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Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association / Thirty-eighth annual proceedings of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers' Association. Thirty-eighth convention, Pavilion, near Nekoosa, Wisconsin, August 12, 1924. Thirty-eighth annual meeting, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, January 13, 1925

Searles, Andrew
The value of sand,   pp. 20-23 PDF (982.5 KB)

Page 21

using his own ideas of what should be done, so we consolidated into
one, and acquired a lease of five acres at the Gaynor Brothers' for two
years. My remembrance of the Smith bog returned to me with force.
I decided to plant some cranberries on sandy ground. I surfaced one
acre of ground, and sanded it with about two inches of sand, and
planted it. I adopted at that time the same method of planting I
have followed since, of planting in rows about seven or eight inches
apart, and keeping it clean. It required about $6.00 to keep this acre
of ground perfectly clean. But the next winter they were flooded
with water, and the spring following water backed in on the field
and didn't have sufficient outlet to carry out accumulated water, and
pulled out our vines.
During this time we made some experiments at the experiment sta-
tion to get a supply of water for the ground. We made an effort to
get Artesian water. I got a drill machine, installed it in the town
of Cranmoor, and undertook to investigate for water. I struck gran-
ite at the depth of thirty-two feet. The first effort was made almost
directly east of the Bennett home. The machinery was then removed
to the experimental station, and again tried. Again we struck gran-
ite. There wasn't much difference in the depth from the experiment
on the first. We decided that there was no possibility of our getting
relief from that source. But in these investigations I discovered
that there was a big bed of good sand lying all over these marshes;
and I say here that that is one of the crying needs of the Wisconsin
Valley District: sand. A supply of sand is available to the cranberry
The grower has begun to learn the uses of sand, but when he looks
around there is no sand within possible reach, or within reasonable
reach of very few of the marshes. The higher portions of the land,
a great portion of it anyway, is shell rock, unavailable for cranberry
purposes, of course, but this supply of something like thirty feet of
good sand is in easy reach of most of you.
The only change necessary in the dredging machines, is a clam
shell dipper. You can go out near the fields under cultivation during
the winter when the ground is frozen. Blow a hole with dynamite
through the frozen ground, drop down your clam shell dipper, and
take your sand. You have abundant sand of the best quality for
building up bogs. The coarsest sand is at the bottom. The surface is
covered with fine grained sand. This sand you may think is full of
*      water, and when emptied into the sleigh would freeze and clog up
your sleigh with ice. This is not true. Some years ago I had charge
of Cranberry Lakes evelopment Company near Phillips, and we used
a similar dredge to load our sleigh. We took sand out of the water.
Sand drains quickly, and we loaded that sand directly on the sleigh.
There was no ill effect. That sand is warm when it comes out of
the water. It was drawn directly to the bog, and spread for resand-
ing cranberry bogs.

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