




Rafts






Small barges .^






Minor vessels













Note.— Although not so stated, the above probably means "trips," the same vessels being counted
for each trip.



296 EEPOET OF THE INLAND WATERWAYS COMMISSION

TraiisiJortation agencies on canal. — Among the agencies operating



Online LibraryUnited States. Inland Waterways CommissionPreliminary report of the Inland Waterways Commission. Message from the President transmitting a preliminary report → online text (page 31 of 83)