Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/604

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exploring it pretty thoroughly. He is said to have had a more extensive knowledge of it than any other man living. As a result of his activity a good deal of information about this interesting place was spread before the public, in newspapers and otherwise. The best accessible description of Okefinokee Swamp, in Nesbitt's "Georgia, her Resources and Possibilities," published by the Georgia agricultural department in 1896, is based on his observations. Most of the above history of the operations of the Suwanee Canal Company is taken from this book, and is given in considerable detail here because the book seems to be quite rare. An abridged description can be found in Stevens & Wright's "Georgia, Historical and Industrial," a similar but much larger book published by the same department in 1901, and in Bulletin No. 5 of the Geological Survey of Georgia, by S. W. McCallie. After the death in 1895 of Capt. Jackson, its president and most active member, the canal company suspended operations. The ten or twelve miles of canal and five or six miles of drainage ditch began to fill up with vegetation, the steamboats and dredges mostly sunk or were burned, the sawmill fell to decay, and the rails of the logging road were taken up. The property then passed into the hands of some northern lumbermen, who it is said are still planning to exploit the economic resources of the swamp, though there was no visible evidence of their work at the time of the writer's visit a few years later.

To return to the progress of exploration of the Okefinokee; Dr. Filibert Roth, at that time connected with the Division of Forestry of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, seems to have made a brief visit to the swamp in the spring of 1897. Incidental references to the two commonest trees of the swamp, cypress and slash pine, were published by him soon afterwards in Bulletin 13 (revised) and Circular 19 of the Division of Forestry.

In August, 1902, the writer, in the course of botanical explorations in south Georgia, spent two days in the swamp, and considerably more time in the surrounding country. In the swamp he was accompanied by Mr. P. L. Ricker, of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and a native guide. We traversed the whole length of the old canal in a small boat, and made a side trip on foot through the bogs to an island about two miles off the canal. Together we took about forty photographs, including all those used to illustrate this article. Brief notes on this expedition have been published in several scientific journals, but nothing like a complete description of the vegetation of the swamp has yet been attempted.

During the winter and spring of 1905-6 a party from the Bureau of Soils of the U. S. Department of Agriculture examined the soils around Waycross, and in their report, published in April, 1907, is a pretty fair description of the northern end of Okefinokee Swamp.