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of peaches, plums, and apples, produced in Mason county, while Oceana county offered close competition for the palm of excellence. Some of these fruits were shown us by Mr. Foster. The Glory of Mundi apple which he presented us weigbed 16 oz., and measured 15 inches in circumference, and other apples were proportionately fine. The Soulard Crabs were large and of the richest magenta color, while the plums and peaches were described to us as excellent, and “ too good to be kept."
NO PEAR BLIGHT-HOW AVOIDED. Mr. Foster, on bis homestead, open to the lake, planted in 1868 a pear orchard that is now in good bearing and without any signs of blight. To prevent blight he used salt freely around his trees, and syringed the leaves freely with salt water. The trees grew right along and are now in excellent condi. tion. The land is sandy loam and somewhat rich, grass growing freely whereever allowed to.
PLUM GROWING. Mr. Foster learned that plums want exposure and pears some protection. He grows the German prune plum, which could be produced in large quantities here for extensive shipment, either fresh or dried.
A LARGE CROP OF STRAWBERRIES.
Mr. Foster produced on his strawberry patch, last year, a crop of Jucunda strawberries of from 50 to 90 bushels, or at the rate of 350 bushels to the acre. Of course this land was greatly enriched. This year the drouth seriously affected the crop. Had he irrigation at hand he would have been equally fortunate. He grows Jucunda and Wilson side by side, and says there is only one day difference in their time of ripening. IIis Bigarean, Mayduke, and Elton cherries have been quite successful.
Hon. D. L. Filer's place is next to Mr. Foster's, and similarly exposed to lake breezes. It has been equally successful with the fraits named, and several others.
EARLY ERRORS IN PEACE GROWING.
Similar errors have been committed here in regard to peaches as at Pentwater,-bigh manuring,-producing unripened growth, and consequent destruction by winter frosts.
Among the fruit growers of Mason county we may name Col. Phillips, who has an orchard of eighty acres, planted with apples, cherries, peaches and plums. Mr. Joseph Hubbard has forty acres planted in apples and peaches, in the township of Amber, seven miles east of Ludington. He exhibited 32 varieties of apples at the county fair. In fact, all through the county we are assured large quantities of peaches, apples and plums are being planted. At the Mason county fair, recently held, Col. J. F. Phillips exhibited 25 varieties of apples; Mr. W. H. Haggadorn of Summit exhibited peaches, plums, and tomatoes; Mr. Geo. C. McClatchie of Summit, peaches, plums, and tomatoes. Among the other farmers who exhibited fruit we may mention R. Hatfield of Pere Marquette ; Miles Parker, Benjamin Hall, J. Saltzgaber, R. Purdy, W. H. Wagoner, F. Martin, of Riverton ; E. Slear, Rickey; Jas. Chinney, T. H. Wright, of the township of Amber; also formers from Palmer Lake and other parts of the county. Mr. L. H. Foster of Ludington exhibited eight varieties of choice plums, all of unusually large size. The peaches exhibited by Mr. McClatchie from the farm of George Tripp were especially fine. Mr. Moore exhibited a blue egg plum 54 inches in circumference.
TRANSPORTATION AND MARKETS. The completion of the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad to Ludington, and the starting by Mr. E. B. Ward, who has large lumber interests here, of a new line of steamers to Cheboygan, Wisconsin, will open up new markets for the Ludington fruit region to supply.
MANISTEE, FILER, STRONACH, BEAR LAKE, ARCADIA, PLEASANTON,
ONEKAMA, BROWN, NORWALK, PORTAGE LAKE.
ASPECT OF THE SHORE. Twenty miles north of Ludington, Manistee harbor enters Lake Michigan. The shore of Lake Michigan at this point has a northwest aspect, as the line of the shore runs from a southwesterly to northeasterly direction, and the banks are high and somewhat irregular in their formation. Nearest the city the land is clay, forming a ridge of table-land between Lake Michigan and Lake Manistee.
LAKE AND CITY. Manistee Lake is about four miles in length, and is from half a mile to a mile in width. The point where the Great Manistee River enters the lake is within a mile of the mouth, while the Little Manistee enters three miles to the south. The peninsula between the two lakes is from one mile to three miles and a half in width, and constitutes the most eligible site for fruit-growing near the city. The two lakes are connected by a channel about 150 feet wide and a mile long, which constitutes the harbor, the city being mainly built along the south side of this channel. The residences of the city are, however, being built on the high clay land, commanding a view both of the city and the lake. This land has an elevation of from 80 to 100 feet, and is divided into about five-acre blocks, and each block generally constitutes one homestead, so that the crowding up into small lots, too common in American cities, is being avoided in Manistee, and by the good taste of the owners of the land, fine avenues of trees are being formed between these blocks. I know of no city where the block-homestead plan is being so well carried out as it is here; and if persisted in, it will eventuate in covering the high land of the peninsula with one of the handsomest and healthiest cities on the continent. Many of the blocks nearest the business streets are already tastefully laid out, and the houses present a very pleasing variety of design. Among the most prominent are those of Mr. Canfield, Mr. R. G. Peters, Hon. J. L. Taylor, mayor of the city, Hon. J. G. Ramsdell, Mr. Robinson, and the Risdon estate. Some of these homesteads have windmills and other contrivances for raising water for domestic purposes and for irrigation. The unimproved blocks can be bought at from $900 to $3,000 each. For a city in a fruit region I regard this as an excellent plan, as it gives gentlemen engaged in other business an opportunity of testing the capabilities of the location for various kinds of fruit, and at the same time secure a home surrounded with all the appliances of health, comfort, and enjoyment.
My stay in Manistee being short, I am indebted to Mr. A. M. Smith, editor of the Times, and to Hon. J. G. Ramsdell, for valuable assistance in showing me the places of greatest interest, and furnishing information as to places I could not personally inspect. The descriptions of places here given will give an idea of what has been done in the vicinity of the city. I am informed that the county throughout is being rapidly settled by intelligent farmers, who are availing themselves of the advantages of their locations to plant such fruits as are best likely to succeed. The Manistee Times, through the aid of Mr. Ramsdell, is doing much to promote the fruit interests of the county, and to furnish farmers with much needed information on the subject of fruit-growing.
SEVERAL CITY GARDENS. In ascending the bigh land in the city one of the first objects that attracts attention is the beautiful residence of Mr. John. Canfield, on a fine elevation overlooking barbor and lake. It is handsomely laid out and surrounded by a neat ornamental fence, being one of the blocks just referred to. The fruit orchard on this block was among the first planted in this county, and was most of it set twelve years ago. It has been very productive. It consists of a general variety of apples, pears, cherries, plums, nectarines, apricots, and a goodly variety of small fruits, such as currants, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc., and all have been very productive, bearing regular crops. For the past four years the fruit on this block has been sufficient for the family and some seasons much more than they could consume. In the years 1871 and 1873 there were not less than seventy-five bushels of the choicest varieties of plums each year on twenty-four trees. In 1872 and 1874 they bore about half of that amount. The apricots and nectarines have both been exceedingly prodactive of heavy crops of the finest fruit. These last named fruits have not been usually successful in this country on account of the curculio, but they grow to the highest degree of perfection in this locality, the curculio having thus far caused but little damage.
THE ORCHARD AND GARDEN OF HON. J. L. TAYLOR. The most of the fruit trees on these grounds were planted in 1866 and 1867, by Michael Engelman, and during the first two years received very ordinary care. After Mr. Taylor purchased the place it has been very well cared for, and the result has been one of the finest young orchards in this county. It consists of a great variety of apples, pears, plums, cherries, and almost all of the small fruits that are grown in this latitude. In 1871 the plums bore finely and were only exceeded in quantity by the extraordinary crop of Mr. John Canfield the same year. The Duane's Parple are fully as large as ordinary hen's eggs, and the other kinds were nearly as large. There are two trees of the German Prune (the same kind we buy at the stores), that Mr. Engelman sent to Germany for, which are as large, if not larger, than those we buy. This apple orchard numbers about 200 trees, and for beauty and symmetry of growth has no superior. The growth of these trees has been so rapid that they have not borne much, but I do not consider that any detriment, but an advantage. There were ten trees of the Keswick Codlin variety that bore about one-half bushel each last year, and a few Red Astrachans that bore a few fine specimens of the most beautiful fruit I ever saw. There were a few very nice Snow apples that were highly colored and of very fine flavor. As for the small fruits, it is sufficient to say that they have been unusually productive and very thrifty. The vegetables of this garden have been always first class.
Near to Mr. Canfield's is the Risdon Homestead and garden, in which is a plum orchard of about 400 trees. They were planted six or seven years since by Mr. John Canfield. The soil is a heavy, strong clay, a little inclined to be wet, but a very rich soil. The plums bave made a very strong growth, and are entirely free from disease. Last year (1873) this orchard bore 75 bushels of first-class plums, which were all marketed here at the very satisfactory price of six dollars per bushel, and this the product of about half of the trees in the orchard, the balance of the orchard not bearing any. The varieties that bore the main crop were the Lombard, Jefferson, Yellow Gage. Washington.
Mr. Robinson has also a well-planted block.
Besides these five-aere blocks, a little further south I found several ten-acre orchards. One belonging to Mr. Charles Reitz, who has an arrangement for raising water from the lake to irrigate his place in dry weather. Another, planted by Mr. Noah P. Husted, in all the best varieties of peach trees. Another, the residence of Hon. J. G. Ramsdell, which appeared to be full of choice varieties of fruit, well cared for.
Six years ago last April, Hon. D. L. Filer, who was then a resident of Manistee, and now resides at Ludington, cleared, plowed, grubbed, and fenced 10 acres of poor sandy pine land and planted the same to peach trees. The ground for this orchard was very thoroughly plowed and harrowed and all of the smaller stumps taken out. The peach trees were planted and well cultivated through the season, and the result was, the orchard made an unusually fine growth of well ripened wood, and it was whispered by a few of the faithless that Filer's orchard was a success so far, but it never would bear any fruit, and if it did it would never ripen, and if it did ripen it would be a poor quality. In 1871 about 400 of these trees bore 400 baskets of as fine peaches as were ever picked, so far as the quality is to be the test, and of good fair sizes. This was not a great crop for the whole orchard, but was a very good crop for the trees that bore. The unprecedented cold of the winter of 1872–3 was fatal to the crop in 1873, and some varieties that were not perfectly hardy, were somewhat injured, and a few of the trees lost, but the main part of the orchard has borne a very fair crop this year, about 200 bushels. The quality of these peaches is equal to any I have ever seen anywhere.
The grapes certainly show a very thrifty growth and had a very good crop of well ripened clusters this year. They are mostly Concords and Delawares, and the balance some of the new varieties, all of which have been a decided suc
The strawberries are nearly all the Wilson, and have given good regular crops with only ordinary cultivation. There are also in connection with this orchard, some very good apples, pears, cherries, and plums which look as thrifty. There are about two acres of red raspberries of the Clark and Philadelphia varieties that have produced a very fine crop of first-class fruit each year since they were set.
THE LARGER FARMS.
The farm of Mr. John Canfield is in the city of Manistee. There are 190 acres of improved land under very thorough cultivation. There are seventy acres of meadow, which, together with about 12 acres of oats and Hungarian grass, has this year cut about 200 tons of hay and fodder. This hay is of a very good quality, consisting chiefly of timothy, and sells readily for $20 per ton at the barn. Forty acres are in pasture, and is certainly very productive, and of good quality. Potatoes have always been a good paying crop on this farm for 12 or 15 years past, and have never been a failure during that time. There are only about 10 acres planted this year, and although this has not been a favorable season they turn out about 150 bushels to the acre, which is about the average yield. Mr. C. informs me that he has raised 500 bushels from a measured acre. Usually about six pairs of horses, three yoke of cattle, ten cows, and fifteen head of young cattle are kept on the farm summer and winter. The barn on this farm is 77x85 feet, and has a capacity sufficient to store nearly the whole product of hay and grain raised on the farm. The larger part of this farm has been cleared of stumps and made smooth enough for the mowing machine. Mr. Canfield continues clearing, fencing, and stumping more land every year. The apple orchard south of the Risdon plum orchard, contains 10 acres planted seven years ago, with only three varieties of winter fruit, consisting of Baldwins, Greenings, and a few Spitzenbergs. This orcbard is remarkable for its uniform thriftiness and strong growth. Of course it has not been very productive of fruit as yet. The ground on which this orchard stands was stamped and thoroughly subsoiled, which no doubt in part accounts for the extraordinary success of the orchard in making so fine a growth, which also accounts for its delay in bearing. Trees seldom grow rapidly, and bear at the same time.
Mr. Peters began to clear and stump his farm on the lake shore in 1868, and in 1869 bad cleared, stumped, subsoiled, and underdrained about 20 acres of choice good land, and the same season set 1,200 peach and 400 apple trees. That was a very wet season and the trees made an enormous growth, so much so that the peach trees were ruined the following winter by being sap-frozen. The apple trees were not very much injured. Mr. Peters went on clearing and improving more land, and the following year planted 1,000 dwarf pears and between six and seven hundred are in good condition, the balance having been killed by the unprecedented cold of the winter of 1872–73. In 1871 about 30 acres more ground and 10 acres or more stumped, subsoiled, underdrained, and 1,000 standard pears were planted, which, all things considered, is a great success. There are now about 800 very fine thrifty trees growing in this orchard. There are also about 800 grape vines, over 700 of which are Concords, the balance Ionas and Delawares. They bore a fair crop last year but did not fully ripen. The Delawares are unusually large, high-flavored, and would do credit