Group Title: House document / 51st Congress, 1st session ; Executive Document no. 61.
Title: Survey of Sarasota Bay, Florida. Letter from the secretary of war, transmitting reports upon the preliminary examination and survye of Sarasota Bay, Florida
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Title: Survey of Sarasota Bay, Florida. Letter from the secretary of war, transmitting reports upon the preliminary examination and survye of Sarasota Bay, Florida
Series Title: House document 51st Congress, 1st session
Physical Description: 7 p. : fold. map ;
Language: English
Publisher: U.S. G.P.O.
Place of Publication: Washington
Publication Date: 1890
 Subjects
Subject: Sarasota Bay (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Sarasota -- Sarasota Bay
 Notes
General Note: December 18,1889-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and ordered to be printed.
Funding: House document (United States. Congress. House) ;
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Bibliographic ID: UF00004572
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAA5791
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51ST CONGRESS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Ex. DOC.
1st Session. No. 61.




SURVEY OF SARASOTA BAY, FLORIDA,



LETTER
FROM

THE SECRETARY OF WAR,
TRANSMITTING
Reports upon the preliminary examination and survey of Sarasota Bay,
Florida.


DECEMBER 18, 1889.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and ordered
to be printed.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
Washington City, December 16, 1889.
The Secretary of War has the honor to transmit to the House of Rep-
resentatives, in compliance with the requirements of the river and har-
bor act of August 11, 1888, a letter from the Chief of Engineers, together
with the report of Captain W. M. Black, Corps of Engineers, upon the
survey of Sarasota Bay, Florida, and a copy of his report upon the
preliminary examination of the same.
r REDFIELD PROCTOR,
Secretary of War.
The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.



OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
UNITED STATES ARMY,
Washington, D. C., December 13, 1889.
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith a copy of the report upon
the survey of Sarasota Bay, Florida, dated November 27, 1889, made
under the direction of Capt. W. M. Black, Corps of Engineers, to com-
ply with the requirements of the river and harbor act of August 11,
1888, and accompanying map.
A copy of the report upon the preliminary examination of the locality
dated February 8, 1889, is also herewith.
The survey included only the portions of the bay in which the chan-
nel depth was less than 5 feet, viz, at Palma Sola Pass, at Long Bar
south of,Longboat Inlet, and between the north edge of the Mangroves
and Casey's Pass.







2 SURVEY OF SARASOTA BAY, FLORIDA.

The I roposed improvement contemplates the opening of a channel 5
feet deep and 100 feet wide through Sarasota Bay from Tampa Bay to
Sarasota, and 3 feet deep and 75 feet wide from Sarasota to Casey's
Pass, at an estimated cost of $37,500.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. LINCOLN CASEY,
Brig. Gen., Chief of Engineers.
Hon. REDFIELD PROCTOR,
Secretary of War.


PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF SARASOTA BAY, FLORIDA.

UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
St. Augustine, Fla., February 8, 1889.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report on the
preliminary examination of Sarasota Bay, Florida.
This bay, included between a range of sand keys, from 300 feet to 1
mile in width, and the mainland, lies on the west coast of Florida, imme-
diately south of Tampa Bay. Its total length, including Little Sarasota
Bay at the southern extremity, is about 33 miles. Its width varies from
one-half mile to 3 miles in the main bay and from 300 feet to three-
quarter miles in Little Sarasota Bay, while the channel between the
two portions, called the Mangroves, is only about 50 feet wide and much
obstructed by mangrove bushes, and shoals bare at low water. The
depth in the main bay varies from 4 to 13 feet, with deeper narrow
channels near the passes. The mean rise of tideis about 1.2 feet. Lit-
tle Sarasota Bay is obstructed by shoals covered by from 11 to 2 feet of
water. The entrances to Sarasota Bay are (1) from Tampa Bay one-
half mile wide with available channel depth of 4 feet; (2) from the Gulf
of Mexico long boat inlet, New Pass, and Big Sarasota Pass, 100, 150,
and 400 yards wide, respectively, and with available channel depths
varying from 5J to 7 feet. The entrances to Little Sarasota Bay are
the Mangroves, before mentioned, Little Sarasota Pass, and Casey's
Pass, the last being at the southern extremity of the bay. The width
of the passes is about 30 yards and the available depth from 2 to 4 feet.
A petition, signed by 315 persons, was presented to Congress at its
last session, requesting the improvement of this bay from Tampa Bay
to Casey's Pass.
An inquiry as to the nature of the improvement desired was answered
by Mr. J. Hamilton Gillespie, of Sarasota. Mr. Gillespie stated that a
continuous channel of from 41 to 6 feet deep was desired through the
entire length of Sarasota Bay as far as Casey's Pass; that the bays are
navigated now by light draught and steam-boats which are compelled
to make trips at irregular intervals on account of the obstructions to
the channels; that the present products of the region adjoining the bay
comprised oranges, lemons, limes, bananas, pine-apples, corn, tobacco,
honey, sugar, all kinds of vegetables, hogs and cattle; other resources
comprised turtles, fish and shell fish, phosphates, and lime. That these
products were carried in the small boats above mentioned or hauled
over bad roads for 40 to 60 miles or less to the Manatee River; that the
desired improvement would lead to a large increase in these products,
and would lower the cost of transportation fully 100 per cent; and that
the lack of transportation facilities prevents the sale of the products
now raised,







SURVEY OF SARASOTA BAY, FLORIDA. 3

The examination of Sarasota Bay was made by Mr. D. B. Dunn, as-
sistant engineer, whose detailed report is appended. Mr. Dunn con-
firms Mr. Gillespie's statements as to the products of the region and
the losses caused by the lack of transportation facilities of that portion
situated along and south of the Mangrove" channel between the two
parts of the bays. Mr. Dunn states that the existing channel north of
the Mingroves is all that is required for the present commerce, which
seeks an outlet for rail anl steam-boat transportation from points on
Tampa Bay. Mr. Dunn recommends the improvement of the Mangrove
channel and of those of Little Sarasota Bay. He estimates the cost of
the improvement at $37,500 and the cost of a survey of the portion
of the bay requiring improvement at $2,000. For the above reasons I
have the honor to report that I deem the bay worthy of improvement.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"W. M. BLACK,
Captain of Engineers.
The CHIEF OP ENGINEERS, U. S. A.



REPORT OF MR. D. B. DUNN, ASSISTANT ENGINEER.

UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
St. Augustine, Fla., January 14, 1889.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with instructions to make
a preliminary examination of Sarasota Bay, I went by rail to Porto Tampa and thence
by steamer Kissimme to Palma Sola, the nearest point reached by existing lines of
travel, and on January 4 proceeded by sail-boat to make an examination of the bay
from the bar to Casey's Pass, taking such notes and soundings as seemed commensu-
rate with the purpose.
The main body of Sarasota Bay opens out of and runs southerly from Tampa Bay
about 20 miles, with a varying width of from one-half to 3 miles, to what is known
as the Mangroves" where it narrows and continues witha varying width of from 200
feet to three-fourths of a mile, for a further distance of about 12 miles, being known
as Little Sarasota Bay, and terminating in the outlet tq the Gulf of Mexico known
as Casey's Pass. The entire body runs parallel to the Gulf of Mexico, and is separated
therefrom by a narrow chain of islands varying from 300 feet to 1 mile in width. On
the bay proper steamers and light draught vessels drawing 3j to 4 feet of water ply
successfully tiring the shipping season between Porto Tampa and the town of Sara-
sota, opposit9 Big Saraso a Pass, at all stages of the tide, which would seem to be all
that was necessary for the commerce of the present or the near future, and the people
along Little Sarasota Bay to Casey's Point express only a wish for such depths as
would enable vessels of 3 feet draught to perform a like service.
Leaving Sarasota, the first and chief obstruction to this purpose is the series of
Mangrove Islands, before referred to as the Mangroves," about one-third of a mile
across, with narrow, tortuous channels, almost dry at low tide, and with shallow ap-
proaches at either side. Other obstructions following in order are shallows at White
Beach, north and south entrances to Little Sarasota Pass, Blackburn's Point, South
Creek, Lyons Point, and a slight bar before entering the main channel at Casey's
Pass. Within the limit of the proposed improvement the stretches between'the ob-
structions have from 4 to 8 feet of water, and the obstructions, apart from the Man-
.' ,: rom 1 to 2 feet, while on the lower bay, between Sarasota and the bar, the
prevailing depths are from 6 to 10 feet and over, with from 4 to 6 feet on the princi-
pal shoals and the bar. In the work required the Mangroves would aggregate two-
thirds of the total outlay, presenting, as it does, an effective bar to navigation be-
tween the two bodies of water, and leaving to the settlers along Little Sarasota Bay,
as their only alternative, the outside passage between Big and Little Sarasota bays.
Owing to the varied character of the shipments it is difficult to get any statitics of
the present products of this region ; the orange is the prime staple, and from Sara-
sota and points tributary the estimated shipment is 50,000 boxes, while southward to
Casey's Pass 13,000 boxes find various uncertain outlets. The acreage of trees not
yet in bearing is large and steadily increasing. Both shores are high, with fertile
stretches of hummock lands, and limes, lemons, guavas, and the more tender fruits
are grown successfully under the tempering influences of the bay. Fresh vegetables







4 SURVEY OF SARASOTA BAY, FLORIDA.

are plentiful at this season, and with proper shipping facilities would largely in-
creasei fish and oysters are abundant.
I inclose letters from Mr. J. Hamilton Gillespie, of Sarasota, and Mr. Frank Higel,
of Vienna, in the vicinity of Casey's Pass, both leading men.in the business of their
neighborhoods, to whom I am indebted for the statistics given.
A roughly estimated cost of the proposed improvement is $37,500. For a more ac-
curate estimate in detail, a survey would be required, at an estimated cost of $2,000,
and should it be deemed expedient to include the shoal portions of the lower bay and
the bar in the survey, $3,000.
Believing that the present population would be benefited, immigration induced,
and trade stimulated by the proposed improvement, I respectfully recommend it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. B. DUNN,
Assistant Engineer.
Capt. W. M. BLACK,
Corps of Engineers, U. 8. A.


SURVEY OF SARASOTA BAY, FLORIDA.

UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
St. Augustine, Fla., November 27, 1889.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report on the
survey of Sarasota Bay, Florida, made in accordance with directions
contained in the letter from your office dated April 1, 1889.
The field work of the survey was carried on during July and August,
1889, by a party under the charge of Mr. J. H. Bacon, assistant engi-
neer. For information concerning the details of this work, I have the
honor to invite attention to Mr. Bacon's report appended hereto. The
survey included those portions of the bay in which the channel depth
is less than 5 feet. The hydrography of other portions of the bay,
as shown on the accompanying maps, is taken from the charts of the
T. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Sarasota Bay extends south from Tampa Bay along the west coast of
Florida. Its length between Tampa Bay and Casey's Pass is 34 miles.
It is separated from the tulf of Mexico by a chain of low sandy keys,
which vary in width from 300 feet to 1 mile.
There are five navigable entrances to the bay, one from Tampa Bay
and four from the Gulf of Mexico. These are named in their order from
north to south, Palma Sola or Sarasota Pass, Longboat Inlet, Big Sar-
asota Pass, Little Sarasota Pass, and Casey's Pass, and have available
channel depths of 4.3 feet, 5 feet, 7 feet, 5.3 feet, and 3.5 feet, respectively.
Between Big and Little Sarasota passeq the bay is divided into two
parts, named Big Sarasota Bay and Little Sarasota Bay, respectively,
by a cluster of small islands covered with mangrove bushes and known as
" the Mangroves." The channels between these islands are narrow and
crooked and at places are bare at low water.
The localities where the survey was made are in Palma Sola Pass, at
Long Bar south of Longboat Inlet, and between the north edge of the
Mangroves and Casey's Pass.
Sarasota Bay is bordered by lands well suited for raising fruits and
vegetables. The country roads are few and poor. The nearest rail-'
roads are at Port Tampa jand St. Petersburgh, on the north side of
Tampa Bay, where are also steam-ship lines to Gulf ports and Cuba.
The commercial needs of the country bordering on Sarasota. Bay re-
quire an improvement of the bay, which will enable fruit and vegeta-
bles to be moved promptly from points on the bay to the railways and
to the Gulf steam-ship lines at St. Petersburgh and Port Tampa. As this
region is subject to heavy gales during the fruit-shipping season, steam-







SURVEY OF SARASOTA BAY, FLORIDA. 5

ers navigating Tampa Bay must have sufficient draught and power to
permit their trips to be made in all kinds of weather. For this reason
a channel depth of at least 5 feet is required. This depth can be at-
tained at small expense through Big Sarasota Bay, by dredging across
the bars on Palma Sola Pass and at Long Bar.
The present commercial interests of the country bordering on Little
Sarasota Bay are not sufficient to justify at this time the expenditure
which would be required to continue this 5-foot channel as far as Ca-
sey's Pass. A 3-foot channel can be made for moderate cost, which
would enable the farmers to carry their fruits in flats or sail-boats to
Little Sarasota Pass, or to Sarasota, where connection can be made
with the Tampa Bay steamers.
As the obstructions are generally oyster bars, and as a good tidal cir-
culation would be established were they removed, there is a fair chance
of permanence for dredged channels without special works of protec-
tion.
I therefore have the honor to recommend that a channel 5 feet deep
and 100 feet wide be opened through Sarasota Bay from Tampa Bay to
Sarasota, and 3 feet deep and 75 feet wide from Sarasota to Casey's
Pass. The estimated cost of this work is $37,500.
The products of this country include palmetto, agave, and banana
fibers, boney, sugar, sirup, oranges, lemons, limes, bananas, pine-apples,
vegetables, lumber, fish, oysters, and cattle. Owing to the absence of
regular and economical facilities for transportion but few of these prod-
ucts are exported. Trade is limited to the actual necessities of the
population.
The region is healthy and pleasant, and would be developed rapidly
were it possible to have regular and certain communication with the
shipping ports.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. M. BLACK,
Captain of Engineers.
The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A.



REPORT OF MR. J. H. BACON, ASSISTANT ENGINEER.

UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
St. Augustine, Fla., November 15, 1889.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report on the survey of Sar-
asota Bay, Florida:
Sarasota Bay is a tidal estuary on the west coast of Florida, extending from the
lower end of Tampa Bay to Casey's Pass, a distance of about 34 miles. It is sepa-
rated from the Gulf of Mexico by a chain of narrow keys, varying in width from
300 feet to 1 mile. The upper portion, from Tampa Bay to the "Mangroves" is called
Big Sarasota Bay, and the lower portion, between the Mangroves" and Casey's Pass
is known as Little Sarasota Bay. There are five navigable entrances to the bay, one
from Tampa Bay and four from the Gulf of Mexico. These are (1) Palma. Sola (or
Sarasota) Pass, having an available mean low-water depth of 4.3 feet; (2) Long-boat
Inlet, with a depth of 5 feet.; (3) Big Sarasota Pass, with a depth of 7 feet; (4) Lit-
tle Sarasota Pass, with a depth of 5.3 feet; and (5) Casey's Pass, with a depth of 3.5
feet. The present available mean low-water depth through Big Sarasota Bay is 3.5
feet, while that through Little Sarasota Bay is zero, navigation through the Man-
groves" being practically suspended during low water.
On July 16 and 17, 1889, an examination ot the bay from Palma Sola Pass to Casey's
Pass was made by the officer in charge. From this examination it was found that
there was a continuous channel 5 feet in depth at mean low water through the entire
length of Big Sarasota Bay, except at two points, viz, Palma Sola Pass, the entrance
from Tampa Bay, and at Long Bar; the available mean low-water depth at these







6 SURVEY OF SARASOTA BAY, FLORIDA.

places was subsequently found to be 4.3 feet and 3.5 feet, respectively. Numerous
obstructions were found in Little Sarasota Bay. As a result of this examination I
was directed by the officer in charge to make such a survey as would enable me to'
estimate the cost of dredging a continuous 5-foot channel at mean low water from
Tampa Bay to Casey's Pass, relying on the Coast Survey charts for all supplementary
data.
On July 19, 1889, I began the field work of the survey, assisted by Messrs. A. C.
Harper, J. L. Brownlee, and Otto Bie. The work was finished on August 7. The
method used was as follows:
A transit was set up in a favorable position and all necessary soundings within the
range of the instrument were taken, and a sufficient number of points on each line
of soundings were located by means of stadia measurements. A new station was then
located and the same operation repeated. The shallow water and sluggish current
of the lower bay rendered this method quite rapid and accurate. On plotting the
work, it was found to agree closely with that of the Coast Survey.
The survey extended from Post-Office Point, just below the town of Sarasota,
through Little Sarasota Bay to Casey's Pass. Detached surveys were made of Palma
Sola Pass and Long Bar. Tidal bench-nrarks were established at Long-boat Inlet,
the "Mangroves," and Little Sarasota Pass, and were referred to the U. S. Coast Survey
bench-mark at "Hanson's." The mean range of tide determined by the Coast Survey
by five months' observations is 1.25 feet.
Borings to rock were taken frequently. The average depth of rock was found to
be about 8 feet below mean low water. No rock was found in the proposed channel
at depth of less than 5 feet below low water, except at Minnie's Ford," where it
cropped out in spots at a depth of 4.5 feet. The material to be excavated consists
mainly of hard sand, overlaid in places with oyster shell.
A map on a scale of -s7-z' and one on a scale of -d o- have been prepared from the
notes of this survey and from the original charts of the U. S. Coast Survey, and are
submitted with this report.
Estimates for a continuous channel from Tampa Bay to Casey's Pass for widths of
100 feet and 50 feet and for depths of 5 feet and 3 feet are herewith submitted. In
these estimates 1 foot extra cutting is allowed for back filling and 15 per cent. for in-
crease of bulk. The excavated material can be deposited alongside the cut in Little
Sarasota Bay, as the current there is very slight and no danger from high waves is
to be apprehended. At Palma Sola Pass and Long Bar the haul need not be more
than 2 miles.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. BACON,
Assistant Engineer.
Capt. W. M. BLACK,
Corps of Engineers, U. S. A.



Estimates for a depth of 5 feet at mean low water.


S100 feet wide. 50 feet wide.
Present Length
Locations. available of cut
depth. of cut.
depth. Quantity. Amount. Quantity. Amount.

Feet. Feet. Cub. yds. Cub. yds.
Palma Sola Pass................... 4.3 1,800 9, 360 $2,340. 00 4, 500 $1,125. 00
Long Bar .......... .................. .. 3.5 3, 600 26,100 6, 525.00 12, 000 3, 000. 00
Mangroves to Miniie's Ford ................. *880 4 400.00 *400 2, 000. 0
11, 130 174,1000 43, 500. 00 58, 700 14, 675. (0
White Beach:
Upper .......................... 1.3 425 5, 980 1,495. 00 2, 900 725. 00
Lower ........................ 4.0 560 3 130 782.50 1, 500 375.00
North Creek........................ 3.0 1,350 21 740 5,435.00 7,240 1,810.00,
Little Sarasota Pass to Casey's Pass. 1.2 27, 330 324, 180 81, 045. 00 111,200 27, 800. 00
Total ......................... .......... 46,195 564,490 145, 522. 50 198,040 51, 10. 00
Engineering and contingencies, 15
per cent ......... ................... ................... 21,828.37 .......... 7, 726. 50
Grand total.. ............... ..... ... .. .. ........ ....... 167, 350. 87 .......... 59,236.50

"* Rock at $5 per cubic yard; other material, 25 cents per cubic yard.








SURVEY OF SARASOTA BAY, FLORIDA. 7

For pth of 3 feet at mean low water (no rock).


100 feet wide. 50 feet wide.
Present Length _
Locations. available of cut.
depth. Quantity. Amount. Quantity. Amount.


Feet. Feet. Cub. yds. Cub. yds.
Mangroves to Minnie's Ford ................. 7, 620 80. 661 20, 165. 25 26, 880 6, 720. 00
White Beach, Upper ................. 1.3 370 2, 000 500. 00 1, 000 250.00
Blackburn's Point................. 2.4 400 1,748 437.00 800 200.00
South Creek:
Upper ......................... 1.5 1,500 11,477 2, 869. 25 4, 800 1, 200. 00
Lower...... ............ 1.2 1,060 8,728 2,182.00 4,060 1,015.00
Blackburn, jr.:
Upper ......................... 2. 5 1, 000 4,140 1, 035. 00 2, 000 500.00
Lower ........................ 1.2 400 4, 762 1, 190. 50 2,200 550.00
Lyon's Bay......................... 2.0 120 1,012 253.00 500 125.00
Casey's Pass...... ................. 1.5 300 7,659 1, 914. 75 3,800 950.00
Total ............................ 12, 770 122,187 30, 546.75 46, 040 11, 510.00
Engineering and contingencies, 15
per cent ............. .. .... ........... .. .... 4,582.01 .......... 1, 726. 50
Grand total.................. ......... .......... ......... 35, 128.76 ........ 13, 236. 50


Estimate No. 2, Sarasota Bay, Florida.


Location aent Length Width of Depth of Cubic Amount.
Location. available Amount.
depth. of cut. cut. cut. yards.


Feet. Feet. Feet. Feet.
Palma Sola Pass...................... 4.3 2,000 100 5.0 15, 700 $3, 925.00
Long Bar ........................... 3. 5 3,600 100 5.0 26,100 6, 525. 00
Mangroves to Minnie's Ford.................... 7,620 75 3.0 60,400 15,100.00
White Beach, Upper ................. 1.3 370 75 3. 0 1, 500 375.00
Blackburn's Point .................... 2.4 400 75 3.0 1, 300 325.00
South Creek:
Upper ............................ 1.5 1,500 75 3.0 7,650 1,912.50
Lower .......I ............... 1.2 1,060 75 3.0 6,540 1, 635.00
Blackburn, jr.:
Upper ........................... 2. 5 1,000 75 3.0 3,100 775.00
Lower........................... 1.2 400 75 3.0 3,500 875.00
Lyon's Bay ......................... 2.0 120 75 3.0 780 195. 00
Casey's Pass........................ 1. 5 300 75 3. 0 3, 800 950.00
Total................... ........... .. 48 195 .......... ........ 130, 370 32, 592.50
Engineering and contingencies, 15 per
cent ....... ............. .... ................... ................. 4, 88. 87
Grand total..................................................... 37,481.37


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