Mr. Mattson was assisting the two (Decker & Cotter) of them while he too was fishing along the channel. Mattson stated he was paying for his share of what was caught, but the other two men (Decker & Cotter) hadn’t paid him for what they caught. Commander Meade also alleges Keeper Decker committed the same offenses during the present fishing season. Keeper Decker has agreed to a similar agreement with fishermen Messer’s, Brabo and Trudell. Commander Meade stated Keeper George Decker was given 60% of the fish caught for his services and the use of our nets. What appalls me even more is both men are claiming these acts were done in hopes of keeping trespassers off the property. Both of them claim this agreement wasn’t made in hopes of making any extra money for the fish they caught. Commander Meade is now even more frustrated by Decker’s and Cotter’s actions. He is trying to make sense of all of this and has multiple options on what type of actions should be taken by the Board.
It’s my understanding through a third party that each of them was given permission to fish along the Saginaw River by our former Inspector, however I can’t find any supporting documentation to prove this agreement. I can’t honestly ask for leniency and I’m convinced that both of them were perfectly willing to obey a directive relative to fishing on the Saginaw River. I also find they have been or might have been given permission to fish the Saginaw River by our former Inspector. The only thing I can add is the directive to this point is only subjective. I feel we need to conduct an investigation into this matter and I feel it should be done by my office. Here again this was what I considered an open and shut case but the Board felt this needed to be looked at even further. In the defense of this government the matter was left unresolved for a little more than a year. Both Decker and Cotter were dismissed, but this matter was far from over.
“Sir enclosed is check number 1549 for $500.00 drawn from the Bay City Bank for our rent of the water front of the Saginaw River Light-Station Reservation.”
This enclosed payment covers our use of the waterfront property from the 1st day of May 1897 to the 1st day of May 1898. Again we are looking to renew our lease for three more years beginning on the 1st day of May 1898 and ending on the 1st day of May 1901. Our hope is you or the Board will get back to us soon. As a separate item not related to this payment, please be advised that the breakwater requires a considerable amount of repairs. We are asking your office or the Board to make the necessary repairs in a timely manner. I was asked by Mr. Young to inform the Board we would like to remain where we are for one or more years. We are asking you to acknowledge your office has received our payment and forward on our request. Major M. B. Adams responded back to Mr. Walter Young owner of the Michigan Log Tow Company on the 1st day of June 1897. Sir, my office has received your payment and I’ve personally reviewed your request. I’ve sent your payment and request to the Lighthouse Board in Washington D.C. I can’t see any reason why the Board wouldn’t grant your lease renewal.
Well things didn’t go the way Mr. Young had hoped. On the 2nd day of June 1897, Major M. B. Adams did send the Michigan Log Tow Company’s payment and a very short memo to the Lighthouse Board. Adam’s tells the Lighthouse Board, he has deposited the $500.00 credit in the First National Bank of Detroit. He also notes the money was credited to our miscellaneous account for the use of the waterfront property beginning on the 1st day of May 1897 and ending on the 1st day of May 1898, however he fails to transmit Mr. Young’s request to renew their lease for another three years. Why this important fact was left out, is a mystery at this time, but if I had to guess, I believe this was Major Adam’s way of dealing with the Michigan Log Tow Company.