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is found in low or marshy places, the largest portion is upon dry ground, which, when the timber is removed, is well adapted to cultivation. No accurate estimate has been made of the quantity of these pine lands. Upon the Wisconsin, the Black, and the Chippewa rivers, as well as their tributaries, are numerons lumbering establishments, the annual product of which exceeds three hundred million feet; while, in addition, saw logs are rafted and run from these rivers to the cities and villages on the Mississippi, to be there manufactured into lumber, amounting to about half the same quantity. The value of the lumber products of the forest, in that portion of the country drained by these four large rivers, already amounts to a sum varying from five to eight millions of dollars (though lumbering is yet in its infancy). This article is gradually increasing in value, and must continue to increase, as the demand in the Mississippi valley is, and ever will be, greater than the supply. The latter is limited; the former can have no assignable limit.
The completion of the St. Croix and Lake Superior Railroad will open this valuable region to the settler, affording him an opportunity of supplying a large market in the southern part of this State, and in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Thousands of acres of these valuable timber lands are waiting for settlers to occupy them, at Government price — $1.25 per acre.
Proprietors of extensive pine lands have usually adopted the policy of selling to lumbermen the right of cutting the timber, receiving a certain stipulated price for what is called the “stumpage,” and afterwards selling the soil to the farmer. The “stumpage" upon the Penobscot, the Kennebec, and the Androscoggin, in Maine, the St. John's in New Brunswick, and upon the Alleghany and the Susquehanna, is from $5 to $8 per thousand feet. The price,
of course, is regulated very much by the market value of lumber and the supply of pine timber. Upon these lands it would be worth now from $2 to $5 per thousand feet, depending very much upon the distance it required to be hauled. It is safe to estimate the "stumpage” at the average price of $2 per thousand. Ordinary pine trees will yield at least one thousand feet each, and it ought hardly to be called timbered land that will not average twenty-five trees to an acre; so that, upon this calculation, the stumpage of these lands would be $50 per acre, which, extravagant as it may appear, we believe is quite within bounds.
The river St. Croix, separating the State of Wisconsin from Minnesota, is celebrated for its pineries. It is estimated, that in the year 1855 there was sent to market, sawed and in the log, 300,000,000 feet. Estimating the average value of this lumber "afloat,” at $10 per thousand feet, the value of the trade for that year would be $3,000,000.
“ The lumbermen of the St. Croix, during the sessions of the Wisconsin and Minnesota Legislatures of 1850–1, procured the incorporation of the 'St. Croix Boom Company,' with a capital of $10,000. This work was considered absolutely necessary, to facilitate the business of driving, assorting, and rafting logs. The stock was speedily taken; and by the following season the boom was built and ready for service. The work is substantial and permanent. Piers of immense size are sunk at proper distances, from the Minnesota shore to the foot of a large island near the centre of the stream, and again from the head of the island to the Wisconsin shore. The boom timbers are hung from pier to pier, and the whole river is entirely commanded, with no possibility of scarcely a single log escaping. The charter of the Company compels them, however, to give
free passage to all boats, rafts, &c., ascending or descending the river. This duty is rather difficult to perform at certain times, particularly when the logs are running into the boor briskly, and hands are not to be had to raft and run them out. This was the case once this season. The Asia came up with a heavy freight, which she had signed to deliver at Taylor's Falls. When she reached the boom a barrier of three or four miles of logs compactly intervened upon the water's surface, and forbade her further progress. The Company had been unable to procure laborers to clear out the logs, but were nevertheless clearly liable to damages for obstructing navigation. They chose the only remedy at hand, which was to receive the freight, and pay its transportation up to the Falls in Mackinaw boats. With a full complement of men the boom can always be kept clear at the point where it crosses the main channel of the river.
The importance of the lumber business of the St. Croix river would hardly be estimated by a stranger. Large quantities are floated down the Mississippi to St. Louis. The business of getting out the timber is carried on in the winter, and affords employment to large numbers of young
The price of timber, as quoted in St. Paul market, is, for the best, $30 per M.; for common, $20."
The country lying between Green Bay and the Wolf river, as far north as the State line of Michigan, is slightly rolling, with a general depressive inclination southerly; generally the soil is rich and productive, and extensively covered with a heavy growth of timber, viz: white and Norway pine, heinlock, rock maple, birch, cedar, tamarac, and some other varieties in smaller quantities. Pine lands, 75 miles north of Fond du Lac, without any
commercial facilities, except being near some navigable stream, are now worth from ten to twenty dollars per acre. Chicago fur
nishes, to St. Louis, as a regular business, large quantities of manufactured lumber from that section of country; and such is the profit derived from this branch of trade to all concerned in it, that along the streams of Northern Wisconsin, navigable for lumber, nearly all the Government pine lands, for a distance of 75 miles north of Fond du Lac, have been taken up. Near the Michigan line and north of it, large quantities of the most beautiful and valuable curl and bird's eye maple abound.
The rapids of the streams flowing through this part of the country furnish abundant water-power for the manufacture of lumber; and on the annual spring rise, and occasional freshets at other seasons of the year, the yield of the mills is floated from the Wolf into Lake Winnebago and the Lower Fox. Large quantities besides are floated into Green Bay. It is difficult to estimate the amount of lum. ber produced yearly in the region under consideration. The pine trees from which it is made are nearly all taken from the public lands. From reports to Government, it is calculated that the timber on the Oconto and Wolf
vers, and on the head waters of other streams, will afford sufficient supplies for thirty years, although becoming less accessible every year.
Lumber from Wisconsin now passes in considerable quantities through the Illinois Canal to the Mississippi, and the towns on the Illinois river.
The produce of the Wolf river pineries, although but lately noticed, has hitherto been underrated. It has been estimated, by persons well acquainted with the business, that in logs and lumber an amount equal to not less than seventy-five millions of feet of pine lumber passed down the Wolf river last year, and will not be less the present year. The business is increasing, and employs a great many men and teams. It is estimated that the work of
each ox team, and the number of hands employing it, will clear from five to seven hundred dollars in a season over expenses ; although there are instances in which nearly double that amount has been made. Most of those engaged in the lumber business of Wolf river are from Maine, and state the facility for getting logs out and running them to be superior to anything in their experience. The opportunities for going into business have been very favorable to poor men, and at the present time there is no class of people in a more thriving condition than the lumbermen. Pine lands are now held at from five to ten dollars per acre, and, in some instances, as high as twenty for choice tracts.
The quantity of lumber manufactured from the various regions or lumbering points in 1854, was estimated as follows:
48,000,000 60,000,000 100,000,000 35,000,000 70,000,000 20,000,000 125,000,000 40,000,000
There are also numerous mills scattered throughout other sections in the State, from which no statistics have been obtained, which, in all, wonld lead us to estimate the manufacture in the State as high as five hundred and fifty millions of feet in 1854, since which time the business has increased at least 50 per cent.
The Chicago, St. Paul and Fond du Lac Railroad, by affording an easy communication to a portion of this