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to 15,000,000 of acres, possossing stores of wealth in the timber upon its surface, reserving soil for the benefit of those who, as the means of communication are opened, will come in and possess it, and thus introduce industry and prosperity into our waste places.
The most experienced judges concur in fixing the amount of logs got out this winter on River St. Clair, at Port Iluron, and Saginaw Bay, but not including the rivers above, at 175,000,000 feet. In the Saginaws, it is ascertained that about 100,000,000 will be got out. Taking the entire coast, it is thought the logs this winter would exceed those of last by 15 to 20 per cent. By Custoin-house statements of shipments, added to actual receipts at one of the receiving points--Chicago—it will be seen below that for 1859 a little over 269,000,000 feet is the amount of shipments arrived at. These figures, taken in connection with the estimates of those competent to judge, render it certain that the actual amount shipped out of the State did not vary materially from 400,000,000 feet. There being no penalty involved in the failure of masters of vessels to report, there is great carelessness in the matter. The Cleveland, Toledo, and Sandusky shipments are, at the outside, not more than half reported, Those reported to Buffalo, Oswego, &c., are a little nearer the truth, but they fall considerably below the mark. The amount made in 1859 did not vary materially from that shipped. In the district embracing the River St. Clair, Port Huron, and the lake shore, 6,000,000 feet more were wintered over last year than this. On the west coast it was different generally, so that the variation in the aggregate cannot be much either way. The capacity of the mills in the pine lumber region is 900,000,000 feet, or possibly a little more.
As regards the amount of shingles made, even dealers are much in the dark. To add 50 per cent to the Custom house returns would certainly be within bounds for the eastern coast. This would give 120,000,000 as the amount. For the west coast, if we take the amount received at Chicago, say 165,000,000, with an additional 25 per cent for that received at Milwaukee, and then estimate that two-thirds of the whole amount were from the west coast of Michigan, which is doubtless true, we have 137,500,000 as the amount shipped by that coast, and 257,500,000 for the whole State.
The improved demand for staves has greatly stimulated the production, and in localities where the production of pine lumber is decreasing, that of staves is taking its place. At Saginaw, 2,500,000 were got out last year, and this year there will be full as much or more. The greatest activity prevails, and dressing by machinery has been started. At Lakeport, Burchville, Lexington, Port Sanilac, Forester, Point aux Barque, and Forestville, 850,000 were got out last year; from Port Huron and St. Clair, 750,000; the amount turned out in the whole State could not have been short of 20,000,000.
The lumber on the east coast is worth at the mills $9 per M.; that on the west coast, $7; at the average of $8, the amount made last year would be worth $3,200,000; the value of shingles, at $2 per M., was $515,000; and the lath, at $1 per M., are worth $133,000. The capital invested in the State in the business is $8,029,500.
An intelligent gentleman, who recently visited all the establishments around Saginaw, and procured statistics, reports the amount of lumber manufactused as follows:--
Mills. Bay City..
al 20,000,000 / Saginaw City ........ 4 14,000,000 Portsmouth .. 4 5,000,000 Bad River
2 4,500,000 Zilwaukee ........... i 8,000,000 Rafted lumber............ 4,000,000 Carrolton.... ... 1 2,800,000 East Saginaw ........ 8 19,760,000 Total............... 73,050,000
Valuation, at $8 50 per M., $620,925. The rafted lumber includes what was cut by the small mills above and floated down, and also that brought in from the country mills by teams. Of the above lumber, 63,000,000 has been shipped; the rest is now on the docks.
Amount Price Value. Shingles manufactured.......
25,000,000 $2 50 $62,500 Lath................ :
6,000,000 1 00 5,000 Oak staves manufactured and shipped
2,000,000 30 00 60,000 Add lumber...........
. $748,425 The supply of pine in some few localities is becoming exhausted, and some few mills have ceased operating. This is the case at Lexington, but the machinery and capital have been taken elsewhere. At the present ratio of consumption, the supply of pine must rapidly become diminished, but profitable employment will then be found in the manufacture of hemlock and hard wood. Some little has already been done in the way of turning out hemlock, and the manufacture of bard-wood lumber is increasing very rapidly. The reported shipments of the State foot up as follows:
Lath. Reported at Detroit .
141,595,000 82,460,000 19,823,000 Additional at Chicago .
127,513,000 24,801,000 Total ..............
269,108,000 107,267,000 19,823,000 If accurate returns could be given of the receipts at the ports on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, it is altogether probable tbat nearly or quite the amount we have estimated would be shown, viz., 400,000,000 feet. As we have herein before stated, not more than half the shipments to the Lake Erie ports ever find their way to our Custom-house books.
The fisheries of Michigan are a great resource. It is estimated by men of intelligence that the value of her yearly catch of fish is greater than that of all taken in fresh waters in the thirty-two remaining States of the Union. This may at first blush seem like a broad assertion, but it is no doubt strictly within bounds. Most of the fish packed on Lake Huron and rivers St. Clair and Detroit find their way into the Ohio market; the trade with that State having rapidly increased. The principal varieties of fish are
White Fish.—These are more highly prized than any other kind found in our waters, being decidedly the most delicious in a fresh state, and when packed command a higher price than any other by $1 per barrel. They are found in the straits and all the lakes; they spawn in the fall in the straits and in shoals and on reefs about the lakes; they are caught in seines, gill nets, trap nets, and spears-never with hooks. Their ordinary weight is from three to five pounds, length fifteen inches, though some have been caught weighing not less than eighteen pounds. They are a beautiful fish, and when first taken out of the water, and struggle and founder in the sun, they exbibit all the colors of the rainbow, but they
soon expire, and when dead they are of a delicate white color. The trout, pike, and muscalonge devour them without mercy. Some of these voracious kinds have been caught with the remains of six white fish in them. The Detroit River wbite fish are more juicy and better flavored than those caught in the upper lakes, probably from the fact that they feed on more delicate food, but those found in Lake Superior surpass all others in size. They were once so numerous that eight thousand were taken at a single baul. At present a haul of one or two thousand is thought a very good one. In all the rivers they are growing scarce, very gradually but surely; the ratio of decrease cannot be arrived at with any degree of precision. A few years ago they were mostly taken with gill nets, and when they fell off in one place a corresponding increase would be found in another. Now they are taken with trap nets along the shore. The trap nets are a decided advantage over gill nets; they allow the fish to be kept alive, and they are taken out at leisure; they are therefore of better quality.
PICKEREL.—This variety is also held in high esteem—they are good either fresh, or salted and dried, and for packing rank next in value to white, although held nominally at the same price as trout when packed. They generally run up the rivers and lakes in the spring to spawn, where they are caught in considerable numbers; average weight, 2 lbs.; large, 20 lbs.; common length, 15 inches.
LAKE OF MACKINAC TROUT.--This species are as varacious as pike; they are chiefly caught on Lake Huron with gill pets and hooks. Saginaw Bay appears to be a favorite resort witb them. Some winters large quantities are caught in the bay through the ice, with a decoy fish and spear. They spawn in the fall, generally in the bays and inlets; average weight, 5 lbs.; Jarge, 75 lbs.
Siscowit.—These are mostly found in Lake Superior, and are preferred by some to any other kind. They are of the trout family, and for fat are unequaled; they are mostly taken in gill nets. They spawn in the fall, and are very superior for packing; they are also of some value for their oil; common weight, 4 lbs.; length, 16 inches.
LARGE HERRING.–These are very good fish, found only in the straits and large lakes. They spawn in the fall. But few are caught; average weight, 1 lbs.; common length, 10 inches.
In addition to the above the muskelonge-a large and delicious variety -black and white bass, rock bass, perch, sturgeon, and at least twenty other kinds, abound in our waters, a minute description of which we are compelled to forego.
The number of men employed, and the consequent expense, varies according to the method employed. With seines, the occupation is very laborious, and requires a much stronger force than pound nets; one set of hands can manage a number of the latter. Some of the fisheries on Detroit and St. Clair rivers use seines altogether, to draw which horse power is brought into requisition in some cases. A double set of men are employed, working alternately day and night, and the exposure is a most disagreeable feature of the business, particularly in bad weather. The great bulk of the aggregate catch continues to be taken with seines or gill nets, but pound (or trap) nets are on the increase. They have been in use below Lake Huron more or less for the past four or five years, but it is only about two years since their introduction in the upper lakes.
With these nets 100 barrels of white fish have been taken at a single baul; of course their general use must produce a material diminution in the supply. As regards capital invested, there is in particular instances a wide difference. Geo. Clark, Esq., nine miles below Detroit, has $12,000 invested in his grounds, owing mostly to the cost of removing obstructions; but this is an exception. The barrels for packing constitute no inconsiderable item of this vast and immense trade; their manufacture is a regular branch in Port Huron, but most of them are made by the fishermen when not engaged in their regular vocation-they are made at all the villages and fishing stations on Lake Huron, pine being generally easy of access; the barrels are worth 63 cents each ; half-barrels, 50 cents. Over two-thirds of the packages used are halves, but our estimated totals of the catch represent wholes. Formerly the nets used also to be made almost entirely by the fishermen, who usually procured the twine from Detroit; latterly, many of them have been brought from Boston already made. Salt is another large item. For packing and repacking, about one-fourth of a barrel is used to each barrel of fish. For the amount packed, therefore, in the fisheries we have described, about 20,000 barrels are used.
AGGREGATE VALUES. Proceeds of Michigan fisheries. $620,000 Aggregate bbls. salted, say.... 80,000 Total proceeds .............. 900,000 Cost of packages............ $70,000 Total capital invested ........ 252,000 Cost of salt .....
.............. 22,000 Paid for wages .............. 171,000 |
White fish are taken both spring and fall, chiefly the latter; spring is the season for pickerel ; trout are taken at all seasons.
The following is a list of the ports from whence fish were received during the year, and the amount from each. To the receipts reported at the Custom-house we have added those by the steamer Columbia, which, as she does not go beyond the district, is not required to report :Saginaw......... 6,564 | Forest Bay ........ 316 Green Bay.. ... 100 Thunder bay .... 8,800 Harrisville ....... 400 Lexington ...... Port Huron ..... 1,343 Bark Sbanty...... 200 Bruce Mines ... Whitefish Poiot.. 600
56 Ontonagon....... 4071 Point aux Barque.. 190 Chicago ........
141 Port Austin ..... 400 | Sangeen...........
215 Port Hope.......
50 Au Sauble....... 1,025 Collingwood ...... 150 Other ports ...... 61 Willow Creek ... 300 Chatham. ......... 118 Total ...
........ 16,7711 The reported shipments from Detroit for 1859 are as follows : Cleveland ....... 10,303 | Buffalo .......... 1,751 | Ogdensburg ..... 764 Sandusky......... 4,295 | Huron........... 1,119 Other ports ...... Toledo .......... 3,806 | Dunkirk. ........ 842 Total.....
.......... 92,960 Considerable quantities are loaded for Cleveland at Thunder Bay, and at other points, which are not entered at our Custom-house. Formerly, many from Lake Huron and Mackinac, particularly the latter, were taken to Chicago, but that market now derives its supplies from grounds nearer home.
The trade of Lake Superior has received a rapid development in the last few years. In the spring of 1845 the fleet on Lake Superior consisted of eleven schooners. In 1845 the propeller Independence, the
first steamer that ever floated on Lake Superior, was taken across the portage, and the next year the Julia Palmer followed her, she being the first side-wheel steamer. In the spring of 1855, the Sault Capal was completed, since which date the trade with that important region has rapidly grown into commanding importance. It will be seen by the table below that the importations of machinery, provisions, supplies, and merchandise for the past year amount to $5,298,640, while the exports of copper, iron, fur, and fish amount to $3,071,069. The following are the names of the steam craft now regularly employed in this trade :Steamers Illinois, Lady Elgin, and North Star; propellers Marquette, Mineral Rock, Montgomery, Northern Light, and Iron City. The Detroit shipping office has published the names of ninety-six sail vessels that have been engaged in the iron trade the past year.
Rapid as this trade has increased, it is destined, no doubt, to yet undergo a still greater transformation. The latent resources of the upper peninsula are of a character and magnitude that defy all estimates of their future greatness. S. P. Mead, Esq., Superintendent of the Canal, has furnished a monthly statement of its commerce for the past year, the figures of which for the year foot up as follows:
$3,071,069 UP FREIGHT. Quantity. Valuo.
Quantity. Value. Flour......... ..bbls. 39,269 $245,140 Powder ........tons 2804 $67,726 Wheat ......... bush. 74 98 Coal ..
7,614 45,683 Coarse grain ......... 71,738 45,898 Nails.........., kegs 2,712 13,560 Ground feed.. .tons 1,006 25,153 Merchandise..... tops 7,842 3,922,250 Beef ...
bbls. 3,7811 45,326 Lime..........bbls. 4,169 6,254
4,890 88,020 | Lumber .........M. 7,690 115,348 Bacon................ 262 6.256 Lath ..........bdls.
2,473 742 4997 19,980 | Window glass..boxes 968 1,936 Butter......
lbs. 313,724 59,244 Hay ......... .tons 6034 8,856 Cheese .....
52,592 6,259 Horses & mules . . No. 90 11,150
5.250 525 Cattle............... 1,761 78,910 Candles...... .... 92,883 14,022 Sheep.............
1,032 5,248 Soap............pkgs.
.................................. $5,298,640 The aggregate amount of tolls collected in May, July, August, and September was $10,374 18, a large increase over the corresponding months last year. Including the probable amount for the months not reported, and we have at the lowest not less probably than $16,000 as the tolls for 1859. Number of passengers-May, 2,493; June, 1,764;