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State Harbor Commissioners


YEARS 1866 AND 1867.



To the Honorable FRED'K F. Low,

Governor of the State of California :

SIR :-In pursuance of the requirements of the statute, the Board of State Harbor Commissioners herewith submit their report for the two years ending November third, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven.

At the date when the preceding report of this Commission was submitted, an advertisement was in course of publication soliciting proposals for leasing a portion of the water front previously set apart for the

purposes of a dry dock, under the provisions of section seven of the the Act of March fifth, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, (Statutes of 1863-4, p. 152 ;) accordingly, upon the seventeenth day of November, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, the day named in the advertisement, the Board proceeded to open the bids. Only one bid was received, being that of A. A. Macpherson, W. H. Hooke, W.J. Adams, C. H. Wetherbee, and W. C. Talbot; the bidders agreeing, should their proposal be accepted, to build a dry dock within thirty (30) months from the acceptance of their bid, of a capacity sufficient to accommodate a vessel of twelve hundred tons burden; and as soon thereafter as the wants of commerce might require, a dock of a capacity sufficient to receive a vessel of four thousand tons burden; to pay a monthly rental of fifty dollars per month for the first thirty months, and from the expiration of said thirty months a monthly rental of one hundred and fifty dollars per month for the balance of the term of the lease.

After mature deliberation, the Board accepted the bid, with the proviso that said bidders should agree to build, first, the larger of the two docks referred to in the bid, and should file with the Board a good and sufficient bond, in the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, for the faithful fulfilment of the requirements of the lease ; also, an additional bond, in the sum of fifty thousand dollars, (liquidated damages,) for the completion of the dock within the time named in the bid.

On the fifteenth of December, the bidders having acceded to the terms of the proviso, and having executed and submitted to this Board the required bonds, the Board proceeded to execute the lease.

On the thirteenth day of February of the present year, the lessees under the said dry dock lease presented a communication to the Board, desiring a modification of their obligation so far as to allow them, the lessees, to build a dock of a capacity less than stipulated in said lease, and for the following reasons:

That since the assumption by the lessees of the obligations named in the lease, other and responsible parties, with ample capital, have commenced the construction of a dock at Hunter's Point, which, when completed, will be of a size sufficient to accommodate vessels of the largest class, and which, from the plan of its construction, being a permanent and substantial structure, excavated into the fixed stone of the Point, affording equal accommodations and greater safety to vessels when docked, and for these latter reasons would divert such a proportion of the docking of large vessels as to reduce the business of the dock required to be built by the lessees so as to result to their loss, while from baving to operate a large dock for vessels of a smaller class would require either exorbitant charges or else pove unremunerative; and the communication of the said lessees having been accompanied and sustained by communications to the same effect from several of the more prominent merchants and ship-owners, requesting said modification, the Commissioners, after consultation with their counsel, and upon due consideration of the matter, did, by resolution, consent to a modification of the said dry dock lease, so as to allow the said lessees to build a dock of the length of two hundred feet, and of a capacity suficient for docking vessels of fifteen hundred tons burden, custom house measurement. In making this modification, the Commissioners required the sureties to the bond in connection with said lease to agree, by an obligation properly executed, tbat said modification should in no manner impair their liability upon the bonds; and the obligation of the lessees to build a dock of the size originally specified in the lease is in no way invalidated or varied on the part of the Board, except in the event of the completion of the Hunter's Point dock.

Upon the termination of said lease the lessees are to surrender the premises leased, with the outer half of the streets of a width of seventyfive feet by the entire length of the frontage granted, substantially built, and in good condition.

On the eleventh day of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-six, the Board contracted with Mr. T. R. Brooks, Civil Engineer, to make further soundings upon a line parallel to, and fifty to sixty feet outside the water front line of eighteen hundred and sixty-four, to ascertain more fully the character of the bottom, its slopes and general surface, the depth of water and mud, and to furnish profiles, etc., for the assistance and convenience of Engineers in making plans and estimates for the contemplated sea wall. This contract was completed together and at the same time with the contract of October, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, (see last report,) on the ninth of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-six, and the report of the said Engineer was printed for the use of parties intending to compete for the premium for the best plan for a sea wall, which premium (one thousand dollars) was offered by this Commission through advertisements published in several of the daily newspapers,

in the month of April, eighteen hundred and sixty-six.

Parties submitting plans were requested in said advertisements to affix some mark or cypher in lieu of their names. On the fifth of July following, the time named in the advertisements during which plans would be received having expired, the Commissioners found upon examination that no less than thirty plans had been submitted by various parties for structures differing widely in general design, material, method of con

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