C. C. Wayland
Portage, Wisconsin, Jan. 21st, 1905.
Hon. John Muir,
I thought it might be of interest to you to know of the change the region of your old home is undergoing . The farm owned by your father in Maquette county has been purchased and will be used as a town site, the little lake which was named after your family contains very valuable material known as marl and used for the manufacture of Portland cement, the marl is forty five feet deep in the marshes surrounding the lake and in the tamarac marsh which you people used as a pasture part of the peat is underlaid with rich marl and the rest of the pasture contains peat over thirty feet deep, the peat has less than six per cent ash and is a very high grade, the peat will be manufacture into brickquettes and used for fuel in the manufacture of the clay and marl into the Portland cement, enough marl has been located close at hand to warrant the erection of a plant costing nearly five hundred thousand dollars and employing nearly two hundred men.
The Wisconsin Central have signed contract to build from Endeavor, for merry called Merritts Landing, and the bridge will cost forty thousand dollars, your old home farm sold for thirty five hundred dollars cash.
I have been working on this proposition for over two years with John Smith, a son of Widow Smith living just east of your old home and also associated with us is F. H. Merrell of Portage. Several capitalist have taken hold of the matter and the company just organized has capital of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars.03515
The cement made showed it to be of the finest grade made in United States,
Observatory hill is also to be worked and the Davy Taylor farm will also be included in the deal as will the Sanderson farm now owned by Tames Mc Reath.
The deeds are now up and several thousand dollars have been expended and very thing in readiness for work during the coming Summer, the mill will be erected on the knoll just west of where your home was built and some of the building will be nearly four hundred feet long, two stories high and eighty feet wide while ethers will have towers seventy feet high.
The lake and marsh near observatory hill also contains marl and this will in time be transportated to the mill at the lake. The clay to combine with the marl is of a special kind and will be transported nearly one hundred miles from the north.
I have read with interest some of your articles and thought that it might interest you to know what nature had stored away so close to your boyhood home.
If you wish I will send you pictures of the lake and also other views showing marl etc. and copy of the prospectus of the company that has been organized.
Very Respectfully, [illegible]03515
1905 Jan 21
Original letter dimensions: 33 x 21.5 cm.
Wayland, C. C., "Letter from C. C. Wayland to John Muir, 1905 Jan 21." (1905). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 3208.
Reel 15, Image 0095
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