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received $11,639.89, or an average of $242.49 each, and the total was $269.19 more than paid them last year.
The average number of persons employed on piecework was 54 members and 152 civilians, who were employed in the manufacture of bedding, uniform clothing, underwear, etc., and who received $46,418.31 during the year, or an average of $225.33 each, and the total, $240.08 more than last
year. Purchases and contracts are made by the general treasurer at New York City, and approved by the president of the Board of Managers. All contracts are made after due advertising for bids, excepting for office supplies, repairs to machinery, etc.
The goods are inspected as to measure, weight, strength, and color according to specifications. The articles manufactured are inspected as to their being well and neatly made.
The manufacture of socks has been discontinued, and the new ones furnished by contract give entire satisfaction. The facilities for shrinking the cloth before being used for manufacturing clothing seems to be deficient, and some Branches report considerable shrinkage in the garments when cleaned.
The following table shows the amounts and prices obtained per pound for the various kinds of clippings sold during the year:
The following table shows the amount of business transacted at the depot during the past year:
a Less articles condemned during the year.
b Appraised value, $135,518.98. The following table shows the cost of material furnished for fabrication to each of the depot shops, the cost of articles fabricated, and the cost of services during the year:
For more detailed statements of the transactions at the depot during the year, showing the prices paid for piecework, the amount of material and articles on hand and fabricated and expended during the year, the cost of material and of manufacture, amount and value of articles sent to the various Branches, and the average quantity of goods and old material used in the manufacture of the various articles, attention is invited to the following tabulations from “A” to “0:"a No. 10.-REPORT ON AN INSPECTION OF THE MOUNTAIN BRANCH,
MADE SEPTEMBER 8 AND 9, 1902.
Col. John P. Smith has been appointed governor of this Branch, but inasmuch as the buildings had not been completed, he had not been assigned to duty,
and the supervision of the construction was under the charge of Gen. J. T. Richards, who represents the Home. He is very attentive to his duties and efficient in their performance. His selection seems to have been a fortunate one.
The natural advantage of the location of this Branch, with its rolling grounds and pure mountain atmos
phere, reflect great credit on the choice of this site. Additional land, amounting to 69 acres, needed in order to round off and make more symmetrical the shape of the reservation, has been purchased, and the cleaning and grading of the grounds has progressed rapidly.
The present difficulties facing the Branch are the questions of water supply and the disposition of the sewage. A contract has been made with the Johnson City Water Company, but this company does not seem to be carrying out the spirit of the contract, as it is reported that old material is being used, and in the placing of the pipes at the required depth the earth is piled up on the top of the ground to claim the depth required by the contract instead of having the trench or ditch at the proper depth. It is understood that the pipes crossing the stream are not sufficiently sunk in the ground, and are largely held in place by stones which may be washed out during high water.
The company seems to have the advantage in the clause looking to the final purchase of the water plant at the expiration of the lease. The clause in the contract referring to delays from accidents should have provided that the governor should determine when the length of time was considered reasonable.
If the water company should attempt an undue advantage over the Home, it may still be necessary for the Home to look for a new water supply. Such supply is reported at a convenient distance and at a reasonable price.
Unfortunately, the Johnson City Water Company and its rival, the Watauga Water Company, are involved in law suits, injunctions and counter injunctions having been granted, over titles to land on which certain springs are located which partly form or may form the water supply of the Branch. Thus far the Branch has not been embarrassed, but as the contest between these water companies continues embarrassment may follow.
In regard to the disposition of the sewage, the town of Johnson City is considering the building of a sewer for the town, which, if
a Not printed.
built, is to connect with the one from the Home; but if the town should not build such a sewer, a septic tank will probably have to be provided by the Home.
A new road from Johnson City has been opened over the high ground, which is desirable and avoids the railroad crossings on the old road. It is understood that no tunnels for the pipes have been provided; this is essential, at least from the power house to the mess hall, and from the power house to the hospital. The mistake made at the Danville Branch should not be repeated, where the tunnels were omitted; after the pipes were in the ground they had to be dug up and a tunnel made at considerable expense, much of which could have been avoided if they had been made when the Home was built.
Construction work had commenced, and the walls of several of the buildings of the hospital group were built
to include the first story, and one of them had progressed to almost include the second story. Progress had also been made on the power house as well as the two barracks, which it is understood are to be three stories in height, with basement. An examination of the plans showed some excessive distances of the buildings; for example, it is more than half a mile from the hospital to the chapel; many of the convalescents, who are devout in the performance of their religious duties, will find the walk a long one.
The two tall barracks, although each one having elevators, will, it is thought, be found inconveniently high. If the matter of appropriations were to be considered, it would have been better to have left one barrack not built, and to have carried out the former plan of barracks with two stories and attic. If appropriations did not have to be considered, then an architectural monument should not be built. An impression prevails that this Branch is desired by the architect to be a monument to his skill and ability, and although the best architectural effect should be desired, the prime purpose of the Branch being a home for the old men should not be lost sight of.
The proposed site of the nurses' quarters is too remote from the hospital, and as for the site marked for the guardhouse or barrack, it is extremely far removed and inconvenient.
A better site for the hospital could have been obtained if the buildings had been built more closely and conveniently together, which is always much to be desired where very old men are to be provided for.
It is understood that the architect has made only two visits to the Branch, and although he has a representative on the ground, it is thought that if he could spend more of his time at the Branch it would facilitate construction, remove doubtful questions which have now to be referred to him in New York, and enable some of the buildings to be permanently located, which have thus far been only located tentatively.
The advisability of locating the power house on an elevation above the buildings to be supplied with steam may be an engineering problem which the future must solve.
It is proper to say that the impressions of distances and location of buildings were obtained from the plans which were shown me at the time of the inspection, but later information is given me that these plans were only tentative and many changes of location have been approved. Just what they are I am unable to say.
If the Branch is made compact it will prove convenient and desirable.
REPORT OF AN INSPECTION OF THE SOUTHERN BRANCH,
MADE SEPTEMBER 22 TO 25, 1902.
National Soldiers' Home, Elizabeth City County, Va.
Gen. A. L. Pearson, Pittsburg, Pa., the first vicepresident of the Board of Managers, has been appointed
local manager of this Branch, vice Gen. William J. Sewell, deceased.
Governor, Col. William Thompson; treasurer, Maj. W. H. H. Peck; commissary of subsistence, Col.
Charles Candy; quartermaster, Capt. J. H. Gifford; surgeon, Maj. R. S. Vickery; Protestant chaplain, Rev. Joseph H. Bradley, D. D.; Catholic chaplain, Rev. T. J. Mercer; matron, Mrs. M. Mahon.
Since my last inspection Maj. W. H. H. Peck, who at that time was mentioned as a suitable treasurer to fill the vacancy made by the promotion of the former treasurer to be governor, has been appointed to that position.
The grounds of this Branch, while not as extensive as those of the others, are still attractive in appearance,
and their general attractiveness is enhanced by that same delightful climate that makes that favorite health resort, Old Point Comfort, famous. The trees on the parade are well trimmed, many obstructing bushes and vines have been removed, and the general appearance is very satisfactory. The roads, walks, and drives are in good condition, particularly the prominent ones, but a top dressing of broken stone, or oyster shells, are needed on some of them.
This Branch is very old, and originated by the purchase, in 1870, of a large brick building, which had
formerly been used as a seminary, and which is ill adapted for barrack purposes; around this, as a central building, were constructed, years ago, many frame buildings for barrack and other purposes; decay has followed in due time. The Branch has not always been kept in the proper state of repair it might have been, and much money for repairs has been and will be required.
Improvements are observed and an evident disposition is displayed to place the Branch in as good condition as is practicable. One of the most noticeable changes, and one which long seemed desirable on account of their unsightly appearance and danger from fire, has been the removal of the many old shanties on the water front near the beer hall, which were conveniently but ill appropriately called boathouses. They were an eyesore and should have been removed many years ago, as had been recommended in former reports. One properly managed building for a boathouse is desirable, but it should be well regulated and used for no other purpose.
The general appearance of the barracks was very satisfactory. Much painting had been done to the buildings. These are in better condition than last year, especially the main building; new floors and new paint have improved its appearance and condition. The old frame barracks referred to last year are somewhat improved, but can never be made satisfactory. Fortunately two of these old buildings are to be removed to make room for a new barrack. The general barracks were in an excellent condition, but the bathing facilities are
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poticeably deficient. Company K has but 2 tubs for 184 men and Company I 2 tubs for 170 men. Two of the companies here go to the other barracks for bathing purposes. No system of tickets or other checks are used to keep a record of the bathing or to detect any man who tries to avoid taking the prescribed baths. .
The toilet paper is reported not to last for the full time of issue and newspapers are used for toilet purposes; obstructions in the pipes are reported to occasionally happen. If small wooden screens were used for doors in the latrines, privacy would be encouraged. The beds were found to be very satisfactory, clean and free from bugs. The floors and windows were generally in good condition, but it was observed that many articles were under the beds in those barracks having deficient storage facilities. Unfortunately a majority of the companies are not supplied with proper baggage rooms. In the barracks occupied by Companies Mand N these could be constructed without much expense, and are desired.
Many improvements were observed since my last Improvements. inspection, such as the extension of the sea wall or
breakwater by 970 linear feet, the remodeling of the quartermaster's old storehouse and bringing it in line with the other buildings on the avenue, fire hydrants on McClelland avenue, flooring of main building, hospital, convalescent companies and barrack Company F, painting hospital, barracks, and other buildings, exterior and interior, and many improvements in plumbing, toilet and bath rooms, and an annex building at the hospital for dispensary and operating
For the current fiscal year a new frame barrack, to cost $13,000, and new water-tube boilers, to cost $8,000, are about to be built. New quarters for the chaplain and an addition to building No. 47, at a total estimated cost of $11,500, are contemplated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1904.
This Branch, in regard to numbers, is next to the Population. largest, the average present during the year being
3,135, or 255 less than last year. This is probably due to the action of the Board of Managers in stopping admissions or transfers to this Branch, which has been overcrowded for some time past. The average number of present and absent for the year was 4,417, or 343 less than last year. The number of absent still remains the largest of all the Branches, it this year being 1,282. The number cared for during the year was 4,865, or 614 less than last year. The largest number present during the year was 3,287, on December 18, 1901, and the smallest was 2,774, on June 28, 1902. The largest number absent during the year was 1,605, on July 3, 1901, and the smallest was 1,101, on March 14, 1902. The average temporarily cared for was 22, or 36 less than last year.
The average age of the members of the Home was 63.48 years, and the age of the members admitted during the year was 61 years.
There were 38 veterans of the Spanish-American war at this Branch on June 30, 1901; 9 have been admitted since, 6 have been discharged, 13 dropped from the rolls, 1 has been transferred, and 20 were remaining on the rolls on June 30, 1902. There were 64 vacant beds in the barracks and 13 in the hospital at the date of inspection.
The inspection and review of the officers and members present was held September 24, 1902. It was the best seen at this Branch, and was