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McLeod, Donald / History of Wiskonsan, from its first discovery to the present period, including a geological and topographical description of the territory with a correct catalogue of all its plants

Chapter XIV,   pp. 235-254 PDF (3.3 MB)

Page 244

Without exaggeration, it may be considered, during
the summer season, the most beautiful and enchan ing
section in the whole territory. During the genial
months of vegetation, it would appear as if Flora
reigned Queen paramount on this delightful prairie,
exerting her chemical and coloring powers to robe the
numerous branches of her gay family with the most
lovely and facinating tints, impregnating them, at the
same time, with the most delicious and grateful odors.
The whole tract of this county is alluvial in its forma-
tion; the super stratum consisting of a rich, deep,
black, vegetable mold, under which is deposited a
layer of fine gravel, intermixed with silex and clay,
which in some parts. particularly on the high swells,
appears at the surface. This species, and a kind of an
ashy, dusky loam, highly fert'le in its properties, ap-
pears to predominate throughout. The almost total
absence of stones and gravel, within the greatest ara-
ble depth, is a peculiar feature of the generality of
  land in the prairie districts. There are, however,
  numerous and extensive quarries of lime stone to be
  found in many of the townships, especially along the
  rivers. which supply the settlers adjoining them with
  excellent materials for building. This large and ex-
  tensive prairie is admitted by all who visit it, to be
  the finest and best tract in the western country, for
  raising sheep, and producing wool, equal in quality
  and fineness to that of Spain or Australia. The great-
  est deficiency on this prairie is the scarcity of running
  water. Excellent water, however, for household pur-
  poses, is almost everywhere obtained, by digging from
  fifteen to thirty feet deep.

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