How to utilize a cypress swamp.

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"How to utilize a cypress swamp." Scientific American March 10 1888: 152.


This brief article (850 words) appears to be reprinted from a publication entitled Northwestern Lumberman. It announces that two Michigan businessmen, R. G. Peters and Horace Butters, have acquired 100,000 acres of timberland along the Lumbee River, mostly in Robeson County (in Big Swamp) but some in South Carolina (in Ashpole Swamp). Their interest is in harvesting the cypress; the article states, "The timber is described as growing tall and clean, many of the trunks being 80 feet long, without a branch." The men have devised a way of harvesting the cypress by cutting a canal from the Lumbee River into the swamp using dredges, then using Horace Butters's steam skidder to lift the logs for transport. The article comments (somewhat condescendingly) that people in Robeson County advised the businessmen that it was not possible to get dredges into the swamp. The article further elaborates: "By means of the steam skidder, placed on barges, logs can be gathered in for a distance of 600 feet along each side of the canal. When the timber shall be exhausted along the main ditch, spur canals will be dredged out, and thus more cypress reached. This process will go on until the timber is all cut out, and the entire swamp converted from noisome, malarious ooze into cultivable land of the richest kind. Now that the inhabitants are beholding what the Northerners are accomplishing, they are highly pleased, though the results will have gone back on their judgment and prognostications."

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