Salt Lake is about 120 miles long, north and south, and forty miles wide, and contains several islands of considerable size, some of which are partially covered with timber. A steamer is now being built for the purpose of shipping the timber from these islands for the use of Salt Lake City.
The lake is subject to sudden storms, and boat navigation is sometimes dangerous. Until the present time no serious effort has been made to test its capabilities for navigation, but there is no doubt that the trade on this lake will, at some future period, be of considerable magnitude. The water is extremely salt. An analysis shows that it contains over 22 per cent, of solid matter, an indication that it has had no outlet to the sea for a great length of time, and that compared with other regions the fall of rain in this part of the country is less, and the evaporation greater, than elsewhere. The ocean represents the average impregnation of the world produced by rainfall and evaporation. By comparison with this standard solution we can judge which is in greatest excess, rainfall or evaporation. On the hills which surround Salt Lake are marks of an ancient beach about 300 feet above its present level. From the depth to which these shore-marks have worn into the rocky sides of the hills, and the large amounts of debris brought down by streams and deposited at that elevation, it is evident that this level of the lake must have remained for a long period. It is probable the lake once had an outlet to the ocean ; and from the fresh water tertiary fossils found at Bear river, and at other points, it is almost certain that it then contained fresh water. Then, also, it doubtless contained many varieties of fish, but as the water grew salt they gradually perished; and, so far as has been observed, it has no animal life in it at present.
SALT LAKE CITY.
Salt Lake City has a population of about 19,000 inhabitants. It is a beautifully laid out town. The streets are wide, with streams of clear water running on each side. The carriage ways are separated from the sidewalks by rows of trees, which present a refreshing appearance in summer to the way-worn traveller who has crossed the deserts. The private houses, built chiefly of wood, are perishable, built the public edifices are constructed of stone and wood, and are durable and highly creditable to the skill and enterprise of the inhabitants. The tabernacle, the principal place of worship, is capable of seating 10,000 people. The width of the streets, the umbrageous rows of trees, the great number of orchards and gardens in the heart of the city, and the incombustible nature of the houses, give a country appearance to the city, and render fires almost unknown. The small size of the farms is favorable to high cultivation. As a consequence, the greater part of Salt Lake valley is under better cultivation than any region west of the Rocky mountains, except, perhaps, around the bay of San Francisco.
The system of irrigation is excellent and extensive. Farmers in the eastern States might learn much here that would be valuable to them. From a report of the Deseret Agricultural Society of January 11, 1866, it appears that " there have been constructed 277 main canals, in length amounting to 1,043 miles, 102 rods, at a mean width of 5 feet 6 inches, and a mean depth of 2 feet 2 inches, which water 153,949 acres of land, at a cost of $1,766,939, and that there is in course of construction canals at an estimated cost at $ 900,000."
Ogden is a flourishing town on the east side of the lake, and ranks next to Salt Lake City in population and importance.
The eastern part of the Territory contains large seams of coal. As it has been found as far south as Pahranagat and at San Pete, it is not improbable that it abounds in many parts of the Green River valley. That said to be from San Pete is a firm bituminous coal, considered by many superior to any found west of the Rocky mountains, but its quality must be thoroughly proved in large amounts before it can be pronounced equal to the bituminous coal of Pennsylvania.
The coal from Pahranagat is found about 300 miles southwest from Salt Lake City ; that from San Pete 120 miles south. About eighty miles east from the city coal is found very abundantly. These discoveries tend to justify the conclusion that coal exists in large quantities in the Teiritory. As soon as a market is opened, the demand can be supplied from these coal fields. Owing to the scarcity of fuel in the mining regions of the eastern part ot Nevada and the western part of Utah, where most of the silver, copper, and lead ores must be smelted, coal will in time be in great demand.
The most interesting discovery in this connection is anthracite coal. Scientific men have long been seeking in vain to find anthracite west of the Rocky Mountains. It has recently been found on Green river. An old iron worker from the anthracite regions of Pennsylvania says the deposit is identically the same. The coal is heavy and will not burn with a flame. When used in a blacksmith's forge it gives an intense heat. This article has been tried and found to answer all the purposes required of it.
The advantages to be derived from the construction of the Pacific railroad will be beyond computation. Branch railroads will follow, and these coal fields will eventually be opened up. The number of coal seams visible along the canons in eastern Utah is remarkable. Many of them are of large size ; some are said to be fifteen feet thick. Occasionally they can be traced four or five miles. They are so numerous and easily found that the inhabitants do not locate them. It would be difficult to imagine such an abundance of valuable coal deposits in Nevada or California as to preclude location. Utah appears to be nearly in its normal condition. The recent elevations and depressions are slight; consequently in mining for coal it is probable few faults will be found. The great number of veins near the surface will furnish that article for years to come without deep mining or the use of expensive machinery for hoisting or pumping. If the coal fields on Green river should prove as extensive and of as good quality as there is reason to expect, it will be a great advantage to the miners on the Colorado and at Pahranagat, as well as useful in the navigation of the Colorado river. A thorough exploration of the coal fields of Utah, Dakota, Colorado, and Montana is much needed. It would probably establish the fact that western coal fields, though inferior in quality, rival in extent the vast deposits east of the Mississippi river.
Cottonwood canon is about twenty-seven miles southeast from Salt Lake City, in the Wasatch mountains. It contains several mines. A Mr. Hirst is running two furnaces there at present. They are not on an extensive scale, but the results are satisfactory. Hirst thinks his ore will yield $200 to the ton. He has a German to manage his works who is reputed to be skilful. The veins occur in limestone, and ore exists at the surface in abundance. This is a valuable lead-mining district. The ore is remarkably free from antimony.
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