The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, April 01, 1885, Page 97, Image 5

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claims of permanent settlers. The level open Inml was
Hoiuly occupied thirty years since, unci the settlements
extended to the edges of the great forests which clothe
the flanks of the enclosing range The later increase in
population has been coincident with the division of the
original donation claims, and, to a loss extent, the settle,
ment of vacant spaces or partially wooded tracts.
Outside of the level prairies thore is a bolt of rolling
land, verging into hills and mountains in the highor
portions, which extends almost entirely around the valley,
and constitutes a very valuable part of the country. The
soil is mainly basaltio and Baudstono, and of groat gonoral
fertility. Its produota are more diversified than those of
the lower lands and frequently exooed thorn in quality.
These rolling or hill lnnds are usually coverod with brush
and require to be cleared before cultivation is possible,
The principal advantages of those brushy tracts are gixnl
soil, natural drainago, gwxl water, a climate beyond the
reach of malaria, an amplo and general supply of wood
for fuel and building purposes, and comparative froodom
from early frosts.
The tract now being described does not by any moans
embrace all the Bo-callod brush lands of the valley, but
includes the greater portion. Thore aro comparatively
small tracts of bushes and young treos scattered through
the valley, but they are isolated by stretches of prairie.
The foothill lauds, as thoy are genorally termed, lie at an
elevation of from COO to 2,000 foot, and vary greatly in
width between those boundaries. In tlioir present state
it is only to stock growers that these lands present en
couragement. To them the exoollout water, green grass
and freedom from burrs that injure wool are superior
inducements. When cleared the brush lauds will bo as
productive as any that exist Such special occupations as
bee keeping, the raising of shoep and hogs, the fattening
of cattle for market, and the raising of most varieties of
fruit and vegetables, will doubtless find a bettor location
there than elsewhere.
Large quantities of those desirable lands, mostly
woodod, lie about the upper courses of nearly every one
of the tributaries of the Willamette, and only await the
hand of the energetio settler to produce abundantly.
Such lands have the advantage of drying earlier in the
year than valley lands, whereby it becomes possible to
cultivate the soil to better advantago. A greater variety
of farm products can be raised in the hills, and their
quality is choicer.
Much good Agricultural land lies as high as 2,1)00 feet,
being in small, isolated valleys and difllcult of access.
The quality of soil is good Thoy are particularly adapted
to stock raising, mid are partially occupitxl for that pur
jktho. Still there are many thousands of acres yet subject
to settlement
As for the mode of clearing brush lands, it is recom
mended to slash down the bushes in June; by September
thoy will Imj dry and may be burned The larger pole
are used oftentimes for fencing or for fuel Tim growth
usually consist of oak grubs, young fir, maple, hazel, etc.
Nono of these trees reach much size except in age, and
honce may be easily handled and removed from the sntl.
The forn is a far moro troublesome growth, requiring
much labor, time and patience for its extirpation. It
grows in many fields, both in the prairies and in the
hills, and gives a vast deal of troublo by its presenco. It
lives at almost any altitude, and is found growing high
up on tho Cascades. The Chinese are frequently om
ployod for oloaring brush land, for which tlioir charges
are about tlO per acre for foiling and burning tho growth,
and eighty-fivo cents por cord for chopping tho sticks
into oordwood. Tho lands uncleared aro considered to
bo worth at prosont nlnmt !5 por aoro, A groat many
rails are mado from tho fir saplings which grow in such
profusion, and tho newly-cleared fields are usually fenced
with them. There nro, approximately, 2,000,(XK) acres of
brush lands lying unclaimed, a largo portion of it in the
control portion of tho valley, the remainder verging into
the great timlier bolts. Frequently the farmers slush
and burn the brush at tho proper season, and then sow
wheat, which thoy brush into tho ashes by dragging a
clump of bushos ovor it, no plowing or harrowing being
done. The result usually is a crop of wheat of twenty or
moro bushels per aero, which frequently pays all the ex
pensos of bringing tho soil into cultivation. Tho stumps
of fir and hardwood trees rot quickly and disappear from
the liusbnndman's track, and more enduring sorts are
usually loft alono until time oompasses their destruction.
Tho vacant lands of the Willamette Valley, or those
open to settlement, aro of four kinds -United States Gov.
eminent State, railroad and wagon road grants, and
school and university lands. As olsowhero, tho Govern
ment lands aro held at tho price of 11.25 xir acre, or in
caso of lauds within tho limiU of railroad grants, at
doublo this rate. Tho railroad lands are subject to a
price which varies according to locution, Isiing from 11.25
to $7 por acre. They aro, moreover, to bo had on favor,
ablo terms as to time and modes of payment Generally
shaking, ten years' credit is given, or less, according to
the requirement of the purohasor. The Oregon k Cali
fornia Railway has yet a largo portion of its grant in its
possession, and the character of the land is the same,
of course, as that of the adjoining Government or private
holdings. It is chiefly hill land, covered more or less
thickly with brush, often Istaring an Immense amount of
the finest timber, but sometimes is open prairie, suitable
for cultivation ami grazing. In respect to tho cost of
clearing, it is tho same as the adjacent tracts. It is well
for intending purchasers to bear in mind that tho lauds
okon of as vacant are so because they require to lx
cleared before they will be of any uso. As for their pro
ductiveness, they are not generally a whit Iwhiud tho
best valley lands, and they havo, as before pointed out,
some advantages over any valley land As to tho total
quantity of unoccupied or untitled lauds suitable for set
tlement along the edges of the valley, there cannot 1m
much less than 2,000,000 acres, making pner deduc
tions for tracts which are worthless liecause too rocky or
too Uwp. This amount would be, in the present condi
tion of affairs in Oregon, capable of supporting from