The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1923
A brief outline of Wisconsin history, pp. -16 ff. PDF (3.9 MB)
WISCONSIN BLUE BOOK forming level-floored valleys with high bordering hills or bluffs. The drainage is in form tree-like (dendritic), the main valley being like the trunk of a tree, the small tributary val- leys like the branches. There are no lakes in the Driftless Area, and few places requiring artificial drainage to carry off surface water. In the glaciated area drainage is irregular and imperfect, leaving many lakes and marshes; the surface, while diversified with moraines of several types and showing the effects of earlier erosion processes, is less hilly because the deeper valleys have been partly filled by glacial action and the hills planed down. On the whole, the glaciated area has a larger per cent of cultivable land than the Driftless, although in some-sections glacial lakes and marshes are numerous and extensive. The greatest abundance of lakes is found on the headwaters of Wisconsin river and along the upper streams of the St. Croix. The mountain land, now the great northern peneplain, to- gether with considerable areas of the crescentic plain adjoin- ing it on the south, east, and west, was once heavily timbered, largely with conifers. This has been the lumbering region, par excellence, though other parts of the state, both in the southeast and in the southwest, had plenty of timber for the uses of the white settlers when they began to arrive. Some portions of southern Wisconsin, however, were nearly desti- tute of timber save along the water courses. These were the "prairies" which seemed so bleak to the pioneer home makers that for some years they avoided them, preferring the oak openings for farming purposes. The prairies, however, have proved exceedingly rich farming lands, and the ease and quickness with which they could be brought under cultivation gave the prairie farmers a distinct advantage over those who settled in the dense woods. It was the prairies and openings which made Wisconsin so great a producer of wheat in the pioneer period. Vast deposits of copper and iron ore are found in the Archean rocks of the northern peneplain, while the Galena limestone formation in the southwest is the source of the lead and zinc deposits for which Wisconsin, with ad- jacent parts of Illinois and Iowa, has long been famous. Lead mining, indeed, drew the earliest considerable emigration to Wisconsin, in the years following 1827.
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