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ST. LOUIS MARBLE.
Another fine quality of stone, known as the St. Louis marble, is found in great abundance in St. Louis county, about twenty-five miles west of St. Louis, near Glencoe station, on the Missouri Pacific railroad. This stone is of a beautiful greyish color, of fine texture, and susceptible of fine polish, and is known as a species of marble. It is of great strength, and well adapted for building purposes, as it weathers well. A company, the Messrs. Terrys, are using every effort to bring this valuable stone into market and practical use, in supplying a choice material for many of the new buildings of our city. It is moro properly defined as a light, variegated, fossiliferous marble. The bed is compact, without lines of stratification, and favorable for getting out slabs or columns of large dimensions.
MISSOURI BLUE GRANITE.
This granite is found in St. Francois county, on the line of the Iron Mountain road, at Knob Lick. Its complexion is a hue between the Quincy and New Hampshire, and sustains the great pressure of 18,444 pounds to the cubic inch. It is remarkably fine-grained and uniform, and will undoubtedly be extensively used where strength and durability are required in building.
Other valuable marbles are found in different parts of the State, but not having the necesary facts, a special description of them must be omitted.
It is well known to those familiar with the resources of Missouri, that there are to be found in different parts of the State quite a number of the most valuable clays used in the manufacture of queensware; and although no home effort has been made to convert these raw materials into useful articles, large quantities have been exported from the State, and made into wares and returned to our market, to be distributed to the trade, which ought to be supplied from the hands of our own industry. Kaolin, out of which the finest wares are made, is found in Cape Girardeau county in inexhaustible quantities. And why it is not converted into wares, of an innumerable variety and value, is a standing marvel to those who are familiar with the fact of its existence and quality. Why there may not be built a new Staffordshire in that county, supplying to the continent wares for every kind of domestic use, we cannot understand. Enterprise, capital, and skilled labor must be organized and applied. One company is already organizing, and without question will meet with great success, but there is room for many more. How often must it be published abroad that Missouri has many resources sufficient to supply the people of this great valley with many of the most important materials required in civilized life? and yet they remain undeveloped. Will those who have capital unoccupied accept of the advantages? Let us have a Staffordshire in America, a workshop equal to that of the Old World, whose labor will supply valuable wares to the millions of people belonging to those great States which surround us.
MISSOURI AS A WINE-PRODUCING STATE.
BY L. D. MORSE, M.D.,
PRESIDENT MISSISSIPPI VALLEY GRAPE GROWERS' ASSOCIATION.
It is a little over twenty years since grape culture was commenced as a business in Missouri, since which it has steadily increased, and rapidly so within the latter half of the period. During the last five years the increase has been at the rate of about 300 acres per year. Within the period last named, several companies have been formed for producing wine on a large scale. The Cliff Cave Wine Company, in the south part of St. Louis county, has about twenty-five acres of vines, sold a large quantity of grapes last year, and made 3,000 gallons of wine. The Augusta, Wine Company, of St. Charles County, has 22,775 vines, and made last year 8,000 gallons of wine. The Bluffton Wine Company, of Montgomery county, has 59,834 vines, and made last year from the portion in bearing 13,490 gallons of wine. The Missouri Smelting and Mineral Land Company, of Stanton, Franklin county, is engaged in grape growing as a portion of its business, and has about seventy acres of vines planted, nearly all of which are in bearing this year.
In addition to the foregoing, we have the American Wine Company, of St. Louis, started several years earlier. It does not depend upon raising grapes for wine, but buys largely, and claims to have made last year over 100,000 gallons of still wines, and half a million bottles of champagne.
The vineyards of the town of Hermann yielded last year over 150,000 gallons of wine, and about 85,500 pounds of grapes sold, the total value of both being estimated at $157,557.
In the Report of the Department of Agriculture for 1868, partial reports from nineteen counties are given, the average footing to 1,508. Statistics obtained last year by the Mississippi Valley Grape Growers' Association, entirely reliable so far as they go, indicate that there are about 3,000 acres of vineyards in the State, and the entire value of the grape product of the State this year will not be less than $3,000,000.
SUPERIORITY OF MISSOURI GRAPES AND WINES.
It is not so much, however, the number of acres planted during the last few years, as it is the more or less favorable results from those in bearing, and the comparative quality of the fruit and wines produced therefrom, which tend to determine the question of superiority of our State above most others.
What little statistical information has been gathered thus far on this subject, and the very imperfect statements and incorrect figures given in the various reports, including that of the U. S. Agricultural Department, make it impossible to give reliable comparisons; but even this last named report shows that the average produced per acre in Ohio was 3,745 lbs. grapes, or 320 gallons wine; it was in New York 4,571 lbs. grapes, or 416 gallons wine; and in Missouri 6,900 lbs. grapes, or 483 gallons wine. A more reliable proof of the superiority of Missouri's grapes over all others, we find by comparing the strength of the must by Oechsle's must-scale, which always comes out in favor of Missouri, even against the most celebrated wine localities of the Union. This is due to climate and soil. Rev. Chas. Peabody, who has given much attention to the investigation of this subject, says: "The two important natural conditions demanded by the grape are climate and soil. Given these two, all the rest will eventually follow from the application of the skilled industry of the vine-dresser. In this portion of the Valley of the Mississippi, we find these two elementary conditions, climate and soil, existing together. That the soil and climate of Missouri and the adjacent parts of other States, especially those on its eastern and western boundaries (Illinois and Kansas), are eminently adapted to the growth of the grape, is a point too well established to need discussion here. The fact is well known and universally acknowledged throughout the entire district, and perhaps I may venture to add, throughout the United States. Compared with other sections of the United States (at least all those east of the Rocky Mountains), so far as their capabilities have been tested, our advantages for the production of wine are certainly superior."
We have not the space to show by the isothermal lines, ascertained by years of actual observation, that our mean temperature during the various seasons comes nearest to those most celebrated places in France where the grape is known to succeed, and must confine ourselves to but few data, of which the following tables, extracted from essays read before the Mississippi Valley Grape Growers' Association, will afford a ready comparison:
Kelly's Island, O., 1867..........
For the highest development of the wine properties of the grape a mean temperature of no less than 65° Fahrenheit is demanded during the season of ripening. In the tables above alluded to we find the following:
Aug. Sept. Oct. Av'ge
Besides the high temperature, a diminished rain-fall during the same season 18 essential to the perfection of the grape. Dr. Stayman, of Leavenworth,
Kansas, in an able discussion of these meteorological influences, comparing the averages of Illinois, Missouri and Kansas with those of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, for 1867, finds a difference of 4.14° more heat and 6.45 inches less rain for the months of July, August and September, and for the whole period 7.20° more heat and 10.38 inches less rain in favor of the Western States.
Wherever Missouri wines have been tested, in comparison with those of other States, either at home or abroad, they have almost invariably taken the highest rank. At the meeting of the American Pomological Society, held in St. Louis in September, 1867, there was a large exhibition of American wines, including twenty varieties, from various States. The committee on Catawba wines, using a scale of 100 to designate degrees of excellence, rated the best Missouri sample at 95, and other samples from this State at 90, 84, &c. The highest from any other State was Illinois, 83; the best, from Ohio, was rated at 70. These were still wines. The sparkling Catawba of the American Wine Company, of St. Louis, were rated one and two degrees higher than samples from the celebrated Longworth Wine House, of Cincinnati. The committee was composed of two gentlemen from Ohio and one from Washington.
At the Paris Exposition, the American Wine Company's champagne was awarded honorable mention, and diploma sent them on account of its fine flavor, although the French jurors remarked it had too much of the fruity taste. The German jurors, accustomed to wines of high bouquet and flavor, were very much pleased with the American wines which possessed these qualities. The American committee, consisting of the Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, Alexander Thompson, William J. Flagg, and Patrick Barry, said: "From what comparison we have been able to make between the better samples of American wines, on exhibition at the Paris Exposition, with foreign wines of similar character, as well as from the experience of many European wine-tasters, we have formed a higher estimate of our own ability to produce good wines than we had heretofore." Wines which have since repeatedly been sent to Germany from Missouri have been highly spoken of, and were pronounced very superior wines by the best connoisseurs. It is also a notable fact that the trade in native wines has assumed such proportions in St. Louis, that even her importers of foreign wines, who have heretofore strongly disfavored any others, feel now compelled to buy and keep always on hand the Catawba, Concord, and Norton's Virginia.
There are several other varieties that are destined to take high rank, but have not yet been made in sufficiently large quantities to become well known. There are about seventy-five varieties of native grapes in cultivation and on trial in the State. About one-third of this number may be considered as well tested, and more or less successful.
Our Concord wine is becoming more and more popular, and should take the place of imported clarets. It suits the uncultivated taste better than either claret or Catawba. The Norton's Virginia, as it becomes better known, is more and more esteemed for its valuable tonic and astringent qualities. As a medicinal wine, it is not excelled probably by any wine, native or imported.
Catawba has generally been considered too acid by those unaccustomed to it, but it makes an exceedingly wholesome and palatable summer drink, and is especially admired in the form of Catawba cobblers. When made into sparkling wine or champagne, it has a very agreeable bouquet, and is preferred by those who become accustomed to it to the best imported champagne. It is purer, contains less alcohol, and is rapidly superseding them.
WINE CONDUCIVE TO HEALTH AND TEMPERANCE.
Taking into consideration the fact that the manufacture of wine is yet in its infancy in this country, the above results indicate that it is rapidly attaining a prominent place among the leading industrial pursuits, and materially aiding the cause of temperance by decreasing the consumption of distilled and fortified liquors. On this point an intelligent writer says:
"Of the good or evil effects of drinking pure wine, Americans have small means of judging. The dogmas of total abstinence have been built upon facts. existing in two countries where pure wine is an almost unknown thing-upon British and American facts. Not in France, not in Spain, or Portugal, or Italy, or Switzerland, or South Germany, are gathered the awful statistics of the temperance lecturer; but from Britain, from America, and other countries. where a kind of necessity, or at least a controlling fatality, has led to the using as a beverage what in grape-growing countries is hardly known save as medicine.
"The advocates of abstinence, having made out their case against distilled spirits, demand judgment against wine also. Having shown that drinking whisky or rum tends in a dangerous degree to make men drunkards, they jump to the conclusion that wine drinking must also tend in a like degree to the same calamitous result. By such reasoners it is assumed:
"First, that alcohol as found in distilled spirits, and alcohol as found in wine that has not been distilled, exists in both cases under identically the same conditions, and has on the drinker the same effects.
"Secondly, that foreign wines which are usually consumed in America and Britain are the same as what the people of the countries which produce them drink at home, and the same as what we should drink in case we grew our own wines at home.
"But distilled and undistilled alcohol exist under very different conditions and have very different effects. And to reason from Port, Sherry, and Madeira, and other liquors that come to us in ships, to the wines that will spring from our own soil, if our vine culture be blessed, is by no means admissible. Simple alcohol is not a drink at all. It is never taken without a large admixture of water, and usually of other substances. Brandy, whisky and rum contain nearly as much water as they do of alcohol, even before being diluted for drinking; while wine is in its nature a very delicate combination of various ingredients, with all of which we are not yet fully acquainted. Alcoholic drinks, then, being essentially compounds either naturally or artificially formed, they cannot be fairly judged without considering the properties of the substances which compose them, the proportions they bear to each other, and