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PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF PECATONICA RIVER FROM ARGYLE
TO WAYNE, LA FAYETTE COUNTY, WISCONSIN.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
Rock Island, III., October 14, 1882. GENERAL: In accordance with instructions contained in your letter of August 11, 1882, I have the honor to present a report on the preliminary examination of the Pecatonica River from Argyle to Wayne, La Fayette County, Wisconsin.”
Accompanying the report are the following maps:
First. Sketch of part of La Fayette County, Wisconsin, showing course of Pecatonica River from Argyle to Wayne.
Second. General map showing course of Pecatonica River from its source to its confluence with Rock River, &c.
The Pecatonica Rirer, in La Fayette County, is made up of two brauches, Argyle being on the East Branch and Wayne on the West Branch, about 4 miles above the junction. These branches rise in the central part of Iowa County (adjoining La Fayette County on the north), flow in a southeasterly direction and unite in the southeastern part of La Fayette County. The river then flows through Green and Stephenson counties to its junction with the Rock River at Rockton, Winnebago County, about 60 miles from Wayne.
The portion of the stream under consideration extends from Argyle, in the lower part of Argyle Township, by a very circuitous route down through Wiota Township, and into the upper part of Wayne Township to the junction, a distance of some 25 miles (by wagon road about 74 iniles); from the junction it extends up the west branch to Wayne, about 4 miles. Total distance, 29 miles by river. It is in no place less than 60 feet wide or more than 75 feet. The banks are from 4 to 10 feet in height, and generally sloping, and, being of hard clay, are but little subject to abrasion.
The East Branch has a fall of about 6 inches to the mile, no rapids, and very few snags. It is extremely crooked, so that it would be a matter of difficulty for the smallest boats to work around the bends. There is a gravel bar about a half a mile in length a short distance below Argyle, with from 15 inches to 3 feet of water on it at an average stage. There are two bridges over the river in Wiota Township. The Pecatonica below the junction of the East and West Branches, as well as Rock River from Rockton to its mouth, are unnavigable for any considerable distance, on account of mill-dams which obstruct the stream at frequent intervals. There is also a mill-dam at Argyle. In the origi. pal Government survey the Pecatonica below the junction and the West Branch were put down as navigable, but the East Branch, including the greater portion of the stream within the scope of this examination, was not considered navigable. There is a little steamboat called the Success which has
been making semi-weekly trips since April, 1882, between Argyle and Wayne. She is 50 feet long, 14 feet wide, and draws 1 foot light. It is the only steamboat ever on the river. It was necessary for the owners of the boat to obtaip permission from abutting farmers to run it. Some of the farmers have extended their fences across the stream, thus making it incumbent on the boat to open and close the gates in passing through.
Wayne is a new village, started a year ago, on the completiou of the Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway to that point. It contains about a dozen houses and two stores. Argyle had a population in 1880 of 322; the township of the same name 1,225. Wiota Township has at present a population of 1,687. There are no towns on the river between Argyle and Wayne. The soil in the vicinity is of a clayey nature, adapted principally to grazing. Butter and cheese are the principal products.
From the above facts it will be seen that the portion of the Pecatonica under consideration could not be much improved without very great expense, which the circumstances of the case would not warrant, running as it does through a thinly-settled country, situated entirely in three townships and unnavigable both above Argyle and below Wayne by reason of mill-dams. I would, therefore, give it as my opinion that the river is not worthy of improvement and that the work would not be a public necessity. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major of Engineers. CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A.
PRESERVATION OF THE FALLS OF SAINT ANTHONY AND IMPROVEMENT
OF THE MISSISSIPPI ABOVE THE FALLS-IMPROVEMENT OF CHIPPEWA AND SAINT CROIX RIVERS, WISCONSIN, AND OF MINNESOTA RIVER AND RED RIVER OF THE NORTH, MINNESOTA AND DAKOTA-RESERVOIRS AT THE SOURCES OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
REPORT OF MAJOR CHARLES J. ALLEN, CORI’S OF ENGINEERS, OFFICER
IN CHARGE, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1884, WITH OTHER DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE WORK$.
ENGINEER OFFICE, UNITED STATES ARMY,
Saint Paul, Minn., July 26, 1884. GENERAL: I have the honor to forward herewith the annual reports apon the works and surveys under my charge for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1884. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. J. ALLEN,
Major of Engineers. Brig. Gen. JOHN NEWTON, Chief of Engineers, U. 8. A.
PRESERVATION OF THE FALLS OF SAINT ANTHONY, MINNESOTA.
The plan for the preservation of the falls, adopted in 1874, contemplated the construction of a concrete dike beneath the limestone ledge forming the bed of the river, to prevent percolation through, and consequent destruction of, the soft underlying sand-rock; the construction of rolling dams to keep the upper surface of the limestone ledge flooded during the winter; and a timber apron and wings to prevent retrocession of the crest of the falls and destruction of the dike, &c. The dike was completed in 1876, and the other works by 1876. Since 1878 work has been confined mainly to the preservation and repair of the timber structures.
Owing to lack of funds' no work was performed during the past fiscal year. The last appropriation for the work was made by act passed August 2, 1882.
The suit of the United States vs. J. B. Bassett and others, to compel the removal of the spoil-banks deposited by them in 1881 anul 1882, was discontinued, the parties finally removing the inaterial from the channel.
The undue contraction of the bed of the stream by private works, and the ill effects of the same, have been noticed in preceding reports. The attempt at tunneling under Faruham and Lovejoy's mill-pond, December, 1881, and the spoil-banks just referred to, have undoubtedly resulted in serious erosion in the easterly angle, below the apron. It is not possible to say how much of the erosion is due to either tunneling or spoil-banks, or to the spring floods. Unless the erosion is checked not many years can elapse before the concrete dike will be endangered.
The plea for the preservation of the falls was the preservation of nav. igation of the Mississippi River above them. No steamers have navi. gated the river in the vicinity of the falls for seven or eight years past.
If the United States Government is to be further charged with the preservation of the falls the sum of $50,000 will be needed for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1886, to be expended in extending the line of submerged crib.work at toe of the apron, repairs to timber-work in the angle, and general repairs.
With the sum of $10,000, appropriated by act approved July 5, 1884, it is proposed to make such repairs as the funds will admit of. Original estimate for the present plan
*$419,792 00 Amount expended to June 30, 1884 (including outstanding liabilities), under the present plan .
395, 000 00 Total amount expended to June 30, 1884, which includes amounts ex
pended under the original and present plan, &c., including outstanding liabilities.....
604, 613 99 This work is in the collection district of Minnesota. The nearest port of entry is Duluth, Minn., at which place the revenue collected during the year ending December 31, 1883, amounted to $4,253.51.
* This amount ($419,792) is taken from Report of Chief of Engineers, 1874, Part I, page 285. The original estimate for the present plan has been stated in previous Annual Reports at $529,726.31.
ABSTRACT OF APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR SAINT ANTHONY FALLS.
By act approved July 11, 1870..
*$50,000 By act approved March 3, 1871
*50,000 By act approved June 10, 1072.
*50,000 By act approved March 3, 1873
*50,000 By act approved June 23, 1874
125,000 By act approved Marcb 3, 1875
100,000 By act approved August 14, 1876
120,000 By act approved March 3, 1-79
110,000 By act approved June 14, 1880
110,000 By act approved March 3, 1881
$15,000 By aet passed August 2, 1882
125,000 By act approved July 5, 1984
615,000 No steamboats have navigated the Mississippi River between the Falls of Saint Anthony and Aitken about 208 miles (by river) above the falls, for six or seven years; hence there is no navigation dependent upon the preservation of the falls.
The commercial statistics of Minneapolis, therefore, refer entirely to the products of the water-power and shipments of lumber, flour, groceries, &c., by rail.
Money statement. July 1, 1383, amount available...
$1,461 22 Julg 1, 1864, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1883..
$938 38 July 1, 1884, outstanding liabilities.
1,075 21 July 1, 1884, amount available......
386 01 Amount appropriated by act approved July 5, 1884.
10,000 00 Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1885.....
10, 386 01 Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project..... 74, 792 00 Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1886
IMPROVEMENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER ABOVE THE FALLS OF SAINT
The plan under which work bas been carried on since and including 1880 is based upon the project for the improvement of the river from Conradi's Shoals to Grand Rapids, the estimated cost, $54,127.50, as given in the report of February 8, 1875, upon part of the third subdivision, Mississippi Transportation Route to the Seaboard. Plan of improvement to afford 3 to 5 feet of water by removal of snags, bowl. ders, and bars.
This same report estimated the cost of the improvement of the river between the Falls of Saint Anthony and Saint Cloud at $144,667.50.
* These sums were used before the adoption of the present plan. + For sluice-way through public works, &c.
# For repairs and contingencies, &c., and are not considered in determining the amounts still to be appropriated to complete the present project.