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The tower at Twin River (Rawley) Point

A forum to discuss lighthouses in the US Great Lakes Region
(Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and the lake lighthouses of New York & Pennsylvania)

Postby Terry_Pepper » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:20 am


The skeletal Twin Rivers (Rawley) Point tower is indeed the old pierhead light from Chicago. I have continued researching, and have learned a great deal since I created "Seeing The Light" and this is one of many changes I need to make - if I can ever find the time to do so!

When in service in Chicago, the stair tube was accessed from the second floor of the dwelling by a covered way (akin to Whitefish Point, Manitou and Detour Point) as shown in the photo below which was taken when the tpwer was still in Chicago.


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When the structure was re-erected at Twin River Point, there were a number of modifications made, aomong which was an extension of the stair tube to ground level. Here are some historical references definitively indicating that this was the structure which was dismantled and relocated to Twin River Point:

From the June 30, 1894 Report of Mr. G. A. M Lilecrantz, Assistant Engineer included in the Report of the Chief of Engineers, US Army. page 2133:
The U. S. light-house at the mouth of the river on the north pier, which was erected in or about the year 1866, is being removed from here by the U. S. Light-House Board to Twin River Point, Michigan. Being an old established landmark, and its exact location accordingly of value and interest, I have, in compliance with your orders, made a minute survey of the site on which it is located (originally a pierhead built in the lake in 1859), with the keeper's dwelling, which is to remain thereon.

From the July 1, 1895 Report of Mr. G. A. M Lilecrantz, Assistant Engineer included in the Report of the Chief of Engineers, US Army. Page 2699:
As stated in last year's report, the light-house at the mouth of the river was removed to Twin River Point, and preparations were made for marking accurately and permanently the center of the tower. As the removal of this was not completed until the beginning of this year, only the three reference points were established during the year ending June 30, 1894, as described in the report for that year. The center of the old tower was marked on the 3d of November, 1894.

From the 1894 Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board, 11th District section
Chicago River, Lake Michigan, Illinois - The light here was discontinued on November 9, 1893, and the illuminating apparatus was taken down, packed and boxed, shipped to Detroit, and stored at the lighthouse depot. Measurements of the tower and sketches of the lantern. etc., were made with a view to making alterations and additions for use at Twin River Point. The work of taking down the skeleton iron tower was commenced on June 7, and at the close of the month all of the structure had been taken down to the top of the lower story and 24 tension rods of the latter. Nearly all of the small parts were invoiced and boxed and other parts bundled for shipment. All parts were newly marked with white lead, punch, or chisel and the old marks were removed.

1367. Twin River Point, Lake Michigan, Wisconsin – Plans for removing the metal tower from the discontinued Chicago River light station, increasing its height, and re-erecting it a Twin River Point to replace the present brick tower, which continues to crack and crumble, were prepared. Bids were received, in response to formal advertisement, for furnishing the additional metal work required, and a contract for it was executed. The material required for the construction of the foundation for the new tower for this station was delivered.

From the 1894 Detroit Free Press, August 29.
Old Chicago Light Removed - The lighthouse steamer Amaranth is at Chicago and the harbor light tower is being taken apart and loaded upon her for removal to Twin River Point, Wis., to take the place of the one now there. The tower will have thirty feet added to its height, making it 100 feet. The light will still be as now, third order.

From the 1895 Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board, 11th District Section
1427. Twin River Point, Lake Michigan, Wisconsin. – The construction of the metal work required to modify the old Chicago River light tower for erection here was completed. All the lumber, tools, and appliances, rubble and crushed stone, cement, and all the old parts of the tower which had been stored at the Chicago River light station were brought here by the tender Amaranth. The concrete foundation for the structure, and the erection of the metal work was begun. In September the excavations for the foundations for the eight columns were completed, the concrete piers were constructed, the foundation disks and cylinder bases were set, bedded, and grouted, and portions of the metal work of the first series were erected. The site of the new location was raised about 2 ½ feet and graded. In October fully 166,000 pounds of metal work had been erected to the upper part of the fourth story, bringing the structure to the main gallery deck. In November the main deck, service room, and watch room and decks, lantern parapet railing, and the lantern were erected, and the illuminating apparatus transferred from the old structure and erected in the new one. The erection of the new skeleton iron tower at this station was completed on December 1, 1894. Plans, specifications, and estimates of cost for making alterations and additions to the keepers dwelling and the removal of the old brick tower were made in January, 1895. The material for doing this work was purchased and delivered by the tender Amaranth, and a working party was sent to the station April 10, 1895, when operations were begun. The boat landing was extended 84 feet. When the work of renovation is completed, this station will be in first-class order.

The tower which was displayed as part of the Lighthouse Board exhibit at the Columbian Exposition was disassembled after the Exposition, transported east, and re-erected to serve as the rear tower of the Waackaack Range in New Jersey. As you will see from the photo to the left below, the tower at the Exposition had but four legs. The postcard to the right below shows the same four-legged structure after its re-erection at Wackaack:

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Here are some historical references definitively indicating that the tower at the Exposition was disassembled and re-erected at Waackaack:


From the 1893 Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board, section titled “Exhibit of the Light-House Board at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893, page 230:
The floor space inside, which is absolutely necessary for this purpose, is a rectangle 100 feet long and 50 feet wide. The ground »pace outside is a square of 150 feet on a side. On the inside are to be placed all lenses, lamps, chimneys, tools, wicks, lanterns, etc. On the outside will be a tower, to be afterwards placed at Waackaack station, in New York Bay, buoys of various kinds, whistles, sirens, etc. On the walls inside will be placed a large map and large photographs and paintings illustrating some of the most important lights, beacons, light-ships, tenders, etc.

From pages 234 & 235 of the same document:
The range lens shown was made by Messrs. Barbier & Cié, of Paris. It was imported for use at the Waackaack light-house in New York Bay. The tower for this station was shown in the outdoor light-house exhibit. This lens is calculated to concentrate all the light given by the lamp and to project it in a given direction. The apparatus, including its mountings, is about 7 feet high. It has an interior diameter of about 60 inches. It is lighted by a four-wick burlier with л reflector placed behind the lamp. The beam of light projected is too bright to be borne by unprotected eyes except from a distance. Hence it was seldom lighted during the exhibition.

From the book “The World’s Fair As Seen In One Hundred Days,” by H. D. Northrop. Published 1893 by National Publishing, Philadelphia, Page 341:
Down near the lake front was the collection of the Lighthouse Board. A tall, pipe-like lighthouse stood in place as if to warn the battle ship ILLINOIS, which it overlooked, against running up on the beach. This lighthouse was of interest to Gothamites, because after the Fair is over it is to be taken down and reconstructed at the Waackaack station, in New York Bay.

From the book The Official Directory of The World’s Columbian Exhibition by Moses P. Handy. Published 1893 by W. B. Gonkey, Co., Chicago. Page 158:
Lighthouse Exhibit.-The exhibit made by the United States Lighthouse Board is the tower constructed for the Waackaack lighthouse, New Jersey. It is located on the north pond. directly north of the Fisheries Building. It is an iron skeleton structure. surmounted by a parapet and a lantern, accessible from below by a spiral stairway inclosed in a cast-iron cylinder. The skeleton structure, which rests upon eight circular foundation disks anchored to a concrete foundation, is composed of columns, sockets, struts and tension-rods, forming a frustum of a square pyramid, bounded on top by an architrave supporting an octagonal gallery, a circular parapet and a decagonal lantern. The frustum has a base 28 feet square; its height is 84 feet to the lower face of the architrave, where its sides form a square of 8 feet 8 inches on each side.

From the 1894 Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board, Section XIX, summarizing the Lighthouse Board exhibit at the Columbian Exhibition the prior year, pages 255 & 256:
The tower exhibited was built for use at the Waackaack light-station on New-York Bay. The work had been done by contract at Detroit, Mich. As the site was not ready for its erection at the time of its completion, it .became possible to exhibit the tower at the Exposition. The Waackaack light tower is an iron skeleton structure surmounted by a parapet ' and lantern, accessible from below by a spiral stairway inclosed in an iron cylinder. Its height from base to lantern top is 106 feet and its weight is about 150,000 pounds. The skeleton structure which rests on eight circular foundation disks, anchored to' a concrete foundation, is composed of columns, sockets, struts, and tension rods, forming the frustum of a square pyramid, bounded on the top by an architrave supporting an octagonal gallery, a circular parapet and a decagonal lantern. The frustum has a base of 28 square feet; its height is 84 feet to the lower face of the architrave, where its sides form a square of 8 feet 8.66 inches on each side. The contract under which the tower was built provided that - "The wrought iron to be need for the structure must be free from imperfections, and must be capable of bearing a tensile strain of not less than 50,000 pounds per square inch of cross section. All castings must be entirely free from imperfections, such as honeycomb, blowholes, etc.; they must be straight, out of wind, und must have a clean and smooth surface. The iron in the castings must be light gray in color, close grained, and of such quality that a rough .bar three-fourth inch square, supported at points 12 inches apart, will break under » load of not less than 930 pounds applied at the center.”"The agent of the-Light-House Board in charge of the work may test specimens of the iron by straining or breaking, but no piece that has been strained and possibly crippled shall be used in the structure. The teats referred to shall be at the expense of the contractor. "The bolt heads and nuts throughout the structure are to be hexagonal, if not otherwise specified. The screw threads must be sharp and clean and the bolts of proper lengths, The diamond checkering, wherever specified, is to be at an angle of 30° to one side of the plate, the checkers not being longer than 1 ¼ inches. Tee brass must contain not less than 90 per cent of copper; it must have a close texture, and no scrap is to be used in the alloy. "None but the best workmanship will pass inspection." It was also provided that all portions of the work should be thoroughly inspected at the shops before it was painted, and that the contractor should afford the agent of the Light-House Board every assistance needed in making this inspection. The contract price was $11,810 for the tower erected in place on its own foundation. The Government is to furnish the illuminating apparatus, the lantern glass, and to prepare the foundation for the reception of the tower. The tower was visited by many persons, who studied this structure from scientific and mechanical points of view. As soon as the Exposition was closed, the structure was taken down and its parts were sent to Waackaack, the place where it has since been erected for light-house use.

From the 1895 Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board, Third District Section,
304- Waackaack (rear), New York Bay, New Jersey – The tower was completed, and the apparatus for the two ranges was installed, and on October 25, 1894, was put in operation. An oil house was built. The first-order lamps were on April 18,1895, replaced by third-order lamps. Various repairs were made.

While my website does not reflect these facts, I have continued my research, and have learned a great deal since I created "Seeing The Light." This is one of many changes I need to make - if I can ever find the time to do so! Perhaps I will be fortunate to live long enough that I will eventually get to retire, and I can then add all the wonderful history and photos I have learned over the past six years since I stopped updating the site!
Terry Pepper
GLLKA Executive Director
http://www.gllka.com

Seeing The Light
http://www.terrypepper.com

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Postby NoahG » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:52 am


Terry,

That is very, very cool. Thanks for taking time to post the results of what I am sure were hours upon hours of research and work. I'm sure you have the files to answer the numerous other "mysteries" on my list.
Noah G.
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:23 pm


As one of a number of addictions, research is likely the one with the least amount of negative health impact - so I self-prescribe it whenever possible!
Terry Pepper
GLLKA Executive Director
http://www.gllka.com

Seeing The Light
http://www.terrypepper.com

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Postby NoahG » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:42 pm


Terry_Pepper wrote:As one of a number of addictions, research is likely the one with the least amount of negative health impact - so I self-prescribe it whenever possible!



I like that :D :yay:
Noah G.
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