صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

the necessities of the settlers are very great regarding a supply of timber for home



As the Territory becomes settled up and roads are constructed, and the country opened, the fact becomes more apparent every day that Washington Territory has a vast amount of first-class agricultural land. There is scarcely a creek flowing into Puget Sound (and there are hundreds of them) the valleys of which will not afford arable land amply sufficient for from five to a hundred good farms. Localities that a few years since were deemed worthless are now being settled up and are found to contain thousands of acres of excellent farming land. The same is applicable to the agricultural advantages of the country east of the Cascade range of mountains. Land that bas been considered worthless a few years since is now covered with waving fields of grain. In the vicinity of Puget Sound honest and faithful deputies only a few years since reported many extensive tracts of land as "swampy and worthless;" now these same deputies are clamorous for contracts to survey these identical "swamps," they having in many instances been drained, and are found to be capable of producing abundant crops of excellent small grains and vegetables. There is a large scope of country, embracing an area of perhaps sixty townships, lying north of Gray's Harbor and west of the Olympic Mountains, which is reported to contain vast tracts of fine agricultural lands. This district of country has been thus far but partially explored, and no very definite information can be given regarding its resources. It is my desire and purpose during the coming autumn, if time and opportunity permit, to make a tour of explora tion through that section of the country, in order that more definite information may be obtained regarding its topographical and natural resources. Should the locality referred to be found to contain such large tracts of arable and agricultural lands as have been reported, the coast guide meridian should be extended north to the straits of Juan de Fuca, to afford a guide for surveys; and also, several towns should be sectionized at an early day.

There is scarcely room for doubt that Western Washington is destined at an early day to bear an important part, and will be made to compare favorably with the most celebrated States or sections of our country in the productions of the dairy. As the country and its resources become developed, all that is needed to carry forward this important interest is enterprise and the importation, for a beginning, of a reasonable quantity of good dairy stock. The climate is mild, humid, and well adapted to the purpose. Grass of excellent quality grows at least ten months in the year. Such a thing as a sick animal is rarely known, and with an average temperature of 64 in summer and 39 in winter, cows will give milk the year round, if desirable. With a reduction in

the price of labor, that will inevitably follow upon the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad, there is no legitimate enterprise that would afford so large a return for capital and labor as this branch of industry.


The crowning glory of Washington Territory is the great advantages it offers to the poor man. Here any man, no matter how poverty-stricken he may be, if he is willing to work, can soon make for himself a comfortable home. There are thousands of acres of vacant land in this Territory that will make excellent farms, awaiting the enter prising farmer. All that the poor man wants in the Territory to commence operations with is a pair of stout and willing hands.

Capital is as desirable in this locality as in any other to open a farm, yet this is one of the few places where a laboring man without any capital can secure a farm, and at the same time support himself and family, if he has one.

There are many ways that the small farmer can make a living, and something to spare. Hay has never sold in the Territory, at the barn, for less than $10 per ton, and at this time hay that can be shipped on the sound is selling at ș14 per ton, and there is no question but it will pay $20 for every ton that is fed out to stock on the farm.

People that come to Washington Territory to hunt farms must not expect to find prairie land west of the Cascade Mountains that will pay for farming. What little prairie there is is grass, and only fit for pasture, and poor pasture at that. The good farming land is covered with brush, and in many places with timber. To clear bottom land so that the farmer can sow a crop of wheat or timothy will cost, if he hires it done, about $25 to the acre, but of course those who have limited means expect to do their own work, clear a small patch each year, and so be gradually adding to the cultivable


They ex

There are many persons who come to the Territory that are dissatisfied. pect to find the broad prairie they found thirty years ago in the Western States. Others are expecting to speculate in "terminus town lots," or some other wild-goose enterprise, nad make a fortune in a few days. Such usually think the big stories they heard of Washington Territory false, and at once set to abusing private individuals or some

newspaper that happened to tell them just what they wanted to hear, and what was certainly true about Puget Sound, with perhaps this drawback-every man in this Territory, to succeed, must "either hold the plow or drive."


That portion of this Territory lying east of the Cascade Mountains differs widely from the western portion. There is a great scarcity of timber, and in many localities but little water on the table lands; yet for grain-growing this is the most desirable portion of the Territory. The broad prairies are ready for the plow, with trifling cost of preparation. The soil is most desirable for wheat, rye, oats, and barley, while the low valleys, and localities that can be irrigated, will produce excellent vegetables; and in Walla Walla, Palouse, and Yakima, Indian corn is produced in considerable quantities. A few years since it was only the lower valleys that were considered of any value for agricultural purposes. Now, some of the most valuable farms in Walla Walla County are located on the foot-hills, and each year the march of the pioneers is upward instead of westward.

During the last two years the Palouse country has been rapidly settling up, and those who first located in that section, for the purpose of grazing stock, have found that the soil produces abundance of all grains and vegetables, and many have taken up lands, and now have farms in a fine state of cultivation. Seven years since, while I was sectionizing four townships in the Kittitass Valley, which at that time had no settlers within twenty-five miles, there was some complaint made on account of the survey, parties condemning the action of the surveyor general for letting contracts for such "worthless country.' That valley now has a population of several hundred. Many beautiful and valuable farms are now being cultivated by an industrious and thrifty people; churches, schools, mills, stores, post offices, and a thousand other indications of civilization.

During the summer of 1869, while surveying township 35 north, of range 39 east of the Willamette meridian, I found on extending the line north through the township, commencing at the south corner of sections 31 and 32, for a distance of over five miles, one continuous field of wheat, none harvesting less than twenty, and often over forty bushels per acre; all grain of excellent quality.

A ditch from the Upper Spokane, following the table land in a southwesterly direction toward White Bluffs, passing north of Big Lake, would furnish the necessary water to irrigate thousands of acres, which would produce abundant crops. This ditch could be constructed at a comparatively small cost, when taking into consideration the vast extent of first quality of land made available.


Coal, &c.-Washington Territory contains almost the entire catalogue of minerals, and the more precious metals have been successfully mined in several localities for many years. From the mouth of the Umatilla up and along the Columbia River for several hundred miles there have been large amounts of gold taken out every year for the past ten years. At present the principal mining is done by Chinamen, who are experts with the rocker, and are willing to work for a lower rate of wages than the Auglo-Saxon race. Galena (silver and lead) was discovered several years since on the south and east slopes of Mount Rainier, but as yet the lode is undeveloped, and nothing is known regarding its actual value. Traces of gold and silver have been found in the Cascade Mountains at various points, but as yet no systematic efforts have been made to develop their extent or richness. Large quantities of iron and coal are also found west of the Cascade range of mountains, and particularly throughout the valley of Puget Sound. No agencies have thus far been employed toward the development and utilizing of the former, but the time is not far distant when the "iron fields" of Washington Territory will afford extensive and profitable employment for both capital and labor. The number and extent of the vast beds of coal underlying, it is thought, at least one-half of the entire surface of Western Washington, can scarcely be overestimated. The variety, so far as known, is a fair quality of bituminous, burns readily in an open fire, leaving no clinkers and but a small quantity of straw colored ash. The Seattle mine, in King County, is being rapidly developed, and is now producing about 100 tons per day, and the company intend to extend their works to any extent that the demand may require. The Bellingham Bay Coal Company have extensive works in Whatcom County, and with the present appliances the capacity of these mines is reported to be about 500 tons per day. Immediateld along the line of the Northern Pacific Railroad, between the Columbia River any Puget Sound, there are immense coal-fields, not less than 300,000 acres of coal-lands, which are likely to be developed at an early day by that enterprising company, and which will add millions of dollars in wealth to the country. Thus far no anthracite coal has been found in this Territory; but many of the most competent judges think

that an exploration of the higher strata found only in the Cascade Mountains wil establish the fact that there is coal of that valuable variety in that region.

Stone.-Limestone is found in but few sections of this Territory in sufficient quantities for practical uses, the geological formation of the country being generally igneous. There are, however, several valuable ledges of limestone on the islands of San Juan and Orcas, and in quantities sufficient to supply all demands in this locality for an indefiuite period.

A few miles from Walla Walla limestone was discovered about a year since, but as yet its extent has not been fully ascertained. North of the Spokane River, and in the vicinity of Fort Colville, and also at Little Dalles on the Upper Columbia River, there are ledges of excellent marble in unlimited quantities, white, gray, and variegated, and all susceptible of fine polish. At Fort Colville is a marble slab, erected at the head of an officer's grave, that was taken from a ledge about two miles southeast of the station. It will compare favorably, in purity of color, beauty of grain, and susceptibility of polish, with stone taken from the finest quarries in the Atlantic States. The contemplated railroad will afford a ready and cheap means of transportation, and Colville Valley will doubtless become celebrated for its marble, for ornamental as well as for building purposes. Sandstone of excellent quality is found in various localities. This quality of stone is now being shipped from Bellingham Bay for the custom house and post office now being erected by the Government at Portland, Oregon. As this quarry has been compelled to compete with all the stone quarries on the Pacific coast, and after a critical examination and thorough test the decision was in favor of the Bellingham Bay stone, it is fair to presume the quality is equal if not superior to any on the coast. Brick of good quality is made in many parts of the Territory, and from the abundance of fuel can be manufactured at very low rates.

I would respectfully recommend that a small appropriation, say ten thousand dollars, be made by Congress to defray the expenses of a geological and mineralogical examination of this Territory during the coming season.


The construction of this road from the Columbia River on the south, northward to a point within a few miles of the tide waters of Puget Sound, is rapidly approaching completion. A commendable enterprise has been exhibited by this company in the prosecution of this great work.

The greater portion of the country traversed by the line of this road is capable of settlement, and of the lands being brought under a profitable state of cultivation.

The prospect of the early completion of this portion of the road is already producing a marked effect in the tide of immigration, and in the settlement and improvement of the country.

The great natural resources of this section, its vast beds of coal, &c., before referred to, will, as they become developed, stimulate enterprise, invite capital, and lend increased importance in furthering the growth and general prosperity of the whole country.

While the appropriation for surveys for the present fiscal year is quite liberal indeed, and largely exceeding that of former years, the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, as well as the rapidly increasing ratio of settlement of various parts of the Territory, earnestly demand increase of appropriation for surveys during the next fiscal year. From all parts of the Territory constant appeals are being made for surveys, which, in many instances, must be denied, owing to the meagerness of appropriation for the surveying service. Not more than one-fourth of the scope of country through which the line of the sixty-five miles of railroad now near completion traverses, is surveyed. A fair proportion of the funds appropriated for the present season will be made available for surveys along this line of road. But this cannot but be greatly insufficient to meet the necessities that exist in the interest of the settlers, as well as the equitable desires of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. In justice to all these interests, all the cultivable and valuable timbered lands along the entire line of this road, and within the limits of its grant, should be surveyed and segregated at an early day, thus enabling the company to dispose of their lands at pleasure, and affording the settlers upon the public domain the privileges and benefits of the homestead and pre-emption laws.

In connection herewith I would respectfully call your attention to my estimate for the surveying service for the next fiscal year, and request that the amounts stated be recommended to the favorable consideration of Congress. Since this estimate was formed, in further consideration of the subject, and in view of the very liberal and just policy adopted by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company toward the settlers, affording such ample means and opportunities for all who desire homes or to make landed investments, I am satisfied my estimate is less than it should be to meet the reasonable demands for surveys during the next fiscal year.

In connection with this report I would respectfully state that the usual annual map

showing the extent and progress of the surveys, together with the general and more prominent topographical features of the Territory, is now being protracted, and will be completed and duly forwarded within the time prescribed in your letter of instructions to this office.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. BEACH, Surveyor General of Washington Territory. Commissioner General Land Office, Washington City, D. C.


A.-Statement showing the condition of contracts not closed at the date of the last annual

[blocks in formation]

113. Aug. 31, 1870 Edward Giddings. Fourth standard parallel north,
through 3, 4, and 5 east, Wil-
lamette meridian.
Exteriors townships 17, 18,
and 19 north, range 4 and
5 east.
Exteriors and subdivisions
township 20 north, range 5

Completed through ranges 3 and 4; balance surrendered. Completed through range 4 east; balance surrendered.


114. Sept. 2, 1870 Peter W. Crawford Subdivisional lines fractional Completed.

township No. 5 north, range
2 east, and No. 9 north, range
6 west.
Subdivisions township No. 7
north, range 1 west.

117. Oct. 18, 1870 Geo. F. Whitworth Subdivisional lines of town. ship No. 23 north, range 6

Released from survey, and work relet to L. Farnsworth, 1871.

Unable to execute the work; released from contract.



Olympia, Washington Territory, June 30, 1872.


Surveyor General, Washington Territory.

B.-Showing the amount, character, and condition of public surveys in Washington Territory, contracted for under appropriation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1872.

[blocks in formation]

121 June 10 Levi Farnsworth. The fourth standard parallel through

ranges 18, 17, 16, and 15 east, Willa-
mette meridian.
Exterior boundaries of townships 17
north, ranges 17 and 18 east; 18
north, range 18 east ; 9 north, range
5 west; and 10 north, range 6 west.
The subdivisions of townships 17
north, ranges 17 and 18 east; 7
north, range 1 west; 9 north, range
5 west; 19 north, range 6 west; and
fractional townships 3 and 4 north,
range 3 cast.

48 $12 $576 Completed.


10 4, 800 Completed.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

B.-Statement showing the amount, character, and condition of public surveys, &c.—Cont'd.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

east; 31 and 32 north, range 3 east;
and 34 north, range 4 east.
Exterior lines of townships 6 north,
ranges 24 and 25 east; 7 north,
range 25 east; and 8 north, range
23 east.
Subdivisions of townships 6, 8, 10, 540
and 11 north, range 23 east; 6 and
7 north, ranges 24 and 25 east; and
8 north, range 29 east.

10 5,400 Completed.

27 July 8 Walter B. Hall.... The exterior subdivisions and meander lines of township 27 north, range 6 east.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]

In progr'ss;

15 450 Completed.


Aug. 12 Freeman W. Brown The exterior and subdivisional lines of townships 6, 7, and 8 north, range 1 east ;


And subdivisional lines of township 30
8 north, range 1 west, and the un- (252 12 3,024 | Completed.
surveyed portion of township 15
north, range 3 west.

Jan. 29 Alex'r M. Adams. Second standard parallel through

range least, Willamette meridian. Exterior and subdivisional lines of township 8 north, range 1 cast, Willamette meridian.

*Twelve miles completed, balance relinquished.

18 108 Completed.


15 180 Completed. 60 12 720 | Completed.

With the exception of section lines of township 34 north, range 4 east, the appropriation being insufficient to cover survey.

Completed since June 30, 1872.

SURVEYOR GENeral's Office,

Olympia, W. T., June 30, 1872.

L. P. BEACH, Surveyor General, Washington Territory.

« السابقةمتابعة »