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TERRITORIAL ROAD

RECOLLECTIONS OF THE "OLD TERRITORIAL ROAD" AND ITS TAVERNS

But since the white man's ax first resounded in these wild regions, the work of demolishing the noble forest trees has been going on in this State. What large amounts of cherry or black walnut have been burned up or made into rails! In how many instances has a sense of the use and beauty of our forests been unheeded! Michael Angelo was once commissioned to destroy the beautiful villas about Florence. He, an artist, do such work! He tried to save all, but could not—the edict of war must be obeyed. The work of destruction went on. He came to a mansion with beautiful frescoed walls; the soul of the artist stayed the hand of the patriot, and in that field of desolation one mansion was left standing alone. In how many instances have we found the settler, not commissioned like Angelo, to destroy the beautiful, but vandal like, how often has he done it. Yet we have many instances where a sense of use and beauty has said to the soul of the settler—"spare the forest!" and, like the artist, he has done it, leaving beautiful woodlands standing alone amid cultivated fields. We can now say, would that such instances had been multiplied. The wild denizens of the primeval forests in Michigan had beautiful homes. Among the feathered tribe, the early settler did not find many of his old favorites. The robin, wren, the swallow, and some other birds were not here. But there were a great variety of birds, and some of most gay and beautiful plumage. Among the singers were the western mocking-bird and the whip-poor-will. We found here an old favorite, or enemy, in that mad-cap and free-booter, the blue-jay. He was still the same restless being, tipping, darting, bob-majoring and hazing about from tree to tree.

Michigan


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