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Whitbeck, R. H., 1871-1939 (Ray Hughes) / The geography of the Fox-Winnebago valley

Chapter II. The origin and physical features of the Fox-Winnebago Valley,   pp. 7-12 PDF (1.9 MB)

Page 12

Fond du Lac the valley floor gradually rises for 10 or 12 miles
until a low divide is reached from which the drainage is southward
to the Rock River.
Originally, hard wood forests covered most of the land near the
Fox and Lake Winnebago, but there were prairie-like openings,
some of which were utilized by the Indians for corn fields. The
greatest timber resources tributary to the Fox River Valley were,
however, the Wolf River pineries, which were among the finest
in the state or in any state. Although the forest products have
dominated the manufacturing industries at every stage, the soil
of the Fox-Winnebago Valley is its greatest natural resource.
In addition to these natural resources are the brick clays and the
limestone, the basis of small industries. So far as the river
itself is concerned, the two geographical conditions which cause
the Fox to stand out prominently are
(1) its great waterpower, and
(2) its use as a waterway.
No other stream in the state except the Wolf is or ever has been
used to any extent for steamboat navigation, and no other river
has its waterpower so fully developed, or has so much waterpower
in so short a distance. Growing out of these two conditions is a
third fact-in no other valley of the state is there such a chain of
cities in close succession. Only along the Lake Michigan shore
has city-growth been more rapid than in the Fox-Winnebago

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