« PreviousContinue »
at Jackson, and this mine bas been regularly worked since that time. The coal is bituminous, and is strongly impregnated with sulphur, which renders it unpopular for domestic use. branches of manufacture, however, it is well adapted and largely employed. The coal improves in quality as the shaft descends through the stratum.
At Corunna, mining operations have been carried on for about ten years. The quality of the coal is similar to that at Jackson. A vein containing a very superior quality of coal has recently been opened, which bids fair to prove of great importance. A railroad track has been laid directly to the mine, thus affording the best facilities for shipment.
The coal found at Williamston is much superior in quality to that of either of the above mines, and resembles, more nearly than any other in the state, the celebrated block coal of Indiana. Very little has heretofore been done at this mine, owing to a lack of railroad facilities. But this difficulty bas recently been overcome, and mining is carried on vigorously.
There are many other minerals in the state besides those enumerated above, some of which are destined to be developed and add greatly to the wealth of Michigan. Silver and gold are known to exist in the upper peninsula. The former, in no inconsiderable quantities, has been found in the copper mines. Lead and plumbago are also known to exist in that region. The Indians supplied themselves with bullets from mines at Lake Superior, but could never be induced to reveal the locality from which they obtained it. Mines have already been opened, but never worked to any great extent. It is safe to predict, however, that at no distant day profitable mines will be opened, and thus another branch of mining industry will be added to the other resources of the state.
The business of manufacturing grindstones has assumed considerable magnitude of late, the Huron gritstones being unrivaled in the market.
Marble, of great variety and superior quality, is also found in the Marquette iron region. Yellow and red ochre and manganese beds are found in the St. Mary's Peninsula, where coloring material can be mined in unlimited quantities.
Building stone of a very superior quality is found in various localities, equal in beauty and durability to the free stone of New England.
Material for quick limes and hydraulic limes is also found in unlimited quantities. Clays of every variety for brick making are found in the greatest abundance. White and lemon colored bricks, so popular for building fronts, are made in many localities. . Vast quantities of peat are found in many places, which, in future years, will prove of immense value.
It is safe to say that no region on this continent of the same area, possesses so much valuable timber as Michigan. Not less than 20,000,000 acres, or one-half the area of the state, was originally covered with pine. What are here mentioned as pine lands must not be understood as being covered exclusively with that timber. Along the margins of the streams the pine forests are very dense ; but away from the streams it is generally liberally interspersed with various hard woods. The superior quality of the pine thus interspersed with the hard timber amply compensates for the lack of quantity.
The principal lumber region, thus far developed, is the valley of the Saginaw river, and along its tributary streams, extending to the upper Muskegon, thence to lake Michigan. The region around Thunder Bay also contains a large area of pine timber, and the Au Sable and the Manistee rivers penetrate an immense pine region. On all these streams lumbering operations are extensively carried on, but the principal sources of supply are at present the Saginaw valley on the east, and on the Muskegon river on the West
Before railroads penetrated the pine forests of the interior, lumbering operations were confined almost exclusively to the immediate vicinity of streams. The logs were cut in the winter, and hauled on the snow to the streams, and floated to the mills on the current formed by the spring freshets. With the advent of rail. roads, immense tracts of valuable pine, heretofore inaccessible, have been brought into the market. Mills spring up along the tracks of the railroads as they are laid through the forests, flourishing villages appear as if by magic, the forests are cleared and brought under cultivation, thus giving employment to thousands
of men, homes and productive farms to the hardy pioneers, and abundant and remunerative employment to the railroads in transporting lumber and supplies. The principal roads that have thus penetrated the pine forests of the interior are the Jackson, Lan. sing and Saginaw, the Flint and Pere Marquette, and Grand Rapids and Indiana railroads.
It is estimated that there are about 7,000,000 acres of pine lands in the Lower Peninsula that are yet untouched. It is true that sum of this is interspersed with hard wood timber ; but that is compensated for by the fact that the pine is of better quality and the lands better adapted to the purposes of agriculture than those covered exclusively with pine. In the Upper Peninsula it is estimated that there are at least 10,000,000 acres of pine as yet untouched, which will produce, probably, 7,000,000,000 feet of lumber.
It may be well in this connection to correct a mistake that prevails to a great extent in reference to the adaptation of pine lands to the purposes of agriculture. No better farming lands exist than those which have produced a mixed growth of pine and hard wood timber; and even the land that has been covered exclusively with pine is very rich and productive under proper care and management.
The quality of Michigan pine is unsurpassed for the purposes of lumber. It is principally white pine, of which there are several varieties. Norway pine grows abundantly in some localities, but the proportion is small compared with the more valuable white pines. On the best pine lands, the quantity of hard wood often exceeds that of pine. In many parts of the state walnut and cherry grow in abundance, and are largely used by the furniture makers of the state and of the east. Oak grows abundantly in many localities, and the trade in that timber for ship building purposes is of late years assuming magnificent proportions. Aside from that used in ship-yards along our own shores, vast quantities are annually shipped to Montreal, Quebec, Buffalo and Cleveland. In the interior, where the heavy ship-timber cannot be transported to the streams, the oak is manufactured into staves which are shipped mainly to Europe and the West Indies.
It may be proper in this connection to correct an erroneous im.
pression that has gone abroad, backed by apparently high authority, in reference to the variety of oak timber that is shipped from this state for purposes of ship-building. Reference is had to the popular belief that the variety known as “live oak" grows abundantly in the forests of Michigan. The fact is live oak does not grow in this state at all. That variety in only found in the southern states, and is known to botanists as quercus virens. The variety which forms the bulk of the shipments from Michigan is quercus alba, popularly known as white oak. It is highly esteemed for ship-building, and is only exceeded in value for that purpose by the live oak of the south.
The following will serve to give some idea of the magnitude of the lumber and timber trade of Michigan:
In the year 1872 the aggregate of pine lumber cut by the mills of the state was 2,253,011,000 feet. Of this amount, the mills of the Saginaw valley cut 837,798,484 feet. The Muskegon lake mills cut 316,031,400 feet; the Huron shore mills 175,500,000; Manistee mills, 161,900,000; Grand Haven mills, 150,000,000; Menominee mills, 136,113,360; Flint and Pere Marquette Railway mills, 114,234,554; White Lake mills, 85,302,317; Detroit and St. Clair River mills, 80,000,000; Jackson, Lansing and Saginaw Railway mills, 68,216,009; Saugatuck mills, 50,000,000; Ludington mills, 47,912,846; other mills, 30,000,000.
Of shingles it is estimated that not less than 400,000,000 were produced the same year. Of lath about 300,000,000.
The shipments of staves for the same year were as follows: Saginaw river, 8,663,200; Detroit, 2,102,000; Port Huron, 1,536,900; Lexington, 204,000; New Baltimore, 184,000.
About $20,000,000 are invested in the production of pine lumber, giving employment to nearly twenty thousand persons. This estimate does not include the enormous amount of money invested in pine lands, nor the men employed in the transportation of the lumber to market, or those employed in the lumber camps in the woods.
In addition to the pine timber of the state, as before intimated, the hard wood forests are immense and valuable. These, especially in the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula, have scarcely been touched. The quality of that kind of timber in the forests of Michigan is unrivalled; and it is safe to predict that but a few years will elapse before the product from this source will equal in value the present traffic in pine.
SOIL AND SURFACE.
Topography – Minerals — Climate - Soil and Productions.
THE AREA of the great state of Illinois is 55,410 square miles, and is situated between 37° and 42° 30' N. latitude, and between 87° and 91' W. longitude. It is bounded on the north by the state of Wisconsin; on the east by Lake Michigan and the state of Indiana; on the south by the state of Kentucky, and on the west by Missouri and Iowa and the Mississippi. A portion of the eastern boundary is washed by the Wabash. In the southern portion of the state there is a hilly region, as also in the northwest, but as a general rule the surface is level, being for the most part one boundless, undulating prairie, covered with a luxuriant vegetation. “ The great landscape feature of Illinois is its prairies, which are seen in almost every section of the state. The want of variety, which is ordinarily essential to landscape attraction, is more than compensated for in the prairie scenery, as in that of the boundless ocean, by the impressive qualities of immensity and power. Far as the most searching eye can reach, the great unvarying plain rolls on; its sublime grandeur softened but not weakened by the occasional groups of trees in its midst, or by the forests on its verge, or by the countless flowers everywhere upon its surface. The prairies abound in game. The prairie duck, sometimes but improperly called grouse, are most abundant in September and October, when large numbers are annually taken. Perhaps the most striking picture of the prairie country is to be found on Grand Prairie. Its gently undulating plains, profusely decked