« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
these scenes of rural felicity, where Nature has done so much and Art so little to adorn the landscape; but
6. Where the air is clear as crystal, and mist-wreaths may not stay,
NORTHPORT HARBOR. The bay at Northport is probably the most accessible harbor of refuge on Lake Michigan, and the Leviathan steam tug is often engaged in rescuing vessels, bringing them into this safe retreat from storm and danger. Northport, with such a natural advantage, occupying so prominent a position, must, as the country develops, become a place of great importance, and will become the terminus of one or more important lines of railroad. It can be reached by railroad notwithstanding the height of its peninsula, with comparative ease, requiring nothing more than ordinary grades.
THE FIRST SETTLER. Deacon Joseph Dame was the first white settler here. He came here 34 years ago, and although advanced in years, looks hale and hearty. He remembered Schoolcraft and Ferry, and was present at Mackinaw when the Mission was broken up, and the property disposed of at auction. The first crop of wheat yielded 20 bushsls to the acre on an old Indian clearing. Wheat has never failed here, and he has known it to produce as much as 41 bushels to the acre.
THE FARMS AT NORTHPORT. The farm and orchard of Rev. George N. Smith at Northport, is one of great interest. The house is located on the Northport Bay, where the land is not to exceed 12 feet above the water level. It is in the midst of a garden, and on the 10th of November petunias, verbenas, chrysanthemums, moss roses, coxcombs and phloxes were in full bloom, forming an array of beauty that can not be found in the open air in the southern portion of the State. Mre. Smith informed me that her flowers last sometimes till December.
Mr. Smith planted his oldest orchard 25 years ago, and it is now in good bearing. He favored me with fine specimens of Canada Red, Mammoth Sweet, Black Detroit, Fameuse or Snow apple, Flushing's Spitzenberg, Baldwin, Newtown Pippin, R. I. Greening, Big Sweet, and several good seedlings; also a fine specimen of Beurré d'Yelle pear. One of the apple trees planted in 1849 did not bear till 1870, when its first crop was four barrels. Mr. Smith's young orchard is on a natural terrace or bench of land about 20 feet higher than that on which the old orchard is located. On this elevation the peach trees appeared better ripened than some north of North port. Pears and plums are doing well here, and prove these fruits undoubtedly successful in this latitude. Mr. Smith bas land several elevations higher than his present farm, and will do well to extend in that direction.
A son of Mr. George Parmalee has commenced an excellent fruit farm north of North port, with an extensive southeastern slope commanding fine bay views. No symptoms of frost had appeared on his vigorously growing peach trees. They bad the appearance of trees about the middle of September in the middle of the peach belt, say Grand Haven or Spring Lake, except that they were not in bearing. And yet this was November 9th. The new wood was red on one side and green on the other. Mr. Peter Gustorf has a twenty acre orchard near Northport. It is a model of careful culture. His pears planted in 1870 are now in bearing and manifest no tendency to blight. He plants bis pear trees over two feet deep in light soil. He advocates deep planting especially for pears, believing they are less liable to blight than with the roots too near the surface. His pear trees showed a remarkably even and vigorous growth.
Mr. Burbeck has a plum orchard on a village lot in North port which netted $100 from this year's produce.
A NEWLY-ARRIVED FRENCH EMIGRANT. Near Northport, a French emigrant from Lower Canada, who had just arrived with his family of a wife and six children, had erected a log cabin in the ground, -even the roof, made of slabs, being covered up with soil. Inside it looked warm and cozy, and the family appeared happy in their sense of security from “winter's chilling blast.” In a few years, under our homestead laws, this poor man, with his industrious wife and healthy children, will probably rejoice in a good house and enjoy a profitable farm.
SOME INDIAN FARMING. In walking with Dr. Hutchinson over the high land between Nortbport and Lake Michigan we came to several Indian clearings, although their owners were generally away. One Indian, George Wassaquam, informed us that Peter Paboe owned one of the best of these clearings which we had just examined. It was at an altitude of about 300 feet above the Bay, a clearing of some ten acres, where potatoes had been harvested and turnips were growing in as fine sandy loam of black vegetable mould as can be found in the State. There were several apple trees on this place which had made a growth of seventeen inches last, and of nine inches this season, although they are now in thick grass.
GENERAL ADVANTAGES OF LEELA NAW COUNTY. At Northport I was fortunate in meeting with Dr. Hutchinson, a gentleman who came here from the Western Reserve, Ohio, more for the sake of rural enjoyment and the cultivation of æsthetic tastes than with any expectation of building a large medical practice. Although the only physician north of Traverse City, on the west side of the Bay, he has time to devote to the study and practice of horticulture. He says in studying the effects of water on climate he concluded twenty years ago that Leelanaw county, in Michigan, must possess advantages for fruit cuiture, for health, and the true enjoyment of life, far beyond what can be found in any other part of Michigan or in any Northern State, owing to its contiguity to the deep waters of Lake Michigan and of Traverse Bay. And a residence here of seven years has fully confirmed the opinion he had formed from his geographical studies. Mrs. Hutchinson (a lady of strongly marked New England intelligence, blended with the genuine glow of western hospitality), confirmed this statement as to the effect oť the climate of the Leelanaw peninsula, and stated that the doctor had never been in such fine spirits as he had since their residence in Northport, not even while living at the sea coast on Long Island. Never so free from all symptoms of malarious disease. Although so nearly surrounded by water, the air is remarkably dry and free from dampness. Polished steel ware in stores does not rust from exposure as it does very readily on Long Island, and even in the Western Reserve. Lavender and other delicate sbrubs remain in the open air all winter without injury; the ground does not freeze, and when the snow melts in the spring it causes no freshet, as it simply sinks into the unfrozen ground and disappears, melting from beneath rather than from above. Its average depth is two and a half feet. Nothing dies in the soil. Potatoes left in the ground will spring up year after year without replanting. Last winter was remarkably bright with sunshine, although usually winters are grey. The Doctor said he had been favorably surprised at the productiveness of the soil, finding it much better than he had anticipated.
INDIAN RESERVATION. A large portion of Leelanaw county is an Indian Reservation, and this has retarded settlement by white people. As the prospect is good for the Reservation to be opened to settlement by act of Congress, this difficulty will soon be overcome, and Leelanaw will become rapidly settled by thrifty, energetic farmers.
TRAVERSE CITY AND ITS BUSINESS. Traverse City is a place of much commercial importance. It is the principal business center of the Traverse region, and being located at the head of the West Bay, it is accessible from all parts. It was settled by Hannah, Lay & Co. about twenty years since. They commenced the manufacture of lumber and the sale of merchandise entirely on the cash principle, a system they have maintained ever since. They have thereby established a very large and successful business, carrying a stock in all departments of merchandise of about $120,000. Their method has done much to establish the cash system in all business transactions, and the prosperity of the whole region has been thereby greatly promoted. A farmer knows when he brings fruit, potatoes or grain to Traverse City that he can get cash for it and a fair market price. An offer to receive pay in trade is always rejected, and every farmer is at liberty to take his money where he can do the best with it. This system of fair and honorable dealing works admirably, and I mention it as one of the principal advantages enjoyed by the Traverse region farmers. There are many other good business houses, two newspaper establishments, county offices, and a U.S. Land Office, and a custom house in Traverse City.
A PUBLIC PARK. Judge Ramısdell has donated a portion of his farm located at the summit, about 350 feet elevation, to Traverse City for a public park. Several of the wealthy citizens are having it properly laid out and ornamented, and it will be a resort for the citizens and visitors for picnic and other pleasure parties. It commands a magnificent view of the surrounding country where
Away from the dusty city, fringed by stately pines,
THE SCENERY AROUND TRAVERSE CITY. The country immediately surrounding Traverse City is flat and the least interesting of any in the region, there being little besides sand and sawdust, but “the everlasting hills” within from one to two miles relieve the effect and form a most agreeable background to the view of the city when approaching it from the Bay. On these higher lands several of the most prominent citizens are locating homes where they can indulge in the pleasures of rural life while yet engaged in business enterprises in the city.
THE HANNAH ORCHARD. Hon. Perry Hannah, who kindly accompanied me with his carriage to the points of interest in the neighborhood, showed me his orchard of forty acres two miles to the south west. It is located on beantiful rolling land about 100 feet above the Bay level. It is entirely planted with apples, peaches, plums and pears in good proportion. The severe winter of 1872 reduced his 2000 peach trees, principally Early Hale, Barnard, and Crawford, to about 1500, and the vacancies have been filled with plums and pears. Peaches grown on a small scale had not failed until that year. Those not entirely destroyed have nearly recovered, and are now bearing a light crop, 1000 baskets having been gathered from them this year. The apple trees, although young, are coming into good bearing, and produced nearly a thousand bushels this season. The principal varieties of apple trees grown here are, the Greening, the Baldwin, and the Golden Russet, about 250 each of these varieties.
THE BORER IN PLUM TREES. Mr. J. A. Lawrence, Mr. Hannah's gardener, says he has found the same borer in the plum trees as in the peach.
A NEW TRAP FOR THE CODLING MOTH.
While gathering peaches, Mr. Lawrence had nests of peach baskets inverted standing in several parts of the orchard among the apple trees, and he found, on pulling these baskets apart, a large number of codling moths hiding between the nested baskets. He regards this as an excellent trap for this insect while in the moth form.
Mr. Lawrence gathered an apple on Mr. Hannah's orchard this year which on one side presented all the characteristics of the Rhode Island Greeningfrom a tree of which variety it was gathered, -on the other side, just as distinctly marked, all the characteristics of the Golden Russet, the two varieties being distinctly marked by a well defined line.
JUDGE RAMADELL'S FRUIT FARM. The most interesting place to the fruit-grower in the vicinity of Traverse City is the fruit farm of Judge Ramsdell, about one mile to the north west, and near the county line. The farm consists of about 110 acres of land on the east side of the ridge already spoken of as enclosing the bay. The ridge at this point is 350 feet above the level of the bay, but the ascent is so gradual that the whole face of the slope is cultivated with the greatest ease by horse power. The farm comprises a fair proportion of the flat land at the foot of the hill, and runs up to the highest altitude. The house is located a little way up the hill, and is ornamented with Arbor Vitæ and other evergreens surrounding a beautiful little pond which is constantly supplied with pure water from a spring above,—an excellent opportuniiy for irrigation, if the land below ever needed it. Most of the fruit is grown above the location of the house and barn, while the vegetables are grown on the flat land below.
The vineyard, one of the very best in this region, has its rows running north and south, the slope of the hill to the east, giving every row an excellent chance for the early morning sunshine. The trellis is constructed of two light rails on posts, on which are nailed common latb upright, about six inches apart. The vines are trained low, and are generally covered with snow during winter, as it lays here about three feet deep in February. Judge Ramsdell's. Delaware rinevard received the State premium last year, and deservedly. Its aspect is excellent, and the condition in which it is kept worthy of all praise. The Judge not only succeeds with Concords and Delawares, but with Ionas, Crevelings, and Roger's Hybrids Nos. 4 and 15.
The peach orchard is higher up the hill, and has shown what can be done in favorable localities in growing peaches. All the peach trees that had been planted above the 150 ft. level, escaped damage by the cold winter of 1872, while all below that elevation were damaged or destroyed. One tree of Coolidge's Favorite planted eleven years, bore $18 worth of peaches, while many other trees yielded from $5 to $7 worth of peaches each.
Judge Ramsdell claims that peaches on his high lands ripen ten days earlier than on the peninsula. It is very likely that the heat will be more intense on an eastern and southern slope, where the hill rises 150 feet higher on the west and north than on the peninsula, where the air is cooled by deep water on all sides. The Jndge is planting 400 Early Barnard peaches near the summit of his hill. Hale's Early he says always bears if the wood is not killed, as the buds are as hardy as the wood.
Judge Ramsdell says the borer attacks both his cherries and plams, so that it is necessary to examine these as well as peach trees for this destructive worm.
Judge Ramsdell's Baldwing, planted nine years ago, are now yielding one barrel of apples to the tree. His Greenings bear every year a light and heavy crop alternately.
Judge Ramsdell’s plum orchard looks thrifty. It consists of the following varieties: Washington, Jefferson, Lombard, Bleecker's Gage, Imperial Gage, a few Orleans and German Prunes,—750 plum trees in all. The plum trees are much hardier than the peach trees. The Judge finds that where the peach tree is destroyed by the cold the plain tree will live and flourish. This may be owing to a slower habit of growth and more perfect ripening of the wood.
Judge Ramsdell has also an excellent pear orchard, consisting of the Seckel, Vicar of Winkfield, Duchesse d'Angouleme, and Louise Bonne, also several mulberry trees, which bear from the 4th of July until the 4th of September. They were only four years old when they commenced bearing. Three of the trees overbore and broke down. Some of his pear trees bear two bushels to the tree.
The finest of vegetables are produced on this farm. The Yellow Danvers Onions yield at rate of 500 bushels and potatoes 200 to 300 bnshels to the acre.
REMEDY FOR MILDEW. Judge Ramsdell finding his Rogers' Hybrids showing signs of mildew, applied the flour of sulphur with a sulphur bellows, and the mildew disappeared after the first application.
I have seldom seen a farm possess such a combination of natural advantages in soil, elevation, proximity to water, and natural drainage, both atmospheric and hydrostatic, as this of Judge Ramsdell, and yet he assures us there are in this region, thousands of acres untouched by the axe of the woodman, that possess similar advantages, and land that can be had at moderate prices.
THE HIGH LANDS AROUND THE BAY. Similar elevations to those spoken of as in Leelanaw county extend all around the Grand Traverse Bay from Northport on the west to Antrim on