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Bingham, Helen M. (Helen Maria) / History of Green County, Wisconsin
(1877)

Township histories: Exeter,   pp. [65]-78 PDF (2.9 MB)


Page [65]

TOWNSHIP HISTORIES. 
EXETER. 
In the beginning were the lead mines. The Sauk, 
or Sugar River, diggings were situated a little over a 
mile southwest of the present village of Exeter. The 
squaws were the first miners, but they had neither the, 
knowledge nor the tools to make their labor very profit- 
able. With such instruments as they could make, they 
picked out the surface or float mineral; and when their 
excavations became too deep to step into, they threw in 
a dead tree on which they climbed up and down. When 
a vein ran under the rock, they dug it out as far as they 
could reach, built a fire in the hole thus made, and, when 
the rock was heated, cracked it by pouring on water. 
The first white man who saw these diggings was a 
miner named Burke, who happened to pass them after 
losing his way on a journey across the territory. Led 
by his account of what he had seen, McNut and Boner, 
two traders, went to the diggings in 1828, and built a 
trading house there. They were undoubtedly the first 
white men to settle in the county. In August of the- 


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