Excerpts from the Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board for 1900

Excerpts from the "Annual Report of the Light-House Board for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1900"


Northeast End light-vessel, seacoast of New Jersey.-- Fog Signal machinery disabled; bell rung by hand July --, 1899. Light-vessel No. 44 withdrawn for repairs and station marked by relief light-vessel No. 16 August 21; light-vessel No. 44 replaced on station and relief light-vessel No. 16 withdrawn September, 28, 1899.

Five-Fathom Bank light-vessel, entrance to Delaware Bay, New Jersey.--Light-vessel No. 40 temporarily withdrawn for repairs and station marked by relief light-vessel No. 16 July 14; light-vessel No. 40 replaced on station and relief light-vessel No. 16 withdrawn August 21, 1899.

Chapel Hill range cut electric buoy, New York Lower Bay, New York,--Temporarily removed and station marked by a black spar showing a lantern light August 5, 1899; electric buoy replaced and spar buoy withdrawn June 29, 1900.

Sandy Hook light-vessel entrance to New York Lower Bay, New York. --Light-vessel No. 51 replaced on station and relief light-vessel No. 111 August 23, 1899.

Scotland light-vessel, entrance to New York Lower, Bay, New York.--Light-vessel No. 7 withdrawn for repairs and station marked by relief light-vessel No. 11 August 23; light-vessel No. 7 replaced on station and relief light-vessel No. 11 withdrawn October 19, 1899.


Congress authroized by act approved on February 15, 1893, the establishment of a number of light-stations at an aggregate cost of nearly half a million dollars, but made no appropriation at that time for their construction. Since then from time to time appropriation has been made for the erection of many of them. The following is a list of the light-stations remaining for which no appropriation has yet been made, with a maximum amount which each may cost:

Big Oyster Bed Shoal light and fog-signal, New Jersey..........25,000

Congress authorized, by an act approved on June 6, 1900, the reestablishment of the range lights on the Delaware River known as Finns Point range, Reedy Island range and Port Penn range, at a cost not exceeding $90,000, but no appropriation therefor.


Fourth district.-- Maurice River range lights, New Jersey; Reedy Island range, front, Delaware.



Port Penn Range, Reedy Island Range, Finns Point Range, Delaware River, New Jersey, reestablishment.............................................................. 90,000.00

Elbow of Cross Ledge, Delaware Bay, New Jersey, gas-lighted beacon....... 60,000.00

Cape May light-station, new Jersey, keeper's dwelling.................... 4,000.00


This district extends from Elisha Ledge, off Warren Point, Rhode Island, to a point on the coast of New Jersey, opposite Shrewsbury Rocks, and includes the ledge and the rocks. It embraces all aids to navigation on the coast of Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, and of New Jersey northward of the point opposite Shrewsbury rocks, and on all tidal waters tributary to the sea or Long Island sound between the limits named, together with the aids on Whitehall Narrows and on the United States waters of Lake Champlain and Memphremagog.

It now includes the light-house service of Porto Rico, and the adjacent islands, and the waters of the islands lying east of the seventy-fourth meridian of longitude west of Greenwich, which by order of the Treasury Department, the Light-house Board assumed on May 1, 1900.


367. North Hook beacon, New Jersey.--The removal of the fog-signal from in front of the 12-inch battery No.3 to the east end of the gorge wall of Fort Hancock, including new building and transfer machinery, was begun and is in progress. Various repairs were made.
381. Waackaack range beacon, New Jersey.-- The present quarters for the light-keepers are inadequate. Recommendation was made in annual reports of 1896, 1897, 1898 and 1899, that either an addition to the old dwelling or new quarters be built. The Board is now of opinion that new quarters should be provided. It is estimated that this can be done for not exceeding $3,500, and it is recommended that an appropriation for this amount be made therefor.


352. Sandy Hook light-vessel, No. 51, off the entrance to New York Bay, New York.--This steel steam self-propelling light-vessel was built in 1892, and is of 283 tons gross burden. She was brought in for repairs on May 15, 1899, and was returned to her station on August 23, 1899, when relief light-vessel No. 11, which had been in her place was removed. This light-vessel was placed in dry dock, when her bottom was cleaned and painted, her main desk calked, and necessary repairs to hull and engine were made. The old dynamos were taken out and were replaced by dynamos of the Crocker-Wheeler type, driven by Sturtevant engines, which resulted in an appreciable reduction in the quantity of coal burned. After the installation of the new dynamos the lights were not extinguished by failure of the plant. She received a new awning, oils, paints, engineer's stores, and the other incidental supplies.
366. Scotland light-vessel, No. 7, off Sandy Hook entrance to New York, New York.--This wooden light-vessel was built in 1854, is of 142 tons gross burden, old measurement, and has a bell for a fog-signal. She was withdrawn for repairs on August 23, and was returned to her station on October, 19, 1899. The repairs consisted in patching the metal sheathing, renewing and strengthening the rail in parts, putting the lanterns, ventilators, and hatches in good order, stopping a leak, and making sundry renewals and changes in winches, skylights, cabin, forecastle, and other parts of the ship. She received during the year cordage, paints, ship chandlery and incidental supplies.
--Relief light-vessel, No. 16.--Kept in reserve at the light-house depot, Staten Island, New York. This wooden vessel was built in 1854, is of 250 tons gross burden, and has a steam fog-signal. She is kept at the ready to relieve either light-vessel No. 51, off Sandy Hook, or light-vessel No. 68 off Fire Island. After service in the Fourth and Fifth districts, she was returned to this district December 22, 1899. She is now under contract to be thoroughly overhauled.
--Relief light-vessel, No. 11.--This wooden vessel was built in 1853, is of 320 tons gross burden, and has a bell for a fog-signal. On May 17 she relieved Sandy Hook light-vessel No. 51, and was withdrawn on August 23, 1899. On the same date she relieved Scotland light-vessel No. 7, off the entrance to New York Bay, and on October 19, 1899, she was brought back to the general light-house depot.


Sandy Hook light-vessel, No. 51, New York.--This 12-inch steam whistle was in operation about 558 hours and consumed some 81 tons of coal.
North Hook Beacon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey--This first-class automatic steam siren, in duplicate, was in operation about 1,040 hours and consumed some 67 tons of coal.


This district extends from a point on the coast of New Jersey opposite Shrewsbury Rocks (but does not include the rocks) to and includes Metokin Inlet, Virginia. It embraces all aids to navigation on the seacoast of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, and the tidal waters tributary to the sea between the rocks and the inlet.
Inspector.--Commander Adolph Marix, United States Navy.
Engineer.--Lieut. Col. William A. Jones, Corps of Engineers, United States Army.
In this district there are--

Light-houses and beacon lights, including 5 post lights 67
Light-vessels in position 5
Day or unlighted beacon 8
Fog-signals operated by steam, caloric, or oil engines 7
Fog-signals operated by clockwork 7
Gas-lighted buoys in position 2
Whislting buoys in position 3
Bell buoys in position 6
Ice buoys in position 27
Other buoys in position 153
Steamer Zizania, buoy tender, and for supply and inspection 1
Naphtha launch Leal, used for works of construction and repair 1

Some 257 inspections of vessels, stations, and post lights were made during the year, and without exception the stations were found to be in an efficient condition and the keepers generally attentive to their duties. Frequent inspections of the buoys were made.


455. Seagirt, seacoast of New Jersey. -- The exterior of the lighthouse, including the lantern and the brick walls, was repainted. A sand fence 240 feet in length was erected to protect the grounds from drifting sands. Various repairs were made.
472. Absecon, Atlantic City, seacoast of New Jersey. -- The southern part of the lawn was plowed up, the weed roots, etc., removed, about 500 cubic yards of new soil spread upon it, and a reseeding of white clover and June grass made. The sedding survived the winter, and during the present season was kept watered and mowed by the contractor under his guarantee, so that the grounds now present a fine appearance. About 65 ornamental trees and 350 ornamental shrubs and hedge plants were set out. Various repairs were made.
459.Ludlum Beach, seacoast of New Jersey. -- A survey of the site was made. A concrete sea wall 156 feet long was built about the rear end of the reservation or lot. Repairs were made.
463. Cape May, seacoast of New Jersey. -- The following recommendation made in the Board's last four annual reports is renewed:
This is a first-order seacoast light, and three keepers are employed to attend it. There are quarters for only two families, and the third keeper has to be accommodated by makeshift arrangements which are thoroughly unsatisfactory and detrimental to the discipline and efficiency of the service. It is estimated that an additional keeper;keeper's dwelling can be built here at a cost not exceeding $4,000, and it is recommended that an appropriation of that account be made therefor.

471. Brandywine Shoal, Delaware Bay, Delaware. -- A cola-oil engine and an air compressor were purchased for use in connection with the proposed fog-signal trumpet. Various repairs were made.
478,479. Maurice River range lights, Delaware Bay, New Jersey. -- A ladder and platform were erected at the rear range. The pressed lens lanterns in use on the range were replaced with 180-degree-silver-reflector-standard-lens-lanterns. A galvanized-iron oil house was built with a concrete floor and concrete-filled iron foundation columns. A contract was made for the erection of a new boat landing, an elevated board walk from the dwelling to the boat landing, and another from the dwelling to the front light, and for the construction of a drainage system. Various repairs were made.
--. Elbow of Cross Ledge, Delaware Bay, New Jersey.-- Congress having authorized the construction of a national harbor of refuge for vessels near the mouth of Delaware Bay, a stone breakwater about a mile and half long is being built, which, when completed, will provide a secure anchorage area of over 700 acres. As the harbor of refuge in question is nearly finished, and as it will be of little service at night unless properly lighted, the Board is of the opinion that a gas-lighted beacon should be established on an iron-caission structure on the Elbow of Cross Ledge, in Delaware Bay. It is estimated that this work can be done at a cost not exceeding $60,000. Recommendation is made that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.
492. Finns Point range (front), Delaware River, New Jersey. -- A stone sea wall 12 feet high and 487 feet long, having a grillage foundation, was built along the lower part of the river front of the reservation. The stones deposited upon the top and rear slope of the river bank, in front of the outer end of the reservation, were removed and piled in its rear. Its foundations having settled, the rear part of the light-house was raised and its supporting piers were built up. A new cistern pump was furnished, the wooden water tank was recalked, and the downspouts, cut-offs, etc.
--.Port Penn range, Reedy Island range, Finns Point range, Delaware River, New Jersey. -- The reestablishment of these ranges is made necessary by the construction of a new channel in the Delaware River, to take the place of the channel now marked by these ranges as now located. The officer of the Engineer Corps of the Army in charge of the improvement of the Delaware River states--
The contract now about to be entered into for the improvement of Delaware River provides for the formation of a 30-foot channel from a point nearly opposite Appoquinimink Creek, Delaware, to deep water above Reedy Island, a distance of about 20,500 feet. The work is to be completed on or before October 31, 1901, unless Congress fails to appropriate the necessary funds.

It will be necessary to acquire, by purchase or condemnation, land for the new sites for these beacons. This is almost invariably a cause of delay. If the new channel is not to remain for a long time unlighted, immediate measures should be taken for the acquisition of the needed land. No steps can be taken for the purchase of the land until after an appropriation is made available for that purpose. It is estimated that these new ranges can be established for not exceeding $90,000, if action is immediately taken. The Board therefore recommends the appropriation of this amount therefor.

Congress, by the act approved June 6, 1900, authorized the reestablishment of these ranges at a cost to exceed $90,000, but made no appropriation therefor.

497. Deep Water Point (front), Delaware River, New Jersey. -- The picket fence around the light-house was completed, and another, about 150 feet long was built to inclose a yard in the rear of the barn. Various minor repairs were made.
The kitchen addition to the dwelling was completed, a side veranda with a walk extending to the tower was built. Various repairs were made.
527. Billingsporrt (front), Delaware River, New Jersey. -- The roadbed and adjacent surfaces were graded 2,600 feet of sod border was laid, and 8,000 square feet of gravel coating was put in place. About 2,100 bricks were laid in the new walks, and the terra-cotta drain was extended across the road and provided with two brick inlets. Various minor repairs were made.


Repairs more or less extensive were made at the following-named light-stations:

456. Barnegat, N.J.
460. Hereford Inlet, N.J.
463. Cape May, N.J.
480. Egg Island, N.J.
481. Cross Ledge, N.J.
484. Ship John, Shoal, Del.
493. Finns Point (rear), N.J.
507. Tinicum Island (rear), N.J.
508. Fort Mifflin Bar Cut(rear), Delaware River, N.J.
513, 514, 515. Horseshoe Range (east group), N.J.


475. Northeast End light-vessel, No. 44, off the seacoast of New Jersey. -- This iron light-vessel was built in 1881-82, and is of 304 tons gross burden, old measurement. and has a steam fog-signal. She was removed from her station for repairs on August 21, 1899, being relieved by relief light-vessel No. 16 on that date. She was towed to Wilmington, Del., where 2 fog-signal boilers were installed. Her bottom was cleaned and painted; the spar deck was calked; 2 new trysail masts were stepped, new trestletrees for both masts were fitted; deck lights were renewed new windlass buts were fitted; the engine house was recanvased and painted; new Y connection was made to the stack; the whistle valve was repaired; a new boiler feed pump and new connecting-rod brasses were fitted to the engine; a steam gauge [sic] was renewed and 6 new gauge [sic] cocks fitted; 22 water guages [sic] were fitted to the boiler, and minor repairs made. The vessel resumed her station on September 28, 1899, when relief light-vessel No. 16 was withdrawn. Fuel, rope, awning, lumber, paint, oilcloth, crockery, buckets, et.c, were furnished.
462. Five Fathom Bank light-vessel, No.40, off the seacoast of New Jersey. -- This wooden light-vessel was built in 1875, is of about 350 tons gross burden, and has a steam fog-signal. She was removed from her station for repairs on July 14, 1899, being towed to Wilmington, Del., when the work of installing 2 new fog-signal boilers was begun. A hawse pipe was put in on the port side; the decks were calked; the ship was calked outside; the riding and windlass bitts were refastened; the deck lights were renewed; the windlass was overhauled; the bottom was cleaned and the rudder pintles were overhauled; the quarter-boat cranes were raised; the bell was rehung; the deadlights were fitted; a door was fitted to the lantern house; the pumps were overhauled; smoke-box connections and a cape were placed; the after lantern house was recanvased and the metal was repaired; the pipes to the water tanks were renewed; the lever and spring valves were overhauled; a stop valve to the engines was placed; new blow and gauge cocks were supplied to the boiler, and minor repairs were made. She was placed on her station on August 21, 1899. This vessel had leaked at time before coming in for repairs, and during January, 1900, after having returned to her station, she leaked considerably without apparent cause, and as suddenly stopped, before it was ascertained where the leak was. White-pine plugs, pipe wrench, rope, oil, bedclothing, hose, new shore boat, crockery, oilcloth, medicines, paint, etc., were furnished. Coal and wood were supplied.
Relief-light-vessel No. 16. --This wooden light-vessel was built in 1854, is of about 250 tons burden, and carries a steam fog-signal. She arrived from the Fifth light-house district in tow of the tender Zizania on July 3, 1899, and was taken to Wilmington, Del., to have her boiler retubed. On July 14, 1899, after the completion of repairs she relieved Five Fathom Bank light-vessel, No. 40, remaining on the station while that vessel was undergoing repairs. Subsequently, for similar reasons, she relieved Northeast End light-vessel, No. 44 on August 21, 1899; Fenwick Island Shoal light-vessel, No. 52, on September 28, 1899, and Winter Quarter Shoal light=vessel, No. 45, on November 5, 1899, being manned during each period by crews from the respective vessels. On December 14, 1899, after the last-named vessel had been returned to her station, this light-vessel was towed to Delaware Breakwater and thence to the general light-house depot at Tompkinsville, N.Y., and delivered, on December 22, 1899 to the inspector of the Third light-house district. A galley stove was supplied.


461. Northeast End light-vessel, No. 44, New Jersey. -- The 12-inch steam whistle was in operation some 397 hours, and consumed about 22 tons of coal. The bell was in use as a fog-signal about 60 hours, the boilers being disabled.

462. Five-Fathom Bank light-vessel, No. 40, New Jersey. -- The 12-inch steam whistle was in operation some 417 hours, and consumed about 21 tons of coal.
472. Fourteen Foot Bank, Delaware Bay, Delaware.-- The second-class Daboll trumpet, operated by a hot-air engine, was in operation some 370 hours, and consumed about 2 tons of coal.


There were maintained last year on the seacoast from Squan Inlet, New Jersey, to Chincoteague Inlet, Virginia, 26 buoys; in Barnegat Inlet, New Jersey, 9 buoys, in Little Egg Harbor Inlet, New Jersey, 7 buoys; in Absecon Inlet, New Jersey 12 buoys; in Great Egg Harbor Inlet and River, New Jersey, 12 buoys; in Townsend Inlet, New Jersey, 3 buoys; in Hereford Inlet, New Jersey, 5 buoys; in Delaware Bay and River and Schuylkill River, 116 buoys; in Chincoteague Inlet, Virginia, 5 buoys; in Metokim Inlet, Virginia, 3 buoys; in all 191 buoys.

Cape May boat house, Cape May, New Jersey. -- This boat house is used by the Northeast End light-vessel, No. 44, and Five Fathom Bank light-vessel, No. 40, being provided for the care of their boats, sails, oars, etc., when on shore on leave. It is in good condition.


Absecon buoy depot, Atlantic City, N.J. -- Eight of the broken wharf piled were replaced, the wharf deck was leveled up, and about 26 diagonal braces were put in place by contract.

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