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)
244 HISTORY OF WISKONSAN. 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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