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Early Human’s Presence around Lake Okeechobee

Anthropologists believe that mankind has lived somewhere in southern Florida for at least 12,000 years. Its sub-tropical climate, abundance of water and fertile peat soils produces a diverse range of animal and vegetative food sources for humans year round. However, to date no Paleo-American artifacts have been discovered in or along the shores of the lake. Such evidences of the past are probably buried deep under the peat in scattered locations. They have been found in abundance about 88 miles (110 km) to the northwest in two natural springs near Sarasota, FL.

Lake Okeechobee Geology

Okeechobee is the Anglicization of the Itsate Creek (Miccosukee) words Oka chopi, which mean “Water Big.” Its aboriginal inhabitants called the lake either Maya-imi, which apparently means “Maya Water or Mayakaa, which means Maya People in several northern South American tongues. The Spanish called it Laguna de Mayaco or on some maps Laguna de Espiritu Santo. However, that name more typically applied to the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee River. In 1821, when Florida was ceded to the United States, the earliest English language maps generally retained the Mayaco name, but some called it Macaco.

Manitou Springs

Dr. Edwin James, botanist and historian of Long’s expedition, who visited the Pike’s Peak region in 1820, says of the principal spring at Manitou: The boiling spring is a large and beautiful fountain of water, cool and transparent and aerated with carbonic acid. It rises on the brink of a small stream which here descends from the mountains at the point where the bed of this stream divides the ridge of sandstone, which rests against the base of the first granitic range. The water of the spring deposits a copious concretion of carbonate of lime, which has accumulated on every side, until it has formed a large basin over-hanging the stream, above which it rises several feet. The basin is of snowy whiteness and large enough to contain three or four hundred gallons, and is constantly overflowing. The spring rises from the bottom of the basin with a rumbling noise, discharging about equal volumes of air and of water, probably about fifty gallons per minute, the whole kept in constant agitation. The water is beautifully transparent, has a sparkling appearance, the grateful taste and exhilarating effect of the most highly aerated artificial mineral water. In the bottom of the spring a great number of beads and other small articles of Indian adornment were found, having unquestionably been left there as a sacrifice or present to the springs, which are regarded with a sort of veneration by the savages. Bijeau, our guide, assured us he had repeatedly taken beads and other adornments from these springs and sold them to the same savages who had thrown them in. Mr. Rufus B....

Geological Agencies

In General it may be said that the mountain ranges of Idaho are volcanic upheavals, the mighty bending upward of the crust of the earth’s surface when its inborn fires were lashed to unwonted fury in some stormy age of old eternity. The valleys were doubtless formed by this upheaval of its enclosing ranges, leaving the floor of the surface here comparatively undisturbed. This really rests on a foundation of aqueous rock of unmeasured thickness, on which the alluvial matter that forms its soils has been deposited. With this there are, in many places, deep deposits of water-worn pebbles and stratified sand, which were made at an era much more modern than that of the underlying sandstone. It is useless to endeavor to identify these changes chronologically, as creation in its being and in its mutations writes its historic days in millennials of age, and thus puts our conception of time, drawn as it is from human experience and human history, entirely at fault. Of course, in indicating the forces that formed the now verdant valleys, glacial action must not be forgotten. Far extending moraines and wide glaciated surfaces tell the story of the far-away eras when these mighty ice-plows furrowed and planed down the broken face of the earth’s crust, and smoothed it into its now beauteous vales. Enough has already been said to indicate to the reader that the Mountains of Idaho are of volcanic formation. The great snow peaks are all volcanoes. They are called extinct, though some of them still give distinct evidence of an internal unrest born of pentup fires. Buffalo Hump has been...

Mineralogical and Geographical Notices

Mineralogical And Geographical Notices, Denoting The Value Of Aboriginal Territory. 1. Wisconsin and Iowa Lead Ore A correspondent, engaged in the practical working of these ores, remarks: “By the box of specimens transmitted, you will be able to judge of the character of these valuable ores. The square broken mineral is taken from east and west leads; which is of the softest temperature and most easy to smelt; it also produces the most lead, yielding about 50 per cent, from the log, and about 15 from the ash furnaces. The dark smooth pieces are taken from deep clay digging hi the vicinity of Menomonie River. This mineral is less productive than the other, yielding only from 40 to 45 per cent. It is supposed to contain some silver. The thin flat pieces or what is termed sheet mineral are taken from north and south leads. It is usually found in rocky diggings, where the sheet stands perpendicular, and is struck in sinking from six to ten feet. The sheet varies in its thickness, it being in some places six or eight inches, and at other places not more than one inch thick. The average yield of the country is from 45 to 58 per cent; of which the log furnace yields 43, and the ash furnace 15 per cent.” 2. Black Oxyde Of Copper Ore Of Lake Superior This valuable ore appears to have pre-existed in the trap-rock veins, which are now occupied so extensively by native copper. The volcanic throes, by which it was exposed to the effects of carbon, while these veins were yet in a state...

Existing Geological Action of the North American Lakes

That species of action which is supposed to have brought the surface of the earth into its habitable condition is comprised in the era of physical revolutions which are long past. By what causes, and according to what laws, these changes were produced, and their effects on the superposition and relation of strata, constitute no small part of the considerations of geology. Seas, rivers, mountains, and plains, are conjectured to have been left by those ancient revolutions, all of which preceded the historical epoch. It has been observed that the post-diluvial action of rivers flowing into the sea, and carrying down the usual accumulations of matter resulting from disintegration and gravitation, has added much to the area of their alluvions. Volcanic forces are continually exerting an action upon continents and islands; the beds of certain rivers are perceived to be elevated; large portions of the shores of the ocean curtailed of their limits; and, in this manner, the configuration of the earth is subject to large and appreciable alterations. All this is the result of a species of action, which is very strikingly exemplified by the North American Lakes. It is known that the quantity of water on the earth s surface is much greater in a new and forest region, where solar evaporation is hindered, than in old and long cultivated countries. No one will pretend that the quantity of water brought down by rivers is not diminished by these curtailments of the dominions of the forest. There was a time, within the habitable period, when the rivers of this continent ran higher than at present. 1. This...

Gold Deposits of California

1. The discovery of gold in California makes the year 1848 an era in the history of that country. It was accidentally found, in the Spring season, in the diluvial soil, by some persons digging the sluiceway for a mill. Specimens of the various kinds of the metal and its matrix were forwarded to the War Department by the chief military officer in command, in the month of August. These specimens were not received at the War-Office till early in December. I examined them in the library of that office, on the 8th of that month. They consisted of thirteen specimens of various minerals, chiefly gold in some of its metallic forms. 2. Judged by external character, the specimens admitted of being grouped in the following manner: Small masses of native gold, in the separate form of grains and scales, or minute plates, from which all extraneous matter had been cleanly washed. Similar forms of equally fine, and highly colored masses, with the loose residuary iron sand of the washer. Masses of scale-form gold of an ounce or more in weight, but offering no other peculiarity of character. An ovate mass of two ounces weight, having a portion of its original matrix of quartz still adhering.All the scale-form, and lump gold, exhibits, more or less distinctly, the marks of attrition, and of having been carried in its alluvial association in the valley of the American fork of the Sacramento, some distance from its original position. It is of the sub-species of gold yellow native gold of the systems the Gold-gelber Gediegen Gold, of Werner. The specific gravity of this...

Geology of the Hudson River

In addition to various geological references scattered through these pages the following facts from an American Geological Railway Guide, by James Macfarlane, Ph.D., will be of interest. “The State of New York is to the geologist what the Holy Land is to the Christian, and the works of her Palæontologist are the Old Testament Scriptures of the science. It is a Laurentian, Cambrian, Silurian and Devonian State, containing all the groups and all the formations of these long ages, beautifully developed in belts running nearly across the State in an east and west direction, lying undisturbed as originally laid down. “The rock of New York Island is gneiss, except a portion of the north end, which is limestone. The south portion is covered with deep alluvial deposits, which in some places are more than 100 feet in depth. The natural outcroppings of the gneiss appeared on the surface about 16th Street, on the east side of the city, and run diagonally across to 31st Street on 10th Avenue. North of this, much of the surface was naked rock. It contains a large proportion of mica, a small proportion of quartz and still less feldspar, but generally an abundance of iron pyrites in very minute crystals, which, on exposure, are decomposed. In consequence of these ingredients it soon disintegrates on exposure, rendering it unfit for the purposes of building. The erection of a great city, for which this island furnishes a noble site, has very greatly changed its natural condition. The geological age of the New York gneiss is undoubtedly very old, not the Laurentian or oldest, nor the Huronian,...

Montana Settlement, Geology, Exploration, 1728-1862

Montana, mountainous or full of mountains1 is a name, as herein used, no less beautiful than significant. From the summit of its loftiest peak – Mount Hayden – may be seen within a day’s ride of each other the sources of the three great arteries of the territory owned by the United States – the Missouri, the Colorado, and the Columbia. From the springs on either side of the range on whose flanks Montana lies flow the floods that mingle with the North Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of California, and the Gulf of Mexico. The Missouri is 4,600 miles in length, the Columbia over 1,200, and the Colorado a little short of 1,000; yet out of the springs that give them rise the Montana may drink the same day. Nay, more: there is a spot where, as the rainfalls, drops descending together, only an inch asunder perhaps, on striking the ground part company, one wending its long, adventurous way to the Atlantic, while the other bravely strikes out for the Pacific. These rivers, with their great and numerous branches, are to the land what the arteries and veins are to the animal organism, and whoso action is controlled by the heart; hence this spot may be aptly termed the heart of the continent. From New Orleans to the falls of the Missouri there is no obstacle to navigation. Wonderful river! Could we stand on Mount Hayden, we should see at first nothing but a chaos of mountains, whose confused features are softened by vast undulating masses of forest; then would come out of the chaos stretches of grassy plains,...

Idaho Geology

The territory of Idaho was set off by congress March 3, 1863. It was erected out of the eastern portion of Washington with portions of Dakotah and Nebraska, and contained 326,373 square miles, lying between the 104th and 117th meridians of longitude, and the 42d and 49th parallels of latitude. It embraced the country east of the summits of the Rocky Mountains to within fifty miles of the great bend of the Missouri below the mouth of the Yellowstone, including the Milk River, White Earth, Big Horn, Powder River, and a portion of the Platte region on the North Fork and Sweetwater. Taken all together, it is the most grand, wonderful, romantic, and mysterious part of the domain enclosed within the federal union. Within its boundaries fell the Black Hills, Fort Laramie, Long’s Peak, the South Pass, Green River, Fort Hall, Fort Boise, with all that wearisome stretch of road along Snake River made by the annual trains of Pacific-bound immigrants since 1843, and earlier. Beyond these well-known stations and landmarks no information had been furnished to the public concerning that vast wilderness of mountains interspersed with apparently sterile sand deserts, and remarkable, so far as understood, only for the strangeness of its rugged scenery, which no one seemed curious to explore. The Snake River,1 the principal feature known to travelers, is a sullen stream, generally impracticable, and here and there wild and swift, navigable only for short distances, above the mouth of the Clearwater, broken by rapids and falls, or coursing dark and dangerous between high walls of rock. Four times between Fort Hall and the mouth of...
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