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Histories > Eau Claire Co. Historical Accounts

"History of Northern Wisconsin, 1881"


(-as transcribed from page 293)

On the plains or comparatively level portions of the county the soil is of a sandy character, with more vegetable mold in its composition than appears by a hasty examination, and it is formed, for the most part, by decomposed or disintegrated Potsdam sandstone. The granitic or azoic formation occurs up the Chippewa River, but terminates as a surface indication near the confluence of the Eau Claire with the Chippewa. The soil on some of the hills, which skirt some of the rivers, has a clayey character, which, when it comes to be cultivated, will be found to have staying qualities that do not appertain to that of the level country. The particular drawback of the light and easily worked sandy soil, which usually produces a good yield in return for the labor and dressing bestowed upon it, is its lack of power to resist the effects of a dry time. As the seasons in which there is a severe drought are not frequent, this does not seriously depreciate the value of this soil for agricultural purposes. The soil and climate of Eau Claire is eminently adapted to the raising of small fruits and berries, and as the railroads bring the markets so near our doors, this industry must continue to increase until the crop becomes a very large one. There are several indigenous fruit bearing shrubs which may one day be cultivated and produce a berry as superior to the present product as the pippin excels the crab apple. There is also found in great profusion the hazelnut, awaiting man's fostering care. There is produced on this soil one or more varieties of wild hemp, and the milkweed, the inspissated juice of which becomes india rubber, grows in rank profusion where ever its seeds take root. Indeed, most of the soil in the county, whatever geological parentage it owns, or whatever metamorphoses it may have gone through, is well adapted for the easy cultivation of its indigenous productions, and most others from a like latitude.

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