PRIVATE ITEM
Digitization of this item is currently in progress.
Preliminary Examination of the inside passage from Punta Rasa to Charlotte Harbor, Florida Letter from the secretary ...
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00024419/00001
 Material Information
Title: Preliminary Examination of the inside passage from Punta Rasa to Charlotte Harbor, Florida Letter from the secretary of war transmitting with a let
Physical Description: Archival
Publisher: U.S. G.P.O
Publication Date: 1897
Copyright Date: 1897
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAB6151
System ID: UF00024419:00001

Full Text


54TH CONGRESS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. DOCUMENT
2d Session. No. 246.




PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF THE INSIDE PASSAGE
FROM PUNTA RASA TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLORIDA.



LETTER
FROM

THE SECRETARY OF WAR,

TRANSMITTING,
WITH A LETTER FROM THE ACTING CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, RE-
PORT OF EXAMINATION OF THE INSIDE PASSAGE PROM PUNTA
RASA TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLORIDA.


FEBRUARY 2, 1897.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and ordered
to be printed.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
Washington, D. C., January 29, 1897.
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a letter from the Acting
Chief of Engineers, dated January 27, 1897, together with a copy of a
report from Lieut. Col. W. H. H. Benyaurd, Corps of Engineers, dated
January 4, 1897, of a preliminary examination made by him in compli-
ance with the provisions of the river and harbor act of June 3, 1896,
of the inside passage from Punta Rasa to Charlotte Harbor, Florida.
Very respectfully,
DANIEL S. LAMONT,
Secretary of War.
The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.



OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
UNITED STATES ARMY,
Washington, D. C., January 27, 1897.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the accompanying copy of report,
dated January 4, 1897, by Lieut. Col. W. H. H. Benyaurd, Corps of
Engineers, of the results of a preliminary examination of the inside
passage from Punta Rasa to Charlotte Harbor, Florida, made to comply
with the provisions of the river and harbor act of June 3, 1896.
It is the opinion of Colonel Benyaurd, concurred in by me, that this
inside passage is worthy of improvement by the General Government.






2 PUNTA RASA TO CHARLOTTE, HARBOR, FLORIDA.

It is estimated that a survey for the purpose of preparing plan and
estimate of cost of improvement would cost $1,500.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. MACKENZIE,
Acting Chief of Engineers.
Hon. DANIEL S. LAMONT,
Secretary of War.


PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF INSIDE PASSAGE FROM PUNTA RASA
TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FLORIDA.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
St. Augustine, Fla., January 4, 1897.
GENERAL: I have the honor to present the following report of the
preliminary examination of the inside passage from Punta Rasa to
Charlotte Harbor, made in accordance with the river and harbor act of
June 3 last. The examination was made by Lieut. James J. Meyler,
Corps of Engineers, whose report is appended.
Thisinsidepassage is known as Pine Island Harbor, and is part of the
direct water route from the Caloosahatchee River to Charlotte Harbor,
or by way of Boca Grande Pass to more northern Gulf points.
With the improvement of a few shoal places by dredging, ample
depth of water would be afforded for the class of steamers and other
vessels that navigate this inner passage. There is quite a considerable
amount of products already carried over this route, which will be
greatly increased in the future, as this section of the State is constantly
increasing in population. Considering, therefore, the present and pro-
spective amount of commerce, and the comparatively small expense of
improving certain shoal places, I deem the inside passage worthy of
improvement by the General Government.
The estimated cost of the survey is $1,500. -
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. H. BENYAURD,
Lieut. Col., Corps of Engineers.
Brig. Gen. W. P. CRAIGHILL,
Chief of Engineers, U. A.


REPORT OF LIEUT. JAMES J. MEYLER, CORPS OF ENGINEERS.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
St. Augustine, Fla., December 21, 1896.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with instructions received
from you, I proceeded to Punta Gorda, and on December 15 made a preliminary exam-
ination of the inside passage from Punta Rasa to Charlotte Harbor, Florida. Punta
Rasa lies at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, and the inside passage referred
to is that between Pine Island on the east side and Lacosta, Sanibel, and a number
of small islands on the Gulf side. It is part of the direct water route from the
Caloosahatchee River to Charlotte Harbor, or, by way of Boca Grande Pass, to more
northerly points on the Gulf. At present the principal traffic through it is that car-
ried by the Plant Steamship Company's steamers, the Saint Lucie and the Lawrence,
plying between Punta Gorda, lying at the mouth of Pease River, in the northern side
of Charlotte Harbor, and Myers, lying on the left bank of the Caloosahatchee and
about 20 miles above its mouth. The distance between the two points is about 75
miles. The population of Punta Gorda is between 1,200 and 1,500, and that of Myers
is about the same. The steamers on the "down trip" carry grain, general merchan-
dise, and crate material, the most of which goes to Myers, while returning from that






PUNTA RASA TO CHARLOTTE, HARBOR, FLORIDA.


point the freight for Punta Gorda consists almost entirely of oranges, grape fruit,
and early vegetables. It would seem that the people of both-towns would be bene-
fited by any improvements of their waterway, but I found but little interest in the
matter among the Myers people and none at all among those at Punta Gorda. Even
individuals at the latter place, who had been named to me as men very much inter-
ested in the matter, declared that they knew and cared nothing about it.
I was therefore compelled to depend entirely upon Captain White, of the Saint
Lucie, for all of the information which I could gather concerning the inside passage.
He pointed out to me the few points at which improvements in the channel are
desirable or necessary, and also assisted me in taking soundings at such places. In
the inside passage there are points near the north end of Pine Island and near the
south end of the island where the channel is iot only extremely narrow, but the depths
are such as to make the passage of a heavily-loaded boat, when a strong northwester
is blowing, both uncertain and hazardous. In fact, on several occasions the steamers
have been upon the shoals at both places, and have taken from one to three hours to
get off into the channel again. The least depth at mean low water at each place is
about 5 feet, and the dredging necessary to accommodate the present traffic, as well
as that of the near future, would be about the same in each case. The upper point
is on the shoal called the "horseshoe," lying between Patricio Island and the north-
ern point of Pine Island, and the other point is near the southern end of Pine Island,
directly opposite Blind Pass. The length of cut necessary in each case is about 500
feet, and if dredged to a depth of 7 feet tat mean low water, the width of cut being
about 100 feet, the improvement would be amply sufficient to satisfy the demands of
all present and immediately prospective commerce.
The shipment from Myers to Punta Gorda for the present year is about as follows:

Value. Freight.

25,000 boxes oranges...................................................2......... $2,500 $2,500
75,000 crates vegetables............................................................. 75, 000 7,500
1,700 boxes grape fruit........................................................... 17, 000 170
Total ............................................... ...... ... .. 154,500 10,170


I was informed that the value of general merchandise, grain, and crate material
shipped to Myers during the year was about $150,000. Myers is the center of a very
rich and fertile country, andits commercial importance must increase rapidly for the
next few years. I was informed by interested parties at Myers that they have cal-
pclated an increase of about 100 per cent in the fruit crop alone for next year.
The dredging asked for can probably be done at slight cost, and in view of the
importance and value of the commercial traffic through the passage, I deem it worthy
of improvement by the General Government. I estimate that a survey of the upper
and lower parts of the inside passage would cost about $1,500.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMdk J. MEYLER,
First Lieutenant, Corps of-Engineers.
Lient. Col. W. H. H. BENYAURD,
Corps of BEgineers, UT. 8. A.

0
H. Doc. 4
H. Dec. 48--69




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2011 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated May 24, 2011 - Version 3.0.0 - mvs