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The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
(1880)

Chapter II,   pp. 327-352 PDF (13.5 MB)


Page 327


HISTORY OF COLUMBIA COUNTY.
                                  CHAPTER I.
 SURFACE FEATURES OF THE COUNTY-THE MOUND-BUILDERS-INDIAN OCCUPANCY-WAS JOHN
      NICOLET IN COLUMBIA COUNTY IN 1634.?-FIRST WHITE MEN AT THE PORTAGE-EARLY
      VISITS TO WHAT IS NOW COLUMBIA COUNTY-THE PORTAGE FROM 1793 TO 1827-TEE
"WIN-
      NEBAGO WAR"-FORT WINNEBAGO.
                           SURFACE FEATURES OF THE COUNTY.
     The surface of Columbia Cou   is drained, as already explained, by three
principal rivers
 eR-the ocRe, tbe ox and the Wisconsqns-but onyhti      o fai f miitione{
havenpart f
 It eir main c a nels in the county. The Crawfish River carries the water
from the eastern side
 of the county into the Rock River; the north central portions of the county
are drained by
 the Fox River and its affluents; the western and central parts, by the Wisconsin
and its tribu-
 taries. The principal affluent of the Fox on the east is French Creek ;
on the west, Neenah
 Creek. The Wisconsin has, on the west, the Baraboo River as a tributary;
on the east, its
 main affluents in the county are Duck Creek, Rock Run and Spring Creek.
The three princi-
 pal branches of Duck Creek are the North Branch, Middle Branch and the South
Branch.
     The Baraboo heads in the counties of Monroe, Vernon and Juneau, at an
elevation of about
 four hundred feet above its mouths runs southeastward into Sauk County-w
-here.irteaks into
 the valley between the two east and west urtie g    ae ad spoken of through
a narrow
 oorge in the northern ra   Turning then eastward, it runs along the middle
of the valley
betweeýen te tw---o ranges for about fifteen miles, and then, breaking
again northward through the
north range, follows its northern side east to the Wisconsin, into which
it empties on Section 28,
of Township 12 north, of Range 9 east, in the town of Caledonia. The Baraboo
is a stream of
very considerable size, and yields a number of excellent water-powers in
the valley between the
quartzite ranges (Baraboo Bluffs),--having a fall, on this portion of its
course, of seventy feet.
The other streams of the county are sufficiently described in the histories
of the various towns.
     There are a half-score of small lakes in the county, which are considered
of sufficient
 importEance to            n a-me upon- ereou-_                 it ~aar-e
        wan
 Lake, in Woewai diw            lri     T1Jk~oinjake orinV              
  inei,7T~ii7
    Lkgeorge-in          - -icM- ¶ae - .rt    fi..b.o;....     BJe~n
Olsgo an       iler
 Lake, i-n t Fle_--1. 7f--,o-rf ge. One of these, Mud Lake i rtWinnebago,
may be consid-
 e rhder1- as an enlargement of the chanlo     oii~~
     Th e three dif'erent kinrds smrsface-imCournbia Counnty, asto vezgetation
,are the prairies,
                   land. The prairies, or treeless portions, are not exactly
identical in ext-ent
 " v as wente county was first settled, for the reason that. in some
places, once prairie, there
 has been an invasion of a timber growth,--this, in former times, having
been checked by the
 annual prairie fires. The prairie areas are by no means always flat; indeed
the flat prairies are
 the exception, and are chiefly seen along the bottom land of the Wisconsin
River. The ordi-
 nary prairie of the county is very r olling,_e.oommonly showing abrupt changes
of level,¶'-fi ..p
    ~fit~6i ahuiidr-e'd_-eet. T he hanges in level are scientifically -pekigdu
--n laest
 heae      dribut more ommu'dnudaton of the rckay- strata. In some cases,
 as, for instance, m-inVt etown oest Point, the prairie area includes both
lowland and bold out-
 lying bluffs, as much as two hundred, or even three hundred, feet in height.
The limestone-prairie
 belt in Columbia County occupies large portions of the towns of West Point,
Lodi, Arlington,
 Leeds, Hampden and Lowville, continuing northeast, though somewhat broken,
through the
 towns of Otsego and Courtland, and finally passing into Green Lake County.
This extensive
 prairie area is, for the most part, on high land, occupying the summit of
the watershed between
     Bi
327


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