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The Lake Of The Woods

The Lake Of The Woods image
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[The followiiig letter wrltten to Mm. Clarissa D. Prudden, of ttiia city, we are permitted to copy through her kindnees. It wlll be foimd of much interest.]- Ed. Maidkn, Mon., Dcc. 27, 1887. Yours of the 16tli, Inquiring about the Lake of the Woods received. At the outset I must remind you tliat Minnesota covers an immense area. Though I lived in the northern part of the state a year, and passed through it on the Jiorthern Pacilic, yet I was not at any time within two liundred miles of the lake to which you refcr. I have, however, gathered some information regarding it which I will proceed to giveyou. Lake of the Woods is a great, shaggy expanse of fresh water, some seventy-Iive miles In extent, North and South, and nearly an equal distance East and West, with great penínsulas and capes nearly cuttlng it in two, and OOOUlnlng many large islands. It has several long arms exteuding into the land, go tliat in some directions it will measure one liundred miles in extent. About one-third of the lake Is in Minnesota, the remainder is in Canada. The Canadian Pacific passes within a few miles of its nortbern end; otherwise it is buried in the forest, far from any signs of civiliz:ttion. Minnesota is distinguished for the number and beauty of lts lakes, the entire number being estimated at ten thousand. Those in the northern part of the state are particularly remarkable for the clearness and sweetness of the water and the abundance and excellence of the fiah anc game to be found in and around them. The sliores and bottoms are generalij rocky and the scenery picturesque. Tliat part of the state Is very rug_jed, being eharacterized by immense masses, almost mountatns, and rldgesof ilate anc granite. Around and betweeu these are evergreen forcsts and iwanips. Lake of the Woods is no exccption to the general rule, being like the otliers in all essential polnts. It has the same moss-covered, rocky shores, with hundreds of slaty islands, corered with trees and shrubs hearing berries; the s;ime clear water abounding In the finest fish and game. It is a veritable hunter's paradise. Here roam the deer, mooie, bear, lynx, etc, while the witers team with the marten, otter, beaver and muskrat Many of the marshy bogs are filled with l;irge tield8 of wild rice, which furnisl food to myrlads of wild fowl, brent geese, ducks, the heron, craue, snipe swan, pelican, etc, as well as to the Jn dians of tbat section, who gather it ii large quautities. Pike, pickerel, bass nnskallonge, catfiíh, etc., almost crovvc each other in its waters, while the woods are enlivened by the pigeon, the pheusant, etc. Throughout this yast región, on the sandy pine ridges, and in the swamps o tamarack, spruce and cedar, grsw eran berrles, blueberries, liuckleberrles, raspberries and wintergreens In richest profusión. Wintergreen berries grow as large as huckleberries and of excellent flavor. I have seen the plants covering the ground as with a mat, and the berrles so thick one could piek them by the quart. The waters of the lake find an outlel through Wtnnepeg Rlver to Winnepeg Lake, thence through theXelson river to Iludson Bay. lts only important affluent ís the Rainy Lake rlver, a rapid stram, the ouüet of Ilaiuy Like, which receives the waters of many other lakes, ainong which Vermillion Lake is notable on account of the iron mines recently discovered there, among the largest anti best in the world, causing citiesto spring up like magie in the heart of that northern wildeiness - the coldest región in the United States. Copper, sil ver and gold are also found iu small quantities. Lake of the Woods, Riiny Lake rlver and Kainy Lake are a part of the old water route of the Canadian misslonaries, fur-traders and Indians to Manitoba and the f ar Northwest, from Grand Porta ge on Lake Superior. The jolly voyageurs of j'ore crossing the divide near Grand Portare, navlgated the waters two hundred years ago in thelr light canoes or batteajx, which they carried around the falls and rapids. Part of the route is still used by lndians bringing their furs to Grand Portage, and the country s iu the same wild state that it was two centuries ago. The only inhabitants are a few trappers and Indians, who are likely to be the only ones for some time to come, unleís It be lumbermen or miners, ns the soil has not that fertility for which southern Minnesota Is jnëtly famous; and the climate is so severe that ni:iny crops cannot be raised successfully. 1 knotv of no maelstrom in the lake. As I think of nothing more I shall be obliged to change the subject. I have good authority for all statements herein made, and you ra:iy rely on them as being correct. I am now plcturesquely located in a mining town iu the mountains of Montana. The mines hereabout are chlefly silver, carrying more or less gold. I have been studying the mininff business up somewhat, and know considerable about quartz and the processes it goes through t) get out the mineral. I have done some ' prospecting ' over the mountalns niyself and have discovered quartz rock in several places. Whether it is rich or not 1 cannot say yet. If you want gome specimens f;om the minee here, I shall be happy to send you some. It costs nothing to get them but will cost considerable to send them to Michigan. I am thinking of coming eiist next fall myself to attend college. Am rather undecided as yet whether I sIihII go to Minncapolis and atleud the Uimersity of Minnesota or to Ann Arbor. Yours Very Truly, I). C. Van Buken. It looks now as though the Alger boom presldenllally vlewed, had dled a "bornln."- Adrián Press. Appearances are often quite deceiving, but you are at liberty to keep right on thinking that way If you choose. Some of our democratie friends are talking loudly about thelr party being the poor man's party. Kight In th? face of that kind of slush comes the Hoa. Chauncey W. Wisner, of Saginaw says tliat Wellington 1!. Burt will put #100.000 into the campaign f ie Is nominated for governor by hie Darty. What does our ieople thluk of hut? What chance does a poor man have br the office when such greedy sharks are after it. It Is well known that the iresent governor i a coniparative poor man, but let $100,000 be turned looso against him or any other poor man and what would be the chance for their elaelon? Hon. Chauncey Wisner, of East Snginaw, saya that Buit (or hls barrel) of Enst Saginaw, will be the next candidato for governor, and Breen (who dtdn't beat Seymour la the lltli dist.) fi)r lleutenant governor. Tlie battle cry will be "JJurt, Breen and Boodle ! ' Congressman Foran, a deinocrat, is a sound protectionist. He says: I favor placing upon the tree 1M all articles not produced in our own country, or whlch c.mnot be favorably grown or m:nufactured in our own country. I also favor tba abolishment of the tobneco tax and tlie tax upon Btlch spirits as are used in medical pruparations, and in the nrts, if Ic can be done without defrauding the government. In short, I favor the reduction of the surplus, but I desire to see this accomplisbed- if it can be done- without tuuching or disturbin any American industry. After this, I favor such modiflcation and revisión of the customs duties as will be just to consumera and eatablish American Industries. I am not in favor of any policy of our Government wliich meets the hearty commendatiou of England's ruling classes. They do not like the ltepublic, never did, and never will, and so far as I am concerned, I don't care whether they do or not. I am for American goods, American indu&try, American home trede, lirnt, last, and all the time. Three days from to-day Noble opens up a line of Dunlap hats.