Front Cover
 Back Cover

Group Title: Investigation of the Everglades : : as seen by the brightest minds of today
Title: Investigation of the Everglades
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00000537/00001
 Material Information
Title: Investigation of the Everglades as seen by the brightest minds of today
Physical Description: 21 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Chambers Land Co.
Place of Publication: Kansas City Mo
Publication Date: <1912>
Subject: Reclamation of land -- Florida -- Everglades   ( lcsh )
Drainage -- Florida -- Everglades   ( lcsh )
Everglades (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Summary: Letters of commendation of the Everglades reclamation project written by newspaper representatives who attended the opening ceremonies of the North New River Canal, 1912.
Statement of Responsibility: by leading newspaper men representing America's foremost publications.
General Note: Cover title.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00000537
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002359176
oclc - 39225000
notis - ALW3681
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
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    Back Cover
        Page 22
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        Page 24
Full Text




"The Everglades can be practically completely reclaimed by the system.
of canals now under construction."'- W. J. Etten, Managing Editor, Grand
Rapids (Mich.) News.


Suite 522-3-4
Midland Building

"A new name must be found for this land, for within a few months t~he
EVERGLADES will exist no more. "--F. M. Grant, Special Representa-
iioe, Canada Monthly, Winnipeg.

Reclamation is the act of bringing into cultivation land
which heretofore has been in an uncultivated and non-productive
state-this is what is being done in the Everglades of Florida.
Only a few years ago the State of Florida decided to reclaim
this vast body of land, and began the digging of some two hun-
dred miles of canals. Major J. 0. Wright was employed but of
the United States Drainage Service to supervise this work.
The Furst-Clark Construction Company of Baltimore, Md., made
a contract with the State of Florida to construct the canals,
and complete the entire drainage system by July, 1913. Dur-
ing the month of April, 1912,. the North New River Canal,
which is over fifty miles in length, was opened up from the
ocean to Lake Okeechobe. During the latter part of April the
official opening of this canal was celebrated. Appropriate
ceremonies were held at the cities of Miami and Fort Lauder-
dale. Governor Gilchrist, ex-Governor Jennings, state offi-
cials, and other prominent men, together with the representa-
tives of a number of the leading newspapers and magazines of
the country, were the honored guests at the above ceremonies.
These newspaper representatives attended the opening of this
canal for the purpose of making a personal investigation of
the "MUCH TALKED OF EVERGLADES"-to view with their own eyes
"this land of promise" and learn the truth,
Mr. William L. Larkin, special staff correspondent of the
Chicago Record Herald, who had previously visited the Ever-
glades, acted as escort for the party traversing the canals
and inspecting the Everglades. In this little booklet we
reproduce, word for word, these letters of COMMENDATION OF
THE EVERGLADES, and, reader, you will do well to read each one
of them, as they come from the pen of some of the brightest
and most intelligent writers and publishers of our country.
They are. telling you the plain TRUTH ABOUT THE EVERGLADES-
the unprejudiced facts, as you would find them upon personal


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Chicago, May 7, 1912.

To the People of Florida:
'Through ignorance come many of the heart-aches and
crimes committed in the world. All the malicious articles
published throughout the land on the Everglades drainage
project and all the injustice heaped upon the loyal sup-
porters of this great undertaking come through ignorance
of the true situation. God will bless and posterity
will thank ex-Governor W. S. Jennings, who deserves all
credit for starting the Everglades wheels of progress on
the road to success.
Every loyal citizen of the state should revere the
memory of the late ex-Governor Napoleon B. Broward, and pay
tribute to Governor Albert W. Gilchrist and the board of
trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund for the manner in
which they have guarded the people's interests and dis-
charged the duties intrusted to them. The glory of
getting a fifty million dollar inheritance out of nothing,
for the taxpayers of Florida and their descendants, is an
achievement to be proud of.
Manager Farm Land Department.

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Grand Rapids, May 7th, 1912.

Mr. William L. Larkin,
Chicago, Ill.
Dear Mr. Larkin:
Four days' travel through the heart of the Everglades
convinced me of two things:
The Everglades can be practically completely reclaimed
by the system of canals now under construction:
The land is wonderfully productive.
I have seen growing on a small experimental farm on the
south shore of Lake Okeechobee fifty varieties of fruits,
vegetables and grasses, the rate of growth being so rapid that
it is almost unbelievable. The water surrounding this land
has already been lowered one foot through a single canal.
When the other canals now under construction are completed the
water will be lowered fully five feet more and the danger of
flooding will be eliminated. So far as I can determine, the
only problem remaining to be solved is which cereal, vegetable
or fruit will yield the greatest returns. Everything
appears to grow riotously.
My confidence in the Everglades is best illustrated by
the fact that I have purchased 100 acres of Everglades land
ten miles west of Fort Lauderdale.
Sincerely yours,
Managing Editor.


Chicago, May 5th, 1912.

Mr. W. L. Larkin,
Chicago, Ill.

My Dear Mr. Larkin:
After an exhaustive study of the Everglades drainage
project, made upon the ground while touring the Everglades
with the party that attended the official opening of the
drainage canals as the guest of Governor Gilchrist and the
trustees of the I. I. Fund, I am astonished that any
citizen of the state should, through malice or selfish motive,
be guilty of obstructing this great project or interfering
with the plans for the reclamation and development of
this wonderful land.
In my opinion, any man who would criticise the unerring
judgment and wisdom so amply demonstrated by the far-sighted
men who already have wrought the redemption of a large section
of the Everglades is either woefully ignorant or else a
traitor to his state and its people. Surely, the men
who conceived, promoted and carried to successful execu-
tion so remarkable an enterprise as this, the transformation
of four million acres of waste land into an empire richer
in potential wealth than any gold mine ever discovered,
must command honor and tribute, not only at the hands of the
people of Florida but from the entire world.
I do not believe that anything I saw on my trip to
Florida impressed me more forcibly than the contrast between
Sthe drained Everglades land now absolutely protected against
any future overflow and the desolation we saw along the
banks of the Mississippi on our way south, where entire
towns were submerged and many had been washed away by the
overflow of the river.
Very truly yours,
Associate Editor.



Cleveland, 0., April 25, 1912.

Mr. Wm. L. Larkin,
Chicago, Ill.
My Dear Sir:
Seeing is'believing. Hence, to.see the Everglades in
their present state, with the drainage system only par-
tially completed, is to believe-to be certain, for that
matter-that the absolute and complete reclamation of the
Everglades is not a possibility, but an assured fact.
For a person to visit the Everglades under the general and
popular misappresension which exists throughout the north
concerning that vast territory-always, until now, shrouded
in mystery-is a positive revelation. For myself, I can
only say that I have been surprised. I have been astounded at
the vastness of the territory with its still more vast
possibilities for development. I had a hazy idea that'
it was an impenetrable swamp. It is very far from that.
It is a wonderfully rich, fertile field, of which Florida
may well be proud and in the cultivation and development
of which thousands of families are to attain independent
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
City Editor.



Fort Lauderdale, Fla., April 27, 1912.

William L. Larkin, Esq.
Miami, Fla.
Dear Sir:
After my trip through the Everglades, I am convinced
that the drainage project, now nearing completion, is the
most practical that could be devised and should have the
approval of every citizen of the state, and, in fact of
the entire nation.
The millions of acres of land which are being reclaimed
through this project isnaturally rich and productive and
needs no artificial assistance. In my opinion, it is more
valuable for agricultural and horticultural purposes than
any other in the United States.
Very truly yours,
Columbus Despatch.
Dayton Journal.
Davenport Democrat & Leader.



Miami, Fla., April 27, 1912.

William L. Larkin, Esq.,
Miami, Fla.
Dear Friend:
What I have seen on my trip through the Florida Ever-
glades leaves no room for doubt or apprehension as to the
future of the State of Florida through the redemption of the
richest piece of land in America and the prosperity that
will result from it. I have seen with my own eyes a large
section of the Everglades country, as worthless three years
ago for any utilitarian purpose as the bed of the ocean,
that has been transformed into farm land so fertile and
so limitless in its productivity that I doubt if any soil
expert could accurately gauge its money-making possibilities.
Like many others, I had read with the proverbial
"grain of salt" the stories that have come north about the
results that would follow the completion of the drainage
project. Now that I have seen what has been accomplished
by the engineers I have to admit that the truth is more
wonderful than any of the promises and predictions I.
had read before visiting Florida. A new name must be
found for this land, for within a few months the Everglades
will exist no more.
Very truly yours,
Special Representative.



Topeka, Kans., May 2nd, 1912.

Mr. W. L. Larkin,
Dear Mr. Larkin:
I give you, briefly, my impressions of the Everglades:
The problem of the reclamation of the Everglades is
one in the solution of which just three things are necessary:
labor, money and gravitation. The laws of gravitation have
not been repealed; the necessary money seems to be
provided for, and the labor is obtainable. The working out
of the problem, therefore, is now only a matter of time.
Once relieved from overflow, the Everglades lands
will be found to possess a fertility almost beyond the
powers of belief and range of possibilities in the way of
diversified crops that stagger the imagination. In the
course of time, a large part of the Everglades region
will be as densely populated as Holland now is, and
its aggregate wealth in proportion to its area will be
greater than that of any other purely agricultural or
horticultural community in the world.
Truly yours,
Managing Editor.


Magazine Editor and Contributor.
Porter Bldg.,

Baltimore, Md., May 6, 1912.

Mr. W. L. Larkin,
Chicago, Ill.
Dear Sir:
Homeseekers are more and more preferring the natural
life of the country to the artificial life of the city. They
prefer to live where the pure air, sunshine and flowers give
rest and happiness and the few acres of garden enough
income from its harvesting.to pay the cost of living and
set aside something for the "rainy day."
Where can they go and live this life? In the Everglades
of Florida. This is a true home land, which Nature has
created for the home. Climate, soil and picturesqueness
are some of the reasons why the drainage canal is making it a
home land in truth. Merely to see it is to tempt me to
stay and forget the dark side of life.
Very truly yours,



Miami, Fla., April 28, 1912.

Mr. W. L. Larkin,
Miami, Fla.
Friend Larkin:
Think of itl We went through the Everglades in three
days from Fort Myers up the Caloosahatchie, across Lake
Okeechobee, and down the drainage canals to Fort Lauderdale.
The Everglades of the old geographies are a myth. The genius
of man has conquered them. Every mile of the journey brought
new surprises.
The soil is the richest I have ever seen. The most
luxuriant crops are growing on it. An area bigger than
'Connecticut and Rhode Island together, once a vast submerged
prairie, is hereafter to be a garden of paradise. Seeing
is believing. Governor Jennings, Governor Broward, and
others, have done the seemingly impossible. It is a great
triumph of faith. "And if ye have faith as a grain of
mustard seed ye shall say to this mountain, be thou cast
aside into the sea; and it shall be done." Faith has
turned the waters off the 'glades into the sea.
Yours very truly,
_a President.



Chicago, May 3rd, 1912.

Mr. W. L. Larkin,
Miami, Fla.
Dear Friend:
After a three days' tour of the Everglades of Florida,
under conditions which gave me an opportunity to study
every phase and detail of the drainage project at.first hand,
and to draw conclusions of an unbiased nature, I desire to
congratulate the people of Florida upon the work that has
been done. I found a vast prairie of incredible richness
which apparently has suffered from annual floods in years
gone by. Black muck soil of great depth covered
practically every foot of the large territory I inspected.
The wonderful canal system now nearing completion
will, according to all evidence obtained, not only drain
the entire Everglades but will provide six great water-
ways to tidewater and throw open for settlement and
cultivation approximately four million acres of the richest
soil. The fact that the opening of the first of these great
canals already has reclaimed thousands of acres indicated
that when the other canals are opened the entire Everglades
country will become a vast farming region, fertile to an
extraordinary degree, where thousands of people will find
pleasant homes and abundant riches through tilling the soil.
Very truly yours,
Editorial Staff,
Chicago Record-Herald.



Chicago, Ill., May 3, 1912.

Mr. W. L. Larkin,
My Dear Sir:
The practicability of the Everglades drainage plans is
now conceded by all who have observed the progress of the work
of the engineers and the remarkable results already
accomplished. The admission is made by even the most
pessimistic of doubters, to which class I must confess
having myself belonged. I had made several trips to the
'glades previous to my visit to attend the official opening,
but had never seen this country in all its tropical beauty
or had explained and demonstrated to me its productive
possibilities until my trip of last week through the
Caloosahatchie river and the drainage canals from Fort Myers
to Fort Lauderdale as a member of Governor Gilchrist's
party that participated in the official opening program.
If the facts concerning the Everglades were generally
known there would be a rush of settlers to Florida and the
land of the Everglades that would see this marvelously
rich area thickly populated with thriving farmers from the
North within a few months. Native Floridans are meeting
with remarkable success in raising garden truck along with
citrus fruits and this Everglades soil will produce more
than eighty per cent of all the kinds and varieties of
vegetables, fruits and cereals grown in the middle
western states.
I found the greater part of the land comprising the
'Everglades composed of muck. On this land, formed by
*the decomposed vegetation of centuries, I saw larger and
finer crops of garden truck than are grown on some of the
best farm lands in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Yours very truly,
Manager, Land Department.



Miami, Fla., April 26, 1912.

Mr. William L. Larkin,
Miami, Fla.
Dear Sir:
Gone forever are the Everglades. In their place
Florida today has four million acres of tillable land,
wonderfully fertile.
When the world was young the southern half of Florida
was a barren plain of limestone. As the ages passed the rivers
swept down rich silt from the north. This was deposited
and found lodgment in the crannies of the stone plain.
Wherever a bit of soil lodged vegetation sprang up. Aeons
of time passed and the decaying vegetation added to the soil
coating until the Everglades were created.
Ponce de Leon found them so and so they remained
until the present decade. Florida has reclaimed them.
Their rich earth, water-covered and useless until now, has
been left high and dry by a great drainage system which
cost $5,000,000, After a journey through these canals I
am satisfied that the drained area will undoubtedly add
vastly to the land wealth of Florida and open to the world
a new source of wealth. It will mean a greater Florida
and a greater nation.
Truly yours,
City Editor.



Chicago, April 29, 1912.

Mr. William L. Larkin,
Miami, Florida.
Dear Mr. Larkin:
I have learned a lesson in agricultural development-
a lesson that has taught me the wonderful possibilities of
development on this little earth of ours. I have seen
through the Everglades. I have realized the dream of my
youth that some time I might see this land of mystery and
legend. In the Everglades I have been impressed with the
purity, the cleanliness ,and the wonderful greatness of
God's bounty to mankind in a land that was deemed
uninhabitable and inaccessible. Here has been opened
a vast empire, the future of which is surely beyond the
comprehension of any man in Florida or elsewhere. It is an
easy thing to see with the eye, but to conceive the
possibilities of this vast territory of more than four
million acres that has been redeemed by the great system
of drainage canals, to foresee how great will become the
population of this new land within the next twenty years,
or how far-reaching will be its influence upon future
enterprises of similar character in other countries and
climes as well as in our own nation) is impossible. It will
be grander than any man dares to hope.
I congratulate you upon having been interested in
and connected with this humanizing project which is to do so
much for this and future generations.
Your friend,
(Editorial Staff.)



Minneapolis, Minn., April 28, 1912.

Mr. W. L. Larkin,
Chicago, Illinois.
Dear Sir:
The Everglades, as seen in our three days of travel
across the state, have proved one of the greatest surprises
I ever experienced. I think all the members of Governor
Gilchrist's party felt the same way. So wholly unexpected
were the great stretches of magnificent country and the
magnitude of the reclamation work already completed that I
cannot conceive how anyone can intelligently discuss
the subject unless they have first seen this great
region. Having seen it, they will be hard pressed to
find words to picture the aladdin-like development which
lies just ahead for this section.
Yours sincerely,
City Editor.



Chicago, May 4, 1912.

Dear Mr. Larkin:
To the average citizen in other parts of the
country a true description of the fertility and possibilities
of the soil of the Everglades, comprising four million acres,
would read like the dreams of an over-enthusiastic
native. But the most superlative adjectives are required
to tell the bare truth and to give the actual facts. We
have seen, as we stood upon the land, not only the famous
orange and grapefruit groves but the finest specimens of
growing sweet and Irish potatoes, beets, parsnips,
celery, artichokes, strawberries, sugar cane, corn, peach
trees, bananas, and, in fact, practically everything that
grows anywhere.
To believe without having seen the wonderful work
that has been done by the drainage engineers in the
Everglades is almost impossible, so there is some excuse
for those doubters who have not seen what I.and other
members of the party that last week traveled by boat from
Fort Myers to Fort Lauderdale through the drainage canals
have seen. The actual conditions as we found them were
indeed a revelation to others of the party besides myself.
It was not my intention to write what must sound like
a land agent's advertisement, but one cannot begin to do
justice to this embryonic paradise without seeming unduly
enthusiastic and visionary. To the skeptical and unbelieving
one can only say, "Go and see it." Our trip was an
d'fation as well as a great pleasure and I am sure
e all returned to paved streets, smoke and grime with
gret and a homesick feeling for Florida and the Everglades
country and with the hope that we may soon greet again the
.splendid people we met and by whom we were so cordially
welcomed and so royally entertained.
Yours most cordially,
Editorial Staff.


Sioux City, la.

Sioux City, May 6th, 1912.

Mr. William L. Larkin,
Chicago, Ill.
My Dear Sir:
Just a word in appreciation of the Everglades by one
who had read much, had heard more, but never had SEEN until
he visited the 'glades as a member of the party of
newspaper men who, under your able guidance and direction,
attended the official opening of the Gulf to Atlantic canal.
Henry Watterson, Louisville's famous editor, has
called this southern Florida region "The Garden of Eden
without a Serpent." Other noted men have spoken of it as
"The land of Opportunity," "The second Valley of the Nile,"
"The Great Utopia," etc. I can think of no sufficient
expressive adjectives and will therefore say simly that
"Them's my sentiments."
Nowhere have I seen a region that equals this southern
Florida country in the opportunities it offers to the
settler and investor. The future of this four million
acres of Everglades land can scarcely be imagined. Words
cannot begin to tell what this country will be when the
network of canals is entirely completed, when the deep
waterway from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic ocean
finally becomes the passageway of ships engaged in
international commerce.
Nowhere have I found a man who has personally
investigated the Everglades drainage project who does not
agree that it is entirely feasible. Since my return north
I have been preaching the gospel of the Everglades and I
believe every other man of the party I accompanied is today
an Evergladbs Evangelist.
The courtesies extended to me by the people of the
Everglades country never will be forgotten. I can but add
my thanks to you as director of the most pleasant sight-
seeing journey I ever have made.
Sincerely your friend,


April 30, 1912.

Mr. W. L. Larkin,
Chairman, Program Committee,
Official Opening Everglades Canals,
Miami, Fla.
Dear Sir:
A trip through the Florida Everglades such as I have
made will certainly dispel from the mind of anyone any
question as to either the feasibility of the drainage
project now being completed or the wonderful fertility of
the land that is being reclaimed.
Within a few short years this country will, I believe,
exceed in value any similar area in any state in the Union.
Yours very truly,
Editorial Dept.


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"THE EVERGLADES-Where the genius of man has conquered."
-Lincoln Hulley, President John B. Stetson University.


"The Everglades-This is a true home land, which nature has created
for the home."-Day Alien Willey, Magazine Editor, Baltimore, Md.

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Suite 522-3-4
Midland Building


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