Press enter after choosing selection

What Shall We Do With Our Swamps?

What Shall We Do With Our Swamps? image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Unfeilled tOney are worse than worthless. BeclaÜmed and well tillcd they ' tilmos t clialU'ivg-e tlie Garden of Eden ■ Por beauty and profit. Tliey should not le allowed to remato in tlheir natural, undesürable and damaging state, nnparently p, cui-se to all the country ; ibout tlLcm, for eurely tJiey can be ' made very valuable. There is mouey ' In tihlem for whoever recia ims and t:ills tihiem judiciously. Ia a -wild, uncultivated state 1hv ' are ■'grave-yards" oí animáis a.nd vegetables Whiose dead carcasses ' lie, part of tluem pickled in a fixed ' state and part of tluem sliowly decompo&ing and emitting unlvealthy and aad BlcKö' gases. Thiey are vast ' mud Wales, the abode of frogs, ' ards, snakes and otilier disgristing creatiiTes - disease breeding cesspools. In Bickly sea&ons persons near tliem show a pallid countenance and suffer Avitli agoie aanl iever, and not infrequently lose lives by the deadly eöeeté of a nnasmie atmoepluere. Those disagreeable places are a drawbact on all the land contisuous to thein - a illisgiace to tJue wholc oonmtry around Whiem. No ouaütwcted farm, ever ea ood, ever so fertlile and nicely improvdif iai tlue vicinity of these quagmires usually eun-ounded by sMftless peole) %ill bring as muc!h per acre as it -ould tí eurrounded by well cultiated farms and thiifty and intelligent armers for ueögïiibors. BaBtërn ieople nave learued the kcret of ttoie hiidden treasu-res itn such laces, uneartlhed and made tise of Ihem yrtHSi great profit. In Genesee ounty, N. Y., tlhere was once a low trip of land, part ol it a wet marsh, nd part a swamp, some tliree or our miles long, Qlong tlue sitie of a sort f a rJdge, on w'ndcli ran a road. farms of froni 50 to 300 acres lay froin onehalf to two-thirds1 in that fewamp, whiicli of eo'urse made it quite (unhiealthy near by, and at first the ibetter class of eastern settlers bougat Way from ttue ewamp, in good nighiborlnoods where wea-e good schools a-nd nice farms ; wniue xaie ïuiTirifty ones settled near tule swamps, killed eadli one from one-fourth to perhaps one-tlürd of his land, liad poor ueath, poor fanns, poor nelighbors, poor schools and poverty in fullness generally. After o. w'luile a resolute, clcarbeaded farmer from Vermomt, purchased 300 acres at t'lie loiwer end öt that wamp at $20 per acre, d'itchied and inproved Ut, and in addition to his lundred acres of upland for grain, lie soon liad one hundred acres of splentliid grass, and corn land, 40 acres of beets, bagas, can-ots, parsnips, ondoms, and eabbages. Twenty-five iblooded norses, a daïry of forty cows ajid soine youflug cattle, and was ofiered edgtuty-ii'ye dollars per acre for Lis entire farm avIücIi he declared had toot cost hiim, includdng all imDrovements, over fifty dollars per acre. His swamp, as it was called, was the most valuable part of hlis land. It produced abundant crope of graas, coarse grain ïuid roots for luis stock which in turn fui-nislued large quantities of dropping to em-iCh. liis nplaod and doubled the Value of every acre. " Othier resolute men Txmgüit out more of those elaok farmers, and tlic entóre lengtlx of iiiat tour mliles "poor neighliorhowl" was uwakened by that 300 aere farm. A company was formed and the whole ewamp ditched and mproved and now, after a lapse of a ïey yeai-s, Ilhie country around it is called very loealtiliy. Tlicuse once "poor farms"- partly retlajmed Bwamps and partly upland- now the very best of stock and dairy farms are valued at 1T to 25 per Oent. more per acre than those contjguous to them which are all upland. First class farms, ■ class men, scluools, clwa-ches, etc, is i h rule lo that eatbre loeality. ' The lates t ï-jfc-hoiess at those swamp . deposita is betag released by i gent tiiliug and by actton of line a1 l mospHuere 011 deeornposed and decomposimig orgauic matter wnich are well tnown to form tlic vim-v beeft of plant ' life. Swam])s and m,-iihJiw wlien tliorouglüy dKadmed are of iminoinse valiw even wtiea not ueed wüth other land. After a few years tfaVtag, sonic of tliem 1y beiiig plffwied 'm ríúge lauda, have yielded íabulous crope oí 0.1 ts, corn, barley and even of wüieat) each succcedtng erop as it rises upwaxd trom avcII tilled iii'lds, kJio-ws plaialy the product of a miiine of ■vealth.. Tlie accnmulatioii of untold agefl, tawyusandie of years, of animal and vegetable growtti packed 5n a latent eoniKtikm, imnotifed and alInost iniknown to prT8oti8 generattions but wlien uneartliftd and utilized, tttiey are i.mmenisely fertile. Few people realixe t.h value of swaraps and marslwïs. Tlny have been called waste lande, better cali thcm gold landa. As a rule t'lieiir taxtrineic value ly exceeds tüuat Oí u plan ds. It js sakl tliiey nevcr wear out; once draiued and properly tílled, tliey are a perpetual süurce of wealtli. especially -,-liien uBed in oonnection witli uplands. In Orange county, N. Y., tihere are several ttoiousamd acres of low land, mostly a peat marsih.- witli pickled - ir,om two to twonty feet deep. In ttw oarly years of ttltt century, tor a long tiime it was cousidered almost woi-tlulese ; notlitog but sour ui:irs] graee grew on Slt. At iast a raatareeome man bougiit 60 éteres of it ; (litc'luMl amd plowod it, and by ap['ng- viKd astas, aecompoèed that lirai (leep enotugfa, for eropi'ng-, and rajsed an Immense growtii o; celery, anioais, beets, oarrots, parsnlps, etc. Scores of otftuer men soon followed his sample anti ttoat worthlese rnarsh was nenriy all reclatmed. Statte oí it ivhiv,h was once sold for $1.25 per :uto, luis Btawe biouiíiit a thousaad lollars pOr aere. TUie fainous "Grayoourt meadowB" in tlie townsliip of i iu'sti'i-, OrasQge couoty, N. Y., aro a part of tliat mai-sli ; but we need ïiot go east for evfdance of tlie transforma tion of wet land by oultivation, we dave it liere wlth UB, within four miles of Anm Arbor. Tliere are several tracts of low laud of froui 30 to 300 acres eacJli wMch within tweaity years Just past -have been purcliasod at ten 1 o l'ifieon lollars per acre, iiow wortli B. liiuodi-ed or more dollars per acre, ïui'd ït is said tliat on imidi oí that land at times tune erop' of a single t 'ir 'Jiavo more tlian paiid for that nii-' lillagie, tlie entire iijst rost of Hh laad, and reclaSming it. Suinc may doubt tlhiiis at first thOTijiht. but [et tihiem toot np tlic amonnt of four lwuwlred biisliels of onions at seventyfive cents per busihül, or ask Prof. J. B. Steere, of Aim Arbor, and ttoy win beconvjnced of its trutJi. Onions have been known to yield eiighi hundred busliels per acre alud bring over one dollar per busJijel. No man, well initoTmed on wet land, wiill 6ihiun it. IL toe has a farm of part ow and part upland Jie avïII be sure o emrSetL liis uptemd by the droppings oi stock raiilsed on lowland crops. If lie has uplajid and can purchase lovlaaid uear by, (lue wJll do so, enrich and Idöuble tin value of hlis upland as before explaiúned. No matter tuow far he toia,y be fixm market, wluerever stock ís valuable, swamps and marslies are ivaluable. Possiitoly, at some future time, we may give somo of tlie particulars of recla.iming lowland, having ■hiad snccessful experiirsmce thereh). Beswectfuilly eubniiiitted.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News