Excerpts from the Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board-1881


1881

Third District

LIGHTSHIPS

192. Sandy Hook Light-ship, No. 16, off the entrance to New York Bay.--From the general appearance of the vessel, outside and inside, she is in good condition. She does not leak, and needs no repairs at present. Last year she was furnished with new bedding and a new boat, ship-chandlery, and medicines. She is kept in good order.
193. Wreck of the Scotland Lightship, No. 7, off Sandy Hook, entrance to New York Bay.--when Light-ship No. 20 was brought in for repairs in the beginning of the last fiscal year, Light-ship No.7 was put on the station in her place, and, as she gave more satisfaction to the officers and crew, the inspector decided to keep her on the station, and Light-ship No. 20 will be used as a relief-ship. Light-ship No.7 is in good condition, requiring only slight repairs to the copper on her bows, which was somewhat damaged by the heavy ice of the past winter. She is kept in excellent condition.
Relief Light-ship No. 20, is at present at the light-house depot, Staten Island. Her lamps were so changed as to use mineral oil. During the year she was thoroughly rebuilt, and is now in condition for a service of many years.
Relief Light-ship, No. 15.--After serving as a barrack for the men employed in building Great Beds light-house, this worn out vessel was brought to the depot, and, pursuant to instructions of the board, was sold at public auction to the highest bidder, and the proceeds covered into the Treasury.

Fourth District

The fourth district extends from Squan Inlet, New Jersey, to, and including, Metomkin Inlet, Virginia. It includes the sea-coast of New Jersey, below the Highlands of Navesink, the bay coasts of New Jersey and Delaware, the sea-coasts of Delaware and Maryland, and part of the sea-coast of Virginia.
Inspector.--Commander George N. White, United States Navy, until April 1, 1881. Commander Frederick Rodgers, United States Navy, present inspector.
Engineer.--Col. William F. Raynolds, Corps of Engineers, brevet brigadier-general, United States Army.
In this district there are--

Light-houses and lighted beacons 39
Light-ships in position 3
Light-ships for relief 1
Day or unlighted beacons 1
Fog-signals (steam or hot air) 2
Whistling buoys in position 3
Other buoys in position 163
Steamer Arbutus, buoy-tender, and for supply and inspection. 1

This district is well supplied with aids to navigation. When the light on Joe Flogger Shoal, to take the place of the Fourteen-foot Bank light-ship, shall have been built, no new light-stations will be required in this district.

LIGHT-HOUSES

240. Barnegat, south side of Barnegat Inlet, New Jersey.--Repairs were made to the storehouse, the chimneys of the dwellings were repointed; and the boat-house was repaired. Nothing was done during the year to protect the beach, the water-line having changed but little of late.
241. Tucker's Beach, near the entrance to Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey.--Slight repairs were made to the revolving machinery.
242. Absecon, south side of Absecon Inlet, Atlantic City, New Jersey.--The beach remains nearly he same as when the last annual report was made. The roofs of the dwellings were repaired and painted and other slight repairs made.
251. Brandywine Shoal, Delaware Bay, Delaware.--The lower iron pile of the ice-fender, broken by the ice during the winter of 1874-'75, was replaced by a new one. The surface of the shoal and foundation of the structure were protected by forming mattresses of brush-wood and sinking them on the shoal around the structure, and depositing stone on them to protect the surface from being washed away. The structure was painted inside and out, the small storehouse on the platform received a new shingle roof, and the structure covering the fog-bell machinery was repaired.
257. Ship John Shoal, Delaware Bay, New Jersey.-Repairs to the iron gate on the gallery and slight repairs to the striking machinery of the fog-bell were made. The painting of the house inside and out, and repairs to the fog-bell machinery, will be attended to during the present season.
274,275,276. Tinicum Island and Fort Mifflin Bar Range-beacons, Delaware River, New Jersey.--These stations were ready for lighting on December 30, 1880, and were then occupied by the light-keepers. In accordance with Notice to Mariners, No. 47, of 1880, these lights were exhibited for the first time on December 31, 1881. After their completion all these sites were fenced in.
278,279,280,281,282,283. Horseshoe Shoal Ranges, Delaware River. --the deeds and title-papers for the purchase of the site at Howell's Cove, New Jersey, having been approved by the Attorney-General, and the right to build on Fort Mifflin reservation having been obtained, advertisements were issued for the frame structures necessary to form two ranges for passing the Horseshoe Shoal, Delaware River, and bids were opened on February 14 and forwarded to the Light-House Board. The bid of Bachman & Forrey, of Columbia, Pa., was accepted and the contract duly approved. The contractors are at work and the buildings are nearing completion. The site of Howell's Cove was fenced in.

REPAIRS.

Repairs, more or less extensive, were made at each of the following named light-stations:
240. Barnegat, New Jersey. 241. Tucker's Beach, New Jersey. 242. Absecon, New Jersey. 251. Brandywine Shoal, Delaware. 255. Cross Ledge, New Jersey. 257. Ship John Shoal, New Jersey.

LIGHT-SHIPS.

244. Five-fathom Bank Light-Ship, No. 40, about five and a half miles from Five-fathom Bank, off entrance to Delaware Bay, New Jersey,--December 26, 1880, during a gale of wind, the vessel slipped three heavy seas, which flooded the cabin and forecastle, stove one boat, and parted the mooring chain. On the 2d of January, 1881, after a very rough time at sea, the vessel arrived off the Capes of the Delaware, where, meeting heavy ice, a tug was employed and she was towed into the Delaware Breakwater. The slight damage to the lantern, house, &c., was repaired, a chain and anchor were supplied, and she was returned to her station January 7th, by the tender Arbutus. A 4,000-pound mushroom anchor and 120 fathoms of chain were lost when she broke adrift. On the 18th of June she was removed from the station, and Relief Light-ship No. 24 took her place. She is now under repairs at the works of the Pusey & Jones Company, Wilmington, Del.
252. Fourteen-foot Bank Light-ship, No. 19, 700 yards east of Fourteen-foot Bank, Delaware Bay, New Jersey.--On December 30, 1880, this vessel was driven from her station by the ice, and was towed into a safe position behind the Delaware Breakwater. On February 3, 1881, the ice being very heavy in the harbor, the vessel was dragged outside and against the breakwater, where the ice piled up around her. She remained in this dangerous position until the morning of February 7, when she was hove off by officers and crew into deep water. On February 8, she was towed to the ice harbor, at New Castle, Del., where she remained until February 14, when she was towed to Wilmington, Del., and taken our on the railway to examine bottom, repair metal where needed, and stop leak around hawse-pipe. The only damage sustained by the vessel, while on the stone pile, was the breaking of the bilge-keel on the starboard side, which was repaired. The hull was calked from metal up, new standing rigging, except fore-stay, of wire rope was fitted and other slight repairs were made. On the 5th of March the vessel resumed her station in the Delaware Bay.
Relief Light-ship No.24.--She was in service on Winter-Quarter Shoal station until October 12, 1880, when she was taken to the Christiana Depot, and remained there until June 18, 1881, when she was placed on Five-fathom Bank station, relieving Light-ship No. 40. Slight repairs were made to No. 24 during the month of May. She is now in good condition.

DEPOTS.

Barnegat, New Jersey.--The buoy-shed and boat-house, in one, on the south side of the inlet, about half a mile from the light-house, is built upon property owned by the heirs of John A. Brown, and no rent is paid. There is no suitable location for the depot upon the light-house site. The shed, which is in fair condition, with its contents, is in charge of the contractor, who attends to the buoyage of the inlet.
Tucker's Beach, New Jersey.--The buoys-shed and boat-house are in one building, located on the light-house site, at the end of the road leading to Little Egg Harbor beach. The shed is in good condition and is in charge of the buoy-contractor.
Absecon, New Jersey.-It is built on the rear of the light-house site. It is in god condition and is in charge of the buoys-contractor. It is difficult of access and is too small for convenient use.
Great Egg Harbor Inlet, New Jersey.--A shed, erected for the purpose was rented of Israel S. Adams, for the sum of $40 a year. It is well located, well suited for the purpose, and is in charge of the contractor for keeping buoys.

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