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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin

Chapter I: Prairie du Chien and the Red Cedar,   pp. 1-6

Page 6

for different parts of the Northern and Western country." After giving out some
goods oni credit to Indians on the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, he at Prairie du Chien
saved one outfit for himself, which he took to St. Peter's River and sent out the
rest in charge of his clerks. He says: "I had nine clerks which I had employed in
different rivers that fell into" the Mississippi. On his return in the spring to
Prairie dt Chien he says of the trade; "the number of packs of peltry of different
sorts was called fifteen hundred of a hundred weight each which went to Macki-
naw."  O f the amount that went down the river to St. Louis he makes no mention,
although it is.eVident from his account that some did go this way. It is possible
that one of his nine clerks "on the rivers that fell into the Mississippi" may
have been located in the Chippewa and Menomonie Valleys.
In 1784, eight years after Pond's first visit, three Frenchmen purchased from the
Indians ,a large part of the Prairie des Chiens. This purchase was sanctioned by
the British commander at Mackinaw, it was recognized in Jay's treaty, and later
confirmed by Congress, not however until after 1820.
As permanent buildings became necessary at Prairie du Chien for defense and
for trad, it wa. found that the most accessible material for con-tructinY them was
the pine on the Red- Cedar River, then called Menomonee River. And Wilson
Creek then known as Meadow River, was found to be the first suitable watercourse
above the mouth of the Menomonee for a dam, useful alike in getting out logs and
in the manufacture of the same into timber and lumber. At its mouth this creek
had on each side, high banks, rising sheer, not far from the water's edge. A wide
extent of bottom lands immediately above gave ample room for a reservoir. On
its banks extending several miles above its mouth, and on the banks of the Men-
omonee River near by stood large forests of pine.
This particular locality and the river courses of the Menomonee and the Chip-
pewa connecting it with the Mississippi River were then within a neutral Indian
belt of country lying between the lands occupied by the Chippewas and the Sioux.
These streams made transportation easy and neutrality made it comparatively safe.
It was under these conditions, therefore, that lumbering operations were started
at the present side of Menomonie in 1822.

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