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HISTORICAL ASSOCIATIONS CONNECTED WITH WYANDOTTE AND VICINITY

BY DR. E. P. CHRISTIAN

This is in part owing to difference in habits and tastes of early settlers, and also partly to the fact that much of the land about, instead of being taken up for farms by intending permanent settlers, fell into possession of those able and disposed to hold it for prospective value. And this was why the locality of Wyandotte was selected for furnaces and rolling-mills by reason of the heavily wooded tracts in all its neighborhood. As we have seen, the land about here was thrown open to purchase by the government at Washington, in 181S. Its adaptability for cultivation had been known from its earliest settlement. Says Cooley's History of Michigan: "There were, by actual count, in 1793, * four hundred and forty-two (442) farms, mostly at Frenchtown on the Raisin, where the French had begun to settle in 1784; a few on Grosse Isle and some on the Rouge and other streams flowing eastward. Among the streams flowing eastward, we presume, was the Ecorse. This we judge to be so from the report of M. D'Aigremont, which seems more descriptive of the physical characteristics of the land below the Rouge than at Detroit. "M. D'Aigremoiitf left Niagara June 24, 1708, for inspection of the posts of Detroit and Michilimackinac, and from his report to M. Vaudreuil I gather the following: He disputes the description of the soil and its products as given by M. La Motte (Cadillac) and others. He describes it as consisting of a sandy surface, nine or ten inches deep, beneath which is a clay so stiff that water cannot penetrate it. The timber he describes as small, stunted oaks and hardy walnuts. He acknowledges that the land produces good Indian corn, but says it is because the soil is new and he does not believe the fruits of Europe can be brought to perfection because the roots of the trees stand in the water. Considerable cider is made there, but it is 'bitter as gall. ' As regards this a foot note says, 'probably made of crab-apples, a spontaneous production of the country.

Michigan


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