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tlement kyown as Ventura. It originated some fifteen years ago, when these lands were entered under the graduation act, mostly at twelve and a half cents per acre.
Now there are numerous flourishing farms and excellent orchards, where the peach never fails and the grape is inexhaustible in its productiveness. Hon. John Roost has an orchard here in a situation completely exposed to the lake, and he always has a crop of peaches. Even last year, when peaches were so nearly a failure, Mr. Roost netted $600 for his peach crop. Ur. Roost has also done much to develop the cranberry business, and has large tracts of natural cranberry meadow.
On the highlands of these towns the peach is extensively grown, although usually in small orchards. In no place in the State perhaps is the idea of
“ A little farm well tilled," better carried out than in the Holland fruit region.
NATIONALITIES OF THE POPULATION. Although Hollanders are the most numerous nationality, there are Americans, Germans, English, Scotch, and Irish to be found in the limits of the col. ony, and more especially in Holland City, which has now put on the American style, and especially since the fire of 1871, become one of the handsomest small cities of Western Michigan.
FRUIT AREA EXTENDING. One of the most intelligent amateur fruit growers is Hon. M. D. Howard, who, without making it his principal business, is quite a successful grower and careful observer of the progress of the fruit interest. He says during 1873-4 no less than 20,000 fruit trees bave been planted in the Holland Colony, and the planting will probably be much greater in 1875 in consequence of the good crop and fair prices realized this season.
WHAT WAS DONE ON A SMALL ORCHARD. Mr. Howard's orcbard is on the north shore of Black Lake, immediately opposite the city of Holland, and about four and a half miles east of Lake Michigan. Mr. Howard gathered this season from nine late Crawford trees, ten years old, 200 baskets of fruit in two days, and realized net $100 from them,-selling at from $2 50 to $300 per bushel. From three hundred other trees in his orchard he realized a net profit of $400, and he did not market more than half the fruit, the other part of the crop being reserved for home consumption. He realized more from twenty-five Early Crawford trees than from all the orchard besides. Twenty trees of Morris White yielded well. Had to thin off one-half, and yet they overbore. They are, however, almost worthless as a market peach. Having no bloom, they do not attract buyers, and cannot be sold to advantage. They are dry and the stone is very large. From two trees, one of Early and one of Late Crawfords, M Howard picked sixty basketfuls of peaches, thirty from each. The trees planted ten years ago. These netted $15 per each tree. The peaches were as fine as ever been, even at St. Joseph. His Early Barnards did not size up in conseqnence of dronth. They bore well and the trees stand well. On the whole, Mr. Howard prefers the Crawfords, Early and Late, as the most profitable peaches, and requiring no labor for thinning out. He says there were no signs of the curculio this year, although visible in former seasons on the peaches.
PEACH GROWERS ENCOURAGED. We could give numerous instances of profitable peach growing in this region. Suffice it to say, those engaged in the business are greatly encouraged.
CAPABILITIES OF THIS REGION. There are many tracts of land suitable for both peach growing and for small fruits, while the cranberry and huckleberry can be raised in this region in an almost unlimited quantity, there being thousands of acres adapted to the culture of these fruits, where the wild plants are already on the ground.
Land adapted to all the varieties of fruit culture and farming can still be had at very moderate prices, and the prominent gentlemen we have named will undoubtedly furnish reliable information on this subject to those who desire to embark in the fruit business.
SHIPPING AND MARKET FACILITIES. This region has fine shipping facilities, for besides its harbor, it has three railroads, the Chicago & Michigan Lake Shore, its branch to Grand Rapids, and the Michigan Lake Shore. By each of these, fruit is shipped, affording admirable choice of markets, the telegraph communication with which, enables shippers to send where prices rule the best. This accounts for the good prices realized, and the large area being planted.
GRAND HAVEN, SPRING LAKE, FERRYSBURG, PEACH PLAINS, FRUITPORT,
LAKE, PIGEON CREEK.
GRAND HAVEN HARBOR. Directly opposite to the thriving city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the largest river in Michigan contributes its ceaseless flow of waters to Lake Michigan, forming a natural harbor which for many years varied little from nine and onehalf feet in depth over the sand-bar at its mouth. The construction of piers by the United States Government has fully doubled this depth of water on the bar, and the result is that Grand Haven. harbor ranks among the best harbors
of the country. It is a fine course of water, 300 feet wide at its mouth, and widening within to four and five bundred feet, with depth of water sufficient for the largest craft that floats on the lakes. The custom house for the district of Michigan is at Grand Haven.
GRAND RIVER AND ITS SCENERY. The river takes a somewhat circuitous course, forming a peninsula from two to three miles in width, on wbich is built the beautiful and improving city of Grand Haven, which of late years has become a favorite resort for health and pleasure seekers on account of its salubrious air, its mineral waters, and its abundance of fruits, especially peaches and grapes. Ascending the river towards the north, Grand Haven, with its capacious and elegant school house, magnificent hotels, church spires, its elevator, saw mills, and manufactories, with hills in the back-ground covered with dense forest, mostly evergreen, and its streets lined with thrifty maples, forin a scene of great beauty and attractiveness.
To the right is the busy little village of Ferrysburg, with its Ottawa foundry, saw mills, neat and thrifty looking dwellings and school house, with a background of forest and peach orchards and gardens. It is located on a peninsula formed by Lake Michigan, Grand River, and Spring Lake, at the mouth of which is its wharf and shipping harbor.
Continuing up the river in a south-easterly direction, the old Beach tree landing, now the docking place of three saw mills and a large tannery, and the freighting wharf for the Michigan & Ohio Railroad, now constructing, numerous cottages, gardens, orchards, and vineyards, come in view. Above, and still further to the south-east, is Peach Plains, located on the easterly side of the Grand Haven Peninsula, on an elevated plateau of land, which extends to Pottowattomie Lake.
On the left of the river, which is here, with its islands, about a mile in width, is the village of Spring Lake, with its handsome hotel, bathing establishment, numerous churches, and elegant residences, backed by orchards and vineyards, reaching into its very midst, and extending from the village along the river up to Nortonville and the varied banks of the inland lake several miles into the country surrounding Lord's Lake, which empties into the river between Nortonville and Spring Lake village.
SCENERY OF SPRING LAKE. Retracing the river down to Ferrysburg, and entering Spring Lake, there is no pleasanter ride on any of Michigan's numerous inland lakes than that from Ferrysburg and Spring Lake village up the lake to Midway and Fruitport. During the summer season this lake, which is about seven miles in extent, is constantly navigated by small steamers, sail and row-boats, by parties in pursuit of fish, game, fruit, and also by vessels loaded with lumber and other articles of manufacture. Both the Engelman propellers and the Goodrich steamers sometimes ascend this lake. Its banks on either side present to view neat dwellings, orchards, vineyards, and gardens of great and varied beauty, with enough of natural forest left to pleasantly contrast with the handiwork of man. In winter, skating and sleighing parties make the lake a scene of life and animation, where health and beauty add largely to the enjoyment of this favored locality.
At Midway is a large steam brick yard, where a cream-colored brick, which
has already giveu character to the appearance of the city and villages adjacent, is manufactured.
Pursuing the lake, which here takes a north westerly direction, between the banks overspread with peach trees and grape vines, appears the sightly village of Fruitport, with its hotels, bath house, and neat and cozy dwellings. The Pomona House, of brick, is a model of hotel architecture. The peculiarity of Fruitport is that there is not a shabby looking house in the whole village. The park surrounding the hotel is laid out with much taste; also the private gardens of the residents, who all take a pride in making the place attractive. In this they have admirably succeeded.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE FRUIT FARMS. Along the banks of the waters here mentioned, and reaching several miles inland, in every direction are peach orchards and vineyards. The land is of varied topography, presenting fine slopes, hillsides on which the peach and the vine grow with great luxuriance, and on the low lands between the hills the small fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and currants fourish and are remarkably productive where well cultivated.
Although the hills are generally sandy soil, they are not destitute of vegetable mould, having been originally covered with forests of beech, maple, and hemlock. The land between the hills and on the margins of the streams tributary to the river and lakes is a rich, black soil, well adapted either for meadow or small fruits. Clay sub-soil is found in various places, although it is not general.
At Peach Plains the land is more nearly level. It was originally oak and pine forest, having a soil of considerable strength, consisting of fine gravel and vegetable mould. At rarious points on the small lakes, muck, marl, and clay can be procured, and are used with advantage by the fruit growers to strengthen the soil of their orchards.
KARL VS. THE BORER.. The marl placed around the young peach trees is considered a good antidote for the borer.
EXTENT AND RESULTS OF FRUIT GROWING. There are now about three hundred fruit farms in the region embracing the places named at the head of this article, varying from five to one hundred acres in extent, furnishing the principal support to about as many families. Although many commenced poor, they are now mostly in comfortable circumstances; the homes are generally neat, and many are well adorned with lawns, shrubs, and flowers. Tracts of land which less than ten years ago were apparently worthless, having been stripped of their good timber, and in some cases abandoned by their owners, are now scattered over with those pleasant homes, thrifty orchards and vineyards, and regarded as exceedingly valuable. All the points named are reached either by navigation or railroad, and some by both.
MARSH LANDS. Along the line of the Michigan Lake Shore and the Chicago & Michigan Lake Shore Railroads, and also along the line of the new Michigan & Ohio Railroad, are marsh lands admirably adapted for dairy and small fruit farms, while there is generally high land enough adjacent for residences and peach orchards. These marhes being mostly at the head of the streamıs, are not low lands, but simply need ditching to render them valuable for the purposes: named.
THE SAND HILLS.
The lake shore from Port Sheldon, on the south, to Little Black Lake on the north, is a succession of sand bills, covered mostly with hemlock, beach and maple on their eastern slope, and varying in altitude from fifty to three hundred feet above the level of Lake Michigan, except at Pigeon Creek, where the banks are low. On and among these hills a few experiments at fruit growing have been made with varied success. Where maple and beech timber prerail over the hemlock, the soil is good, even on the hills, so that peach trees and grape vines grow with a luxuriance which promise abundant harvests in future. Mr. Holcomb has a farm half a mile south of Grand Haven city limits located in the very midst of these sand hills, but where the beech and maple growth has formed a good soil, and he reports the most encouraging success. The hillsides are good for the growth of the vine, especially on an eastern or southeastern exposure, the greatest objection being the necessity of hand culture, it being difficult to use horse-power on most of these slopes. These sand hills, which are spread along so much of the east shore of Lake Michigan, are an excellent wind-break, and should not, perhaps, be stripped of their natural forest, except where adapted for fruit culture, and if owned by farmers having adjoining lands east, can be utilized to a certain extent, but would not of themselves be suitable for profitable farming.
PIGEON CREEK EXPOSURE TO THE LAKE. At Pigeon Creek, five miles south of city limits, there is an open area where the lake breeze has a full sweep, and where peaches and apples grow. luxuriantly. The land here is very cheap. Fruit shipped at a pier near the creek.
THE PEACH PLAINS SETTLEMENT. Peach Plains adjoins the city plat of Grand Haven east and south, and consists of about 2,000 acres. It is a very dry and somewhat elevated plateau of land, selected by Hon. Townsend E. Gidley in 1867, after a careful inspection of the lands from St. Joseph to Pentwater, both on account of the character of the soil and proximity to transportation facilities. There are now some thirty families on this settlement making fruit growing their life-business, having farms of from ten to twenty acres, Mr. Gidley having the largest, bis clearing being over 100 acres, mostly planted to peaches. He is this year planting 1,000 pear trees. He has a good sprinkling of apples, cherries, and plums. He has also a productive vineyard of Concords and Delawares.
Hon. D. G. Conger has one of the best fruit farms in this region, remarkable for its clean culture and good selection of small fruits, which are grown between the rows of trees. Mr. Sands Gidley has a very handsome place at the corner of Gidley street and Wisconsin avenue.
Small fruits, consisting of strawberries, principally the Wilson's Albany; raspberries, the Miami, Philadelphia, and Clark; blackberries (the Kittatinny superseding the Lawton), have all been successfully grown on Peach Plains, and have proved a great aid to those peach growers who commenced with little or no capital, furnishing them with an income before their peach trees came into bearing. The average profit on these small fruits here is from two to three hundred dollars per acre.