Page images
PDF
EPUB

mileage will not exceed five hundred. While these canals will carry off most of the water and will protect the surrounding country from overflows it is not expected that they will entirely drain the land. They will be numerous enough, however, to enable landowners, without

too great expense, to cut A Moment's Rest.

lateral ditches into them,

thus completely reclaimKissimee Valley and it was reopened to ing the land and making it suitable for prevent damage in this direction.

cultivation and habitation. Since 1881, surveys have been made by The Trustees expect to operate, in corporation, state and national engineers completing these canals, six dredge from Lake Okechobee along the Kissim- boats with a dipper capacity of four and mee River, from Lake Okechobee to the one-half cubic yards, and capable of movGulf, and from Lake Okechobee to the ing six and one-half cubic yards of earth Atlantic. All of the makers of these sur

per minute.

The crane or arm of the veys agree in the particular that Okecho- dredges will have a reach of sixty feet bee, the reservoir of the region, is twenty- on each side, thus cutting a canal of one one feet above the sea-level and seem con- hundred and twenty feet. The machinfident this this amount of fall in the short ery used in excavating is manufactured distance from Okechobee to the ocean will in Chicago and is of the finest and most make drainage an engineering feat of serviceable workmanship. It is shipped only ordinary difficulty. It can be seen from Chicago to the East coast and there from the map that the lake is, in no direc- put together for use. Each dredge will tion in which it is proposed to drain, cut about one mile of canal of the requimore than sixty miles from the coast. site width and depth per month, working

Basing his plans upon these surveys, in ordinary soil. Working in limestone Napoleon B. Broward, the present Gov- formation, the distance cut will be from ernor, as Chairman of the Board of Trus- one-third to one-fifth as great. Basing tees of the Internal Improvement Fund, the estimate upon five hundred miles of is prosecuting work, in the name of the State, on the Atlantic side. He proposes to cut at least six canals, one hundred and twenty

[graphic]
[graphic]

feet wide and ten feet deep, from Lake Okechobee to the ocean. The canals will cover the section between Jensen and Fort Lauderdale on the East Coast, as shown in the map, embracing, in round numbers, a region of eight million acres. The canals will

vary

in length from twentythree miles to sixty miles, and the total canal

A SWEEP OF OPEN LAND, FIVE MILES West of Miami, FLORIDA,

COPYRIGHT, 1908, KEYSTONE VIEW co.

canals this will mean six or seven years amendment, embracing the same subject to complete the work. This is not making matter. Soon after the act of the Legisany allowance for delays and when the lature became a law, the Board of Drainlast mile is finished ten or twelve years age Commissioners met and levied a tax will probably have elapsed.

of five cents per acre upon all lands in One of the dredges, the Everglades, the drainage district. Money so raised, has already been constructed and is now with the money on hand in the treasury

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

at work. Basing his estimate upon the of the Internal Improvement Fund, was work already done, Governor Broward to be used to begin operations on the estimates the cost of the State's share in canals. This tax led to a bitter fight bethe work as follows: Cost of six dredges, tween the corporations owning land in $300,000; cost of operation until comple- the drainage district and the Board of tion of the canals, $1,200 per month for Drainage Commissioners, and the tax each dredge, or $635,000 for the five hun- collectors of the various counties interdred miles of canal; repairs, etc., $100,- ested have been enjoined by the United 000; making a total of $1,035,000 for States Courts, on the plea of the land synthe reclamation of about eight million dicates, against the collection of the tax, acres, or between twelve and fifteen cents on the ground that the Legislature exper acre.

ceeded its authority in giving to any To raise this money the Legislature of Board the power to levy taxes. Until the 1905 created the Trustees of the Inter- passage of the constitutional amendnal Improvement Fund and Board of ment, the work is being carried on by the Drainage Commissioners, with power to funds already in the hands of the Trusorganize a drainage district and assess tees of the Internal Improvement Fund. a drainage tax not to exceed ten cents As to the value of the lands once they per acre. Fearing that the constitution- are drained there is scarcely any doubt. ality of this act would be questioned, the Governor Broward, Governor Bloxham, Legislature provided for a constitutional Disston and others have had tests and ing is a fair example of the analysis which has been proved to be true, the specimen of soil having been taken from the land of the Okechobee Land Company: Moisture

15.95 Organic Matter.. 50.61 Silica and indis

soluble silicates. 28.56 Oxide of Iron.... 1.34 Lime

1.82 Magnesia

.09 Potash

.06 Soda

.19

Phosphoric Acid.. .20
INDIAN DWELLING IN THE EVERGLADES.

Sulphuric Acid... .74
Chlorine

.21 analyses made of specimens sent from va- Oxide of Magnesia, etc...

.23 rious parts of the region and, to say the least, the reports have been remarkable.

100.00 Analyses made by Prof. A. P. Aiken, of This analysis, by comparison with anthe Royal Agricultural Society of Scot- alyses of soils of lands recognized for land, Prof. H. W. Wiley, Chief Chemist their fertility and adaptability for truck of the United States Agricultural Depart- farming and sugar cane culture, shows ment, Prof. D. Tacke, Director of the that'the lands in the Everglades are richPeat Experiment Station, Bremen, and er than almost any other portion of the Prof. W. J. Williams, of the Keystone globe which is now in cultivation and Chemical Company of Philadelphia, show has been tested for these purposes. The a great similarity in the composition of adaptability of the land as indicated by the soil, from whatever portion of the re- these examinations for sugar cane culgion the specimens are taken. The follow- ture is so noticeable as to have been com

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

mented upon by almost every chemist come recognized in the last few years as who has been asked for an analysis. the best orange and truck producing Claus Spreckels, who operates great su- lands in the United States. Single acres gar plantations in the Hawaiian Islands, which elsewhere produce a few bushels in writing to Mr. Disston after having of wheat or corn, a bale or two of cotton, made a personal inspection of his lands or support a cow or two, in this region says in part:

are producing oranges and truck farm "The soil is rich and fertile and with products aggregating in value from $500

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

proper cultivation the yield should be to $1500 per acre. Land now worthless equal to that of any other country on the will sell for $100 an acre when drained. face of the globe.'

The importance of this immense unD. G. Purse of the United States De- dertaking can with difficulty be comprepartment of Agriculture in writing to hended. It is estimated in figures which Governor Broward concerning specimens can scarcely be understood by the ordiof cane found in this section states that nary mind. The reclamation of this land "its analysis shows the cane in question means the addition to Florida of nearly to be the richest in the world in sugar as much cultivated land as she now has. contents, affording a basis for exploita- It means the throwing open to cultition exceeding and surpassing anything vation of an area twice as large as the in the United States, Cuba or the Ha- State of Connecticut. It means that Florwaiian Islands."

ida will become the sugar producing Analysis of these specimens of cane state of the Union, and that for her sushow them to contain between eighteen gar products the $150,000,000 will be and twenty per cent of sucrose, the ele- paid, which is now annually sent abroad ment in the cane convertible into sugar. for imported sugar, an amount expended

These lands are not only adaptable to for an import which exceeds by sevsugar cane culture, but are also the best eral million dollars the value of our united of their kind for truck farming and citrus exports of corn, wheat, flour, beef, and fruit culture. The lands of Manatee, naval stores. It means that Florida will Hillsborough, Lee, De Soto, Polk, Dade, in a few years become one of the richest St. Lucie, and Volusia counties have be- and most important states in the Union.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
« PreviousContinue »