The Valley of the Lower Fox: historical, descriptive, picturesque
The Fox and Wisconsin improvement, pp. -
1W The estimates calculatcd for works to render the river navigable from Lake Winnebago to Green Bay, by digging canals around the following rapids: Name. No. ft. Distance Fall. Apart. DePere - - - 8 o Little Kaukauna - - 8 6 Rapid Croche - - - 8 6 Grand Kaukauna - - 50 4' Little Chute - - 38 2'2 Cedar Rapid - - - IO Appleton - - 38 4 Menasha 0- - 0 414 Total - 170 28 In 1846 Congress passed an act granting to the State of Wisconsin, on its admission into the Union, for the purpose of improving the navigation of the river, and uniting it with the Wisconsin by a canal across the portage, a quantity of land equal to one-half of three sections in width on each side of the Fox River and the lakes through which it passes from its mouth to the Wisconsin at the portage to be selected by the Governor. On January 29th, 1848 an act was passed by the Legislature accepting the grant. By this, and subsequent acts, nearly eight hundred thousand acres of the most valuable lands in the State were thus appropriated for the purpose of this improvement. The State undertook the construction of the works tinder the supervision of a Board of Com- missioners, and up to 1853 made the following expenditures: DePere, - $ 1,365 81 Little Kaukauna, - - Rapid -Croche, - 26,105 02 Kaukauna, 27,547 04 Little Chute, - 36,661 21 Cedar Rapids, 25,997 42 Appleton, 32,469 67 Menasha, Upper Fox River, - - - 26,926 69 Portage Canal, - - 69,754 02 Wisconsin River, - - - 15,105 39 Miscellaneous, - - 156,953 56 Total, - - $428,855 83 In 1853 the Legislature passed an act incorporating the Fox and Wisconsin River Improvement Company, with a capital stock of $5oo,ooo, under bonds of $200,000 to complete the work in three years from date. During the three succeeding years the work was carried through with great energy and activity, and in October, 1855,-two years and three months after the formation of the company--the first boat passed from Green Bay to Appleton. The following June a steamer made a round trip from Pittsburg, Pa., via. the Ohio, Mississippi, Wisconsin and Fox rivers. From 1856 until 1862, during summers, the river was lively with trade and traffic. In 1863 the railroad was completed to Green Bay and the commerce of the river began to decline. The Improve- ment Company was finally forced into insolvency, and in February i866 the works of improvement, land grant etc., were sold at public sale. The purchasers organized themselves Linder the name of " The Green Bay and Mississippi Canal Company." In 1871 the Government proposed to purchase the work and complete it, and the Company consenting to sell, an act of Congress was passed providing for
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