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Full text of "Report of the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners. 1-8. 1879-86"

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PUBLIC DOCUMENT. No. 11. 



ANNUAL REPORT 



OF THE 



HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS 



FOR THE TEAR 1880. 



BOSTON: 
Eanti, a&erg, & Co., printers to tje Ccmmonfoealtf), 

117 Franklin Street. 
1881. 



(Hommontocctitl) of iHcissacbusctts. 



HABBOR AND LAND COMISSKMBS' REPORT. 



To the Honorable the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts. 

The Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, in accord- 
ance with the provisions of law, respectfully submit their 
annual report for the year 1880. 

South Boston Flats. 

The total cost of this land to Dec. 31, 1830, has been, $1,148,847 69 

The receipts have been. — 
From Boston and Albany Railroad, for land. 8330,000 00 
From New York and Xew England Railroad, 

for land 1,108,165 00 

From Xew York and Xew England Railroad, 

for rent 10.500 00 

From Boston Wharf Company, for land . 1.354 20 

1,450.019 20 



Showing, exclusive of interest, a profit to the Common- 
wealth, to Dec. 31, 1830, of §301.171 51 

From this statement it appears that the aggregate amount 
of sales, and the amount received for rents, &c, of the South 
Boston lands, already exceeds by the sum of 6301.171.51 
the whole amount expended by the State at South Boston. 
And there is still a large sum clue from the Boston and 
Albany Railroad, for its purchase of fifty acres, besides dam- 
ages for non-fulfilment of contract. 



4 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

The sales above reported cover all the filled land at South 
Boston, and leave belonging to the Commonwealth some 
seven hundred acres of flats, upon a very small portion of 
which has money been expended for reclamation; and, with 
active work, it will take two years to prepare for use a single 
dock and the adjoining piers. 

On the 28th of August last, a contract, of . which a copy 
will be found in the Appendix, was made ' with Thomas 
Potter for dredging three hundred thousand yards of mate- 
rial from the flats beyond the line of the proposed outer 
wall, and placing the same upon the flats proposed to be 
filled, the whole work to be completed by the 1st of Jan- 
uary, 1883. This contract has been duly approved by the 
Governor and Council. It exhausts the appropriations al- 
ready made; and a further appropriation will be necessary in 
order to complete retaining-walls, and walls for the required 
dock, so that the work upon the walls may be prosecuted 
simultaneously with the filling. By the Act of 1878, Chap. 
237, the fund called the Commonwealth's Plats Improve- 
ment Fund is established ; and by the same act it is provided 
that proceeds of land at South Boston, when sold, shall be 
placed in this fund. From this fund an appropriation was 
made by the same act ; and it is now asked that a further 
appropriation may be made from the said fund, sufficient 
for the purposes named, so that without further delay the 
necessary additional contracts may be made. 

After the sale of the filled land was made, it was deemed 
advisable that the commission should obtain such knowledge 
of the construction, arrangement, and management of docks 
in Europe, as would enable it to make that use of the South 
Boston Flats which would conduce most to the advantage 
of trade, and meet its requirements, at the same time having 
due regard to the interests of the State. His Excellency 
concurred in this view ; and one of the commission has vis- 
ited Europe for these purposes, and has submitted to the 
Board a report of his examinations as follows : — 

To the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners. 

Gentlemen, — Deputed by the Board, with the approval of his Ex- 
cellency, to visit Europe for the inspection of docks and their connections 
with railroads, and especially to examine their systems of organization 
and management, I have the honor of submitting my report. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 5 

The first thing- which attracted my attention, as I inquired about docks 
in Europe, was the great amount of work on docks which was in prog- 
ress, contemplated, or just completed, in almost every port, whether 
great or small, throughout Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, and 
Germany. This work is to be attributed to two causes, — 

1. The necessity of docks suited to the change of vessels from sail to 
steam; the latter requiring greater length of quayage, with wide sheds 
and broad landings, and a greater depth of water. 

2. The necessity of preparing all ports which exported their special 
products to the ports of America, for the reception of the steamers which 
bring American produce or merchandise, because, with vessels such as 
are fitted for the Atlantic trade, it is impossible for them to discharge at 
one port and load at another. The models of the ships which do not 
permit their moving about, as sailing ships did, with swept holds or 
lightly ballasted, the long detention and double port charges, prevent 
and make it too costly. Therefore, for such ports it is necessary, in order 
to secure cheap and reasonable freights upon their exported products, to 
be able to accommodate with proper docks and railroad connections, all 
ships which may bring imported goods to the port. And so by being 
able to receive inward cargoes, ships are secured at the port for outward 
cargoes. In other words, such a port with good docks and railroad con- 
nections may establish a line of steamers to America which will be sure 
of cargoes both ways. 

That the trade with America is of great importance, is shown by the 
fact that while the receipts of the Mersey Dock and Harbor Board for 
dock rates and tonnage rates during the year ending July 1, 1880, were 
£740,000 sterling, £360,000 sterling were collected from the United 
States trade, and £60,000 sterling more from the trade with the British 
North American provinces; or, nearly 57 per cent of these receipts were 
from the trade with North America. 

In Great Britain one finds docks fitted for this trade, either jnst com- 
pleted or in progress, in the ports of London, Liverpool, Hull, Newcas- 
tle, Hartlepool, Leith, Glasgow, Barrow, Fleetwood, Belfast, Bristol, 
Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Plymouth, Southampton, and perhaps other 
places. In France, at Dunkirk, Havre, Bordeaux, and Marseilles. In 
Belgium, at Antwerp. In Holland, at Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In 
Germany, at Bremerhaven and Hamburg. The amount expended and 
to be expended is many millions in sterling. 

In Amsterdam a canal fifteen miles long has been cut through to the 
North Sea, so that the port is no longer entered round the Texel and through 
the shallow Zuyder Zee, but is now a deep-water harbor, and twenty- 
four hours nearer the Atlantic trade than before. The canal is said to 
have cost five million dollars, and the docks being constructed will cost 
as much more. In Rotterdam docks, w T here the steamers in the Ameri- 
can trade discharge and receive their cargoes, twenty-one millions of 
guilders, or over eight millions of dollars, have been expended. In Ant- 
werp, a city which has lain almost dormant for three centuries, the docks 
built by Napoleon have been enlarged, deepened, and re-modelled, new 
docks are being built, and the whole water-front of the city changed to 



6 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

insure deep water and regularity in the tidal flow, at a cost of many 
millions of: dollars; and the city with its lines of steamers, and immense 
number of sailing vessels in the American trade, has become to-day the 
third or fourth commercial city of Europe. In Hamburg and Bremen 
large sums have been expended, and lines of steamers to America estab- 
lished. These five ports are to-day in competition for the great trade 
between America and Germany. 

The four ports of France put the various portions of that great nation 
into direct communication with America; and their docks, their conven- 
iences, and their cost are on the same scale as the docks in Germany, 
Holland, and Belgium. Indeed, it is a point very difficult to decide, as 
to which has the best, or which has expended the most. But all look to 
the American trade for their greatest revenue. 

The ports of Great Britain are familiar to you by name. London and 
Liverpool are general ports, while most of the others are special ports. 
In most of the special ports there must have been expended a million of 
pounds sterling, and in some of them more. In the River Clyde, which fifty 
years ago was not navigable to Glasgow by ships of one hundred tons, 
there is now twenty-five feet of water, and there are ample docks, two or 
three lines of steamers to America, and the great ship-yards where are 
built a large proportion of the steamers now engaged in the American 
trade. The cost of making such a port, as Glasgow now is, has been 
many millions. 

And so the various other ports might be described; but the plans of 
their docks, which you now have, will afford you ample information in 
regard to their plans and construction. 

In London the great Victoria and Albert Dock, two miles long, has cut 
off abend in the river, which it enters at either end; and here may be 
found the great steamers running to Boston and New York. So far as 
possible, every improvement has been introduced, and both here and at 
the East and West India Docks, every attempt has been made to facili- 
tate business and to lessen charges in the handling of goods. 

When I landed at Liverpool, the engineer of the Mersey Docks, Mr. 
Lyster, told me that in the handling of goods America had little to learn 
in Europe, and that he had sent his assistant to America, last year, to 
examine our system of handling goods in order that he might introduce 
in his new docks and warehouses now building in Liverpool all American 
improvements. Still he said there was one thing in which Europe was in 
advance of America, and that was the use of hydraulic machinery. This 
I found to be true, and no dock visited was found without large hydraulic 
engines and hydraulic cranes. But it was laughable at times to see 
how goods were handled so carefully, so easily, and so cheaply, by this 
splendid machinery, and then to see the whole saving wasted. For 
instance, at Antwerp a vessel with broken pig-iron was being discharged 
by one of the beautiful hydraulic swinging cranes of Sir William Arm- 
strong. The iron was hoisted from the hold in a large tub, which, instead 
of being swung over to the car standing upon the track only fifteen feet 
away, and then dumped, was lowered to the deck, and then the iron was 
handled piece by piece, and placed in a basket, the basket placed upon a 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 7 

man's shoulder, and the man walked down a plank to the dock, up another 
plank on the further side of the car, and then dumped his basket into the 
car. It was in vain to ask why the tub was not swung and then dumped, 
— they never did it so. 

In London, with a hydraulic crane lying idle alongside the ship, bale 
goods were rolled from the car down to the pier, and then rolled up again 
to the vessel's deck. To the question " Why do you do so? " the answer 
was, " We always have." 

In Liverpool, where grain is raised by hydraulic power to the highest 
story of the magnificent grain warehouse, and carried by a horizontal 
belt, moved by hydraulic machinery, at the rate of fourteen feet in a sec- 
ond, eighty tons of it in an hour, — with a railroad station two hundred 
feet away, the grain is lowered to the lowest floor, shovelled into a sack, 
the sack carried to a truck, and by the truck carried to an open car, upon 
which it is loaded, covered with a tarpaulin, and transported to the coun- 
try. Mr. Lyster has tried in vain to extend his belt to the station. The 
railroad company says No, and grain is handled as it has always been. 
Thus, while science shows the way, and engineers desire to use the im- 
provements which they have constructed, prejudice and custom say No, 
and absorb the saving of improved machinery. But in other places where 
they deal with their own products, prejudice and custom do not always 
interfere with science. In Newport there is a dock two thousand five 
hundred feet long, one side of which is devoted to coal shipments. Here 
science has had full sway. Parallel to the dock, and three or four hun- 
dred feet away from it, is the railroad track, elevated seven feet above the 
capsill Upon this track the loaded cars come in, each car of four wheels 
holding eight tons of coal. At intervals of three or four hundred feet, 
there are switches from which curved tracks run to the capsill of the dock, 
on a descending grade. Upon these curved tracks the loaded cars are 
switched off. At the end of each track is a hydraulic lift, upon which 
the loaded cars are placed one at a time. One man handles the cars, and 
one man tends the lift. Every two minutes a car is raised fourteen feet, 
dumped by an opening at the end, tipped back on to a descending track 
which runs back on a curved line to the main track; and so, with only two 
men, coal is loaded into a single hatch of a vessel, at the rate of four tons 
to the minute, — an example of the rapidity and cheapness with which 
goods are handled when men will use the appliances which science fur- 
nishes. 

This use of hydraulic machinery and gravitation was the most notice- 
able thing in connection with the handling of goods. Its simplicity and 
cheapness should attract attention, and wherever the two powers can be 
combined they should be used. But it is not merely for the handling of 
goods that hydraulic machinery is used in Europe. The docks there are 
mostly docks into which vessels can come only at high water, owing to 
the great rise and fall of the tide. At high water the gates are opened, 
and vessels pass in and out. Then the gates are closed, and high-water 
mark is retained inside the docks all the time, so that vessels lie con- 
stantly afloat, with their rails always at the same distance from the 
capsill of the dock. And it is to open and shut these great gates requir- 



8 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

ing immense power, that hydraulic machinery is used. It is also used to 
pump out the graving docks which are found inside all first- class docks 
in Europe. The modern graving dock is over five hundred feet long, sixty 
feet wide, with twenty-five to thirty feet water over the sill. Such a 
dock as this is pumped dry in Liverpool by hydraulic machinery in less 
than an hour; and one of the largest steamers, the '■ Scythia," entered this 
dock, and went out in eleven hours, having been painted and cleaned in 
the interval, — the eleven hours being in the night, so that no time was 
lost. At the dock electric lights are used, so that men can work as well 
by night as by day. 

The other noticeable thing in regard to docks is their common use by 
all on equal terms. There, railroad companies do not own and control 
docks, charging other railroads for their use, but in all cases the railroad 
tracks upon the docks and to the junction with railroads are owned by 
the dock company, which loads the cars and carries them to the junction, 
or receives them at the junction and unloads them, the charge to all rail- 
roads being the same. This is exemplified by the following advertise- 
ment of the Royal Victoria Docks at London : — 

Import Goods. — There is no extra charge for delivery to railway trucks. 
The following railway companies have goods depots within the Victoria 
Docks, and the trucks run alongside the warehouses, viz.: Great Eastern, 
Great Northern, London and North-western, Midland, and, by special ar- 
rangement, the Great "Western. Grain, flour, guano, provisions, and goods 
of every description, handed to above companies, as a rule arrive at, destina- 
tion the following morning, thus saving much time and risk; and no expenses 
for cartage or lighterage are incurred. 

This list of railroads covers the principal companies in Great Britain. 
To each of these railroads cargo from any vessel in those docks can be 
delivered, and from each of these railroads any vessel in the docks can 
receive goods, at precisely the same cost per ton. In Liverpool it is the 
same. The three railroads there, the North-western, the Midland, and 
Great Western, have equal privileges. And so it is all over Europe. To 
whichever dock in whichever port a vessel goes, her cargo goes on equal 
terms to every railroad which has a track within the limits of the port, 
and from every railroad in the port cargo can be received on equal terms. 
In this country no such custom prevails. The great termini are owned 
by railroad corporations. Not to every railroad are allowed equal terms, 
but only to every railroad other than the owner. Thus vessels which in 
this country lie at a railroad terminus cannot receive cargo from, nor 
deliver cargo to, all railroads upon equal terms. The rate to all other 
railroads is different from the rate to the railroad at whose terminus the 
vessel lies. Freight to other railroads pays a terminal charge to the rail- 
road owning the terminus, and a general cargo for different destinations 
must pay a charge or be sent over the road which owns the terminus. 
This may work well for the railroad, but it is against the public interest, 
and is injurious to the port. In Europe, if two railroads compete with 
each other, they bear the loss of the competition. Here, if they compete, 
the importer of goods does not get the whole benefit, because of the ter- 
minal charge to other railroads. 



1831.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 9 

A merchant of Boston whose goods are at the Grand Junction Wharf 
cannot send his goods West by the Fitchburg or Lowell except by pay- 
ing a terminal charge; nor can a vessel at either Constitution or the 
Lowell Wharf send goods West by any railroad except the railroad own- 
ing the terminus, unless he pays a terminal charge. This detracts from 
the advantage of Boston as a port. If the European system were adopted 
here, and ships lying in a foreign port could take freight for Boston to be 
sent thence by all railroads upon equal terms, the advantages of Boston 
would be more fully appreciated. Then steamers could come here as- 
sured that, at whatever dock they unloaded, they could at the same dock 
load from any railroad or from several railroads upon the same terms. 
Now a vessel coming to either wharf must load at the same wharf with 
such cargo as the railroad can furnish, or must haul to the wharf of 
another railroad to take the cargo which that road can furnish, or else 
the terminal charge comes in. Here it is, " Haul your vessel, or load with 
what we can give you by our cars." In Europe it is, " Stay where you 
are. Goods by all railroads will be brought to you on equal terms." 
Whether the system here can be changed, is worthy the consideration of 
both the legislature and the business men of Boston. 

Liverpool Docks. 

But, while in so many ports in Europe there are docks which attract 
attention by their extent and convenience, it is in Liverpool that the 
most complete system of docks is to be found ; and here is found also a 
form of management which secures uniformity of rates in the whole port, 
and to the business community the advantage derived from doing a large 
business. Here is found an inducement to extend business, so that the 
cost of doing it may be reduced ; and here is found an immense corpora- 
tion, without stockholders and without capital, managed and controlled 
by the men who contribute to its revenue ; a corporation consisting of a 
large property, paid for by notes and bonds amounting to sixteen million 
pounds sterling ; secured, not by a lien upon the property, but only on 
its income, and from the payment of which only one hundred thousand 
pounds sterling can be set aside annually from surplus receipts, if the 
surplus receipts amount to so much. This loan, though representing the 
cost of improvements, is really a loan, based solely upon the continued 
prosperity of the port, and bears interest at rates varying from three per 
cent per annum, to four and one-half per cent. The sinking-fund with 
its accumulations amounts to one million two hundred thousand pounds 
sterling. 

The first dock in Liverpool was of three acres, 1,890 yards in extent, 
and was opened in 1715. In 1800 the dock area had reached 27 acres 
and 1,912 yards. In 1825 there were 46 acres and 3,179 yards. In 1840 
there were 95 acres and 1,954 yards. In 1850 there were 152 acres and 
381 yards. In 1857 there were 192 acres and 129 yards. Up to this date, 
all works had been constructed by the town of Liverpool, under authority 
of Parliament, and from time to time there had been built upon the Bir- 
kenhead side of the Mersey several docks, which on the 1st of January, 
1858, had an area of seven acres and 360 yards ; so that the total area of 



10 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

docks upon both sides of the Mersey was 199 acres and 489 yards. At 
this time was passed the Consolidation Act, by which all the docks upon 
both sides of the Mersey were placed in the hands of the Mersey Dock 
and Harbor Board, as perpetual trustees. To the town of Liverpool was 
allowed the sum of one million five hundred thousand pounds sterling for 
the surrender of certain rights transferred to the new Board, and such 
further sum as the town had expended, and to the Birkenhead Dock 
Company, a sum to be settled as provided by law. 

The directors consist of twenty-eight members — eight elected each 
year, whose term of office is three years — and four members appointed by 
the Mersey Conservancy Board. The twenty-four members of the Board 
are chosen from those who, residing within ten miles of Liverpool, have 
paid dock rates to the extent of twenty-five pounds sterling during the 
previous year, by those persons who have the same qualifications. In 
this Board are vested the whole care of the docks, the duties of pilot com- 
missioners for the River Mersey, the duties of harbor commissioners for 
the river, the exclusive right to build docks, the right to build railroads 
and to operate them within their own property, and the right to build 
across (over or under) streets, to discontinue streets, and to make new 
streets, subject to approval of the town of Liverpool, and to extend rail- 
road tracks to connection with other railroads ; and many other rights 
properly guarded as may be* found necessary, and to fix all dock and 
tonnage rates, harbor and light dues, and rates for pilotage. But they 
must apply to Parliament for authority to borrow money for further 
improvements, and must fix the dock rates at such sum as will pay cost 
of maintenance, management, operation, interest, and the one hundred 
thousand pounds sterling for the sinking fund ; no portion of the receipts 
beyond the one hundred thousand pounds sterling per annum being appli- 
cable either to a reduction of the debt or further improvements. No 
member of the Board can receive any compensation for his services, but 
all employes are paid. Thus it will be seen, that, with increased busi- 
ness, rates must be lessened to the advantage of those doing business in 
Liverpool. 

This is the corporation which now manages and controls all the docks 
upon the Mersey. In 1860 its dock area was 334 acres, 1,189 yards; in 
1870, 383 acres, 811 yards, and in 1880, 433 acres, 4,823 yards. And 
there are now very great improvements in progress, both at the North 
and South Ends, the most important of which is the great steam dock 
at the North End, upon which have been expended one million eight hun- 
dred and thirty-six thousand pounds sterling (three hundred and forty- 
six thousand pounds of it in the year ending July 1, 1880). In this 
dock there will be three piers or quays, each fifteen hundred feet long, 
and three hundred feet wide, separated by docks of three hundred feet 
wide. Upon each quay will be two sheds upon the edge of the docks, 
each one hundred feet wide, with a street for teams and railroad tracks 
between them of one hundred feet in width. These quays will add nine 
thousand feet to the length of quayage, and will be used for the steam- 
ers in the American trade, eighteen of the largest of which can be 
accommodated at one time. Upon these quays will be the hydraulic 



1881.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 



11 



cranes, and every other known appliance for the prompt and cheap hand- 
ling of goods. They are expected to be ready for use in 1881. 

In the same dock basin will be graving docks, so that steamers can be 
repaired promptly, and without moving out of the basin in which they 
lie to discharge and receive cargo. 

At the South End, also, are extensive docks in the course of con- 
struction, upon which the sum of three hundred and twelve thousand 
pounds sterling has been expended, eighty-two thousand pounds of it 
during the year. 

It will be noticed that Liverpool has in construction new docks which 
have already cost over two million one hundred and fifty thousand 
pounds sterling, to be added to her present capacity of four hundred and 
thirty-four acres. The length of dock front upon the Liverpool side of 
the river is six and one-half miles ; and upon the Birkenhead side some 
one and one-fourth miles, and back from the river about two miles. The 
total amount expended to 1st July, 1880, has been: — 

At Liverpool £10,727,627 12 7 

Birkenhead 5,949,333 6 8 

£16,676,960 19 3 
And the debt outstanding is 15,951,248 3 5 

So that only . . . . £725,712 15 10 

of the cost, or about .0435 per cent, has been paid for. 

The rest has been borrowed upon the security of the rates hereafter 
to be collected. The first dock was opened in 1715, so that in one hun- 
dred and sixty-five years the payments for the cost have averaged less 
than forty-four hundred pounds sterling per year. 

The dock receipts were, in — 





Vessels. 




Tonnage. 






£ 


s. 


d. 




1752 


— 


1,776 


8 


2 


— 


1775 . 












2,291 


5,384 


4 


9 


— 


1800 . 












4,746 


23,379 


13 


6 


450.060 


1825 . 












10,837 


128,691 


19 


8 


1 ,223 820 


1840 . 












15,998 


178,196 


14 





2,445.708 


1850 . 












20,457 


211,743 


7 


7 


3,536.337 


1860 . 












21,136 


397.315 


12 


11 


4,697.238 


1870 . 












19,429 


-511,703 


9 


8 


5,728.504 


1880 . 












20,070 


706,449 


12 


8 


7,524.533 



The above table shows the constant increase of trade at Liverpool, 
and also shows the effect of the introduction of steam vessels upon their 
size, the number of vessels in 1850 being greater than in 1880, while in 
1880 the tonnage had more than doubled. The dock area had also in- 
creased 200 per cent. 

Thus I have described the docks at Liverpool, and their system of 
management. Such system exists nowhere else, I believe. In London, 



12 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

two great companies, not railroad corporations, but each owning its own 
tracks to the junction with the great railways, control three hundred and 
fifty-two acres of dock basins, of which the East and West India Dock 
Company own and occupy one hundred and twenty-seven acres, and the 
London and St. Katharine Dock Company two hundred and twenty-five 
acres. With each other these companies compete for business, and, in 
order to secure business, each arranges to deliver goods to all the rail- 
ways upon equal terms. Upon the Continent, the docks are generally 
under government or municipal control, but in all of the Continental 
docks opportunity is afforded to all railroads to connect with the dock 
tracks upon equal terms. 

So much I have learned by my visit abroad; and now you will ask me 
to apply it to Boston, and especially to the property of the State which 
is in control of the Board. 

In the first place, then, let me say that, with the immense trade be- 
tween Europe and America, Boston can have as much of it as she will 
prepare herself to accommodate, and that if she will secure to herself, as 
she can if she will, better facilities and lower rates than at other ports, 
the business will pour in upon her much faster than she can prepare 
herself for it. Already, with her imperfect arrangements, and her 
unfortunate system, there are more steamers in the port than can be 
accommodated, while the work of proper preparation will take much 
time. Let then, for the present, every facility be granted to every appli- 
cant for increased wharf accommodation. Induce, if you can, adjoining 
wharf proprietors to unite and make wharves suitable for steamers. 
Arrange, if possible, for the connection by rail of every wharf where a 
steamer can be placed with every railroad leading to places from which 
goods destined for the European market are brought, or to which they 
are carried. 

The value of the property at South Boston, and the value of other 
wharf -property, will be increased and not diminished by the increase of 
business, whether that business be done either at the Mystic, at Charles- 
town, at East Boston, the city proper, or at South Boston; and at which- 
ever point the greatest facilities can be furnished at the lowest charge, 
there will be the greatest business. It is a business of which there is 
enough for all, and there should be no rivalry except to excel among the 
wharf-owners of Boston. The aim should be to make the port of Boston, 
not East or South Boston only, but the whole port, superior to every 
other port in its accommodations, and possessed of greater facilities for 
distributing and collecting cargo, which shall be handled always at lower 
rates. The Commonwealth can have no rivalry with other wharf-owners. 
It will take years to put her property in condition to receive steamers or 
cargoes. Tf, in the mean while, business is not accommodated here, some 
other port will take it. If business continues to be done here, it will 
increase, so that, when the State can get docks upon her property, they 
will all be needed, and needed, too, more rapidly than they can be sup- 
plied. Clearly, then, it is not only the interest of the State, but the 
duty of the Board, to facilitate in every possible way the building of 
wharves and docks which will accommodate steamers of the largest size. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT'— No. 11. 13 

In other ports of the world it has been found necessary to make radical 
changes in the size and depth of docks, and in the arrangements of the 
piers and the buildings therein, so as to accommodate the necessities of 
steam navigation; and Boston must do the same thing if she desires to be 
a port of large trade with steamers. None of the cities in the Old World 
have escaped this, and the works now in progress in New York show how 
she is meeting the necessity. Let, then, the wharf-owners commence 
their work, and I am sure that the Board will aid them to the extent of 
its powers. Co-operation is the only thing which will change the present 
harbor front of the city proper into a series of piers and docks suitable 
for steamer's use. This co-operation should not be delayed. With it 
much can be done during the next summer to increase the facilities of 
Boston, and to make wharves, which to-day are of little value, very valu- 
able in themselves, and of great assistance in increasing Boston's impor- 
tance as a seaport. In East Boston, in South Boston, at Charlestown, 
both on the Charles and the Mystic, various parties are doing work which 
should be pushed forward without delay. With all these completed, still 
more room will be required, some of which, at least, must be found on 
the State's property at South Boston. To properly improve this, is, as I 
have said, a work of some years, and none of it can be made ready as 
soon as it is wanted. 

And it is in connection with this property especially that my visit to 
Europe was made, and for the proper development of it that I have so 
closely examined and so fully reported the present management of the 
docks at Liverpool. 

• The property at South Boston belonging to the Commonwealth con- 
sists of some seven hundred acres of unfilled flats, of which perhaps one- 
half is especially fitted for railroad and shipping purposes. Under the 
existing laws this Board has the right, with the approval of the Governor 
and Council, to make "contracts for the improvement, filling, sale, use, 
or other disposition," of these flats; and an appropriation was made in 
1878 for certain expenditures which existing contracts will absorb. An 
act authorizing the building of a junction railroad to the flats is also in 
force; but as there is now nothing belonging to the Commonwealth at 
South Boston except partially filled flats, which it will take much longer 
to prepare for use than it will to build a railroad, it is hardly probable 
that a railroad will be built until the lands are more nearly in condition 
for use. To the further loan of the State credit, even for improvements, 
there are strong and well-founded objections; and to the grant of even a 
portion of the land to parties who might make a large profit upon it 
there is also a strong objection. Yet the land remains, and, that there 
will be a demand for it as soon as it can be made ready for use, seems 
beyond question. If any corporation now authorized could be made a 
perpetual trustee, or if, in the absence of such corporation, a trust could 
be created, which should be authorized, the fee of the land remaining 
in the State, to borrow money upon improvements which should always 
be devoted to commerce, somewhat upon the basis of the Mersey Docks, 
and the management, like that of the Mersey Docks, to be in the hands 
of those who contribute to its revenues, and with such other provisions 



14 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

as would insure the reduction of charges as business increased, with no 
interest to be earned upon the cost or value of the land, but only revenue 
enough to pay the interest upon the cost of the improvements made, and 
the necessary expenses for operating and maintenance, the required 
improvements could be made without a donation of land, without the 
further issue of the State's credit, and without appropriations from the 
State treasury, provided the money for the proposed improvements could 
be obtained upon the same kind of security for improvements in Boston, 
as money is now and for many years has been obtained for improve- 
ments in Liverpool. This security is nominally the rentals of docks and 
piers, and the amount loaned is their cost; but the real security is the 
continuance of the great commercial trade of the port. While Liverpool 
continues a commercial port, there is confidence that a rental will be 
received, sufficient, at rates which will retain commerce against all com- 
petition, to pay the cost of maintaining and operating the docks there 
in addition to the interest upon their immense cost of nearly one hundred 
millions of dollars. If the same confidence exists as to the permanency 
of Boston's increasing commerce, there would seem to be no question of 
the ability of docks and piers, which pay no interest upon the cost of the 
land, paying an interest upon the cost of the improvements thereon, in 
competition with other docks and piers which must earn an interest upon 
the cost of both the land and the improvements, and therefore but little 
question as to the possibility of borrowing money in this country for all 
improvements which might be required from time to time. But, if there 
should be doubt about the loan being made here, I have good reason to 
believe that the money could be had in Great Britain, and probably at a 
low rate. There are two special advantages in this plan, besides those 
named: first, it devotes to trade permanently a large tract which can be 
utilized at the lowest possible rate for all time, and is therefore a benefit 
to both city and State; and, second, it will make the rest of the State 
property at South Boston of largely increased value. 

Sometimes it is said that business passing through a place as it does 
through Liverpool, and will through Boston, is of no material benefit. 
Still, in Liverpool the Dock Board employ many thousand men, represent- 
ing probably thirty thousand inhabitants of the city, who are paid directly 
from the revenue of the docks, besides which are the many men employed 
by the railroads in handling the merchandise received from or carried to 
the docks, which together represent a population occupying many houses, 
and requiring many tradesmen to supply their various needs ; all of which 
business, besides the employment of the many men connected with the 
shipping, which, in its turn, employs many tradesmen, mechanics, mer- 
chants, and bankers, may be traced directly to the docks. 

Such are the benefits of the adoption of the Mersey system in Liver- 
pool; and, if my suggestions shall meet the views of the Board, I trust 
that such legislation may be recommended and secured as may enable 
work to be commenced and carried forward at South Boston upon a basis 
which, while it increases the value of the property of the State, will 
secure to Boston all the business which it can do with ships, and will 
enable her also, for all time, to do it at the lowest possible rates. If 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 15 

this can be accomplished, even in a small degree, I shall feel that the 
time spent upon my trip has not been wholly wasted. 

In conclusion, I desire to express my thanks especially to Messrs. 
George Warren & Co. of Liverpool, who were untiring in their efforts to 
secure to me all the information I desired ; to Mr. Lyster, the engineer 
of the Mersey Docks, for his many courtesies, and for the time, informa- 
tion, and introductions which he secured to me; to Mr. Gittins, the 
secretary of the Liverpool Docks, for the valuable collection of documents 
furnished to me ; to Mr. Forrest, the secretary of the Society of Civil 
Engineers in Europe, for his many courtesies, and especially for his 
letters of introduction to the engineers of the several ports which I 
visited; to the resident engineers of these several ports, for their kind- 
ness in furnishing me with every desired information; and to the various 
commercial houses and government officials who assisted me so much in 
my many inquiries. 

WILLARD P. PHILLIPS. 
Boston, December, 1880. 

From this report, it is evident that many of the principal 
ports in Europe are actively at work in preparing docks 
suited to the requirements of the large steamers engaged in 
the American trade, the extent of which is shown in part 
by the large proportion of the whole trade at Liverpool ; and 
the returns from the Liverpool docks show how largely the 
average size of ships has increased since the introduction of 
steam. All docks, therefore, which are intended for steamers 
should probably be at least as wide, and the piers as commo- 
dious, as those now building at Liverpool. 

We agree with the views expressed in the report as to the 
probable extent of the trade in Boston if the proper facilities 
are furnished. We agree, too, in the suggestion that wharf- 
owners in Boston should secure, by co-operation and without 
delay, wharves suited for the accommodation of steamers. 
We agree, too, that the Board should aid by every means in 
its power the construction of new and the enlargement of 
old wharves. And we believe that all this will but add to 
the necessity of the rapid development of the property at 
South Boston. 

We join, too, in the recommendation of the report that the 
attention of both the legislature and the merchants of Boston 
should be directed to the necessity of providing for the con- 
nection of all railroads with both the existing docks and 
with all new docks built, so as to add to the advantages and 
facilities of the port. 



16 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

We have been especially interested in the report of the sys- 
tem of management of the Liverpool clocks. It is a system 
which secures to commerce the lowest possible charges, every 
requisite convenience, and permanency. If it could be adopt- 
ed here, it would place the control of business in the hands 
of the merchants themselves, and could not bat add materially 
to the value of the Commonwealth's property at South Bos- 
ton, even if one-half of it should be placed in a perpetual 
trust for the benefit of trade which it would constantly 
increase and develop. It would also avoid the use of the 
State's credit, and would make unnecessary any further 
appropriations. And we recommend such legislation as may 
be needed to make a perpetual trust, in whose hands should 
be placed such portion of the South Boston Flats as may be 
required and suitable for dock purposes, and that to such trust 
should be given such powers to borrow money for improve- 
ments, as the legislature may from time to time authorize, 
with the farther authority to issue bonds secured by future 
rentals, with all necessary and proper restrictions. In the 
trust the State should be represented, as is the Conservancy 
of the Mersey in the Liverpool trust. The qualification of 
members of the board of directors should also be properly 
guarded. In the framing of such a bill very great care 
should be used, and it is very probable that even with all 
this care there would be some alteration or additional provis- 
ion required before the lenders of money would be fully sat- 
isfied. This might cause the delay of a year, and cannot be 
afforded. Time is too valuable. While therefore we recom- 
mend such legislation, and most heartily approve of it, we 
also recommend further appropriations for the energetic con- 
tinuance of work at South Boston. If the trust shall be 
created, and shall assume control of the South Boston prop- 
erty, the money expended by the State in improvements 
would be reimbursed from the proceeds of the first bonds 
issued ; and that should be one of the conditions precedent of 
the trust. If these recommendations shall be followed, there 
need be no delay either in the formation of the trust or in 
the progress of the work of reclamation, and every thing will 
have been done which can be to prepare the State's property 
for the great business which will pour in upon it if it is sea- 
sonably prepared to receive it. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 17 



Back Bay Lands. 



FEET. 



In 1S57 there belonged to the Commonwealth, in the 

Back Bay, so called 4,723,998 

Of which there have been donated or transferred, — 
as per last report . . . 314,740 

In 1880 48,568 



363,308 

Devoted to streets and passage-ways, as 

per last report 2,037,068.6 

Sold, as per last report . 2,084,931.6 
in 1880 . . . 110,857.45 



2,195,7S9.05 

Remaining on hand Dec. 31, 1880 . . 127,832.35 



4,723,998 



The gross proceeds of land sold have been 

as per last report $4,307,722 17 

In 1880 315,364 85 



Rights in Parker Street sold as per last 

report $2,200 00 

In 1880 100 00 



$4,623,087 02 



— 2,300 00 

$4,625,387 02 
Cost of filling, grading, &c, as per last 

report $1,626,008 71 

auction sales, as per last report . 14,291 78 

— ~ 1,640,300 49 

Net proceeds to Dec. 31, 1880 $2,985,086 53 

Of the whole land belonging to the State in 1857, only 
46.48 per cent has been sold ; the remainder, except 127,832.- 
35 feet (2.706 per cent), having been given away or used in 
streets. The State has already received a net profit of 63.19 
cents for every square foot owned by it in 1857 ; and the 
2,195,789.05 feet already sold have averaged $2.1054 per 
square foot gross ; and, after deducting all the expenses 
of filling, the 4,723,998 feet have yielded a net profit of 
12,985,086.53, or $1.3594 per square foot sold. 

The land sold during the year, and its location, is as 
follows •- — 



18 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



Area in sq. ft. 


Location. 


Amount. 


2,800. 
25,345.6 . 

9,810.6 . 

9,773.25 . 
14,224. 

5,152. 
10,752. 
33,000. 


Marlborough Street, north side . 
Marlborough Street, south side . 
Commonwealth Avenue, north side 
Commonwealth Avenue, south side 
Newbury Street, north side 
Newbury Street, south side 
Boylston Street, north side . 
Boylston Street, south side . 




$9,800 00 
69,700 40 
44,147 70 
37,536 75 
29,120 00 
10,304 00 
32,256 00 
82,500 00 


110,857.45 


square feet, at an average of $2.8447 
Lowest price, $2: highest price, $5. 


• 


$315,364 85 



The prices show a general improvement upon the prices 
obtained last year ; and, with the continued advance in the 
value of the land, it is expected that still higher prices will 
be obtained for the remainder. 

Upon the sales of the land there was no charge of . broker- 
age, the Commissioners having made the sales directly to the 
purchasers. 

The land donated in 1880 was, — 



FEET. 



To the city of Boston, for Public Library on Boylston Street, 

corner Dartmouth . 33,000 

To the State Normal Art School, Newbury Street, corner of 

Exeter 15,568 



The value of which was at least $150,000. 



48,568 



The land still unsold is all beyond Dartmouth, and is 
located as follows, viz. : — 

Marlborough Street (north side) . 
Commonwealth Avenue (south side) 
Newbury Street (north side) 
" " (south side) . 

Boylston Street (north side) . 
" u (south side) . 



. • 


FEET. 

19,577.6 


. 


6,411.75 


31,584 




26,208 






57,792 




36,176 




7,875 


44,051 



Total square feet 



127,832.35 



The value of this remaining land must be over $300,000. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 19 

Received from Tide Lands. 

There has been received during the year, under Chap. 284 
of the Acts of 1874, for land of the Commonwealth occupied 
by wharves or other structures in tide-water, the sum of 
$27,484.82; and one or more licenses are pending, wherein 
the amount to be paid is not yet determined. 

Charles River Basin. 

In view of the various projects for encroachment upon 
Charles River Basin, and the fact that the harbor-line on 
the Cambridge side had been the subject of careful revision 
in 1878, it was deemed inexpedient to include that area in 
the re-statement of harbor-lines made last year. There are, 
however, many reasons why the policy which is to govern 
the treatment of this portion of the harbor should be defi- 
nitely determined. The city of Boston has asked, and its 
application is now pending before the legislature, for a strip 
two hundred feet wide on the Boston side, extending from 
Cragie's Bridge to a point nearly opposite the junction of 
Brookline Avenue with Beacon Street, to be occupied for 
park purposes. The owners of flats on the Cambridge side 
desire to occupy to the present harbor-line for building pur- 
poses, and to enhance the value, of their land within the line, 
by improving a strip outside the line two hundred feet wide 
for park purposes, in harmony with the plans of the Park 
Commissioners on the Boston side. Chap. 25 of the Resolves 
of 1878 gave certain powers to the Land Commissioners which 
plainly contemplated reclaiming a part of the Common- 
wealth's portion of the basin for sale as land. Every con- 
sideration affecting navigation, health, or the comfort and 
beauty of the locality, demands that so much of the basin as 
is not to be reclaimed should be deepened ; and, that no 
work to this end may be wasted, it is important to know 
just what is to remain open. The area between West 
Boston Bridge and Brookline, which forms the upper basin, 
comprises about six hundred and fort}^-six acres ; of which 
two hundred and forty-nine acres are the property of the 
Commonwealth, about three hundred and thirty-four acres 
belong to riparian owners on the Cambridge side, and the 
remaining sixty-three acres to private parties on the Boston 



20 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

side. The average width opposite the Mill-Dam is about 
thirty-four hundred feet. If filling is permitted to the 
present harbor-lines and no encroachment permitted beyond 
those lines, the open basin will then contain about four 
hundred and thirty acres, or two-thirds the present area, of 
which the Commonwealth will still own two hundred and 
forty-nine acres, the riparian owners on the Cambridge side 
one hundred and fifty-five acres, and the riparian owners on 
the Boston side twent}~-six acres. The basin would then be 
about twenty-three hundred feet wide, measuring opposite 
Fairfield Street. 

All private ownership in the land covered by the basin, 
except in a few instances on the Boston, side where rights 
to fill have already been granted, is subject to the public 
right of flowage by tide-water ; and there is no obligation 
to relinquish this right of flowage save as the public inter- 
ests may be served thereby. This is true of the area within 
the harbor-lines, as well as of the area without those lines. 

Encroachment upon the area of tide-water, which could 
not be permitted for the purpose of promoting private gain, 
may sometimes be wisely allowed for public purposes, as for 
the promotion of the public health, or facilitating public 
travel. Gain to the public treasury is a public benefit 
which it is legitimate to weigh against public advantages 
surrendered. As a large expenditure of public money 
would be unwise to secure a small advantage to the harbor, 
so a large gain to the public treasury may be wisely secured 
by concessions which involve but slight disadvantage. To 
justify encroachment upon a natural provision for one public 
purpose, to secure another public object, it should, however, 
be very clear that the advantage to be secured outweighs the 
disadvantage involved; and all presumptions in case of doubt 
should be in favor of preserving natural advantages. 

If the cost of converting a strip two hundred feet wide 
on the Boston side of the basin into a satisfactory park will 
equal the value of such park when constructed, then there 
is no gain to the public from such encroachment. Nearly 
one-half the sea-wall which would be required to retain the 
proposed embankment in the upper basin must be built in 
deep water, in the main channel, at large cost; and a consid- 
erable part of the filling occasioned would be in the deepest 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 21 

part of the basin. Whether the money required to construct 
the embankment, even if the land were given, would not do 
more for park purposes in the purchase of land requiring less 
change to adapt it to such use, is a question for the city only, 
except so far as it may assist us to determine the importance 
of the public benefit to be secured by surrendering this por- 
tion of the basin for such use. It ought to be stated, that 
the portion in question is not now, or likely to become, a 
nuisance : nearly one-half of what lies in the upper basin is 
now deep water, and the remainder is that, the deepening 
of which will be most readily secured; while in the lower 
basin, all the area which it is proposed to occupy for the 
embankment is covered by a fair depth of water at all 
stages of the tide. 

It would be difficult to estimate very closely what might 
be realized to the public treasury by reclaiming a portion of 
the Commonwealth's land on the Boston side of the basin 
for sale as land. The Board recognize that it is as incum- 
bent upon them to study the property interest which the 
State has in the basin, as it is to ascertain the advantage 
or disadvantage to the harbor which may follow changes 
therein. If the reclamation of a single row of building-lots, 
extending from Arlington Street to the western end of the 
Mill-Dam, could be effected in connection with the park occu- 
pation, making the embankment perhaps three hundred and 
ten feet outside the present harbor-line instead of two hun- 
dred feet, it would not be unreasonable to anticipate a profit 
to the treasury of from seven hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars to one million dollars, according to the prices which 
should be obtained for the land sold. If the reclamation 
were made independent of co-operation by the city, sufficient 
land being filled for one row of lots, with a wide ornamented 
street in front, on the border of the basin, the profit would 
not be large ; and in view of the depth of water, and the large 
cost of the sea-wall, it is not certain that such independent 
reclamation could be advantageously undertaken, aside- from 
the question of its effect upon the harbor. 

The filling which the riparian owners on the Cambridge 
side desire to make, is upon flats of which they own the fee. 
No grant of land is involved ; but the surrender of the right 
of flowage might be as important to the public as a grant of 



22 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

land, and cannot be made thoughtlessly. The authority to 
fill would hardly be granted, and probably would not be 
asked, without compensation in some form for the tide-water 
to be displaced. It is proposed that compensation be made 
by filling with material dredged from the basin. The mate- 
rial forming the bed of the basin is believed to be in large 
part equal to gravel from the country, and it is probably 
practicable to make the entire filling with dredged material ; 
but, making some allowance for inequality of depths, which 
may be necessary to secure the required quantity of the best 
materia], it is more prudent to estimate that only the amount 
of material needed to raise the reclaimed land to grade ten 
can be counted effective for securing a uniform depth in the 
basin. On this basis, if the Cambridge flats are reclaimed 
to the harbor-line, and no encroachment on the Boston side 
is permitted beyond the existing harbor-line, the bed of the 
basin remaining will be dredged to grade four below mean 
low water, thus giving at ordinary low water a minimum 
depth of four feet, and at low water of extreme spring .tides 
a minimum depth of two feet, with considerable portions 
of the basin much deeper. This is probably sufficient to 
remove all danger to health, and all annoyance from offen- 
sive odors ; and opportunity would be likely to occur from 
time to time to obtain other dredging. The Board would 
hope that a depth of twelve feet might be eventually ob- 
tained. No legislation is required to authorize filling to the 
harbor-line, as the general laws are sufficient ; but the pro- 
prietors say that the proper development of their land will 
require the devotion of a part of it on the border of the basin 
to ornamental purposes, and that the cost of reclamation is 
so large, that the amount of land available for sale will not 
be sufficient to make it certain that their enterprise would 
result advantageously. They also say that a strip two hun- 
dred feet wide beyond the harbor-line can be enclosed with 
ho increase of expense for the sea-wall, and that if they can 
be allowed to occupy such strip solely for park purposes, in 
harmony with the plans of the Park Commissioners on the 
Boston side, it would materially aid their enterprise. It 
would in no case be admissible to permit such occupation 
in the narrow neck of the basin, immediately below Brook- 
line Bridge ; but, if it were permitted from the point where 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 23 

the space between the harbor-lines begins to widen mate- 
rially to West Boston Bridge, the area of the basin which 
would then remain would be about three hundred and 
ninety-six acres, and the minimum depth of water would 
be increased about eighteen inches, making five feet six 
inches at ordinary low water. The park gained by such 
extension would have this advantage over that proposed on 
the Boston side, that it would be secured to the public with 
no expenditure of public money at the outset in its construc- 
tion, and it would occupy what is now the shoal part of the 
basin, instead of what is the deepest. If this extension is 
granted, it will render much more objectionable that pro- 
posed on the Boston side. If the park embankment on the 
Boston side is permitted, and that on the Cambridge side 
refused, the area of the upper basin, which would then 
remain, would be about three hundred and ninety acres, 
and the minimum depth would be increased about two feet, 
giving six feet at ordinary low water. If both were per- 
mitted, the width of the basin would be reduced to nine- 
teen hundred feet opposite Fairfield Street, its area to about 
three hundred and fifty-six acres, and its minimum depth 
increased to nearly eight feet at ordinary low water. It is 
of course assumed that no filling will be permitted unless 
dredging is required in connection with it. 

The relative importance of the different public interests 
involved must be determined by the legislature; but on 
a careful study of the interests of the harbor, which it is 
the province of this Board to protect, it does not seem 
admissible to permit any encroachment upon the area of 
either basin beyond the present harbor-line, except as already 
provided by statute, to abate a nuisance at the abrupt angle 
in the line on the Boston side. If the desired deepening of 
the whole basin could be secured within a reasonable time, 
the Board would incline to preserve it intact ; but it is not 
clear that this could be accomplished within the time which 
the public would be willing to endure the flats in their pres- 
ent condition. If the Board were re-stating the harbor-line 
on the Boston side, they would make a curve at one point 
where now there is an abrupt angle ; but the only purpose 
of making such change is fully answered by Chap. 247 of 
the Acts of 1866, which permits the city of Boston to oc- 



24 HAEBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

cupy in said angle to a curve therein described, and to appro- 
priate the land so reclaimed for ornamental grounds or for 
a street, and otherwise they would advise no change in the 
line on either side. 

The Board do not wish to exaggerate the effect upon the 
harbor to be anticipated from filling any part of these basins. 
It is easy to overstate the mischief that would follow, and it 
is quite possible that it has been overstated in the earlier dis- 
cussion of the value and functions of the interior basins of 
Boston Harbor ; but, after making all reasonable concession 
for over-statement and zeal on the part of advocates of special 
scientific theories, the sober judgment of all who are familiar 
with the discussion and with the experience in the important 
harbors of the Old World must be, that the value of these 
interior basins is ver}^ great, and their preservation very im- 
portant. At no time in the history of Boston has the impor- 
tance of its harbor to its future growth, and through its growth 
to the growth of the State, been more apparent than now. 
The magnitude of the foreign commerce which the country 
is certain, to have, and the share of it which Boston may 
reasonably expect to obtain, is but just beginning to be out- 
lined ; but enough is already seen by all who have given the 
subject attention to make it clear that we cannot wisely be 
indifferent to any causes which may impair, in even a slight 
degree, the excellence of its harbor. The value of tidal reser- 
voirs as aids in securing and maintaining the desired depth 
of water at points below such reservoirs is receiving increased 
attention in the ports of the world which are now making 
the largest expenditure to meet the demands of modern com- 
merce ; and there should be great caution in relinquishing 
'any advantage which the harbor of Boston possesses in this 
direction. The basins of the Charles River are the most 
valuable of the reservoirs which remain. A large reservoir 
capacity at Prison Point Bay has been surrendered for the 
abatement of a nuisance to the public health, and it seems 
the more desirable to retain all of that which remains which 
it is possible to retain. The filling which may be authorized 
in the upper basin within the existing harbor-lines will reduce 
its capacity as a tidal reservoir 2,319,140 cubic yards; the 
strip which the Cambridge proprietors desire to improve out- 
side the line, not continued into the neck of the basin, would 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 25 

reduce it further 550,865 cubic yards; and the embankment 
desired by the Park Commissioners on the Boston side would 
effect a reduction of 643,000 cubic yards. It should be re- 
membered that these quantities do not fully measure the loss, 
as the tide-water which lies at the highest plane here is the 
most effective in its work below, and the loss which will follow 
these encroachments, particularly upon the Cambridge side, 
is of tidal volume which lies at the higher plane, while the 
partial compensation made by dredging is of tidal volume at 
a lower plane. The obstructions of the outlet to these basins 
have seriously impaired the value of the reservoirs in ques- 
tion, and complicate the problem of their treatment ; but it 
is not impossible that these obstructions may be much modi- 
fied in the future, so that the power of the tidal flow may be 
more fully realized. It should increase the caution with 
which any portion of the interior reservoirs are given up, 
that the dredging in the harbor below has very much in- 
creased the area of channel depth to be maintained, and this 
will be still further increased in future. As the work which 
the flow of the tides is expected to perform is increased, there 
should be care taken that their volume is increased rather 
than diminished. 

The proprietors on the Cambridge side desire that they 
may be authorized to build a bridge to the Boston side be- 
tween the Brookline and West Boston Bridges. It is probable 
that a bridge at this locality will be required, and authority 
has once been given to the two cities to build one by Chap. 
314 of the Acts of 1874 ; but this authority has expired. If 
it is thought wise to renew the authority, or to give it to 
other parties, or to allow this Board to do so, legislation would 
be necessary. 

The opinion of Professor Henry L. Whiting upon the 
physical consequences of the proposed encroachments was 
sought by the Board in its study of the question ; and his 
report will be found in the Appendix. 

Harbor-Lines at East Boston. 

The harbor-line at East Boston was established by Chap. 35 
of the Acts of 1840, and from time to time parties were 
authorized to extend their wharves to the harbor-line. Prior 
to 1866 there was no Board to supervise the construction of 

4 



26 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

the wharves authorized, and each party ascertained the posi- 
tion of the harbor-line for himself. It has resulted that a 
number of wharves, now ancient, are in fact beyond the 
harbor-line ; and some which the owners desire to extend to 
the line of the wharves upon either side of them cannot be so 
extended, because the harbor-line is in fact within the line 
which has been acted upon as the true line. The extensive 
plans for development of the more easterly part of the East 
Boston frontage which were known to be in progress led the 
Board to delay a re-statement of the line upon that side of 
the harbor, in connection with that established upon the front- 
age of the city proper by the Act of 1880. The Board are 
still unprepared to recommend a line for the whole frontage ; 
but the difficulties which have recently come to their knowl- 
edge, in connection with the position of old wharves in rela- 
tion to the existing line, has led them to consider whether it 
might not be wise to repeal the existing line, and leave that 
frontage without a harbor-line till the studies are ripe for a 
comprehensive treatment of the whole. The practical effect 
would not be as serious as formerly, as under existing laws 
licenses for structures may be given where there is no harbor- 
line ; but, in lieu of the restriction of the established line, 
such licenses must have the approval of the Governor and 
Council. 

The Boston and Albany Railroad Company desire to extend 
piers beyond the present harbor-line to a point in line with 
the other piers at their terminal grounds. Such extension 
would cross a channel by which wharves lying easterly are 
now approached ; but the railroad compan}^ are willing to 
excavate a channel of equal capacity through the shoal lying 
outside, and the Board are advised by experts that the cur- 
rents are not such at this point that any physical injury to 
the harbor would result from turning the channel as desired. 
The extension would furnish accommodation much needed, 
and the Board desire to grant it if upon full study there shall 
appear no insuperable obstacles. If the entire harbor-line at 
East Boston should be repealed, as above suggested, no other 
legislation would be requisite to permit this extension ; but 
if the line should remain as now established, the Board rec- 
ommend the passage of the bill for this purpose, given in the 
Appendix. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 27 

Re-survey of Boston Upper Harbor. 

In addition to the points of triangulation determined by 
the work of Mr. Francis Blake, jun., of the United States 
Coast and Geodetic Survey, and given in a list of geographi- 
cal positions, together with his report in the Appendix of the 
Report of the Board for 1875, a further determination by 
triangulation has been made, under the direction of the 
Board, by Mr. William E. McClintock, of the initial points 
in the harbor-line of so much of the frontage as has been 
included in the topographical survey. A list of these geo- 
graphical positions will be found in the Appendix in the form 
heretofore presented, which is uniform with that adopted by 
the Coast Survey. All additional data for determining the- 
relative positions of wharves in reference to the established 
harbor-line will be furnished, on application, from the archives 
of the Board. 

Compensation of the Board. 

The members of the Board feel very strongly that the 
provision of law for their compensation is inadequate for the 
service which the position requires. With the consolidation 
of work formerly in charge of separate boards, the duties 
have ceased to be occasional, and demand daily attention 
from all the members. While it was not expected that 
the entire time should be given, it is found practically that 
there is very little time that can be given to private busi- 
ness which is not subject to frequent interruption from the 
necessary demands of the public work. If the per diem 
measure of the service was best while the work was in 
large degree experimental, it has ceased to be even approxi- 
mately just. The time and character of service vary from 
attention to pure routine work for two or three hours, to the 
closest application to matters responsible and exhausting, 
continued through the entire day and late into the night. 
Whatever is deemed the proper compensation of the Board, 
it would seem more just and fitting that it should be meas- 
ured by annual salaries. The questions with which the 
Board has to deal demand a quality of service that is entitled 
to liberal compensation. If they do not have this, it ought 
to be made possible to secure it. The aggregate transactions 



28 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

of the Board are of sufficient pecuniary consequence to the 
Commonwealth to make it important that such service be 
had, as the indirect cost of inefficient service may be very 
large. It seems a plain duty to present these views for such 
action as may be thought proper : if sound, they concern the 
efficiency of the Board, and thus the interest of the Common- 
wealth, more than the personal interest of any member. 

Special Compensation. 

The amount of special and exceptional work which was 
devolved upon the present Board during its first official year 
was so large, that it seems to the Board just that special pro- 
vision should be made therefor. 

A large amount of time was occupied in connection with 
hearings before referees upon the claim of Clapp and Ballou. 
The active demand for land upon the Back Bay which began 
in October, 1879, required close attention and much time 
from all the members. The sales amounted to $556,652.35, 
and were effected entirely without the payment of commis- 
sions to brokers or auctioneers. Special duties with the Rail- 
road Commissioners under Chap. 45 of the Resolves of 1879 
also claimed considerable time. The more important special 
service growing out of negotiations relating to the land at 
South Boston, and the protracted hearing before the legisla- 
tive committee arising out of one phase of those negotiations, 
involved a large amount of labor. Much of this work was 
professional in character, and all of it was responsible and 
exhausting. The hearing resulted in a sale under Chap. 260 
of the Acts of 1880, amounting to $1,108,165. There is no 
provision under which any allowance can be made for extra 
or professional service by members of the Board, nor would 
they suggest such provision for any moderate amount of 
such service ; but the extent of that in question exceeds 
what can with justice to themselves be rendered without a 
request for compensation. It would seem to be in keeping 
with existing legislation to authorize the Governor and Coun- 
cil to allow such sum as should appear to them reasonable, 
subject to such limit as to amount as may be thought proper. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 29 

Office and Field Work. 

During the last year the operations of the Board connected 
with harbors and tide-waters have been in excess of those in 
any previous year. The number of licenses granted have 
also been larger than heretofore issued in one year. The 
demand for maritime facilities in Boston Harbor continues 
in about the same proportion with that in other harbors 
and coast localities; the applications for authority to build 
wharves and other structures in Boston Harbor being about 
one-fourth of the number presented. In connection with 
these improvements, the attention of the Board has been 
called to most of the harbors of the Commonwealth. 

The following statistics, in the usual form, show the 
particulars of the work : — 

Plans approved by the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners during the 
Year 1880, for the Erection of Structures in and over Tide-water, and 
Licenses granted for such Structures. 

£5os. 

512. Kidder, Vaughan, & Co., for leave to construct a wharf in Chelsea 

Creek, East Boston. Approved Jan. 15, 1880. 

513. Henry S. Sterling, for leave to extend his wharf at North Pocasset 

Buzzard's Bay. Approved Jan. 29, 1880. 

514. Old Colony Railroad Company, for leave to widen its drawbridge 

and extend its draw-piers over Neponset River. Approved Feb. 
5, 1880. 

515. John C. Rhodes, for leave to construct a solid wharf at Mattapoisett. 

Approved Feb. 19, 1S80. 

516. George Curtis, for leave to straighten the line of his wharf in Rox- 

bury Canal. Approved Feb. 27, 1880. 

517. A Cochrane & Co., for leave to extend their wharf on Mystic River. 

Approved March 4, 1880. 

518. William Rackliff, for leave to extend his wharf at " Oak's Cove," 

Gloucester Harbor. Approved March 18, 1S80. 

519. L. G. Burnham and others, for leave to build bridges across Dean's 

and Hog Island Rivers, in the town of Essex. Approved March 
18, 1880. 

520. Fitchburg Railroad Company, for leave to fill land and flats between 

its road and Eastern Railroad, in the city of Somerville. Ap- 
proved March 18, 1880. 

521. Boston and Albany Railroad, for leave to cover with a pile structure 

Dock No. 7, and extend Pier No. 7 of Grand Junction 'Wharves, 
East Boston. Approved March 25, 1880. 

522. R. W. Bowles, for leave to construct a wharf at Mattapoisett. 

Approved April 29, 1880. 



30 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Nos. 

523. William Hale, for leave to extend his wharf on Merrimac River, 

Haverhill. Approved April 1, 1880. 

524. Haverhill Steamboat Express Company, for leave to place a floating 

wharf on Merrimac River, near Salisbury Point. Approved April 
7, 1880. 

525. Edward P. Shaw, for leave to place a floating landing on Merrimac 

River, near Salisbury Point. Approved April 7, 1880. 

526. New Bedford Yacht Club, for leave to construct a pile wharf near 

Jfcpe's Island, New Bedford Harbor. Approved April 7, 1880. 

527. George Perkins and William H. Perkins, jun , for leave to extend 

their wharves in Gloucester Harbor. Approved April 22, 1880. 

528. Town of Dennis, for leave to construct a solid roadway across 

Sesuit Creek. Approved April 22, 1880. 

529. Henry S. Sterling, for leave to extend his wharf at North Pocasset, 

Buzzard's Bay. Approved May 6, 1880. 

530. Fitchburg Railroad Company, for leave to build an addition to its 

Miller's River freight-yard. Approved May 6, 1880. 

531. Fitchburg Railroad Company, for leave to construct a bridge in 

Miller's River, to connect its freight-yard with Prison Point 
Bridge and Austin Street. Approved Sept. 4, 1880. 

532. Horatio and J. A. Wellington, for leave to fill their dock west of 

Bridge Street, East Cambridge. Approved May 6, 1880. 

533. Foster's Wharf Company, for leave to straighten the easterly side 

of its wharf on Fort Point Channel. Approved June 24, 1880. 

534. City of Boston, for leave to rebuild a portion of Chelsea Bridge. 

Approved May 13, 1880. 

535. Charles A. Ropes, for leave to extend his wharf on South River, 

Salem Harbor. Approved May 20, 1880. 

536. James N. Buffum & Co., for leave to extend their wharf in Lynn 

Harbor. Approved May 20, 1880. 

537. Robert Scott, for leave to drive piles to define the Commissioners' 

line on South Boston Point. Approved May 27, 1880. 

538. Boston and Albany Railroad Company, for leave to construct an 

additional drawbridge over Broad Canal, East Cambridge. Ap- 
proved June 9, 1880. 

539. Fitchburg Railroad Company, for leave to fill land and flats in Mil- 

ler's River, Charlestown District. Approved June 3, 1880. 

540. Henry D. Baxter, for leave to construct a boat-pier at Hyannisport. 

Approved June 7, 1880. 

541. Board of Health of the Town of Swampscott, for leave to extend its 

drains on Blaney's Beach, Swampscott. Approved June 10, 1880. 

542. William F. Green & Son, for leave to extend their wharf on Border 

Street, East Boston. Approved June 10, 1880 

543. Charles L. Pearson, for leave to rebuild and extend his wharf on 

Fort Point Channel, Boston. Approved June 10, 1880. 

544. Lynn and Boston Railroad Company, for leave to build a temporary 

bridge in Mystic River. Approved June 10, 1880. 

545. M. A. H. Procter, for leave to build a wharf at Plum Island, 

Ipswich. Approved June 17, 1880. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 31 

Nos. 

546. Thomas McKinney, for leave to build a wharf on the west side of 

Grape Island, Ipswich. Approved June 17, 1880. 

547. City of Lynn, for leave to extend and enlarge the " Engine House " 

lot on Broad Street, Lynn. Approved June 17, 1880. 

548. William C. Poland & Son, for leave to construct a wharf at Moon 

Island, Boston Harbor. Approved July 12, 1880. 

549. Boston Tow Boat Company, for leave to build a pile pier at East 

Boston. Approved July 22, 1880. 

550. City of Cambridge, for leave to build a pile structure across Charles 

River for the support of a water-pipe. Approved July 29, 1880. 

551. Joseph F. Paul, for leave to fill solid part of his wharf near Dover- 

street Bridge. Approved July 29, 1880. 

552. Boston and Albany Railroad Company, for leave to widen Pier No. 

7, and deepen Dock No. 8, Grand Junction Wharves, East Boston. 
Approved July 29, 1880. 

553. City of Haverhill, for leave to improve the draw-ways of Rock's and 

Groveland Bridges across Merrimac River. Approved July 29, 
1880. 

554. Lynn and Boston Railroad Company, for leave to build a temporary 

bridge in Mystic River, north of north draw of Chelsea Bridge. 
Approved July 22, 1880. 

555. New York and New England Railroad Company, for leave to build 

a platform in the Boston and Albany Railroad Company's Dock at 
South Boston. Approved Aug. 5, 1880. 

556. City of Chelsea, for leave to rebuild its part of Chelsea Bridge. Ap- 

proved Aug. 12, 1880. 

557. Eastern Railroad Company, for leave to fill solid Mill Creek Bridge 

on the line of its road in Essex. Approved Aug. 12, 1880. 

558. Pasque Island Corporation, for leave to construct a wharf at Pasque 

Island, town of Gosnold. Approved Aug. 19, 1880. 

559. Gosnold Mills Corporation, for leave to extend its wharf in New 

Bedford Harbor. Approved Aug. 26, 1880. 

560. Eastern Railroad Company, for leave to fill solid its main track 

between Austin Street and the crossing of the Fitchburg Railroad, 
Charlestown District. Approved Sept. 2, 1880. 

561. Hull and Nantasket Beach Railroad, for leave to construct its road 

across tide- water in the town of Hull. Approved Sept. 16, 1880. 

562. City of Boston, for leave to construct a temporary dam in South 

Bay. Approved Sept. 16, 1880. ' 

563. Mary J. Healey, for leave to construct a pile wharf in Dorchester 

Bay. Approved Sept. 16, 1880. 

564. Washington Allen, for leave to build a stone pier on Scraggy Neck 

in Sandwich. Approved Oct. 12, 1880. 

565. Edward P. Shaw, for leave to place a floating landing on Merrimac 

River, near Salisbury Point. Approved Sept. 23, 1880. 

566. Butchers' Slaughtering and Melting Association, for leave to build 

a sea-wall and fill flats on Charles River, Brighton District. Ap- 
proved Sept. 30, 1880. 

567. Proprietors of Tide Meadows in the town of Salisbury, for leave to 



32 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Nos. 

fill solid two bridges on the line of the Eastern Railroad. Ap- 
proved Sept 30, 1880. 

568. John Gary and the heirs of John Wesson and Abel Fitz, for leave to 
extend Tuft's Wharf on Charles River, Charlestown District. 
Approved Nov. 4, 1880. 

5G9. Francis E. Foster, for leave to re-construct his wharf on Mystic 
River, Medford. Approved Oct. 8, 1S80. 

570 Salem and Magnolia Steamboat Company, for leave to construct a 
wharf on Salem Neck, Salem Harbor. Approved Oct. 8, 1880. 

571. Salem Bay Yacht Club, for leave to construct a wharf on Salem 

Neck, Salem Harbor. Approved Oct. 8, 1S80 

572. Standard Sugar Refinery, for leave to extend its wharf on Fort 

Point Channel, South Boston. Approved Nov. 11, 1880. 

573. Revere Beach Land Company, for leave to construct a bulkhead, 

and fill the area enclosed by the same near Cherry Island Bar, 
Revere. Approved Nov. 18, 1880. 

574. Fitchburg Railroad Company, for leave to extend its wmarf on 

Charles River, Charlestown District. Approved Nov. 27, 1S80. 

575. Boston and Albany Railroad Company, for leave to extend its Dock 

No. 3, Grand Junction Wharves, East Boston. Approved Dec. 9, 
18S0. 

576. Benjamin Low, for leave to extend his wharf in Gloucester Harbor. 

Approved Dec. 9, 1880. 

577. Thomas B. Tripp, for leave to construct a wharf in Clark's Cove. 

Approved Dec. 16, 1S80. 

578. Andrew W. Dodd, for leave to extend wharf in "Vincent Cove," 

Gloucester Harbor. Approved Dec. 23, 1880. 

579. Benjamin F. Cook, for leave to extend his wharf in "Vincent 

Cove," Gloucester Harbor. Approved Dec. 23, 1880. 

580. Heirs of William Collins, for leave to extend their wharf in "Vin- 

cent Cove," Gloucester Harbor. Approved Dec. 23, 18S0. 

581. Chresten Nelson, for leave to extend his wharf in " Vincent Cove," 

Gloucester Harbor. Approved Dec. 23, 1880. 

582. Ellerton L. Dorr, for leave to construct a wharf on Peters Neck, 

town of Wareham. Approved Dec. 23, 1880. 

583. George Peabody, for leave to extend Fiske's Wharf to harbor line, 

Boston Harbor. Approved Dec. 31, 1880. 

584. John McKinnon, for leave to build a wharf on Belle Isle Creek, 

East Boston. Approved Dec. 31, 1880. 

585. Pacific Guano Company, for leave to extend its wharves at Woods 

Holl, Town of Falmouth. Approved Dec. 31, 1880. 

586. Boston and Albany Railroad Company, for leave to rebuild sea-wall 

in Dock No. G, Grand Junction Wharves, East Boston. Approved 
Dec. 31, 1880. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT-— No. 11. 33 

Harbor Improvements by the General Government. 

The work of the General Government in the harbors and 
rivers of the Commonwealth during the year have been of 
unusual interest and importance. That in the section north 
of Cape Cod has been in charge of Gen. Thom, and that 
in the section south of Cape Cod in charge of Gen. Warren. 
These officers have at the request of the Board kindly fur- 
nished detailed accounts of the operations in their charge, 
which will be found in the Appendix, and to which attention 
is called. 

The great improvements which have been accomplished 
under the liberal policy of the General Government, not 
alone in Boston Harbor, but in the rivers and smaller har- 
bors of the Commonwealth, cannot fail to have a marked 
effect upon the prosperity of the State. The projected works 
on the Merrimac and Charles Rivers at Nantucket, Woods 
Holl, and Wareham, are worthy of attention and encourage- 
ment on the part of the State. 

The plan of opening the Connecticut River for navigation, 
with a depth of eight feet to Holyoke, and the possible ex- 
tension of navigation still further up the river, deals with 
what is not tide-water, nor yet a harbor, but the Board ven- 
ture to commend the measure as one of much practical 
importance to the Commonwealth. 

The people of Edgartown have been with good cause 
much interested in the consequences to their harbor from 
the closing of the inlet through Cotamy Beach, and are 
moving to secure the renewal of efforts by the General 
Government to re-open this inlet. The Board desire to 
second heartily this movement, and will co-operate with 
the efforts being made to secure the favorable action of 
Congress. 

ALBERT MASON. 
WILLARD P. PHILLIPS. 
FRANCIS A. NYE. 

Boston, Jan. 1, 1881. 




Lege,,, I 

=r j Lan,/ ait/iiu orii/uial j.?,on lines. 
ggg; J £neroutJimenti- possible m,/„„ existing Aur&or /i/ie, 
3 J JlncroaiAmena a ,t« a /fy maae . 



APPENDIX. 



APPENDIX. 



[A.] 

PHYSICAL CONSEQUENCES OF ENCROACHMENT UPON 
CHARLES RIVER BASIN. 

In - discussing the subject, as above defined, it can be more syste- 
matically treated by considering the two geographical sections sepa- 
rately : namely, the water-space between Brookline and West Boston 
Bridges, which will be called, for the purpose of distinction, the Upper 
Basin ; and the water-space between West Boston and Cragie Bridge, 
which will be called the Lower Basin. 

The natural and physical conditions of these basins are also of distinc- 
tive character. 

The Upper Basin is a shallow water, with large areas of flats, dry at 
low tide, occupying much of its space, and through which a compara- 
tively narrow channel of unequal depth and width forces its way. 

The Lower Basin is of smaller area, with its channel portion compara- 
tively larger, deeper, and more regular in form. The more contracted 
natural water-way between the firmer shores of the north end of the city 
proper and East Cambridge have formed a deeper channel, which con- 
tinues this general character through the lower sections of the river to 
its confluence with Chelsea Creek and the Mystic ; and in it3 original 
natural state was one of the deepest, if not the very deepest, section of 
the arms of the inner harbor, and still so remains. 

The value of these interior basins, as reservoirs, has been much af- 
fected by the obstructions which, from time to time, have been allowed 
to encumber the outlet of the river ; and the treatment of them, as fac- 
tors in the conservation of the main harbor, made difficult and uncertain. 

In the Ninth Report of the United States Advisory Council for Boston 
Harbor, pp. 11, 12, they say, " In the case of Charles River and its adja- 
cent basins, the bridges offer at present too much obstruction to make a 
full reduction of flats and marshes serviceable. When the bridges which 
now encumber the mouth of Charles River and distort its bed are im- 
proved by the introduction of such systematic and uniform constructions 
as will increase the water-ways, and correct the present disorderly flow 
of the stream, it will be practicable to enlarge the tidal prisms here 



38 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

described (of the basins above). Tn the existing state of things, we do 
not advise any excavations below the half-tide plane." 

Much as it may be desired to improve constructions, and more particu- 
larly to remove obstructions, no precedent in the history of our legislation 
applicable to such cases can be found of acts effecting restoration of 
water-ways and water-spaces, or the removal of encroachments upon 
them, although frequently done elsewhere. It seems, therefore, only 
practicable to consider conditions as they are, and to deal with difficulties 
as they exist, and to so study and prescribe the better modes of change 
and adaptation to what may be the necessary demands of commerce and 
requirements consequent upon the steadily increasing proportions and 
importance of the port and city. 

in the scheme of revised harbor-lines for the basins of Charles River, 
which was recommended by the Board, a careful study was made of the 
adjustments of filling and excavation, and a system of lines devised 
which left the tidal prism of these basins intact. The details of this 
plan were stated in the Seventh Annual Report of the Harbor Commis- 
sioners for 1873. 

Upon the petition of riparian proprietors on the Cambridge side of 
the Upper Basin, the lines established in 1873 were changed by subse- 
quent legislation (Chap. 77 of 1878), and a harbor-line established on 
the Cambridge side of the basin, which lessened its reserved water-area 
by about sixty acres, and its tidal prism by about 885,304 cubic yards. A 
statement of particulars in regard to the changes which were subsequently 
effected was made in the Annual Report of the Harbor Commissioners 
for 1877. 

On Aug. 30, 1872, licenses were granted under Chap 236 of the Acts 
of 1872 to George Griggs and others, Edward Atkinson and others, and 
to the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation, to build a sea-wall and fill 
solid behind the same on the southerly side of the Upper Basin out to the 
harbor-line. A detailed statement concerning this matter was given in 
the Seventh Annual Report of the Harbor Commissioners (1873). Work 
has been done in substantially carrying out the plans proposed, although 
it is not yet completed. 

In the Lower Basin no change has been made in the harbor-lines as 
they existed at the time of the studies by the United States Advisory 
Council. 

On July 8, 1874, the Board granted a license to James A. Woodbury 
and others, whose interests were afterwards merged in the Cambridge 
Improvement Company, to fill flats on the Cambridge side of the Lower 
Basin within the harbor-line. This contemplated the occupation of a 
large area, about fifty-five acres, and the displacement of about 802,080 
cubic yards of tidal prism. The arguments and conditions of the license 
granted were stated in the Ninth Annual Report of the Harbor Commis- 
sioners for 1875. The operations of this company have been suspended, 
although something has been done in partially carrying out the original 
plans of filling and excavation ; but, as the work is in an unfinished 
state, no surveys have been made by which its present condition can be 
ascertained with precision. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 39 

Li the changes made in the basins of Miller's River and Prison Point 
Bay, the loss of reservoir capacity, or tidal prism, is much in excess of 
any compensating excavation ; in fact, but little dredging has been done 
excepting some minor work in what remains of Miller's River. Compen- 
sation in money has been paid for a part of the tide-water displaced, but 
at a merely nominal price; the total amount received by the Common- 
wealth for the loss of these reservoirs being $11,620 (?). If their full 
value had been paid, as estimated by the Advisory Council at the cost of 
compensation in kind, the amount would have been $520,000. 

A statement was made, in full detail, of the history of the disposition 
of those basins, in the Annual Report of the Board for 1877, from which 
the following extract is made: — ■ 

" Of the original bay, which comprised 64.8 acres, subject to the fourth 
section of the law of 1866 establishing the Board of Harbor Commission- 
ers, 12.8 acres have been filled; there now remain unfilled 52 acres. Of 
the 12.8 acres filled, 7.3 acres have been reclaimed without authority; and 
of the 52 acres still unfilled, 29 acres have been licensed subject to com- 
pensation for tide-water displaced ; so that there remain only 23 acres of 
tide-water, over which the Commonwealth retains any jurisdiction in the 
interest of harbor preservation." 

The following is a tabular statement of the data which have formed 
the subject of the preceding remarks: — 



40 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



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1881.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 



41 



From as close a measurement and estimation as our data afford, some 
of which is not precise, the loss of reservoir capacity, or tidal prism, in 
the two basins of Prison Point Bay and Miller's River, amounts to about 
1,384,600 cubic yards. 

As the judgment and estimates of the Advisory Council were based 
upon the combined active functions of all the inner basins of Charles 
liiver, the loss of so much of those of Prison Point Bay and Miller's River 
makes it still more important to retain all the tidal power they yet possess 
in the remaining basins. 

In the report of the Advisory Council, before referred to, the tidal 
prism of the inner basins of Charles River are given as follows: — 



Between Brookline and West Boston Bridges 
Between West Boston and Cragie Bridges 
Prison Point Bay and Miller's River 



CUBIC YARDS. 

9,259,900 
2,082,500 
1,846,215 

13,188,015 



The loss of tidal prism in these basins since the report of the Advisory 
Council including the contemplated displacement of tide-water by the 
harbor-lines of 1878 in the Upper Basin, and the fillings authorized on 
the part of the Cambridge Improvement Company in the Lower Basin, 



we have the following result : — 



In the Upper Basin 

In the Lower Basin 

In Miller's River and Prison Point Bay . 

About 22 per centum of the original tidal prism. 



CUBIC YARDS. 

885,304 

802,080 

1,384,600 

3,071,984 



In comparing the amount of obstruction to the outlet of these basins 
in 1861, with that of the present date, — 18S0, — those structures only are 
mentioned in which substantial change has been made. 

In the report of the Advisory Council the areas of the bridges crossing 
the month of Charles River are given as follows, to which is added the 
areas of the same bridges at the present time in a separate column: — 





1861. 


1880. 


Warren and Fitchburg ..... 

Boston and Maine Railroad .... 

Lowell and Eastern Railroad 

Lowell Freight ...... 

Cragie ........ 


-Square feet 

272,900 

216,750 

128,740 

83,300 

74,500 


Square feet. 
3 89 .'890 
284,390 
249,770 
112,900 
81,110 




776,190 


1,117,060 



About 50 per centum of increase from original area. 

In an able report prepared by Gen. J. G. Foster in the spring of 1869, 
at th time the subject of widening and improving the draw-way openings 
6 



42 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

through the bridges crossing Charles River was under consideration, and 
while he was in charge of the government improvements being made in 
the lower harbor, he prepared a table of statistics, showing the extent 
and amount of obstruction to the free flow of the tide caused by those 
bridge structures, and from which the following items have been taken. 
Gen. Foster sent his own men, in boats, under the bridges, and had the 
piles in each bridge actually counted, and sketches made showing the 
irregular and injurious manner in which the piles were placed in the 
various structures. 





Number of 
Tiles in each 


Mean.height 

of Piles f 'm 

bottom to 


Mean ob- 
struction 
offered by 


Total water- 
space remain- 
ing after 
deducting the 




13 ridge. 


high water. 


Piles. 


obstruction of 
Piles. 


Charles River Bridge 


486 


Feet. 
27 


Square feet. 

1,200 


Square feet. 

25,401 


Warren Bridge .... 


771 


26 


1,637 


26,953 


Fitch burg R.R. Bridge 


3,265 


26 


68,565 


18,215 


Boston and Maine R.R. Bridge . 


3,754 


24 


72,077 


17,477 


Eastern R R. Bridge . 


1,022 


24i 


20,031 




Lowell R R. Bridge . 


672 


24i 


13,171 




Lowell Freight Bridge 


756 


24 


14,515 


34,435 


Cragie Bridge .... 


663 


23 


12,199 


,24,151 


Total .... 


11,389 




203,395 ! 



In the case of the Fitchburg Railroad bridge, the most objectionable 
structure, the striking condition is exhibited of a mass of obstruction 
amounting to 72,077 square feet with 17,477 square feet of free water- 
space ; the obstruction being about four hundred per centum of the 
room left for free flowage. 

As will be seen by looking at the maps, the bridges forming the 
most obstruction are in such close proximity and so grouped together as 
to form almost a continuous resistance to the flowage. These are the 
Warren and Fitchburg, in part one structure, the Boston and Maine, and 
the Eastern and Lowell passenger, also nearly a united structure. So that 
it may be said, that substantially these bridge structures, in 1869, con- 
tained 9,484 piles, each pile averaging a length of 25 feet within the 
water^ and presenting the startling amount of 175,481 square feet of 
submerged surface ; so disposed, both in rows and singly, that almost 
every pile presented an abrupt obstruction to the current. Allowing for 
the same ratio of increase in the piling as in the surface area of the 
bridges, there would be, at the present time, about 16,400 piles, and 
about 303,400 square feet of surface obstruction. 

Although the piles which have been driven under the direction of the 
Board have been in lines which coincide with the direction of the current, 
so that when all the piles under all the bridges shall have been made to 
conform to the same order, the flowage will be improved, the disorderly 
manner in which the old piling still remains so shuts up the bays that no 
material gain is yet effected, 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 43 

From the above statements it is evident that no improvement or relief 
to the outlet of the inner basins of Charles River has been effected since 
the criticism of their usefulness as tidal reservoirs was made by the able 
engineers who gave so much study and investigation to this subject. 

It shows, however, the serious consequences and great misfortune of 
giving away, little by little, to encroachments, which, at the time, are 
made to appear insignificant in their physical disadvantage, while all 
important to other purposes they are proposed to serve, until, by persist- 
ent appeals for legislation, grants are obtained for which no commensu- 
rate equivalent is, or can be, given. 

Already one of the choice portions of the inner harbor of Boston is lost 
to maritime commerce by the net- work of bridges that cross its deepest 
water ; unless it be not too late to reconstruct with a more wise adj ust- 
ment of terminal facilities, of which Boston, as one of the few great ports 
of our Atlantic coast, stands so much in need. No part of the inner har- 
bor affords more inducement to improvement than the lower portion of 
Charles River, from the Navy Yard to Cragie Bridge. The Advisory 
Council calls attention to it on physical grounds, and a comprehensive 
study of its capabilities will develop many other reasons for improve- 
ment. 

Independent of physical considerations, the improved appliances of 
machinery and modes of dredging give the question of excavation a sig- 
nificance different from that of the earlier periods when it was less effec- 
tively and systematically managed, and when the inner reservoirs and 
outer channels of the harbor had more unobstructed avenues, by which 
to maintain their connections and exercise their mutual functions. 

The subject of harbor conservation and improvement presents, to-day, 
more complicated features, and those which bring to bear upon it the 
results of experience and knowledge in the more modern modes of treat- 
ment. 

Jn the licenses granted by the Board for the works in the upper basins 
of Charles River, the question of improved navigation was considered of 
so much importance, that it entered largely into the scheme of compen- 
sation. To further improve these basins by dredging them to a greater 
uniform depth, say ten or twelve feet at mean low water, would be a 
work of great value. 

Such deepening, with the filling of all border-lands, would also be a 
sanitary work of the first order. It has been found, by experiment, in 
France, that the sanitary influence of waters' which covered lands or 
marshes otherwise unhealthy, or into which sewage or other foul mat- 
ter found its way, was in proportion to its depth ; that a film of water, 
although constantly maintained, did not prevent miasmatic exhalations, 
whereas deep water absorbed the noxious vapors, or was so far effective 
that the shores and grounds bordering upon them were rarely unhealthy. 

The aesthetic question, in the treatment of these basins, is hardly less 
important, and has received a public and individual attention which enti- 
tles it to high consideration ; while nothing that is likely to be done in 
this direction will injure the navigable value of the basins, or impair 
their sanitary influence. 



4\ HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

The purpose and occasion of the present study and investigation of this 
subject is a demand for land upon the borders of the Charles River basins 
which it is proposed to obtain by encroachments upon their water- spaces; 
and the discussion of facts and theories in regard to them has been made 
in the hope of leading the way to some wise solution of the problem 
under consideration. 

In the plans proposed by the Park Commissioners and other parties, 
various lines have been suggested. Three definite ones, however, have 
been named by the Board for special consideration, — two in the Upper 
Basin and one in the Lower Basin. 

The first in order is a line in the Upper Basin, beginning at some point 
in the present harbor-line near the westerly end of the Mill-Dam, and run- 
ning easterly parallel to and 200 feet advanced from the Mill-Dam, turning 
the south-easterly corner of the basin by a suitable curve, and running 
northerly parallel to the easterly line of the basin, and terminating at a 
point on the West Boston Bridge, 200 feet westerly from the present sea- 
wall. 

Such a general line will take from the basin area about . . 1,602,400 sq. ft. 

Equal to about 36-£ acres. 

And will reduce the tidal prism 930,100 cu, yds. 

The amount of filling required to raise this area to grade 

ten 978,279 cu yds. 

The second line in order is one following the same general course, and 
terminating at the same point on the West Boston Bridge, but being 
advanced substantially 300 feet into the basin. 

Such a general line will take from the basin area about . . 2,313,500 sq. ft. 

Equal to about 53^- acres. 

And will reduce the tidal prism . 1,277,920 cu. yds. 

The amount of filling required to raise this area to grade 

ten 1,326,147 cu. yds. 

The encroachment upon the Lower Basin by following the 
line proposed by the Park Commissioners, which runs 
from a point near the easterly abutment of Cragie Bridge 
in a generally straight course to the same point named in 
West Boston Bridge, 200 feet from the sea-wall, is about . 200,800 sq. ft. 

Equal to about 4-/fr acres. 

And will reduce the tidal prism about 74,370 cu. yds. 

The amount of rilling required to raise this area to grade 

ten, ahout 109,990 cu. yds. 

A further project has been brought forward to improve the opposite 
Cambridge shores of the Upper Basin ; and a belt of 200 feet, to be taken 
from the basin beyond the harbor-line, is asked for as a part of the pro- 
posed plan. 

Such a line, 200 feet beyond the harbor-line, -will take from 

the basin area about 1,650,400 sq. ft. 

Equal to about 37^ acres. 

And will reduce the tidal prism about ..... 550,865 cu. yds. 

The amount of filling required to raise this area to grade ten 

will he about the same 550,865 cu. yds. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 45 

A project looking to the improvement of the Cambridge shores, in 
connection with the improvement proposed upon the Boston side, is much 
to be desired; but there seems to be no adequate necessity for making 
land from the basin area on the Cambridge side, and no exigency to war- 
rant an additional encroachment upon it from this direction to that which 
has been already made by the advanced harbor-line of 1878. The lands 
adjoining are in an unimproved and undeveloped state, open to other 
schemes of treatment. Upon the Boston side, where heavy sea-walls and 
expensive structures already occupy the immediate shores of the basin, it 
is more difficult to operate without taking some territory from the basin. 

It would seem a more wise and practicable project to appropriate the 
marginal ground of the entire basin to park purposes, and to treat the 
subject of the improvement of this splendid basin as a unit. 

To devote a certain margin to the aesthetic and healthful purposes of a 
park, and at the same time secure the establishment of permanent bound- 
ary lines, would have much to recommend it; but no concession should be 
made for private purposes, and the least amount of encroachment only 
allowed which will serve for public use. 

That some reduction of the tidal prism of these basins may be permit- 
ted in consequence of the increased obstruction to their outflow, is possible; 
but to what extent can only be determined definitely after special ex- 
amination and field observations similar in character to those which were 
the bases of the judgment of the Advisory Council. Such observations it 
has not been practicable to make since the questions under consideration 
have been presented. Without such data it would be unwise to prescribe 
changes in the physical status of the tidal forces, even as an offset to 
increased obstructions, large as they appear to be, which may produce 
results that cannot be predicted. As stated in a former report concerning 
the changes in the harbor-line of 1878, any scheme other than one look- 
ing to tidal compensation must be considered as arbitrary. 

The Advisory Council did not recommend excavation in the upper 
basins of Charles River below the half-tide plane; but as there are only 
small portions of these basins near the upland line of the Cambridge 
shore, where the surface of the flats came above this plane, this rather 
negative caution on the part of the council goes to establish the theory 
that any material change in their present status is undesirable. 

Assuming that two hundred feet of advance on the Boston side of the 
upper basin, and the line proposed by the Park Commissioners in the 
Lower Basin, will accomplish ail that may be desirable, the remaining 
condition of these basins will be about as follows: — 

Area of basins about 17,334,500 sq ft. 

Equal to about 398 acres. 

Loss of tidal prism about 6,420,190 cu. yds. 

Amount of excavation to deepen the basins to 12 feet below 

mean low water 5,825,350 cu. yds. 

Amount of space inside of the stated lines as territory to be 
filled by the material removed from the bed of the basin 
up to say grade ten, is about 1,411,350 cu. yds. 

While it is the logical inference that it is not desirable to increase the 



46 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. '81. 

reservoir capacity of the Charles River basins, it does not follow that it is 
desirable, or even permissible, to reduce them. 

The basins, treated independently of the consequences to the harbor 
elsewhere, should remain as large in area as consistent with securing the 
desired depth. Their full utilization for navigation., also sanitary and 
aesthetic considerations, all require that the depth of water should be 
increased. To the extent necessary to secure a desired uniform depth in 
the area which may remain, a contraction of area may be permitted. 
This is not necessarily to permit just that area to be filled which will 
contain the material which it is requisite to remove, but rather that the 
privilege of filling which will constitute sufficient inducement to perform 
the necessary excavation. 

The improvement of these basins ought not to be at the cost of the 
Commonwealth; but, on the other hand, if they can be so improved that 
great public benefits are conferred in their better adaptation to business 
and pleasure navigation, and in their sanitary and aesthetic effect on the 
community in which they are located, it is not essential that pecuniary 
profit should be derived by the Commonwealth from the improvement. 
If, when the public concedes some considerations of advantage, it secures 
other public considerations of greater moment, the gain is in even safer 
form than if committed into a money profit less permanent in its effects. 

Great importance should be attached to the devotion of as much of the 
area as shall be reclaimed from the Charles River basins to public purposes 
as is practicable; not, of course, because of the effects upon the harbor 
below, but upon the broader grounds which any intelligent study of the 
question necessarily introduces. The harbor-line upon the Cambridge 
side, as already established, is a large concession to the owners of flats, 
and any further extension should be granted with great caution. The 
appropriation of a belt two hundred feet wide on that side to public pur- 
poses is very desirable; and, if it cannot be obtained within the present 
harbor-line, it may be expedient to make some further concession. But, 
if this should be done, it would be more difficult to permit the three 
hundred feet, or even the two hundred feet, extension upon the Boston 

side. 

Respectfully submitted. 

HENRY L. WHITING. 

To the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners. 



[B,] 

RE-SURVEY OF BOSTON UPPER HARBOR. 



48 



HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. 



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50 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



[C] 

CONTRACT WITH THOMAS POTTER. 

Articles of Agreement made this twenty-eighth day of August, in the year 
eighteen hundred and eighty, by and between Thomas Potter, of 
Jersey City, in the State of New Jersey, party of the first part, and 
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting by its Board of 
Harbor and Land Commissioners, party of the second part, witness: — 

The said party of the first part hereby covenants and agrees with said 
party of the second part, to dredge three hundred thousand cubic yards of 
material from the shoals, in that part of Boston Harbor represented by 
the space colored red on the plan hereto annexed, at places to be designat- 
ed by the engineer of the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, and 
to deposit said dredged material on the flats of said Commonwealth, lying 
east of and adjoining the flats bargained to the Boston and Albany Rail- 
road Company, and between the southerly line of Eastern Avenue or 
Congress Street extended, and the northerly line of occupation as indicat- 
ed on said plan, at such places and in such order as the engineer of said 
Board shall designate. It is agreed that all said dredging shall be to a 
depth of twenty-three feet at mean low water, and that the bottom of 
the whole area dredged over is to be left smooth and regular at that 
depth to the satisfaction of the engineer of said Board, and that the 
amount of excavation shall be determined by measurement of the filling 
when deposited as herein provided, the present surface as shown on a 
plan of even date herewith made in duplicate and entitled " Plan of Fill- 
ing at South Boston Flats for the Commonwealth," and signed by said 
party of the first part, and by said Board, to be used as the basis of such 
measurement. 

All said filling shall be made from the present surface to grade 
thirteen, and shall be left smooth and level at said grade thirteen, and 
where the boundaries of said filling are protected by other filling, or by 
wall or bulkhead, the filling shall be brought up to grade thirteen at such 
boundaries; but where the boundaries are unprotected the material may 
be allowed to take its natural slope. In filling immediately behind a 
wall or bulkhead the material shall be deposited in such a manner that it 
will flow away from the wall or bulkhead, and not towards it. The lines, 
grades, and instructions given by the engineer of said Board, shall be 
strictly observed, and all necessary aid and materials for giving said lines 
and grades shall be furnished by said party of the first part. The dredg- 
ing and filling aforesaid shall be commenced within three months after 
the execution and delivery of this agreement, and shall be prosecuted 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 51 

continuously during all suitable weather, and with as much despatch as 
reasonably practicable until its completion ; and shall be completed on or 
before the first day of January, in the year eighteen hundred and eighty- 
three. 

The said party of the second part hereby covenants and agrees with 
said party of the first part, to pay said party of the first part for said 
dredging and filling at the rate of thirty-six cents per cubic yard, in the 
manner, and upon the terms and conditions, herein set forth and agreed, 
as follows: — 

Monthly estimates of the work executed will be made by the engineer 
of said Board, and for all the material deposited directly from the scows, 
a payment of seventy-five per cent of the contract-price will be made; 
and for all material deposited from cars, a payment of ninety per cent of 
the contract-price will be made; and when said filling is completed to 
grade seven upon any portion of said area to be filled, for the material 
deposited on the area so raised to grade seven such further payment 
shall be made as will make the entire payment therefor equal to ninety 
per cent of the contract-price; and upon the entire completion of all said 
dredging and filling, in the manner and within the time herein agreed, 
the remainder of said contract-price shall be paid. 

It is agreed, by and between the parties hereto, that upon all ques- 
tions of measurement, lines, or grades, the decision of the engineer of 
said Board shall be final. 

It is further agreed, by and between said parties hereto, that should 
the party of the first part refuse or neglect to prosecute the work herein 
contracted for, with the requisite vigor to insure its completion within 
the time herein stipulated, or in any other respect violate this agreement, 
the said Board shall have power to annul this agreement, and to contract 
anew with other parties. 

In testimony whereof, the said Thomas Potter has hereunto set his 
hand and seal, and the said Commonwealth has caused its seal to be 
hereto affixed, and these presents to be signed and delivered, in its name 
and behalf, by its Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, the day 
and year above written, and the same to be approved by its Governor and 
Council. 

THOMAS POTTER. [seal.] 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 

[seal of the By Albert Mason, 

COMMONWEALTH.] WlLLD. P. PHILLIPS, 

Francis A. Nye, 

Harbor and Land Commissioners. 

In Council, Aug. 31, 1880. 
Approved. 

HENRY B. PEIRCE, Secretary. 



52 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



[D.] 

BILL RECOMMENDED. 

Commoniuealt!) of fHassacfjusetts. 

An Act to authorize the Construction or Extension op 
Wharves in Boston. 
Be it enacted, 8fc, 8fc. 

That the Harbor and Land Commissioners shall be, and hereby are, 
authorized to permit the construction or extension of wharves in that 
part of Boston called East Boston, easterly of Pier No. 4, so called, of the 
Boston and Albany Railroad Company, to such line as they shall pre- 
scribe, and in such manner, and on such terms and conditions in other 
respects, as are now allowed by law, or shall be prescribed by them. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 53 



[E.] 

STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DURING THE YEAR END- 
ING DEC. 31, 1880, ON WORKS FOR THE IMPROVE- 
MENT OF RIVERS AND HARBORS IN THE STATE OF 
MASSACHUSETTS, UNDER THE CHARGE OF BREV. 
BRIG.-GEN. GEORGE THOM, COLONEL OF ENGINEERS. 

I. — Improvement of Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. 

The following operations for the improvement of this harbor by the 
United States Government have been carried on during the year ending 
Dec. 31, 1880, to wit: — 

1. Under a contract made Aug. 15, 1878, with Mr. Joseph E. Bart- 
lett of Boston, Mass., for the removal, by dredging, of the Man-of-War 
Shoal (situated in the upper, harbor, at the confluence of Charles and 
Mystic Rivers), to a depth of 23 feet at mean low water, dredging opera- 
tions, commenced by him in the latter part of 1878, were continued until 
the 12th of March, 18S0, resulting in an aggregate of about 86,000 cubic 
yards, in completion of said contract; of •which dredging about 6,000 
cubic yards was done subsequent to the 1st of .January. By these opera- 
tions this shoal has been reduced on an area of about 55,000 square yards 
to the projected depth of 23 feet at mean low water, on the shoalest part 
of which the depth was formerly but 15^ feet. This work was done in a 
very satisfactory manner, and under difficulties, for which the contractor 
is entitled to much credit. 

2. On the 28th of August, 1879, a contract was made with the New 
England Dredging Company, of Boston, Mass., for — 

(a) 38,000 cubic yards, more or less, of dredging at Anchorage Shoal, 
for obtaining a depth of 23 feet at mean low water, at 74 cents per cubic 
yard, measured in situ; and 

(/>) 6,000 cubic yards, more or less, of dredging at the Lower Middle 
Shoal, to the same depth as above, at 81 cents per cubic yard, measured 
in situ. 

Operations were commenced under this contract at Anchorage Shoal 
on the 15th of September, 1879, and were continued up to the 17th 
of December, when they were suspended for the winter. They were 
resumed on the 19th of April, and, after some interruptions by the 
dredging at the Lower Middle, were completed on the 22d of September, 
1880, resulting in an aggregate of 27,556 cubic yards of dredging {in situ) 
under and in completion of said contract; of which 17,619 cubic yards 
has been done during the past year. By these operations the main ship- 
channel has been opened on an area of about 48,600 square yards, to a 
depth of 23 feet at mean low water, for a width of about 550 feet. 



51 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

At the Lower Middle Shoal dredging was commenced, under this con- 
tract, on the 14th of Juue, and continued until the 15th of August, 1880, 
during which period 5,007 cubic yards of dredging (in situ) was done, on 
an area of about 17,500 square yards, in completion of said contract. By 
these operations the main ship-channel has been widened and deepened 
so as to have, for a width of 600 feet, a depth of 23 feet at mean low 
water. 

3. On the 11th of September, 1879, a contract was made with the 
New England Dredging Company — the lowest of four bidders, after 
proposals had been twice invited for the work — for 50,000 cubic yards, 
more or less, of dredging in Mystic River, near its mouth, at 33 cents 
per cubic yard, as measured in scows. Operations were commenced under 
this contract on the 2d of October, 1879, and continued up to the 15th 
of March, 1880, resulting in an aggregate of 47,953 cubic yards of dredg- 
ing on an area of about 25,000 square yards, in completion of the con- 
tract, of which 21,830 cubic yards of dredging has been done during the 
present year. By these operations the main channel at this place has 
been opened to a depth of 23 feet at mean low water (or 33 feet at mean 
high water) for a width of 125 feet throughout the whole extent of this 
shoal. The adopted project calls for a width of 300 feet when completed. 

4. A large and dangerous sunken rock, recently discovered and located 
in the main channel in Broad Sound, was broken up and removed in 
August and September last. This rock had a depth of but 9 feet of 
water on it at mean low water, with a depth of 16 feet around it. After 
several attempts to find it, it was discovered by the aid of a diver who 
had been employed on a vessel which had run upon it in April last. 

By the operations of the past year, as above described, all the work 
hitherto projected for the improvement of Boston Harbor proper has 
been completed, with the exception of that at Anchorage Shoal, where it 
is projected to open the main ship-channel to a least width of 1 ,000 feet. 

By the River and Harbor Act of June 14, 1880, the sum of $75,000 
was appropriated for the impiovement of Boston Harbor to be applied 
as follows, viz. : — 

1. Boston Harbor proper $30,000 

2. At the mouth of Charles River, in said harbor, and up to 

Watertown 22,500 

3. At the mouth of Mystic River, in said harbor .... 17,500 

4. From said harbor to Nantasket Beach 5,000 

Under this appropriation the following work has been done for im- 
proving navigation at the several places named, viz : — 

1. Boston Harbor proper. — A contract has been made with Messrs. 
Moore & Wright of Portland, Me., — the lowest of five bidders, — for 
65,000 cubic yards, more or less, of dredging at Anchorage Shoal, at 39 
cents per cubic yard, measured in scoios, the same to be completed on or 
before the 30th of June, 1881. Preparations are being made to com- 
mence this work on or about the 1st of January. It is probable that 
under this contract this channel will be opened for an additional width 
of about 325 feet, and a total of 875 feet. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 55 

2. At the mouth of Charles River, in said harbor, and up to Walcrlown. — 
A survey of Charles River was made in 1878. with a view to its improve- 
ment from its mouth up to the head of tide- water at Watertown. The 
project for its improvement consists of opening the channel first, from its 
mouth up to Western-avenue Bridge (a distance of about 4f miles) to 
a depth of not less than 7 feet at mean low water (or about 17 feet at 
mean high water) for a width of 200 feet; second, from Western-avenue 
Bridge up to Market-street Bridge (an additional distance of about 3£ 
miles) to a depth of not less than 6 feet at mean low water (or about 16 
feet at mean high water) for a width of 100 feet; and third, from Market- 
street Bridge up to the dam at the head of tide-water (an additional dis- 
tance of about 1| miles) to a depth of 3 feet at mean low water for a 
width of 75 feet. The estimated cost of this improvement, at the prices 
now ruling, is $125,000. In commencement of this work under the 
appropriation made therefor, as above (to wit, $22,500), a contract has 
been made with Messrs. Moore & Wright of Portland, Me., — the low- 
est of four bidders, — for 50,000 cubic yards, more or less, of dredging, 
at 39 cents per cubic ) 7 ard, as measured in scows, the same to be completed 
on or before the 30th of June, 1881. Operations were commenced under 
this contract in the latter part of November, and have been continued to 
this date. It is expected that, with the amount now available for this 
river, its improvement will be completed, as projected, up as far as 
Western-avenue Bridge. 

3. Mouth of Mystic River. — Under the appropriation of $17,500 made 
by act of June 14, 1880, for improving the channel at this place, a con- 
tract has been made with Messrs. Moore & Wright of Portland, Me., — 
the lowest of five bidders, — for 50,000 cubic yards, more or less, of 
dredging, at 29 cents per cubic yard, as measured in scows, the same to be 
completed on or before the 30th of June, 1881. Operations were com- 
menced under this contract in November last, and have been continued 
to this date. It is expected that, with the amount now available for this 
work, the channel will be opened to the projected depth of 23 feet at 
mean low water for an additional width of about 120 feet, — making a 
total width of about 215 feet, the full projected width being 300 feet. 

4. Nantasket Beach Channel. — In order to ascertain the nature and 
extent of the improvements contemplated for this place, a survey has 
recently been made of this channel from its head at Nantasket Beach 
down to its outlet at World's End; and the project adopted for its 
improvement consists in straightening, widening, and deepening the 
channel by dredging, and by the removal of sunken ledges from the 
mouth of Weir River up to the steamboat-wharf (a distance of about 600 
yards), so as to have a depth of 9 feet at mean low water (or about 19 feet 
at mean high water) for a width of 100 feet. A contract for the dredg- 
ing (viz., 15,000 cubic yards, more or less) has been made with Mr. 
Robert Hamilton, jun., of Chebeague Island, Me., — the lowest of three 
bidders — at ISf cents per cubic yard, as measured in scows, the same to 
be completed on or before the 15th of May, 1881. In addition to the 
dredging, about 12 cubic yards of sunken ledge will also have to be 
removed. The unexpended balance now available will be sufficient for 
completing this work. 



56 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

The estimated cost (additional) for completing- all the improvements 
projected for the harbor and rivers, as above, is as follows : — 

1. Anchorage Shoal $37,500 

2. Mystic River Shoal 10,000 

3. Charles River 102,500 

Total $150,000 

For these works the sum of $125,000 has been asked to be appropri- 
ated by Congress for the next fiscal year. 

II. Improvement of Merrimac River, including Newburyfort 
Harbor, Massachusetts. 

The present project for the improvement of this river was adopted in 
1870, and modified in 1874 ; the object being to afford a channel of navi- 
gable width, and a depth of not less than 9 feet at mean low water (or 
about 16| feet at mean high water) from its mouth at the outlet of New- 
buryport Harbor up to Deer Island Bridge, a distance of about five miles; 
and thence up to Haverhill Bridge (an additional distance of 12£ miles), 
a depth of 12 feet at ordinary high water, the rise and fall of tides vary- 
ing from 7^ to 4 feet ; and thence up to the head of the " Upper Falls " 
(an additional distance of 4 miles), a depth of not less than 4£ feet in 
the ordinary stages of the river with the mill-water at Lawrence running; 
the rise and fall of the tide varying from 4 feet at Haverhill to at the 
foot of the " Upper Falls." 

The natural channel of this river was very narrow and crooked in sev- 
eral places, and much obstructed by sunken ledges, bowlders, and shoals ; 
and especially at " the falls," portions of which were covered with bowl- 
ders and ledges more or less bare, and impassable for any vessels or scows; 
whilst in Newburyport Harbor the channel was obstructed by numerous 
sunken ledges, crib-work piers, and wrecks, seriously endangering navi- 
gation. 

Previous to January, 1880, the w T ork done for the improvement of this 
river consisted in opening the channel above Haverhill and through " the 
falls " to the projected width and depth, in places where absolutely neces- 
sary to make its navigation practicable ; also, in dredging at Haverhill, 
between the bridges, and at Silsby's Island Shoals, as well as at Currier's 
Shoal (about 4 miles below Haverhill), and at Rock's Bridge (6| miles 
below Haverhill), including the removal of a large number of dangerous 
sunken rocks at and near Rock's Bridge and the head of Silsby's Island ; 
also, in Newburyport Harbor, in the partial removal of Gangway Rock 
and North Rocks, and in the removal of a sunken wreck. 

By the River and Harbor Act of June 14, 1880, the sum of $12,000 
was appropriated for continuing the improvement of Merrimac River, 
which, with $3,092 available from the appropriation of March 3, 1879, 
made $15,092 available for this work. This amount has since all been 
applied to the improvement of the river, as follows, viz.: — 

1. At and near its Mouth in Neivburgport Harbor. — Under a contract 
made with Mr. James Andrews of Biddeford, Me., — the only bidder, — 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 57 

for completing the removal (commenced in 1870) of Gangway Rock, at 
$30 per cubic yard, measured in situ, this work was completed by him 
between the 11th of September and the 8th of October, 1880, whereby 
the rock was broken up and removed to a depth of 9 feet below the plane 
of mean low water, or 16^ feet at mean high water, requiring the re- 
moval of 22i cubic yards of ledge above that plane. 

A submarine party, with a sloop provided with suitable steam-drills 
and hoisting apparatus, was also employed by the day in the removal of 
the following obstructions in Newburyport Harbor, to wit: — 

First, Six sunken piers and one sunken scow lying directly across the 
main channel one-half a mile above its mouth at Salisbury Point. These 
piers had about 5 feet of water over them at mean low water, and were 
built of crib-work, and ballasted with stone; and, it is said, they were 
placed there in about 1812 and previous thereto in order to prevent the 
entrance of hostile vessels into the harbor. By means of the submarine 
parties, two of these piers and one scow were discovered during these 
operations. These piers and scow were all broken up, and removed to a 
depth of not less than 9 feet at mean low water. 

Second, The wreck of the schooner '• Greyhound," sunk in November, 
1879, was broken up, and removed from the main channel at the entrance 
of the harbor. 

Third, A large sunken rock (ledge) lying in mid-channel between the 
north and south piers was broken up, and removed to a depth of 12 feet 
at mean low water, containing altogether about 6£ cubic yards; and other 
shoal points of ledge situated in the main channel near North Rocks and 
the mouth of the river were in part broken up and removed. These 
submarine operations were carried on between the 28th of July and the 
11th of September, and afterwards between the 9th and 31st of October, 
1880. 

2. At and near " (lie Falls" above Haverhill, and at RocVs Bridge, 6| 
Miles below Haverhill. — Under a contract made with the Pentucket Navi- 
gation Company for the removal from the channel at the " Lower Falls " 
of 95^ cubic yards of sunken ledge, at $30 per cubic yard, measured in 
situ, this channel has been completed to its full projected width and 
depth. This work was commenced in September, 1879, and completed 
on the 25th of October, 1880. 

For the further improvement of the channel at "the falls " and Rock's 
Bridge, a dredging-machine and scows (specially adapted to this work), 
with full crews for the same, were hired by the day, at $75 per working- 
day of ten hours. Dredging operations were commenced at the Upper 
Falls on the 30th of July, and continued to the foot of the Low r er Falls 
till the 2d of November; during which period the channel at the Upper 
Falls was straightened, widened, and deepened where necessary for the 
completion of the same. The channel at the Lower Falls and below was 
also widened and straightened; and with the aid of a diving party, a very 
large quantity of ledge and bowlders was broken up, and removed from 
the channel throughout the whole extent of " the falls." The unusually 
low stage of the river this season facilitated these operations to a degree 
seldom to be experienced, and for this reason they were continued until 



58 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

a rise of water. On the 10th of November the dredging-machine and 
diving party were transferred to Rock's Bridge, where they were employed 
until the 20th of November in deepening the channel and in removing 
numerous large bowlders by which navigation had been much endangered 
at that place. 

By the operations above described, the navigation of the river has been 
very much improved during the past season. But more work still remains 
to be done, especially in the removal of sunken rocks at Rock's Bridge 
and in Newburyport Harbor, for effecting all the improvements necessary. 

An additional appropriation of .116,500 has been asked for this work. 

III. Improvement of Newburyport Harbor, Massachusetts. 

By the River and Harbor Act of June 14, 1880, the sum of $50,000 
was appropriated for the improvement of this harbor, which it has been 
decided to apply to the improvement of the shifting and uncertain chan- 
nel at its entrance by means of rubble-stone jetties. With a view to a 
proper understanding of the bar and currents at its entrance, as well as 
of the material composing the bar, and all other facts bearing upon this 
subject, a very accurate survey was made of this locality in July and 
August last. A new project, based upon this survey, was submitted to 
the War Department in September last, which has since been approved 
and adopted. It consists of two converging rubble-stone jetties built out 
from the shores north and south of the entrance to such an extent as will 
secure a constant depth of 13^ feet across the bar at mean low water, or 
21 feet at mean high water. The estimated cost of these jetties, together 
with the shore protections at the extremities of Salisbury Beach and 
Plum Island, is $240,000. 

Under the appropriation made, as above, for this work, a contract has 
been made with Mr. Frederic A. Ingerson of Haverhill, Mass., — the 
lowest of four bidders, — for furnishing and placing in the northern jetty 
(beginning at its shore end) 50,000 tons, more or less, of rubble-stone 
in commencement of this improvement, the work to be commenced on 
or before the 1st of April next, and the contract to be completed on or 
before the 30th of November, 1881. 

IV. Improvement of Scituate Harbor, Massachusetts. 

A survey of this harbor was made by Gen. Thorn in 1878, " with a 
view to its adaptability as a harbor of refuge;" based upon which a 
project was made and submitted to the War Department, with estimates 
of cost for the same. This project consists of two rubble-stone jetties, 
or breakwaters, built at the entrance of the harbor: one to project from 
Cedar Point near the lighthouse on the north side of the entrance, in a 
direction south, 36° east, for a distance of 800 feet ; and the other to project 
from the point of the first cliffs on the south side of the entrance, in a 
direction north, 10° west, for a distance of 730 feet, being so located as to 
shut out all easterly winds from the proposed harbor, and also to occupy 
the shoalest and most favorable sites in regard to cost. 

In connection with the jetties, it is proposed to excavate a basin inside 
of sufficient area for the harbor, with a depth of 10 to 12 feet at mean 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 59 

low water, or about 20 feet at mean high water; the greatest depth at 
present being not more than about 5 feet at mean low water on a very 
small area: also to excavate a channel, so as to afford an easy ingress into 
the harbor with a constant depth of not less than 10 feet at mean low 
water. 

The estimated cost of this improvement, as revised for the project 
adopted, is $225,000. 

This project has been approved by the War Department, and the con- 
struction of the jetties will be commenced as soon as a sufficient appro- 
priation shall be made by Congress to justify it. By the River and Har- 
bor Act of June 14, 1880, the sum of $7,500 was appropriated therefor. 

V. Improvement of Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts. 

All the works projected for the protection and preservation of Long- 
Beach (which gives to this harbor its only shelter from easterly storms) 
were completed in 1879; but, exposed as they are to injury from those 
violent storms, they will necessarily require occasional repairs. They are 
now in an essentially good condition, and fully answer the purpose for 
which they were designed. 

For the improvement of the harbor itself, the sum of $10,000 was 
appropriated by the River and Harbor Act of March 3, 1875, by which 
a channel about 50 feet in width was opened by dredging from the Middle 
Ground up to Long Wharf, — a distance of about 2,500 feet, — to a depth 
of 6 feet at mean low water, or 16 feet at mean high water. 

The project for the improvement of this harbor provides for a channel 
6 feet in depth at mean low water, and 100 feet in width, up to Long 
Wharf; and thence extended southward to the mouth of Town Brook, — 
a distance of about 900 feet above Long Wharf, — so as to form a basin 
in front of the wharves of the town 125 feet in width, with a depth of 8 
feet at mean low water. 

For continuing this improvement, the following sums have since been 
appropriated by Congress, to wit : — 

By the River and Harbor Act of March 3, 1879 $3,500 

By the River and Harbor Act of June 14, 1880 10.000 

Total $13,500 

Owing to the smallness of the appropriation of 1879, it was decided 
to wait for an additional appropriation before doing any thing further 
towards the completion of this work. 

With the above amount available ($13,500), a contract has been made 
with Messrs. Robert Hamilton, jun., and Solomon Sawyer, of Maine, — 
the lowest of four bidders, — for 60,000 cubic yards, more or less, of 
dredging, at 17 cents per cubic yard, measured in scows ; the same to be 
completed on or before the 30th of June, 1881. The contractors com- 
menced dredging under their contract on the 11th of November, 1880, 
and have continued it up to the close of the year, whereby the channel 
has been opened to a width of about 70 feet, with the projected depth. 

For completing this improvement to the extent projected as above, an 



60 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

additional appropriation of $11,500 has been asked for, to be expended 
in the next fiscal year. 

YI. Improvement of Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts. 

All the works projected for the protection, preservation, and improve- 
ment of this harbor, have been completed, with the exception of the 
bulkhead on Long Point. These works are all in good condition, and 
fully answer the purpose designed, They will, however, require continual 
watching and occasional repairs. 

Under the appropriation of $500 made by the River and Harbor Act 
of June 14, 1880, together with the unexpended balance of the appro- 
priation of March 3, 1879, aggregating $1,112.17, repairs have been made 
where most necessary, — on the bulkhead on Long Point, in which GG^^o 
tons of rubble stone has been used. 

For completing the stone bulkhead on Long Point, and making repairs 
on other works where necessary, an appropriation of $7,000. has been 
asked for the next fiscal year. 

YII. Survey of Malden Eiver, Massachusetts. 

By the River and Harbor Act of June 14, 1880, provision was made 
for the survey of this river, with a view to the improvement of its navi- 
gation. This survey has since been completed, and a project for its 
improvement, with an estimate of its cost (amounting to $35,000), has 
been submitted to the War Department for the information of Congress. 

This project consists of straightening, widening, and deepening its 
channel from its mouth up to the bridge near the rubber- works in Mai- 
den, — a distance of about two miles, — so that vessels drawing 10 feet 
of water can ascend to that bridge on the high water of neap tides in a 
channel 100 feet in width. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 61 



[F-] 



STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DURING THE YEAR 1880 
ON WORKS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF RIVERS AND 
HARBORS IN MASSACHUSETTS, UNDER THE CHARGE 
OF BREV. MAJOR-GEN. G. K. WARREN, LIEUTENANT- 
COLONEL OF UNITED STATES ENGINEERS. 

[A.] 

Survey of Nantucket Harbor, Massachusetts. 

It must be noted that the wording of the act does not specify any 
particular place of improvement ; whether to deepen the water on the 
bar at the existing entrance, which the United States undertook to do 
by dredging in 1829, '30, '31, or to attempt to make an opening through 
the Haulover Beach into the " upper harbor," a scheme that has several 
times been brought up for consideration, and notably so in the reports 
accompanying the Annual Report of the Board of Harbor Commissioners 
of Massachusetts for the year 1872, and there recommended as " an 
experiment" "worth an earnest trial." 

That the Nantucket Bar has always been an obstruction, and of a 
most serious character too, is unquestionable. The survey made by 
Lieut. Jonathan Prescott, First United States Artillery, reported Jan. 
13, 1829 (printed, House Representatives, War Department, Document 
97, 2d session Twentieth Congress), gives the depth on the shoalest bar 
as " 6 feet at low water." Lieut. Prescott does not state what low water 
is meant, whether mean or extreme ; but it is probable that mean low 
water is intended. 

The United States Coast Survey charts of the survey of 1846 show 6 
feet at mean low water. Further soundings by the United States Coast 
Survey in 1865 show still 6 feet as the limiting depth. The survey made 
by me in 1874 shows about the depth of 6 feet at mean low water; and our 
examinations this year show a depth of 6 feet at mean low water. (The 
mean rise of the tide is about 3 feet. Spring tides range about 4 feet, so 
that low water of spring tides would not give more than 5£ feet on the 
bar, and the extreme low waters of very rare occasions may not allow 
more than 4 feet ) 

It does not appear, then, as a fact that the bar has, during the past 
few years, become a greater obstruction by a lessened depth thereon ; 
but the line of deepest water is frequently shifting. This is supposed 
by some to be due to changes produced by the ice lodging upon the bar in 
winter, and the changing appears to have been principally on the outer 
shoals, and always in a direction to the eastward. 



62 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

It is a fact that the mail-steamer experienced unusual delays in the 
early part of the present year, but this was owing to the new channels 
which had formed not being found. Capt. Gibbs, of the lighthouse 
steamer " Verbena," however, sounded and buoyed the new channel-line, 
which, as our recent survey shows, has the normal depth of 6 feet at 
mean low water as its limiting shoal, just as it has been heretofore. I 
believe it is conceded now, even by those who draughted the memorial, 
that the depth on the bar is as great as it has ever been. 

While on the matter of obstruction to entering Nantucket Harbor, it 
may as well be stated that the ice in winter does not generally prevent 
the mail-steamer going out and in. Some winters she loses one, two, or 
three days. In the experience of forty-eight years — the first steamer 
was put on in 1831 — there were not more than five winters when fifteen 
days were lost. In the winter of 1856, '57, thirty to forty days were 
lost. 

There is here a large miscalculation as to the size of this head of the 
harbor, which includes only the part between Pocomo Head and the 
Haulover Beach, this part being separated from the rest of the harbor 
by a shoal not having more than 1 to 2 feet depth on it at low water. 

According to the United States Coast Survey charts, the whole area of 
the upper harbor between Pocomo Head and the Haulover at low water 
is 1,920 acres, or 3 square miles; the area having 6 feet at mean low 
water, 960 acres, or 1^ square miles; the area having 12 feet at mean 
low water, 280 acres, or -| square mile; the area having 18 feet at mean 
low water, 128 acres, or i square mile. 

Practicability of making a Permanent Opening through the Haulover 
Beach 9 or 10 Feet Deep at Mean Low Water. 

After a full discussion of this project Gen. Warren expresses the fol- 
lowing opinion: "It appears to me that from the foregoing showing 
there is very little reason to believe the experiment will ever succeed. It 
is with great regret, as far as it disappoints honest expectations, that I 
am compelled by my honest judgment to say so." 

The Project of Improving the Present Entrance to Nantucket Harbor. 

A consultation of ordinary maps, and particularly the charts of the 
United States Coast Survey, presents so good an idea of the general 
features of this harbor and island, that a description is not necessary. 

It has been stated in the first part of this report, that there is and 
always has been, since the occupation of the island, a limiting navigable 
depth at the entrance of about 6 feet at mean low water. The shoal is 
of great breadth, with channel poorly defined, and is composed of sand, 
easily moved by waves and currents, so as to change from year to year. 
The outer part of the bar was found by Lieut. Prescott, in 1828, to be 
composed of sand for a thickness of 3 feet, and below that of hard blue 
clay. This determination has not since been repeated. If this clay 
underlies the sand for any considerabe extent of the bar, it would indi- 
cate the base of the bar to be probably composed of glacial deposit simi- 
lar to many parts of the island. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 63 

Nantucket Island, in recent times, does not seem to suffer much from 
the abrasion of the sea, its shores being nearly everywhere protected by 
a beach of sand. Observation shows that this sand probably comes from 
the waste of the south shores of Martha's Vineyard Island, particularly 
the high cliffs near its west south shore. 

The motion of this sand along the shore of Martha's Vineyard Island 
is eastward. Falling into the Muskeget Channel (separating it from 
Nantucket) large portions are carried seaward, forming Wasque (Wa- 
que) Shoal, and the remainder crosses this channel, and forms Tucker- 
nuck and other shoals to the west of Nantucket. It is probable that a 
portion of this sand, which is moved by the waves across the Muskeget 
Channel, keeps moving eastward, both on the north and south sides of 
Nantucket Island ; thus contributing to the bar at the entrance to Nan- 
tucket Harbor, and to the beach on the south shore of Nantucket Island. 

The form of the Coatue Beach, east of the entrance, indicates also a 
motion of the sand in the contrary direction, westward from Great Point; 
but this is probably only a wave-shore motion from the point towards 
the hollow of the great bend of the shore, while the eastward motion of 
the sand from Muskeget Channel is due to the combined power of the 
waves and currents, whose sands in part the waves throw upon that 
shore. 

The position of Point Rip, off and east of Great Point (see Diagram 
A), indicates that the sand brought here is mainly deposited on the east 
side, so that the sand coming around from the south by the east side of 
the island does not come into Nantucket Sound. 

If now we compare Nantucket Harbor with Edgartown, we see that 
there is no drifting- sand from the west to the east across the north side 
of Martha's Vineyard, as in the case of Nantucket, and consequently no 
supply of sand to fill up Edgartown entrance, as in the other case. Ed- 
gartown entrance was, therefore, deeper than Nantucket entrance, from 
causes independent of the southern opening the former had through 
Cotamy Beach; and the closing of this latter has in no way injured Ed- 
gartown Harbor. Hence there is no reason to think that an opening 
through the Haulover will make Nantucket entrance like that at Edgar- 
town, and the cases are so dissimilar that we cannot conclude that it may 
not be an injury at Nantucket if we make a permanent opening through 
the Haulover. 

Assuming, then, as reasonable, that the sands at the Nantucket Bar 
come from the west through the Muskeget Channel, and are spread out 
over the sound, it is probable that the north winds and their waves drive 
this upon the hollow bend of the Nantucket shore, and that the littoral 
wave-motion works the sand both east and west towards the entrance, as 
there is a sand-spit on both sides, although that forming Coatue Beach 
on the east is much longer than that known as Brant Point on the west. 

The sand-spits, thus maintained by littoral sands moving towards the 
ends, approach each other as closely as the water entering and leaving 
the tidal basin will allow ; and then the sand which reaches the ends is 
washed away by the current, some going to fill up the harbor, and some 
going to form the bar outside. 



64 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

The overlapping of the Coatue Point shows that the supply from this 
direction exceeds that from Brant Point, and this condition gives a direc- 
tion to the issuing or ebb current towards the north-west. But at the 
outer part of the bar (nearly one mile distant) the currents of the sound 
are nearly always eastward, so that a new direction is given to the line of 
deepest water there, and the channel has for years past been moving 
eastward at its outer end. 

Plan of Improvement of Nantucket Bar. 

This bar (independent of what influence the underlying clay reported 
by Lieut. Prescott has) corresponds in its formation with many other 
bars at the entrances to enclosed basins made by beaches formed by litto- 
ral sands extending across the points of headlands. The treatment of 
such is well established in practice to be the erection of jetties to stop 
the motion of the littoral sand, and concentrate the action of the tidal 
currents to scour and maintain a channel between them. Generally a 
jetty on each side is required; but sometimes one will suffice, and one 
can generally be tried with safety to the project, and let the necessity for 
the other be determined by the result. This seems to be the case at 
Nantucket. As early as 1828 Mr. Zenas Coffin of Nantucket — a man 
of wealth, whose descendants are still there — contemplated driving a 
row of piles from Coatue Point, on the east side of the entrance, and 
talked about it so that it is well known and remembered. Other Nan- 
tucket men have suggested to me a jetty here too. 

In regard to the use of piles, I do not think they will answer except as 
an auxiliary, for the ice in winter might move them bodily. 

I, however, prefer the placing of the jetty on the west side of the 
entrance, keeping during its erection such a watch upon Coatue Point 
that no injurious change shall occur there. 

The jetty I propose is to be triangular in section, with side slopes of 45 
degrees; the top to be 5 feet above mean low water for a distance of 
4,000 feet from the shore; the outer 2,500, being more exposed to the 
action of the waves, should be 4 feet wide on top, with the same side slopes ; 
and the same height. The outer end, or head, being in deeper water, 
should have increased dimensions to meet the greater shock of the waves 
and effect of ice to which it will be exposed. The jetty is to be of large 
riprap stone, dropped immediately upon the line of the work; or, as it is 
a shallow bar and much exposed, it maybe better to land the stone inside 
the harbor on Brant Point, and lay a railway track (probably a mile long), 
carry the stone to the point on the shore where the jetty is to begin (see 
Diagram A), continue the railway on piles out along the line of the jetty, 
and drop the stone as the track advances. 

The following is the estimated cost of a jetty of the above description : — 

First section, 4,000 feet, 7 tons of riprap per linear foot, stone to average 
1\ tons, 28,000 tons. 

Second section, 2,500 feet, 12 tons per linear foot, stone to average 1J tons, 
30,000 tons. 

Total, 58,000 tons, at $1.75 $101,500 00 

Add for contingencies 10,500 00 

112,000 00 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 65 

It is thought that this improvement could be carried on to ultimately 
increase the depth to 12 to 14 feet or more; but to do this a second jetty- 
may be required, which, in general terms, may double this estimate. 

No benefit could result unless at least one jetty was completed: so it is 
urged,, if the plan proposed to improve the present entrance is attempted, 
that the whole amount for the first jetty be appropriated in one, or, at 
most, two years. 

Recapitulation of Estimates. 

First, For a channel through the Haulover, 10 feet wide and 2 feet 
deep at mean low water, $1,200. 

Second, For a channel through the Haulover, 6 feet deep and 100 feet 
wide, and for a channel 6 feet deep thence to the wharves, $32,000. 

Third, For a jetty on the west side of the entrance to the harbor to 
increase the depth on the bar, $112,000. 



[B.] 

Work in Wood's Holl Straits. 

The principal work has been in widening and straightening what is 
known as the Lone Rock Channel, which passes between Grassy Island 
on the north and Red Ledge on the south, and which was before the 
work commenced not more than 30 or 40 feet wide and very crooked. 
It is now direct and 120 feet in width, with a depth of not less than 9 
feet at mean low water ; and 140 feet wide, 7^ feet deep, at same time 
of tide. 

Although what has already been done has greatly facilitated the pas- 
sage of the Wood's Holl Strait by the passenger steamboats now running 
through it, the channel should still further be enlarged for the use of the 
government steam- vessels and the more general class of coasting-steamers, 
as originally designed; and there can be no doubt that the full plan of 
enlargement for sailing-vessels should also be prosecuted to completion. 

Work proposed for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 1881. 

Work will be continued until the funds available are expended in 
widening the present channel by removing bowlders. 

No appropriation was made for this work by Act of June 14, 1880, 
and nothing further can be undertaken. 

To make the steamboat channel 200 feet wide and 9 feet deep at low 
water, the original estimate was $22,000, and will require an additional 
appropriation of $12,000. The work is of such a nature that any expen- 
diture upon it is a part of the final improvement designed and estimated 
for the use of sailing-vessels. The amount that could be advantageously 
expended on this work in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1SS2, is $50,000. 
It is recommended that this amount be appropriated. 
9 



66 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

[C] 

Survey of Wareham Harbor, Massachusetts. 

General Description of the Harbor. 

This harbor is an estuary of Buzzard's Bay. It is about 13 miles 
east of New Bedford, and 6 miles west of Monumet, the southern end of 
the proposed Cape Cod Ship Canal. 

It is about 3 miles in length, with a width varying from 200 feet to 
more than £ a mile. 

Into this estuary empty Agawan River at its head, draining about 45 
square miles; Broad Marsh River on the west side, draining 4 square 
miles; and Weweantic River on the west side, below Long Beach, drain- 
ing 95 square miles. 

A small stream, called Crooked River, draining but 1 square mile, 
empties into it from the east. 

The shores for the most part are low, with extensive marshes that are 
submerged by spring tides. 

The harbor, commencing at the rail and highway bridges at Wareham, 
which, not being provided with draws, prevent any navigation above 
them except by barges, is about 200 feet wide. At the south end of the 
Franconia Iron Company's Wharf, 1,400 feet further down, it is 400 feet 
wide; from this point it opens out into a bay 2,000 feet in width. Near 
the mouth of Broad Marsh River it narrows to about 900 feet, which 
width it retains for about 1,200 feet, when it again widens into a bay 
more than £ a mile wide. 

This bay is separated from Buzzard's Bay by Long Beach, which 
extends from the east shore out about 2,000 feet. This beach is com- 
posed of sand. At low-water level the sand is coarse, with gravel and 
pebbles; above low water it is fine, and easily moved by wind or waves. 
The width of the beach at low water varies from 200 to 800 feet; at ordi- 
nary high water a narrow strip of sand, not more than 100 feet wide in 
the widest part, is above water. At high water of spring tides the whole 
beach is submerged. 

Outside of this beach is an extensive shoal or flat, the curve of 6-foot 
depth being ^ of a mile distant at the east end, and more than | a mile 
at 'the west end. The water on the inside of this beach is bold; at the 
west end of it a vessel drawing 9 feet can at low water approach within 
50 feet of the high-water line. 

Previous Surveys. 

A survey of this harbor was made in 1870 under direction of the 
Harbor Commissioners of Massachusetts. The report upon this survey 
appears in their Fifth Annual Report, 1871, and is as follows: — 

"During the past year the Board has had made a careful survey of 
Wareham River, with a view to the establishing proper harbor-lines, and 
the determination of the causes that have led to the formation of shoals 
near the wharves. They also have in mind to apply to Congress for the 
removal of the bar that has formed at the mouth of the river, should the 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 67 

results seem to justify such action. The great importance of this port, 
and the extensive manufactures carried on there, call for a serious effort 
to improve the navigation of this river, upon which the prosperity of the 
place almost wholly depends." 

In their next annual report a comparison is made between the condi- 
tion of the harbor in 1845, as shown by the United States Coast Survey, 
and by their survey of 1870. This comparison showed that marked 
changes had taken place in the upper part of the river. Of this they 
say, " It can hardly be questioned that the construction of the solid pier 
between the west side of the river and the sluice-way, or bay, through 
which scows and boats now pass, and the solid embankment of Cape Cod 
Eailroad on the west side of the river, together with the stone ballast 
which has been thrown around and between the piers of both the rail- 
road and town bridges, have contributed mainly to the injury sustained, 
and have caused the violent and unequal currents which have dug out, 
as it were, the deep holes above, between, and below the bridges, and 
thrown up the abrupt and injurious shoals beyond them." 

The injurious effects of the bridge structures they think is " confined 
to about the first 400 feet below them." 

In regard to these they say, ' ' While there is no doubt that the physi- 
cal condition of this upper portion of the river could be improved by the 
removal of the railroad embankment, the whole, or a part, of the solid 
pier near the centre of the river, the stone ballast from under each of the 
bridges, and the reconstruction of the railroad piers, it would be a meas- 
ure of doubtful economy. It is the opinion of the Board, that the river 
could be improved, and the improvement maintained, for a much less 
sum than it would take to remove and remodel the objectionable portions 
of the existing structures." 

Harbor-lines were established by the Board on both sides of the river 
from the bridges at the upper end to Barney Point. 

In 1871 a survey was made under direction of Gen. George Thom, 
United States Engineer, in accordance with a resolution of the House of 
Kepresentatives. The report upon this survey, including estimates for 
improving the channel, was published in the Annual Report of the Chief 
of Engineers for 1872, pp. 973-976. 

The map of the survey of the harbor, made in 1870 by Professor H. L. 
Whiting for the Harbor Commissioners, was used as a basis for the sur- 
vey of 1871 under Gen. Thom. Additional soundings were taken, and 
current observations made on the flood and ebb tides at the railroad bridge 
and at Quahaug Bar. The soundings were reduced to the plane of mean 
low water established in 1870. 

The plan of improvement estimated for and recommended by Gen. 
Thom was dredging a channel 250 feet wide and 9 feet deep at mean 
low water through Quahaug Bar, and straightening and widening the 
channel through the " upper bar; " estimate was also made for removing 
a large bowlder near the mouth of Weweantic River, — the whole .to cost 
$45,000. 



68 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

History of Improvements made. 

In 1872 Congress made an appropriation of $10,000 for the improve- 
ment of this harbor; another appropriation of $10,000 was made in 
1873, $10,000 in 1874, and $10,000 in 1875: making a total of $40,000. 
Dredging was commenced in 1873, and completed in 1876, making a 
channel from 250 to 300 feet wide and 10 feet deep at mean low water 
from Long Beach around Quahaug Bar; thence, by cutting off shoal 
points, a least width of 200 feet was made to the " upper bar." Thence 
to the bridge, at the upper end of the harbor, the width decreased to 100 
feet; the depth made in this part was 9 feet at mean low water. 

During the progress of the improvement in 1873, a detailed survey of 
the harbor was made, as the maps of previous surveys were not sufficiently 
in detail to serve as a guide in carrying on the works of improvement. 
This survey showed that there was less depth of water in the harbor than 
had been previously supposed. 

The report of this survey was published in the Annual Report of the 
Chief of Engineers for 1874, pp. 21G-220. 

On the completion of the improvement above described, there was 
about $1,700 remaining on hand. With this an attempt was made, in 
1877, to catch the sand brought along the south side and over Long 
Beach into the harbor, by building a sand-catch fence. This fence was 
of a single row of cedar-trees on the higher parts, and on the lower parts 
of two rows of posts 4 feet apart, connected by stringers and ties placed 
1 foot below the surface of the sand. The space between these two rows 
of posts w r as filled with brush to about 2 feet above the general surface, 
this brush being held in place by small stone. 

In a storm, accompanied by a very high tide, in the following Octo- 
ber, a portion of this fence was washed away. In July, 1878, it was 
rebuilt, and loaded with larger stone. 

The removal of the bowlder in We wean tic River, estimated for in the 
report of Gen. Thorn, was not undertaken, because there was no longer 
any demand for it. 

Surcey and Map. 

The survey of this season was confined to the channel dredged in 
1873-1876, and to the part outside of Long Beach not included in pre- 
vious surveys. A map of the harbor from the bridges to the "four 
buoys," outside of Long Beach, on a scale of 200 feet to an inch, accom- 
panies this report. This map shows the present condition of the channel, 
the depth on the flats and in coves from survey in 1873, the harbor-lines 
as established by the Harbor Commissioners in 1871, and the channel 
desired by those interested in the commerce of Wareham and for which 
estimates are made. 

Present Condition of the Harbor. 

Beginning at the bridges at the upper end of the harbor, we find in the 
deep hole, which is undoubtedly caused by the obstruction formed by the 
embankments, and piers, and riprap protection of the bridges, a depth of 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 69 

26 feet at mean low water, the same as in 1873. Immediately below this, 
the shoal with the dredged channel along the wharves to the west has a 
depth of but 4.1 feet on it. This shoal has increased in size, and. now 
encroaches upon the channel, leaving a width of but 70 feet with 8 feet 
depth. 

From this shoal to the "upper bar," which begins about 900 feet 
below the Franconia Iron Company's Wharf, the dredged channel has 
about the same general width and depth as when completed. In some 
places it has widened by scour, and in some narrowed by deposit. 

The channel dredged through the " upper bar," 150 feet wide, and 
from 9 to 10 feet deep at mean low water, has filled up so that in the 
shallowest place there is but little more than 7 feet depth at mean lo"*7 
water. This filling is over the whole width of the channel, and for 600 
feet along it. 

From this bar to the entrance of the harbor at Long Beach but little 
change has taken place in the dredged channel. 

At Q.uahaug Bar it has narrowed somewhat by filling in from the bar 
or north-west side of the channel, and widened on the opposite side by 
scour. 

There is now a channel not less than 100 feet wide, and 9 feet deep at 
mean low water, from the entrance to the "upper bar." The mean rise 
of tide is about 4 feet, so that vessels drawing about 13 feet can go to 
the " upper bar" at mean high water, but cannot cross it drawing more 
than 11.5 feet. 

The fence on Long Beach, built to catch the moving sand, is in very 
good condition, and for much of its length sand has collected about it 
nearly up to the level of high water. On the part of the beach above 
ordinary high water, the sand is blown about by the wind so that its 
height is not much increased by the fence. A storm from the south will 
fill the sand in along the fence that will be blown out into the water by a 
northerly wind. 

Proposed Improvement. 

From a consultation with those interested in the navigation of this 
harbor, I learned that the depth of the channel made in 1873-76 was 
deemed by them sufficient for the class of vessels likely to be employed in 
the commerce of the place if that depth can be maintained. 

The width of channel made, they say, is too small to allow vessels to 
beat in or out, and for this reason valuable time is lost by vessels that 
come to this port. 

This want of width for beating is particularly felt above Barney Point 
and through the " upper bar." Some trouble is found in getting through 
the channel at Quahaug Bar, but less than in the upper part. 

To meet these requirements will require that the channel through -the 
"upper bar " be made 350 feet wide. The entire removal of the " upper 
bar " is wanted by those interested, -so as to make the pocket of deep water 
to the east, now used for anchoring boats in, available for beating in; but 
the harbor-lines, as established, place part of this pocket of deep water 
inside of the pier-head line. 



70 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Estimate is made for dredging the entire space on the ' ' upper bar ' ' 
east of the present channel to the harbor-line on the east side. This, would 
give a width of 350 feet. This is a greater width than is proposed below, 
and will require the removal of a large amount of material. We have 
therefore made an estimate for a channel 200 feet wide through this bar; 
thence to Barney Point, to widen and straighten the channel to 200 feet, 
and 10 feet depth ; from Barney Point to the entrance of the harbor, to 
make the channel 250 feet wide in its narrowest part, and 10 feet deep. 

A depth of 10 feet is made, so that, when the sides of the cuts are 
washed down by the waves and by vessels striking them, there will still 
be a least depth of 9 feet. 

The fence already built on Long Beach seems to have determined the 
feasibility of holding and building up this beach above high water, and 
in that way cut off one of the sources of supply of sand that now finds 
its way into the harbor. 

The growth of the shoal, of which this beach is the inner margin, and 
its encroachment upon the lower part of the harbor, have been considera- 
ble within the memory of those who sail out of the harbor. A map of 
Wareham, made by S. Bourne in 1832, shows a wide opening near the 
eastern shore, and a shoal outside of it. Through this opening, boats 
went in and out to the fishing-grounds. 

This map does not give the depth of water. The map of the United 
States Coast Survey, made in 1845, is the earliest one on which the depth 
of water is shown. Since that date the filling has been going on slowly; 
but the beach is not likely to become permanent unless it is raised above 
storm-tides, and the sand held against the action of the winds by vege- 
tation. 

To do this it will be necessary to build a sand-catcher on the site of 
the present fence : this to be of brush loaded with stone. It should be 
built above storm-tides. From this spurs should be built on the south 
side : these would not require to be so high or strong as the main line. 
They should be built by beginning at the lowest point of the beach, and 
building one at first. When the sand fills out to the end of it, another 
may be built, and so on until the whole beach is widened and raised. As 
soon as any portion of the beach is above spring tides, it should be 
planted with beach-grass to prevent the sand being blown away. 

Some complaint is made of the narrow channel at the " four buoys," 
about | of a mile below the "beach." An examination of it showed a 
channel 12 feet deep at mean low water, with a least width of 125 feet, 
with bowlders on either side of it. 

We could not learn that any serious trouble had been experienced here ; 
and, as it is better than we propose to make the channel farther up the 
harbor, no estimate is made for its improvement. 

Pilots find some trouble into the harbor in thick weather, or near night, 
from their inability to see the westerly end of Long Beach. If they can- 
not see it, and get out of their course to the eastward, they get ashore on 
the Long Beach flats. It is thought that a " day beacon " should be built 
•on the west end of the " beach," and thus this danger avoided or lessened. 



1881.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 71 



Estimates. 

FIRST ESTIMATE. 

Dredging 00,000 cubic yards from channel near bridge, and through 

" upper bar," 350 feet wide, mud and sand, at 25 cents . . $15,000 00 
Dredging 15,000 cubic yards, in widening the channel from " upper 

bar" to Barney Point, mud and sand, at 25 cents .... 3,750 00 
Dredging 24,000 cubic yards of sand, in widening the channel at 

Quabaug Bar 6,000 00 

Removal of bowlder from channel upper side of Quahaug Bar . 300 00 

For holding Long Beach, 2,000 cords of brush, in place, at $2 . . 4,000 00 

4,000 tons of stone on beach, at $2 8,000 00 

Building spurs, 20, at $100 2,000 00 

Planting beach 1,000 00 

Add for contingencies 4,000 00 

• Total $44,050 00 

SECOND ESTIMATE. 

Same as the first, except the channel through the "upper bar " is 200 feet wide, 

instead of 350. 
Dredging 36,000 cubic yards from channel near bridge, and through 

"upper bar" $9,000 00 

The other items, same as in first estimate 25,050 00 

$34,050 00 

Add for contingencies 4,000 00 

$38,050 00 



[D.] 

Improvement of Taunton River. 

Work proposed for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 1881. 

With the appropriation of $17,500, made by Act of Congress approved 
June 14, 1880, it is proposed to begin the improvement as planned for 
in the above report; viz., " to secure 11 feet of water at mean high tide 
up to the Weir Bridge," by commencing at the bridge, and working down 
river. 

The work to be done by contract with the lowest bidder, after adver- 
tising for proposals in the usual manner. 

Respectfully submitted. 

G. K. WARREN, 

Lieutenant- Colonel of Engineers, 
Bvt. Major- General. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT. No. 11. 



ANNUAL REPORT 



OF THE 



Harbor and Land Commissioners, 



THE YEAR 1881. 



BOSTON: 
Eattfi, &berp, & Co,, Printers to t&e 

117 Franklin Street. 
1882. 



€ommontoealil) of Jttoasculjusetts. 



HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. 



To the Honorable the Senate, and the House of Representatives of the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts. 

The Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, in accord- 
ance with the provisions of law, respectfully submit their 
Annual Report for the year 1881. 

South Boston Flats. 

The reclamation of land lying easterly of that heretofore 
sold to the Boston and Albany Railroad Company and to the 
New York and New England Railroad Company has made 
good progress during the year. About two hundred and fifty 
thousand yards of material dredged from the harbor under 
operations of the General Government and of private parties 
have been deposited on the flats lying immediately east of B 
Street. This has been accomplished at very small expense 
to the Commonwealth for the construction of bulkheads to 
retain the filling and for superintending the dumping. 

Only a small quantity of material has been deposited under 
the contract of Aug. 28, 1880, with Thomas Potter, for three 
hundred thousand cubic yards ; but the contractor promises 
that the entire quantity shall be deposited before Jan. 1, 1883, 
the time required by the contract. 

Under the appropriation of five hundred thousand dollars 
made last year, the Board decided to obtain as much filling 
as practicable, using no part of the appropriation for the con- 



4 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

struction of piers. Several considerations operated to lead 
to this decision. By prosecuting the filling as rapidly as 
possible, the removal of the remainder of the shoal lying in 
front of the territory already reclaimed will be accomplished 
at the earliest time practicable. The filling required must 
be done before any piers which could be constructed would be 
available for use, and the filling is of necessity a slow process. 
The great advance which has been made in appliances for 
the transaction of large business warns us that it must not 
be assumed that this advance has ceased. Piers and docks 
planned to meet the most approved methods of to-day might 
not be all that would be demanded five years hence, and the 
special needs of those who shall occupy the premises must 
largely determine what will be required for docks and piers. 
A contract was made in August with the New England 
Dredging Company to dredge and deposit upon the flats to 
be reclaimed nine hundred thousand cubic yards of material 
within four years from the approval of the contract. Work 
was begun immediately under this contract, and is progress- 
ing satisfactorily. It will require the removal of only seven 
hundred thousand cubic yards to take away all that remains 
of the shoal lying between the channel in front of the re- 
claimed territory and the main channel, and give twenty-three 
feet depth at mean low water from East Boston piers to 
South Boston sea-wall. On the completion of the two con- 
tracts now in progress, this depth will be secured, twelve 
or thirteen hundred feet easterly of what is known as the 
fifty-acre piece, covering all the frontage now reclaimed and 
all that will be reclaimed by the material obtained from this 
dredging. The material obtained under the Potter contract 
is being deposited next easterly of the fifty-acre piece, and 
will raise to grade thirteen an area of about fifteen acres ; 
that obtained under the contract with the New England 
Dredging Company is being deposited, a part immediately 
easterly of the area covered by the Potter contract, and a 
part in the rear of this and of the Potter area, and will raise 
to grade thirteen a further area of about forty-three acres. 
The area lying between the last-mentioned area and the pres- 
ent line of riparian ownership comprises about thirty-seven 
acres, and is likely to be filled from miscellaneous sources 
already mentioned by the time the filling in front is com- 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 5 

pleted. The filling under the Potter contract and the New 
England Dredging Company contract is all placed south of a 
bulkhead erected thirteen hundred feet in rear of the front 
line of occupation, leaving ample room for the construction 
of docks and piers twelve hundred feet long. The area left 
for docks and piers comprises about forty acres, making a 
total of one hundred and thirty-five acres available for occu- 
pation when these are constructed. 

The contract with the New England Dredging Company 
amounts to $431,000, which with the minor contracts for 
bulkheads, the completion of B Street, engineer and other 
expenses attending execution of the work, will substantially 
exhaust the existing appropriation ; but it is not now seen 
that there would be advantage in entering upon other con- 
tracts of importance the ensuing year. 

There are still some fractional interests in the area which 
the Commonwealth attempted to purchase between B and E 
Streets under the provisions of chap. 446 of the Acts of 1869, 
which are not yet acquired, g 3 ^ of one lot and ^ of another 
are outstanding. At the price paid for the interests pur- 
chased, these outstanding interests amount to $5,234. The 
original appropriation having expired, a new appropriation of 
ten thousand dollars was made by resolve, chap. 61, of 1877, 
but limited so that no part of the appropriation could be used 
unless all the outstanding interests were secured. The larger 
interest could be secured on the same terms as those already 
purchased, but the smaller could not. Two years later, by 
chap. 170 of the Acts of 1869, it was provided that three thou- 
sand three hundred dollars might be used. This would have 
been sufficient to have purchased the larger outstanding in- 
terest ; but during the delay litigation had arisen between the 
owner and a mortgagee, which suspended negotiation, and the 
appropriation again expired. The Board recommend a re- 
newal of the appropriation made by the Act of 1877, but 
without the limitation which imposed the necessity of acquir- 
ing all or none. 

A contract has been made with the New York and New 
England Railroad Company for covering B Street with gravel 
at fifty cents per cubic yard, and the tracks are laid for the 
execution of the work. 



6 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



Back Bay Lands. 

In 1857 the Commonwealth owned on the Back Bay 

Of which there have been donated . . 363,308 

Devoted to streets and passage-ways . 2,037,068.60 
Sold as per last report . 2,195,789.05 
Sold in 1881 . ' . . . 25,238.75 

2,221,027.80 

Remaining for sale Dec. 31, 1881 . . 102,593.60 



FEET. 

4,723,998 



The gross proceeds of land sold as per last 
report ....... 

The gross proceeds in 1881 

Rights in Parker Street as per last report . 



Cost of filling, grading, etc., as per last 

report . 

Cost of auction sales as per last report 



:,623,087 02 
83,549 75 



,626,008 71 
14,291 78 



Net proceeds to Dec. 31, 1881 
There has been sold in 1881 as follows:' 

2,800 feet Marlborough Street, north side, 
for ....... 

3 174 1 feet Commonwealth Avenue, south 
side ....... 

19,264 feet Newbury Street, north side . 



4,723,998 



[,706,636 77 
2,300 00 

t,708,936 77 



$1,640,300 49 
$3,068,636 28 



$11,200 00 

15,873 75 
56,476 00 



$83,549 75 



The average price per foot obtained was |3.31, the lowest 
price $ 2.75, and the highest price $5. 

The sales have been much less than last year ; but there has 
been no decrease in prices, and the amount of land remaining 
unsold is so small that no apprehension is felt that as good 
prices will not be obtained for all that remains. 



The land unsold is located as follows : — 
Marlborough Street, north side 
Commonwealth Avenue, south side 
Newbury Street, north side 
Newbury Street, south side 
Boylston Street, north side 
Boylston Street, south side 



16,777.6 
3,237 
12,320 

26,208 

36,176 

7,875 



102,593 6 



The value of the remaining land cannot be less than 

8250,000. 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 7 

By chap. 185 of the Acts of 1875 for the laying-out of 
public parks in or near the city of Boston, it was provided 
that any real estate in the city of Boston, which in the opinion 
of said Board shall receive any benefit and advantage from 
the locating and laying-out of a park under the provisions of 
this Act, beyond the general advantages to all real estate in 
the city of Boston, may, after like notice to all parties inter- 
ested as is provided by law, to be given by the street com- 
missioners of the city of Boston in cases of laying out streets 
in said city, be assessed by said Board for a proportional 
share of the expense of such location and laying out ; pro- 
vided, that the entire amount so assessed upon any estate 
shall not exceed one-half of the amount which said Board 
shall adjudge to be the whole benefit received by it. The 
terms of this provision are certainly sufficiently general and 
sweeping to include the State House and all the land of the 
Commonwealth, if no exception is implied. The principle 
that the property of the Commonwealth is exempt from taxa- 
tion independent of statute exemptions has been long estab- 
lished, and applied by the court of last resort to taxation for 
local improvements of a public nature as well as to taxation 
for general public purposes (116 Mass., 193) ; and, if the Legis- 
lature had intended that the general language of the statute 
should be construed to include any land of the Common- 
wealth, it would probably have provided that some agent of 
the Commonwealth should have authority to pay the assess- 
ment on such land. The failure to make such provision, and 
the fact that the only method of collection provided was by 
sale of the land assessed, would seem conclusive that it was 
not intended to make an exception to the general principle, 
were it not that a different view has been taken by the com- 
missioners acting under the statute, and assessments have 
been actually made upon land of the Commonwealth on the 
Back Bay amounting to 113,495.75. More than half this 
amount was assessed upon land which had been bargained 
by the Commonwealth before the park was laid out, and 
which the Commonwealth was under obligation to convey 
at a price fixed, and which could not be increased by reason 
of any effect of the park. Legal proceedings have been 
instituted by the Attorney-General to test the validity of 
these assessments, and it is probable that no legislation 



8 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

will be required. It is proper, however, that the matter 
should be brought to the attention of the Legislature. If the 
Commonwealth had not contributed otherwise to the con- 
struction of the parks of the city, it might be said that the 
same equity existed for subjecting the vendible lands of the 
State to assessment for park construction as existed for sub- 
jecting land of citizens to such assessments ; but on consid- 
eration of all the facts it will be seen that the Commonwealth 
will not have been wanting in liberal action toward the parks 
if the general principle so unquestionably sound is allowed 
to operate undisturbed. By chap. 92 of the Acts of 1881 the 
Commonwealth authorized the use for park purposes, under 
the Act of 1875, of 133,400 feet of land lying in Charles River 
Basin, the money value of which was many times the amount 
of the assessments in question. By chap. 247 of the Acts of 
1866 a grant was made to the city of Boston for similar pur- 
poses, though of less extent. 

Tide-Lands. 

There has been received during the year, for land of the 
Commonwealth occupied by wharves and other structures in 
tide-water, the sum of $58,663.75. This amount is much larger 
than has been received in any previous year since the passage 
of the Statute of 1874 under which these sums are received. 

Harbor Lines. 

In the reports of the Board for 1878 and 1879, the subject 
of harbor lines for the inner harbor of Boston was presented ; 
and in the latter report, 1879, a scheme was submitted and a 
description prepared of a series of lines along the frontage 
of the city proper, from Dover-street Bridge to West Boston 
Bridge, and of the westerly side of Charles River from 
West Boston Bridge to the Navy Yard. These lines, as 
reported and described, were afterwards, by chap. 170 of 
the Acts of 1880, established as harbor lines. 

In accordance with the original intention and general plan 
proposed, the Board has made a further study and prepared 
a scheme of lines for the frontage of East Boston from Me- 
ridian-street Bridge on Chelsea Creek to Pier No. 4 of the 
Grand Junction Wharves on the northerly side of the main 
basin of the inner harbor. A detailed description of these 
lines is given below. 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 9 

In confining the project now submitted to the portion of 
the harbor frontage included within its range, the Board has 
been guided by considerations of public interest in prescrib- 
ing lines for those parts of the harbor where improvements 
and the development of the business occupation of the front- 
age required the direction and limitation of proposed and 
progressing structures. 

The south-easterly frontage of Charlestown and the west- 
erly side of Chelsea Creek are already well denned by the 
substantial sea-walls of the United States and those built by 
the Mystic River Improvement Company. The former have 
been long in place, and the latter conform to established har- 
bor lines which require no re-statement. 

No commercial exigency demands an immediate revision 
of that part of the frontage of the city of Chelsea lying 
between Chelsea and Meridian-street Bridges. This part of 
the water-front of the harbor may, however, require future 
modification ; but it should be made in connection with a 
comprehensive study of the physical and commercial and 
economic capabilities of the Mystic River above Chelsea 
Bridge and of Chelsea Creek above Meridian-street Bridge. 
The Board has not yet had opportunity (nor means) to make 
the necessary examinations and surveys upon which such a 
study should be based, and therefore presents, at this time, 
no scheme therefor. 

In their last Annual Report the Board gave a brief account 
of the imperfect condition of the harbor line of East Boston, 
with some explanation of the causes which had led to it, and 
expressed the opinion, that, while some of the wharves 
extended beyond the present harbor line, others might be 
extended without injury to the harbor, and at the same time 
afford additional commercial facilities of value to the port. 
A remedy for these defects was suggested, or a mode of deal- 
ing with special cases like that of the Boston and Albany 
Railroad Company, which seemed to the Board a safe and 
practicable one. No action was taken, however, upon these 
suggestions ; and the difficulties of the situation will be only 
in part removed by the revision herein recommended : but 
the Board deem it inexpedient to revise the harbor lines 
eastwardly beyond Pier 4 of the Grand Junction Wharves 
at the present time. Legal notice was given, and a hearing 

2 



10 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

appointed upon the subject of defining the line of frontage 
between the locality above named and Point Shirley. The 
hearing was quite fully attended, and large landed and com- 
mercial interests were represented. The Board had pre- 
viously prepared, in their office, a preliminary plan for the 
general development of this ground ; but no other scheme 
was offered, or plan presented, with which any proper adjust- 
ment could be effected, or which harmonized with the present 
views of the Board. Their experience has proved the value 
of careful deliberation and cautious action in dealing with 
schemes which will require long periods of time for execu- 
tion. The study of such subjects includes, not only perfect- 
ing provisional plans for the preservation and improvement 
of the natural features and functions of a harbor, but often 
involves important questions of change, in regimen and 
otherwise, which are the more difficult and critical to deter- 
mine properly. The numerous islands and extensive flats 
and shoals, and the many natural channel-ways between them, 
which characterize Boston Harbor, particularly the north- 
eastern part of it, offer favorable ground for treatment ; but 
it should be dealt with in the most judicious and comprehen- 
sive manner. The want of plan and system, in much that 
was done before organized supervision was established, re- 
sulted, not only in the imperfect utilization of many natural 
advantages, but in serious and irreparable injury. 

In determining the scheme of the South Boston Flats 
improvement, the best available advice was sought, and the 
best practicable data obtained concerning it. The surveys 
upon which the outline of the project of improvement was 
based cost many thousand dollars, and the study of the prob- 
lems involved was the work of many years. The wisdom 
of this course has been fully proved by the success of each 
stage of progress in the work. 

Of not less importance, physically and commercially, is 
the line of frontage, with its outlying flats, between East 
Boston and Point Shirley. This ground presents many 
advantageous features, and ample space exists for the loca- 
tion of extensive docks by taking advantage of the natural 
depths and channel-ways. A scheme for the proper develop- 
ment of this portion of the harbor is a project of about equal 
magnitude to the South Boston Flats improvement. 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 11 

The improvement of the frontage between Castle Island 
and Commercial Point would be also a great addition to the 
maritime business territory of the port. This line of front- 
age would be somewhat more exposed than the East Boston 
and Point Shirley side ; but the ground naturally admits of 
docks of any desirable magnitude, with extensive flats and 
marshes in the rear, which can be filled and utilized for com- 
mercial purposes. These lines of frontage on either side of 
the harbor are each open to approaches by the main channel 
below the harbor " middle grounds," and each have direct 
communication with the anchorage of President Roads. 
With comparatively slight dredging these lines of frontage 
will afford a general depth of fifteen feet at mean low tide, 
and on portions of each line a depth of from twenty to 
twenty-three feet can be obtained. 

Much has been said on the subject of artificial docks in 
connection with the improvement of Boston Harbor, using 
this term to designate enclosed basins, which may have within 
their limits a number of single slips ; but no such work seems 
to be needed. The main inner basin is a natural dock of 
itself. In fact, the area of sheltered water, as an inner har- 
bor, is of much larger extent than the community in general 
are aware. The term " inner harbor " is generally applied 
to the smaller basin above Governor's and Castle Islands 
and below the bridges, which contains, within the limits of 
projected improvements, about 1,150 acres. But what is 
really the inner harbor, or may be properly so regarded, is 
the general area which comprises the water-spaces, including 
this upper basin, which are enclosed and protected by the 
high grounds of East Boston and Winthrop on the north, 
Deer Island and Long Island on the east, and Spectacle 
Island, Moon Head, and Squantum, on the south, — a nearly 
land-locked basin, capable of an improved area of not less 
than about 6,300 acres. This includes President Roads, 
which in itself contains nearly one thousand acres of anchor- 
age ground of the first order as to depth of water (twenty- 
three to fifty feet at mean low tide), " holding-ground," and 
shelter. The width of entrance (between Deer Island spit 
and Long Island head) to this larger inner basin is less in 
proportion to the water-space enclosed than the entrance to 
the smaller basin above. It has a natural depth of over fifty 



12 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

feet, while the entrance to the upper basin has had to be arti- 
ficially deepened by the General Government to twenty- 
three feet. The area of this larger portion of the inner har- 
bor, exclusive of the 1,150 acres above Governor's and Castle 
Islands, is about 5,150 acres. The examination of any 
approximately accurate chart of Boston Harbor will show at 
once the relative proportions, situation, and surroundings of 
the respective water-spaces. 

Various opinions have been expressed concerning some of 
the features of the upper basin, particularly in regard to Bird 
Island shoal and the channel or water-way between it and 
the south-easterly point of East Boston. The Board are not 
in possession of sufficiently recent or accurate data to speak 
unqualifiedly in regard to these natural features. The chan- 
nel-way just referred to was not considered by the United 
States Advisory Council for Boston Harbor of marked physi- 
cal importance ; nor is it one which can be used for even 
second-class navigation, as required to-day. Nature has deter- 
mined the main inlet of this upper basin to be between Gov- 
ernor's and Castle Islands, where it has established a depth, 
in the narrower or more contracted section, of about twenty- 
seven feet at mean low tide. Its second natural pathway of 
flowage is between Bird Island shoal and Governor's Island, 
where it has established a depth at its narrowest section of 
about twenty-nine feet, with a least depth in the shallowest 
section of this lateral channel of about sixteen feet. The 
third inlet or water-way in point of natural consequence is 
the one above referred to, between Bird Island shoal and the 
main shore of East Boston, where nature has established a 
depth of but 9| feet at mean low tide. How far it may 
affect the regimen and physique of the harbor to widen and 
deepen this third-rate channel-way, and to what extent it 
may be done and not imperil the other channels, particularly 
the one upon which the General Government has expended 
so much time and money to improve, are questions of grave 
importance, which can only be solved by careful study and 
the calculation of the forces which may affect them. 

With regard to the removal of Bird Island shoal by 
dredging, the scheme in the present opinion of the Board has 
many serious objections. The shoal answers now as a break- 
water in strong northerly and north-easterly winds, and pre- 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 13 

vents what might be an injurious sea-dash upon the quay of 
the South Boston Flats. The southerly margin of the shoal 
is quite abrupt, and maintains a remarkable parallelism with 
the line of the South Boston quay, and exercises with it an 
important function in confining and directing the tidal cur- 
rents in their inflow and outflow through the main channel. 

The amount of space gained to the area of the upper basin 
by the removal of Bird Island shoal does not seem to be 
commensurate with the labor and cost of effecting it. It can 
hardly be said to be a necessity. The width of the basin 
between a line which may be made a line of frontage, similar 
to the South Boston Flats, and the quay of these flats, is 
about three thousand feet, which is about the same as the 
width of the Mersey in front of the great docks of Liver- 
pool. The material of this shoal is solid ground, and in its 
natural state capable of sustaining the weight and pressure 
of any desired structure. 

In the rear of Bird Island shoal and between it and Gov- 
ernor's and Apple Island and the main shores of East Boston 
and Winthrop, is a depressed area of flats traversed by three 
of the minor channel-ways which characterize this portion of 
the harbor. In this locality a basin six thousand by five 
thousand feet square, more than a square mile of area, can 
be created by the removal of less material, to the space and 
depth acquired, than would be necessary in any other part 
of the inner harbor where it could serve like purposes. Such 
a basin can be so located as to make the outline of at least 
two of its sides coincident with lines of commercial frontage 
of the first order. 

There is probably no other harbor known to commerce 
which, in its natural conditions of configuration, marginal 
ground, basins, channels, entrance, and shelter, is capable of 
affording equal facilities in so concentrated a manner as the 
main inner basin of Boston Harbor. It is in general form a 
hollow square, on each available side of which natural chan- 
nels mark natural lines of frontage of such a character that 
docks and piers can be constructed along these lines of any 
size and depth of approach and berth capacity within the 
range of the most diversified requirements and with a degree 
of economy and mechanical facility unparalleled in harbor 
qualifications. As before stated, these inner harbor basins 



14 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

contain an area of about 6,300 acres. The preliminary plan 
prepared by the Board to illustrate the possibilities of the 
harbor shows that a simple and systematic arrangement 
could be effected for a series of docks 1,000 feet long and 300 
feet wide with alternate piers of equal length and 250 feet 
wide. The quay of the South Boston Flats between Fort 
Point Channel and Castle Island admits of twenty such 
docks and twenty-one such piers, including those already 
built and in progress of building. According to the plan 
referred to, a quay can be projected, parallel to that of the 
South Boston Flats, extending from the termination of the 
present harbor line at East Boston in the alignment of and 
coincident with the southerly margin of Bird Island shoal 
to the abrupt, deep channel which marks its easterly limit. 
Along this line of frontage five docks and six piers can be 
provided, and along the southerly face of the shoal about 2,300 
feet of quay can be extended; and upon the higher and 
firmer parts of the shoal the heaviest elevators can be con- 
structed without uncertainty or excessive cost as to founda- 
tion. Along the line of quay the largest vessels could have 
ample berth. From the south-easterly point and termination 
of this quay a line of frontage at right angles with it can be 
extended northward along and coincident with the margin 
of the deep natural channel between Bird Island shoal and 
Governor's Island to a point in the general alignment of the 
northerly side of the natural channel which trends nearest 
to and is most nearly parallel with the shore line of Win- 
throp. Along this north-and-south line of quay, twelve 
docks and thirteen piers can be provided. From the north- 
erly limit of this last-named line, and again at about right 
angles to it, a direct line of frontage can be extended to 
Point Shirley, along which seventeen docks and eighteen 
piers can be provided. This estimated number of docks and 
piers is exclusive of these already existing and in use, except- 
ing those on the South Boston Flats. It is within the angle 
of these lines of frontage that a basin can be defined and 
excavated, as previously suggested ; and such a basin should 
be an inseparable part, and is an absolutely necessary factor, 
in the development of first-class harbor facilities. It is a sac- 
rifice of advantage in the treatment of such ground to extend 
fillings or excavations on either hand in excess of just that 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 15 

equilibrium which is the measure of the most economical 
adjustment of terminal lands with approaches and access to 
them by channels and basins. 

To recapitulate, it will be seen by such a general plan as 
the Board prepared as a preliminary study, that the total 
capacity of these remarkable basins within perfectly practica- 
ble means of accomplishment is about as follows : — 

Docks. Piers. 

South Boston quay 20 21 

East Boston south quay ..... 5 6 

East Boston east quay 12 13 

Winthrop quay 17 18 

54 58 

Each of these docks, as projected on the plan referred to, is 
estimated as capable of holding four first-class steamers of 
the present day, and the alternate piers to accommodate their 
shipping. It will be seen, therefore, that Boston can be made 
capable of receiving at one time within her port two hundred 
and sixteen of the largest vessels now afloat. There are no 
natural or practicable difficulties in making most of the docks 
suggested longer, wider, and deeper than has yet been con- 
templated. In fact, they can be so located and constructed 
that any steamer of any size or draught within the probabili- 
ties of construction can have berth accommodation and facili- 
ties. While the heavier vessels of the present time have now 
to wait in the open sea for the tide to lift them over the bars 
of New York and Philadelphia, they can pass into Boston 
Harbor without detention and without fear. By taking ad- 
vantage of a channel not generally used, — the " Hypocrite 
Channel," between Green and Calf Islands, — a depth of 
forty feet at mean low tide can be carried up to and into 
President Roads. 

Unlike the long extended single line of frontage made 
necessary by the occupation of river-sites, like the Mersey and 
the Hudson, where the separation of business centres amounts 
to miles, the extreme extents of frontage in Boston Harbor, in 
its form of a hollow square, can be appropriately given in feet. 
The extent of what may be called the southerly basin, along 
its southerly face from the quay of the city to Castle Island, 
is about 10,200 feet, equal to about 1^ miles. The north- 



If 

2* 



n 



16 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

erly side, from the south-westerly point of East Boston to the 
south-easter^ point of Bird Island shoal, is about 6,800 feet 
equal to about 1-^ miles. The width of this basin between 
these parallel quays is about three thousand feet. The east- 
erly water-face of East Boston, according to the plan referred 
to, is about 7,500 feet, equal to about ly 4 ^ miles. The line 
of frontage along the water-face of Winthrop is about 9,100 
feet, equal to about 1^ miles. The distances between 
extreme points in the general extent of the inner harbor are 
about as follows : — 

Miles. 
From the mouth of Fort Point Channel to Point Shirley, the long- 
est distance from north-east to south-west extremes . . 4 
Mouth of Charles River to Castle Island .... 3 

City quay to Castle Island ....... 2^ 

City quay to south-east point of Bird Island 
North-west angle of northerly basin to centre of city quay 
North-west angle of northerly basin to Castle Island . 
North-west angle of northerly basin to Point Shirley . 
Point Shirley to Castle Island 
Northerly quay of northerly basin to southerly quay of south- 
erly basin, through what may be called Bird Island Chan- 
nel, — width of southerly basin, — about (3,000 feet) . ^-$ 

It will be seen, therefore, that the improvement and utili- 
zation of the harbor is a work of great magnitude, and as 
great importance, in the development of which the interests 
and responsibilities of the Commonwealth demand vigilant 
supervision. 

While it may be unwise to impose too restrictive measures 
upon private enterprises, no scheme or plan of limited or 
special purpose should be allowed to prevent or injuriously 
affect the future development of more important public 
advantages. It may be and probably is impracticable to 
repair past injuries, but with acquired experience and better 
knowledge it would be inexcusable if gross mistakes should 
again occur. 

The Board desire to emphasize the doctrine that no scheme 
of individual or corporate device should be permitted to pre- 
vail that is not in accord with the broadest view of the 
public claim and interest in the harbor. 

It may not be out of place in this connection to quote from 
one of the unpublished able reports of Prof. Henry Mitchell, 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 17 

of the United States Advisory Council for Boston Harbor, 
addressed to the Board of Harbor Commissioners when the 
subject of the protection of the headlands of the harbor was 
under consideration. Prof. Mitchell sa}^s, — 

" The great merit of Boston Harbor lies in a happy conjunction of 
many favorable elements, among which we may distinguish as most im- 
portant the facility and safety of its approaches, the ample width and 
depth of its entrances, and, above all, the shelter and tranquillity of its 
roadsteads. Perhaps there is no other harbor in the world where the 
inlets from the ocean are better adjusted to the amplitude of the interior 
basins, or whose excellent holding-grounds are so easy of access and yet 
so land-locked. I quote from the highest authority in my profession 
when I declare that the primary requisite for a good harbor is that ' the 
internal area should bear such a relation to the width of entrance as to pro- 
duce a sufficient degree of tranquillity ' * And so difficult has it been to 
properly adjust this relation in artificial harbors, that nearly one-half of 
all these works may be set down as failures, because the entrances are 
either too narrow to admit vessels under trying circumstances, or the 
interior reservoirs too small to dissipate the waves that run in from the 
sea. In natural harbors, where the primary requisite, cited above, is ful- 
filled, it often happens that the interior basin is so large that the local 
effects of strong winds are sources of discomfort and even danger, as in 
San Francisco. Boston Harbor has no such drawbacks; her interior 
water-space is large, but is divided by chains of islands into basins which 
offer sufficient room for the heaviest ships to ride freely at anchor, and 
sufficient tranquillity for the frailest fishing-boat. 

" There are times when shelter from the wind is scarcely less important 
than smooth water. In the harbor of Cherbourg the in-run of the waves 
is most effectually arrested by the great mole, and yet nearly every vessel 
that sought shelter in the gale of 1865 was driven on shore by the wind. 
Here again Boston Harbor claims peculiar advantages : her moles are 
promontories and islands rising from twenty to one hundred feet above 
the sea." 

The following is the re-statement of the harbor line of 
East Boston, from Meridian-street Bridge to Pier No. 4 of 
the Grand Junction Wharves. The particulars of the re- 
statement are not in precisely the same form and terms as 
those of the harbor line of Boston city ; but the data given 
are more concise than that first submitted. 

* Stevenson on Harbors. 



18 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



Description of East Boston Harbor Line from Me- 
ridian-street Bridge to Pier 4 of the Grand 
Junction Wharves. 

Beginning at a point A on the westerly side of Meridian- 
street Bridge and about sixty-three feet southerly from the 
draw, and marked by a copper tack and an iron plate, in lat. 
42° 23' 06".233, long. 71° 02' 02".596 ; thence straight south- 
westerly 817.9 feet to point B, in lat. 42° 23' 01/ / 847, long. 
71° 02' ll."750; thence straight more southerly 884.3 feet to 
point C near McKay's Wharf in lat. 42° 22' 53."663, long. 71° 
02' 15."875 ; thence straight southerly and a little westerly 
1,773.9 feet to point D, the north-westerly corner of Green's 
Wharf, in lat. 42° 22' 36".144, long. 71° 02' 16" Ml; thence 
straight southerly and a little more westerly 1,123.4 feet to 
point E nearly opposite Burnham's dry dock in lat. 42° 22' 
25 "210, long. 71° 02' 19/109; thence straight south-westerly 
994.7 feet to point F, the north-westerly corner of Mayo's 
south wharf, in lat. 42° 22' 16".402, long. 71° 02' 24 // .987 ; 
thence southerly 474.6 feet on a curve of 512.3 feet radius 
tangent at F to the line EF and curving easterly to the 
point G in lat. 42° 22' 11".879, long. 71° 02' 24 // .964 ; thence 
straight south-easterly tangent at G to the curve FG 2,591.3 
feet to the point H near the Eastern R.R. and Cunard 
Wharves in lat. 42° 21' 49".019, long. 71° 02' 09".421 ; thence 
more easterly along the front lines of the Cunard and Grand 
Junction Wharves 1,018.3 feet to the point I, the south- 
easterly corner of Pier 4, Grand Junction Wharves in lat. 
42° 21' 43".888, long. 71° 01' 57".753. 



1882.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 



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1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 21 

Draws in the Bridges across Merrimack River 

below Haverhill. 

By the resolve chap. 23 of the Acts of 1881 the Board 
was instructed to investigate the subject, and report their 
conclusions in regard to widening the draws in the bridges 
across the Menimack River below Haverhill. 

In ascending the river from its mouth, the first bridge 
across it is the road-bridge between Newburyport and Salis- 
bury, and the second the railroad-bridge of the Eastern Rail- 
road Company ; these two bridges are so near together that 
the draw-ways are connected by a continuous draw-pier and 
the passage-way through each bridge is about seventy feet in 
width. The draws and abutment-piers are in good condi- 
tion. The plan and alignment of the connecting draw-pier, 
however, are not as well arranged for the passage of vessels 
through the bridges as the general location will admit. 
Owing to unsettled questions of obligation on the part of 
the city of Newburyport and the Eastern Railroad Company, 
this draw-pier has never been completed. 

The third bridge in order across the river is the chain 
bridge, so called, between Newburyport and Salisbury. This 
bridge consists of two parts, — one a chain suspension bridge 
between the Newburyport shore and Deer Island ; and the 
other, between Deer Island and the Salisbury shore, is com- 
posed of a wooden girder with arched lower chord next to 
Deer Island, and beyond it a leaf-draw and two short spans 
crossed by simple trusses. 

The chain bridge is well built and in good repair, and the 
channel under it is used by steamers and other mast-less 
craft in preference to the draw-way opening. 

The piers in the other part of the bridge are poorly de- 
signed, poorly built, and out of repair, being unnecessarily 
wide with square ends presented to the current, which create 
strong eddies in both the flood and ebb tides which set 
strongly against the southerly side of the draw-way so that 
the passage through it is difficult. The piers consist of a 
foundation of crib-work up to about high-water mark ; and 
resting upon these is light trestle-work up to the level of 
the bridge and extending a short distance on either side of 
the draw to serve as draw-piers, but is not high enough to be 



22 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

of the best service, and is much out of repair, and slowly 
pressing into and narrowing the draw-way which has now a 
least available width of about 38 feet. The sheathing on 
the sides of the draw-way is also in bad condition and insuffi- 
cient. 

The abutments and superstructure of this part of the 
bridge are in good condition, and apparently require only 
ordinary repairs. 

The fourth bridge is " Rocks Bridge," so called, between 
Haverhill and West Newbury. This bridge has four fixed 
spans and a draw-span, which are supported by two abut- 
ments and four piers. The piers are built of dimension gran- 
ite resting on timber cribs filled with stone. The masonry 
of the piers is in generally good condition ; but the timber of 
the cribs is considerably worn and broken, and in its present 
state liable to be damaged by ice, although it may stand some 
years without material injury, depending on the character of 
the winter and the manner in which the ice breaks up in the 
spring. 

The superstructure of this bridge is somewhat out of 
repair in places ; the trusses are bent or buckled, and not 
capable of sustaining as much weight as they should ; but 
with moderate repairs and ordinary travel it may last for a 
number of years. The draw-span is a common leaf-draw, 
with a least width of 31.8 feet, in good repair, and is situated 
at the easterly end of the first span on the Haverhill side of 
the river, and on the westerly side of the channel. The 
flood- tide sets diagonally across the draw-way so that vessels 
are carried against the pier on the westerly side of the open- 
ing. Their passage through the draw-way might be facili- 
tated, however, by draw-piers on either side of the bridge on 
the westerly side of the draw- way. 

If the draw-way is widened, it should be located in the 
span next east of the present site, which would be nearer the 
centre of the river and current, and have an equal depth of 
water. 

Groveland Bridge is the next in order, and is now in pro- 
cess of rebuilding. It is proposed to locate the draw-way in 
the middle of the channel, and to have it about sixty feet 
wide. When this bridge is complete it wi]l be one of the 
best structures on the river. No other changes of plan are 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 23 

necessary for further facility to navigation than already pro- 
vided. 

The draws in some of the bridges above referred to have 
been reported by parties, more particularly interested in 
steamboat-navigation, as not being of sufficient height above 
the level of the water to enable certain classes of steamboats 
to pass freely under them, which is considered a desirable 
facility of navigation, and it certainly is so where it can be 
practicably effected. But when a bridge is provided with a 
suitable draw which can be opened readily for the passage of 
all vessels which cannot pass under it, it seems like imposing 
a double burden to require a height of structure which would 
involve undue expense, or which would be out of proportion 
or adjustment, so to speak, with the approaches to and char- 
acter of the respective shores of the river between which it 
crosses. 

The relative burden upon the respective cities and towns 
in whose jurisdiction these bridges belong, of the expense of 
keeping them in repair and from time to time adapting them 
to improved and progressive modes of navigation, as com. 
pared with the importance and value to commerce and the 
public of the repairs and improvements requisite, is the prob- 
lem, to be solved in determining the improvements to be made. 
While the facilities afforded by these bridges of communica- 
tion between the cities and towns bordering upon and near the 
river may have a beneficial public influence extending beyond 
their immediate locality, they have not the capacity nor the 
function of the waters of the river as a medium of communi- 
cation and transportation which is almost limitless in its 
range and power. One instance of its value in this respect 
is the conveyance in one steamboat, in one summer season 
only, of thirty thousand persons from interior localities to the 
sea-beach for health and recreation. 

The value of commercial transportation has also been 
recognized by the Genera] Government in the liberal appro- 
priations made and the laborious work done to improve the 
navigation of the river, the efficiency and even possibility of 
which is gauged by the capacity of the passage-ways through 
the bridges which cross its channels. These channels were a 
first right of way ; and no restriction or interference with this 
right should be permitted or continued which is not of equiv- 
alent public value and advantage. 



24 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

In view of the facts and circumstances which the Board 
have been able to ascertain in relation to the subject referred 
to them for investigation, they submit the following conclu- 
sions : — 

First, The draw-way opening and draw in the part of the 
" Chain Bridge " between Deer Island and the Salisbury 
shore should be rebuilt and widened so as to give a clear pas- 
sage-way of not less than fifty feet. In making the necessary 
alterations to effect this change, the lower members of the 
draw should be made as high above the water-level of the 
river as can be practicably accomplished without involving 
too radical a change in other features of the bridge. Suit- 
able draw-piers should be built on either side of the bridge, 
and other modern appliances provided for the safe and con- 
venient passage of vessels through the draw-way. 

Second, The draw-way and draw in " Rocks Bridge" should 
be rebuilt at least fifty feet wide, and located "in the span 
next east of the one in which it now is. The lower members 
of the draw should also be made as high as practicable above 
the water-level of the river. Suitable draw-piers and other 
appliances should be provided as for the other bridge. 

Third, The draw pier between and connecting the city 
and railroad bridges at Newburyport should be completed, 
and such changes made in its alignment as will best secure 
the safe and convenient passage of vessels through these two 
bridges, which must be done by one operation while both of 
the draws are open. 

Vineyard Haven Harbor. 

At the request of citizens of Vineyard Haven, and after 
the conclusion by the Board of its expediency, a re-survey of 
portions of the harbor was made by the engineer during the 
last summer as a means of comparison with former observa- 
tions, and to show what changes, if any, had taken place in 
the harbor. The results did not show the changes which 
local observers had anticipated in the general condition of 
the harbor. The anxiety manifested, however, by those con- 
tinually observing it, is but the renewal of the subject of its 
value and the importance of some adequate means for the 
protection of the thousands of vessels which seek its anchor- 
age grounds. This matter in the logic of events must sooner 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 25 

or later receive the practical attention of the General Gov- 
ernment. We need hardly reiterate the fact that the geo- 
graphical position and peculiar surroundings of this harbor 
make it one of the most remarkable roadsteads, not only 
within the limits of this Commonwealth but in the whole 
range of the Atlantic coast of the United States. Its prox- 
imity to the pathway of the immense coastwise fleet which 
night and day continually pass its headlands, its accessibility 
in all winds and weather, and being at the threshold, as it 
were, of the dangerous region of fog and shoals which char 
acterize the navigation around Cape Cod, make its value as 
a refuge almost beyond estimate. It is excellent in all the 
conditions of a roadstead save one, — that of exposure to the 
north-east. The correction of this defect, which is a prac- 
ticable one, is the improvement and protection needed to 
make it one of the most useful harbors of the world. 

Boundary-Lines between Cities and Towns border- 
ing upon the Sea. 

By chap. 196 of the Acts of 1881 the Board was direct- 
ed to locate and define the courses of the boundary-lines 
between adjacent cities and towns bordering upon the sea, 
and upon arms of the sea, from high-water mark outward 
to the line of the Commonwealth as defined by sect. 1 of 
chap. 1 of the Revised Statutes ; and to file a report of 
their doings, with suitable plans and exhibits, showing the 
boundary-lines of any town by them located and defined, in 
certain specified places. 

So much of sect. 1 chap. 1 of the Revised Statutes, as 
refers to the extension of the boundary-lines between cities 
and towns bordering upon the sea, to the line of the Com- 
monwealth, is as follows : " The territorial limits of this Com- 
monwealth extend one marine league from its seashore at 
low-water mark. When an inlet or arm of the sea does not 
exceed two marine leagues in width, between headlands, a 
straight line from one headland to the other is equivalent to 
the shore-line." 

It was quite impracticable for the Board to make original 
surveys, or prepare original plans upon which to show the 
lines to be located and defined, according to the act direct- 
ing that work to be done ; and no survey of limited scope 



26 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

or means which they conld make would have been so well 
adapted to the purposes required as the elaborate and accu- 
rate ones of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. 
The system upon which these maps are made affords the 
particular data desired in locating and describing the initial 
points in the line of State jurisdiction, which it is important 
to define in order to locate the points of intersection with it, 
or the termination at it of the boundary-lines between 
respective cities and towns. The details of coast topography 
upon these government maps also afford data for determin- 
ing the points upon the shore where boundary-lines on land 
terminate. The maps selected are classed and entitled 
" Coast Charts Nos. 11, 12, and 13, coast of the United 
States," " Coast Charts Nos. 9 and 10, Massachusetts Bay," 
and " Coast Chart No. 8, from Wells to Cape Ann." The 
first three in one sheet include the line of the Commonwealth 
from the boundary with Rhode Island to Chatham on Cape 
Cod, the second two in one sheet the line of the Common- 
wealth from Chatham to the Dry Salvages on Cape Ann, and 
the third from the Dry Salvages to the boundary with New 
Hampshire. 

The Board has found the duty imposed upon them one of 
peculiar interest ; and, so far as they are aware, it is the 
first instance of such action being taken, and such illus- 
trated determination of the limits of territorial jurisdiction 
being made, by any State bordering upon the sea. The work 
has proved to be more exacting than at first supposed, and 
will require more time and means to complete than was 
originally estimated. In examining the records, markings, 
and geographical peculiarities of the various terminal points 
of the boundary-lines between cities and towns upon the 
shore, it has been found necessary to visit the locality of 
nearly every terminal point so far considered, in order to 
ascertain the nature and particulars of each, whether on 
land and marked by monument, or whether in the mouth 
of some channel, bay, or creek. These have been conditions 
and facts necessary to determine, before the study of the 
extension of any given boundary-line to the line of the 
Commonwealth could be made and projected upon the plan. 
In some cases the Board has found difficulty in determining 
these bases for locating and defining the courses of respec- 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 27 

tive boundary-lines. Two cases, those between Province- 
town and Truro, and between Sandwich and Wareham, 
have presented questions of so much import as to require 
public hearings, and, in the case of Sandwich and Wareham, 
the action of learned counsel on either side. In this latter 
case the Board has held hearings at the location of the line, 
and in the office of the Board at Boston. 

It has been found impracticable, within the past appro- 
priate season, to do more than examine the series of bound- 
ary-lines between the towns in the peninsular portion of 
Cape Cod, from and including the boundary-line before men- 
tioned, between Sandwich and Wareham, and Provincetown 
at the east and Gosnold at the west end of the Cape. The 
Board has projected, upon the maps referred to, the line of 
the Commonwealth. The position of the initial points, or 
points of deflection, in this line of the Commonwealth, are 
plotted to single seconds of latitude and longitude, which is 
as near as the scale of the maps will accurately exhibit. 
These positions can be reproduced upon any map of the 
Coast Survey, of any scale, and can be found upon the 
ground or water, by instrumental observation, by any com- 
petent engineer or surveyor. The limit of error or indefl- 
niteness in the exact position of each point will not exceed 
a mean difference of about twenty-seven metres, equal to 
about twenty-nine yards. When it is considered that these 
points represent positions on the ocean, not less than three 
marine leagues from the nearest land, this location of a point 
is sufficiently represented for all practicable purposes. The 
maps on which the line is plotted are based upon a polyconic 
projection on a scale of ^o-oo'o' whereon each fifth minute of 
latitude and longitude is drawn. 

Line of the Commonwealth. 

The line of the Commonwealth begins at a point marked 
A on plan No. 3, which is comprised of the United States 
Coast and Geodetic Survey " Coast Charts Nos. 11, 12, and 
13," in lat. 41° 25' 05", long. 71° 05' 28", distant one marine 
league from the shore-line, which is a line from the headland 
at Warren's Point in Rhode. Island to the headland at Goose- 
berry Neck in Massachusetts, and runs easterly, parallel to 
the last-named line, to a point marked B on plan, in lat. 41° 
25' 25", long. 71° 03' 16". 



28 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Thence south-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the said headland at Gooseberry Neck 
to the headland at the south-westerly point of the island of 
Cuttyhunk, to a point marked C on plan, in lat. 41° 22' 23", 
long." 70° 59' 33". 

Thence south-easterly, on the arc of a circle of one marine 
league radius, from the said headland at Cuttyhunk to a point 
marked D on plan, in lat. 41° 21/ 55", long. 70° 58' 50". 

Thence south-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from said headland at Cuttyhunk to the 
headland at the north-westerly point of Gay Head on the 
island of Martha's Vineyard, to a point marked E on plan, 
in lat. 41° 19' 30", long. 70° 53' 55". 

Thence southerly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from the said headland at Gay Head to the head- 
land at the westerly point of the island of No Man's Land, 
to a point marked F on plan, in lat. 41° 15' 17", long. 70° 53' 
32". 

Thence south-easterly, easterly, and north-easterly, on a 
curved line parallel to and distant one marine league from 
the general curve of the southerly shore-line of said No 
Man's Land, to a point marked G on plan, in lat. 41° 13' 
32", long. 70° 44' 15". 

Thence north-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the south-easterly headland of said 
No Man's Land to the south-easterly headland of Squipnocket 
on said Martha's Vineyard, to a point marked H on plan, 
in lat. 41° 16' 18", long. 70° 42' 26". 

Thence north-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from said headland at Squipnocket to the 
headland at the easterly end of Nashaquitsa Cliff on said 
Martha's Vineyard, to a point, marked I on plan, in lat. 41° 
17' 25", long. 70° 40' 48". 

Thence easterly, on a slightly curved line parallel to and 
distant one marine league from the general curve of the 
shore-line of said Martha's Vineyard, to a point marked K on 
plan, in lat. 41° 17' 45", long. 70° 35' 30". 

Thence easterly, on a slightly curved line parallel to and 
distant one marine league from the general curve of the 
shore-line on said Martha's Vineyard, to a point marked L 
on plan, in lat. 41° 17' 35", long. 70° 26' 43". 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 29 

Thence easterly, a little southerly, parallel to and distant 
one marine league from a line from the south-easterly head- 
land of the island of Chappaquiddick to the headland at the 
south-easterly point of the island of Muskeget, to a point 
marked L 1 , in lat. 41° 16' 34", long. 70° 21' 30". 

Thence south-easterly, on the arc of a circle of one marine 
league radius from the southerly Sand Island between the 
said island of Muskeget and the island of Tuckernuck, to a 
point marked M on plan, in lat. 41° 15' 46", long. 70° 20' 
10". 

Thence south-easterly, on a slightly curved line parallel 
to and distant one marine league from the general curve of 
the shore-line of the southerly shore of the island of Nan- 
tucket, to a point marked M 1 on plan, in lat. 41° 11' 20", long. 
70° 06' 55". 

Thence easterly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from the headland opposite Miacomet Pond to 
Tom Never's Head on said Nantucket, to a point marked M 2 
on plan, in lat. 41° 11' 06", long. 70° 00' 30". 

Thence easterly and some northerly, on a curved line par- 
allel to and distant one marine league from the general curve 
of the shore-line of said Nantucket, to a point south-east of 
the south-easterly headland at Siasconsett, marked M 3 on 
plan, in lat. 41° 12' 30", long. 69° 55' 15". 

Thence north-easterly and northerly, on a curved line par- 
allel to and distant one marine league from the general curve 
of the shore-line of said Nantucket, to a point east of the 
light-house at Sankaty Head, marked M 4 on plan, in lat. 41° 
16' 55^, long. 69° 53' 15". 

Thence north-westerly, on a slightly curved line parallel 
to and distant one marine league from the general curve of 
the shore-line of said Nantucket, to a point north-easterly 
from the northerly headland at Great Point, marked M 5 on 
plan, in lat. 41° 25' 55", long. 69° 59' bb'\ 

Thence north-westerly, westerly, and south-westerly, on the 
arc of a circle of one marine league radius from said head- 
land at Great Point, to a point marked M 6 on plan, in lat. 41° 
24' 26", long. 70° 06' 27". 

Thence southerly and some westerly, parallel to and dis- 
tant one marine league from a line from said headland at 
Great Point to the headland at the south-westerly point of 



30 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Coatuc Beach, to a point marked M 7 on plan, in lat. 41° 20' 
39", long. 70° Or 47". 

Thence westerly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from said headland at Coatuc Beach to the head- 
land opposite the north-easterly cove of Matacut Harbor, to 
a point marked M 8 on plan, in lat. 41° 20' 38", long. 70° 
10' 10". 

Thence north-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from the line from said headland near Matacut Har- 
bor to the headland at the easterly point of Muskeget Island, 
to a point marked M 9 on plan, in lat. 41° 22' 44", long. 70° 
15' 24". 

Thence westerly and southerly, on a curved line parallel 
to and distant one marine league from the general curve of 
the shore-line of the northerly side of said Muskeget Island, 
to a point marked M 10 on plan, in lat. 41° 23' 15", long. 70°, 
19' 15". 

Thence north-westerly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the headland at the north-westerly 
point of said Muskeget Island to the headland opposite the 
south-easterly cove of Cape Poge Bay on the said Chappa- 
quiddick Island, to a point marked N on plan, in lat. 41° 24' 
40", long. 70° 22' 32". 

Thence northerly and north-westerly, partly on a curved 
line and partly on the arc of a circle distant one marine 
league and radius one marine league from the shore-line and 
headland at the north-easterly point of said Cape Poge, to a 
point marked O on plan, in lat. 41° 27' 53", long. 70° 24' 
35". 

Thence north-westerly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from said headland at Cape Poge to the 
headland at the northerly point of the East Chop of Vineyard 
Haven, on said Martha's Vineyard, to a point marked P on 
plan, in lat. 41° 29' 11", long. 70° 27' 38". 

Thence north-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from said headland at East Chop to the 
headland between Waquoit and Poponessett Bays on the 
main shore, to a point marked Q on plan, in lat. 41° 30' 53", 
long. 70° 25' 55". 

Thence north-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from said last-named headland to the 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 31 

headland opposite the south-easterly cove of Oysterville 
Harbor, to a point marked R on plan, in lat. 41° 33 / 23", long. 
70° 21' 34". 

Thence easterly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from the said headland at Oysterville to the 
headland at Point Gammon, to a point marked S on plan, in 
lat. 41° 33' 18", long. 70° 15' 35. 

Thence easterly, on the arc of a circle of one marine 
league radius from said headland at Point Gammon, to a 
point marked T on plan, in lat. 41° 33' 31', long. 70° 14' 11". 

Thence north-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from said headland at Point Gammon to 
the headland on the east side of Swan Pond River, to a point 
marked U on plan, in lat. 41° 36' 01", long. 70° 06' 55". 

Thence north-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from said headland near Swan Pond River 
to the headland near Red River, to a point marked V on plan, 
in lat. 41° 36' 30", long. 70° 03' 45". 

Thence southerly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from the headland at Inward Point on Monomay 
Island to the headland at the southerly point of said Mono- 
may Island, to a point marked W on plan, in lat. 41° 33' 07", 
long. 70° 04' 30". 

Thence southerly, south-easterly, and easterly, on the arc 
of a circle of one marine league radius from said headland 
at Monomay to a point marked W on plan, in lat. 41° 30' 12", 
long. 69° 58' 05". 

Thence north-easter!}-, on a curved line parallel to and one 
marine league distant from the general curve of the shore- 
line of Monomay Island, to a point marked X on plan, in lat. 
41° 32' 17", long. 69° bb f 21". 

Thence northerly, a little easterly, parallel to and distant 
one marine league from the line from the headland near 
Monomay Light-house to the headland opposite Rump Hole 
on said Monomay Island, to a point marked Y on plan, in lat. 
41° 36' 42", long. 69° 52' 58". 

Thence north, a little easterly, parallel to and distant one 
marine league from a line from the said headland near Rump 
Hole' to the headland opposite Morris Island, to a point 
marked Y 1 on plan, in lat. 41° 38' 06", long. 69° 52' 20". 

Thence northerly, a little easterly, parallel to and distant 



32 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

one marine league from a line from the said headland near 
Morris Island to the headland near Allen's Point on ISausett 
Beach, to a point marked Z on plan, in lat. 41° 42' 31", long. 
69° 51' 05". 

Thence northerly, on a slightly curved line parallel to and 
distant one marine league from the general curve of the 
shore-line, to a point marked A 2 on plan, which is identical 
with the point marked A on plan No. 2 comprised of the 
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey "Coast Charts No. 
9 and 10," in lat. 41° 49' 02", long. 69° 51/ 55". 

Thence north, a little easterly, on a slightly curved line 
parallel to and distant one marine league from the general 
curve of the shore-line, to a point marked B on said plan No. 
2, in lat. 41° 53' 40", long. 69° 53' 12". 

Thence north, a little westerly, on a curved line parallel to 
and distant one marine league from the general curve of the 
shore-line, to a point marked B 1 on plan, in lat. 41° 59' 18", 
long. 69° 55' 50". 

Thence north, more westerly, on a curved line parallel to 
and distant one marine league from the general curve of the 
shore-line, to a point marked C on plan, in lat. 42° 04' 33", 
long. 70° 00' 20". 

Thence north-westerly, on a curved line parallel to and 
distant one marine league from the general curve of the 
shore-line, to a point marked C 1 on plan, in lat. 42° 07' 32", 
long. 70° 08' 00". 

Thence westerly, on a curved line parallel to and distant 
one marine league from the general curve of the shore-line, 
to a point marked D on plan, in lat. 42° 07' 34", long. 70° 14' 
15". 

Thence south-westerly and southerly, on a curved line 
parallel to and distant one marine league from the general 
curve of the shore-line, to a point marked D 1 on plan, in lat. 
42° 03' 42", long. 70° 18' 22". 

Thence south-easterly, partly on a curved and partly on a 
straight line parallel to and distant one marine league from 
the general curve and trend of the shore-line, to a point 
marked E on plan, in lat. 41° 58' 57", long. 70' 14' 01". 

Thence south-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the headland at Wood End to the 
headland at Boundbrook Island, to a point marked F on plan, 
in lat. 41° 55' 01", long. 70° 08' 27". 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 33 

Thence southerly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from the said headland at Boundbrook Island to 
the headland at the southerly end of Great Beach Hill, to a 
point marked G on plan, in lat. 41° 53' 10", long. 70° 08' 26". 

Thence southerly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from said headland at Great Beach Hill to the 
headland at Billingsgate Island, to a point marked H on plan, 
in lat. 41° 51' 40", long. 70° 08' 08". 

Thence southerly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from said headland at Billingsgate Island to the 
headland near the village of Brewster, to a point marked I 
on plan, in lat. 41° 48' 38", long. 70° 08' 39". 

Thence westerly, a little southerly, parallel to and distant 
one marine league from a line from said headland near Brew- 
ster to the headland on Beach Point, to a point marked K on 
plan, in lat. 41° 47' 18", long. 70° 16' 38". 

Thence westerly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from said headland at Beach Point to the head- 
land near Scorton Neck, to a point marked L on plan, in lat. 
41° 47' 31", long. 70° 22' 54". 

Thence north-westerly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the said headland near Scorton 
Neck, to the headland at Scusset Beach, £o a point marked 
M on plan, in lat. 41° 49' 26", long. 70° 27' 03". 

Thence northerly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from the said headland at Scusset Beach to the 
headland at Centre Hill Point, to a point marked N on 
plan, in lat. 41° 51' 50", long. 70° 27' 08". 

Thence northerly, a little westerly, parallel to and distant 
one marine league from a line from the said headland at 
Centre Hill Point to the headland at Manomet Point, to a 
point marked O on plan, in lat. 41° 56' 09", long. 70° 27' 56 /f . 

Thence south-westerly, on the arc of a circle of one marine 
league radius from said headland at Manomet Point, to a 
point marked P on plan, in lat. 41° 57' 10", long. 70° 28' 23". 

Thence north-westerly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from said headland at Manomet Point to 
the headland at Gurnet Point, to a point'marked Q on plan, 
in lat. 42° 01' 40", long. 70° 31' 59". 

Thence north-westerly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the said headland at Gurnet Point 

5 



34 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

to the headland at Brant Rocks, to a point marked R on 
plan, in lat. 42° 06' 34", long. 70° 34' 23". 

Thence north-easterly, on the arc of a circle of one marine 
league radius from said headland at Brant Rocks, to a point 
marked S on plan, in lat. 42° 07' 17", long. 70° 34' 53". 

Thence north-westerly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the said headland at Brant Rocks 
to the headland near North River, to a point marked T on 
plan, in lat. 42° 10' 00", long. 70° 37 / 35". 

Thence north-westerly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the said headland near North River 
to the headland at Scituate Harbor, to a point marked U on 
plan, in lat, 42° 13' 26", long. 70° 38' 53". 

Thence north-westerly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the said headland at Scituate Har- 
bor to the headland at Minot's Ledge, to a point marked V 
on plan, in lat. 42° 17' 32", long. 70° 41' 38." 

Thence north-westerly, on the arc of a circle of one marine 
league radius from the said headland at Minot's Ledge, to a 
point marked W on plan, in lat. 42° 18' 53", long. 70° 43' 33". 

Thence north, more westerly, parallel to and distant one 
marine league from a line from the said headland at Minot's 
Ledge to the headiand at Point Allerton, to a point marked 
X on plan, in lat. 42° 20' 20", long. 70° 48' 00". 

Thence north, a little easterly, parallel to and distant one 
marine league from a line from the said headland at Point 
Allerton to the headland at the North-east Graves, to a point 
marked Y on plan, in lat. 42° 21' 46", long. 70° 47' 38". 

Thence north, a little easterly, parallel to and distant one 
marine league from a line from the said headland at North- 
east Graves to the headland at Great Pig Rocks, to a point 
marked Z on plan, in lat. 42° 26' 20", long. 70° 46' 58". 

Thence north-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the said headland at Great Pig 
Rocks to the headland at Inner Breaker, to a point marked 
Z 1 on plan, in lat. 42° 29' 00", long. 70° 43' 22". 

Thence north-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the said headland at Inner Breaker 
to the headland at Eastern Point, to a point marked Z 2 on 
plan, in lat. 42° 32' 18", long. 70° 36' 59". 

Thence north-easterly, on a slightly curved line parallel 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT— No. 11. 35 

to and distant one marine league from the general curve of 
the southerly shore-line of Eastern Point, to a point marked 
Z 3 on plan, in lat. 42° 32' 37", long. 70° 36' 17". 

Thence north-easterly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the headland on the southerly shore 
of Eastern Point to the headland at Londoner, to a point 
marked Z 4 on plan, in lat. 42° 35' 45", long. 70° 31' 00". 

Thence north-easterly and northerly, on the arc of a circle 
of one marine league radius from the said headland at Lon- 
doner, to a point marked Z 5 on plan, in lat. 42° 38' 06", long. 
70° 29' 34". 

i Thence northerly, parallel to and distant one marine league 
from a line from the said headland at Londoner to the head- 
land at Dry Salvages, to a point marked Z 6 on plan, in lat. 
42° 40' 26", long. 70° 29' 40". 

Thence northerly and north-westerly, on the arc of a circle 
of one marine league radius from said headland at Dry Sal- 
vages, to a point marked Z 7 on plan, which is identical with 
a point marked A on plan No. 1 comprised of the United 
States Coast Survey " Chart No. 8 from Wells to Cape Ann," 
in lat. 42° 43' 04", long. 70° 32' 09". 

Thence north-westerly, parallel to and distant one marine 
league from a line from the said headland at Dry Salvages to 
the headland at Halibut Point, marked B on said plan No. 1, 
in lat. 42° 44' 15", long. 70° 35' 53". 

Thence westerly, on the arc of a circle of one marine 
league radius from the said headland at Halibut Point, to a 
point marked C on plan, in lat. 42° 44' 25", long. 70° 38' 30". 

Thence westerly, a little northerly, parallel to and distant 
one marine league from a line from a headland near the said 
Halibut Point to the headland at the southerly end of Plum 
Island, to a point marked D on plan, in lat. 42° 45' 02", 
long. 70 Q 42' 43". 

Thence northerly, a little westerly, parallel to and distant 
one marine league from a line from the said headland at the 
southerly end of Plum Island to the headland near the mouth 
of Merrimack River, to a point marked E on plan, in lat. 42° 
48' 25", long. 70° 43' 52". 

Thence northerly, a little. easterly, parallel to and distant 
one marine league from the said headland near the mouth of 
Merrimack River to the headland at Old Cellar Rock, to a 



36 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

point marked F on plan, the northerly terminus of the line, 
in lat. 42° 51' 55", long. 70° 43' 26". ' 

The linear extent of the line of the Commonwealth, in its 
course as above defined, around the islands of Martha's Vine- 
yard and Nantucket, and around Cape Cod and Cape Ann 
from the point of boundary with the State of Rhode Island 
to the south-easterly point of Nantucket, is about 75 miles ; 
to the southerly point of Monomay, about 158 miles ; to the 
northerly point of Cape Cod at Race Point, about 222 miles ; 
to the entrance of Boston Harbor, about 304 miles ; to the 
easterly point of Cape Ann, about 336 miles; and to the 
northerly terminus of the line of the Commonwealth at its 
boundary with New Hampshire, about 355 miles. 

The distance from the southerly terminus of the line of 
the Commonwealth at its boundary with Rhode Island to the 
southerly point of Monomay following the line of the Com- 
monwealth and the line of boundary between the towns bor- 
dering on Vineyard Sound, is about 71 miles. 



Harbor Improvements by the General Government. 

Boston Harbor. 

The works of the General Government in the harbors of 
the State during the past year have been continued with 
increasing advantages to its commerce. The opportunities 
which the Board have had to observe the character and prog- 
ress of this work make it gratifying as. well as incumbent 
upon them to call attention to the long and interested service 
which the engineer officers of the United States in charge of 
it have rendered to the Commonwealth, and the value of 
their personal and professional experience in examinations 
and estimates, and in the execution of the varied and diffi- 
cult projects of improvement submitted to their care. The 
Board is indebted to both Gen. Thorn and Gen. Warren for 
the continued courtesy of information concerning their re- 
spective works. 

In the northern division of the seacoast of the State, in 
charge of Gen. George Thom, United States engineer, the 
work done in Boston Harbor has been the important one of 
removing " Anchorage Shoal," in the main basin of the upper 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 37 

harbor. 47,224 cubic yards have been dredged, which has 
added 225 feet to the width of the main channel, the aggre- 
gate of which is now about 770 feet. By the early part of 
March the width will be still further increased to about 810 
feet, and by the end of next November the full projected 
width of the channel will be effected. The Board hope, how- 
ever, that the development of the harbor has reached a point 
which will induce the General Government to revise its proj- 
ect for the improvement of the main channel so as to increase 
materially the minimum width heretofore contemplated. 

In execution of the project for the improvement of Charles 
River, from its mouth to the dam at the head of tide-water 
at Watertown, 63,000 cubic yards of dredging has been done, 
and the improvement of the channel completed, from the 
mouth of the river to Western-avenue Bridge, a distance of 
about 4| miles. 

At the mouth of the Mystic River 48,343 cubic yards of 
dredging has been done, which has increased the width of the 
channel by 125 feet, making its total average width 250 feet. 
Still further work of excavation has been begun, to be com- 
pleted the coming season, which will complete the project of 
improvement for this river. 

Repairs have been made, where most necessary, on the sea- 
walls of Lovell's Island, Long Island, and Deer Island. 

21,924 cubic yards of dredging has been done in Nantasket 
Beach channel, which has opened the channel to a width of 
about 70 feet, and a depth at mean low water of 9J feet. 

In order to complete all the works now projected for the 
improvement of Boston Harbor, the following appropriations 
have been asked for : to wit, — 

Widening main ship channel at Upper Middle, at its westerly 
end, and for rebuilding and repairing sea-walls in Boston 

Harbor proper $24,000 

Completing improvement of Charles River .... 67,500 
Completing channel leading to Nantasket Beach . . . 5,000 



$96,500 
Merrimack River, 

The improvement of the Merrimack River is a work of much 
importance, particularly to the citizens of the north-eastern 
portion of the State. The increased facilities given to all 



38 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

classes of navigation by the aid of the General Government, 
and the improvement of the draw-way openings through the 
various bridges, will give a character and value to the river 
not heretofore possessed. As stated by Gen. Thorn, the object 
of the present project for the improvement of this river is to 
afford a channel of navigable width and a depth of not less 
than nine feet at mean low water from its mouth at the outlet 
of Newburyport Harbor up to Deer Island Bridge, — a dis- 
tance of about five miles ; and thence up to Haverhill Bridge, 
— an additional distance of 12^- miles, with a depth of twelve 
feet at ordinary high water, the rise and fall of tides varying 
from seven and a half to four feet ; and thence up to the 
head of the " Upper Falls," — a distance of four miles, a depth 
of not less than four feet and a half in the ordinary stages 
of the river, with the mill-water at Lawrence running, the 
rise and fall of the tides varying from four feet at Haverhill 
to none at the foot of the " Upper Falls." 

The natural channel of this river was very narrow and 
crooked in several places, and much obstructed by sunken 
ledges, bowlders, and shoals, and especially at the falls, por- 
tions of which were covered with bowlders and ledges more 
or less bare, and impassable for any vessels or scows ; whilst 
in Newburyport Harbor the channel was obstructed by nu- 
merous sunken ledges, crib-work piers, and wrecks, seriously 
endangering navigation. Previous to January, 1881, the work 
done for the improvement of this river consisted in opening 
the channel above Haverhill and through the falls to the 
projected width and depth in places where absolutely neces- 
sary to make its navigation practicable, also in dredging at 
Haverhill between the bridges, and at Silsby Island shoals, 
as well as at Currier's shoal, about four miles below Haver- 
hill, including the removal of a large number of dangerous 
sunken rocks at and near Rocks Bridge and the head of 
Silsby Island; also in Newburyport Harbor in the removal 
of " Ganway Rock " and " North Rocks " in part, and in the 
removal of two sunken wrecks. During the past year the 
removal of "South Ganway Rock" in Newburyport Harbor 
to a depth of nine feet at mean low water has been com- 
pleted, together with the breaking up and removal of North 
Rock spur to a depth of nine feet, and the breaking up and 
removal of South Badger ledge near the mouth of the river 
to ten feet at mean low water. 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 39 

Newburyport Harbor, 

The project of improvement for Newburyport Harbor was to 
afford a permanent channel through the outer bar, with a depth 
sufficient to allow vessels of 13J feet draught to cross it at 
mean low water, the rise and fall of the tides being 7i feet. 
To effect this, the project of two converging rubble-stone jet- 
ties has been adopted, to be built out from the shore at points 
north and south of the entrance to a height of four feet above 
mean high water, with a width of 15 feet on top, with inner 
slope of 45°, and outer slope of 22|°, the entrance through 
the outer extremities of the jetties to be 1,000 feet in width. 
The cost of these jetties is estimated at $365,000. Work has 
already been done on the northern jetty by the placing of 
about 13,743 tons of stone, whereby the work has been built 
out for a distance of about 700 feet from Salisbury Beach. 

Scituate Harbor. 

A survey of Scituate Harbor was made by Gen. Thorn in 
1878, with a view to its adaptability as a harbor of refuge, 
and a project devised for two rubble-stone jetties to protect 
the entrance ; also to excavate a basin inside of sufficient 
area for the harbor, with a depth of ten to twelve feet at mean 
low water, the greatest depth at present being not more than 
about five feet on a verj^ small area ; also to excavate a chan- 
nel into the harbor, with a depth of not less than ten feet at 
mean low water. The estimated cost of this improvement 
as revised for the project adopted is $280,000. $17,500 of 
this amount has been appropriated, and during the last sum- 
mer, after many interruptions caused by unfavorable weather, 
5,088 tons of stone have been put in place. 

Plymouth Harbor. 

The existence of this harbor depends upon the protection 
and preservation of Long Beach, which has been under the 
care of the government engineers from 1864 to and including 
1881, and $84,800 in various sums have been appropriated 
for their work. In 1875 a Channel was dredged fifty feet 
wide and six feet deep at mean low water, from the " middle 
ground " up to "Long Wharf," — a distance of about 2,500 
feet. The project of improvement, however, provides for a 



40 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

channel 100 feet wide up to Long Wharf, and extended 
southward towards the mouth of Town Brook, — a distance 
of about 900 feet above Long Wharf, — so as to form a basin 
in front of the wharves of the city 150 feet in width and eight 
feet deep at mean low water. On the 1st of September, 1881, 
this project was entirely completed by the removal of 103,505 
cubic }^ards of material from the channel and basin referred 
to. It is most gratifying to state that the only work that 
now remains to be done for the preservation and protection 
of this harbor consists in the repairs of the works on Long 
Beach where necessary. 

Provincetown Harbor. 

All the works projected for the protection, preservation, 
and improvement of this harbor have been completed, with 
the exception of the bulkheads on Long Point, which are in 
good condition, and fully answer the purposes designed. 
They will, however, require continual watching and occa- 
sional repairs. 

Lynn Harbor. 

A survey of Lynn Harbor has been made, with a view to 
its improvement, and a project and estimate for the respective 
work has been submitted to the Chief of Engineers to be 
laid before Congress. 

Merrimack River, from Lawrence, Mass., to Manchester, N.H. 

A survey, project, and estimate of cost for this part of 
the river — a distance of about forty-eight miles and a half — 
have been made, and submitted to the Chief of Engineers, to 
be laid before Congress. 

Government Work in Charge of Gen. G. K. Warren. 

The works of harbor improvement upon the southern 
coast of the State in charge of Gen. G. K. Warren, United 
States Engineers, are of much importance, particularly those 
of protection and improvement of the harbors of refuge in 
the dangerous navigation of this part of the coast. 

Nantucket Harbor. 

Up to the 30th of June last, nearly 4,000 tons of granite 
had been placed in the jetty on the westerly side of the 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 41 

entrance to Nantucket Harbor, extending it 850 feet, and 
additional work has been done upon it since. Gen. Warren 
considers it too soon to see or predict the effect of the jetty 
in increasing the depth of water over the shoals ; but careful 
and comprehensive surveys have been made as a basis for 
future comparison of changes following the construction of 
the jetty. Seventy-five thousand dollars is asked for the 
completion of this work by June 30, 1883. 

Edgartown Harbor. 

During the last summer a conference was held at Edgar- 
town between Gen. G. K. Warren, the chairman of this 
Board, and the citizens of the port interested in the harbor, 
to discuss and devise means for its improvement. 

With a small unexpended portion of a former government 
appropriation, to which the Board added the sum of $300, 
a re-survey was made under the direction of Gen. Warren 
in order to ascertain and compare the changes which have 
taken place in various parts of the harbor since the closing 
of the south beach in 1869. Gen. Warren has taken re- 
newed interest in the problem of re-establishing a southern 
inlet to this harbor; and, while there are many difficulties and 
uncertainties attending its accomplishment, he considers the 
possibilities of success sufficient to warrant another appro- 
priation by the General Government for the required work. 

Woods Roll. 

The work of improvement in this important thoroughfare 
executed during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881, con- 
sisted in removing bowlders of various sizes, and completing 
the work which had been in progress during the previous 
year. The original plan and estimate for the thorough 
improvement of this passage-way comprehended extensive 
excavations at a cost of $430,000. The demand for this, 
however, does not seem to be immediate. Gen. Warren 
says, " This complete improvement may truly be called a 
national one. It is not for the benefit of any special locality. 
It is for a navigable highway uniting two large bodies of 
navigable water extensively used by the commercial vessels 
of the United States ; and when thoroughly improved it will 



42 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

tend greatly to a saving of time, and diminish the dangers 
of general coast navigation." 

Taunton River. 

Work has been executed for the improvement of Taunton 
River in conformity with previous plans and estimates, and a 
channel excavated eleven feet deep at mean high water, and 
from forty to sixty feet wide for a distance of 3,100 feet from 
the bridge at Weir down the river. An additional appro- 
priation of ^25,000 has been made for continuing this im- 
provement, and the amount estimated as necessary to com- 
plete the existing project to give an available depth of eleven 
feet at mean high water to Weir Bridge, is $ 41,500. 

Connecticut River. 

The importance of the improvement of this river may be 
judged by the fact that after careful examination by the 
United States engineers, the amount estimated to complete 
existing projects is $1,322,805. Satisfactory work has been 
done during the last year, and its continuance contemplated. 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 43 

Office and Field Work. 

Plans approved and Licenses granted, during the Year 1881, for the Erec- 
tion of Structures in and over Tide- Water. 

Nos. 

587. C. E. Stevenson, for leave to build a solid wharf on the south shore 

of Winthrop. Approved Jan. 13, 1881. 
587^. Boston and Maine Railroad, for leave to rebuild its bridge across 
Merrimack River, between Bradford and Haverhill. Approved 
Jan. 20, 1881. 

588. Killey E. Terry, for leave to construct a wharf on the west side of 

Clark's Cove, in the town of Dartmouth. Approved Jan. 20, 
1881. 

589. Old Colony Railroad Company, for leave to fill solid certain portions 

of its bridge on the line of its road across North River, in the 
towns of Marshfield and Scituate. Approved Jan. 20, 1881. 

590. Hoosac Tunnel Dock and Elevator Company, for leave to extend its 

wharves (otherwise known as Damon's, Hittinger's, and Tudor's 
Wharves) on Charles River, Charlestown District. Approved 
Jan. 20, 1881. 

591. Samuel Osborn, jun., and Walter S. Osborn, for leave to extend 

Osborn's Wharf, at Edgartown. Approved Feb. 3, 1881. 

592. Boston and Albany Railroad Company, for leave to widen Pier No. 

1, Grand Junction Wharves, East Boston. Approved Feb. 17, 
1881. 

593. P. E. Bowers, for leave to extend his wharf on Taunton River, in 

the town of Somerset. Approved Feb. 17, 1881. 

594. The Boston Steamboat and Pier Company, for leave to construct a 

pile-pier on Cherry Island Bar, at Broad Sound Point, in the 
town of Revere. Approved March 17, 1881. 

595. Moses Williams, for leave to straighten and widen the southerly 

side of India Wharf. Approved March 17, 1881. 

596. City of Newburyport, for leave to construct a pile-structure for the 

purpose of giving greater safety to the first span in Newburyport 
Bridge. Approved March 25, 1881. 

597. W. F. Whitney, for leave to extend his wharf on First Street, near 

F Street, South Boston. Approved March 31, 1881. 

598. Hull and Nantasket Beach Railroad Company, for leave to construct 

a pile-wharf on the southerly side of Windmill Point, Hull. 
Approved March 31, 1881. 

599. Forest Hill Company, for leave to build wharves and other struct- 

ures on Taunton River, Fall River. Approved March 31, 1881. 

600. Lyman R. Blake, for leave to construct a wharf on Charles Neck, 

town of Marion. Approved March 31, 1881. 

601. J. H. and F. A. Langmaid, for leave to cover with a pile-structure 

part of their dock, Salem Harbor. Approved April 8, 1881. 

602. O. F. Belcher, for leave to build a solid wharf on the south shore of 

Winthrop. Approved April 14, 1881. 



44 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Nos. 

603. Chelsea Beach Railroad Company, for leave to build a bridge across 

an inlet from Pines River, in the town of Revere. Approved 
April 20, 1881. 

604. Forest Hill Company, for leave to build a pile-wharf in front of its 

premises on the easterly side of Taunton River, city of Fall River. 
Approved April 21, 1881. 

605. Eastern Railroad Company, for leave to fill flats in Frye's Mill- 

pond, Salem. Approved April 28, 1881. 

606. City of Salem, for leave to build a canal with stone walls, in Frye's 

Mill-pond. Approved April 28, 1881. 

607. Hoosac Tunnel Dock and Elevator Company, for leave to drive 

additional piles for the support of sheds upon Hittinger's Wharf, 
Charlestown District. Approved April 28, 1881. 

608. William Pickering, jun., for leave to build a stone wall upon his 

wharf on Union Street, Salem. Approved April 28, 1881. 

609. City of Boston, for leave to rebuild and extend its wharf on Deer 

Island, Boston Harbor. Approved May 5, 1881. 
609\ Central Wharf and Wet Dock Corporation, for leave to extend Cen- 
tral and India W 7 harves to the harbor line. Approved April 28, 
1881. 

610. Lyon, Depuy, and Co., for leave to rebuild and extend their wharf 

at East Boston. Approved May 19, 1881. 

611. Hoosac Tunnel Dock and Elevator Company, for leave to extend its 

wharf, known as Gage's or Swett's Wharf, Charlestown District. 
Approved May 5, 1881. 

612. Chelsea Beach Company, for leave to build a wharf at Pines Point, 

town of Revere. Approved May 26, 1881. 

613. W. J. Humphrey, for leave to extend his wharf on Border Street, 

East Boston. Approved May 26, 1881. 

614. Old Colony Railroad Company, for leave to extend its pile-wharf on 

Fort Point Channel, South Boston. Approved June 2, 1881. 

615. Home for Aged Women, for leave to rebuild its sea-wall in front of 

its property bordering on Charles River, between Revere and 
Pinckney Streets. Approved June 16, 1881. 

616. Eastern Railroad Company, for leave to widen and extend its wharf 

at East Boston. Approved June 3, 1881. 

617. Edward P. Shaw, for leave to build a pile-pier on Merrimack River, 

near Salisbury Point. Approved June 13, 1881. 
618 and 618\ Chelsea Beach Railroad Company, for leave to construct a 
bridge across Pines River, in the towns of Revere and Saugus. 
. Approved July 2, 1881. 

619. Boston Forge Company, for leave to extend its wharf on Maverick 

Street, East Boston. Approved July 7, 1881. 

620. Chelsea Beach Company, for leave to erect a group of bathing- 

houses near Pines Point. Approved July 14, 1881. 

621. S. S. Swift of Provincetown, for leave to construct a pile-wharf in 

Provincetown Harbor. Approved July 21, 1881. 

622. William Hayes, for leave to build a sea-wall and fill flats at Stage 

Point, Salem Harbor. Approved July 21, 1881. 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 45 

Nos. 

623. Boston Steamboat and Pier Company, for leave to extend its pier on 

Cherry Island Bar, at Broad Sound Point, in the town of Revere. 
Approved July 28, 1881. 

624. Beacon Oil Company, for leave to extend its wharf on Chelsea 

Creek, East Boston. Approved July 28, 1881. 

625. William Hale, for leave to extend his wharf on Merrimack River, 

City of Haverhill. Approved Aug. 4, 1881. 

626. Hoosac Tunnel Dock and Elevator Company, for leave to drive 

additional piles upon Damon's Wharf, Charlestown District, for 
the support of sheds. Approved Aug. 11, 1881. 

627. Alford Butler, for leave to build a wharf on Mill Creek, town of 

Revere. Approved Aug. 11, 1881. 

628. William E Gutterson, for leave to extend his wharf on Fort Point 

Channel. Approved Aug. 11, 1881. 

629. Hoosac Tunnel Dock and Elevator Company, for leave to drive 

additional piles upon easterly Tudor Wharf, for the support of 
sheds, Charlestown District. Approved Sept. 22, 1881. 

630. David L. and John G. Webster, for leave to build a wharf on Mai- 

den River, Maiden. Approved Sept. 22, 1881. 

631. R. W. Bowles, for leave to construct a wharf in Mattapoisett Har- 

bor. Approved Sept. 22, 1881. 

632. Board of Health of the town of Hull, for leave to construct a sewer 

outlet at Windmill Point, town of Hull. Approved Sept. 22, 
1881. 

633. Town of Maiden, for leave to change the direction of Maiden River, 

and also to construct a bridge across said river. Approved Sept. 
29, 1881. 

634. Boston and Maine Railroad, for leave to reconstruct its bridge across 

Merrimack River, between Bradford and Haverhill. Approved 
Sept. 29, 1881. 

635. City of Boston, for leave to widen the passage-ways for vessels 

through Mount Washington Avenue Bridge, in Fort Point Chan- 
nel. Approved Oct. 6, 1881. 
635 a . Trustees under the will of William S. Perry, for leave to extend 
Perry's Wharf, on Fort Point Channel, near Broadway Bridge. 
Approved Sept. 29, 1881. 

636. Old Colony Railroad Company, for leave to extend its steamboat 

wharf, in the city of Fall River. Approved Oct 13, 1881. 

637. Nantasket Company, for leave to reconstruct its embankments along 

the line of high-water mark, on the inside or westerly shore of 
Nantasket Long Beach. Approved Oct. 15, 1881. 

638. Proprietors of Rowe's Wharf, for leave to widen and extend their 

wharf to the harbor line, in Fort Point Channel. Approved 
Oct. 13, 1881. 

639. Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation, for leave to fill flats in 

Charles River, near the Beacon entrance of the Back Bay Park. 
Approved Nov. 10, 1881. 

640. Thomas H. Balch, for leave to construct a pile-pier on Merrimack 

River, in the town of Groveland. Approved Oct 27, 1881. 



46 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. '82. 

641. Charles B. Barnes, for leave to extend his wharf, known as Hum- 

phrey's Wharf, Hingham Harbor. Approved Nov. 10, 1881. 

642. N. P. Merriam, for leave to construct a pile-wharf near the foot of 

River Street, on Porter's River, Danversport. Approved Nov. 
10, 1881. 

643. John C. Tilton, for leave to extend his wharf on Merrimack Street, 

in the city of Haverhill. Approved Nov. 10, 1881. 

644. Trustees under the will of Ebenezer Francis, for leave to extend 

Francis Wharf, on Fort Point Channel. Approved Nov. 28, 1881. 

645. John S. Weeks, for leave to change a portion of his wharf from pile 

to solid, on Border Street, East Boston. Approved Dec. 1, 1881. 

646. N. E. Harlow, for leave to extend his wharf in Plymouth Harbor. 

Approved Dec. 3, 1881. 

647. Jabez K. Montgomery and Atwood L. Howard, lessees of the United 

States Government Wharf at Chelsea, for leave to drive piles in 
front of said wharf, in Chelsea Creek. Approved Dec. 8, 1881. 

648. Samuel Haskell, for leave to extend his wharf in Gloucester Har- 

bor Approved Dec. 29, 1881. 

649. Benj. F. Allen and Daniel Allen, jun., for leave to extend their 

wharf on Five Pound Island, Gloucester Harbor. Approved Dec. 
29, 1881. 

650. Charles Smiley, for leave to extend his wharf on Merrimack River, 

city of Haverhill. Approved Dec. 29, 1881. 

Sixty-seven licenses have been granted, which is above the 
yearly average, though not as many as were issued in 1880. 
About one-third of the licenses granted were for structures 
in Boston Harbor. The Board has endeavored to make the 
inspection of localities where the erection of structures has 
been proposed, more thorough and systematic, and has found 
the demands upon its time and that of its employes to 
increase. 

ALBERT MASON. 

FRANCIS A. NYE. 

HENRY L. WHITING. 
Boston, Jan. 1, 1882. 



APPENDIX. 



APPENDIX. 



Articles of Agreement made this Twenty-first Day of June, in the Year 
Eighteen Hundred and Eighty-one, by and between F. G. Whitcomb of 
East Boston in the County of Suffolk and Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts, Party of the First Part, and the Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts, acting by its Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, Party of 
the Second Part, witness: — 

The said party of the first part hereby covenants and agrees with said 
party of the second part to furnish all the materials, and build fourteen 
hundred (1,400) feet of bulkhead in three lines, as follows: one thousand 
(1,000) feet to be one hundred (100) feet east of and parallel to the east- 
erly line of D Street, two hundred (200) feet to be two hundred and fifty 
(250) feet east of and parallel to the easterly line of C Street, and two 
hundred (200) feet to be one hundred (100) feet west of and parallel to 
the westerly line of C Street; each line to commence about two hundred 
and twenty (220) feet north-easterly of First Street, and run north- 
easterly. 

The bulkhead is to be built of spruce piles driven six feet apart on 
centres, with a spurshore to each pile; and the piles are to be planked 
from the surface of the mud to grade seven (7). 

The plan on file at the office of the Harbor and Land Commissioners 
shows the details and method of construction of the bulkhead, and is to 
be followed in details not otherwise mentioned. 

The piles and spurshores shall be straight, and free from large knots, 
and not less than ten (10) inches diameter at the butt, and not less than 
six (6) inches diameter at the point when ready for driving. They are 
to be driven six (6) feet into the hard bottom, and all those injured by 
driving shall be removed and replaced by sound ones at the expense of the 
contractor. 

The faces of the main piles must be brought to a true line before the 
planking is put on, the tops are to be cut off level at grade fourteen (14), 
and the spurshores are to be fitted at grade six and five-tenths (6.5) ; and 
each one will be bolted with one one-and-one-fourth-inch screw-bolt. 
The piles at the outer ends will be braced by two additional spurshores 

7 



50 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

fitted at grade ten (10), and bolted with one-and-one-fourth-inch screw- 
bolts. 

The planks are to be spruce, three (3) inches thick, sound, sawed 
square, and not less than twelve (12) feet long. They are to be secured 
to the piles by wrought-iron ship-spikes six inches long, and three-eighths 
inch square, and the butt-joints must come on the piles. 

If required by the engineer, the planks must be still farther secured, 
as shown in red on the afore-mentioned plan. 

All the work to be done in a neat and workmanlike manner, in accord- 
ance with the lines, grades, and instructions given by the engineer, and 
to the satisfaction of the commissioners and the engineer. 

The work to be commenced within two weeks, and to be prosecuted 
continuously till its completion. 

The said party of the second part hereby covenants and agrees with 
said party of the first part to pay said party of the first part for said 
bulkhead at the rate of, one dollar and fifty-two cents ($1.52) per lineal 
foot, and, in case said extra fastening is required, at the rate of one dollar 
and sixty-nine cents ($1.69) per lineal foot for the part where said extra 
fastening is required. 

Monthly estimates of the work done will be made by the engineer, and 
payment of ninety per cent of the contract-price will be made thereon, 
the remaining ten per cent to be retained until the completion, final meas- 
urement, and acceptance of the work. 

It is agreed by and between the parties hereto that upon all questions 
of measurement, lines, or grades, the decision of the engineer of said 
board shall be final. 

In testimony whereof the said F. G. Whitcomb has hereunto set his 
hand and seal, and the said Commonwealth has caused its seal to be 
hereto affixed, and these presents to be signed and delivered in its name 
and behalf by its Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners the day and 
year above written, and the same to be approved by its Governor and 
Council. 

F. G. WHITCOMB. [seal ] 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 
[seal of the By Albert Mason, 

COMMONWEALTH.] WlLL'D P. PHILLIPS, 

F. A. Nye. 

In Council, June 25, 1881. 



Approved. 



HENRY B. PEIRCE, 

Secretary. 



Plan 
showing loca t/on of flats. 

TO BUT F/LLED IfM/JEff CDNT/MCTS 
TO ACCOMPANV REFOFT /-'Off 
1881. 




188-2.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 51 



[2.] 

Articles of Agreement made this Twelfth Day of August, in the Year Eighteen 
Hundred and Eighty-one, by and between the New England Dredging 
Company, a Corporation duly established under the Laws of Massachusetts, 
Party of the First Part, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
acting by its Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, Party of the 
Second Part, witness : — 

The said party of the first part hereby covenants and agrees with, said 
party of the second part : 

First, to dredge five hundred thousand cubic yards of material from 
the shoals in the harbor of Boston, lying southerly of the main ship 
channel and north-westerly of slate ledge, at places to be designated by 
the engineer of the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, and to 
deposit said dredged material on the flats of said Commonwealth lying 
between B Street and a line one hundred feet east of and parallel with 
the easterly line of D Street, and between the southerly line of Eastern 
Avenue and a line about one thousand feet south of and parallel with the 
southerly line of Eastern Avenue. 

Second, to dredge four hundred thousand cubic yards of material from 
the shoals in the harbor of Boston lying southerly of the main ship chan- 
nel and north-westerly of slate ledge, and deposit the same on the flats of 
the Commonwealth lying between a line fifty feet east of and parallel 
with the easterly line of C Street extended, and a line one hundred feet 
east of and parallel with the easterly line of D Street extended, and be- 
tween the southerly line of Eastern Avenue and a line one thousand three 
hundred feet south of and parallel with the exterior line of South Boston 
Flats, as shown on the plan hereto annexed. All the dredging shall be to 
the depth of twenty-three feet at mean low water, except at the mouth 
of Fort Point Channel, where the bottom shall be sloped up to meet the 
bottom, as now dredged, and excepting in case of ledge and of bowlders 
of more than one-half of one cubic yard. All areas dredged over shall 
be left smooth and regular at the required depths. If any portion of said 
dredged area is excavated deeper than twenty-five feet at mean low water, 
an amount of material equal to the amount excavated below grade minus 
2 -j shall, without expense to the Commonwealth, be excavated from and 
deposited by scows on such places on the flats as the engineer shall desig- 
nate The amount of the excavation will be determined by the measure- 
ment of the filling as hereinafter provided. 

All the flats to be filled shall be filled from the present surface to grade 
13, and at the completion of the work shall be left smooth and level at 
grade 13, where the boundaries of said filling are protected by other fill- 
ing or by bulkheads. The filling shall be brought up to grade 13 at 



52 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

such boundaries, but where the boundaries are unprotected the filling is 
to be allowed to take its natural slope. 

In filling immediately behind a bulkhead, the filling must be deposited 
in such a manner that it will flow away from the bulkhead and not 
towards it. 

In the work of both dredging and filling, the lines, grades, and instruc- 
tions given by the engineer in charge must be strictly observed, and all 
necessary aid and material for giving said lines and grades shall be fur- 
nished by said party of the first part. 

All the work shall be done to the reasonable satisfaction of the engineer 
at any time during the progress, and until the completion and acceptance, 
of the work. 

The dredging and filling of the area first described shall be completed, 
and 175,000 cubic yards of the filling of the second described area shall 
be completed, within three years from the date of approval of this coii- 
tract, and the whole 900,000 cubic yards shall be completed within four 
years from date of approval. 

The work shall be commenced within a reasonable time, and prosecuted 
with the necessary vigor to insure its completion within the time herein 
stipulated. 

The said party of the second part hereby covenants and agrees with 
said party of the first part to pay said party of the first part for excavat- 
ing in the harbor, and filling the area described first, at the rate of fifty 
cents per cubic yard; and for excavating in the harbor, and filling the 
area described second, at the rate of forty-six cents per cubic yard; in 
the manner and upon the conditions herein set forth and agreed as fol- 
lows: plans showing the present surface of the flats will be made by the 
engineer in charge before the filling is begun, and will be used as the 
basis of all measurements of filling. Monthly estimates of the work exe- 
cuted will be made by the engineer in charge, and payment will be made 
of seventy-five per cent of the contract price for all the material deposited 
below grade 5 and above grade 13, and ninety per cent of the contract 
price for all the material between grades 5 and 13. 

When an area is graded level at grade 13, or at such grade as shall be 
thought necessary to allow for settling, payment will be made of ninety 
per cent of the contract price for all the material deposited on said area 
up to grade 13 The remaining ten per cent to be retained until the final 
completion and acceptance of the work. 

When the area filled from one tramway has been levelled and main- 
tained at grade 13 for one month, such area shall be accepted as to grade, 
and the contractor relieved of further care of the same. 

It is agreed by and between the parties hereto, that upon all questions 
of measurement, lines or grades proposed in writing by one party and 
after notice to the other party, the decision of the engineer of said Board 
shall be final. 

It is further agreed by and between the parties hereto, that should the 
party of the first part refuse or neglect to prosecute the work herein con- 
tracted for, with the requisite vigor to insure its completion within the 
time herein stipulated, or in any other respect make any substantial 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 53 

violation of this agreement, the said Board shall have power to annul this 
agreement and to contract anew with other parties without prejudice to 
the claim of said party of the second part for damages arising from 
breach hereof. 

The party of the second part further covenants and agrees with the 
party of the first part to build a bulkhead on the northerly and easterly 
boundaries of said areas to be filled, and also on the line between said 
areas and the area to be filled by Thomas Potter under his contract with 
the said Commonwealth dated Aug. 28, 1880. 

In testimony whereof the said New England Dredging Company has 
caused its corporate seal to be hereto affixed, and these presents to be 
signed and delivered in its name and behalf by Charles H. Souther, its 
president and treasurer; and the said Commonwealth has caused its seal 
to be hereto affixed, and these presents to be signed and delivered in its 
name and behalf by its Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, the 
day and year above written, and the same to be approved by its Gov- 
ernor and Council. 

NEW ENGLAND DREDGING COMPANY, 

[NEW ENGLAND DREDG- By CHARLES H. SOUTHER, 

ing company seal, Prest. fy Treas. 

1873.] 

Executed in presence of 
D. Koppmann. 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 
[seal of the common- By Albert Mason, 

wealth of massa- francis a. nye, 

chusetts.] Henry L. Whiting, 

Harbor and Land Commissioners. 

In Council, Aug. 18, 1881. 
Approved 

HENRY B PEIRCE, 

. Secretary. 



54 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



[3.] 

Articles of Agreement made this Sixth Day of September, in the Year Eigh- 
teen Hundred and Eighty-One, by and between F. G. Whitcomb of East 
Boston, in the County of Suffolk and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
Party of the First Part, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
acting by its Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, Party of the 
Second Part, witness : — 

The said party of the first part hereby covenants and agrees with said 
party of the second part, to furnish all the materials for and build about 
4,000 feet of bulkhead on South Boston Flats, situated as follows : Be- 
ginning at the easterly line of B Street and southerly line of Eastern 
Avenue, running thence easterly along the southerly line of Eastern 
Avenue 600 feet, thence turning at right angles and running northerly 
1,150 feet, thence turning and running easterly parallel to the exterior 
line of occupation of South Boston Flats, to a point 100 feet east of the 
easterly line of D Street extended, thence turning and running southerly 
parallel to and 100 feet east of the easterly line of D Street, about 2,280 
feet, leaving a gap about 400 feet long in the most northerly line, and, if 
required, a gap in the most easterly line. 

The bulkhead is to be built of spruce piles driven six feet apart on 
centres with two spurshores to each pile, and the piles planked from the 
surface of the mud to grade 13, and capped above the planks with a 
double girder cap each 6" x 12". 

The plans in the office of the Harbor and Land Commissioners show 
the details and method of construction of the bulkhead, and are to be 
followed in all details not mentioned in this contract. 

The piles and spurshores shall be straight and free from large knots, 
and not less than ten inches in diameter at the butt, and not less than 
six inches in diameter at the point when ready for driving. They are to 
be driven ten feet into the hard bottom, and all those injured by driving 
shall be removed and replaced by sound ones at the expense of the con- 
tractor. 

The faces of the main piles must be brought to a true line before the 
planking is put on, the tops are to be cut off and capped at grade 14, 
and the spurshores are to be fitted one at grade 4, and the other at grade 
12, and each one will be bolted with one 1^ inch screw-bolt. The end and 
corner piles are to be braced by four spurshores, instead of two, placed 
and fitted as directed by the engineer. 

The caps are to be spruce, 6" x 12", and as long as possible, none 
being less than fifteen feet, and shall be fitted as shown on the plan 
bolted to the piles with one-inch screw-bolts, and the splices bolted with 
| inch screw-bolts. 



1882.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 55 

The planks are to be spruce, three inches thick, and in as long lengths 
as possible, none being less than twelve feet long, and the butt-joints must 
come on the piles. They are to be spiked to the piles with f inch square 
wrought-iron ship-spikes six inches long. 

On the northerly and easterly lines the planking shall be still further 
secured by strips of spruce plank three inches by six inches well driven 
into the mud, and reaching to the top of the planking, and bolted through 
to the main piles by three f inch screw-bolts. 

All the timber to be sound, sawed square, and free from large knots. 

All the work to be done in a neat and workmanlike manner, in accord- 
ance with the lines graded and instructions given by the engineer, and to 
the satisfaction of the commissioners and the engineer. 

The work is to be commenced within a reasonable time, and prose- 
cuted continuously in all suitable weather, till its completion. 

The said party of the second part hereby covenants and agrees with 
said party of the first part to pay said party of the first part for said 
bulkhead at the rate of $3.59 per lineal foot, and for said extra fastening 
to pay at the rate of $1 65 for each six lineal feet of bulkhead when said 
extra fastening is put on. 

Monthly estimates of the work done will be made by the engineer, 
and payment of ninety per cent of the contract-price will be made there- 
on, the remaining ten per cent to be retained until the completion, final 
measurement, and acceptance of the work. 

It is agreed by and between the parties hereto, that upon all questions 
of measurement, Hues, or grades, the decision of the engineer of said 
Board shall be final 

In testimony whereof the said F. G. Whitcomb has hereunto set his 
hand and seal, and the said Commonwealth has caused its seal to be 
hereto affixed, and these presents to be signed and delivered in its name 
and behalf by its Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, the day and 
y^ar above written, and the same to be approved by its Governor and 
Council. 

F. G. WHITCOMB. [seal] 

THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 
By Albert Mason, 
[seal of the Francis A. Nye, 

COMMONWEALTH ] HENRY L. WHITING, 

Harbor and Land Commissioners. 

In Council, Sept. 20, 1881. 
Approved. 

HENRY B. PEIRCE, Secretary. 

Recorded in vol. 2, Treaties, Contracts, etc., pp. 250-253. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT. No. 11. 



ANNUAL REPORT 



OF TEE 



HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS, 



FOE 



THE YEAK 1882. 



BOSTON: 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS, 
No. 18 Post Office Square. 

1883. 



€ommcmn)ealtl) of Jttasaacljuseits. 



HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. 



To the Honorable the Senate and the House of Representatives of the 
Common wealth of Massachusetts. 

The Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, in accord- 
ance with the provisions of law, respectfully submit their 
Annual Report for the year 1882. 

South Boston Flats. 

Two hundred and forty-four thousand yards of dredged 
material have been deposited on the flats at South Boston 
under the contract of August 12, 1881, with the New Eng- 
land Dredging Company, and fifty-seven thousand eight 
hundred and thirty-one yards under the contract of August 
28, 1880, with Thomas Potter. The stipulation of the last- 
named contract, that the work under it should be completed 
before January 1, 1883, has not been kept : but the Common- 
wealth will suffer no detriment from the delay, as the adjoin- 
ing reclamation will not be hindered, and no special advantage 
would be derived from the completion of the sixteen acres 
covered by this contract in advance of that adjoining. A 
supplementary agreement with the contractor, extending 
his time one year, has been executed. 

About one hundred thousand yards of material dredged 
by the general government, and by private parties, have been 
obtained and deposited mostly on the area in rear of that 
covered by the above-named contracts, making a total of 
about four hundred and twenty thousand yards of dredged 



4 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

material, — the largest amount placed upon the flats in any 
one year since the commencement of the work, and equiva- 
lent to nearly twenty acres of complete reclamation. 

The amount of material obtained from outside the con- 
tracts with the Commonwealth, was much larger than had 
been anticipated, and proved larger than could be advan- 
tageously deposited without provision for lifting it to the 
grade prescribed for the Commonwealth's own work. The 
importance of securing this material was obvious, and the 
necessity of providing for its disposition with the maximum 
of advantage to the reclamation, and the minimum of dis- 
advantage to navigation outside the area under reclamation, 
was imperative. Although the contracts already made were 
estimated to leave no more than a reasonable margin of the 
existing appropriation for the specific purpose of the recla- 
mation, the character of the work to be done was so plainly 
that for which the income of the compensation fund could 
be used, that there seemed to the Board no question but 
that the entire appropriations available were adequate for 
all the work that need be undertaken. 

A contract was accordingly made, on the first day of July, 
with the New England Dredging Company, to provide for 
receiving all the material that should be deposited from mis- 
cellaneous sources, raising the same, and placing it on the 
area in rear of that covered by its previous contract, leaving 
it, at grade thirteen, uniform with the other filling of dredged 
material. In connection with this measure, and as part of 
the inducement for adopting it, the Board effected an ar- 
rangement with riparian proprietors, who would be accom- 
modated by confining the immediate operations of the 
Commonwealth to a smaller area than would otherwise be 
practicable, by which the Commonwealth will receive for the 
use of its unoccupied flats outside the area of present recla- 
mation, one thousand dollars per year for three years . .Copies 
of these several contracts will be found in the appendix. 

B Street has been covered with gravel, as provided in the 
contract reported last year, and is now completed, so far as 
the Commonwealth is required to construct it, to Congress 
Street. 

Negotiations have been re-opened for the purchase of the 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 5 

larger of the outstanding fractional interests in the area of 
riparian ownership, which the Commonwealth had undertaken 
to obtain under chap. 446 of the Acts of 1869, and the Board 
are hopeful of a successful conclusion at an early day. 

As the work involved in the South Boston reclamation 
proceeds, its success as an advantageous development of the 
great property of the State, and as a scheme of harbor 
improvement and utilization, seems more fully assured. 
Already its prosecution has added fifty acres to the deep- 
water area of the harbor, and a series of docks and piers 
that may be justly the pride of any harbor, while the 
frontage remaining for development is adequate for the 
accommodation of indefinite growth. 

Mistakes in treatment of the reclaimed area may thwart 
the full commercial advantage to the community which 
might be secured by adhering to well-considered and com- 
prehensive plans, and may greatly reduce the amount to be 
realized to the treasury ; but no mistakes that have been 
made, or that are likely to occur, can probably prevent the 
Commonwealth's enterprise from proving a signal benefit to 
its commercial centre, and bringing a Jarge contribution to 
its treasury. 

Claims against the Boston & Albany R.R. Co. 

The claims of the Commonwealth against the Boston & 
Albany Railroad Company, were put in suit under the pro- 
visions of chap. 50 of the Resolves of 1880. Negotiations 
for settlement, pursuant to chap. 58 of the Resolves of 1881, 
have been in progress since the passage of the latter resolve, 
and have resulted in a settlement for the sum of $100,000, 
upon the terms stated in the agreement printed in the ap- 
pendix. A determination, in the courts, of all the contro- 
verted questions involved in these claims, could only be 
effected by litigation indefinitely prolonged. It was ob- 
viously desirable that a settlement should be effected, if any 
reasonable concessions could bring the parties together. 
The position of the Commonwealth, in relation to the amounts 
directly accruing under the terms of the several contracts, 
had been so liberally and temperately stated by the Board 
in earlier negotiations, that the present Board found little 



6 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

remaining, beyond minor corrections of areas and amounts, 
resulting from modifications of lines, that could, with due 
regard to the rights of the Commonwealth, be conceded. 

The balance actually due to the Commonwealth under the 
.contracts, exclusive of claims for interest and damages, was 
$66,929.32. The claim for damages by reason of delay in 
the prosecution of the stipulated reclamation of the flats 
sold, seemed to us, as to our predecessors, to be a valid one ; 
but, upon careful consideration, in the light of the instruc- 
tions of the proper legal adviser of the Board, the amount 
likely to be recovered seemed exceedingly problematical. It 
was evident that large consequential damages, fairly assumed 
to have resulted from such delay, would be excluded by the 
rules of law applicable to such liability, and that what would 
remain would be of va^ue and uncertain amount, and not 
likely to be large. By practically waiving this indefinite 
claim, the settlement reached has been effected. While the 
Board are conscious that the concessions made have been 
liberal, they believe the true interests of the Commonwealth 
have been secured by the action taken. 

Back Bay Lands. 

FEET. 

In 1857 the Commonwealth owned on the Back Bay, . 4,723,998 

FEET. 

Of which there have been donated, . . 363,308.00 

Devoted to streets and passage-ways, . . 2,037,068.60 

Sold as per last report, . . 2,221,027.80 

Sold in 1882, . 14,425.60 

2,235,453.40 

Remaining for sale Dec. 31, 1882, . . 88,168.00 

4,723,998 

The gross proceeds of land sold as per last 

report, $4,706,636 77 

The gross proceeds of land sold in 1882, . 48,602 40 

$4,755,239 17 

Rights in Parker Street sold as per last 

report, .2,300 00 

$4,757,539 17 
Cost of filling, grading, etc., as per last 

report . . $1,626,008 71 

Cost of auction sales as per last report, . 14,291 78 

1,640,300 49 

Net proceeds to Dec. 31, 1882, $3,117,238 68 



. 10,752 ft. 


. 3,237 


, 12,320 


. 17,808 


. . . . 36,176 


. 7,875 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 7 

There have been sold in 1882 as follows : — 

6,025.60 feet Marlborough Street, north side, 

for $25,502 40 

8,400 feet Newbury Street, south side, . 23,100 00 

$48,602 40 

The average price per foot obtained in 1882 was $3.3691, 
the lowest price $2.75, and the highest price $4.50. 

The sales have been much less than in 1881 ; but there 
has been no decrease in prices, and the amount of land 
remaining unsold is so small that no apprehension is felt 
but that as good prices will be obtained for all that remains. 

The land unsold is located as follows : — 

Marlborough Street, north side, . 

Commonwealth Avenue, south side, 

Newbury Street, north side, 

Newbury Street, south side, 

Boylston Street, north side, . 

Boylston Street, south side, . 

88,168 ft. 

The value of the remaining land cannot be less than 
$200,000. 

Tide Lands. 

The amount received during the past year for the occupa- 
tion of the land of the Commonwealth, under the licenses of 
the Board authorizing wharf and other structures in tide- 
water, is $11,733.15. The total amount received and paid 
into the State treasury since the passage of the law directing 
these assessments to be made, is $140,469.10. 

Resurvey of Boston Inner Harbor. 

During the past field season, the resurvey of the Inner 
Harbor, commenced in 1878, has been resumed, and some 
progress made, both in triangulation and topography, in ex- 
tending it beyond the point of former limitation, at the pier 
of the East Boston elevator, to Jeffries Point, and still 
eastward to the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad em- 
bankments. The scale of this work is the same as that 
adopted for the series of original maps, viz., T oVo # 

Miscellaneous Surveys. 
The field surveys of the Board have involved more than 



8 HARBOR AND LAM) COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

the average amount of yearly work. Besides the special sur- 
veys of Charles River, and of Salt Pond in Falmouth, 
described in detail elsewhere in this report, the work of the 
Board has been substantially as follows : 

In connection with the South Boston Flats reclamation, 
accurate surveys have been made, with calculations and esti- 
mates of areas and quantities, upon which the determination 
of the amount of work done by the contractors has been 
based. These surveys and determinations have been made 
each month as the work progressed. In connection with 
the same work, hydrographic surveys have been made in 
the main harbor basin, and in Fort Point Channel, for testing 
the areas and depths of the ground dredged. 

A complete hydrographic survey has been made, on a 
scale uniform with the harbor resurvey (yoVo)' of Fort Point 
Channel from its mouth to Federal Street bridge. This 
shows the improved condition of the channel effected by the 
special dredging operations which have been done mainly 
during the year, and also affords a basis for projecting 
further contemplated improvements. 

The improvements already made in Fort Point Channel, 
below Congress Street bridge, consist in excavations by the 
Boston Wharf Company of about 20,000 cubic yards, over 
an area of about 30,000 square feet, making an average depth 
of about 19 feet at mean low water. On the part of the 
Commonwealth, the Board has excavated about 50,000 cubic 
yards, over an area of about 150,000 square feet, making a 
depth of 15 feet at mean low water. Above Congress Street 
bridge, the Standard Sugar Refinery Company has made 
excavations, in straightening and deepening the channel to 
13 feet at mean low water, from Congress Street bridge to 
its wharf. 

Physical Survey of Charles River. 

During the past year, the Board has been applied to by 
some of the railroad companies w T hose bridges cross the 
channel of Charles River, for leave to occupy the water- 
spaces between some of these bridges, from the harbor line 
on the Boston side of the river out to the line of the present 
drawway openings, with pile structures similar in construe- 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 9 

tion to the present bridges ; and thus to acquire additional 
yard-room for multiplying switches, for better access to 
depots, and for other railroad uses. 

While recognizing the importance of ample terminal facili- 
ties to successful railroad management, the Board could not 
but regard the appropriation of the deep natural channels 
of the harbor to such purposes, as a very serious matter, — 
particularly in connection with other projects, the suc- 
cess of which must, more or less, depend upon the peculiar 
treatment of the river ; such as the plans of the Cambridge 
Improvement Company for providing better commercial 
frontage on the Cambridge side of the river, between 
Craigie and West Boston bridges ; the improvement of the 
upper basin, contemplated in the scheme of the Park Com- 
missioners ; and the important enterprise in connection with 
ocean navigation, already undertaken by the Hoosac Tunnel 
Docll: and Elevator Company, and requiring*all the physical 
accessories and natural advantages possible. The proposi- 
tion of the railroad companies is apparently not in harmony 
with the best development of these last-named projects, 
which are more truly in the line of harbor improvement. 

The location and character of the numerous bridges which 
encumber the mouth and throat of Charles River, have 
always been considered as objectionable, and every well-de- 
vised scheme of harbor improvement has pointed to the cor- 
rection of these injurious structures, as a sine qua non to the 
restoration of this channel to its fullest physical and com- 
mercial capabilities. So familiar are the facts and argu- 
ments bearing upon this subject, that it is mmecessaiy to 
repeat them here. With the largest latitude in favor of 
artificial methods of improvement, the peculiar configuration 
of Boston Harbor, with its succession of straits and basins, 
gives peculiar value to its natural tidal forces. The con- 
stantly recurring change of ten feet in. the ocean level, and 
the power of its influences, are elements of security on the 
one hand, and of danger on the other, which no proper con- 
sideration of the conservation of the harbor can io-nore. 

It seemed to the Board that the possible or probable effects 
of the proposed changes in the bridges and pier lines of 
Charles River, involved the apparently conflicting interests 



10 HAKBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

of commerce, by land on the one hand, and by water on 
the other, to such an extent that the petition of the railroad 
companies ought not to be granted, or refused, except upon 
the fullest knowledge of all the data which might aid in the 
right solution of the problem. There had been no physical 
survey of the Charles River for more than twenty years. 
The Board deemed it necessary, therefore, to make a re- 
examination and survey of this part of the harbor, in order to 
ascertain, if possible, by its results, how, and how much, if 
any, the water-space of the Charles River maybe encroached 
upon by solid or pile structures, without injury to the present 
facilities of navigation. The peculiar configuration of Boston 
Harbor, as before remarked, and the pressure of the large tide 
into its arms and reservoirs, make it manifest that these facili- 
ties may be impaired by reducing the width and depth of 
channels ; by augmenting the rush of water through the 
bridge-draws, which are the only means of access to the 
upper basins ; or by producing unequal scour, and thereby 
creating excessive excavations in one place and obstructive 
shoaling in another. 

One of the questions that has continually presented itself 
during the past twenty years, is this : Do piles, driven in 
rows across a channel, cause excavations between them, 
and, if so, is the material, thus excavated, deposited above 
or below the piling, to the injury of the channel, or to the 
injury of the discharge section, or to the deflection of the 
current? An important inducement to the proposed survey, 
was the obtaining of light on this and similar questions, by 
a comparison of the results of a new survey with those of 
the physical survey made in 1861, by Prof. Henry Mitchell 
of the Coast Survey, also one of the members of the United 
States Commission and Advisory Council for Boston Harbor. 
In ordering the work of the present survey, the Board has 
received most valuable counsel and advice from Prof. 
Mitchell as to the methods and details of the work, in 
order that the observations made might coincide in character 
and location with those of the former survey, thus making 
the results a true indication of the changes which have 
taken place. The present survey has been executed with 
the greatest care and accuracy, and every practicable means 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT— No. 11. 11 

adopted to insure the best physical results. We quote 
largely from the sub-report of our engineers in giving the 
items and particulars which it is most desirable to state. 
The Map appended to this report is also especially to be re- 
ferred to, as exhibiting in a very full and satisfactory manner 
the results in detail. 

The survey was made during August, September, and 
October, 1882. The area surveyed comprises that part of 
Charles River lying between its mouth, at the point of the 
United States Navy Yard, where it joins the waters of the 
Mystic River, and the West Boston bridge, where a natural 
bar separates the lower basin from the one above. The 
hydrographic survey was based upon the topographical 
survey of the upper harbor, made in 1878, and such 
changes in the lines of wharves and bridges as have taken 
place since that date, have been resurveyed. The same 
scale was adopted for the appended hydrographical map, 
as that of the topographical harbor survey, above referred 
to, viz., -foVo' which allows the greater part of the sound- 
ings taken to be plotted. The number of soundings taken 
was 12,815, and the position of each sounding has 
been accurately determined by instrumental observation and 
other approved methods. The soundings are referred to the 
plane of mean low tide (or 5.4 feet), on the standard tide- 
staff of the Coast Survey at the United States Navy Yard, 
equal to 14.7 feet below the coping of the dry dock. 

Observations for slope of river were made simultane- 
ously at fourteen different stations. Tide-staves were 
placed and referred to the standard tide- staff at the 
Navy Yard, at each of these stations, as follows : one 
above West Boston bridge ; three above Craigie bridge ; 
one below Craigie bridge ; three below Lowell R. R. 
freight bridge ; three above Lowell and Eastern R. R. 
bridge, and three below Charles River bridge. A whole 
tide, from one low-water through high-water to the fol- 
lowing low-water, was observed on a tide of mean rise 
and fall. The results of these observations have been 
tabulated, and transverse curves of surface, at the several 
bridges, have been plotted. All observations have been 
tabulated and reduced to mean range of tide, equal to 9.8 



12 HAKBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



feet, and plotted in plan and profile. From the transverse 
curves for each bridge, the curves of greatest velocity give 
the velocities which are represented by arrows on the plan. 
These arrows, therefore, show simultaneous velocities and 
corresponding directions, over the whole area observed, of 
the swiftest current on a tide of mean rise and fall. 

Under Charles River bridge were found the remains of 
three old bridge piers of crib-work and stone, one of them 
being dry at low tide, and the other two in 26 feet of water. 
The piles supporting the bridges were counted and located 
on the mnp, and the direction of the bays in relation to the 
current indicated. The number of piles, as counted in the 
respective bridges, between the embankment walls, and 
between the harbor lines, is given in the folio wins: table : — 





Number of Piles. 


NAME OF BEIDGE. 


Between embankment 
walls. 


Between harbor lines. 


Charles River and adjoining 
wharves, .... 

Warren, 

Fitchburg R. R., 

Boston & Maine R. R., 

Eastern and Lowell R. R., 

Lowell R. R. freight, 

Craigie 


2,030 
1,820 
8,420 
4,400 
4,870 
2,617 
1,700 


1,000 
1,120 
2,700 
3,200 
4,340 
2,267 
1,645 


Total, .... 


25,657 


16,272 



The gross amount in area of piling, between the pier lines 
on either side of Charles River, of the group of bridges from 
Charles River to West Boston bridge, inclusive, is about 
forty-one acres. 

The maximum slope is shown to occur between the Lowell 
and Eastern R. R. bridge and Charles River bridge, where, 
in a length of 1,700 feet, a fall of 0.7 feet was observed on 
the maximum strength of the tide, equal to a degree of slope 
of 2 17 feet per mile. 



1883.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 



13 



It is noticeable that the greatest velocity maintains itself 
very nearly during two current hours (the fourth and fifth), 
both on the ebb and the flood tides. 

The deepest place in the channel is directly above the 
Lowell and Eastern R. R. bridge, which has 30.6 feet at 
mean low water. From this point upward, the 23-feet 
channel trends towards the Cambridge shore, ending about 
900 feet above Craigie bridge, and then gradually decreasing 
in depth to 10.2 feet over the " bar" at West Boston bridge. 
The navigable channel through the several draws has the 
following depths at mean low water and at mean high 
water : — 



DEPTHS OF CHANNEL AT DRAWS. 


At M. L. w. 

FEET. 


At M. H. W. 

FEET. 


At Charles River bridge draw, .... 


26.0 


35.8 


Warren bridge draw, 


14.3 


24.1 


Fitchburg R 11 bridge draw, .... 


22.7 


32.5 


Boston & Maine R. R. bridge draw, . 


21.2 


31.0 


Lowell and Eastern R. R. bridge draw, . 


18.5 


28.3 


Lowell R. R. freight bridge draw, 


26.2 


36.0 


Craigie bridge draw, 


- 24.3 


34.1 


West Boston bridge draw, .... 


8.2 


18.0 



A comparison of the results of the two surveys of 1861 
and of 1882, shows the changes which have taken place 
during the time involved (21 years) ; and the following 
table gives the amount, in quantities and depths, of these 
changes in the bed of the river in the various sections of the 
area examined and compared. 



14 HAEBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan, 



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1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 15 

The deepening which has occurred is mainly confined to 
the basin above Craigie bridge, where the Boston side of the 
channel has been scoured deeper, and the Cambridge side has 
shoaled ; the excess of shoaling being 85,408 cubic yards, 
over an area of about 80 acres. In the general channel the 
shoaling is greater than on the flats on either side of it. In 
one place in the channel, above the Lowell and Eastern 
railroad bridge, the shoaling is 7.7 feet. The greatest 
average shoaling, 4.37 feet, is in the basin between the 
Lowell and Eastern and the Lowell freight bridges, where 
the river meets the greatest number of pile obstructions. 

The amount of shoaling found to have taken place in the 
bed of the channel, is a surprise to most of those who have 
speculated upon the probabilities, and is greater than Prof. 
Mitchell expected to find it. It would be logical to sup- 
pose that the piling, by narrowing up the section, would 
increase the velocity between the piles, and create a scouring 
force that might undermine the bridge structures. A 
comparison of the results of the two surveys proves a reverse 
action. 

Our engineers submit the following conclusions :— 

" That the shoaling is due to obstructions caused by the piles is not to 
be doubted. They act as so many gratings through which the water 
has to be filtered, creating an artificial slope without the corresponding 
velocity ; for, to a slope of 0.7 feet in 1,700 feet, or 2.17 feet of slope per 
mile, would belong a corresponding velocity of 8.9 feet per second, or 
five and three-tenths miles per hour, in the narrowest section if unob- 
structed ; whereas, we find, by observation, a velocity of only sixty-five 
hundredths of one mile. With a free section, a slope of 0.0098, or three 
hundredths of one foot per mile, would be sufficient to produce the velocity 
observed. 

" The surplus ' head ' created by the pile obstructions, is evidently 
used up in destroying the vis viva of the water, stopping its momen- 
tum, and allowing the sediment carried in it to drop and be deposited 
upon the bottom. It is therefore to be concluded that, so long as the 
pile structures remain in their present order and condition, the shoaling 
will continue in the same ratio as is found to exist between 186 1 and 
1882. 

" Another effect of the piling is to distort the tidal wave, increasing 
the axial dela}^, and extending the maximum velocity over a greater 
space of time, thereby preventing the proper reinforcement of the 
Mystic River tides by those of the Charles River and its basins." 



16 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

We have thus presented to our consideration an apparently 
paradoxical phenomenon. We find the river water piled up 
to an unnatural head, but without a corresponding movement 
to equalize its level ; and, instead of increased velocity 
through the draw ways, tending to cause excavation and to 
undermine the bridges, we rind the water toiling slowly 
through the almost impenetrable forest of piles. The draw- 
way openings, which might be expected to give some relief, 
are found to be inadequate to that purpose, and probably 
too narrow in proportion to the width of the river ; 
and the water-spaces between the bridges allow the slope 
created within each draw way opening to diffuse itself, 
laterally, in each recurring water-space between the bridges, 
so that, instead of a continuous flow r , particularly through the 
alignment of draws from the Lowell Railroad passenger 
bridge to the Warren bridge, the water forces its way by a 
succession of abrupt falls as it passes through each bridge, 
and then loses its headway. 

We also find a large reduction in the depth of channel, 
and a markedly injurious effect upon the discharge section. 
It may be said that the shoaling which has taken place 
has not yet reached a point injurious to navigation. P>ut it 
must be borne in mind that the work of shoaling o-oino; on is 
in the very deepest portion of the harbor, and, although it 
may take time to do practical injury, the action in that elirec- 
tion is steadily progressing. There are unknown elements, 
particularly in the phenomena of tidal action, the results of 
which it is difficult to predict. There are instances where 
the same class of forces as those at work here, viz., a 
tendency to shoal on the one hand, and an opposing force 
tending to maintain a channel-way on the other, have 
remained in equilibrium until some perhaps trifling pre- 
dominance of shoaling power has so suddenly increased that 
action, that harbors and inlets have been destroyed in short 
spaces of time. 

It is not practicable to discuss at length, in this report, 
the technical questions involved in the case before us. 
The manuscript map of the survey, with all the data of the 
observations, are in the archives of the Board for reference 
and examination. The reduced copy of the manuscript map 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 17 

appended to the report, gives a better illustration of 
the main features of the river than can be conveyed in a 
written description. By examining this map, it will be 
seen how the obstruction of the river will be aggravated 
by the proposed encroachments. 

The filling of the water-spaces between the bridges, from 
the present pier line on the Boston side out to the line of the 
draw way openings, virtually extends the Boston frontage to 
the draw line ; for, although the occupation of but one water- 
space is at present asked for (that between the Boston & 
Maine and the Eastern railroad bridges), if it be granted, 
there is no logic in refusing to allow the spaces between the 
other bridges to be similarly occupied. 

The Board, therefore, is met by the grave and important 
question, whether it is wise and safe, notwithstanding the 
terminal advantages accruing to the railroads from the 
scheme proposed, to advance the pier line into the middle 
of the channel of Charles River. To do so would clearly 
be not only to violate all the traditions and teachings of 
scientific research, and to thwart the beneficial purpose and 
result of the establishment of harbor lines, but, as already 
intimated, possibly, and even probably, to conflict with or 
defeat other schemes of harbor conservation and improve- 
ment. 

By examining the appended map, it will be seen that the 
23-feet channel, at the very point where the encroachments 
are proposed, is entirely on the southerly side of the rail- 
road draws, and between them and the Boston pier line. 
Filling the water-space in question will obstruct the whole 
of the 23-feet channel, even to the summit of the abrupt 
bank on its northern side, and fill the entire channel section 
with a dense pile structure. 

We would also call attention to the peculiar formation and 
trend of the northerly bank of this 23-feet channel in its 
course from the Lowell Railroad freight bridge to the Warren 
bridge. No borings have been made to ascertain the character 
of the material of this bank, so to call it, but it gives evidence, 
by resisting the current forces from the upper basins, and 
deflecting them so markedly, of being firm and hard, and 
may be of antecedent formation. It is not the less impor- 



18 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

tant to regard its influence in defining and maintaining the 
channel where it now is. 

Whatever may be said, also, of the effect of the pile 
structures, they have hitherto exerted a uniform influence by 
their uniform position across the whole section of the stream. 
The question, therefore, naturally arises, What will be the 
consequences to the channel and the harbor if pile obstruc- 
tions are increased one hundred per centum in one half of 
the river-bed, while the other half is left unchanged? 

In view of the facts presented, and after careful considera- 
tion of the interests and dangers involved, the Board does not 
feel justified in authorizing the further occupation of the 
water-spaces in the manner proposed. 

Merrimac River. 

In accordance with chap. 23 of the Resolves of 1881, 
the Board made an examination, and submitted a statement 
in its last annual report, of the condition of the draws in 
the bridges crossing the Merrimac River below Haverhill, 
with a view to the improvement of the navigation of the 
river. Very satisfactory work has been done during the 
past year in carrying out the recommendations of the 
Board. By the courtesy of Mr. Charles A. Putnam, of 
Salem, the engineer who has had charge of the work in 
question, the Board is able to report the following par- 
ticulars. 

In consequence of defects in one of the spans of the 
Groveland bridge, the county commissioners determined to 
rebuild the entire superstructure, and, in place of the old style 
of leaf-draw, to remove one of the old clraw-piers, and build a 
new circular stone pier for a pivot-draw, with a wooden fen- 
der pier. This work was done by Messrs. Ross & Parker, 
and a wrought-iron riveted bridge structure, built by the 
Boston Bridge Company, was erected, — the entire work 
costing about $73,000. 

The work on the Deer Island bridge, in Salisbury, is now 
progressing rapidly, and will probably be finished in March. 
The stone work of the piers and abutments, and the timber 
work of the draw-piers, and the removal of the present old 
bridge, which is to remain until the new bridge is open for 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 19 

travel, were awarded to, and are being done by Messrs. Ross, 
Greely & Blaisdell. The bridge proper is a wrought-iron 
riveted structure, built by the Boston Bridge Company. The 
new draw is a circular pivot-draw, with clear openings on 
either side of the central pier of 56 feet at the low-water line. 
The length of the bridge between abutments is 397J feet. 
The cost of the work is $92,000. 

The proposed work at Rocks Bridge, between Haverhill 
and West Newbury, will include the removal of the present 
draw and the first main span south of it, and also of the pres- 
ent southerly pier of the old draw, and the building in place 
thereof of a new circular stone pier and a stone side pier. 
The drawway openings on either side of the central pier will 
be 56 feet in the clear at the low- water line. The entire 
length of this new structure will be about 219 feet. The stone 
work, dredging and timber work have been awarded to Mr. 
Joseph Ross, and the bridge, which is to be a wrought-iron 
riveted structure, to the Boston Bridge Company. The 
entire cost of the work will be about $41,000. 

The Eastern Railroad Company has completed the new 
timber fender draw-pier at its bridge at Newburyport, the 
entire cost being about $10,000. 

These bridge improvements will greatly facilitate the nav- 
igation of the Merrimac. Through the wise foresight of 
Mayor Howe of Haverhill, a careful study of the frontage of 
that city upon the river has also been made, and, at his 
instance, a careful survey and plan prepared, as the basis 
for the alignment of future wharf structures. 

The work done in this river by the general government, has 
been in charge of General George Thom, U. S. Engineers, and 
the appropriation of $9,000, made August 2, 1882, has been 
expended in improving the channel by dredging, and remov- 
ing dangerous sunken rocks at the Lower Falls above Haver- 
hill, and at Rocks Bridge below that city. The ledge near 
the outlet of Newburyport harbor, known as South Badger 
ledge, has also been broken up and removed to a depth of 
9 J feet at mean low water. 



20 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Artificial Harbors. 

Salt Pond in Falmouth. 

A petition was presented to the Board by citizens of the 
town of Falmouth, mainly those residing near the seashore 
south of the main village, for authority to open the beach, 
and to make an artificial channel connecting the waters 
of the Vineyard Sound with those of Salt Pond, in Fal- 
mouth, with a view to making the latter a harbor of refuge 
such as the depth and area of the pond might afford. 

The proposed undertaking involved the probabilities of the 
success of an interesting and useful project, with results not 
only of local but of general value, inasmuch as the pond in 
question, by reason of its proximity and relations to the 
beach and ocean waters beyond, was a type of others along 
the shores of the Commonwealth, the improvement and utili- 
zation, of which would be a public benefit. 

The Board had not sufficient data on which to base an 
intelligent judgment regarding the feasibility of this project. 
It was deemed expedient, therefore, to make a survey of Salt 
Pond, and of its surroundings and physical relations to the 
outside waters of the Sound, in order to ascertain how far the 
project of making it an artificial harbor might be practicable. 

The result of such tidal observations as it was practi- 
cable to make, determined the surface of the pond, in its 
present state, to be somewhat above the mean high-water 
plane of the Sound ; and the tidal volume, through the 
present small and imperfect inlet, to be so inconsiderable as to 
affect but slightly the rise and fall of the water in the pond. 

An opening through the beach, of sufficient depth and 
width to answer the purposes of a navigable channel, would, 
of course, change the regimen of the pond, so that the full 
rise and fall of the tides without would be maintained within 
it. This tidal action would have two physical effects ; one, to 
create possible scour and disturbance of the bottom, partic- 
ularly through the excavated channel, and where it debouches 
upon the Sound ; and the other, to change the character of the 
margin of the pond from its present uniform condition to 
a " strand," with exposed flats between the high and low 
water lines. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 21 

Owing to the purity of the water of the Sound, and the 
sandy nature of the shore of the pond, there seems to be no 
cause for apprehending unpleasant or injurious effects from 
any changes which might occur. 

It is more difficult to predict the consequences of the tidal 
currents through the proposed opening ; but the only impor- 
tant question, in this connection, is their probable effect upon 
the permanency of the opening. To maintain an opening, it 
would undoubtedly be necessary to secure the sides of the 
excavated channel. 

The outside protection to the opening is a matter of still 
greater importance, and more uncertainty. The Board is 
not possessed of sufficient data to enable it to prescribe ad- 
visedly in regard to it. The small stone pier and dock, 
near the site of the proposed opening, have withstood the 
wave and current action upon this shore for about sixty 
years, with but slight, if any, change in the entrance or 
depth of water inside the dock. But this structure has not 
created the tidal disturbance, nor produced the local current, 
likely to occur in the tidal inflow and outflow of Salt Pond. 
With the slight rise and fall of the tides, and the small 
reservoir capacity of the pond, the currents might not have 
sufficient power to injuriously affect the opening. The 
element of greatest danger and most uncertainty would be 
the sea-dash upon the shore. What effect this might have, 
and how violent it might be, cannot be determined without 
further observation. 

Considering all the conditions and contingencies involved, 
the Board feels justified in recommending the project as a 
feasible one. 

With regard to the utility of such a work, it can certainly 
be classed as a valuable coast improvement. It would create 
a harbor of refuge upon an exposed shore ; and, although the 
entrance would be limited, the shelter within would be se- 
cure. The depth of water contemplated and practicable, — 
six or eight feet at mean low tide, — would admit vessels of 
considerable size and in considerable numbers ; and the pro- 
ject, if successful, would have an importance beyond its 
local utility, by suggesting similar works in other localities, 
where the results might be of equal and even greater value. 



22 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

The area of the pond, in its present natural state, is 61.4 
acres ; its anchorage area, inside the line of six feet depth 
at mean low water, would be 24.3 acres ; and, inside the 
line of eight feet depth, 20 acres. 

A map of the pond and beach, showing in detail the re- 
sults of the survey made by the engineers of the Board, is 
on file in this office for reference and examination. 

Boundaky Lines between Cities and Towns Bordering 

upon the Sea. 

The Board has continued, during the last year, the work 
devolved upon it by chap. 196 of the Acts of 1881, of 
locating and defining the boundary lines between cities and 
towns bordering upon the sea, from high-water mark out- 
ward to the line of the Commonwealth. 

The preliminary step of locating and defining the line 
which bounds the territorial limits of the Commonwealth, 
extending " one marine league from its seashore at low- 
water mark," had been taken the preceding year ; and the 
line of the Commonwealth, so established, was fully de- 
scribed, by metes, courses and bounds, in the last annual 
report. In extending the boundary lines of cities and towns 
out to this exterior line of the Commonwealth, it has been 
found necessary for the Board, or its engineers, to visit the 
points where the lines of land division, already established 
between the several cities and towns, terminate upon the 
shore ; and a description and sketch of the monument or 
bound by which each of these points is marked, has been 
taken. Most of the localities where the terminal point is 
at the mouth of a river or inlet, have also been examined. } 

During the summer, the Board appointed meetings with 
the mayor and aldermen of the city of New Bedford, and 
with the selectmen of the towns of Westport, Dartmouth, 
Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion, Wareham, Falmouth, Gos- 
nold, Gay Head, Chilmark, Tisbury, Eclgartown and Nan- 
tucket, respectively, and held conferences with them in 
regard to their several boundary lines ; and is under obliga- 
tion to these gentlemen for valuable information and assist- 
ance. 

So far as practicable, the Board has endeavored to adopt 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 23 

and carry out a uniform sj^tem in locating the division lines 
of water jurisdiction, based, upon mathematical principles, 
and upon geographical and physical conditions ; and has thus 
been able to avoid, in great measure, the necessity of decid- 
ing controverted facts, and the pressure of local feeling and 
interest. In most cases, the departure or bearing of the 
boundary line has been governed by the trend of the adja- 
cent shores, or the relation of the adjacent headlands. 
Where the line has passed through bays, coves, sounds, 
channels or straits, as in the case of the general dividing 
line between the respective towns on either side of Buzzard's 
Bay, Vineyard Sound, Muskeget Channel, Wood's Ho 11 and 
Cohasset Narrows, the rule has been to determine the cen- 
tral point in each successive water-space by measurements 
from a number of headlands or points, surrounding or ad- 
jacent to such water-space, sufficient to mathematically deter- 
mine its position, and then to run the boundary line from 
one such central point to another throughout the course of 
the general line. A line so located and defined can be 
mathematically reproduced by referring to the same plans 
of the United States Coast Survey which the Board has 
made its basis of projection, and of which a copy is to be 
filed in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and 
in the Registry of Deeds of the county in which the line 
is situated, and also in the office of the Harbor and Land 
Commissioners ; or by reference to any other accurately 
executed map, or by direct bearings and measurements 
from the points and headlands indicated on the plans of the 
Board. 

But few questions of disputed municipal jurisdiction have 
arisen in the determination of the lines thus far located. 
In the case of the boundary line between Edgartown and 
Nantucket, the question arose as to how far the jurisdiction 
over Muskeget and Gravel Islands, claimed by Edgartown, 
might affect the j urisdiction over the waters adjacent to these 
islands and to the respective towns. After careful consider- 
ation, and in view of the peculiar geographical relations of 
the respective territories, and as the more equitable solu- 
tion of the question, the ruling of the Board has been, that 
the boundary line of water between the towns of Edgar- 



24 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

town and Nantucket, should run through the main Muskeget 
Channel, and should be located and defined by means of, 
and upon the basis of, measurements of the same character 
from the headlands of Edgartc wn on the west side of the 
Channel, and from those of Nantucket on the east side ; and 
that the jurisdiction of Edgartown over the land of Muskeget 
and Gravel Islands should not affect the jurisdiction of Nan- 
tucket over the waters surrounding them. 

In the case of the boundary line between the city of New 
Bedford and the town of Fairhaven, the southerly end of 
this line is established, by chap. 130 of the Acts of 1811, 
at the " mouth of Acushnet River." After conference with 
the representatives of the respective municipalities, and in 
accordance with the construction adopted and acted upon by 
them during a long series of years, the "mouth of Acush- 
net River" was interpreted to mean the water-space be- 
tween Fort Point on the easterly or Fairhaven side, and the 
opposite shore of Clark's Point on the westerly or New 
Bedford side. The system already described was followed 
in determining the precise central point within this water- 
space, from which to extend the boundary line of water 
between the city and town in question, to the general division 
line of Buzzard's Bay. 

In like manner, the boundary line between the towns of 
Marion and Wareham was located and denned at the central 
point in the mouth of the Weweantic River, and extended from 
this point to the general division line of Buzzard's Bay. The 
same method was applied in other cases. 

The boundary line which was the occasion of the most 
controversy, and where the claims contested were of the 
largest value and importance, was that between the towns of 
Wareham and Sandwich. It would be impracticable to dis- 
cuss at length in this report the points at issue. As in the 
case of Edgartown and Nantucket, the difficulty arose from 
the existence of islands lying within the water area to be 
apportioned between the towns, — it being controverted, first, 
to which town the islands belonged, and, that question being 
settled, second, how far the islands should control or modify 
the division of the water area. Hearings were had at Buz- 
zard's Bay, and at the office of the Board, and counsel 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 25 

heard in behalf of each town. Upon first consideration, 
the Board located what was, to a certain extent, a com- 
promise line ; and, in anticipation of the full completion of 
its work, gave to each town a sketch illustrating such pro- 
posed location. It is understood that the location so indi- 
cated is not wholly satisfactory to either town, and is not 
likely to be accepted as a final settlement of the boundary 
question. Under these circumstances, upon further deliber- 
ation, and after a fuller study of this and other similar cases, 
the Board has felt obliged to reconsider its first action, and to 
adopt a different method of division, which is, in its judg- 
ment, the best and most equitable solution of the difficulties 
involved in this class of cases. 

The method referred to is that already stated in general 
terms, namely : that when the water area to be divided lies 
between two towns, it is to be apportioned to the towns by a 
line drawn through its middle or central points ; that the 
position of these points is to be determined by measure- 
ments outward from the shores and headlands of the main- 
lands of the respective towns ; and that islands lying within 
this water area, and of inconsiderable size as compared with 
the whole territorial area of the towns, are to be disregarded 
in locating the line of water division, both in respect of their 
geographical position and of the municipality to which they 
belong. 

In other words, the Board is charged with the duty of an 
equitable division of the tide-water areas of the Common- 
wealth between the several cities and towns, for purposes 
of municipal jurisdiction, and for the enjoyment of the rights 
and privileges which result therefrom. The Board has no 
power to change the limits of their land jurisdiction. It 
leaves these as it finds them. But there is no apparent reason 
why one town may not have jurisdiction over an island 
surrounded wholly or in part by waters which are within the 
jurisdiction of another town. To hold that the land area of 
a town extends, for purposes of water division, to the furthest 
point of its remotest island, would require, in some cases, 
the apportionment to such town, at the expense of another 
town, of hundreds or thousands of acres of water for each 
acre of island. The only equitable or practicable rule in 



26 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

such cases, is to draw the line of water division where it 
fairly belongs, taking all the other elements into account, 
and leave the islands to drop where they may. 

Between the towns of Provincetown and Truro some 
complications existed, owing to the accretion of land upon 
the East Harbor shore, and the consequent encroachment 
of the land upon what was water when the original terminal 
point of boundary was established. The action of the 
Board has been to extend the boundary line as nearly in 
conformity as possible to the original water-spaces, and to 
connect it with a newly located terminal point at the present 
shore line. 

Beginning at the southerly extremity of the coast line of 
the Commonwealth, the Board was met by the difficulty that 
the first line in order, the westerly line of Westport, was 
not only a town line, but also the boundary line between 
the waters of the States of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 
which the Board had no authority to establish. It seemed 
important, therefore, before proceeding with the boundary 
lines between the towns, to provisionally locate and define a 
line of boundary between the waters of the States, leaving 
its legal establishment to the' legislative action of the States 
respectively. In order that no misunderstanding or conflict- 
ing action might occur, the Board submitted a description 
of its location of the inter-state line to the Board of Harbor 
Commissioners of Rhode Island, who not only fully con- 
curred in what this Board had done, but took measures to 
secure the legislative sanction of the latter State ; and an act 
was passed by the Senate of Rhode Island " To establish the 
boundary line between the waters of the State of Massachu- 
setts and the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plan- 
tations." This act was pending before the House when it 
adjourned, so that it requires further action to become a 
Rhode Island law. A draft of an act for concurrent legis- 
lation on the part of Massachusetts, which is respectfully 
submitted to the consideration of the legislature, is appended 
to this report. 

The Board does not understand that the act directing it 
to locate and define the lines of water boundary, requires it 
to report in detail to the legislature as a part of the legal 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 27 

action necessary to establish them. But, as this work has 
occupied a considerable part of its attention, and is of interest 
to the seaboard municipalities, the Board submits (he fore- 
going statement, and the following description of lines 
already located, for the information of the legislature and 
the public : 

Boundary Line between Rhode Island and Massachusetts, 
and between Little Compton and Westport. 

The boundary line between the waters of the State of 
Ehode Island and Providence Plantations and the State of 
Massachusetts, which is also the boundary line between the 
waters of the town of Little Compton in the former, and the 
town of Westport in the latter State, is located and defined 
as follows : Beginning at the south-western corner of the 
territorial limits of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
at a point in latitude 41° 25' 5", longitude 71° 5' 28", and 
distant one marine league from the shore line, which is 
a line from the headland at Warren's Point in Ehode 
Island to the headland at Gooseberry Neck in Massachu- 
setts ; and thence running northerly to the point on the 
shore at the southerly end of the State boundary line be- 
tween Ehode Island and Massachusetts, as heretofore estab- 
lished by law. 

Boundary Line between Westport and Dartmouth. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Westport and Dartmouth is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established on the shore, and running south 34° 30' east 
to the line of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Line between Dartmouth and New Bedford. 

The boundary line between the waters of the town of 
Dartmouth and the city of New Bedford is located and de- 
fined as follows : Beginning at the end of the boundary line 
as heretofore established on the shore, and running south- 
easterly to a central point, marked 1 on plan, at the mouth 
of Clark's Cove ; thence still south-easterly to a point, 
marked 2 on plan, in a line drawn from Dumpling Eocks to 



28 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Sconticut Neck, and one-third of the distance of the length 
of said line measuring from Dumpling Rocks; thence south 
more easterly to a point, marked 3 on plan, in the general 
division line between the towns on either side of Buzzard's 
Bay, as said general division line has been located and de- 
fined, and is shown on plan. 

Boundary Line between New Bedford and Fairhaven. 
The boundary line between the waters of the city of New 
Bedford and the town of Fairhaven is located and defined 
as follows : Beginning at the eud of the boundary line as 
heretofore established at a central point, marked 1 on plan, 
in the mouth of Acushnet River, and running south-easterly 
to a central point, marked 2 on plan, in the head waters of 
New Bedford harbor ; thence south-east more southerly to a 
point, marked 3 on plan, in a line drawn from Dumpling 
Rocks to Sconticut Neck, and one-third of the distance of 
the length of said line from Sconticut Neck ; thence south- 
east more easterly to a point, marked 4 on plan, in the 
general division line of Buzzard's Bay, as hereinbefore 
described. 

Boundary Line between Fairhaven and Mattapoisett. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of Fair- 
haven and Mattapoisett is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established on the shore, and running south-easterly to a 
central point, marked 1 on plan, in the head waters of the 
cove between Sconticut and Mattapoisett necks ; thence 
south more easterly to a central point, marked 2 on plan, 
in the mouth of the cove above named; thence east more 
southerly to a point, marked 3 on plan, in the general divis- 
ion line of Buzzard's Bay, as hereinbefore described. 

Boundary Line between Mattapoisett and Marion. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Mattapoisett and Marion is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established on the shore, and running south-easterly to a 
central point, marked 1 on plan, in the mouth of Aucoot 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 29 

Cove ; thence east more southerly to a point, marked 2 on 
plan, in the general division line of Buzzard's Bay, as herein- 
before described. 

Boundary Line between Marion and Wareham,. 

The boundnry line between the waters of the towns of 
Marion and Wareham is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore es- 
tablished at the junction of the Sippican and Weweantic 
rivers, and running south-easterly, following the central line 
of the said Weweantic River, to a central point, marked 1 on 
plan, in the mouth of the said Weweantic River ; thence east- 
erly to a central point, marked 2 on plan, in the inner part 
of the water-space at the common mouth of the said Wewe- 
antic and the Wareham rivers ; thence south-easterly to a 
central point, marked 3 on plan, in the outer part of the 
water-space aforesaid ; thence east more southerly to a central 
point, marked VIII on plan, in the water-space at the head 
of Buzzard's Bay, which central point is also the north-easterly 
end of the general division line of Buzzard's Bay, as herein- 
before described. 

Boundary Line between Wareham and Sandivich. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Wareham and Sandwich is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established, at a central point, marked 1 on plan, in the 
mouth of Red Brook, and running south-easterly to a central 
point, marked 2 on plan, in the south-westerly corner of 
Buttermilk Bay ; thence southerly, south-easterly, and south- 
westerly, following the central line of Cohasset Narrows, to 
a central point, marked 3 on plan, in the first enlarged water- 
space below said Narrows ; thence southerly to a central 
point, marked 4 on plan, in the next succeeding water-space ; 
thence south-westerly to a central point, marked 5 on plan, 
in the next succeeding water-space ; thence south-easterly to 
a central point, marked 6 on plan, in the next succeeding 
water-space ; thence south-westerly to a point, marked 7 on 
plan, midway between the headlands on either side the water- 
space ; thence still south-westerly to a central point, 



30 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

marked 8 on plan, in the next succeeding water-space ; 
thence south-easterly to a central point, marked 9 on plan, 
in the next succeeding water-space ; thence southerly to a 
central point, marked 10 on plan, in the next succeeding 
water-space ; thence still southerly to a central point, marked 
11 on plan, in the next succeeding water-space ; thence south- 
westerly to a central point, marked 12 on plan, in the next 
succeeding water-space ; thence still south-westerly to a cen- 
tral point, marked VIII on plan, in the next succeeding 
water-space, which is the water-space at the head of Buz- 
zard's Bay, said central point being also the easterly end of 
the general division line of Buzzard's Bay, as hereinbefore 
described. 

Boundary Line between Sandwich and Falmouth. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Sandwich and Falmouth is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established on the shore, and running north 88° 40' west, to 
the general division line of Buzzard's Bay, as hereinbefore 
described. 

Boundary Line between Falmouth and Gosnold. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Falmouth and Gosnold is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at a point equally distant, southerly, about seven- 
twelfths of a mile, from each of the headlands forming the 
southerly entrance to Wood's Holl, as shown on a sub-plan, 
being the United States Coast Survey harbor chart of Wood's 
Holl, which point is marked 1 on said sub-plan, and running 
south 28° 30' east, to the general division line between the 
towns on either side of Vineyard Sound, as said general 
division line has been located and defined, and is shown on 
plan. Again, beginning at the first named point, marked 1 
on sub-plan, and running north-westerly to a central point, 
marked 2 on sub-plan, in the southerly mouth of the passage- 
way of Wood's Holl ; thence still north-westerly to a cen- 
tral point, marked 3 on sub-plan, in the mouth of Great 
Harbor ; thence westerly to a central point, marked 4 
on sub-plan, in the passageway aforesaid ; thence still 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT— No. 11. 31 

westerly to a central point in said passageway, marked 5 
on sub-plan ; thence north-westerly to a central point in 
said passageway, marked 6 on sub-plan ; thence north-west- 
erly to a central point in said passageway, marked 7 on sub- 
plan ; thence northerly to a central point in the northerly 
mouth of said passageway, marked 8 on sub-plan ; thence still 
northerly to a point, marked 9 on sub-plan, equally distant 
from the headlands forming the northerly entrance to Wood's 
Holl ; thence north 53° 15' west, to the general division line 
between the towns on either side of Buzzard's Bay, as here- 
inbefore described. 

Boundary Lines between Gay Head and Chilmark. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Gay Head and Chilmark, on the Vineyard Sound side, is 
located and defined as follows : Beginning at the end of the 
boundary line as heretofore established at the mouth of Me- 
namsha Creek, and running north 29° west to the general 
division line of Vineyard Sound, as hereinbefore described. 

The boundary line on the ocean side begins at the end of 
the boundary line as heretofore established on the shore, and 
runs south 47° 10' west to a point, marked 1 on plan, in the 
line connecting the most westerly headlands of Gay Head and 
No Man's Land ; thence due west to a point, marked 2 on 
plan, in the line of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Lines between Chilmark and Tisbury. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Chilmark and Tisbury, on the Vineyard Sound side, is located 
and defined as follows : Be«;inninoc at the end of the bound- 
ary line as heretofore established on the shore, and running 
north 54° 30 / west to the general division line of Vineyard 
Sound, as hereinbefore described. 

The boundary line on the ocean side begins at the end of 
the boundary line as heretofore established on the shore, and 
runs south 5° east to the line of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Line between Tisbury and Edgartown. 
The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Tisbury and Edgartown is located and defined as follows : 



32 HARBOE AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established on the shore, and running south 1° 40' east to 
the line of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Line between Edgartown and Nantucket. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Edsrartown and Nantucket is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at a point, marked M 10 on plan, in the line of the 
Commonwealth on the Nantucket Sound side, in latitude 
41° 23' 15 ', longitude 70° 19' 15", and running south- westerly 
to a point, marked 1 on plan, in latitude 41° 19' 23", 
longitude 70° 22' 02" ; thence south 11° 30' west to the line 
of the Commonwealth on the ocean side. 

Boundary Line between Edgartown and Cottage City. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Edgartown and Cottage City is located and defined as 
follows : Beginning at the end of the boundary line as here- 
tofore established at a central point in the inlet of Sengekon- 
tacket Pond, and running north-easterly to a point, marked 1 
on plan, equally distant from the headlands at East Chop, 
Edgartown and Cape Poge ; thence east more northerly to a 
point, marked 2 on plan, in the general division line of 
Vineyard Sound, as hereinbefore described. 

Boundary Line between Cottage City and Tisbury. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Cottage City and Tisbury is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established at and through the lagoon bridge, so called, and 
running north 39° 30' west to a point, marked 1 on plan, 
midway between the shores of Vineyard Haven harbor; 
thence north-easterly to a central point in the mouth of said 
harbor, marked 2 on plan ; thence east more northerly to a 
point, marked 3 on plan, in the general division line of 
Vineyard Sound, as hereinbefore described. 

Boundary Line between Falmouth and Mashpee. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Falmouth and Mashpee is located and defined as follows : 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 33 

Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore es- 
tablished, at a central point in the mouth of the outlet of 
Waquoit Bay, and running south 7° 15' east to the general 
division line of Vineyard Sound, as hereinbefore described. 

Boundary Line between Mashpee and Barnstable. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Mashpee and Barnstable is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established, at a central point in the mouth of the outlet of 
Poponesset Bay, and running south 37° 45' east to the line 
of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Lines between Barnstable and Yarmouth. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Barnstable and Yarmouth, on the Nantucket Sound side, is 
located and defined as follows : Beginning at the end of the 
boundary line as heretofore established, and running south- 
erly and westerly, following substantially the line of the 
channel of Lewis Bay, to a central point, marked 1 on plan, 
in the mouth of its outlet ; thence running south-westerly to 
a central point, marked 2 on plan, in a line drawn from 
Point Gammon to Hyannis Point ; thence running south 
1° 15' west to the line of the Commonwealth. 

The boundary line on the Massachusetts Bay side, begins 
at the end of the boundary line as heretofore established, at 
the central point in the mouth of Mill Creek, and runs north 
11° 45' west to the line of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Lines between Yarmouth and Dennis. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Yarmouth and Dennis, on the Nantucket Sound side, is lo- 
cated and defined as follows : Beginning: at the end of the 
boundary line as heretofore established, at a central point 
in the mouth of Bass Eiver, and running south 15° east to 
the line of the Commonwealth. 

The boundary line on the Massachusetts Bay side, begins 
at the end of the boundary line as heretofore established, at 
the central point in the mouth of Bass Hole, and runs north 
12° 30' west to the line of the Commonwealth. 



34 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Boundary Line between Dennis and Harwich. 
The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Dennis and Harwich is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established on the shore, and running t south 11° 30' east 
to the line of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Line, between Harwich and Chatham. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Harwich and Chatham is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore, 
established on the shore, and running south 27° west to the. 
line of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Line between Chatham and Orleans. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Chatham and Orleans is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the t end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established on the shore, and running south 85° 15' east to 
the line of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Lines between Orleans and Eastha?n. 

: The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Orleans and Eastham, on the ocean side, is located and de- 
fined as follows : Beginning at the end of the boundary line 
as heretofore established on the shore, and running north 
82° east to the line of the Commonwealth. 

The boundary line on the Massachusetts Bay side, begins 
at the central point in the mouth of Rock Creek, and runs 
north 68° 30' west to the line of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Lines between Eastham and Wellfleet. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Eastham and Wellfleet, on the ocean side, is located and de- 
fined as follows : Beginning at the end of the boundary line 
as heretofore established on the shore, and running north 
75° 30' east to the line of the Commonwealth. 

The boundary line on the Massachusetts Bay side, begins 
at the central point in the mouth of Hatch's Creek, and runs 
south 79° 25' west to the line of the Commonwealth. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 35 



Boundary Lines between Wellfleet and Truro. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Wellfleet and Truro, on the ocean side, is located and de- 
fined as follows : Beginning at the end of the boundary line 
as heretofore established on the shore, and running north 
64° 30' east to the line of the Commonwealth. 

The boundary line on the Massachusetts Bay side, begins 
at the end of the boundary line as heretofore established on 
the shore, and runs south 74° 30' west to the line of the 
Commonwealth. 

Boundary Lines between Truro and Provincetown. 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Truro and Provincetown, on the ocean side, is located and 
defined as follows : Beginning at the end of the boundary line 
as heretofore established on the shore, and running north 13° 
45' east to the line of the Commonwealth. 

The boundary line on the Massachusetts Bay side, begins 
at the end of the boundary line as heretofore established, at 
a stone post standing on the shore of East Harbor as the 
same was at the time said line was established, and runs 
south-easterly, in the course of said boundary line extended, 
a distance of 730 feet to a point, marked 1 on a sub-plan, 
being the United States Coast Survey harbor chart of 
Provincetown harbor ; thence south-westerly to a point in the 
centre of the State dike, marked 2 on sub-plan ; thence 
south 1° west a distance of 5| statute miles to a point 
marked 3 on sub-plan : thence south 62° 40' west to the line 
of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Line between Orleans and Brewster, 

The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Orleans and Brewster is located and defined as follows : Be- 
ginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore estab- 
lished, at the central point in the mouth of Skaget Creek, 
and running north 62° 45' west to the line of the Common- 
wealth. 



36 HAEBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Boundary Line between Brewster and Dennis. 

The boundary line between the waters of Iho towns of 
Brewster and Dennis is located and defined as follows : Be- 
ginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore estab- 
lished, at the central point in the mouth of Quivett Creek, 
and running north 22° 30' west to the line of the Common- 
wealth. 

Boundary Line between Barnstable and Sandwich. 
The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Barnstable and Sandwich is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established on the shore, and running north 3° 30' east to 
the line of the Commonwealth. 

Boundary Line between Sandwich and Plymouth. 
The boundary line between the waters of the towns of 
Sandwich and Plymouth is located and defined as follows : 
Beginning at the end of the boundary line as heretofore 
established on the shore, and running north 77° east to the 
line of the Commonwealth. 

Harbor Improvements by the General Government, 

Boston Harbor. 

In reporting upon the work done by the general govern-* 
ment in the several harbors and waters of the Common- 
wealth, the Board regrets having to announce the loss of the 
services of two of the older and more distinguished officers 
of the United States Engineer Corps, who have long had 
charge of this work, and to whose personal knowledge, ex- 
perience and interest much of its success has been due. The 
prompt and courteous attention with which they have uni- 
formly responded to the requests of the Board for informa- 
tion and advice in matters relating to its work, has given 
additional value to the assistance rendered. 

The death of Lieut. Col. G. K. Warren, Corps of Engi- 
neers, Brev. Maj. Gen. United States Army, occurred at 
Newport, R. L, his headquarters, on the 8th of August, 
1882. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 37 

The contemplated retirement from active service of Lieut. 
Col. George Thorn, Corps of Engineers, Brev. Brig. Gen. 
United States Army, will probably take place in February, 
1883. 

The public is not generally aware of the importance and 
magnitude of the works entrusted to the officers of the 
United States Engineers, of the accuracy of the examina- 
tions made, and of the care and thoroughness required in the 
execution of the work which enables a great ship to pass 
freely and safely over bars and ledges which were not only 
barriers to the entrance of our ports and harbors, but the 
hidden sources of danger and destruction. 

During the last year, between the 20th of April and the 
4th of December, 65,327 cubic yards of material have been 
removed from the " Anchorage Shoal" in the main basin of 
Boston Harbor, and the main ship channel has been thereby 
opened to a depth of 23 feet at mean low water, for an 
aggregate width of 1,000 feet at its easterly end, increasing 
to a width of 1,500 feet at its westerly end. 

Repairs have been completed on the sea-walls of Gallop's 
Island, and of the north head of Long Island, and those on 
the sea-wall of Lovell's Island have been nearly finished. 

In addition to, and in completion of, the work executed in 
1881, the Mystic River has been improved by the dredg- 
ing of an aggregate of 82,000 cubic yards, whereby the 
channel has been opened to a depth of 23 feet at mean low 
water, for a length of 2,930 feet, with a least width of 375 
feet, and a greatest width of 435 feet. 

No work has been done in the Charles River during the 
past year. There is now available, including the amount 
($67,500) appropriated by the River and Harbor Bill of 
August, 1882, a total of $97,000 for the further improvement 
of this river. 

In addition to the work reported last year, the width of 
Nantasket Beach Channel has been increased from 70 to 100 
feet, and the sunken ledges near the mouth of Weir River 
broken up and removed, leaving a depth of 9 J- feet at mean 
low water. 

By the River and Harbor Bill of August, 1882, the sum 
of $96,500 was appropriated for the improvement of Boston 



38 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Harbor, $67,500 of which was for the improvement of 
Charles River, as above stated, leaving $29,000 to be applied 
to other works. Of this last amount about $8,500 has been 
expended in the repairs of the sea-walls of the islands, 
before mentioned, and the remainder is to be applied next 
season to the repairs of the sea-walls of Great Brewster, 
Deer, Rainsford and Lovell's islands, and to the widening 
of the main ship channel at the western end of the Upper 
Middle Bar, in order to afford a more direct sailing course 
to vessels passing through the Anchorage Shoal Channel. 

For completing the repairs on the sea-walls of the islands, 
and for all the other work hitherto projected for the improve- 
ment of this harbor, the sum of $30,000 was asked in the 
last annual report of Gen. Thorn to the Chief of Engineers. 

The provision made by this Board during the past year^ 
under a contract with the New England Dredging Company, 
already referred to, for receiving and depositing upon the 
South Boston flats all dredged material that might be 
offered, has given increased facility and economy to the work 
of the general government, as well as to that of the Common- 
wealth in the reclamation of the flats. 

By the River and Harbor Bill of August, 1882, $10,000 
was appropriated for the improvement of Maiden River, a 
tributary of the Mystic River. No work has yet been done 
under this appropriation. 

The total amount appropriated by the general govern- 
ment for the improvement of the whole harbor, between 
March 2, 1867, and August 2, 1882, reaches the large sum of 
$1,602,500, which has been expended in protecting the head- 
lands of the harbor, removing dangerous obstructions, mak- 
ing an improved channel by which the largest ocean steamers 
have access to the inner port, and in deepening and enlarging 
the anchorage and navigable area of the inner basins. 

JSFewburyport Harbor. 
The revised estimate for the work of the general govern- 
ment, in charge of Gen. George Thorn, of building the stone 
jetties at the mouth of this harbor, is $465,000, instead of 
$365,000, as reported last year. The appropriations already 
made amount to $130,000. The northerly jetty is now built 
out, to its full height and width, a distance of about 1,500 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 39 

feet from Salisbury Beach, and rubble stone has been 
deposited, for an additional distance of about 300 feet, along 
the axis of the jetty. The appropriation made August 2, 
1882,. $40,000, is to be applied to the commencement of the 
southerly jetty at the northerly extremity of Plum Island, 
and to the building of a dike across the outlet of the 
" basin," in order to prevent the opening of a new channel 
from the sea through the basin into the harbor. 

Merrimac River. 

The work of the general government in this river has 
already been referred to in another part of our report. 

Lynn Harbor. 

A survey of this harbor was made by the general govern- 
ment in 1881, with a view to its improvement, and a plan of 
work to be done has been submitted to the Engineer Depart- 
ment, the estimated cost of which is $270,000. By the 
River and Harbor Bill of August, 1882, the sum of $60,000 
was appropriated for this harbor. 

In consequence, it is presumed, of the death of Gen. 

Warren and the resignation of Gen. Thorn, a change has 

been made .'by the Engineer Department in the assignment 

of specific work, as well as in the personnel of the corps. 

By the courtesy of Major Franklin Harwood, U. S. Engineer, 

the Board has received a manuscript statement of the present 

condition and proposed improvement of Scituate, Plymouth, 

Provincetown, Hyannis and Wareham harbors, now under 

his charge ; and also a printed copy of the report of work 

done in the same harbors, under the direction of Gen. Thorn, 

for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1882, in substance as 

follows : — 

Scituate Harbor. 

The work done in this harbor, during the past year, has 
been the placing of about 10,000 tons of rubble stone in the 
breakwater, whereby its outer portion has been partially 
built for a length of about 470 feet, and to a height of 
about 3 feet above the plane of mean high water, with a 
thickness of about 10 feet on the top, so as -to form a 
partial protection to the harbor. 



40 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Plymouth Harbor. 

Forty-four thousand nine hundred and sixty-nine cubic 
yards of dredging have been done, in completion of the pro- 
jected channel and basin in this harbor. 

Gen. Thorn further reports that, — 

" All the works projected for the protection and preservation of Long 
Beach were completed in 1879. Some of these works (bulkheads and 
jetties) were built of crib-work about fifteen years ago, but owing to 
their exposed position at the outer end of the beach, and particularly 
to the unusually severe storms that occurred in February and March 
last, they have become much decayed and broken up, so much so that 
the beach has been much abraded, and weakened to such an extent as 
to render it liable to immediate destruction. The attention of the de- 
partment was called to this matter in a special report, dated March 30, 

1882, with a recommendation that Congress be requested to make an 
appropriation of 1 14,000 for the purpose of extending the stone bulk- 
head along the western shore of the beach for an additional distance of 
•'1,000 feet, so as to protect in a more permanent manner this the weakest 
part of the beach. 

"With the unexpended funds available, 219^||§ tons of rubble stone 
have been placed in the bulkhead during May and June, 1882 ; and it is 
proposed to apply the appropriation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 

1883, to the continuation of this work." 

The later report and communication of Major Harwood to 
the Board, concerning the harbors of Provincetown, Hyannis 
and Wareham, with a further statement concerning Scituate 
and Plymouth harbors, will be found in the Appendix. 

Nantucket Harbor. 

The government work on the southern const of the Com- 
mon wealth, which includes this harbor, was in charge of the 
late Gen. G. K. Warren, whose report, made June 30, 1882, 
gives the following statement of the progress of the work up 
to that date : — 

At the date of the last annual report, the construction of the jetty, 
und"r contract dated December 28, 188 0, was in progress. 

During the fisc il year ending June 30, 1*82, the work has been in 
progress under the same contract ; 8,134| tons were placed in the work, 
which makes the total number of tons delivered 12,123^, and loaves 
about 3,871 tons still to be furnished. The length of the jetty is about 
1,050 feet. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 41 

During the year frequent surveys have been made to ascertain the 
effect of the work, and in May, 1882, a full survey of the outer harbor 
was made. 

A comparison of the maps of these surveys shows a continuous 
deposit of sand in the west angle formed by Ihe jetty and the shore. 
The high-water line at the jetty has advanced 150 feet. On the east 
side, in the early stages of the work, the sand was cut out, and in a 
severe storm from the north, on October 5, a considerable inroad was 
made on the shore immediately east of the work. To arrest this, short 
spurs were built at right angles to the jetty from near the shore out for 
150 feet; since the building of these the sand has been deposited and 
the shore line advanced considerably, but not so much as on the west of 
the jetty. 

The depth of water has increased over a considerable area between 
the jetty and the deep channel at Brant Point, while on the west side, 
from the outer end toward the shore, the depth has decreased. The cur- 
rent during ebb tide has increased, and it now flows northwestwardly 
out past the jetty; it is on this line that the increase in depth is noted 



Edgartown Harbor. 

The subject of the re-opening of the south beach of Cotamy 
Bay, and thus restoring the " south inlet" to Edgartown 
Harbor, which existed for many years prior to 1869, has 
been fully discussed by Gen. Warren, who has also given 
a history of the work done, with this end in view, in 1873 ; 
but his report is too voluminous to allow more than the fol- 
lowing extracts, which refer to a proposed new opening at 
the south-western corner of this bay : — 

The opening that was made in 1873, was made at the western end of 
the beach, under the belief that if it enlarged so as to become an inlet, 
it would gradually move eastward, and close as the last one had done. 
The western location thus promised a longer existence for the inlet. 

The present location near the eastern end, would allow of but a com- 
paratively short period, if the inlet formed and moved as the natural 
ones had done. It is therefore proposed to hold it in position by means 
of a jetty on the we^t side of the opening. 

The width of the channel through the inside shoal, to allow the ves- 
sels in use to beat, need not exceed 200 feet. This is the greatest width 
of the existing channel. It will have to be widened in places, and con- 
siderably deepened in other places by dredgiug, to make 4 feet at mean 
low-water. To work the scows and tug, we shall have to make a depth 
of 6 feet, for a width of (JO feet, at mean low-water. 

It does not now appear that the width of tie beating channel need be 
any greater than 2)0 feet for the permanence of an inlet. 

The wider, however, we can make the opening in the beach, the better 



42 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

the chances of its becoming an inlet, and a cut 300 feet wide, 6 feet deep 
at mean low-water, is what is proposed, all to be done by dredging. 

The place on the beach selected by the committee, is shown on the 
map near the former opening of 1846. It will be so marked off that the 
west side, or west chop (if it becomes an inlet), shall not be less than 
500 feet from Chappaquiddick Island. This is the width of the narrowest 
natural inlet described by Mr. Whiting. That one we know succumbed 
in its battle with the waves and sands, but it sustained the contest 
alone, and it is proposed in the future to aid it in resisting encroach- 
ment in the best way we can. 

Vineyard Haven Harbor. 

By a resolution of Congress, passed January 24, 1882, 
Gen. Warren was required to ascertain the condition of this 
harbor, and whether any work is necessary for its protec- 
tion. 

In his report to the Chief of the United States Corps of 
Engineers, Gen. Warren discusses various projects for 
the improvement of this harbor, and gives the estimated 
cost of different breakwaters, ranging from $1,250,000 to 
$8,000,000. 

In regard to the washing of the headlands of this important 
harbor, Gen. Warren says : — 

The wearing away of the headland of " East Chop, 1 ' [found by the 
Coast Survey, in 1871, to have been 75 feet in 15 years], is said to have 
continued since that time. The people who live in the vicinity have 
done a great deal to protect the bluff, and their efforts should undoubt- 
edly be seconded by the general government. If the action is allowed 
to go on, it will not be long before the lighthouse will have to be 
removed. 

To protect this headland will probably require that it be riprapped 
to above the highest waves. As a preliminary, I submit the following 
estimate : — 

For. protecting 5,000 feet of bluff would probably require 

40,000 tons of riprap, at $ 1.50 . . ... . . . $60,000 

Wood's Holl Harbor. 

No work has been actually done in the improvement of 
this harbor during the last year; but surveys have been 
made for a pier and breakwater, the estimated cost of which 
is $52,775, The following letter from Professor Spencer F. 
Baird, U. S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, to General 
Warren , U.-'S. A., presents in a- very full and interesting 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 43 

manner the objects had in view in this work, and the value 
of the improvements proposed : 

United States Commission, Fish and Fisheries, 

Washington, D. C, December 17, 1881. 

Sir : — I have the honor to enclose herewith a memorandum in refer- 
ence to the importance of the proposed pier and breakwater in the 
Greater Harbor of Wood's Hoi I, Massachusetts, to the interests of navi- 
gation in genera], and to those of the United States in particular. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Spencer F. Baird, 

Commissioner. 
Maj. Gen. G. K. Warren, U. S. A. 

[Memorandum. ~\ 

There are very few safe harbors, especially for vessels of over 10 feet 
draught, on the south coast of New England between Newport and 
Provincetown, the principal being Tarpaulin Cove on the island of Nau- 
shon, Wood's Holl, Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, Nantucket, and Hyan- 
nis, Provincetown being next in the series. Of these, the harbors of 
Tarpaulin Cove and Vineyard Haven are available only during the 
prevalence of certain winds, while those of Edgartown and of Nantucket 
(the bar of which can only be crossed at high tide and by low-draught 
vessels) are of insufficient depth, and very much out of the course of 
vessels, The harbor of Hyannis is formed simply by a breakwater in 
an open roadstead. In the range indicated, the Greater Harbor (as dis- 
tinguished from a smaller) at Wood's Holl is by far the best, although 
access to it is somewhat difficult, in consequence of a narrow entrance. 
Here there is a depth of water ranging from 20 to 60 feet, which is 
ample for vessels of any class. No danger need be apprehended, 
except when heavy winds blow directly from the south, the quarter 
whence cyclone storms are very apt to come. The construction, how- 
ever, of a pier or breakwater along either one of two shoals, making 
Out directly from the mainland, would convert this harbor into an abso- 
lutely land-locked inclosure, under the shelter of which vessels might 
lie safe from any conceivable storm. 

The United States Fish Commission, besides carrying on with success 
the reproduction of the shad, salmon, whitefish, and other useful fresh- 
water fishes, has of late years been turning its attention to the multipli- 
cation of the fishes of the sea, from which results of the greatest impor- 
tance are expected. Experiments made with the cod, Spanish mackerel, 
sea-bass, and striped bass have been entirely successful, and authorize 
the assurance of success in the application of the same principles to 
other species, such as the common mackerel, haddock, sheepshead, tau- 
tog, weakfish, etc. The importance of arresting the very rapid diminu- 
tion of these fish, and the still greater necessity of increasing their 
abundance to the extent within the power of applied science, make the 
selection of a station for carrying on this work on a large scale, a mat- 
ter of greater moment. The requirements are a reasonably mild cli- 



44 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

mate for the winter work, water perfectly pure and free from sewage, 
the aeration of this water, and accommodations for keeping the live fish 
for a certain time, with proper change of water and food during the 
interval. All this is, of course, contingent upon the occurrence offish 
in considerable numbers and in proximity to seines and pounds, by 
which they may be taken alive and uninjured. 

The method of procedure in the multiplication of these fish, is to catch 
the parent fish before the eggs are entirely ripe, bring them to the 
station in smacks or tow-cars, and transfer them to basins or floating: 
cars, where they can be properly cared for. The eggs, when ripe, are 
then removed by well-known processes of manipulation. Sometimes 
weeks will elapse before the fish are ready to be " stripped," and, unless 
they have natural surroundings, they will suffer by the detention. In 
previous experiments of the United States Fish Commission, the fish 
were kept in large floating boxes or cars. In their attempts to pass 
through the gratings of these boxes, the fish were constantly receiving 
injuries, while the inclemency of the winter, during which the work 
was of necessity prosecuted, caused many to freeze to death before the 
operation was perfected. 

It is contemplated to so construct the pier in question at Wood's Holl, 
that it shall inclose a number of subdivisions or basins, where the fish 
can be kept until ready for use. The passage of the tides through the 
openings between the mainland and the island of Naushon, causes an 
agitation of the water, whereby it is brought to the site of the proposed 
pier in a perfect foam, thus assuring the best possible conditions for the 
fish. It is confidently believed that at such a station there will be an 
opportunity to hatch out many hundreds of millions of eggs every year. 
A portion of the young fish would be turned out into the adjacent 
waters, and the remainder transferred by the vessels of the Fish Com- 
mission to points further south, possibly even to the Carolinas. 

So far as the United States Fish Commission is concerned, this pier 
will also furnish a great desideratum in the Avav of a station at which its 
vessels can be kept, or can resort, when engaged in the prosecution of 
the practical investigations into the movements and abundance of the 
useful food-fishes. 

Congress has thought fit to make an appropriation to the commission 
for the construction of a sea-going vessel of nearly 15 feet draught, 
whose explorations shall aid in the solving of many practical problems ; 
at present, however, there is no available wharf on the south coast of 
New England (the best starting-point) to which this vessel can tie up 
for the purpose of taking on board supplies, etc , or delivering them on 
shore. 

In addition to general service in the interest of commerce, an 1 of the 
operations of the United States Fish Commission, this station will be avail- 
able to other branches of the government service. It is particularly im- 
portant for the Revenue Marine to enjoy the advantages afforded by 
sueh a station, and these the Fish Commission would be most happy to 
share with it. Four revenue cutters cruise on the south coast of JSTew 
England, especially daring the winter, and have constant occasion to 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 45 

refit and take in coal, water, and other supplies. At the same time they 
require to be in close communication with the Treasury Department, 
and with the custom houses of Boston, New Bedford, Newport, etc At 
present, their coaling and supplying station is at Edgartown, on an 
island, access to which is difficult and involves a delay of hours, espje- 
ially in the winter season. No telegraph wires connect Etlgartown 
with Boston, New Bedford, or Newport. If the principal station were 
established at Wood's I loll, in consequence of this improvement, the 
coal might be stored there; fresh water could be had directly at t lie 
wharf, and all necessary telegraph facilities obtained in the depot of the 
Old Colony Railroad, which is within a few hundred yards. 

Other vessels of the government would likewise be benefited, espe- 
cially those of the Light House Board. This board has a station in the 
cs Little Harbor " at Wood's lloll, about half a mile from the proposed 
pier, which, however, its boats of large draught cannot enter, such ves- 
sels as the Fern, for instance, being obliged to anchor outside the har- 
bor, instead of proceeding directly to the wharf to discharge or receive 
supplies of oil, etc. 



46 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



Plans approved and Licenses granted, during the year 
i882, for the Erection of Structures in and over 
Tide Water. 

Nos. 

651. Trustees under the will of Ebenezer Francis, for leave 

to change the mode of construction of Francis' 
Wharf, Fort Point Channel, as granted to them 
Nov. 28, 1881. Approved Jan. 5, 1882. 

652. Joseph A. Bowen, for leave to straighten the south- 

erly side of his wharf, known as the " Slate Wharf," 
in the City of Fall River. Approved Jan. 5, 1882. 

653. William G. Brown, for leave to fill solid a portion. 

of his wharf, known as the " Cob Wharf," on Ipswich 
River, in the town of Ipswich. Approved Feb. 2, 
1882. 

654. Trustees of the Harris Estate, for leave to extend 

Harris' Wharf in Boston Harbor to the Harbor 
Line. Approved Feb. 9, 1882. 

655. Henry Howard, of New Bedford, for leave to construct 

a pile wharf in Onset Bay, in the town of Wareham. 
Approved March 16, 1882. 

656. J. C. Kittredge, for leave to extend his wharf on First 

Street, South Boston. Approved March 16, 1882. 

657. Benjamin D. Dixie, for leave to extend his wharf at 

Marblehead. Approved March 16, 1882. 

658. Magee Furnace Company, for leave to extend its wharf 

on Marginal Street, Chelsea, to the Harbor Line. 
Approved March 23, 1882. 

659. Henry L. Pierce, for leave to build a sea-wall in front 

of his land bordering on Neponset River, in the 
town of Milton, and fill solid the area enclosed by 
such wall. Approved March 23, 1882. 

660. Abbie E. Cutter, Henry B. Cutter, and William O. 

Cutter, for leave to construct a wharf, partly solid 
and partly on piles, on the west side of Wickets 
Island, in Onset Bay, town of Wareham. Ap- 
proved March 23, 1882. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 47 

Nos. 

661. The Ilingham, Hull and Downer Landing Steam- 

boat Company, for leave to extend its wharf on 
piles, in the town of Hull. Approved April 12, 
1882. 

662. The White's Ferry Bridge Company, for leave to con- 

struct a bridge across North River, between the 
towns of Marshfield and Scituate. Approved April 
5, 1882. 

663. The Bradley Fertilizer Company, for leave to extend 

and maintain its present wharf on Weymouth Back 
River, in the town of Weymouth.. Approved April 
5, 1882. 

664. Edward C. Ellis,. for leave to construct a wharf on the 

south shore of. Onset Bay, in the town of Wareham. 
• Approved April 12, 1882. 

665. [ The Standard Sugar Refinery, for leave to extend its 

wharf on Fort Point Channel, South Boston, on 
piles. Approved April 27, 1882, 

666. The Old Colony Railroad Company, for leave to extend 

its wharf in Taunton River, at Somerset. Approved 
May 11, 1882. 

667. County Commissioners of Essex County, for the con- 

struction of a part of Essex Merrimack Bridge, under 
chapter 104 of the Acts of the year 1 882. Approved 
May 13, 1882. 

668. South Boston Yacht Club, for leave to construct a pile 

. wharf at City Point, South Boston, on the west side 
of Sixth Street. Approved May 18, 1882. 

669. Trustees under the will of Augustus Hemenway, 

for leave to extend Howe's Wharf, on Fort Point 
Channel, to the Harbor Line. Approved May 18, 
1882. 

670. Joseph A. Bowen, for leave to extend " Slate Wharf" 

on its southerly side, in the City of Fall River. 
Approved May 18, 1882. 

671. The Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation, for 

leave to construct a sea-wall along the Harbor Line, 
west of its freight bridge across Charles River, in 
the City of Boston, Approved June 1, 1882. 



48 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Nos. 

672. The Road Commissioners of the town of Quincy, for 

leave to fill solid a part of Neponset Bridge. Ap- 
proved May 25, 1882. 

673. Stephen M. Weld of Dedham, for leave to construct 

two breakwaters in Buzzard's Bay, in the town of 
"Wareham. Approved May 25, 1882. 

674. The City of Gloucester, for leave to build a highway, 

in line of Washington Street, across the Mill Pond. 
Approved June 1, 1882. 

675. Samuel Elliott, for leave to extend his wharf on Mer- 

rimack River at Haverhill. Approved June 8, 
1882. 

676. Worin Tasker, for leave to extend his wharf on Merri- 

mack River at Haverhill. Approved June 8, 1882. 

677. John E. Gale, for leave to extend his wharf on Merri- 

mack River at Haverhill. Approved June 8, 1882. 

678. James R. Nichols, for leave to extend his wharf on 

Merrimack River at Haverhill, Approved June 
8, 1882. 

679. W. R. Whittier, for leave to extend his wharf on 

Merrimack River at Haverhill. Approved June 
15, 1882. 

680. Albert L. Kimball, for leave to extend his wharf on 

Merrimack River at Haverhill. Approved June 15, 
1882. 

681. Goodrich and Porter, for leave to extend their wharf 

on Merrimack River at Haverhill. Approved June 
15, 1882. 

682. Trustees under the will of Augustus Hemenway, 

for leave to build a sea-wall and fill solid at Howe's 
Wharf, so called, on Fort Point Channel, Boston. 
Approved June 22, 1882. 

683. Jesse Tirrell, for leave to construct a sea-wall and fill 

solid at his wharf on Fort Point Channel, Boston. 
Approved June 22, 1882. 

684. Benjamin Montgomery, for leave to extend his wharf 

in Gloucester Harbor. Approved June 22, 1882. 

685. George Dennis, for leave to extend his wharf in 

Gloucester Harbor. Approved June 22, 1882. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 49 

Nos. 

686. B. F. Wild & Co., for leave to drive a row of piles for 

the protection of their wharf on Mystic River. 
Approved June 29, 1882. 

687. County Commissioners of Essex County, for a change 

in the construction of the Essex Merrimack Bridge, 
between the towns of Newbury and Salisbury, over 
Merrimack River. Approved July 6, 1882. 

688. Moseley and Potter, for leave to drive piles for the sup- 

port of a water- tank on Congress Street Bridge, 
Fort Point Channel, Boston. Approved July 6, 
1882. 

689. Jesse Tirrell, for leave'to extend his wharf to the Har- 

bor Line on Fort Point Channel, Boston. Approved 
July 13, 1882. 

690. Amos A. Story, for leave to extend his wharf, partly 

solid and partly on piles, in Gloucester. Approved 
July 20, 1882. 

691. Reed and Gamage, for leave to extend their wharf in 

Gloucester Harbor. Approved July 20, 1882. 

692. Standard Fertilizer Company, for leave to construct 

a wharf in Duxbury Bay. Approved Aug. 3, 1882. 

693. Board of Directors of the East Boston Ferries, for 

leave to extend and reconstruct its Piers on the 
Boston side of the North Ferry. Approved Aug. 
10, 1882. 

694. J. H. Durgin, for leave to extend his wharf on Merri- 

mack River at Haverhill. Approved Aug. 10, 
1882. 

695. Charles W. and R. Stuart Chase, for leave to extend 

their wharf on Merrimack River at Haverhill. Ap- 
proved Aug. 10, 1882. 

696. A. H. Adams, for leave to extend his wharf on Merri- 

mack River at Haverhill. Approved Aug. 10, 
1882. 

697. Eastern Railroad Company, for the reconstruction of 

the draw-pier in its bridge across Merrimack 
River at Newbury port. Approved Aug. 10, 1882. 

698. City of Haverhill, for leave to extend City Landing 

No. 10 on Merrimack River. Approved Aug. 31, 
1882. 



50 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Nos. 

699. George A. Green, for leave to extend his wharf on 

Merrimack River at Haverhill. Approved Aug. 31, 
1882. 

700. John P. Gilman, for leave to extend his wharf on 

Merrimack River at Haverhill. Approved Aug. 
31, 1882. 

701. John D. Hillard, for leave to extend his wharves at 

Provincetown. Approved Sept. 14, 1882. 

702. Thomas R. Whorf, for leave to extend and widen his 

wharf at Provincetown. Approved Sept. 14,1882. 

703. The Boston and Hingham Steamboat Company, for 

leave to construct a dolphin in Chelsea Creek. 
Approved Oct. 12, 1882. 

704. S. S. Swift, for leave to extend his wharf in Province- 

town Harbor. Approved Oct. 12, 1882. 

705. City of Boston, for leave to extend the southerly pier 

of the East Boston South Eerry, East Boston. Ap- 
proved Oct. 13, 1882. 

706. Onset Bay Grove Association, for leave to extend its 

wharf at Onset Bay, Wareham. Approved Nov. 
2, 1882. 

707. Edward P. Shaw, for leave to construct a wharf at 

Salisbury Point, near Badger's Rocks, on Merri- 
mack River. Approved Nov. 16, 1882. 

708. Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company, for leave to drive 

a line of piling for the foundation of a sea-wall on 
South River, Salem Harbor. Approved Nov. 23, 
1882. 

709. Edward P. Shaw, for leave to construct a wharf on 

the northwesterly end of Plum Island, on Merri- 
mack River, at Newburyport. Approved Nov. 23, 
1882. 

710. Nantucket Railroad Company, for leave to construct 

a solid roadway across tide-water in Nantucket Har- 
bor. Approved November 23, 1882. 

711. County Commissioners of Essex County, for the recon- 

struction of the draw and draw pier, in Rocks 
Bridge, across Merrimack River, between Haverhill 
and West Newbury. Approved Dec. 1, 1882. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 51 

Sixty-one licenses have been granted. Applications for 
others, which the Board has felt obliged to refuse, have per- 
haps occupied quite as much of its time, and occasioned more 
study and perplexity. In all cases, a careful examination of 
the localities and plans of the works proposed, has been 
made by the Board and its Engineers. 



ARCHIVES OF MAINE LANDS. 

This Board, under various legislative acts, has succeeded 
to the powers and duties of the former Land Agents of the 
Commonwealth, — among which is the custody of the records 
of lands once held and conveyed by Massachusetts, and now 
within the limits of the State of Maine. By chapter 58 of 
the Resolves of 1873, a portion of these records was trans- 
ferred to the latter State ; and the records of Maine lands 
granted as bounties to revolutionary soldiers and their heirs, 
have always been in the custody of the Secretary of this 
Commonwealth. This Board is still responsible for the safe 
keeping of seven volumes of records of conveyances by this 
Commonwealth of lands in Maine, one volume of the like 
records of lands in Madawaska, one volume containing the 
plans and records of the drawings of the " Lottery Lands, " 
so called, in the easterly section of Maine, and an old account 
book, containing a record of the receipts and disbursements 
of the Land Agents on account of the above lands, from the 
year 1823 to the year 1853. 

These records, apart from their historical interest, have 
no present value except as furnishing evidence of title to 
lands in another State ; and record copies, to have legal 
effect, must be certified by the Secretary of the Common- 
wealth. As a matter of fact, most of the above volumes 
are now, for convenience in the investigation and proof 
of titles, in the Secretary's office, this Board holding his 
receipt therefor ; and it is respectfully recommended that all 
the archives of Maine lands be placed by law in the charge 
and custody of that officer, to be kept in his office. 

JOHN E. SANFORD. 
FRANCIS A. NYE. 
HENRY L. WHITING. 

Boston, January 1, ISS3. 



APPENDIX. 



APPENDIX. 



[See page 5 of this Report, ante.] 

AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE COMMONWEALTH AND 
THE BOSTON & ALBANY RAILROAD COMPANY 
ACTING BY THE NEW YORK & NEW ENGLAND 
RAILROAD COMPANY. 

Know all Men by These Presents, That 

Whereas, by an agreement between the Boston & Albany 
Railroad Company and the New York & New England Rail- 
road Company, made on the fifteenth clay of July, A. D. 
1880, and recorded with Suffolk Deeds, Lib. 1568, Fol. 45, 
to which reference may be had as if fully recited herein, 
s lid Boston & Albany Railroad Company agreed, upon and 
after a full performance by said New York & New England 
Railroad Company of each and all of its agreements thereby 
made, to release to it all the right, title and interest which 
said Boston & Albany Railroad Company had or could have, 
under and by virtue of any agreements theretofore made by 
it with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in or to any 
lands or flats in that part of Boston called South Boston, in 
said Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which said Common- 
wealth had theretofore agreed to convey to it, subject to all 
the terms, provisions and conditions of each and all of said 
agreements : and that said New York '& New England Rail- 
road Company might act as the attorney of said Boston & 
Albany Railroad Company, and in its name and behalf en- 
force, defend or settle any legal right, claim or liability of 
or against it under said agreements, or in regard to or in 
connection with said lands or flats, except as therein ex- 
cepted, but only at the cost and expense of said New York 



56 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONEES. [Jan. 

& New England Railroad Company, and without increasing 
or creating any liability of said Boston & Albany Railroad 
Company ; 

And Whereas, said Commonwealth, acting by its Board 
of Harbor and Land Commissioners, with the approval of 
its Governor and Council, and to the satisfaction of said 
Board, of the one part, and said New York & New Eng- 
land Railroad Company, and said Boston & Albany Railroad 
Company acting by said New York & New England Rail- 
road Company as its attorney under the authority and 
power aforesaid, of the other part, have mutually agreed 
upon a full settlement, on the terms hereinafter set forth 
and agreed upon, of all matters, claims and demands 
asserted in the suit at law now pending in the Superior 
Court in and for the County of Suffolk, in said Common- 
wealth, or in the proceedings in equity now pending in the 
Supreme Judicial Court in and for said County of Suffolk, 
commenced against said Boston & Albany Railroad Company 
in pursuance of chapter fifty (50) of the Resolves passed 
by the General Court of said Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts in the year eighteen hundred and eighty (1880), or 
arising under or by virtue of all or any of the stipulations, 
agreements or provisions contained or made in or by said 
agreements between said Boston & Albany Railroad Com- 
pany and said Commonwealth ; 

NOW, THEN, IT IS HEREBY AGREED, Oil this first day of 

August, in the year 1882, by and between said Common- 
wealth, party hereto of the first part, and said New York 
& New England Railroad Company, and said Boston & 
Albany Railroad Company acting as aforesaid, party hereto 
of the second part, as follows, namely: 

That the total sum or sums of money due or payable to 
said Commonwealth from said Boston & Albany Railroad 
Company, or from said New York & New England Rail- 
road Company, on account of any or all of said matters, 
claims or demands, or under all or an}' of said agreements, 
including all principal, interest, damages and liabilities of 
every name and nature, is the sum of one hundred thousand 
dollars, and no more, with interest at the rate of five per 
centum per annum from the first day of May, in the year 
1882. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 57 

And said New York & New England Railroad Company 
agrees with said Commonwealth, that said company will 

(I.) Before or at the expiration of ten (10) years from and 
after the said first day of May, A. D. 1882, pay to said 
Commonwealth said sum of $100,000, with interest from 
and after said first day of May at the rate of five per centum 
per annum, payable semi-annually on the first days of May 
and November in each year ; and will accept instead of, and 
as and for a conveyance of the land which said Common- 
wealth in and by said agreements agreed to convey to said 
Boston & Albany Railroad Company, a conveyance in fee 
simple, free from all incumbrances except as hereinafter 
stated, of all that parcel of land situated in said South Bos- 
ton, bounded and described as follows : 

Beginning at the southerly corner of said parcel, at the 
intersection of the south-westerly side-line of Congress 
Street as located and laid out by the Board of Street Com- 
missioners for the City of Boston, March 14, 1879, with the 
north-westerly side-line of " B " Street ; thence running north 
40° 59' 59" east, along the north-westerly side-line of said 
" B" Street, seven hundred and ninety-one and fifty-seven 
one-hundredths (791^^) feet ; thence running north 30° 06' 
28" east, and bounded south-easterly by other land of the 
Commonwealth, one thousand five hundred and twenty- 
three and sixteen one-hundredths (1,523^^) feet ; thence 
north 61° 01' 04" west, eight hundred and twenty-two 
and ninety-four one-hundredths (822^^) feet; thence, on 
the arc of a curve of two thousand three hundred and 
seventy (2,370) feet radius, to which the said last-described 
line is tangent at its westerly end, one hundred and sixteen 
and seventy-three one-hundredths (HGy 7 ^) feet, more or 
less, to the dividing line, wherever it may be, between the 
land hereby agreed to be conveyed and other land known as 
the 25-Acre Lot, heretofore agreed to be conveyed by the 
said Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the said New York 
& New England Railroad Company, in accordance with the 
provisions of chapter two hundred and sixty (260) of the 
Acts of the General Court of Massachusetts for the year 
1880. The course of a straight line which connects the ends 
of said last-described curved line is north 62° 25' 44" west, 



58 HAKBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

and its length is one hundred and sixteen and seventy-one 
one-hundredths (116 t 7 qL) feet, more or less. Thence con- 
tinuing south 30° 07' 50" west, along the said division line, 
and bounded north-westerly by the said 25-Acre Lot, one 
thousand and three hundred and seventeen and four-tenths 
(1,317 t 4 q) feet, more or less ; thence south 55° 48' 31" east, 
and bounded south-westerly by land of the Boston Wharf 
Company, seventy and ninety-six one-hundredths (70^^) 
feet, more or less, to a point which is on a south-easterly 
extension of the straight boundary line on the south-westerly 
side of the land hereinbefore referred to as to be conveyed 
in accordance with the terms of chapter 260 of the Acts 
of the General Court of Massachusetts for the year 1880, 
and is distant ninety-seven and fifty-seven one-hundredths 
(97 t 5 7 q) feet from a copper bolt in a stone bound on the 
said boundary line, and is also distant one thousand and 
ninety-three (1,093) feet from the intersection of said south- 
westerly boundary line of said 25-Acre Lot with the harbor 
line on the easterly side of Fort Point Channel, as defined by 
chapter thirty-five (35) of the Acts of the General Court of 
Massachusetts for the year 1840; thence south 30° 01' 35" 
west, and bounded north-westerly by land of the Boston 
Wharf Company and by Congress Street, eight hundred and 
eighteen and forty-five one-hundredths (818 t 4 5 q) feet to a 
point in the south-westerly side-line of Congress Street 
hereinbefore referred to ; thence south 49° 00' 01" east, 
along the south-westerly side-line of said Congress Street, 
and bounded south-westerly by land of the Boston Wharf 
Company and other land known as the 12-Acre Lot, hereto- 
fore agreed to be conveyed by the said Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts to the said New York & New England Rail- 
road Company, seven hundred and thirty-one and fifty-six 
one-hundredths (731 I 5 ~ ( f- ) feet to the point of beginning, — 
containing by estimation 1,976,654 square feet, more or less. 
For a more particular description, reference may be had to 
the accompanying plan.* Intending to include in the fore- 
going description all the land lying between, and bounded 
by, the exterior north-easterly line set forth in the accom- 

* The plan referred to is on file in the offices of the Secretary and the Treas- 
urer of the Commonwealth, and of this Board. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 59 

panying plan, the parcel of land known as the 25-Acro Lot 
described in chapter 2 GO of the Acts passed by the Gen- 
eral Court of said Commonwealth in the year 1880, land 
of the Boston Wharf Company, the parcel of land described 
in said chapter as "a parcel of land and flats containing 
twelve acres, more or less," "B" Street, so called, and a 
line running south 30° 06' 28" west, one thousand five 
hundred and twenty-eight and sixteen one-hundredths 
(1,528^^) feet from said exterior line to the point where 
said line intersects with the northerly line of "B" Street. 
All bearings or courses stated in the foregoing description, 
are to be referred to the meridian 71° 00' 54.883" west 
longitude. 

Said conveyance to be subject to any rights which the 
City of Boston may have acquired in Eastern Avenue or 
Congress Street, and to any obligations of the Common- 
wealth,- under the agreements and indenture next herein- 
after mentioned, in relation thereto; and to be subject to 
the rights as to the laying out of Northern Avenue, or of 
any drains or sewers on, over or in said parcel of land 
hereinbefore described, and said to contain by estimation 
1,976,654 square feet, more or less, which are reserved to 
said Commonwealth and to the City of Boston in and by 
agreements between said Commonwealth and said Boston 
& Albany Railroad Company, dated on the eighth day of 
December, A. D. 1869, and on the twenty-fourth day of 
June, A. D. 1873, or in and by an indenture of four parts 
between said Commonwealth of the first part, said Boston 
& Albany Railroad Company of the second part, the Boston 
Wharf Company of the third part, and said City of Boston 
of the fourth part, dated on said twenty-fourth day of June, 
1873, except so far as the rights so reserved to said Com- 
monwealth are modified by express provisions of this agree- 
ment ; and to be subject to any obligations of said Common- 
wealth, under said agreements and indenture, in relation to 
said parcel of land or any portion thereof. 

And said New York & New England Railroad Company 
further agrees with said Commonwealth, that said Company 
will 

(II.) Proceed forthwith to perform with all practicable 



60 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

despatch all the filling and other work which said Common- 
wealth is now entitled to have performed by said Boston & 
Albany Railroad Company upon or in relation to said parcel 
of land, which filling and other work is agreed by the parties 
hereto to be the following only and no more ; that is to say : 

(1) Fill with solid filling, to the grade of sixteen feet 
above mean low water, the area on the accompanying plan 
within a line drawn from a to b to c to d to e to g to h 
to i to j to k to I to m to n to «, the place of beginning. 
]f the filling of said area along said line, from I to m to n, 
shall not be done in such time and manner as to protect the 
filling of the adjoining territory by said Commonwealth, 
then the said New York & New England Railroad Company 
shall, on demand, pay to said Commonwealth the actual cost 
of all material deposited by said Commonwealth on said 
adjoining territory, which may flow or form a slope upon 
said area along said line. The area bounded by and within 
a line beginning at point e 9 thence to o, thence to jp, thence 
to g, thence to point e, the place of beginning, is for the 
present reserved for a dock : provided, that said company 
shall have the right, at any time within twenty-five (25) 
years from the date of this agreement, to fill said last- 
described area and build the sea-walls around said area so 
far as indicated on the accompanying plan, the work of fill- 
ing and of building the said wall to be done in such way as 
shall be approved by said Board of Harbor and Land Com- 
missioners ; but if said company does not within said twenty- 
five (25) years exercise said right of filling said last-described 
area, it shall be taken to have elected to have reserved the 
same for a dock. 

(2) Complete the wall on Pier Number four (4) as shown 
on the accompanying plan, in such way as shall be approved 
by said Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners. 

And said Commonwealth on its part agrees with said 
New York & New England Railroad Company, that said 
company shall be permitted to pay all or any part of said 
sum of $100,000 at any time within the period of ten years 
aforesaid, after ten (10) days' notice of its intention so to 
do, with the interest accrued on the part so paid up to the 
date of such payment ; and that, upon the payment to said 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 61 

Commonwealth by said New York & New England Rail- 
road Company, or by said Boston & Albany Railroad Com- 
pany, of the whole of said $100,000 with the interest accrued 
thereon, or upon the giving of such security therefor as said 
Commonwealth, by its officers or agents hereafter duly 
authorized so to do, shall accept as satisfactory, said Com- 
missioners not declaring that they have any authority so to 
accept, and upon the due performance of the filling and 
other work which said New York & New England Railroad 
Company is bound to do as afuresaid, and of all acts and 
things, other than filling or work or payment of money, 
which either of said Railroad Companies is bound to do, 
under the aforesaid agreements and indenture as modified 
by these presents, prior to the conveyance of said parcel of 
land by said Commonwealth, said Commonwealth, under 
the aforesaid agreements and indenture as modified by these 
presents, will convey by a good and sufficient warranty deed 
to said Boston & Albany Railroad Company, or to such 
grantee or assignee as the said Boston & Albany Railroad 
Company shall in writing designate or appoint, or to said 
New York & New England Railroad Company, upon the due 
execution and delivery of the release which said Boston & 
Albany Railroad Company, by the agreement first herein 
referred to, agrees, as therein stated, to give to said New 
York & New England Railroad Company, all said parcel 
of land, and all the land which as aforesaid the said fore- 
going description is intended to include, free from and of 
all incumbrances except as aforesaid. 

And whereas Northern Avenue, so called, may be here- 
after so laid out over said parcel of land that, by reason of 
the provisions of the agreements or indenture next here- 
inafter mentioned, said Boston &, Albany Railroad Company 
or New York & New England Railroad Company may not 
be entitled to compensation therefor ; and whereas the cost, 
at the rates hereinafter specified, of the portions of said 
parcel which may be so taken for said Northern Avenue, 
is included in said sum of $100,000, and, in case of the 
laying out of said Northern Avenue without compensation 
for the reason aforesaid, ought not to be claimed or retained 
by said Commonwealth : 



62 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Now, then, the said Commonwealth cloth further agree 
that, if and when said Northern Avenue is or shall be so 
laid out, whether by said Commonwealth or by the City of 
Boston, under the provisions of the aforesaid agreements of 
December 8, 1869, and June 24, 1873, or of the aforesaid 
indenture of June 24, 1873, over said parcel or any part 
thereof, provided, it is so laid out by said Commonwealth 
or said City of Boston in the due exercise of the rights 
reserved or given by said agreements or indenture, and in 
such manner and within such time, that said Common- 
wealth or City of Boston is not bound to make such com- 
pensation and does not incur any liability for land damages 
for so doing, said Commonwealth will deduct from said 
$100,000, or credit on said $100,000, the amount of the cost, 
at the rate of fifty (50) cents per square foot, of all that por- 
tion of the land hereby agreed to be conveyed which shall 
be included within said Northern Avenue as so laid out, and 
which lies between the boundary line dividing said land from 
the 25- Acre Lot, so called, as said line is shown on the ac- 
companying plan, (described as S. 30° 07 / 50" W. 1317.40 
feet, more or less,) and a line drawn parallel to, and distant 
seventy and seventy-eight one-hundreclths (70^^) feet 
south-easterly from, said boundary line, and of the cost, at 
the rate of twenty (20) cents per square foot, of any other 
portions of said land so included within said Northern 
Avenue, with interest at five (5) per centum per annum 
from and after the first day of May, 1882, on said amount, 
or repay the same amount and interest, if already paid to 
it, to that one of said companies which shall have paid the 
same. And said Commonwealth on its part hereby releases 
to said Boston & Albany Railroad Company and to said New 
York & New England Railroad Company, all right which it 
has by virtue of the aforesaid agreement of December 8, 
1869, to lay out said Northern Avenue on or over said par- 
cel of land or any part thereof, at any time after two years 
after the filling and other work, hereinbefore stipulated to 
be done, has been completed, and written notice thereof 
given to said Commonwealth. 

And in consideration of the premises, and of the sum of 
$330,000 heretofore paid by said Boston & Albany Railroad 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 63 

Company to said Commonwealth, said Commonwealth hereby 
releases and discharges said Boston & Albany Kail road 
Company of and from all debts, claims, demands, liabilities 
or obligations to or for the payment or performance of 
money, damages, filling, or other work, or any other matters 
or things arising under or by virtue of said agreements made 
by said Boston & Albany Railroad Company with said Com- 
monwealth, or by reason of any breach thereof, and accepts 
said New York & New England Railroad Company in the 
place of said Boston & Albany Railroad Company, with all 
the rights and subject to all the liabilities which said Boston 
<fe Albany Railroad Company would have or be liable to un- 
der said agreements as modified by these presents, except 
that said Commonwealth agrees not to make to said New 
York & New England Railroad Company the conveyance 
aforesaid, except upon and after the full performance by it 
of all its agreements made in and by said first herein mentioned 
agreement of July 15, 1880, or upon the written request or 
with the written consent thereto of said Boston & Albany 
Railroad Company ; and said Boston & Albany Railroad Com- 
pany, acting as aforesaid by said New York & New England 
Railroad Company, doth hereby release, acquit, and dis- 
charge said Commonwealth of and from all claims and de- 
mands under said agreements for the conveyance to it, the 
said company, of any land situated in said South Boston, 
except said parcel of land and except the land which as 
aforesaid said foregoing description is intended to include. 

And said Commonwealth and said Boston & Albany Rail- 
road Company, acting as aforesaid by said New York & 
New England Railroad Company, and said New York & 
New England Railroad Company for itself, mutually ac- 
cept these presents as a full accord and satisfaction of all 
claims and demands arising under any previous agreements 
relative to the subject-matters aforesaid. 

In Testimony Whereof, on this first clay of August, in 
the year 1882, the said Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
acting by its Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, 
hath caused its corporate seal to be hereto affixed, and these 
presents to be signed and delivered in its name and behalf, 
and the same to be approved by its Governor and Council ; 



64 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

and the said New York & New England Railroad Company, 
acting for itself, and as the attorney of the said Boston & 
Albany Railroad Company, by James H. Wilson, its presi- 
dent, thereunto duly authorized by vote of its directors, a 
copy of which vote is hereunto annexed, hath hereunto set 
its corporate name and seal ; and the said Boston & Albany 
Railroad Company, by William Bliss, its president, there- 
unto duly authorized by vote of its directors, a copy of 
which vote is hereto annexed, in token of its assent to the 
provisions of the foregoing agreement, hath hereunto set its 
corporate name and seal. 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 

By John E. Sanford, l Harbor and 

Francis A. Nye, V Land coS™™.] 

Henry L. Whiting, J Commissioners. 

NEW YORK & NEW ENGLAND RAILROAD COMPANY, 

By James H. Wilson, President. n. t. & n. e. 

E. B. CO.] 

BOSTON & ALBANY RAILROAD COMPANY, 
By New York & New England R.R. Co., its Attorne}-, 

By James H. Wilson, President. 

BOSTON & ALBANY R. R. CO., 

By William Bliss, President. B . &T. A b.r. co.j 



Boston, December 26, 1882. 

At a meetino; of the Directors of the New York & New 
England Railroad Company, held December 22, 1882, the 
following vote was passed : — 

" A draft of a proposed agreement of settlement between this Com- 
pany, as the attorney of the Boston & Albany Railroad Company, under 
the agreement between the Boston & Albany Railroad Company and 
this Company, dated July 15th, 1880, and the Commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts, by which it is agreed that all liabilities shall be compromised 
for the sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), with interest at 
five (5) per cent, from May 1st, 1882, was submitted by the General 
Solicitor of this Company; and, on motion of Mr. Hart, it was 

" Voted, That the President of the Company be, and he hereby is, 
authorized, in its name and behalf, to sign its corporate name and 
set its common seal to the instrument which has just been sub- 
mitted, dated the first (1st) day of August, 1882; provided, however, 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 65 

that any modification in the details of said agreement, which may be 
deemed necessary or proper by the President and General Solicitor, may 
be made before the execution thereof." 

A true copy from the record, 

Attest : 

CsEA N L J f E TH B E co.r & JAMES W. PERKINS, 

Clerk of Board of Directors. 



Boston, December 26, 1882. 
We hereby certify that the foregoing instrument is the instrument 
submitted to the Directors of the New York & New England Railroad 
Company, at their meeting held December 22d, 1882, and referred to 
in the appended copy of vote passed at said meeting, with slight verbal 
changes approved by us. 

JAMES W. WILSON, 

President of N. Y. & N. E. B. B. Co. 

WILLIAM CALEB LORING, 

General Solicitor of N. Y. & N. E. B. B. Co. 



Boston, January 3, 1883. 

At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Boston & 
Albany Railroad Company, duly held In the city of Boston 
this third day of January, A. D. 1883, the following vote 
was passed : — 

Whereas, The Counsel of the Corporation has examined the proposed 
agreement of settlement of the controversy between the N. Y. & N. E. 
R. R. Co. and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, relative to the South 
Boston Flats, and approves of the same, 

Voted, That the President be authorized to consent to the same in 
writing in behalf of the corporation. 

J. A. RUMRILL, 
Secretary and Clerk. 



COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS. 

Boston, January 4, 1883. 
Approved by the Governor and Council. 

HENRY B. PEIRCE, 

Secretary of the Commonwealth. 



Secretary's Department, 
Boston, January 12, 1883. 

Recorded in Vol. 2, Treaties, Contracts, &c. Pages 360-373. 



66 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



[2.] 



AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOSTON & ALBANY 
RAILROAD COMPANY AND THE NEW YORK & NEW 
ENGLAND RAILROAD COMPANY, REFERRED TO IN 
THE PRECEDING AGREEMENT. 

Memorandum of an Agreement, made this fifteenth day of 
July, A. D. 1880, by and between the Boston & Albany 
Railroad Company and the New York & New England Rail- 
road Company. 

Said Boston & Albany Railroad Company hereby, pur- 
suant to the authority given it by St. 1869, ch. 461, and all 
other powers it has in the premises, agrees, upon and after 
a full performance by said New York & New England Rail- 
road Company of each and all of its agreements hereby 
made, to release to it all the right, title and interest which 
said Boston & Albany Railroad Company has, or can have, 
under and by virtue of any agreements heretofore made with 
it by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in or to any lands, 
or flats, situate in that part of Boston, in said Commonwealth, 
called South Boston, which said Commonwealth has hereto- 
fore agreed to convey to it, subject to all the terms, provi- 
sions aud conditions of each and all of said agreements. 

And said New York & New England Railroad Company 
hereby agrees to pay to said Boston & Albany Railroad 
Company, forthwith, the sum of thirty thousand dollars, 
with interest at the rate of six per cent, per annum from 
and after the seventh day of February, A. D. 1879, and the 
sum of three hundred thousand dollars within ten years 
from said day, with interest thereon until paid, payable 
semi-annually on the first days of January and July of each 
year, at the rate of two per cent, per annum for the first five 
years, and at the rate of four per cent, per annum for the 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 67 

next five years ; and also to do, pay and perform all acts, 
work, moneys, interest, damages, matters and things of any 
kind or description whatever, which said Boston & Albany 
Railroad Company has agreed, or was, is now, or may or can 
hereafter be, legally bound or required to do, pay or per- 
form, either by, under or in consequence either of, or of any 
breach of, all or any part or clause of any agreement or 
agreements heretofore made by it with said Commonwealth, 
or any other person or corporation, for or in relation to said 
lands or flats, or any work or materials already or to be done 
or furnished to, for, upon, in relation to, or in connection 
with said lands or flats, or as owning or interested in said 
lands or flats, or any part thereof; excepting work or mate- 
rials in fact done or furnished before the tenth day of Sep- 
tember, A. D. 1878, or moneys heretofore paid by it to said 
Commonwealth. 

Said New York & New England Railroad Company may 
occupy and use said lands and flats if, and so long only as, it 
shall fulfil and perform its agreements hereby made ; and may 
act as the attorney of said Boston & Albany Railroad Com- 
pany, and, in its name and behalf, enforce, defend or settle any 
legal right, claim or liability of or against it under said agree- 
ment or agreements, or in regard to or in 'connection with said 
lands or flats, except as aforesaid, but only at the cost and ex- 
pense of the said New York & New England Railroad Com- 
pany, and without increasing or creating any liability of said 
Boston & Albany Railroad Company ; and hereby agrees to 
pay all reasonable expenses, including counsel fees, incurred 
by said Boston & Albany Railroad Company in defending or 
resisting any such claim or liability of or against it under 
said agreement or agreements, or in regard to or in connec- 
tion with said lands or flats, except as aforesaid, and to pay 
or indemnify it against all taxes and assessments assessed 
after the seventh day of February, A. D. 1879, on said lands 
or flats, or any part thereof. 

In witness whereof, said Boston & Albany Railroad Com- 
pany, and said New York and New England Railroad Com- 
pany, each by its respective President, thereto duly author- 
ized, has hereto signed its corporate name and set its com- 



68 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

mou seal, on this fifteenth day of July, in the year eighteen 
hundred and eighty. 

THE BOSTON & ALBANY R. R. CO., 

By ¥m. Bliss, President. [corporate skal.] 

NEW YORK & NEW ENGLAND RAILROAD CO., 

By Wm. T. Hart, President. [corporate 

7 SEAL.J 

Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of 

Chas. F. Walcott, 
To execution by B. & A. R. R. Co. 

G. W. Baldwin, 
To execution by N. Y. & N. E. R. R. Co. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 69 



[3.] 

[See page 4 of Report, ante.] 

CONTRACT OF THE COMMONWEALTH WITH THE 
NEW ENGLAND DREDGING COMPANY. 

Articles of Agreement, made this first day of July, in the 
year eighteen hundred and eighty-two, by and between the 
New England Dredging Company, a corporation established 
under the laws of Massachusetts, party of the first part, and 
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting by its Board of 
Harbor and Land Commissioners, party of the second part. 

Said party of the first part hereby covenants and agrees to 
furnish all the plant, tools, appliances and labor necessary to 
receive, store, elevate and deposit, as hereinafter provided, 
all the material, except rocks, stones and sewage matter, 
dredged in and about Boston Harbor, for which a dumping- 
ground is desired, or may be assigned by the Board of Har- 
bor and Land Commissioners. 

Said party of the first part may locate the dumping-ground 
and elevating station for said material, between the elevating 
station now used by said party in executing its contract with 
said party of the second part, dated August twelfth (12th), 
eighteen hundred and eighty-one (1881), and the bulkhead 
extending northerly from the southerly line of Eastern 
Avenue on a line parallel with and fifty feet east of the east- 
erly line of C Street extended, or in any other location ap- 
proved by said Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners ; 
and the same shall be of sufficient capacity to accommodate 
and dispose of all the material offered. 

The approach to said dumping-ground shall be kept free 
and easy of access for scows and tow-boats to bring material 
thereto at or near high water, and, should it be necessary to 
excavate a channel for that purpose, the said Board of Har- 
bor and Land Commissioners may require, and by their 
engineer direct, the party of the first part to dredge the 
same, the material so dredged to be deposited in accordance 



70 HARBOR AND LAISD COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

with, and accepted as part performance of, the aforesaid con- 
tract dated August twelfth (1 2th), eighteen hundred and 
eighty-one (1881), and the channel so excavated, and the 
necessary space excavated around the elevating station, to be 
refilled, upon the expiration of this contract, or the abandon- 
ment of said station before that time, to its present level, by 
said party of the second part. 

The two elevating stations aforesaid shall be separated by 
a substantial bulkhead, to be built by said party of the first 
part, of such dimensions and construction as shall be ap- 
proved by the engineer of said Board of Harbor and Land 
Commissioners. 

All the material offered as aforesaid shall be elevated, con- 
veyed and deposited, between the present surface and grade 
thirteen (13), on the area lying between the southerly boun- 
dary of the area to be filled by said party of the first part 
under the aforesaid contract dated August twelfth (12th), 
eighteen hundred and eighty-one (1881), and the southerly 
line of Cipher Street, so called, and between B Street and a 
line one hundred feet east of and parallel with D Street ex- 
tended, in such places and in such order, working from said 
B Street easterly, as is consistent with a systematic and 
practicable arrangement of tramways, to be constructed by 
said party of the first part for that purpose ; but said party 
of the second part reserves the right to fill, or cause to be 
filled by other parties, a strip along the southerly side of 
said area, not exceeding three hundred feet in width, without 
prejudice to the right of said party of the first part to be 
paid for material deposited under this contract and flowing 
upon said strip. 

In all work under this contract, the lines, grades and in- 
structions, not inconsistent with the provisions hereof, of the 
engineer of said Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, 
shall be strictly observed, and all necessary aid and materials 
for giving and indicating said lines and grades, shall be fur- 
nished by said party of the first part. 

All the work aforesaid shall be done to the reasonable 
satisfaction of said engineer, from time to time, during the 
progress and until the completion and acceptance of said 
work. The material deposited shall be left smooth and 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT— No. 11. 71 

level at grade thirteen (13), except in such places as may 
be only partially filled at the expiration of this contract, and, 
where the boundaries are unprotected, the filling may take 
its natural slope. 

Said party of the second part hereby covenants and agrees 
to pay said party of the first part, for the work aforesaid, at 
the rate of twenty-five cents for each cubic yard, as measured 
in the fill, of material received, stored, elevated and deposited 
as aforesaid. 

Monthly estimates of the work done shall be made by the 
engineer in charge, and monthly payments made of seventy- 
five per cent, of the contract price for all such material above 
grade thirteen (13), and ninety per cent, of the contract 
price for all such material below grade thirteen (13). 

When an area has been graded level at grade thirteen 
(13), or at such grade as. shall be thought necessary to allow 
for settling to said grade, payment shall be made of ninety 
per cent, of the contract price for all such material on said 
area up to grade thirteen (13), the remaining ten per cent, 
to be retained until the final completion and acceptance of 
the work, or the expiration of this contract. 

When the area filled from one tramway has been levelled 
and maintained at grade thirteen (13) for one month, such 
area shall be accepted as to grade, and the contractor re- 
lieved of further responsibility for the same. 

Upon all questions of measurements, lines or grades, pro- 
posed in writing by one party, the decision of the engineer 
of said Board, after notice to the other party, shall be final. 

This agreement shall expire on the eighteenth (18th) day 
of August, eighteen hundred and eighty-four (1884), and, if 
said party of the first part shall refuse or neglect to prosecute 
the work herein contracted for, or in any other substantial 
respect shall violate or fail to carry out this agreement, said 
party of the second part may at any time annul the same, 
and contract anew with other parties, without prejudice to 
its claim for. damages arising from breach hereof. 

In Witness Whereof, the said New England Dredging 
Company has caused its corporate seal to be hereto affixed, 
and these presents to be signed and delivered, in its name 
and behalf, by Charles H. Souther, its President and Treas- 



72 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

urer, and the said Commonwealth has caused its seal to be 
hereto affixed, and these presents to be signed and delivered, 
in its name and behalf, by its Board of Harbor and Land 
Commissioners, the day and year first above written, and the 
same to be approved by its Governor and Council. 



NEW ENGLAND DREDGING COMPANY, 

SrVnTTTTTT? [seal of js 

SOUTHER, DREDGI 

President and Treasurer. 



By Charles H. Souther, [SE ^°n F .™^ N ? LAND 



THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS 

By John E. Sanford, \ Harbor and 

Francis A. Nye, > Land coS™ 

Henry L. Whiting, j Commissioners. 



Executed in presence of 

D. KOPPMANN, 

Witness to all the signatures. 

In Council, August 15, 1882* Approved. 

HENRY B. PEIRCE, Secretary. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 73 



[4-] 

[See page 4 of Report, ante.] 

CONTRACT OF THE COMMONWEALTH WITH STEPHEN 
JENNEY & COMPANY. 

This Indenture, made this first day of July, 1882, by and 
between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, party of the 
first part, and Bernard Jenney and Francis H. Jenney, co- 
partners, doing business under the name of Stephen Jenney 
& Company, parties of the second part, witnesseth : — 

Said party of the first part covenants and agrees that it 
will not, for the term of three years from the day of the date 
hereof, hinder or obstruct the access of said parties of the 
second part, their heirs and assignes, to their wharf, situate 
at South Boston, and known as Jenney's Wharf, by any fill- 
ing or deposit made, or structure built, or other thing done 
by it, or under its license or authority, between said wharf 
and a line indicated by the red line A B C on the plan* here- 
to annexed and made a part hereof; nor, in any manner as 
aforesaid, during said term, cut off the approach to said wharf, 
from the main harbor of the City of Boston, by some channel 
or course having as deep water as the present channel or 
course affords. 

Said party of the first part doth also hereby lease, de- 
mise and let unto said parties of the second part, to 
have and to hold to them, their heirs and assigns, for the 
term aforesaid, a certain rectangular parcel of land or flats, 
lying adjacent to their wharf aforesaid, and indicated on said 
annexed plan* by the letters D E F and G, placed in red ink 
at the several corners thereof; together with all the right, 
title and interest which said party of the first part hath in 
and to so much of the street laid out or projected, and called 
E Street, as lies between said parcel and Monks Wharf, and 
between the lines E F and D G, on said plan, extended. 

* The plan referred to is on file in the offices of the Secretary and the Treasurer of 
the Commonwealth, and of this Board. 



74 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. | Jan. 

In consideration of the foregoing, said parties of the second 
part, for themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators 
and assigns, covenant and agree to pay to said party of the 
first part, the sum of six hundred and fifty dollars ($650) 
each year during the term aforesaid, in equal semi-annual in- 
stalments of three hundred and twenty- five dollars ($325) 
each, payable on the first days of January and July, the first 
payment to be made on the first day of January, 1883. 

In testimony whereof, the said party of the first part, by 
its Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, has caused 
these presents to be executed in its name and behalf, and its 
seal to be hereto affixed, and the same to be approved by its 
Governor and Council ; and the said parties of the second 
part have hereunto set their hands and seals, the day and 
year first above written. 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 
Bv John E. Sanford, j Harbor and 
' Francis A. Nye, ' J Land oJBSMMSj 

Henry L. Whiting, ) Commissioners. 

BERNARD JENNEY. (seal.) 
FRANCIS H. JENNEY. (seal.) 

Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of 

D. Koppmann, Witness to all Parties. 
In Council, August 15, 1882. Approved. 

HENRY B. PEIRCE, Secretary. 



1883. J PUBLIC DOCUMENT— No. 11. 75 



[5-] 

[See page 4 of Report, ante.] 

CONTRACT OF THE COMMONWEALTH WITH THE 
TRUSTEES UNDER THE WILL OF JOHN P. MONKS. 

This Indenture, made this first day of July, 1882, by and 
between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, party of the 
first part, and Richard J. Monks and Frank H. Monks, 
trustees under the will of John P. Monks, parties of the 
second part, witnesseth : — 

Said party of the first part covenants and agrees that it will 
not, for the term of three years from the day of the date hereof, 
hinder or obstruct the access of said parties of the second 
part, their successors and assigns, to their wharf, situate at 
South Boston, and known as Monks Wharf, by any filling or 
deposit made, or structure built, or other thing done by it, or 
under its license or authority, between said wharf and a line 
indicated by the red line A B C on the plan* hereunto 
annexed and made apart hereof; nor, in any manner as afore- 
said, during said term, cut off the approach to said wharf, 
from the main harbor of the City of Boston , by some channel 
or course having as deep water as the present channel or 
course affords. 

In consideration thereof, said parties of the second part, 
for themselves, their successors and assigns, covenant and 
agree to pay to said party of the first part, the sum of three 
hundred and fifty dollars ($350) each year during the term 
aforesaid, in equal semi-annual instalments of one hundred 
and seventy-five dollars ($175) each, payabls on the first 
days of January and July, the first payment to be made on 
the first day of January, 1883. 

In witness whereof, the said party of the first part, by its 
Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, has caused these 
presents to be executed in its name and behalf, and its seal 

* The plan referred to is on file in the offices of the Secretary and the Treasurer of 
the Commonwealth, and of this Board. 



76 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

to be hereto affixed, and the same to be approved by its 
Governor and Council ; and the said parties of the second 
part have hereunto set their hands and seals, the day and year 
first above written. 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 

By John E. Sanford, ") Harbor and 

Francis A. Nye, [ Land commonwealth.) 

Henry L. Whiting. \ Commissioners. 



RICHARD J. MONKS, ) T <«^-> 

FRANK H. MONKS, ) Irustees ' («al.) 



Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of 

D. Koppmann, Witness to all Parties. 

In Council, August 15, 1882. Approved. 

HENRY B. PEIRCE, Secretary. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 77 



[6.] 

[See page 3 of Report, ante.] 

SUPPLEMENTARY CONTRACT OF THE COMMON- 
WEALTH WITH THOMAS POTTER. 

Supplementary Agreement, made this twenty-sixth day of 
December, 1882, by and between Thomas Potter, party of 
the first part, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, party 
of the second part. 

Whereas, the said parties, on the 28th day of August, 1880, 
entered into an agreement in writing, which is referred to 
and made a part hereof as if fully recited herein, whereby 
the said Potter, upon the terms and conditions in said agree- 
ment set forth, agreed to do certain dredging in Boston Har- 
bor and, with the material so dredged, to fill certain flats of 
said Commonwealth at South Boston ; 

And whereas, it was stipulated in said agreement that the 
aforesaid dredging and filling should be completed by said 
Potter on or before the first day of January, 1883 ; 

And whereas, the said Potter will be unable to complete 
said work on or before said first day of January, 1883, and 
desires an extension of time for completing the same : 

Now, therefore, it is agreed by the parties hereto, that the 
time for executing and completing the work stipulated to be 
done by the said Potter in the agreement aforesaid, shall be, 
and is hereby, extended one year from and after said first 
day of January, 1883. 

It is also agreed that said Commonwealth may, by its 
Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, and in their dis- 
cretion, appoint from time to time a suitable person as in- 
spector, who shall have supervision, subject to the direction 
and control of the engineer of said Board, of the place and 
depth of the dredging to be done by said Potter under said 
original agreement; and the compensation of such inspector, 
at a reasonable and ordinary rate for such service, shall be 
paid by said Potter, by deducting the same from the pay- 



78 HAEBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

merits which may be due him from time to time under said 
agreement. 

All the provisions of said original agreement of August 
28th, 1880, regarding rate of compensation per cubic yard, 
and otherwise, shall be and remain in full binding force upon 
the parties hereto, except so far as expressly modified by the 
provisions of this agreement as aforesaid 

In testimony whereof, the said Thomas Potter has here- 
unto set his hand and seal, and the said Commonwealth has 
caused its seal to be hereto affixed, and these presents to be 
signed and delivered, in its name and behalf, by its Board of 
Harbor and Land Commissioners, the day and year first above 
written, and the same to be approved by its Governor and 
Council. 

THOMAS POTTER. [seal.] 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 

By John E. Sanford, ") Harbor and 

Francis A. Nye, [ Land o«3fiSiS«i 

Henry L. Whiting, ) Commissioners. 



Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Boston, January 1, 1883. 
Approved bv the Governor and Council. 

HENRY B. PEIRCE, 

Secretary of the Commonwealth. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 79 



[7.] 

[See page 40 of Report, a?ite.] 

United States Engineer Office, 

Waeeham, Mass., December 18, 1882. 

To the Hon. the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners. 

Gentlemen, — In reply to your request of the 14th inst., 
I have to state that it is only since September last that I have 
been charged with river and harbor improvements under the 
general government within the limits of your Commonwealth, 
and consequently there is little to be said upon the subject 
in addition to the data you have probably already before 
you. 

At the above mentioned date, I took charge of the harbors 
of Hyannis and Wareham, vacated by the death of the late 
General Warren, and subsequently relieved General Thorn 
of the charge of the harbors of Scituate, Plymouth and 
Provincetown. Although but little has been done within 
the limited period I have had charge of these works, I am 
happy to furnish you with the information I understand you 
to desire even as regards that little, and as follows. 

Hyannis, 

This is a completed harbor, the charge consisting in seeing 
that the stone breakwater protecting the anchorage is kept in 
repair. 

General Warren, in his last annual report, suggests im- 
provement of the channel of entrance by dredging. I shall 
examine into the matter and follow it up in my next annual 
report. 

Wareham. 

The improvement is designed to afford a commodious 
channel from Buzzard's Bay to the town front, through 
which vessels drawing thirteen feet can sail at high tide. 
This involves the expenditure of about $30,000 in dredging, 
which can only be done advantageously in bulk, and con- 



80 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

sequently the small appropriation of $5,000, made at the last 
session of Congress, is now being expended upon catch-sand 
fencing on Long Beach, a sand spit which is encroaching on 
the navigable channel. 

By aid of this $5,000, within a month or so I shall have 
this sand spit thoroughly under my control, arresting all 
further channel encroachment, and raising the beach beyond 
flood-tide level, ready to be planted with beach grass in 
1883, which measure will fully complete the desired im- 
provement as far as this beach is concerned, all further 
operations being simply designed to widen the beach, and to 
place it in such condition as to be beyond danger of incom- 
moding the channel hereafter. 

The work of securing this beach is being done by build- 
ing brush fences, of alternate layers of scrub-pine trees and 
stone, to a height of three feet. These catch the sand, but 
are soon enveloped with it, the practical result, however, 
being to raise the beach to the height of their crest, and to 
the width between the fences. General Warren's work has 
resulted in bringing up the beach to high-tide level. I am 
now building a frame barrier, 1,000 feet long, on the basis of 
his work, by which I expect to bring the crest of the beach at 
least two feet above flood-tide level, and, when it is planted 
with beach grass, the improvement will be permanently 
secured. 

The prime necessity of this harbor now is an appropria- 
tion of at least $10,000, to enable the channel improvement, 
by dredging, to be undertaken. A less amount than 
>,000 is inadequate even to begin the work. 



Scituate, Plymouth and Provincetoivn. 
For your fuller information with regard to the stage of 
improvement of these harbors, I have the pleasure to mail 
you herewith a marked copy of the aiiuual report of Gen- 
eral Thom, which carries the history of the several improve- 
ments as far as June, 1882. I have only to add, with re- 
gard to 

Scituate, 

That the contractor is now vigorously prosecuting his con- 
tract, in connecting the last year's work with the shore line 
above high tide, at the old Cedar Point lighthouse. 



1883.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 81 



Plymouth . 

The contractor has placed 1,888 tons of stone upon the 
shore protection at the inner end of Long Beach, and has 
nearly connected the enrockment with the main land at the 
point I have indicated to him. This improvement will per- 
manently hold the end of the beach, but will not protect the 
adjacent channel to Plymouth wharves from encroachment by 
the sand carried from the beach into the channel through the 
enrockment by undertow. Consequently, in my next annual 
report, I shall estimate to secure this beach in a manner, not 
only to take care of the beach itself, but to prevent damage 

to the channel. 

Provincetoivn. 

Here the preservation of Long Point only is in question at 
present, although the whole peninsula, from Truro, both on 
the Atlantic and Massachusetts Bay side, needs watching. I 
shall patrol it personally before making my next annual 
report. At Long Point, the beach protection (enrockment) 
should have been continued this year to high-water line, and 
thence an apron of granite blocks should be carried at least a 
hundred feet along the beach. On assuming charge of these 
works, I tried to have this done at once, but I was unable to 
find contractors or men who would undertake it, to carry it 
out completely, so late in the year. As the incomplete work 
would damage the beach more than it would do it good, I 
have given the matter over until next spring, and will have 
it under contract by that time. 

In conclusion, I beg leave to state that I am glad to have 
received your letter of the 14th inst., as I recognize the fact 
that the interests of the United States and the Common- 
wealth are identical in these matters, and can best be sub- 
served by free communication between their several agents. 
Accordingly, I am always at the service of your honorable 
body, as far as our several duties concur, and have the honor 
to be, 

Very respectfully, 

F. HARWOOD, 

Major of Engineers. 



82 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan.'83. 



[8.] 



[See page 26 of Report, ante.] 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

In the year one thousand eight hundred and eighty-three. 

An Act to define the Boundary Line of Tide Water between the State of 
Massachusetts and the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plan- 
tations. 

Be it enacted, etc. : 

Section 1. The boundary line of tide water between the State of 
Massachusetts and the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 
is hereby located and defined as follows : Beginning at the southerly 
end of the boundary line of land between the said States, as the same is 
now established by law, and thence running southerly, in a course across 
and at right angles with the shore line, (which is a line drawn from the 
headland at Gooseberry Neck, in the former State, to the headland at 
Warren's Point, in the latter State,) to a point in latitude 41° 25' 05", 
longitude 71° 05' 28", and distant one marine league, southerly, from the 
said shore line. 

Section 2. This act shall take effect when the said boundary line, as 
herein located and defined, has been approved and established by the 
General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Planta- 
tions. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT. No. 11. 



ANNUAL REPORT 



HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS 



TOR 



THE YEAE 1883. 



BOSTON: 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., ST/ 4 TE PRINTERS, 

No. 18 Post Office Square. 

1884. 



APPENDIX. 



Commijtttoealijr of gtassatlpt&ttls. 



HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS' REPORT. 



To the Honorable the Senate and the House of Bepresentatives of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

The Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, in accord- 
ance with the provisions of law, respectfully submit their 
Annual Report for the year 1883. 

Back Bay Lands. 

The Commonwealth has realized from the sale of its lands 
on the Back Bay, up to the present time, after deducting 
the cost of filling and improvement, and the expenses of 
auction sales, the net sum of $3,285,602.68 ; and it may be 
safely estimated that a further sum of $180,000 will be re- 
ceived for the lots remaining unsold. 

It is interesting to notice that these large amounts will 
have accrued from the actual sale of less than one-half of the 
entire area originally owned by the Commonwealth. More 
than two- fifths of the whole area were devoted to avenues, 
streets and passage-ways ; and nearly one-seventh of the 
residue reserved for sale, has been donated to the city of 
Boston and to public institutions. 

The sales during the vear 1883 have been as follows : — 

19,040 feet on Boylston Street, north side, for . . . $76,048 00 

12,320 feet on Newbury Street, north side, for . . . 48,160 00 

9 ,4u8 feet on Newbury Street, south side, for . . . 31,808 00 

2,744 feet on Marlborough Street, north side, for . . 12,348 00 



43,512 feet in all, sold for $168,364 00 



4 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

The prices of lots have been gradually advanced from time 
to time. The highest price per foot obtained in 1883, was 
$4.50, the lowest price $3.00, and the average price $3.8693. 
Nearly one-half of all the land remaining for sale at the 
beginning of the year 1883 was disposed of during the 
year. 

The land still unsold is located as follows : — 



On Boylston Street, north side, . 
Boylston Street, south side, . 
Newbury Street, south side, . 
Commonwealth Avenue, south side, 
Marlborough Street, north side, . 

Total unsold, 



17,136 

7,875 
8,400 
3,237 
8,008 

44,656 



A summary statement is here presented, showing the sales 
and other disposition of the Back Bay lands, the gross re- 
ceipts and expenditures, and the net proceeds, on account of 
the same, from the beginning of the enterprise to the present 
time : — 



In 1857, the Commonwealth owned on the Back Bay, 



Of which there have been donated, . 
Devoted to streets and passage-ways, 
Sold, as per last Report, . 2,235,453.40 
Sold in 1883, . . . 43,512.00 



363,308.00 

2,037,068.60 



2,278,965.40 
44,656.00 



L,755,239 17 
168,364 00 



Remaining for sale December 31, 1883, 



The gross proceeds of land sold, as per 

last Report, 

The gross proceeds of land sold in 1883, . 

Rights in Parker Street sold, as per last 
Report, 



Cost of filling, grading, etc., as per last 

Report, . $1,626,008 71 

Cost of auction sales, as per last Report, . 14,291 78 



FEET. 

4,723,998 



4,723,998 

14,923,603 17 

2,300 00 

4,925,903 17 

1,640,300 49 



Net proceeds to December 31, 1883, . 



!,285,602 68 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 5 

Buildings on the Back Bay. 

The attention of the Board is called with increasing fre- 
quency to cases of the alleged erection or use of buildings, 
on the Back Bay, iu a manner contrary to the stipulations of 
the deeds by which the premises have been granted by the 
Commonwealth ; or its advice is sought in regard to the 
proper manner of the erection and use of such buildings. 

With the growing tendency of owner and architect to 
engraft new features upon the plans and style of building, 
an increased strain is brought to bear on the limitations of 
the deed. Variety of architectural effect, so far as it is 
attainable within the limits of correct taste, and with a due 
regard for rights which the Commonwealth is bound in good 
faith to protect, and without impairing the force of regula- 
tions which it is for the interest of all to maintain, — ought 
not to be discouraged. 

The restrictions which inhere in the title of the Back Bay 
lots, were wisely adapted to make them desirable to pur- 
chasers, and to enhance their value to both seller and buyer, 
by carefully guarding the manner of their occupation and 
use. The intention was, and the result has been, to make 
the Back Bay an especially attractive place for residence, 
and for such other uses and pursuits as shun the annoyance 
and unsightliness of the factory and workshop, and the en- 
croachments of business and trade. 

The plans of the Commonwealth were taken on a liberal 
scale. Large areas were devoted to public use and orna- 
ment. Spacious avenues were laid out, and their breadth 
and elegance were made still more effective by the reserva- 
tion of ample marginal spaces for turf, shrubbery and other 
ornamentation, upon which no building should encroach ex- 
cept under strict and uniform limitations. All buildings 
were required to be of a height in keeping with the general 
scale ; and no building was suffered to obstruct the light and 
outlook of other buildings more than its own were liable to 
be obstructed. 

Owners of estates who have been induced to purckase by 
reason of these regulations, and who have kept within the 
stipulations of their deeds in the erection and use of build- 



6 HAEBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

ings on their own lands, have just ground of complaint if 
others are allowed to disregard them ; and the Common- 
wealth would be guilty of gross neglect if, by its proper 
agents, it made no effort to prevent or remedy the wrong. 

There is already ample reason to apprehend the effect of 
infringements which, though not serious in themselves, in- 
volve the principle of the restrictions, and become mis- 
chievous precedents for larger and bolder encroachment. 
The distinctive character of the Back Bay, in the features 
here referred to, can be kept intact and permanent, only by 
resolutely maintaining the limitations upon its occupation 
and use which have made it what it is. 

The consequences of a violation of restrictions which 
attach in perpetuity to the title derived from the Common- 
wealth, are so serious to the owner of the estate, — exposing 
him to the peril of intrusion and legal interference, and 
operating like a cloud on the title to impair the market 
value of his property, — that it may be presumed that such 
violations occur oftener from ignorance, or inadvertence, or 
bad advice, than from deliberate purpose. 

For the convenience of the Board upon occasions when 
its advice or direction may be hereafter sought, and also, it 
is hoped, for the better information of all interested parties, 
an attempt is made, on the following pages, to reduce the 
stipulations of the deed to a system of rules, with notes and 
illustrations intended to make their meaning and intent 
clear. Some of the latter may seem too obvious to require 
statement, but the need of most of them has been suggested 
by cases within the experience of the Board. 

It is desirable first to state, so far as applicable to the 
matter now in hand, the precise terms of the stipulations 
embodied in the deed, and also in the bond for a deed 
usually given at the time of the 'original purchase. 



1884.] PUB LIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 7 

Pro visions of the Back Bay Deeds. 
/ 
All deeds/? an( ^ bonds for deeds, of Back Bay lands 

granted by ^e Commonwealth since January 28, 1863, have 

contained Ahe following clauses, — others, not material to 

the prese/"t purpose, being here omitted : — 

This /conveyance is made upon the following stipulations and 
agreem/ent : 

1, € That any building erected on the premises shall be at least 
three ^stories high for the main part thereof, and shall not, in any 
evenJPt, be used for a stable, or for an} r mechanical, [mercantile, if 
them building is on Commonwealth Avenue, ~\ or manufacturing pur- 
p^oses. 

2. That the front wall thereof, on [avenue or street], shall be 
set back [twent} 7 , twenty-two, o?*twent}-five, according to location,] 
feet from said [avenue or street] ; provided, that steps, windows, 
porticoes, and other usual projections, appurtenant to said front 
wall, are to be allowed in this reserved space of [twent} 7 , twent} T - 
two, or twenty-five] feet, subject to the following limitations, 
namely : 

First, that no projection of any kind (other than doorsteps and 
balustrades connected therewith, and also cornices at the roof of 
the building), will be allowed to extend more than five. feet from 
said front wall into said space ; and 

Second, that no projection in the nature of a bay-window, 
circular front, or octagon front, with the foundation wall sustaining 
the same (such foundation wall being a projection of the front 
wall) , will be allowed, unless any horizontal section of such projec- 
tion would fall within the external lines of a trapezoid whose bas^ 
upon the rear line of the aforesaid space does not exceed seven! 
tenths of the whole front of the building, nor exceed eighteen feel 
in any case, and whose side lines make an angle of forty-five 
degrees with the base ; and each house in a block shall be con- 
sidered a separate building within the meaning of this limitation. 

3. That no cellar or lower floor of any building shall be placed 
more than four feet below the level of the mill-dam, as fixed by^ 
the top surface of the hammered stone at the south-easterly corner] 
of the emptying sluices. 

4. That a passage-way, [sixteen or twent3 T -five, according tc 
location,'] feet wide, is to be laid out in the rear of the premises 
the same to be filled in by the Commonwealth and to be kept opej 
and maintained by the abutters in common. 



8 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

And said Commonwealth reserves the right to# enter upon the 
premises, by its agents and at the expense oh the party at 
fault, to remove or alter, in conformity with the abovmp stipulations, 
any building, or portion thereof, which may be erMected on the 
premises by the said grantee, or his representatives orm assigns, m 
a manner, or to a use, contrary to the above stipulations 

And the said Commonwealth doth covenant with ^^he said 
[grantee], and his assigns, that the afore-granted premiBfc ses are 
free from all incumbrances, except as mentioned in said ^stipula- 
tions above recited. 

The corresponding clauses in the deeds and bonds g«^ en 
prior to January 28, 1863, — comparatively few in numo^| r ' 
— were the same as the foregoing, with the exception of tl 
second clause, which read simply as follows : — 

2. That the front wall thereof, on [avenue or street], shall be 
set back [twenty, twenty-two, or twenty-five, according to location,'] 
feet from said [avenue or street] ; provided, that steps, windows, 
porticoes, and other usual projections appurtenant thereto, are to 
be allowed in said reserved space of [twenty, twenty-two, or 
twenty-five] feet. 

It is stated in the Twelfth Annual Report of the Commis- 
sioners on Public Lands (1863), that the " more specific 
terms" of this clause, in the amended form first above 
given, were employed, after consultation with eminent archi- 
tects, " to avoid the confusion in which the subject [of pro- 
jecting fronts] was in danger of becoming involved here- 

fter, from the interpretation of the phrase usual projections, 
phich each purchaser would refer to the date of his deed." 

t also appears by the testimony of Franklin Haven, chair- 
man of the Commissioners, as reported in the case of Linzee 
v. Mixer, 101 Mass. 523, that this amended form was not 
considered as changing the substantial meaning and intent, 

>ut as being a " fair construction of the restrictions and limi- . 
feat-ions of the former deed." 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 9 

Rules for the Erection and. Use of Buildings on 
Back Bay Lands granted by the Commonwealth. 

/. Height and Grade of Building . 

1. The main part of the building must be at least three 
stories high. 

There must be at least three stories above the grade of the 
street. A French or Mansarchroof story has been accepted as one 
of the stories required. 

A church, or public hall, should be of a height in keeping with 
the scale here indicated, but the second and third floors ma3 T , of 
course, be omitted. 

2. No cellar or lower floor of any building can be placed 
more than four feet below the level of the mill-dam, as 
fixed by the top surface of the hammered stone at the south- 
easterly corner of the emptying sluices. 

The " hammered stone" is no longer accessible as a grade 
monument, but its level has been transferred to other monuments, 
and the proper grade for the building is furnished by the Inspector 
of Buildings or City Surveyor of the city of Boston. 

The boundary lines of lots, and the line for the front wall of 
buildings, are located under direction of this Board, on application 
at this office. 

II Location of Building on Lot. 

1. The front wall of the building, if located on either 
side of Commonwealth Avenue, must be set back twenty feet 
from said avenue ; if located on the north side of Boylston 
Street, on the south side of Beacon Street, or on either side 
of Newbury Street or Marlborough Street, twenty-two feet ; 
and, if located on the south side of Boylston Street, twenty- 
five feet, from said streets respectively. 

The entire wall must be set back the distance specified, so that 
its face will be on the rear line of the reserved space. 

Taking this clause literally, the front wall must be set back the 
prescribed distance, neither more nor less. Other clauses in the 



10 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

deed, and the rules as here given, assume that it will be so placed. 
In the case of a detached building, — a public building, for ex- 
ample, occupying a square, or with open areas on each side, — 
there seems to be nothing in the reason of the restriction to pre- 
vent its being placed as far back as desired. It is hardly to be 
conceived that the owner of a building in a block, would place it 
further back than required by the deed. If, however, it is allow- 
able to so place any building, and it is so placed, its projections, 
so far as thej^ project bej'ond the rear line of the reserved space, 
must conform to the limitations of the deed in the same manner as 
if the front wall were on that line. 

As regards buildings on corner lots, which have a secondary 
frontage on Arlington Street, or other parallel street crossing 
Commonwealth Avenue and the streets above named at right 
angles, there is no requirement in the deed of airy reserved space 
between the building and such cross street. 

2. A passage-way, in rear of the premises, twenty-jive 
feet wide, if the lot is located on the south side of Boylston 
Street, and sixteen feet wide, if the lot has any other loca- 
tion above specified, must be kept open and maintained by 
the abuttors in common. 

No part of the building can project into or over this passage- 
way. The passage-way must be kept open its full width from the 
ground up to the sk}^. See Schwoerer v. Boylston Market Associ- 
ation, 99 Mass. 285. 

III. Projections of and from. Front Wall of Building. 

Steps, windows, porticoes, and other usual projections, 
appurtenant to the front wall of the building, may be ex- 
tended into the reserved space aforesaid, subject to the 
following limitations : — 

(1) Only usual projections are allowable. 

In determining what is usual, reference must be had to usage 
in the city of Boston, established at the time of the original pur- 
chase from the Commonwealth, and not to usage which may be 
established at the time of the erection of the building. 

Usual implies general use. A single, or a few, precedents or 
examples do not make a usage. 

Projections must be usual in kind and in character. Details 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 11 

of style and construction may be varied at pleasure ; but projec- 
tions which involve new methods or principles of construction, 
and require a larger occupation of the reserved space, are not 
allowable. 

In particular, no usage or precedent which is contrar}^ to, or in 
violation of, the express stipulations and limitations of the deed, 
can be adopted as a guide. " Usage may be admissible to explain 
what is doubtful ; it is never admissible to contradict what is 
plain." 

The case of Linzee v. Mixer, 101 Mass. 512, arose under the 
earlier form of deed which contains no specific limitations of pro- 
jecting fronts. It was proved or admitted in this case, that an 
octagonal projection of the whole front wall of a dwelling house, 
except twent}-one inches at each end of the front, — such projec- 
tion extending from the ground to the roof, and the extreme 
distance of projection being four feet eight and one-fourth inches, 
— was a usual projection in the city of Boston. But it was held 
to be in violation of the restrictions of the deed, as being sub- 
stantially a projection of the whole front wall into the reserved 
space, contrar3 T to the express stipulation that the front wall should 
be set back twenty-two feet. 

(2) All projections must be appurtenant to the front 
wall of the building. 

Allowable projections are of two classes : — 
First, Projections of the front wall. 
Second, Projections from the front wall. 

It will be important to observe this distinction hereafter. 

Every projection must be a projection of, or a projection from, 
the front wall. In other words, the base of the trapezoid or rec- 
tangle, (within one of which figures, as will be hereafter seen, every 
horizontal section of every projection must fall,) must rest upon 
the front wall, and not wholly or in part upon another projection. 

One projection cannot be appurtenant to another projection, — 
that is, cannot be a projection of, or a projection from, another 
projection. Porticoes and doorsteps, for example, must project 
from the front wall, and not from a bay-window, circular or octa- 
gon front. 



12 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

- (3) Doorsteps, and balustrades connected with door- 
steps, and cornices at the roof of the building, may project 
from the front wall into the reserved space without limit of 
distance. 

Such projections are subject to all other limitations applicable to 
projections of the second class. 

(4) No projection of any kind, other than those last 
named, can extend more than five feet from the front wall 
into the reserved space. 

No part or member of such projection can extend beyond the dis- 
tance named. Every horizontal section of any projection, except 
those specified in limitation (3), must fall within a line parallel to, 
and five feet distant from, the face of the front wall. 

(5) No projection in the nature of a bay-window, circu- 
lar front, or octagon front, with the foundation wall sustain- 
ing the same (such foundation wall being a projection of the 
front wall) , is allowed, unless any horizontal section of such 
projection would fall within the external lines of a trapezoid 
whose base upon the rear line of the aforesaid reserved space 
does not exceed seven-tenths of the whole front of the build- 
ing, nor exceed eighteen feet in any case, and whose side 
lines make an angle of forty-five degrees with the base. 

Each house in a block is to be considered a separate build- 
ing within the meaning of this limitation. 

The fourth side of the trapezoid must come within the preceding 
limitation (4). 

This limitation (5), and the following limitation (6), apply to 
all projections of the first class. 

The distinctive feature of a bay-window, circular or octagon 
front, is, that it is formed by a projection of the front wall ; and 
all projections so formed, tor the purpose or with the effect of en- 
larging the interior spaces of the building, or of enclosing spaces 
in advance of the line of its front wall, are projections in the nature 
of a bay-window, circular or octagon front, and are subject to all 
the limitations of such projections. 

A portico is an outside space at the entrance of a building, cov- 
ered with a roof supported by columns or posts, with front and 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 18 

sides open to the light and air ; and, as such, is subject to the 
limitations of projections of the second class. If, however, the 
front and sides are enclosed by a projection of the front wall, it ceases 
to be a portico, and becomes a projection in the nature of a ba}*- 
window, and subject to all the limitations of projections of the 
first class. If the outside door of a building were placed in such a 
projection, it would not admit of a portico. See limitation (2), 
page 11. 

The owners of two adjoining houses cannot, by concert of plan, 
combine their fronts, and therebj T enlarge the amount, or change 
the character, of the projection of either or both fronts : e.g., a 
house of 20 feet front admits of a limiting trapezoidal base of 14 
feet ; one of 30 feet front, 18 feet. Each base must rest upon its 
own front. The fronts cannot be treated as two fronts of 25 feet, 
admitting of two bases of 17 J- feet, nor can they in any respect, as 
regards projections, be treated as one front of 50 feet. 

(6) Any number of projections of the front wall of a 
building, in the nature of a bay-window, circular front, or 
octagon front, are allowable, provided, (1) that the bases of 
all the limiting trapezoids within which their horizontal sec- 
tions must severally fall, do not together exceed seven-tenths 
of the whole front of the building, and (2) that no one of 
the said bases exceeds eighteen feet. 

The limitation in the deed was obviously drawn with special 
reference to dwelling houses on lots of an ordinary frontage, and 
practically admitting of only one such projection. How shall the 
limitation be applied to a longer front, say of 100 feet? Evidently 
according to the intent, — - which is, that not over seven-tenths of 
the whole front shall be so projected, and that every such projec- 
tion shall be limited by a trapezoid whose base does not exceed 
18 feet. See Diagram No. 1, on page 15. 

The limitation, as above stated, supposes the projections to be 
placed laterally to each other on the same level of the front, and 
not as under limitation (9), page 16. 

Each house in a block is, of course, to be considered a separate 
building in applying this limitation. 



14 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan, 

(7) Any horizontal section of a projection not in the 
nature of a bay-window, circular front or octagon front, 
must fall within the external lines of a rectangle whose base 
is upon the rear line of the aforesaid reserved space. 

This limitation applies to all projections of the second class. 

The manifest purpose of all the limitations is, to require that the 
building, as defined by its front wall, shall actually, and in appear- 
ance and effect, stand back the prescribed distance from the street ; 
and to keep its projections within such limits as not to form or 
have the effect of a continuous and advanced front. 

It is to this end that the sides of the limiting trapezoid of the 
bay-window and other projections of its class, are required to 
converge at angles of 45°, thereby cutting off the corners of this 
important projection, and narrowing its front to less than half of 
its base. Triangular spaces are thus left between the sides of the 
trapezoid and the sides of a rectangle standing on the same base, 
as indicated by the letter C in the Diagrams on page 15. These 
triangular spaces are clearly intended to be left open and un- 
occupied by any projection whatever. If the side lines of the 
sections of other projections on either side of the bay-window may 
diverge, and encroach upon these spaces, the spaces may be filled 
up, and a continuous horizontal projection may thus be formed 
across the front of the building, and substantially the whole front, 
to a greater or less height, advanced into the reserved space. The 
main purpose of the limitations might thus be wholly evaded. 
Hence the general rule, that every projection must keep within 
its own base. 

(8) If two projections are placed laterally to each other 
on the same level of the front, the base of the trapezoid 
or rectangle limiting the one must not overlap the base of 
the trapezoid or rectangle limiting the other. 

This limitation, which applies to projections of both classes, 
rests upon the same reasons as the last, and is equally necessary 
to give effect to the limitations of the deed. 

To apply the last two limitations to the common case of a bay- 
window and portico placed side by side on the same front, and 
referring to the Diagrams on page 15, — the base of the rectangle B 
which limits the portico, must not overlap the base of the trape- 
zoid A which limits the bay-window ; and no part or member of 
either portico or bay-window must encroach upon the triangle C 
which lies between the rectangle and the trapezoid. 



1884.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 



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16 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

(9) Projections without limit of number, class or kind, 
may be placed one above another, without intervening spaces, 
if each projection is in all other respects within the restric- 
tions and limitations applicable to its class and kind. 

There is nothing in the letter or spirit of the foregoing limita- 
tions in conflict with this limitation. A portico, for example, may 
support a bay-window, if the portico, as such, and the bay-window, 
as such, are each otherwise allowable. 

It is not necessary that the projections be placed vertically one 
above another. It is sufficient if they occupy wholly different 
levels of the front. 

Before leaving the subject of Projections, it may be 
remarked, that the foregoing limitations, as well as the notes 
and illustrations, have special application to what may be 
called optional and movable projections, which may be added 
to the front wall or not, as the owner pleases, and, if added, 
may, within certain limits, be located and grouped at 
pleasure. They do not apply in all cases with the same 
force to what may be called necessary projections, forming 
an essential part of the building, and having a fixed place 
and function in its structure. The cornice at the roof of 
the building, and the water-table at the base of the wall, for 
example, are in their nature continuous projections extending 
across the whole front of the building, and nothing on the 
foregoing pages is to be understood as interfering in such 
cases with the usual and necessary modes of construction. 

IV. Prohibited Uses of Building. 

The building must not, in any event, be used for a stable, 
for any mechanical or manufacturing purposes, nor (if 
located on Commonwealth Avenue) for any mercantile 
purposes. 

No part of the building can be so used. 

On the 27th of November, 1858, the Commissioners on the 
Back Bay passed the following vote, which is copied from their 
records : — " Voted, That it is understood that the Commonwealth 
will not enforce the stipulation and agreement of the deed, that 
buildings erected on the Back Bay shall not, in any event, be used 



1884. J PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 17 

for a stable, in such manner as to prevent the erection and use of 
private stables by gentlemen as appurtenances to their own dwell- 
ing houses ; provided, such stables are so constructed and used as 
not to be justly offensive to the occupants of the surrounding 
buildings." 

All of the printed Catalogues, prepared and used in connection 
with the several auction sales of Back Bay lots, have contained a 
copy of the deed proposed to be given to purchasers, in the usual 
form, with a note appended, and a reference to the note at the 
word stable, as follows: — "It is understood that the Common- 
wealth will not enforce the stipulation and agreement of the deed, 
that buildings erected upon the Back Bay shall not, in any event, 
be used for a stable, in such a manner as to prevent the erection and 
use of private stables \yy purchasers as appurtenances to their resi- 
dences ; provided, such stables are so constructed and used as 
not to be justly offensive to the occupants of the surrounding 
buildings." 

With a few exceptions, the foregoing vote and catalogue note 
have nut been embodied in the deeds given to purchasers, 
whether at public or private sale, either in terms, in substance, or 
by any reference thereto. How far the absolute prohibition of 
use for a stable, in a deed given in the usual form, may be qualified, 
in point of law, by these extraneous memoranda, query. Their 
purport as a collateral agreement is, that the Commonwealth, the 
grantor, will forbear to enforce the restriction regarding stables 
according to the strict letter of the deed. The deed itself gives no 
notice of such agreement to forbear. Assuming that the Common- 
wealth is bound, it may be a question how far the right of grantees 
under such deeds to enforce the restriction as against each other, 
as hereafter explained, is thereby abridged, — so far, at least, as 
purchasers at private sale, without express or actual notice of the 
collateral agreement, are concerned. 

If the right to a stable exists in any case, such stable 

(1) Must be strictly a private stable. 

(2) Must be used by the owner or occupant of a dwelling 
house on the same premises as an appurtenance to such dwell- 
ing house. 

(3) Must be so erected and used as not to be justly offensive 
to the occupants of the surrounding buildings. 

The other prohibited uses would, at the least, include the use of 
any building, or part thereof, as a factory or shop for the manu- 
facture of articles intended for the market, or for the exercise of 
any mechanical trade or occupation with a view to profit and 



18 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

general patronage ; and, if the building is on Commonwealth Ave- 
nue, as a store or shop for traffic in merchandise or the sale of 
goods and articles to the general public. 

V. Remedies for Violation of Stipulations of Deed. 

(1) There is expressly reserved to the Common wealth, 
in the deed, the right to enter upon the premises, by its 
agents and at the expense of the party at fault, to remove 
or alter, in conformity with the stipulations of the deed, any 
building, or portion thereof, erected on the premises by 
the grantee, or his representatives or assigns, in a manner, 
or to a use, contrary to said stipulations. 

(2) Chapter 264 of the Acts of the year 1866 contained 
the following provisions, which are now incorporated in the 

Public Statutes, Chapter 19, Section 5, 

In all cases where the Commonwealth has the right, by its agents 
and at the expense of the party at fault, to enter upon premises 
and remove or alter a building, or a portion thereof, by virtue of 
the agreements or stipulations in a deed or deeds given in its 
name, all grantees under such deeds, and their legal representatives 
and assigns, shall have the right by proceeding in equity to compel 
the said Board [of Harbor and Land Commissioners] so to enter 
and remove or alter such building or portion thereof. The supreme 
judicial court shall have full jurisdiction of such proceedings, and 
shall have full power to make such orders and decrees as justice 
and equity may require to make the rights hereby granted effectual, 
and the attornej'-general shall in all such proceedings appear for 
said Board and attend to the interests of the Commonwealth. 

It was decided in the case of Linzee v. Mixer, 101 Mass. 
512, which was a bill in equity filed under this statute to 
compel the alteration of a building, the Commissioners on 
Public Lands being joined as defendants, — that all of the 
grantees under such deeds need not be joined as parties in 
such proceeding, but that each grantee may so proceed at 
his own option. 

The right of resort to a court of equity to enforce a com- 
pliance with the stipulations of the deed, was not, however, 
conferred by, and does not rest upon, the above statute, — 
the main purpose of which seems to have been to supply an 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 91 

additional remedy, by providing a method of compelling the 
agents of the Commonwealth to exercise the right to enter, 
and to remove or alter a building, which is reserved in the 
deed. 

Before the passage of the above Act of 1866, it was well 
established that deeds of parcels of the same tract of land, 
given by the same grantor, and containing like restrictions 
upon the manner of use and of building thereon, create an 
equitable easement in the estate of each grantee in favor of 
the grantor and of all other like grantees, which a court of 
equity will recognize and protect by enforcing compliance 
with the stipulations of the deed. Relief is thus granted by 
the court not only to the grantee of an adjoining lot, or of a 
lot abutting on the same street or passage-way, but to the 
grantee of any lot in the entire tract so parcelled out ; and 
not only to the grantor and his immediate grantees, but to all 
who hold by mesne conveyance or otherwise under immediate 
grantees. 

An important condition, however, attaches to the use of 
this remedy by one grantee or his assigns as against another. 
If the former would avail himself of his right to compel a 
compliance with the stipulations of the deed by resort to a 
court of equity, he must seasonably and with due diligence, 
after notice or knowledge of the alleged improper structure, 
advise the other party of his objections thereto, either 
directly, or through the intervention of the agents of the 
Commonwealth, or otherwise. He cannot, by silence and 
inaction, and with apparent acquiescence, allow the structure 
to be advanced to completion, without endangering or wholly 
losing his right to relief in a court of equity. "It would 
be contrary to equity and good' conscience to suffer a party 
to lie by and see acts done involving risk and expense by 
others, and then permit him to enforce his rights and there- 
by inflict loss and damage on parties acting in good faith. 
In such cases, a prompt assertion of right is essential to a 
just claim for relief in equity." Bigelow, J., in Whitney v. 
Union Railway Co., 11 Gray, 367. See also Linzee v. 
Mixer, 101 Mass. 526-8, in which the general principle just 
stated, as regards negligence or laches, is applied by the 
court, Ames, J., to the facts in that case. 



18 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

(3) In the case of the Attorney General v. Gardiner, 
117 Mass. 492, it appeared that a certain structure, on a lot 
on Commonwealth Avenue, was in violation of the restric- 
tions in an indenture between the Commonwealth and the 
Boston Water Power Company, providing for the concerted 
laying out of said avenue over their adjacent Back Bay 
lands, and regulating the manner of building thereon, — and 
also in violation of the restrictions in the deed by which the 
lot in question had been conveyed by the Commonwealth. 
The particular restriction violated was that requiring all 
buildings on Commonwealth Avenue to be set back twenty 
feet, with an allowance of usual projections. The unauthor- 
ized structure was built in this reserved space of twenty 
feet. It was held in this case, that the Commonwealth 
might enforce this restriction by an Information in Equity, 
filed in its behalf by the Attorney General, against any per- 
son bound thereby ; and, upon such an information, the 
structure was ordered to be removed. 

The court, Gray, C. J., in the opinion in this case, says : 
— " No question of laches appears to have been made at the 
hearing, or is reserved in the report, or, upon the facts 
found, could avail the defendant." 

The following opinion of the late Attorney General Mars- 
ton, given in reply to inquiries which are necessary to its 
full meaning, is here presented as covering points of interest 
in this connection. 

(Copy.) 

Harbor and Land Commissioners' Office, 

Boston, November 20, 1882. 

Hon. George Marston, Attorney General: 

Dear Sir : The Commonwealth has conveyed a large portion 
of its Back Bay lands by deeds in the form hereto annexed [con- 
taining the same clauses as those already given on pages 7 and 8]. 

You will observe that the deed provides that a passage-way, 
sixteen feet wide, in the rear of the premises conveyed, is to be 
'•''kept open" by the abutters in common, and that a right is 
reserved to the Commonwealth to enter " by its agents" and 
remove any structure erected contraiy to the stipulations of the 
deed. 

A bay-window, it is alleged, has been erected by a grantee under 
such deed, in or over such passage-way, in violation of the terms 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 21 

of the deed. The Commonwealth still holds lands abutting on the 
same passage-way, the value of which is, or ma} 7 be, affected by 
the unlawful structure. Complaint is also made to this Board by 
other grantees or purchasers of lands on the passage-way in ques- 
tion, of injury to their estates from the same cause. So far as is 
known, the bay-window complained of, and the building of which 
it forms a part, were fully completed before the present members 
of the Board, or their predecessors, or any persons having official 
charge of the Back Bay lands, had any notice or knowledge of 
their intended or actual erection. 

The following questions are respectfully submitted for your 
opinion and advice : — 

1. Are the Harbor and Land Commissioners "agents" of the 
Commonwealth within the meaning of the deed, so that the right 
reserved to enter and remove such unlawful structure may be 
exercised by them? 

2. If the Commissioners are such agents, have they a right 
under the deed, or have they a right as Commissioners under 
chapter 19 of the Public Statutes, or under an} 7 law, to enter and 
remove such unlawful structure upon their own judgment and sense 
of official duty, without any preliminary proceedings in law or in 
equity to determine the lawfulness of such structure and the rights 
of all parties in relation thereto ? 

3. If they do so enter upon their own motion, and remove a 
structure in their judgment unlawful, do they incur personal 
liability if such structure is adjudged not to be unlawful? 

4. Can the Commissioners institute, or cause to be instituted, 
any proceedings, in law or in equity, by which the right of the 
Commonwealth to remove, or the right of the respondent to main- 
tain, the structure in question, can be first judicially determined, 
and a judgment, order or decree of the court obtained accordingly ? 
Has the Commonwealth any remedy in such case by resort to the 
courts, and, if so, what is the remedy? 

5. Can negligence or laches be set up as an objection or defence 
to any proceedings on the part of the Commonwealth, or the Com- 
missioners, to remove such structure ? 

6. Can a grantee whose deed is subsequent to the erection of 
the structure complained of, be deprived of the remedy provided 
in chapter 19, section 5, of the Public Statutes, on the ground of 
negligence, delay or laches? 

I am, very respectfully, yours, 

For the Harbor and Land Commissioners, 

John E. Sanford, Chairman. 



22 HAEBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

(Copt.) 

Attorney-General's Office, Boston, November 21, 1882. 

Hon. John E. Sanford, Chairman, etc. : 

Dear Sir : To yours of the 20th instant, I have the honor to 
reply as follows : — 

1. I am of opinion that the Harbor and Land Commissioners 
are the agents of the Commonwealth in the matter referred to. 
The authority given in Public Statutes, chapter 19, section 3, to 
" prevent further encroachments and trespasses," is sufficient to 
authorize action to prevent the farther continuance of existing 
encroachments and trespasses. 

2. In mj' opinion, the Commissioners have the right and power 
by law to enter and remove an unlawful structure such as is 
referred to in this inquiry. 

3. In H13- opinion, the Commissioners would incur personal 
liabilitj' if it should appear that the structure which they assumed 
to remove was not unlawful. 

4. But it is much better to resort to the courts ; and, in my 
opinion, the Supreme Judicial Court has jurisdiction in equity 
adequate to reach the remedy, as for a nuisance, and probably 
otherwise. I should prefer to include as complainant some person 
interested alike with the Commonwealth. 

5. I do not think laches or neglect can be set up against the 
Commonwealth or the present Commissioners. 

6. Nor do I think a subsequent purchaser can be affected by 
laches; though this may admit of some question. 

Very respectfully, etc., 

Geo. Marston, Attorney- General. 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 23 

South Boston Flats. 
Progress of the Work. 

The scheme for the improvement of the South Boston 
Flats, as originally conceived, and as in process of execution, 
contemplates the reclamation of an area of flats and shoal 
water extending from the northerly shore of South Boston 
to the main channel of Boston Harbor, with a deep-water 
frontage of 2J- miles reaching from Fort Point Channel to 
Castle Island. The whole extent of this area, excluding the 
portion previously given to the Boston Wharf Company, is 
710 acres. 

It was obvious that the filling of so large a territory would 
require a considerable period of time, and that it would not 
be w r ise to take the whole tract in hand at once. The work 
naturally began at the Fort Point Channel end, nearest the 
city proper, and has extended thence, section by section, 
eastward towards Castle Island. 

There has already been walled in, filled and sold, or sold 
to be filled and improved by the purchaser, a tract of 82||q 
acres lying nearest Fort Point Channel. The total price 
obtained was $1,539,519.20, of which $552,987.20 has been 
actually received in cash. Of the unpaid balance, $86,532 
will be due July 1, 1890; $800,000 will be due May 1, 
1891 ; and $100,000 will be due May 1, 1892, — making an 
unpaid total of $986,532, on all of which interest is payable 
semi-annually, on the first two sums at the rate of four per cen- 
tum, and on the last at the rate of five per centum, per annum. 

Of the 82 l y o - acres so disposed of, all (except t |q of an 
acre) has been sold either directly to the New York and 
New England Kailroad Company, or has passed by transfer 
into its hands, and is now in the occupation of that com- 
pany, which has expended large sums of money in filling, in 
the erection of buildings and docks, and in other improve- 
ments thereon. As security for the unpaid purchase money, 
the Commonwealth still retains the fee of the entire prem- 
ises, and cannot be called upon to give a deed of any parcel 
thereof until all payments of principal and interest have 
been made, and all filling and other work done, and all 



24 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

other conditions performed, as required by the legislative 
acts, or by the indentures and agreements, relating to such 
parcel . 

It is proper to add that one of these parcels, the "12- 
acre lot," so called, was required by chapter 260 of the Acts 
of 1880 to be filled to the grade of 13 feet above mean low 
water before April 25, 1883. The railroad company has 
done no work on this lot since September, 1882, and 38,085 
cubic yards of filling are yet to be done. Hardly any work 
has been done on the " 50-acre lot" since December, 1882, 
although the work is agreed to be performed with all prac- 
ticable despatch, and over GO, 000 cubic yards of filling, be- 
sides pier work, remain to be done. On these two lots 
together, there are 3,717 cubic yards of filling yet to be 
levelled off. It is important for the Commonwealth that this 
agreed work should be completed, because the successful 
development of its own property lying beyond will be hin- 
dered if the improvement of these intervening parcels is too 
long delayed. 

Turning now to the work of the Commonwealth in the 
further reclamation and improvement of these flats, — four 
additional sections, adjacent to those sold as above, are now 
in process of filling : 

1. A section of 16 t 5 q 3 q acres under a contract with 
Thomas Potter, dated August 28, 1880. The time for the 
completion of this contract, which has been twice extended, 
will expire June 1, 1884, and the agreed work is expected 
to be finished by that date. During the year 1883, there 
have been deposited under this contract 188,957 cubic 
yards of dredged material, equivalent, when levelled, to 
i^tVo acres of completed work, — by which is meant so much 
area filled with material dredged from the harbor to the 
grade of 13 feet above mean low water. This grade is to be 
hereafter raised by gravel filling, When and where found 
necessary, to a street grade of 16 feet above mean low water. 

2. A section of 44^^- acres, under contract No. 1 with 
the New England Dredging Company, dated August 12, 
1881. This contract bids fair to be completed by the time 
agreed, August 18, 1885. During the last year, 254,138 
cubic yards of dredged material have been deposited under 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 25 

this contract, equivalent, when levelled, to 13^ acres of 
completed work. 

Under both of the above contracts, an important secondary 
object is accomplished. The contractors are required to 
obtain the material for filling by dredging shoal places in 
the harbor proper to the depth of 23 feet at mean low water. 
About 72 acres have thus been already added to the deep- 
water area of the harbor in connection with the work at 
South Boston, all of which will be made fully available, 
probably before the close of present year, by the com- 
pletion of the removal of the shoal in the main channel 
near the mouth of Fort Point Channel. 

3. A section of 30 T 2 - 9 ^ acres, under contract No. 2 with 
the New England Dredging Company, dated July 1, 1882. 
During 1883, there have been deposited, under this contract, 
108,725 cubic yards of dredged material, equivalent, when 
levelled, to 7 T | 7 acres of completed work. 

This contract differs from the preceding in that the con- 
tractor is not required to dredge the material deposited by 
him, but to receive all proper material brought to him by 
other parties for which a dumping-ground is sought, and 
which, if not so utilized, would be wasted, or might work 
injury to the harbor by being dumped in improper places. 
The amount deposited under this contract represents approxi- 
mately the amount of miscellaneous dredging done in Boston 
upper harbor during the year by the United States and other 
parties, except that done for the Commonwealth as above 
specified, and that done by the Mystic River Corporation. 

Under all of the above contracts, the dredged material is 
first dumped from scows at receiving or elevating stations, 
is again hoisted by dredging machines into cars, and con- 
veyed by locomotives over tramways to the place of final 
deposit, where it is levelled to the required grade. 

4. A section of 8^-$ acres nearest to the original shore 
line, and in rear of the above sections, has been reserved 
out of the above contracts, and is in process of filling at a 
small cost by the deposit from carts of ashes and other 
proper refuse material for which a dumping-place is sought 
by the city of Boston and other parties. About 40,000 
cubic yards of such material have been deposited during 



26 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

1883, making an area of about 2\ acres of completed 
work. 

In all, 99^-ff acres are now under treatment as aforesaid, 
on which 591,820 cubic yards of material, equivalent to 
33j 2 ^ acres of work completed to grade 13, have been 
deposited during 1883, — an amount greater by 190,000 
cubic yards and 13 acres than in any previous year. 

The whole amount of work done in 1883 and previous 
years on the area of 99 t 4 q 6 - acres now under treatment, is 
equivalent to 55^^ acres completed to grade 13. 

There have also been built during the last year 176 linear 
feet of bulkhead to hold and protect filling, and about 1,000 
feet have been repaired and strengthened. 

A Plan of a part of Boston Harbor appended to this Re- 
port, though specially prepared for another purpose, will 
exhibit to the eye the tract already sold, the sections now 
in process of filling as above specified, and the area yet to 
be taken in hand, in connection with this great enterprise. 

Acquisition of Riparian Rights. 

With a view to obtaining full control for purposes of re- 
clamation, provision was made by chapter 446 of the Acts of 
1866, and by subsequent acts and resolves, for the purchase, 
in the name and behalf of the Commonwealth, of the rights 
of all other parties in and to the flats along the South Bos- 
ton shore as far east as the easterly line of E Street ex- 
tended, which coincides nearly with the westerly line of 
Monks Wharf. 

A strip of flats along the upland, already partially im- 
proved by the riparian owners, 220 feet in width, lying 
between First Street and a projected parallel street called 
Cipher Street, was left out of the purchase for the owners to 
fill and further improve on their own account. All known 
claims to title in all the rest of the flats between B Street on 
the west and E Street on the east, have been extinguished by 
purchase and conveyance to the Commonwealth, except an 
undivided ^th interest in the " Cains Lot" adjoining B 
Street, and an undivided ^g-ths interest in the " Fan Piece " 
near D Street. 

Repeated efforts have been made to buy these outstanding 





1884.] x PUBLIC DOCUMENT— No. 11. 

rights, and appropriations for that purpose have been m 
and renewed from time to time, the last of which has 
now lapsed. Pecent negotiations have left the impressio 1 
that the parties are not anxious to sell at any reasonable 
price, and prefer to bide their time. Meanwhile the work 
of filling goes on. The Commonwealth is exempt from 
suits, and suffers no present inconvenience ; but, when ready 
to sell, will be unable to give a perfect title, and may be 
seriously embarrassed in finding a purchaser or getting its 
price. 

Viewing the work at South Boston as a great public har- 
bor improvement, — which was and is its primary object, — 
the legislature has wisely determined that the acquisition 
and control of these flats is a necessary step in its execu- 
tion ; and it seems proper that the right to take property 
should now be invoked in its aid. With a view to acquiring 
these known interests, which it is impracticable to buy, and 
other possible interests not yet brought to light, and thus 
perfecting the title of the Commonwealth, it is recommended 
that authority be given to take all the flats within the limits 
above described, with full provision for compensation, and 
an appropriation sufficient to cover the probable outlay. 

Provision for Continuing the Work. 

The net proceeds of the sales of the reclaimed flats on 
the Back Bay, and of other tide- water lands sold by the 
Commonwealth, — amounting to $3,500,000 in round num- 
bers, — would supply the natural fund on which to draw for 
the first cost of a work of like character. The moneys so 
received have, however, and probably not unwisely, all been 
covered into funds and sinking-funds established for various 
purposes, or have been otherwise applied, and are not avail- 
able for the work now in hand. 

The outlay in all such enterprises necessarily goes before 
the return. Land cannot be sold until it is fit for the 
market. So far as the account with the South Boston enter- 
terprise can be closed, the balance is in favor of the Com- 
monwealth. The cost of improvement of the S2^\ acres 
already sold was $869,765.93. The price obtained, as 
before stated, was $1,539,519.20, — showing a net gain to 




HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



'.p^ r r.,„ 



Commonwealth of $669,753.27; and this, notwithstand- 
fche tract sold includes the " 25-acre lot," lying at the 

notion of Fort Point Channel with the main harbor, requir- 
ing a costly sea-wall on two sides of it, with no land to sell 
in rear of it, and costing for its improvement several times 
the sum required for any other area of equal extent. 

The total cost of the enterprise to December 31, 1883, 
for improvement of land sold and unsold, and including 
$243,091.41 paid for the flats purchased from riparian own- 
ers as above mentioned, is $1,540,581.66. The whole 
amount received from sales and rents to the same date is 
$1,550,019.20, — showing still a balance in favor of the 
enterprise, excluding interest from both sides of the ac- 
count, of $9,437.54. To this balance is to be added the 
increased value of 99^^ acres of flats in process of filling, 
equivalent to 55^^ acres already filled to grade 13, and on 
which there has been actually expended, including cost of 
flats purchased as above, $670,815.73. 

It is not deemed necessary at this late day to urge the 
general advantages to the Commonwealth, and to the trade 
and business of its chief commercial city, which will accrue 
from the carrying out of this great enterprise, or to repeat 
the arguments which, apart from the consideration of the 
pecuniary results to be expected, have induced the legisla- 
ture to sanction and undertake the work. The evident 
advantages were certainly never greater, and the arguments 
never had more force than now. 

To provide for the cost of the work, in anticipation of re- 
ceipts from future sales, the " Commonwealth's Flats Improve- 
ment Fund" was established by chapter 237 of the Acts of 
1878, and the sum of $200,000 appropriated from the fund 
to meet all payments authorized and required to be made 
under the laws providing for the improvement and sale of the 
South Boston flats. A further appropriation of $500,000 
was made from this fund for the same purposes by chapter 71 
of the Resolves of 1881. 

The unexpended balance of these appropriations, January 
1, 1884, is $223,947.19, and the amount of money actually 
in the fund and available for carrying on the work, is $212,- 
031.96. The whole of this sum, and something more, will 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 

be required to pay for the work already under contracted 
in process of execution. Two of these contracts expire 
present year. To enable the making of contracts for the 
continuance of the work, an additional appropriation will be 
necessary, which should be large enough to allow the making 
of contracts on a scale consistent with the highest economy, 
both as regards terms and the best development of the gen- 
eral plan of improvement. 

Receipts from Grants of Tide- Water Lands. 

The amount received during the past year for grants of 
rights and privileges in tide-water lands of the Common- 
wealth, under licenses of this Board for filling and for the 
erection of wharves and other structures in and over tide- 
waters, is $7,031.25. Payment for such grants was first 
required by chapter 284 of the Acts of 1874, now chapter 
19, section 16, of the Public Statutes. Since the passage 
of that act, the total amount so received and paid into the 
State treasury has been $152,209.27. Before its passage, 
large tracts of valuable territory were given for the asking, 
to the great advantage of the recipient, and sometimes to 
the injury of the public and the hindrance of other and better 
schemes of harbor improvement. 

Removal of Wrecks. 

Under the provisions of chapter 260 of the Acts of 1883, 
entitled " An Act to provide for the Removal of Wrecks and 
other obstructions from Tide- Waters," the Board received 
notice the last autumn from Mr. Charles F. Dunham, a com- 
missioner of wrecks and shipwrecked goods for Dukes 
County, of the existence of several wrecks in the waters of 
Edgartown harbor. Upon a visit to the locality in question 
by a member and the engineer of the Board, it was found 
that there were four such wrecks in all, only two of which 
were in positions likely to interfere with the navigable and 
anchorage room of the harbor. These two were vessels 
which had taken fire from the combustion of their cargoes of 
lime, in consequence of leakage caused by damage in gales 
of wind, in which condition they were run aground and 
scuttled in order to subdue the fires, and afterwards aban- 





HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



eel. This occurred in 18G9, and the sunken vessels have 
since remained quite near together on the northerly 
edge of the channel, and in sufficiently deep water, (one being 
in about 11 feet, and the other in about 14 feet, at mean low 
tide,) to cause serious obstruction and even danger to other 
vessels passing or anchoring near them. Their removal, 
therefore, was deemed necessary to the safety and preserva- 
tion of the harbor. 

Proposals for the execution of this work were duly adver- 
tised, and the lowest of the bids received was that of Capt. 
George W. Mudget, of Edgartown, who proposed to break 
up and remove both of the wrecks referred to, including 
their cargoes, to some place above high-water mark, or other 
place approved by the Board, for the sum of $1,475. This 
offer has been accepted, and the work will be undertaken the 
coming spring. In the meantime notice has been given to 
the supposed owners of these wrecked vessels in accordance 
with the provisions of the act referred to. 

It may here be remarked that the above act will undoubt- 
edly prove a wise and useful one, not only by its provisions 
for the removal of existing obstructions, but by preventing 
the abandonment of vessels and the placing of unlawfril 
obstructions in tide-water where their removal may be 
required at the cost of the party at fault. Cases have already 
occurred where its usefulness in the latter direction has been 

proved. 

Charles River Basin. 

By chapter 211 of the Acts of 1881, the Charles River 
Embankment Company was authorized to fill and improve 
certain lands and flats in the City of Cambridge, and was 
required within three years from April 21, 1881, to deposit 
thereon not less than 300,000 cubic yards of earth dredged 
from Charles River Basin, between West Boston and Brook- 
line bridges, in such localities and to such depths as this 
Board should prescribe. Directions have accordingly been 
given and reports made to the Board of the progress of the 
work. 

The whole amount of filling with material so dredged, to 
December 31, 1883, is 142,683 cubic yards. One thousand 
feet of sea-wall have been built. Owing to ice aud cold 



/ 



1884.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 

weather, all of the cap-stones of this wall have not yet be? 
put in place, but this work is expected to be done as soon as' 
the [spring opens. 

Local Haijbor Funds. 

It is expected that works of general harbor improvement 
and preservation will be done by the national government. 
There is, however, in every considerable harbor, frequent 
demand for improvements of a more special and limited 
character for which other provision must be made. 

By chapter 149 of the Acts of 1866, compensation in 
money or kind for tide-water displaced, was first authorized 
to be assessed upon all parties who should thereafter (ill flats 
or erect structures in tide-water. If levied in money, the 
money was to be paid into the treasury of the Common- 
wealth, and to constitute a special fund for the improvement 
of the harbor from which it was collected. The Act of 
1866, as amended in some details by later statutes, is now 
incorporated in the Public Statutes, chapter 19, sec- 
tion 14. 

This system of assessment has from the first been applied 
in Boston Harbor, and with very happy results. By means 
of the compensation fund so created, the Board has been 
enabled to make, or to aid in making much needed improve- 
ments which the national government could not be expected 
to make, and which otherwise would have been impracti- 
cable ; and the usefulness of the fund will be greater and 
more apparent from year to year. 

It is to be regretted that the system has not been applied 
from the outset to ail the more important harbors of the 
Commonwealth. Though not too late to begin, the need of 
a fund already established is felt. In Gloucester Harbor, 
for example, which has become second in importance only to 
Boston Harbor, there is frequent pressure to relocate the harbor 
lines so as to permit the further encroachment of wharves 
upon its reserved areas, and the capacity of the harbor 
is likely in time to be fully tested. As its room is 
diminished, its quality needs to be improved. It is worthy 
of present consideration w T hether an improvement fund for 
this harbor might not now be wisely created, not only by 




HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan, 

plying the system of compensation to future structures, 

ut by an equitable assessment, either voluntary or under 

special provision of law, upon existing structures. The 

same suggestion would not be out of place in regard to 

other principal harbors. 

Boundary Lines between Cities and Towns Bordering 

upon the Sea. 

The Board has made progress, during the past year, in 
the work devolved upon it by chapter 196 of the Acts of 
1881, of locating and defining the boundary lines between 
cities - and towns bordering upon the sea, from high-water 
mark outward to the line of the Commonwealth. 

To do this work properly requires a careful search for 
ancient colony ordinances and records and for legislative 
acts bearing on the town lines, for records of perambulations 
by selectmen, and for all other information that can be got 
by appointed meetings with the town officers and from other 
sources. A study of charts and of coast and channel lines 
must then be made, and plans prepared on which the proper 
tide-water bounds may be worked out and finally delineated. 
In work of this nature and importance, safe progress is more 
to be desired than hurried dispatch. 

The Act of 1881, which authorizes and directs the Harbor 
and Land Commissioners to locate and define the boundary 
lines in question, requires them to " file a report of their 
doings, with suitable plans and exhibits showing the boun- 
dary lines of any town by them located and defiued, in the 
registry of deeds in which deeds of real estate situated in 
such town are required to be recorded, and also in the office 
of the Secretary of the Commonwealth." The filing of such 
report, plans and exhibits is understood to be the final and 
conclusive act of the Board establishing such boundary 
lines. 

The tide-water boundaries of the several sea-bordered 
cities and towns in the counties of Bristol, Dukes County, 
Nantucket, and Barnstable, have been so established during 
the past year, by filing in the proper registry of deeds an 
explanatory and descriptive report in print, with elaborate 
plans, defining in words and exhibiting to the eye the boun- 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 33 

claries of the cities and towns within such registry district, 
and by also tiling in the office of the Secretary of the Com- 
monwealth a duplicate of each report and set of plans. 
Extra copies of the printed report, without the plan, have 
also been sent to each registry and to each of the cities and 
towns concerned. 

It is believed that these reports and plans will not only 
give full and correct data to such as may have occasion to 
consult them, but will, when the other counties are com- 
pleted, furnish a ready and convenient basis for exhibiting 
accurately on the next published map of the Commonwealth 
the limits of its jurisdiction over the sea as well as the land, 
and the tide-water bounds of its several counties and munici- 
palities. 

During the year the preliminary work of locating and de- 
fining these boundaries along the coasts of Plymouth, Norfolk 
and Suffolk Counties, and a part of Essex County, has also 
been carried forward ; and similar reports and plans will be 
prepared and filed for each of these counties in due time. 
The recent change in the location of the rooms of the Board 
has interrupted and delayed this and other office work, par- 
ticularly that involving the use and preparation of maps and 

plans. 

Fish-Weirs. 

It is provided in section 70 of chapter 91 of the Public 
Statutes, that " The mayor and aldermen of a cit}', and the 
selectmen of a town, lying upon tide-water, may authorize 
in writing any person to construct fish-weirs in said waters, 
within the limits of such city or town, for a term not exceed- 
ing five years : provided, such weirs cause no obstruction to 
navigation, and do not encroach on the rights of other per- 
sons." 

Without going into the facts and grounds of complaint in 
detail, there is reason to believe that this statute, seemingly 
so well guarded in its provisions, is not working to the satis- 
faction of either fishermen or sailors, nor, it is said, of the 
people of the towns. The fishermen complain that it does 
not protect their weirs as against vessels, and the sailors that 
it does not protect their vessels as against fish-weirs. Both 
are right. Practically, the statute does not give any certain 



34 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

and definite protection to fish-weirs as duly authorized and 
lawful structures, nor does it prevent the erection of fish- 
weirs which are a serious obstruction to navigation. 

Navigation and fisheries are both important interests, and 
neither is to be ignored in dealing with this question. They 
meet on the same ground, and each must concede something 
to the other. 

The statute prescribes that the weirs shall "cause no ob- 
struction to navigation.'''' As a fish-weir must of necessity 
cause some obstruction, at least to some kinds of craft, this 
must mean that they shall cause no unnecessary or unreason- 
able or dangerous obstruction. But who shall decide the 
proper limit of obstruction ? Just here is the defect in the 
statute. The fishermen have not fixed the limit to suit the 
sailors, and the sailors would not fix it to suit the fishermen. 
In point of fact, it has not been settled by any one, and the 
statute provides no way of settling it. What is needed is, that 
some disinterested party, giving due regard to the rights and 
requirements of each interest, shall impartially apply the pro- 
visions of the statute, which are intended for the protection 
of both interests, to the facts of each particular case. 

It would seem proper that all structures which are per- 
mitted to encumber and obstruct the free use of tide waters, 
whether in the nature of fish-weirs or wharves, should be 
submitted to the same general tests of public safety and con- 
venience, making due allowance for their location and the 
manuer of their construction and use. Fish-weirs appear to 
have been built without much, if any, regard for such gene- 
ral rules, and sometimes, it would seem, in disregard of ex- 
press statute limitations. 

When the general court, by special legislative act, au- 
thorizes a bridge or other structure to be built in or over 
tide-waters, it requires that the plans for its location and 
construction shall be approved before the work begins. It 
would seem equally proper that, when a fish-weir is licensed, 
the plans for its location and construction should be ap- 
proved in like manner; and, when built in accordance with 
such approval, the fish-weir should have, during the term for 
which the license has been granted, the same legal status 
and protection as a duly authorized bridge or wharf. In 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 35 

this way, too, the rights and interests of navigation ought to 
find their full and due protection. 

Protection of Harbors. 

There are several statutes of local application, intended 
for the preservation of harbors and navigable waters, which 
forbid the removal of sand, gravel, stones and other material, 
and the doing of other acts, which tend to the weakening 
or destruction of the beaches, headlands, bars and islands 
which form their shores or protecting barriers. There are 
other localities where such prevention is needed, and where 
no authority exists for its exercise. It is recommended 
that a general power be given to forbid and stop such acts 
wherever they are deemed prejudicial to the harbors and 
navigable waters of the Commonwealth. 

It is provided in chapter 69, section 23, of the Public 
Statutes, that " No person shall throw into, or deposit in a 
harbor, stones, gravel, ballast, cinders, ashes, dirt, mud, or 
any other substances, which may in any way tend to injure 
the navigation of such harbor." No penalty is specially pro- 
vided for the violation of this statute, and there seems to be 
none unless it be by the cumbrous process of indictment as 
for a nuisance. A small fine, bringing offences within the 
jurisdiction of the inferior courts, would in most cases be suf- 
ficient to prevent wrongful acts of this character, and would 
be a much more effective remedy ; and it is recommended 
that such a penalty be enacted. 

Field and Office Work. 

Miscellaneous Surveys, 

The field work done during the year, beside the regular 
and constant work in connection with the various contracts 
for filling the South Boston Flats, in measuring the grade 
and amount of filling and determining the depth and extent 
of dredging, is as follows : — 

In February, a survey of Duncan's Point and the north 
side of Harbor Cove in Gloucester Harbor was made, pre- 
liminary to recommending a change in the Harbor-line. 



36 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

In the same month, the town line between Truro and 
Provincetown, across what used to be the mouth of East 
Harbor, was run out and defined in pursuance of chapter 
196 of the Acts of 1881, by request and agreement of said 
towns. 

In April, a survey was made of the shoal at the mouth of 
Neponsct River, opposite Commercial Point, to ascertain in 
what condition it had been left by the contractors upon the 
completion of the work in connection with the '..' Improved 
Sewerage System " of the City of Boston. . 

In the same month, a survey was made of Miller's River, 
to ascertain if it had been excavated in accordance with 
the terms of the license given to the Fitchburg Railroad 
Company. 

In April and November, surveys were made in Fort Point 
channel of areas dredged by the Boston Wharf Company. 

In November, a careful survey was made of the shoal off 
Piers Nos. 6 and 7 of the Grand Junction Wharves at East 
Boston, upon the petition of the Boston and Albany Railroad 
Company for its removal. 

Re-survey of Boston Inner Harbor. 

The re-survey of Boston Inner Harbor was continued 
during the summer around Jeffries Point, East Boston, as 
far as the Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad, and 
triangulation points were established along the north shore 
of South Boston, in order to continue the survey along that 
shore, as opportunity offers, during the coming season. 

All of the above surveys have been carefully mapped in 
the office, and make a valuable addition to the archives of 
the Board. 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT— No. 11. 37 



Licenses granted and Plans approved for the erection of 
structures in and over tide-waters. 

More than the usual number of applications have been made 
to the Board for licenses for wharves and other structures 
in and over tide-waters, and for the approval of plans for 
bridges and other tide-water structures authorized by acts 
of the legislature. A list of the licenses granted, and plans 
approved, seventy-nine in number, is hereto appended. 

Nos. 

712. Petition of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron 

Company for license to extend its Coal Pocket Wharf in 
the Harbor of New Bedford. Granted February 1, 
1883. 

713. Petition of Joseph H. Williams for license to construct a 

pile wharf on Swift's River in the town of Wareham. 
Granted February 15, 1883. 

714. Petition of Edward P. Shaw for license to construct a pile 

wharf on the northwesterly end of Plum Island at the 
mouth of the Merrimack River in the City of Newbury- 
port. Granted February 15, 1883. 

715. Petition of Frederick P. Cheney and Patrick Driscoll for 

license to construct buildings over Little River in the 
City of Haverhill. Granted March 1, 1883. 

716. Petition of the Commercial Wharf Company of Wellfleet for 

license to extend its wharf in the Harbor of Wellfleet. 
Granted March 15, 1883. 

717. Petition of Charles F. Morse for license to extend his wharf 

on the Merrimack River in the City of Haverhill. 
Granted March 15, 1883. 

718. Petition of John B. Nichols for license to extend his wharf 

on the Merrimack River in the City of Haverhill. 
Granted March 15, 1883. 

719. Petition of Daniel Fitts for license to extend his wharf on 

the Merrimack River in the City of Haverhill. Granted 

March 15, 1883. 
720 & 721. Petitions of Naylor and Company for license to fill 

flats in South Bay in the City of Boston. Granted 

March 22, 1883. 
722. Petition of WiHiam H. Swift and Company for license to 

extend their wharf on Chelsea Creek in East Boston. 

Granted March 29, 1883. 



38 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan, 

Nos. 

723. Petition of Montgomer} 1 " and Howard for license to con- 

struct a launching-way on piles on Chelsea Creek in the 
City of Chelsea. Granted March 30, 1883. 

724. Petition of the Roxbury Gas Light Company for license to 

construct a sea-wall and (ill flats on Roxbury Canal in 
the City of Boston. Granted March 30, 1883. 

725. Petition of George Lawley and Son for license to construct 

a pile wharf at the foot of O Street in South Boston. 
Granted April 12, 1883. , * 

726. Petition of Jabez Davis for license to construct a pile wharf 

in Wood's Holl Harbor in the town of Falmouth. 
Granted April 19, 1883. 

727. Petition of William B. Rice for license to construct a pile 

pier in Boston Harbor in the town of Winthrop. 
Granted April 19, 1883. 

728. Petition of the Old Colony Railroad Company for license 

to extend its wharf in the Harbor of Provincetown. 
Granted April 19, 1883. 

729. Petition of the Mercantile Wharf Company of Wellfleet for 

license to extend its wharf in the Harbor of Wellfleet. 
Granted April 19, 1883. 

730. Petition of David Conwell for license to extend his wharf 

in the Harbor of Provincetown. Granted April 26, 
1883. 
731 & 732. Petitions of Cyrus A. Bartol for license to construct 
two wharves in the Harbor of Manchester. Granted 
April 26, 1883. 

733. Petition of Theodore Brown for license to extend his wharf 

in the Harbor of Wellfleet. Granted April 26, 1883. 

734. Petition of the City of Boston for approval of plans for the 

reconstruction of Warren Bridge across Charles River, 
as authorized by chapter 140 of the acts of 1883. Ap- 
proved May 1, 1883. 

735. Petition of Charles Parkhurst for license to extend his 

wharf partly solid and partly on piles in Gloucester 
Harbor. Granted May 3, 1883. 

736. Petition of the Charles River Embankment Company for 

approval of plans for the construction of a sea wall and 
solid rilling on the Charles River in the City of Cam- 
bridge, as authorized by chapter 211 of the acts of 1881. 
Approved May 3, 1883. 

737. Petition of the Globe Coal Company for license to extend 

the "I'-Mlman Wharf," so called, on Taunton Great 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 39 

Nos. 

River in the City of Fall River. Granted May 10, 
1883. 

738. Petition of the Columbian Rowing Association for license to 

construct a boathouse and raft in * Boston Harbor. 
Granted May 10, 1883. 

739. Petition of A. H. Fuller for license to construct a pile wharf 

and floating stage at Onset Bay in the town of Ware- 
ham. Granted May 10, 1883. 

740. Petition of Albert C. Bloody for license to construct a wharf 

in Boston Harbor in the town of Winthrop. Granted 
May 17, 1883. 

741. Petition of the Commissioners on West Boston and Cragie 

Bridges for license to construct intermediate pile piers in 
West Boston Bridge over Charles River. Granted May 
17, 1883. 

742. Petition of James P. Chase and others for license to extend 

their wharf on the Merrimack River, in the City of 
Haverhill. Granted May 24, 1883. 

743. Petition of John B. Farrar for license to extend his wharf 

on the Merrimack River in the City of Haverhill. 
Granted May 24, 1883. 

744. Petition of Ezra Kelley for license to extend his wharf on 

the Merrimack River in the City of Haverhill. Granted 
May 24, 1883. 

745. Petition of Levi Taylor for license to extend his wharf on 

the Merrimack River in the City of Haverhill. Granted 
May 24, 1883. 

746. Petition of the Mercantile Wharf Corporation of Boston for 

license to construct a pile wharf in Boston Harbor. 
Granted May 31, 1883. 

747. Petition of Dexter A. Hall and Patrick H. Carroll of Bos- 

ton, for license to construct a pile wharf in Boston Har 
bor at South Boston. Granted June 7, 1883. 

748. Petition of the Board of Health of the City of Salem for 

approval of plans for the filling of flats and the construc- 
tion of a canal on North River in said city, as author- 
ized by chapter 213 of the acts of 1881 and chapter 185 
of the acts of 1883. Approved June 7, 1883. 

749. Petition of Albert N. Nickerson for license to construct two 

wharves on Buzzard's Bay in the town of Marion. 
Granted June 15, 1883. 

750. Petition of the A. T. Stearns Lumber Company for license 



40 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Nos. 

to extend its wharves on the Neponset River at Nepon- 
set. Granted July 23, 1883. 

751. Petition of the Franconia Iron and Steel Company for license 

to extend its wharf on Wareham River in the town of 
Wareham. Granted June 15, 1883. 

752. Petition of the New Bedford, Vineyard and Nantucket 

Steamboat Company of New Bedford for license to con- 
struct a pile wharf at Gay Head in Vineyard Sound. 
Granted June 21, 1883. 

753. Petition of the Bradley Fertilizer Company of Boston for 

license to extend its wharf on Weymouth Back River in 
the town of We3'mouth. Granted June 21, 1883. 
754 & 754 a . Petition of the United States for license to construct 
retaining and pier walls in Wood's Holl Great Harbor in 
in the town of Falmouth. Granted June 22, 1883. 

755. Petition of the town of Winthrop for approval of plans for 

the construction of a bridge across Crystal Cove in said 
town, as authorized by chapter 146 of the acts of 
1883. Approved July 12, 1883. 

756. Petition of Sylvanus Smith for license to construct a 

pile wharf in Gloucester Harbor. Granted Juty 26, 
1883. 

757. Petition of Augusta B. Thompson for license to construct a 

pile wharf in Gloucester Harbor. Granted July 26, 
1883. 

758. Petition of Benjamin Low for license to construct a pile 

wharf in Gloucester Harbor. Granted July 26, 1883. 

759. Petition of John P. Gilman for license to extend his wharf 

on the Merrimack River in the City of Haverhill. 
Granted July 26, 1883. 

760. Petition of the Eastern Junction, Broad Sound Pier and 

Point Shirley Railroad Company for license to widen 
and repair its wharf in Boston Harbor at Point Shirley. 
Granted July 20, 1883. 

761. Petition of the City of Haverhill for approval of plans for 

the construction of a wharf and stone bridge at the mouth 
of Little River in said city, as authorized by chapter 82 
of the acts of 1883. Approved July 20, 1883. 

762. Petition of Nathaniel Webster for license to construct a 

solid wharf in Gloucester Harbor. Granted July 26, 
1883. 

763. Petition of James E. Margeson for license to construct a pile 

wharf in Gloucester Harbor. Granted July 26, 18S3. 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 41 

Nos. 

764. Petition of the Trustees of Quincy and Hingham Bridge for 

license to construct a new draw in said bridge over 
Weymouth Fore River. Granted August, 2, 1883. 

765. Petition of the Boston Gas Light Company for license to 

extend its wharf on Charles River in the City of Boston. 
Granted August 9, 1883. 

766. Petition of John Gary and others for license to extend 

" Tufts Wharf," so called, on Charles River, Charles- 
town District, in the City of Boston. Granted August 
15, 1883. 

767. Petition of John E. Cassidy of Watertown for license to con- 

struct a wharf on Charles River, Brighton District, in the 
City of Boston. Granted September 6, 1883. 

768. Petition of John Gary and others for license to construct a 

sea wall on Charles River, Charlestown District, in the 
City of Boston. Granted September 6, 1883. 

769. Petition of the Trustees of the estate of John Carter Brown 

of Providence for license to extend French's Wharf on 
Fort Point Channel in the City of Boston. Granted 
September 6, 1883. 

770. Petition of the Trustees under the will of John W. Trull for 

license to extend Lovejoy's wharves, so called, on 
Charles River in the City of Boston. Granted Septem- 
ber 6, 1883. 

771. Petition of the City of Boston for license to construct a 

wharf on the southerly side of Gallop's Island in Boston 
Harbor. Granted September 6, 1883. 

772. Petition of the Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation for 

license to construct a sea wall and solid filling on Miller's 
River in the City of Cambridge. Granted September 13, 
1883. 

773. Petition of Joshua Brown for license to construct a pile 

wharf in Salem Harbor in the City of Salem. Granted 
September 13, 1883. 

774. Petition of Oscar Dubois for license to construct a stone 

wharf on Mount Hope Bay in the City of Fall River. 
Granted September 20, 1883. 

775. Petition of the Town of Braintree for approval of plans for 

the construction of a new drawbridge and piers over 
Monatiquot River in said town, as authorized by chap- 
ter 31 of the acts of 1882. Approved September 20, 
1883. 



42 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

Nos. 

776. Petition of the Haverhill Paper Company for license to con- 

struct a pile wharf on the Merrimack River in the town 
of Bradford. Granted October 18, 1883. 

777. Petition of the City of Taunton for license to construct a 

bank-wall, coffer-dam and wharf on Taunton River in said 
cit}\ Granted October 4, 1883. 

778. Petition of Charles C. Hine for approval of plans for the 

construction of a causewa}' and bridge across Lagoon 
Pond at Vine3 T ard Haven in the town of Tisbury, as 
authorized by chapter 38 of the acts of 1883. Approved 
October 18, 1883. 

779. Petition of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron 

Company for license to extend its wharf on Acushnet 
River in the City of New Bedford. Granted November 
1, 1883. 

780. Petition of Emma J. Ta3'lor for license to construct a wharf 

on Weymouth Fore River in the town of Quincy. 
Granted November 15, 1883. 

781. Petition of Hamilton and Balcomb for license to build a pile 

structure on South River in Salem Harbor in the City 
of Salem. Granted November 8, 1883. 

782. Petition of the City of Salem for license to construct a bulk- 

head and solid filling on South River in the harbor of 
said city. Granted November 8, 1883. 

783. Petition of Joshua G. and Nathan G. Gooch for license to 

extend their wharf on Charles River, Brighton District, 
in the City of Boston. Granted November 15, 1883. 

784. Petition of the Osterville Improvement Association for li- 

cense to construct a wharf on Vinej^arcl Sound at Oster- 
ville in the town of Barnstable. Granted November 22, 
1883. 

785. Petition of J. W. Stickney for license to construct two dol- 

phins on Chelsea Creek in the City of Chelsea. Granted 
December 6, 1883. 

786. Petition of Walter W. and Charles F. Wonson for license 

to extend their wharf on Rocky Neck in Gloucester 
Harbor. Granted December 6, 1883. 

787. Petition of Robert A. Whyte for license to fill solid a por- 

tion of Sargent's Wharf in Boston Harbor. Granted 
December 6, 1883. 

788. Petition of the Town of Braintree for approval of a change 

in plans for the construction of the draw-piers in the 
bridge over Monatiquot River in said town, as author- 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 43 

Nob. 

ized by chapter 31 of the acts of the year 1882. 
Approved December 6, 1883. 

789. Petition of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron 

Company for license to extend its wharf on Acnshnet 
River in the City of New Bedford. Granted December 
27, 1883. 

790. Petition of the Boston Steamboat and Pier Company for 

license to extend its pier on Broad Sound in the town of 
Revere. Granted December 27, 1883. 

Mystic River. 

The Mystic River Corporation was chartered by chapter 
105 of the Acts of 1852. Additional acts have been passed 
from time to time in amendment and extension of its powers 
and privileges, and of the time allowed for completing 
its authorized work. By these several acts, authority is 
given to build sea walls, docks, warehouses and wharves, 
and to excavate and fill flats, in the Mystic River, within the 
limits and in the manner specified in the acts. 

The places on the flats from which certain material was to 
be taken were to be approved by, and the whole work to be 
done under the supervision and to the satisfaction of, a 
special commissioner to be appointed by the governor, who 
was to report annually to the governor and council ; and all 
the costs of his services and expenses were to be paid by the 
corporation, which was also authorized to sell its lands and 
improvements subject to his supervision. Other corpora- 
tions have also been chartered having relation to the same 
scheme of improvement. 

By chapter 234 of the Acts of 1883, the office of special 
commissioner was abolished, and all his authority, powers 
and duties were transferred to this Board, which now sus- 
tains the same relation to the work in the Mystic River as to 
all other like works in tide water. 

The following communication of the president of the cor- 
poration contains information in regard to the operations of 
the last year : — 



44 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



24 Milfokd Street, Bostox, January 7, 1884. 
To the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners : 

Gentlemen, — In answer to a note received from your engineer, 
D. Koppman, on Saturday last, informing me that it was voted by 
your Board that " Dr. Bartlett, President of the Mystic River 
Corporation, be requested to report to the Board all work and 
proceedings done by said corporation and its grantees" during the 
past year, I herewith submit substantial^ 7 what has been done, 
as follows : — 

The JVTystic River Corporation has continued the dredging of the 
flats on the northwesterly side of Chelsea Bridge and its enclosure 
adjacent thereto, and has filled up to grade with the material so 
dredged an area of about 40,000 square feet. 

On the premises of its grantee, the Boston and Lowell Railroad 
Corporation, about 80,000 square feet have been filled to grade. 
About one half of this area has been surface filling above the 
eight feet grade previously filled with dredging ; the other half has 
been filled up to full grade with dredged material. 

In addition to the above, about 20,000 cubic yards of material 
dredged from the flats bordering on the South Channel have been 
deposited on other portions of the premises of said grantee. All 
the dredged material above described has been taken from the flats 
and borders of the channels, in accordance with the requirements 
of the charter of the Mystic River Corporation. 

Contracts have recently been made by said grantee as follows : — 

1. For the completion of its quay line of seawall, about 

1,500 feet in length, extending from that portion pre- 
viously built to the easterly line of Elm Street ex- 
tended. 

2. For a belt cf pile wharf, 21 feet in width, extending along 

the said quay line above described. 

3. For the dredging from the flats in said South Channel of 

an amount of material sufficient to fill to full grade an 
area of about five acres, already partially filled, in the 
rear of said sea wall. 
All the above-named contracts provide for their completion by 
July of the present year. 

Two dredging machines are now emplo} r ed day and night in the 
prosecution of the above-named work. 

Most respectfully submitted, 

Joseph E. Bartlett, 

President of the Mystic River Corporation. 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 45 



Harbor Improvements by the United States. 

The Board is again indebted to the courtesy of the officers 
of the United States Corps of Eugineers for interesting re- 
ports of the valuable works done under their supervision, in 
the harbors and on the coast of the Commonwealth, during 
the past season. 

The charge of the work on the Southern section of the 
coast of Massachusetts, has been assigned by the United 
States Engineer Department to Lieut. Col. George H. 
Elliot, as successor to the late Gen. G. K. Warren ; and the 
charge of the work on the Eastern section of the coast, 
formerly under Gen. George Thorn, has beer assigned to 
Maj. Charles W. Raymond. To each of these officers of the 
United States, the Commonwealth and the public are in- 
debted for zealous and efficient service. 

Improvements on the Eastern Coast of Massachusetts. 

For information relating to the work done on the Eastern 
water- face of the Commonwealth, including the harbor of 
Boston, the Board has received from Maj. Raymond a clear 
and concise special report brought up to a recent date, 
which is presented in full below. 

As au evidence of the careful and comprehensive study 
which Maj. Raymond has already made of the needs of Bos- 
ton Harbor, attention is specially called to the mention in 
this report of a work of much importance to its navigation, 
inaugurated and executed by him, namely, the excavation 
of a channel between Long Island Head and Nix's Mate 
(through the Nubble), by which vessels of moderate draught 
can now pass by a direct and convenient course from George's 
into President Roads. This channel gives a shorter route 
for such vessels bound up the harbor than by the " Western 
Way," and avoids the difficulties and dangers of passing 
through the main ship channel at the Narrows while crowded 
by larger vessels. 

Other important works of preservation and improvement in 
this and other harbors, to which attention is invited, are de- 
tailed in the report. 



46 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



United States Engineer Office, 

Boston, Mass., December 24, 1883. 

The Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, Boslon, Mass. 

Gentlemen: — In compliance with your request of November 
22, 1883, I take pleasure in sending you the following abstract of 
work done, under my charge, by the United States in the harbors 
and rivers of the State of Massachusetts, during the past year. 

1 . Newburyport Harbor. 

The north jetty, projecting from Salisbury Beach, has been com- 
pleted for a length of 1,540 feet, and a submerged core, reaching 
to the plane of mean low water, has been carried 500 feet in ad- 
vance of the finished work. 

.The south jetty projects from Plum Island. The shore exten- 
sion, which consists of a sheet piling covered with stone, 507 feet 
in length, has been completed. Be}'ond the high-water line, the 
rubble-stone jetty has been finished for a length of 570 feet. The 
total length (completed) of the south jetty is 1,077 feet. 

A dike 817 feet in length has been built across the mouth of 
Plum Island Basin. 

A detailed lrydrographic survey of the bar and entrance to the 
Merrimack River, and frequent surve} T s of the shore line, have been 
made for the purpose of watching the changes now in progress. 

2. Merrimack River. 

North Rock has been removed to a depth of 9 feet below mean 
low water, or 16.7 feet below mean high water. This depth of 
water now extends to a line 22 feet from the North Pier. 

A survey has been made of the river channel at Rock's Bridge. 

3. Sandy Bay, Rockport. 

A detailed survey of Sand}' Ba} 7, has been made ; and a project 
for a breakwater to form a harbor of refuge has been prepared and 
submitted to the Engineer Department. 

4. Lynn Harbor. 

For the information of the Board of Engineers in connection with 
the study of the project for the improvement of this harbor submit- 
ted by Colonel George Thorn, Corps of Engineers, a detailed hy- 
drographic survey, observations of the tidal currents and a general 
study of the physical peculiarities of this locality have been made. 



f 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 47 

5. Boston Harbor. 

Repairs have been made upon the sea walls at Deer and Lovell's 
Islands. 

Aprons of rubble stone, with short projecting jetties, have been 
constructed on the northern shore of the eastern point of Gallop's 
Island and on the eastern and northern shores of Lovell's Island- 
These aprons have a total length of 2,708 feet, an average width of 
30 feet, and an average rise of crest of 18 feet above mean low 
water. The} 7 contain about 14,000 tons of granite grout and chips 

The object of these constructions is the protection of the shores 
from the abrading action of the sea, which is not only causing the 
deposit of material in the main ship channel, but also changing the 
forms of the islands, thereby tending to diminish the resultant tidal 
scour. 

The channel between Long Island Head and Nix's Mate (through 
the Nubble) has been dredged, for a width of 200 feet, to a depth 
of 12 feet at mean low water. A direct and convenient course 
has thus been made for vessels of moderate draught, and the main 
ship channel at the Narrows (before dangerously crowded) has 
thus been relieved. 

In conformity with the general plan for the improvement of the 
main ship channel in the Upper Harbor, a spur of the Castle Island 
Shoal has been removed by dredging, and the width of the channel 
has thus been increased to 870 feet, with a depth of 23 feet at 
mean low water. 

During the progress of this work, a rock of about 30 tons weight 
was discovered near the edge of the channel and about 16^- feet be- 
low mean low water. Fragments of copper found in the vicinity 
and evidently torn from the bottoms of vessels, show that it has 
been a serious danger to navigation. It has been reduced in size 
and pushed to the edge of the shoal, and it will be removed as 
soon as possible. 

6. Charles River. 

A channel from 80 to 100 feet wide and 16 feet deep at mean 
high water has been dredged from a point 1,700 feet below 
Brighton Street Bridge, to a point 8,800 feet above it ; in all a 
distance of about two miles. This channel will probably be com- 
pleted next spring as far as the wharf of the Brighton Abattoir. 

7. Channel leading to JSfantasket Beach. 

Fifty cubic yards of ledge were removed, giving the channel a 
minimum width of 100 feet and a depth of 9£ feet at mean low 
water. 



48 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

8. Maiden River. 

A channel }\ miles long, from- 50 to 70 feet wide and 12 feet 
deep at mean high water, has been dredged below the drawbridge. 

9. Scituate Harbor. 

The north breakwater has been connected with the shore, and 
extended for a total length of 720 feet, with a height of about 5 
feet above mean high water. 

A brush and stone bulkhead 450 feet long, and a stone apron 
385 feet long and 10 feet wide, have been constructed for the pro- 
tection of the beach between Cedar Point and the main land. 

10. Plymouth Harbor. 

Along the western shore of the beach the bulkhead was prolonged 
for a distance of 830 feet, and the old portion was backed with 
cedar trees and small stone so as to render it sand-tight for a dis- 
tance of G40 feet. A catch-sand fence of cedar trees and stone, 
730 feet long, was also constructed parallel to and 15 feet east of 
the old crib-work, and a leak was stopped by backing 60 feet of 
the 6tone bulkhead with trees and small stone. 

11. Provincetown Harbor. 

The Long Point bulkhead has been extended 367 feet. Between 
the bulkhead and the crest of the beach, 5 groins, aggregating 490 
eet in length, have been built of small trees and stone. 

Very respectfully, } r our obedient servant, 

Chas. W. Raymond, Major of Engineers. 

Improvements on the Southern Coast of Massachusetts, 

By the courtesy of Lieut. Col. George H. Elliot, the 
Board has received a printed copy of his report to the 
United States Engineer Department of work done under 
his charge up to July 31, 1883, from which the following 
extracts are taken : — 

Nantucket Harbor. 

" At the date of the last annual report, the work of extending 
the jetty on the west side of the channel of entrance was in pro- 
gress under a contract, . . . and its extension was continued until 
January, 1883, when it was completed. The total amount of stone 
delivered under the contract was 16,123 tons. . . . 



1884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 49 

" On the 24th of November, 1882, by direction of the Secre- 
tary of War, the work was transferred to Lieut. Col. George H. 
Elliot, Corps of Engineers. Work was resumed on May 4, 1883, 
and continued till the close of the fiscal year, when it was still in 
progress. . . . 

u Up to the end of the fiscal year, there had been delivered 
the contract 9,223.78 tons of stone, leaving 3,776.22 tons tc( 
plete, which was expected to be delivered during the moi 
July. The length of the completed stone work at the samel 
was 2,894 feet, and, including the stone and timber work a| 
inner end, the total length was 3,075 feet. 

" There has been some settling of the jetty for about 500 fel 
its length near the shore end, where it was built in shoal wate] 
fine sand. To rebuild this part of the work to its proper 
and height, will require about 600 tons of stone. 

" There have been some minor changes in section in o^ 
parts of the jetty by the action of the waves, or scour of 
bottom, or both, which will require an additional amount of stoi 
and, to prevent the lateral dispersion of the ebb-tide to the we] 
ward through the jetty, it is proposed to fill with chip stones tl 
interstices of parts of it which were somewhat loosely built. Th| 
amount of stone required for both of these objects is estimated 
800 tons, making the whole amount of stone yet required to be\ 
placed in the existing part of the work 1,400 tons. 

' ' During the last fiscal year frequent surveys have been made to 
discover what changes, if any, were taking place in the channel 
and on the shores near the work. 

" A large deposit of sand west of the jetty, in the angle between 
the jetty and the shore, still continues. To the eastward of the 
jetty there has been but little deposit of sand along the shore, and 
but little change in the channel. Careful soundings, from time to 
time, show only minor changes in the depths, but these are generally 
not constant. One survey may show a deepening, and the next 
one a shoaling, in the same locality ; but the general result seems 
to be a slight deepening of the channel, although, by reason of the 
irregularity of the changes, the navigable depth has not been in- 
creased. It was not anticipated that any marked change would 
occur before the jetty reached the outer bar, from which (or rather 
from the outer 12-feet curve) it is now distant 2,785 feet, and it 
was thought that it might be found, even then, that a second jetty, 
starting from Coatue Point, on the east side of the entrance, would 
be required. 

" The spurs, or short jetties, built out from Coatue Point to arrest 



50 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 



the abrasion of the shore, have been somewhat extended during the 
year, and there seems to be no danger of further damage here. 

"It is proposed with the remainder of the funds available for 
this harbor, to continue the extension of the west jetty towards the 
^mter bar, since, in any event, this jetty must be finished to the 
whether the other is found necessary or not, in order to direct 
Current across it, to protect the channel from waves, from ice, 
from the sand which moves with the littoral current from the 
[ward. In continuing the work, it is proposed to make it as 
[pact as practicable, in order to prevent the dispersion of the 
tide through it. It is also proposed to continue the observa- 
|s to determine the velocit} T and amount of tidal flow, to furnish 
on which to fix the width of channel and the location and 
|n of the east jetty, should one be required." 

Wood's Holl Harbor. 

F' At the date of the last annual report, no work was in progress. 

" By the act of Congress of August 2, 1882, $52,000 was appro- 
Hated for a harbor of refuge at Wood's Holl, an estimate for 
i/hich had been submitted by the late Gen. Warren. This esti- 
pnate contemplated the construction of a breakwater pier, a basin 
'for the use of the United States Fish Commission, and wharves 
for the use of that Commission and other branches of the public 
service. ... 

" The project was approved by the Secretary of War on the 
2d of February, 1883, and the fee-simple title to the land was 
acquired by the United States Fish Commission, April 20, 1883. . . . 

"The retaining walls are to be built along the front of the old 
marine railway in the Great Harbor at Wood's Holl, in about 6 
feet of water at mean low water, and of an aggregate length of 
about 520 feet. The pier walls, of an aggregate length of about 
570 feet, and founded in water from 10^ to 20 feet depth at mean 
low water, are to form a hollow pier in front of the retaining 
walls. . . . 

"It is probable that the present appropriation will not \>e suffi- 
cient for anything more than the work alread}- advertised for, and 
that the wharfing, the filling in behind the retaining walls, and the 
dredging inside the pier and in front of the wharves, will have to 
be provided for by future appropriations. The estimated cost of 
them is $25,000." 

Considerable work has been done in prosecution of the above 
scheme since the report of Lieut. Col. Elliot was made, the details 
of which cannot now be given. 



1884.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 



Wareham Harbor. 

"By act of Congress of August 2, 1882, $5,000 was 
priated for continuing the improvement [of this harbor] 
which contemplated the further construction of works at 
Beach, designed to protect it from the sea. . . . 

" A wall of brush and stone, 150 feet in length, similar to 
formerly built at this place, was constructed across the west e 
the beach near the line of mean high water, and another o 
same kind, 950 feet long, commencing near the west end of J 
stone and brush wall built in 1878, was built parallel to and 15 
from it. A vertical sand-catch fence, 10 feet high and 1,032 
long, of scantling and boards, similar to those which have 
successfully built on the shores of the western lakes, was built 1 
tween these parallel stone and brush walls. Another sand-cai 
fence, 7 feet high, similar, but inclined towards the sea, was bi 
from the end of the vertical fence just mentioned 832 feet to tl 
eastward. . . . 

"The construction of sand-catch walls of stone and brush was 
commenced [June 21, 1883] at the north side, which had worn soj 
much as to endanger the works previously built. Two hundred! 
and seventy-two feet of these walls were completed up to the end' 
of the fiscal year. In addition to this, an area of 30 feet square 
on the sea side, where it is washed by the waves, was covered with 
brush weighted down with stone, as an experiment. It is thought 
that the sand brought in by the waves will be caught and that in 
this way the beach ma}^ be raised. 

" With the remainder of the appropriation, it is designed to con- 
tinue the stone and brush wall, just built on the north side of the 
point, about 310 feet further to the eastward ; to build six spurs, 
each about 20 feet long, running westward from the stone and brush 
wall which has been built across the west end of the point ; to 
build out from the south side of the point four additional stone and 
brush jetties of a total length of about 500 feet ; and to till inside 
the triangular frames on which the wooden sand-catch fence has 
been built, with brush, with the view of catching the wet sand which 
is now washed through this fence by the waves from seaward. 

■" The amount of the last appropriation was not considered suffi- 
cient to warrant any attempt to continue the work of deepening the 
harbor, which constituted the main portion of the original project, 
and is yet incomplete. 

' c The estimated cost of the work in Wareham Harbor was 
$44,050. Of this amount there has been appropriated $15,000. 



[ARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan, 



Taunton River. 
the date of the last annual report, work was being prose- 
knder a contract, ... in dredging to secure, between Weir 
ie Needles, a depth of 11 feet at mean high water, with a 

;h of 60 feet, and additional width at the bends. 

to January 1, 1883, there had been removed 40,313 cubic 

[, and the enlarged channel was carried from Phillips's Wharf 

rt's Turn, a distance of 1^- miles. Work was resumed under 

|nne contract on the 12th of April, 1883, and continued until 

lth of May, 1883, when it was completed, except a small 

[int of work at the fishery near North Dighton, which was left 

the fishing season was over. 

5y act of Congress of August 2, 1882, $25,000 was appropri- 
for continuing the improvement of Taunton River. . . . 
In the first section (The Needles, Briggs' Shoal, The Nook, 
a part of the river at Wikamount) the material was stated to be 
Ind, gravel, clay, pebbles, and bowlders under two tons. In the 
;cond section (Berkley Bridge Shoal, a part of the river at Wika- 
Inount, and between Peter's and Ferry Points) the material was 
[tated to be mud, sand, and gravel. 

" The channel was to be made 11 feet deep at mean high water 
[above Berkley Bridge Shoal, and 12 feet on and below that shoal, 
Jthe existing depths being from 5 feet to the proposed depths. . . . 
" Mr. Beard commenced work under his contract at The Needles, 
and, up to the end of the fiscal year, he removed 5,672.82 cubic 
yards from that shoal and from Briggs' Shoal. The work is still 
in progress. . . . 

" There is now a continuous channel 11 feet deep at mean high 
water from the bridge at Weir to Briggs' Shoal, a distance of 3 
miles ; but there are many scattering bowlders in the channel . . . 
which will be removed later in the season. . . . 

"The remainder of the work near North Dighton will be com- 
pleted early in this fiscal year. . . . 

" The estimated cost of the approved project for the improve- 
ment of this river was $94,000, of which $67,500 has been appro- 
priated, leaving $26,500 to complete. . . . 

" The completed improvement will enable three and four masted 
schooners, carrying from 600 to 1,400 tons, and barges of equal 
capacity, to reach Taunton." 



rBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 53 



[ts in the Channels of Boston Harbor. 

FoM |^rpose of illustrating the improvements ",hich 
have SM^far been made, both by this State and by the 
United States, in the channels and deep-water facilities of 
Boston Harbor, and also, to some extent, pending and pro- 
jected improvements, a Plan has been prepared, and is 
appended to this Report, on which are indicated the outlines 
and extent of the several areas which have a depth of water 
of 23 feet and over at mean low tide. 

The plan shows both the natural and the improved deep- 
water areas above the passage-way between Governor's and 
Castle Islands, with distinguishing signs for the parts deep- 
ened by the Commonwealth and by the United States 
respectively. The water-space of President Roads, and 
other areas of a depth of 23 feet and over, which lie below 
this passage-way and above that between Long Island Head 
and Deer Island Spit, are also shown. 

The term "inner harbor" is generally applied to the 
upper and smaller basin, which lies above Governor's and 
Castle Islands and below the bridges, and which contains, 
within the limits of projected improvements, an area of about 
1,150 acres. But what is really the inner harbor, or may 
properly be so regarded, is the larger area comprising the 
water-spaces (including this upper basin) which are enclosed 
and protected by the high grounds of East Boston and 
Winthrop on the north, Deer Island and Long Island on the 
east, and Spectacle Island, Moon Head and Squantum on 
the south, — a nearly land-locked basin, — capable of an 
improved area of not less than 6,300 acres. This includes 
President Roads, which in itself contains nearly one thousand 
acres of anchorage ground of the first order as regards depth 
of water (twenty-three to fifty feet at mean low tide), hold- 
ing ground and shelter. 

The width of entrance (between Long Island Head and 
Deer Island Spit) to this larger " inner basin," while am- 
ply sufficient, is less in proportion to the water-space en- 
closed (thereby affording better shelter) than the entrance 
to the smaller basin above described ; and the latter has re- 
quired artificial deepening to 23 feet, while the outer gate- 




54 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONE 



Hi 



I 



way has a bold and deep threshold (over 50 
at once into a basin which has, as before state 
age capacity of a thousand acres. 

The plan further shows the approaches from belWK this 
latter entrance, by the deep-water channels from Broad 
Sound and through the Narrows, with the improvements in 
the latter channel, and the cut through the " Nubble" be- 
tween Long Island Head and Nix's Mate, which have been 
made by the United States. 

Characteristic soundings are also given, showing the 
general natural and artificial depths in the several parts of 
the harbor which are covered by the plan. 

As elsewhere stated, the plan may also be interesting and 
useful as exhibiting the relation of the reclamation of the 
South Boston Flats to the improvement of the harbor, and 
the large increase of deep-water frontage which will thereby 
be secured. The portion of these flats already, sold, the 
sections in process of filling under the several contracts 
elsewhere mentioned, and the large area still open to im- 
provement, are severally indicated on the plan. 



Archives of Maine Lands. 

By chapter 99 of the acts of 1883, the custody of the books 
of records of grants and conveyances of lands formerly held 
by the State of Massachusetts, and now within the limits of 
the State of Maine, and of all other books and records relating 
to said lands, was transferred from this Board to the Secre- 
tary of the Commonwealth. All such archives were accord- 
ingly transferred to the office of the Secretary on the 8th day 
August, 1883, and his receipt taken therefor. 

JOHN E. SANFORD. 
HENRY L. WHITING. 
JOHN I. BAKER. 

Boston, January 1, 1884. 



APPENDIX. 



A 



r 



APPENDIX. 



[A.] 

Supplementary Agreement, made this First Day of October, 
1883, by and between Thomas Potter, Party of the First 
Part, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Party of 
the Second Part. 

Whereas, the said parties, on the 28th da}' of August, 1880, 
entered into an agreement in writing, and on the 26th day of 
December, 1882, entered into a further or supplementary agree- 
ment in writing, both of which are referred to and made a part 
hereof as if fully recited herein, whereby the said Potter, upon the 
terms and conditions in said agreements set forth, agreed to do 
certain dredging in Boston Harbor, and with the materials so 
dredged to fill certain flats of said Commonwealth at South 
Boston ; 

And whereas, it was stipulated in said agreement that the afore- 
said dredging and filling should be completed b}^ said Potter on or 
before the first day of January, 1884 ; 

And whereas, the said Potter will be unable to complete said 
work on or before said first day of January, 1884, and desires an 
extension of time for completing the same ; 

And whereas, it was also stipulated in said agreements that the 
aforesaid dredging should be done from a certain space or area 
colored red on the plan' annexed to the aforesaid agreement of 
August 28th, 1880 ; 

And whereas, it may be found expedient not to excavate at 
present a portion of the said area, but to substitute therefor a 
certain other area hereinafter described ; 

Now, therefore, it is agreed by the parties hereto, that the 
time for executing and completing the work stipulated to be done 
by the said Potter in the agreements aforesaid, shall be, and is 
hereb3 T , extended to the first day of June. 1884. 

It is also agreed, that the area shaded red on the plan hereto 




•NERS. rjan.™ 



58 HARBOR AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. 

annexed, shall constitute a part of the space or area from which, 
in the discretion of the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, 
and by the direction of its engineer, the said Potter may be 
required to dredge material in the execution of the work to be 
done by him under the aforesaid agreements ; and that the said 
Potter shall not have or claim, under said agreements or otherwise, 
any extra or additional compensation on account of such change 
or substitution of areas. 

All the provisions of said agreements of August 28th, 1880, and 
December 26th, 1882, regarding rate of compensation per cubic 
} T ard, depth and manner of dredging, and otherwise, shall, not- 
withstanding said extension of time, and said change or substitu- 
tion of areas, be and remain in full binding force upon the parties 
hereto, except so far as expressfy modified by the provisions of 
this agreement as aforesaid. 

In testimony whereof, the said Thomas Potter has hereunto set 
his hand and seal, and the said Commonwealth has caused its seal 
to be hereto affixed, and these presents to be signed and delivered, 
in its name and behalf, by its Board of Harbor and Land Commis- 
sioners, the day and year first above written, and the same to be 
approved b}^ its Governor and Council. 

THOMAS POTTER. [Seal.] 



COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 

By John E. Sanford, \ TT , , r , 

TT T w \ Harbor and Land 

Henry L. Whiting, > ^ . . 

T T t> ' i Commissioners. 
John I. Baker, ) 

In Council, November 20, 1883. Approved. 

[skalopthe HENRY B. PEIRCE, 

Commonwealth.] Secretary. 







F 



884.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 11. 



[B.] 

Articles of Agreement, made this Fifth Day of December, 
in the Year Eighteen Hundred and Eighty-Three, by and 
between the commonwealth on massachusetts, acting by 
its Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, Party of 
the First Part, and the New England Dredging Company, 
a Corporation duly established under the Laws of 
Massachusetts, Party of the Second Part. 

The said party of the second part hereby covenants and agrees 
with said party of the first part to dredge the entire area of that 
part of Fort Point Channel between Congress Street and Federal 
Street bridges, which is shaded red on the plan hereto annexed, to 
the depth of sixteen feet below mean low water, and to deposit the 
dredged material at the place provided for such material by said 
party of the second part under a contract between said parties, 
dated July 1st, 1882. 

The party of the second part agrees not to injure the bridges or 
draw piers in any way, nor to endanger their foundations by exca- 
vating below the plane of sixteen feet below mean low water, and 
to use all diligence to complete the work as soon as practicable. 

All the work aforesaid shall be done to the satisfaction and 
acceptance of said Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, and 
subject to the direction of the engineer of said Board. 

The party of the first part will furnish all facilities in its power 
for executing the work, by having the draws left open when prac- 
ticable, and by preventing the passage of vessels through the draw- 
waj^s when said passage would interfere with said work. 

The party of the first part hereby covenants and agrees with 
said party of the second part, upon the due completion of the 
work aforesaid, to pay said party of the second part the sum of 
seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500), the same to be in 
full compensation for all work, expenses and delays done and 
incurred by said party of the second part in the execution of this 
contract. 

In testimony whereof, the said Commonwealth has caused its 
seal to be hereto affixed, and these presents to be signed and 
delivered in its name and behalf, by its Board of Harbor and Land 




HARBOK AND LAND COMMISSIONERS. [Jan. '84 

commissioners, and the said New England Dredging Company 
has caused its corporate seal to be hereto affixed, and these pres- 
ents to be signed and delivered in its name and behalf, by Charles 
H. Sonther, its President and Treasurer, the day and } T ear first 
above written. 



THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 



By John E. Sanford 
Henry L. Whitin 
John I. Baker 



>rd, } 
ing, > 



Harbor and Land 

Commissioners. 



NEW ENGLAND DREDGING COMPANY, 



[Seal of the 

N. E. Dredging 

Company.] 



By Charles H. Souther, 
President and Treasurer 



Witness the Seal of the Commonwealth. 



[Seal of the 
Commonwealth.] 



HENRY B. PEIRCE, 

Secretary of the Commonwealth. 




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