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crafts in from four to six days, and by passenger boats in much less time.
This improvement will open about 1000 miles to steam navigation, between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, including the navigable streams in the interior of Northern Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.
This stupendous work, when completed, will do far more for the prosperity and advancement of the vast regions, opened to the advantages of connection with the Atlantic market, than any other improvement contemplated.
Lake Michigan. -- This, which is second of the great lakes in size, is, in situation, soil, and climate, in many respects, preferable to them all. It is the largest lake that is wholly included within the United States. Its length, following the curve, is 360 miles; its greatest breadth, about 90 miles ; contains 16,981 square miles, and has a mean depth of 900 feet. Its surface is about 600 feet above the level of the sea. On its western shore is the great indentation of Green Bay, itself equal to the largest European lakes, being a hundred miles in length, by thirty in width, well sheltered at its mouth by the Traverse
Islands, and having for its principal affluent the outlet of • Lake Winnebago and the Fox River. No lake in the
world is surrounded by so rich an agricultural country as Lake Michigan. On its western shore is Wisconsin, with its productive grain and grazing lands, and its immensely valuable lumber region; on the north-west and north is that vast region of mineral wealth of part of the State of Michigan ; on its eastern border is the Michigan Peninsula, yielding its vast supplies of cereals, especially wheat and maize; and on the south and south-west lie Indiana and
Illinois, whose inexhaustible stores of agricultural products amaze the world.'
On the Wisconsin side, sereral large cities have sprung up, which are rapidly increasing in commerce and wealth.
The total amount of the trade of Lake Michigan for the year 1851, was estimated at $58,468,029. In 1856, the imports and exports of Milwaukee alone, one of its most important ports, reached the sum of $48,000,000. The entire commerce of the Lake for that year amounted to over $375,000,000.
Besides the great lakes which border its northern and eastern shores, Wisconsin has a number of smaller ones, varying from one to thirty-eight miles in extent. These lakes are often surrounded by the most beautiful scenery, and abound in various kinds of fish, while on their shores are found fine specimens of agate, cornelian, and other precious stones. Large quantities of wild rice grow in the shallow waters on the margins of some of them, and attract immense flocks of water-fowl to these localities.
Lake Winnebago, in the eastern part of the State, is the largest of its inland lakes. It is about twenty-eight miles long and ten wide, with an area of about two hundred and twelve miles, and communicates with Green Bay through the Fox or Neenah River. Its depth is anequal, but amply sufficient for purposes of navigation.
“Four Lakes” is a name given to a chain of beautiful . lakes in Dane County, extending in a line from northwest to southeast, and emptying their waters into Catfish River. They are very transparent, and of sufficient depth in most places for navigation. The country surrounding them is undulating, and consists mostly of prairies and “oak openings," which, in the opinion of many, bear a great
1 Andrews' Report.
resemblance to English Park scenery. It is truly the "garden spot” of Wisconsin.
First Lake, the lowest of the chain, is three miles and one-eighth in length, by two in width, covering about five
It is situated a short distance above Dunkirk Falls, near the southern line of the county.
Second Lake, the next in order, is three and a half miles long, and nearly two wide ; and, like First, has an average depth of twelve feet.
Third Lake is next above, at a distance of seven-eighths of a mile. It is about six and a half miles in length, by two in width. Madison, the capital of the State, is located on the north shore of this lake, on the strip of land between it and the next, about one mile across.
Fourth Lake. This beautiful expanse is the uppermost, and by far the largest of the chain - being six miles long, about four wide, and from fifty to seventy feet deep covering an area of sixteen square miles. It is navigable for small steamboats.
The land around this lake rises gradually from its margin, and forms, in the distance, the most beautiful elevations, the slopes of which are studded with clumps of woods, and groves of trees, forming the most charming natural scenery. The greatest variety of fish is to be ob
tained in this beautiful lake; and it is believed, that for 'salubrity and fertility, this entire region will compare with any portion of the State.
"The water of all these lakes, coming from springs, is cold and clear to a remarkable degree. For the most part, their shores are made of a fine gravel shingle; and their bottoms, which are visible at a great depth, are composed of white sand, interspersed with granite boulders. Their banks, with few exceptions, are bold. A jaunt around them affords almost every variety of scenery - bold escarp
ments and overhanging bluffs, elevated peaks, and gently sloping shores, with graceful swells or intervals, affording magnificent views of the distant prairies and openings ; they abound in fish of a great variety, and innumerable water-fowl sport upon the surface. Persons desiring to settle in pleasant locations, with magnificent water-views and woodland scenery, may find hundreds of unoccupied places of unsurpassed beauty upon and near their margins."
Lake Pepin is an expansion of the Mississippi River, west of Wisconsin. In some places it is three miles wide, but generally averaging about two and a half, filling the whole space from bluff to bluff, except at two points, where small meadows appear, and extending in length twentyfive miles apon the river. It is destitute of islands. All along its shores, majestic bluffs of limestone stretch with more regularity, and rise to a height more nearly uniform, than in other parts of the river. At the entrance of the lake, high above all the rest, towers the "Maiden's Rock," some two hundred feet above the water, grand in nature, and associated with one of the most touching and romantic of Indian legends - the oft-repeated story of Winona. As each passer-by always relates it, we will not be an exception - it is an "ower-true” tale of Indian fidelity and affection:
Winona was the daughter of a celebrated chief, who had betrothed her to a favorite warrior ; but her heart had been pledged to another, not less noble, but more youthful brave. She resisted for some time the wishes of her father, but at last he vowed that she must accept the object of his choice. The wedding-day was appointed, and the chief had proclaimed a feast. Among the delicacies to be provided for this occasion, was a certain berry that was found in great perfection upon this bluff. It was on a pleasant summer's evening, and all the female friends of Winona,