« PrejšnjaNaprej »
mountain gorges. The shores of this lake present an irregular outline, while the surface is interspersed with rocky islands, of which Antelope, Frémont, and Carrington are the largest. Lake Utah, lies south of Great Salt Lake, with which it is connected by the River Jordan-in length 45 miles. Lake Utah is a beautiful sheet of pure fresh water 30 miles long and 10 in width, abounding in fine fish. It is surrounded on three sides by rugged mountains and lofty hills, with a broad grassy valley sloping to the water's edge, opening to the northward, through which flows the Jordan. Utah Lake receives the waters of Spanish Fork, Provo, or Timpanogas, and Current Creek. Sevier Lake, situated 100 miles southwest of Utah Lake, is the next in size, receiving the waters of Serier River and its tributaries. The latter stream is nearly 200 miles in length, and receives the San Pete River, over 50 miles long, flowing through one of the richest agricultural valleys in Utah. Preuss Lake, nearly as large as Sevier, on the line between Utah and Nevada, receives the waters of Beaver and other creeks. Little Salt Lake, 60 miles south of Sevier Lake, collects the waters from the Wahsatch and Iron Ranges, and is formed mostly by the melting of mountain snows and ice. Fish Lake, 15 miles long by 10 wide, between the Walsatch and Iron Ranges, is a beautiful sheet of fresh water, having an outlet through a branch of Sevier River. All the lakes in Utah, in common with Nevada, which have no visible outlet are more or less impregnated with alkaline substances. The Great Basin consists of a series of valleys formed by ridges and mountain ranges, each valley being disconnected and having its own level and water system.
It is not unfrequent to find in the early morning a beautiful brook of clear, cold water whose line can be traced for miles into the plain by the scanty fringe of willows along its banks, but whose bed will be found dry in the evening from evaporation. The ground is covered in many places with eftlorescence of alkaline salts, formerly in solution in the waters which collect during the wet season. Wherever salt is required in chloridizing the sulphureted silver ores for amalgamation, it is shaved from the ground in the salt marshes and packed in sacks for transportation. The general elevation of the valleys of the Great Basin is from 4,000 to 6,000 feet above the level of the sea, while the mountain ranges rise from 4,000 to 7,000 feet higher. The region east of the Wahsatch Range is more copiously watered, rugged, and mountainous than that west of the range. The highest mountain peaks of Utah attain an altitude of from 6,000 to 13,000 feet above the level of the sea, the more prominent peaks rising above the snow line. Nearly all the region east of the Wahsatch Range is drained by the Colorado of the West, which river is formed by the junction of Green and Grand Rivers, near 380 15' north latitude. The region drained by Green and Grand Rivers, with their numerous affluents, includes Western Colorado, Southwestern Wyoming, and Eastern Utah, embracing a region of over 100,000 square miles. The principal affluents of Green River in Utah are the Uintah, Duchesne, White, and San Rafael, all streams of considerable volume, having their source in and flowing through the mountain region. In this portion of the Territory the rain falls principally at the source of the streams, and as they nearly all flow through deep and precipitous cañons, the water is not so available for the purposes of irrigation. In some instances, as soon as the lower valleys or plains are reached, the water expands into broad, shallow streams, running frequently in beds but little depressed below the general surface of the country, and frequently dividing their waters into numerous rivulets coursing over the surface of broad, fertile meadows, irrigating the soil
and producing luxuriant vegetation. At the junction of the Green and Grand Rivers the Colorado of the West passes through a cañon whose vertical sides rise 1,200 feet above the bed of the river. It flows southwest, receiving the Rio San Juan and crossing the southern boundary near the one hundred and eleventh meridian west from Greenwich, passing through a series of cañons whose vertical walls rise from 500 to 1,500 feet above the river bed, while the exterior banks of the cañon attain an altitude of from 2,500 to 4,000 feet. The river passes through these remarkable cañons, over 400 miles by its meanderings, into Arizona and Nevada, to Colville, and abounds in rapids and cataracts, with magnificent natural scenery. The walls of these cañons are composed principally of limestone and sandstone. At the foot of Cataract Cañon a beautiful variety of marble exists, 1,300 feet thick. In the valley of Green River there is an area of over 7,000 square miles, nearly as large as the State of Massachusetts, of high fertile land, clothed with luxuriant indigenous grasses. It is nearly all unoccupied, although possessing some superior advantages for sheep and wool growing. A considerable portion of Utah is clothed with fine grasses, and particularly adapted to this branch of industry. There are now extensive herds of fine bred sheep feeding upon the indigenous pastures. Buffalo or gama grass is the prevailing species on both sides of the Wahsatch Range in Utah. Sand grass prevails to some extent in the valleys, and bears a small black seed, and when ripe has the appearance of buckwheat. It grows in bunches as if planted in hills, clings to its seed when ripe with the greatest tenacity, and is very nutritious. It is a favorite custom of the herdsmen of Utah to drive their stock high up on the mountain slopes during the summer season, where the herbage possesses greater freshness, and reserve the valleys for the winter season, where the temperature is milder. In the northern sections of the Territory numerous herds are pastured in the mountain ranges east of the Wahsatch, but upon the approach of winter the herds are driven over the range into the Salt Lake Valley, where but little snow falls, the temperature is milder, and pasturage more abundant. Stock-raising is here rendered profitable, by the fact that cattle and sheep in winter require but little shelter other than that afforded by the valleys, and no food except the wild sage and indigenous grasses. In the valleys the climate is generally mild and healthy, with light snow-fall, while high on the mountain slopes the winters are severe and the snow-fall more abundant, the melting of which during the following spring and summer furnishes an unfailing supply of water for the streams and lakes. Rain is abundant in the vallers and in the Great Basin from October to April, the weather during the rest of the year being dry and hot. In summer the mercury often ranges high during the day, but the nights are invariably cool and refreshing. Spring opens in May, and cold weather in the valleys rarely sets in until November, but occurs earlier in the more elevated sections.
The surveyor general estimates the area under cultivation in Utah at 140,000 acres, of which 100,000 acres are planted in cereals, with an average product of 23 bushels wheat, 38 bushels of barley, 31 bushels oats, 20 bushels corn, 135 bushels potatoes, 265 bushels beats, and 331 bushels carrots. The average product and aggregate under cultivation is placed somewhat higher by other well-informed parties. At the last territoral agricultural exhibition, in October 1869, a special premium was awarded for African bearded wheat grown at Kaysville, in Davis County, along Great Salt Lake, on beach land, without the appliance of artificial irrigation. The yield was 30 bushels per acre, and the wheat produced 474 pounds of superfine flour to the bushel of grain.
The extent of meadow land is placed at 30,000 acres, and the average yield at 13 tons of hay per acre. Sorghum yields 79 gallons per acre, and the cotton produced in the valley of the Rio Virgin is estimated at 150 pounds per acre. For several seasons the agricultural interests of Utah have suffered from the frequent ravages of the grasshoppers.
The great expense attending irrigation is compensated in most instances by a very large yield over that of those sections where the artificial application of water is not essential to the highest development of vegetation. Fifty and 60 bushels of wheat have been gathered from a single acre; one instance having been reported in which the yield reached 100 bushels. Barley, rye, oats, buckwheat, flax, and all the various kinds of root crops have been produced, with the most gratifying results. In regard to the culture of corn, the nights are generally too cool for large crops, except in Salt Lake Valley and in the valley of the Rio Virgin, in the southwest. The culture of the various kinds of fruits of the north temperate zone, and some others, in Utah have been attended with the most satisfactory results. There are about 1,000 acres in apple orchards, 1,200 acres in peach orchards, besides other kinds of fruit.
Among the fruits on exhibition at the last annual agricultural fair were figs, pomegranates, and other tropical fruits grown in the valley of the Rio Virgin, and apples, pears, peaches, plums, and grapes from other sections of Utah, all of fine size and excellent flavor. Large quantities of fruits, vegetables, and berries are annually dried or canned for shipment to the mining regions of Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana. The culture of the tea plant has been attempted on a small scale, but no report has been received of results. Numerous ex: periments have been made in the culture of silk, and the cotutry and climate are believed to be well adapted to this interest.
In the absence of the mulberry, in some instances the worms have been subsisted for two successive years on Osage orange leaves, the cocoons reeling an excellent quality of silk. In the valley of the Rio Virgin, around St. George, Santa Clara, and Toqueville, the attention of the population is chiefly directed to the culture of the grape for wine.
The area of Utah susceptible of irrigation by means of canals and ditches approximates 400,000 acres, while, by means of artesian wells and other agencies, it is believed that many thousand acres more may be made to produce abundant crops. In 1867 there were 93,799 acres of irri. gated land. It is estimated that the expense already incurred in the construction of irrigating canals and ditches approximates $1,250,000, while those now in progress of construction will require an additional sum of at least $250,000. The first lodgment in the Territory as a permanent settlement was made in 1847 by 143 Mormons, since which time, through systematic perseverance and energy, they have founded the prosperous city of Salt Lake and many other towns and villages, opened beautiful and productive farms, and laid the foundation of extensive agricultural and manufacturing interests. All the principal settlements exist along the western foot-hills of the Wahsatch Range and in the valley of the Rio Virgin.
The indigenous timber of Utah consists of quaking ash, cedar, spruce, pine, fir, and similar evergreens on the mountain slopes and foothills, while extensive copses of willow, box-elder, cottonwood, and dwarf ash grow occasionally along the river bottoms. The aggregate area of the timber lands is estimated at 4,000 square miles in Utah, but there is a deficiency in the native varieties of hard wood; but since the settlement of the Territory attention has been directed to its culture in the valleys and on the mountain slopes. The young planted forests are growing finely, showing this class of timber may be successfully cultivated.
The capital invested in manufactures is $1,630,000, mainly employed in flouring, woolen, cotton, saw, and paper mills and iron furnaces. There are also establishments for the manufacture of leather, agricultural and mechanical implements, boots and shoes, furniture, pottery, jewelry, straw goods, and salts. The manufacture of woolen fábrics is already an important interest, and two more extensive establishments are in process of construction. The woolen goods include doeskins, tweeds, linsey, flannel, and blankets, which are claimed to be equal to those imported. The mountain streams afford ample water-power for manufacturing purposes. The coal in the valleys and timber in the mountains will leave no scarcity of fuel in Utah either for domestic or manufacturing purposes for a long period to come.
The mineral deposits include precious and useful metals, among which are gold, silver, copper, iron, coal, salt, lead, zinc, alum, borax, saleratus and sulphur. Vast deposits of iron ore, of superior quality, occur in various places. In some instances founderies and manufactories have been established near these mines for the production of agricultural and mechanical implements. The most extensive deposits of iron ore occur in the southwestern part, in Iron Mountain, in the vicinity of Little Salt Lake. An establishment has been erected here for the reduction of the ore, and it has been demonstrated that a fine quality of gray cast iron can be produced. Arrangements are being made to manufacture this iron on an extensive scale. The deposits northeast of Evanston, near the Union Pacific railroad, are at the present time the most favorably located. The ore is red oxide, assaying from 20 to 60 per cent. of iron, and, although somewhat refractory on the surface, it is believed that a superior quality will be obtained at a small depth. This ore is reduced by coal from Rawling Spring in Wyoming, which is free from sulphur and found to be admirably adapted for the purpose, and can be delivered by rail within short distance of the mines.
The extension of the public surveys west of Little Salt Lake in Iron County, during the present season, revealed the existence of a ridge of magnetic iron ore, nearly pure. Coal of good quality exists at the foot of the Walsatch, in San Pete County, 21 miles southeast of the town of Nephi, and at Coalville, and Echo Cañon, in Summit County: It also occurs in Beaver and Iron Counties convenient to the iron mines, where doubtless it will be found available in the reduction of the rich deposits of iron ore in these localities. This coal is all bituminous in quality, and burns with a bright yellow flame, emitting intense heat. It is extensively mined, being used in manufacturing establishments and for domestic purposes in the principal cities and towns. The city of Salt Lake is mainly supplied with coal from the coal fields of Weber Cañon, at an average price of 811 per ton, wood at the same time being 88 per cord. Extensive beds of sulphur occur at Millard City. A superior article of salt is manufactured from the waters of Great Salt Lake, in the vicinity of the city of Salt Lake. The localities are numerous where salt can be manufactured. Rock salt is abundant in Salt Creek Cañon and in various sections of the Wahsatch range. Building stone of almost every variety is here found, and is extensively used in the construction of buildings of all kinds. Utah contains extensive de. posits of the precious metals, the southwestern part being especially rich in argentiferous ores. The mining districts most extensively de
veloped are in Little Cottonwood Cañon, on the western slope of the Wahsatch Range, twenty miles south of Salt Lake City. Several mines have been profitably worked here, the ores being mainly argentiferous galena, associated with carbonate and sulphuret of copper and autimony. During the year ending June 30, 1870, 600 tons of this ore were shipped to San Francisco for reduction, and sold at an average of $150 per ton, adding $50,000 to the wealth of the Territory. The product of those mines is constantly increasing and the yield of the present year is estimated at 7,000 tons. Four well-developed mines on the western border of Pinto County, convenient to fuel and water, have produced ore assaying per ton as follows: Curry mine, $880 ; Miners Relief, $160; Bully Boy, $132; and Yankee Blade, 8110. New discoveries of argentiferous galena are constantly being made in Rush Valley, between the Guyot and Oquirrh Ranges, the veins averaging three feet in width, one shaft having been sunk 160 feet. Reduction works have been erected near these mines capable of reducing 15 tons per week. These works, during a recent run of 36 hours, produced 5,000 pounds of bullion, valued at $300 per ton. Mines have also been recently discovered in Tintic Valley, west of Utah Lake and 60 miles from Salt Lake City. The surface ore of one of these yielded in silver from $40 to $100 per ton. Numerous and extensive ledges of silver-bearing rock are found in Bingham Cañon, in the Oquirrh Range, southwest of Salt Lake City, but we have received no data as to their development. The gold-bearing quartz lodes which have been discovered in the Wahsatch Range have not been developed.
The total valuation of the real and personal property of Utah for 1869 is reported as $11,390,606.
Since the date of our last report, the Utah Central Railroad, 137 miles in length, connecting Salt Lake City with the Union and Central Pacific Railroads at Ogden, has been completed, at a cost, including rolling stock, of $1,500,000. Salt Lake City is thus connected with the railroad system of the United States, and placed in direct communication with the great commercial cities of the Union, east and west, and with Europe and China. The completion of this road, and the conti. nental thoroughfare with which it connects, have given new impetus to the settlement and development of resources.
During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1870, there were surveyed 685,636 acres, which, together with the work now in progress, includes the arable land between the towns of Fillmore and St. George, and along Beaver River in the southwest; also along the line of the Union Pacific Railroad, in Parley's Park, and in the valleys of Bear and Weber Rivers, in the northern section. During the same period the exterior lines of surveys have been extended to include the valleys at the base of the mountains in the vicinity of the cañons of Bingham, Big and Little Cottonwood, and those leading to Rush Lake Valley, with a view to the survey of the agricultural and mineral lands in those localities. The surveying operations were inaugurated in Utah in 1855 and continued up to 1857, during which period there were surveyed 2,425,239 acres.
From that time until 1868 the extension of the public lines was deferred, except certain vacated Indian reservations, as authorized by the act of May 1854. The surveying districts of Utah and Colorado were consolidated by the act of July 16, 1868, and subsequently Utah was again erected into a separate surveying district, and the surveys renewed. The whole area surveyed in Utah up to the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1870, is equal to 3,211,508 acres, including the