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extent of the means provided, the surveyors having entered the field selected for the service, which is situated on the John Day, Willow, Grand Ronde, and other rivers, tributaries of the Columbia.
The surveyor general invites attention to the necessity for the survey of lands along the Oregon Central military road, particularly to Surprise valley, where he reports several settlements. In view of the military road from Eugene City to the eastern boundary of the State, an energetic prosecution of the survey of public lands is requisite to enable the company to realize the benefit of selections of lands, from time to time, as the requisite number of miles of road are completed, under the 4th section of the grant of July 2, 1864, and amendatory act of Congress, approved December 26, 1866. In view, also, of the limitation of the former act, which will expire July 2, 1869, for the completion of the road, and the fact brought to the attention of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, emanating from the president of the road company, that by the close of the present season the work will be completed for a distance of one hundred miles, the extension of the surveys along the Central military road is recommended, the interests of the public, as well as the company, requiring an early construction thereof. Estimates, therefore, for surveys adjacent to the route and other localities, are submitted to the extent of $25,000, the greater part of which is designed for furthering early completion of the military road, the necessity of which is important to advancing settlements in the southern portion of the State of Oregon.
WASHINGTON TERRITORY, immediately north of the State of Oregon, is 345 miles from east to west, and 230 from north to south, containing about 69,994 square miles, or 44,796,160 acres ; about three and a half millions of which are surveyed. The Cascades divide it, like Oregon, into eastern and western sections, differing from each other in climate, soil, and natural and cultivated products. Although occupying higher latitude than Oregon, the climate of the western section is very similar to ibat State. It is said to resemble also the climate of England, in the amount of rain-fall, as well as in the range of the thermometer throughout the year.
The products of Washington Territory, west of the Cascades, are like those of the Willamette valley. All the cereals, Indian corn excepted, succeed admirably, the wheat .crops being equal to those of the very best wheat-grow. ing countries.
In fruits the apple, pear, cherry, plum, strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry, blackberry, and currant, yield abundant crops of excellent quality. The grape succeeds with little trouble, although we have no information yet as to vineyard culture. The land in the valley is generally of an excellent quality, and west of the Cascade of extraordinary fertility. Much not tillable is first rate for grazing, and all kinds of stock thrive in either section of the Territory. In the western part but little dry fodder is prepared, as the pasturage usually continues through the winter, yet the prudent farmer always provides enough in the fall to feed his stock from a month to six weeks, if circumstances should require it. The western section has an average width between the ocean and the Cascade of 100 miles, and contains about 11,000.000 acres; being equal to the aggregate area of the States of New Hampshire aud Massachusetts, or to the three States of Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut. The Territory lies several degrees south of the latitude of England, being embraced between the parallels of 45° and 49°, corresponding with the geographical position of the greater part of France or of the Austrian empire. Some of the principal valleys areChehalis, on a river of the same name emptying into Gray's harbor. Most of the land there has been surveyed. The valley contains about 400,000 acres, part prairie and part timber; about 250,000 acres of which are yet unoccupied. The population of the valley consists of about 200. settlers and their families.
The Chehalis river is navigable for sixty miles from its mouth by small steamers. Willopa valley, on Willopa river, emptying into Shoalwater bay, contains about sixty settlers. The land produces from fifty to sixty bushels of wheat per acre. Grass grows from three to four feet high, and large crops of potatoes and garden vegetables are raised. The soil is generally covered with heavy timber, but some prairie still remains unoccupied.
Cowlitz valley, on Cowlitz river, contains half a million acres of very fertile land, a large portion of which has been surveyed. The land is mixed prairie and woodland. All grains thrive well except Indian corn. About 250 settlers are located there, many of them among the oldest in the Territory, and among its most prosperous farmers.
The valleys of the Nesqually, Puyallup, Dwamish, White, Green, Cedar, Snoqualmoo, Stalukahamish, Skagit and Nooksahk rivers, emptying into Admiralty inlet and Puget sound, are broad and fertile, consisting of prairie and land covered with immense forests. All kinds of fruit that will thrive in the State of New York or Pennsylvania, except the peach, succeed in these valleys, and fortunes have already been made in this distant Territory from the cultivation of the apple, the pear, and the plum, for which the Pacific coast for more than a thousand miles offers an unfailing market.
East of the Cascade the country is geverally unoccupied, the settlements being confined to several excellent valleys, as the Walla-Walla, Colville, Yakama, Columbia, and Palouse valleys. Walla-Walla valley contains over a million acres of arable land, producing in abundance grains, fruits, and vegetables, with a population of over two thousand, enjoying a high degree of prosperity as a community and making rapid progress in agriculture and manufactures. The same remarks apply to Colville valley, although the population is not so great nor the elements of prosperity developed to the same extent; yet the valley has been settled for thirty years, and the population is increasing The Yakama, Columbia, and Palouse valleys possess much excellent land, adapted to the cultivation of products similar to those raised west of the Cascade. In all these valleys except the Palouse considerable tracts have been surveyed. The extent of grazing tract in these valleys and in the hill country surrounding each is im
Throughout the eastern section grazing land enough exists to feed countless flocks of sheep and cattle, and the climate, being dryer and more elevated than on the west side of the mountains, is even better adapted to sheep and wool raising than the western section.
Timber, although scarcer on the east side of the mountains than on the west, is nevertheless sufficient for all the purposes of domestic use, and in some portions sufficiently abundant for exportation in large quantities; and while the climate is colder than on the coast, it is not as rigorous as in many parts of Austria and Prussia, and in southern Russia, where populous communities have existed for ages, and at the present day occupy an advanced position in all the elements of civilization and refinement.
The fishing interest is destined to hold a prominence in its future commerce. Salmon of the finest kind, cod, halibut, and other fish are taken in its waters, and exist in quantities sufficient to meet the demands of the most extensive trade.
In respect to its interior water system and its immense forests of fine timber this Territory stands unrivalled. It possesses more excellent harbors than any other State or country of equal extent on the face of the globe.
The straits of Juan de Fuca and the gulf of Georgia, lying south and east of Vancouver island, extend into the Territory and ramify into numerous straits, bays, inlets, sounds, and estuaries, free from rocks, of depth sufficient for the largest vessels, and numerous bends are common, where the most perfect protection may be found against winds or waves. Puget found has an average width of two miles, a depth never less than eight fathoms, and runs inland in a southern direction one hundred miles from the straits of Fuca. Hood's canal,
twelve miles further west, with an average width of one mile and an equal depth with Puget sound, runs sixty miles in a southwest direction. Between these various sounds and inlets, extending from the 47th to the 49th degree of latitude, there are islands and bays furnishing numerous harbors. Besides these there are Gray's harbor and Shoalwater bay, and the capacious bay of the Columbia river, south of the straits of Fuca. Numerous rivers empty their waters into these bays and sounds, some of which are navigable for short distances, and all will serve the purpose of floating into the sound the lumber manufactured upon their banks. The whole Territory is favored with navigable waters. The Columbia courses through more than seven hundred miles, for the greater part of which it is navigable. Snake river, during one-half of the year, is navigable to Lewiston, and the waters of the sound furnish navigation of many hundreds of miles at all seasons. Facilities for commerce so extensive are seldom found. Nor are these opportunities neglected by its enterprising citizens. Already a number of mammoth saw-mills are located on its shores, and Puget sound has become the great lumber market of the Pacific coast. The extensive forests of pines, firs, and cedars covering the Coast and Sierra mountains in California, and the Coast and Cascade in Oregon, extend into Washington, covering a large portion of it west of the Cascade, the forest increasing in density and in amount of lumber growing upon an acre of ground in its northern progress. Fir trees two hundred and two hundred and fifty feet high, and six and seven feet in diameter, are seldom out of view in these forests ; eight and ten feet in diameter and three hundred feet high are not at all uncommun. Trees of fourteen and fifteen feet in diameter are not difficult to find, and a fallen tree near Olympia measures three hundred and twenty-five feet in length, and another, at a distance of ninety feet from the root, measures seven feet in diameter. Masts for ships may readily be obtained, straight as an arrow, without knot for more than one hundred feet. Some of the mills on Puget sound have capacity to turn out daily 100,000 feet of lumber, and the present export of the sound in prepared lumber, masts, and spars amounts to over one and a half million of dollars annually. San Francisco is the largest customer, but exports are made to the Sandwich Islands, China, Japan, the Mexican and South American ports on the Pacific, and even to the South American ports on the Atlantic; and spars and masts are sent to France. This trade is annually increasing, and Puget sound is destined at no distant future to surpass in the extent of its lumber trade the greatest lumber market east of the Rocky mountains. Chicago now sells annually nearly 1,000,000,000 feet, over 200,000,000 shingles, and 100,000,000 pieces of lath ; but the market of Chicago is geographically limited to the valley of the Mississippi, while Puget sound may readily find sale for building materials on both shores of the Pacific, and eastward to the Rocky mountains and the great plains stretching towards the Missouri, and for masts and spars without limit.
The subject of forest tree culture has of late years attracted much attention in Europe on account of the increasing scarcity of all the more valuable kinds of timber, especially ship timber; and the subject is of no less importance in our own country, where regions exist comparatively destitute of trees, and where the supply of the more valuable kinds of timber is limited and becoming so scarce that it even now commands large prices in places west of the Rocky mountains. It is time that our best timber lands should be prized, not only in regard to present, but future value.
The quantity of public lands to be disposed of in this Territory is equal to about forty-one million six hundred thousand acres.
Since last report the public surveys in that distant portion of the Union have been gradually extended, eleven contracts having been made for the survey of standard, township, and subdivision lines, mainly east of the Cascade mountains, at an estimated cost of twenty-three thousand dollars, of which deputy
surveyors have made survey returns, embracing whole and fractional townships, comprising three hundred and fifty thousand and twenty-six acres.
The trade of the country, by way of Columbia river, is carried up by steamers regularly plying to White Bluffs, seventy miles above Wallula, the former head of navigation, situated at the mouth of Walla-Walla river, twelve miles south of the confluence of Snake with Columbia river-the Snake river affording, for four or five months in the year, additional navigation from Lewiston, in Idaho, down to the Columbia, for one hundred miles. One-third of the entire area of the Territory, or about eighteen millions of acres, are adapted to agricultural and grazing purposes. A similar extent is covered by timber, of which ten millions of acres are valuable for lumber, and if surveyed, it is reported, would find ready sale. The surveyor general recommends the extension of surveys over that region, representing that, if these timbered lands are brought into market, considerable revenue would accrue to the government, relieving it from the loss by spoliation which, it is represented, is practiced by lumbermen to the extent of nearly one hundred million lineal feet per annum, seventy millions of which are shipped to San Francisco, and twenty-six millions to foreign ports, while a portion is destroyed by fire.
The surveying department submits estimates for surveys in the Colville valley, in the northeast part of the Territory, between Columbia river and Clarke's fork, and in the vicinity of St. Ignatius Catholic mission; Priest's rapids, on the Columbia river, in the latitude of Mount Rainier ; Upper Yakama river, and on Puget's sound.
In these localities are settlements, and particularly at Colville, where surveys have been desired for years past. It is therefore deemed of importance to accommodate the settlers, by the extension to those localities of the guide meridians, standard parallels, and subdivisional surveys, and for this purpose an estimate of fifteen thousand dollars is submitted for surveys during the next fiscal year.
IDAHO.-Pursuant to the act of Congress creating "the office of surveyor general in Idaho Territory," approved June 9, 1866, the surveyor general was appointed, and on the 7th of November, 1866, opened his office at Boise City.
The initial point of surveys for the Territory was fixed upon the summit of a rocky butte standing isolated in the plain situated between the Snake and Boise rivers, on the parallel of 43° 36' of north latitude, and distant nineteen miles from Boise City, in the direction of south 291° west.
The selection of that spot for the intersection of the principal base with the Boise meridian is reported by the surveyor general as judicious, a fact since established in extending the base meridian and standard parallels to the cardinal points.
Under the appropriation of ten thousand dollars made by act of July 2, 1864, three contracts have been made for the establishment of standard lines from the initial point, the returns to this office showing that there have been surveyed, to the 30th June, 1867, two hundred and eighty-eight lineal miles of the meridian, one hundred and thirty-eight of base, and one hundred and five of standard parallels. The termini of the Boise thus far surveyed are two hundred and sixteen miles north of the initial, reaching the point of intersection thereof with Clearwater river, and south of the point seventy-two miles, to a point within twelve miles of the northern boundary of the State of Nevada.
Engagements have been made for the survey of township and section lines, payable out of the appropriation of fifteen thousand dollars made March 2, 1867, for the surveys during the present fiscal year.
While extending standards in Idaho across Payette, Weiser, Boise, Clearwater, and Salmon valleys, the character of the soil was ascertained to be highly productive. In that region, too, the most urgent demand exists for the surveys
of agricultural lands, as well as for the township lines in Owyhee, Was OF MICHIT
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR 0991 Boise, and Nez Percés counties, so as to embrace the most prominent quartz ledges or placer mines. With this in view, the surveyor general submits an estimate of appropriation of thirty-five thousand seven hundred and sixty dollars to meet the contemplated surveys during the fiscal year which will end June 30, 1869.
The soil in the valleys sheltered by mountains, much of which is decomposed granite, is capable of producing cereals and vegetables, extensive crops being raised where irrigation is practiced.
The extensive table lands produce wild grasses and wild rye, the mountains affording the only pine and fir timber, while rich quartz lodes of gold are found and extensively worked in some mining districts, where several thousand gold and silver claims have been taken and recorded under local miners' rules.
In the Territory it is reported there are twenty thousand inhabitants, exclusive of a floating population. Farmers are erecting substantial dwellings and making other improvements, paying special attention to the cultivation of fruit trees, such as apple, plum, pear, cherry, and even peach.
Under a recent appropriation by Congress a contract was awarded by the department for the survey of that part of the western boundary of Idaho which lies south of the confluence of the Owyhee with Snake river, extending due south to the northern boundary of Nevada
The Territory of Idaho, from north to south, is 410 miles; its width on the southern boundary 3$5; while on the northern it is about 50. It contains 90,932 square miles, or 58,196,480 acres, nearly all of which is subject to disposal as public lands.
MONTANA TERRITORY.-By the first section of the act approved March 2, 1867, the office of surveyor general in the Territory of Montana was created, the statute conferring upon that officer like powers to those prescribed by law for the surveyor general of Oregon; the boundaries of the Territory having been fixed by the first section of the act approved May 26, 1864, to“ provide a temporary government for the Territory of Montana.” (United States Statutes at Large, volume 13, page 86.)
The surveyor general was duly appointed, and having entered into bond on the 29th of April last, the necessary instructions, bearing date 9th of May, 1867, were despatched to him, with a sketch of the limits of his surveying district, to which the public surveys have not yet been extended. The instructions require the field operations to be carried on in such portions of the Territory as are most occupied and settled, and those likely to attract agricultural immigration or which may be required for mining purposes.
It was made the first duty of the surveyor general to determine the initial point of survey, or the point for the intersection of a principal base with the principal meridian line, to govern all the public surveys in Montana, and to that end "Beaver Head Rock,"* a remarkable landmark overhanging a river of that name, was designated by this office, upless a more prominent and suitable point exists, that prominent natural object being situated in the centre of the largest valley in the great Horseshoe Basin of the Rocky mountains, drained by the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin forks of the Missouri river
The stage road from Bannock City to Virginia City passes by the spot, which is represented to be about midway between those two places, the rock being reported visible for fisty miles up and down the stream, and hence eminently suitable for the initial point of the public surveys in Montana.
Since the foregoing was prepared a return dated November 2, 1867, has been received from the surveyor general, showing that it had been found preferable to establish the initial point on the summit of a limestone hill, eight hundred feet
* Said to be 150 feet high.