The Times Picayune (New Orleans) July 9, 1871

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The Times Picayune (New Orleans) July 9, 1871 - ails JMcaijtttt 3L.E SHEET. Louisiana Rock...
ails JMcaijtttt 3L.E SHEET. Louisiana Rock Salt. We cannot better convey to the Teader's mind "a bird's eye view" of Petit Anse, as Avrey's Island is pent-rally termed, than by the following extract taken from tbe " Report of tlie American Bureau of Mines " : 'petit Anse Island is situated in parish St. Marv, in Louisiana, in longitude 'Kj 51 -west of Greenwich, and ju .vj north latitude, about four miles north of Vermilion Bay, and nine and a half miles, by the present road, south of New Iberia. The distance to the latter point, however, is only about seven miles by air line. The island consists of about 2240.40 arpents of upland. An arpent the old French measurement employed in Ionisiana is about one-seventh less than an acre. Fifteen hundred arpents are at present under cultivation, the remainder being woodland, pasturage, roads, etc. The island is divided between two owners, Judge 1). I. Avery and Mr. John Hays, the property of the former including l:JSO arpents of the upland, and that of the latter comprising the olia, li black walnut and cypress, covers a portion of the island. Of these varieties cypress is the most abundant, and furnishes the principal budding lityof the island miles. To the north for about two miles the surface is covered with tall sea glasses and scanty brush. To the cast and southeast for many miles the swamps are covered with heavy cypress forests. From the highest point of the island a hill one hundred and eighty feet above the tide-water lev. 1 the fye commands a wide prospect, comprising, on the west, the Vermilion Woods nearlv up to Vermilionville, Millers Island, and a.large sheet of prairie, with dwelling-houses and groves of timber ; on the north, the forests of Bayou Teclie as far as Jeanarrett's, and the An Liiw Prairie; on the east, the Cvpremort W Is; and on the south, the Gulf The .vith the isla the Bayou I'etit Anseand themarshes Iberia.m The faukroad Is'of eSfiit construction, having been bnilt during led bv hillock, -tallev. fields. the m. .1st of swamp and The oldest is John Hays. He relate- that on his arrival he f the island covered wi lie settle.! on the island t the age of lifte then living in the vimnity were' the AtUtkapns. He invited t hem repeatedly to join him in hunting the bear, c fused, sayii Hutt the spot had e of a great calam-and that they had cal record. Jesse McCarl, digging aaTd'htedS-o surface, an Indian earthern spoon and a buck horn; also a nearlv entire skeleton of a "hP nmmoth sent to the Smithsonian Institute. We will now quote the following article, which graphically describes the Tcchc country and also contains an elaborate description of the Salt think it amply repays a perusal. It is clipped from the columns of the New Orleans Crescent, March 23, 1 '(.' : " The excursion party to which your correspondent has been attached assembled promptly at 7'. Saturday morning, on board ferryboat Porter. Herewith is a list of the chief movers of the expedition : -ov. H. C. War-moth and Mr. Kainy, his private secretary ; Col. John F. Dean, aide-decamp to the Governor; ex-Gov. Baiter, Judge Whitaker, Col. Carter of Houston, Gen. Frice, (.apt. Seger, President Opelousas Kailroad, Gen. Urown, Messrs. E. Kigney, J. Van Kortwich. F. S. tarriugton, W. J. Averill, A. 1. i. licit. John V. Ayer of Chicago, and several other proa;; nent merchants and citizens ot New Orleans. Capt. Tapper tot firm Pric-, Jline Ttipper). President of the Attakapas Mail Transportation C m-Jany, and Capt. Segcr, of the Ope- i ob . - ice from data thus i. . tliod oflevel- ot ttrainage, rati- Another obj .:. Ubt'a : 'of the Te. of th. These obstruction 8, besides the ordinary sawyers and snags, consist of the sunken Confederate gunboats. So it will be seen that the ebjects of the excursion are praiseworthy, and that if properly followed up will be productive of great good to our state. Your correspondent will try to give some little description of the Teehe country, the route through which our Belle plowed ;rglade, meadows that the lands ; all unfilled. Th - - - v. oe.l k a'.- - War, with its hot and iiery breath, had scorched the fertile valley. The comfortable quarters that erst were Vie.: serted. And the once lordly propn tors, where are they? Gone, tc Iieturning at the close of the w. nd their But let Island. Guided by Mr. Pierre Chouteau, we descended the pit till we 1 the stilt bed and the mouth of the main shaft. While Mr. C. explained the scientific principles upon which it is proposed to work these mines, we gazed in wonderment, rather more natural than scientific, at the four smooth, clear, glass-like walls of solid salt derful bed T " -It underlies." replied cnent has shown tha one hundred and forty-f : ons."' As us ninety years. Noting the briny appearance of our eyes, Mr. Chouteau letie.-hcd us with the assertion that he was confident that the salt underlaid the entire island. So wo thought, not such a bad pickle after all. We indeed have a pillar of salt, and lota 3 blocks as you have seen whe: street is being paved, only clear and rystalline. Mr. Chouteau then finished us with the follow in- detail.-.: The salt occurs as a solid crystalline ock, of a saeharoidal texture, the iidividual tex crystals being in dis-inctly aggregated and interspersed J : . hiddell, prolet alt bed. He alst known, the discovery of the salt was made in 17U1 by John Hays who found a spring while hunting. Soon afterwards Jesse McCaul bought nineteen acres of land, inch;. this salt spring, and began the manufacture of salt by boiling. The .-no; .'.v digging several wells with little suc- The' springs until 1S12, wh John K. Marsh renewed the produc fell again and he suspended, hi! commenced failing again during th. year 101, when salt had become dea purpose of increasing the supply1 of brine Mr. John Marsh Avery, his son, attempted to deepen the wells, and, at the depth of 16 to 17 feet, on the 4th of May, 1S02, struck the solid rock salt. Mining by pits was soon introduced under the auspices ot the Confederate Government. Mining continued until an expedition, sent by Gen. Banks by way of New Iberia, attacked the island. April 17, li;:;, and destroyed the works on the 20th of en months, according Judge Avery 'i o millions of pounds. 'Fj - barreling and loading the salt in wagons. From one to five hundred teams are reported to have been on the island at one time, coming from eveiy Southern State, and waiting for a supply. After our brief survey of the mines we set out for Prospect Hill, one of Anse We reached its summit and bayous winding in and out about the i, looking like silv st i earns, glades and groves, hills and dalls, make up this boundless pan -ran. a. On cv r side we turned new and thy tiame-work is the But we were s leave off gazing ai Judge Avery soon i pellet! to .1 propectil all down L-ident of the ;red real, old t lus. It was thehcarty nl dignity, urbanity est bonhommie that in the ulanter host. nd that I feel are re- Atter the dinner and the departure ot tin- rest of the was our good fortune to spend an hour in the society of the owners of this wonderful island. There was the old judge.atruly grand specimen of our beknightly southern gentleman of the old school, his sons-in-law. Mr. Mcllhehny and Major Paul Lee, his sons and daughters, ajd, true exponent of asant1 en tertai tiers', "on r a f, III , nd hostess, and with theii apidly back to town jitable hands M. F. Hebert, not forgetting the bluff and whole-soided mate, Mr. W. T. Kyle. As our boat backs out ana settles herself for her homeward run with I waving of handkerchiefs and manjH expressions of kind farewell, the friends we leave behind speed the parting guests. At 1 o'clock the next day we lind ourselves back again amidst the strife, and bustle and turmoil of our great citv. The this most pleasai Scgcila - us memorv s a of pleasing of the above :oapling bolt llectiom Since the irticle, tlie ublicatio: has als birth. Neither can the artist nor the poet do justice to that spot, one of the most beautiful of thrice beautiful Attakapas. Nor can we, at tins period, properly appreciate the almost incalculable worth ot these mines to gration has settled, improved and enlightened the now too sadlv neglected region of Attakapas, then will the people of Louisiana, perhaps, properly appreciate the wonderful deposit now embedded in the bowels ot Petit Anse. When, we visited the mines, about a year ago, they were in excellent working order, being under the able supervision of the energetic young discoverer and -i:H ltntendent, Mr. John Marsh Avery. His whole soul is in the work, as . iin l.e perceived by the light beaming from his clear blue eyes, ami by the able and scientilic manner in which he explained to us his theories concerning the deposit of salt down in the midst of which we were seated, watching the miners at work and listening to his eloquent descriptions. From his sister we learned that the mornings sun always finds him at his post, directing and supervising the miners, and planning how this important undertaking, the most eilectual manner of working the mines, can departing light the dav and happy h visit to Avery's beautiful isle. 'Twas but a few brief hours that we lingered there; but the memory of those - rock-ribbed walls of solid, crystalline salt, catchingjeach ray ofUht on its pris- mii.ers. with their little lamps fastened to their biows, and gleaming there like lire-Hies, while the constant wand" tlrroutfh theTci vstal roek a pathway -was being hewed: all this that far-famed isle cannot adequately be portrayed ; the artist and the poet pon the unapproachable beauty that ut mocks the hand that vainly I beautiful isle. And oft, when ing 'neath other skies and ; in the stupendous glory that jround some fame-storied spot, think of that isle of crystal rdant mea lends ales. The the pit, and coming up again into the outer air what a world of beauty met the gaze! In the language of Col. le,mett's circulai-pf Southwest- -CCould anShis'vast Tbeetof prairie and woodland, marsh and water, hill and valley, he placed on canvas bv a skillful artist, it would jrive to the

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  1. The Times-Picayune,
  2. 09 Jul 1871, Sun,
  3. Page 10

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  • The Times Picayune (New Orleans) July 9, 1871

    bill_goodman – 27 May 2013

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