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Ross, James, 1830-1884 / Wisconsin and her resources for remunerating capital and supporting labor
(1871)

Wisconsin and her resources,   pp. [5]-16 PDF (2.7 MB)


Page 6


                               6
 nent ridge or elevation of land along the sources of the tributa-
 ries of Lake Superior, which, near the Montreal river, is 1,700
 or 1,800 feet above the sea level, gradually diminishing to about
 1,100 feet at the west line of the State. The calcareous cliffs
 along the east shore of Green Bay and of Lake Winnebago, ex-
 tend south through Dodge county, and form in many places bold
 escarpments; some of the higher points are 1,400 feet above the
 sea. A series of still more prominent " bluffs " extend along
the
 banks of the Mississippi river, forming some of the grandest and
 most picturesque scenery in the country. With the exceptions
 above named, nearly the whole surface of the state may be re-
 garded as one vast, slightly undulated plain, having an elevation
 of from 600 to 1,500 feet above the ocean. This great plain is
 cut in every direction by the currents of rivers and streams, that
 have made for themselves often deep and narrow valleys in the
 yielding soil and rocks. The dividing grounds, between these
 valleys (watersheds) usually attain but a slight elevation above
 the surrounding country, the waters of a lake or marsh, being
 often drained in opposite directions to reach the ocean at widely
 different points. Canoes often pass from the head of one stream
 to another without difficulty. At Portage City the Fox and
 Wisconsin rivers approach so nearly that their waters are often
 commingled; they are connected by a short canal, from which
 there is a descent of 195 feet to Green Bay, and 171 feet to the
 Mississippi, at Prairie du Chien. The greatest depressions in
 the State are the surface of Lake Michigan (578 feet,) and the
 valley of the Mississippi, in which the low water at the mouth
 of the Platte river near the south boundary of the State is 591
 feet above the sea; at Prairie du Chien 602; at La Crosse 632;
 and at the mouth of the St. Croix, where it enters the State, 677
 feet; this great river having in this portion of its course a de-
 scent of four-tenths of a foot per mile.
 The annual general average fall of rain is about thirty inches,
 which is the quantity falling on the counties bordering upon
 Lake Michigan. About one-half this water is returned directly
 to the atmosphere by evaporation from the surface; one-fourth is
 consumed, and mostly evaporated, in the processes of vegetable
growth; while the remaining one-fourth flows along the river


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