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Title: Found at Last: the Veritable Garden of Eden
Author: Slyke, David Van
Language: English
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                        [Original Cover, with Map]

               Found at Last: the Veritable Garden of Eden

 Or a place that answers the Bible description of the notable spot better
                      than anything yet discovered

                         By Rev. D. O. Van Slyke

Independent Printing House, Galesville, Wisconsin

Copyrighted 1886, by C. S. Van Slyke Proprietor, Galesville, Wis.

All rights reserved.

[Preparer’s Note: Typographical errors from the original have been
retained, as well as quirks of punctuation (such as the extensive use of


On the principle of “first know you are right, then go ahead,” I have been
very slow in making public the results of my discovery. But having become
thoroughly satisfied that I have a reasonable thing of it, have ventured
to publish it. It has appeared in brief articles in the Galesville
INDEPENDENT, in order to invite general inspection, and criticism.

When God made man to dwell on the face of the earth, He, evidently, must
place him somewhere. In giving the antldiluvians a description of the
creation, and first location of man, how mankind corrupted themselves, and
how God destroyed them with a flood, he simply stated the principal facts,
and gave a description of the location—and it not being on that continent,
he could not point it out to them—and as the country in which Noah then
resided, was all new to him, and his family, no one knew where it was; nor
was any one able then, or since, to find it on that continent; thus, the
location, though admitted to be somewhere on earth, has been kept a
profound mystery to the present time, and consequently the innocent cause
of no little speculation.  But by degrees it has  been opening to the
minds of some, that the first habitation of man must have been somewhere
on the American Continent; and the finger of time has been plainly
pointing to what is known as the “North West,” as the place. But of this
last fact I was ignorant when I made the discovery of the garden, and
commenced developing the facts about it. The discovery, resulted from my
familiarity with, or thorough knowledge of the Bible, and standing on the
hanging garden and looking over the plat, and admirirg its most wonderful
scenery, and counting the rivers, I became sensibly impressed by a
suggestion, This is the garden of Eden: at which suggestion I smiled, as
the plat, to me then, was altogether too large. Of course I had never
given it thought, nor measured it up in my own mind to what should, or
might be its proper dimentions. However so strong were my impressions,
that I, as a matter of pleasantry, used, occasionally to say to my
friends, This is the garden of Eden.

Since I commenced to publish my views, claiming a possible reality, while
some have mocked, others are becoming impressed with the idea of its being
not only possible, but highly probable. Where would a scientest place the
first pair, to acclimate, and from which to make man, as he now is, an
inhabitant of all the earth?  Not too far north, not too far south. Our
garden is in that place. It should be destitute of money mineral wealth,
as these, if easily obtained, are corrupting in their tendencies, and
should be sought, and toiled for, to be properly enjoyed; and should be
placed at a distance, just where God says he provided it, at the head of
the stream. Our garden is still in the right place. From inherited wealth
and luxury comes danger to the inheritors. Our garden is again right. But
it should be a place susceptible of, and adapted to moral and intellectual
growth, and lead to the admiration, adoration, and worship of the great
Builder of the universe, the Infinite and Perfect. Is there a better place
for that, in all this beautiful earth, than is our garden, and its
surroundings? If there is, we would like to see it.

I have related the facts as they have been presented to me, or as I have
discovered them, and believe the reader will be pleased and profited with
the results, and I hope this will lead to more thorough and satisfactory

                                                               THE AUTHOR.


                           See Genesis 2, 8-14.

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden. * * And a river went
out of Eden to water the garden,—[or, the river that ran through the land
of Eden watered the garden.]—And from thence,—[in, the garden]—it was
parted and became into four heads. * * And the fourth river is Euphrates;”
which means long river, symbol of greatness and importance, and which,
answers to our “Father of Waters.”  It is plain that Eden is a certain
country; that the Euphrates river crosses that country, that “eastward”,
or on the eastward, bank of, or at a certain point on that river, is
located the garden of Eden; and that three lesser rivers run through and
water this garden, flowing into the great river; thus four rivers run into
and water it, but only one, the fourth, runs out. As to how it was
watered, we have a clue; “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the
plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere * * even as the
garden of the Lord;” by streams crossing the plain, and running into the
river of Jordon, just as our three rivers cross our garden plain, into our
Euphrates. The names given to these rivers were, doubtless, explanations
of facts well known to the antideluvians.

We need not now undertake to prove, or show what must readily be admitted,
that, there is no such spot, or coming together of rivers in the region
where it was first supposed to be, and which has caused explorers and
researchers to turn to Africa, and other countries, in search of the
place; and Dr. Warren, with all his learning and ingenuity, to the North
Pole. But _we_ have found it where he and others, can come and see for

It is located on the “eastward bank” of the Mississippi River, between the
beautiful cities of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Winona Minnesota. Please
notice the beauty and euphony of those names. The Mississippi—the bible
Euphrates—river, being one of the longest and most picturesque rivers _in
the world._ Its valley, proper—with its tributaries, some of which reach
far out into “Havilah” the “Land of good gold”—extends from the Alleghany
mountains on the eastern border, 2,000 miles westward to the Rocky
mountains on the western border, and from the Gulf of Mexico, on the
south, extending 2,000 miles north, across the United States into the
Bridtish possessions. This vast area, Eden,—containing the most fertile
and habitable region of earth, and is being settled and inhabited by the
most industrious, enlightened, christianized and well to-do people in the
world; the asylum or _universal home_ of the oppressed and needy of all
lands,—contains “The heart of the New World,” the “Land of Promise,” in
this Christian United States of America. Central in this domain, Eden, is
our _Garden_ of Eden. The soil is not a deep, rich paste, like the
American bottoms opposite St. Louis, on the same river, which is known to
be the _richest_ land in the world, but higher, drier, and more habitable,
easily cultivated, and adapted to _gardening._

The river here, as in most places, has three banks; the first a little
above high water mark,—densely covered with forest trees, which consitutes
the islands and “river bottoms”—cut up by water courses and sloughs. The
river and bottoms are about two miles wide, over and through which the
“Laughing” and “Father of waters,” courses, run, and play their dances.
The second bank is high and dry above the hightest water mark,—and
generally smooth prairie, and ready in the state of nature for the garden
plow—extending back on one or both sides of the river for miles, making a
valley at this place, of about ten miles in the widest, when we reach the
bank, bluff, or rocky wall, which rises—on each side of our garden—to the
altitude of 600 feet above the river, being the point of the highest
bluffs on the Mississippi.

Nineteen miles above La Crosse, and twelve miles below Winona, on the
“eastward bank,” nestles, and spreads out that most beautiful town site,
Trempealeau, on which ought now to be a large city, and which doubtless
would have been but for the greed and ignorance of a part of its original
proprietors, who being told, and thinking they had the “nicest,” “most
beautiful,” “splendid,” town site on the Mississippi river, they were
bound to get rich at once, “but not knowing their day,” and how to build
up a town like, the fabled dog, “they grabbed for the shadow and lost the
reality;” “Their language was confounded and their work delayed.” Here on
the second bank, is raised, our “Hanging Garden,” a crescent bluff, high
as the outside wall, extending three miles up the river, terminating at
each end in a point, and one mile through the center, being in the form of
a new moon, and unlike anything of the kind, so far as known, in the
entire world, and must be seen to be appreciated.

This is not one solid smooth topped hill, but possesses all the variety of
bluff formation, containing groves of forest trees, ravines, slopes,
scattered rocks, and perpendicular ledges facing the river, like the “Face
of a King,” some of these ledges are 200 ft. high, commencing more than
half way up the mound, then rising perpendicular to near the very top. The
top of this hanging garden has its slopes, mounds, pyramids, domes, and
pinnacles, in most beautiful variety; and at the present time, it is
dotted with fields of grain, and specked with stone quarries and lime
kilns. Now, please, place yourself with me on the “Central Outer Dome”
“Heald’s quarry,” facing toward the eastward, and you have, before, below,
and around you the veritable Garden of Eden; a valley scene, in extent and
importance unequalled in America, and I think, in the world. Not like the
Yosemite, small, romantic _grand_ but _uninhabitable_ or unfit for a
_garden,_ but the very beau ideal of a garden.

Now that we are up where we can see, let us look across and around this
garden. Turn, now and face the south-west. There, before and below you
flows the Mississippi, whose name is as euphonious as the Euphrates, or
its own flowing waters. See its “Broad channels,” queer and picturesque
islands, its trees and vine-clad bottoms, lovely beyond description; its
general course, not meandering, but evenly hugging the base of the
Minnesota bluffs, or western wall of the garden, which it does for some
twenty-five miles, or from just below Winona, to just above La Crosse,
running in a southeasterly and southern direction, making a beautiful
curve, leaving the main garden valley on the “Eastward” bank, in the form
of a section of an ampitheater, 35 miles long, 5 miles wide at each end,
and 10 miles through the center. _This vast valley plain is our Garden of
Eden._ Now, Look! as thousands before you have done in wonder and
surprise! Look immediately around you, over the hanging garden on which
you stand, and, _look out for snakes,_ for how could you have such a
garden without a “Serpent.”, And this hanging garden has been notable and
notorious for rattlesnakes, from time immemorial, handed down in their
Indian name “rattlesnake hills,” and including Mount Trempealeau, (a
separate and distinct pyramid) was formerly “Literally alive with
rattlesnakes.” Mr. Dovile, one of the first white settlers at Trempealeau,
who built his shanty on the bank, a few rods from the river, killed, and
kept count of ninety great rattlesnakes the first season, in, and crossing
his foot-path from his house to the river, saying nothing of how many he
killed elsewhere.

But as Christians have taken possession of the hanging garden, the
serpents have been destroyed, or are disappearing.

The scenery now around us surpasses my power of adequate description, as
do the great lakes. Superior, Michigan, Huron,—and so on down the line,—in
their magnitude and importance, those little lakes in the garden,
southeast of us, containing a few acres each, mirroring their shining
beauties into our faces. But O, how beautifully, and magnificently fenced,
or walled in, is our garden! While there is a general level, bounding the
top, yet what an indescribable variety of topping out. Cones, oblongs,
smooth ridges, trees, huge rocks, rough, ragged and jageed, in almost
endless variety.  Perpendicular ledges boldly facing us: or single rocks
of varied sizes; smooth bald heads, and ridges; deep, and dark chasms;
wide openings of river’s mouths; all making one of the grandest panoramas
conceivable.  At present this “wild scenery” is being effaced by the
profuse growth of timber.  Near the southern extremity, lies the beautiful
flourishing city of La Crosse, with its tall church spires and electric
towers, fringed with smoke from its numerous lumber mills; most
appropriately and providentially named. La Crosse—saying nothing of its
being the name of an ancient game modernized—as here _crosses_ the
_garden_ one of the four notable rivers, whose opening and bluff outline,
may be seen coming in from the “far east,” making and containing the
notable and once far-famed, “La Crosse valley”; on which is located the
beautiful city of Sparta.

Just beyond La Crosse city, and to the left we see the outline entrance of
Mormon Cooley valley, which creek bounds the lower end of our garden. Now
as we trace the wall to the left,—past the La Crosse valley, and first
eastern gate—we discover another small line of opening through which runs
Half-way creek, notable as the home (Holman) of Norwegians. The next bold
heavy prominence is “King bluff.” Still tracing on, we notice some queer
looking rocks, lying on top of a ridge; then, the Twin points, the outer
one the “Sugar Loaf,” a most beatiful _cone mound_ pointed with rock, and
beckon to Black river valley, this side of which, is “Castle rock;” and to
the left, a wide opening and a beautiful valley,—the central and main
eastern gate—with branching valleys, extending east and northeast, all in
front of you, down which flows the notable “Black river,” appropriately
named, from the natural blackness of its waters, and because it cuts and
_divides_ our _garden_ through its center, and making a beautiful belt of
timbered bottoms. As it nears the Mississippi, it forms a delta, one part
turning to the left, and running parallel to the Mississippi, forming that
grand booming pond, and depot of lumbering at Onalaska; and then empties
itself into the Mississippi at LaCrosse; thus inclosing, and forming
French island, once the resort of counterfeiters.

As you glance up Black River valley, coming in from the right, is
“Flemming’s creek,” or Lewis’ valley, a fertile valley, in which is
located the euphonious Mendora; those blue highlands, apparently at the
head of the main valley is “Robinson’s,” or “Pine Hill,” between Black
River Falls and Sparta. This way to the left, that beautiful notch in the
bluff is “Peacock Pass,” and is just this side of North Bend, and though
apparently so near, is some “twenty miles away.”  This heavy point, at the
left of Black river, is “Heuston’s Bluff,” the next best point from which
to view this valley garden.  To the left and farther away, _look_ at that
_great rock,_ big as a barn, topping out another cone. That is the
veritable “Decora’s Peak,” named after that wonderful one-eyed chieftain,
who, with a few  of his brave and loyal band, lodged, occasionally in a
cave in that rock; and from its hight were enable to discover any game, or
even an enemy within a large range. Once on a time, it is said, he
discovered the prowling “Black Hawk,” with his band of warriors, and ran
to Prairie du Chien, ninety miles in one day, to inform the U. S.
Government; and, then, helped to capture their enemy.  A little farther to
the left, and just across the garden from us wedged in a narrow opening,
lies the village of Galesville, on Beaver creek,—a branch of Black
river,—with its exquisitely beautiful lake, and bounding fish, its fine
water power, health giving mineral springs, Galesville University and
choice people.  “Beautiful for situation” is Galesville, the joy of all
its inhabitants, if not of all the earth.  And “as the hills are round
about Jerusalem,” so are the hills, and vastly more magnificent ones,
round about Galesville, and the scenery simply GRAND. Looking up Beaver
creek valley, to the left, is Maughmer’s bluff which affords a grand view;
and still to the left, that dim mountain peak, pointed with rock and
shrubs (in the direction of Blair, in Trempealeau valley,) is “Chapel
Peak.”  In the early settlement, by whites, of this region of country, two
Methodist itinerants, A. B. Smith and Isaac Springer were  following a dim
wagon track, on their way to Galesville, which track passed along at the
base of that peak; and they clambered to its top, and found there “The
rock-formed pulpit” or altar, which had stood there for ages, into which
they entered, and as they were both good singers, they sang,—to make the
welkins ring, as there was nothing else thereto hear:—

On the mountain-top appearing,
Lo! The sacred Herald stands,
Welcome news in Zion bearing
Zion _long_ in _hostile_ lands.

Still tracing the garden wall as we turn to the left, we face the “Big
Tamarac” through an opening in the wall, a swamp of dense tamarac, one
mile wide, and six miles long, bordered with belts and groves of oak,
furnishing fencing and fuel for the upper end of the garden. Another turn
and you are looking through “Whistler’s Pass,” another of “Nature’s
highways” out of the garden; this leading through the Polander settlement
into the Trempealeau Valley. Another turn and we mark the bluff outline
and entrance into the garden—the third and last eastern gate,—of the
Trempealeau river, crossing it at the upper end; and like Black river, it
forms a delta, one part running down along side of the Mississippi,
forming an island, on the lower end of which, is that wonderful “Mount
Trempealeau,” a rocky cone covered with pine trees, where with the outlet
of Trempealeau lake, it flows through a narrow opening between the
mountain and crescent hanging garden—of which it forms a part—into the
Mississippi river. Trempealeau Lake, at the head of the hanging garden,
just back of the mountain, is a body, principally of spring water, and is
one of the most notable fishing ponds known, attracting fishermen from far
and near. “Trempealeau; surrounded, soaked, fertilized _with water._” So
expressive, so important to this region is the word, that the lake, the
island, the mountain, the river, the county; the township, and the village
are all named Trempealeau.

Another slight turn and we are looking into the closed up valley of the
Mississippi,—on account of a bend in the river—which is the fourth and
last river that enters, crosses, and waters this garden is on the west
bank of which, at the upper end of our garden, right there, plainly before
you, lies the charming bustling city of Winona,—associated with a thousand
legends of Indian traditions,—with its tall water tower, its numerous
lumber mills, churches, normal school, and enterprising people, stretching
itself over a smooth and most lovely prairie. Vandal proprietors are
devouring their “Sugar Loaf,” standing just back of the city, as well as
quarrying down their native garden walls.

In our constant turning to the left, that string of white buildings below
Winona, on the river’s bank and pressed against the foot of the wall, is
Homer, a quiet little ville.

In our western view we shall not see so many objects of interest; as not a
river pierces the western wall, only a few little brooks, or trout
harboring runs,—where they used to catch the speckled trout by the bushel,
prominent among which is Cedar run, just, a little above us and Trout run
directly opposite of us, on which is located the celebrated “Pick Wick”
flouring mills—are all that indent or mar its smooth and even face. Then,
everything appears to be so near by. The forms, and farm houses, in such
multiplied variety, so plain in sight, just “Over there,” _outside_ of the
garden, rough and rugged, to where “Fallen Humanity” was driven. And we
are getting tired of looking, so we make a rapid turn, glancing along the
wall down over New Amsterdam and Holland settlement, to the point of
commencement, and are looking into the closed-up valley, on account of
another bend, in this mighty, mighty, Mississippi river, in its exit out
of this _Garden of Eden._

As we look down once more on this valley garden land, with its little
silver lakes, and shining streams, beautiful groves and undulating
prairies, and try to peer into its future, we are completely overwhelmed
with emotion, as we notice it is just _beginning_ to be checkered up, by
marks of intelligent human occupancy, as well as by the Indian tepee and
wigwam. But the time of gardening is not yet. And here is room for
hundreds of thousands of the fallen sons of God, to come and regain a home
in this “Paradise on earth” to all such as have a Paradise within them.

Now, will any one believe us? “Come and see!” Dr. Warner and all. Take
this description in your hand, read, and look, and like the “Queen of
Sheba,” you will lose your “spirit of doubting,” and say: “It was a true
report, though I believed it not, but now that mine eyes have seen it, the
one half of its greatness was not told.”

The scenery just outlined, is amazingly grand,
The work of the Deity, worthy his hand.

From our past observation, it is not so very strange to us, that
individuals often pass along over important sections of earth with out
noticing its beauty and its glory. Not that its flowers and its fruits are
altogether hidden, but that they have become common place, or for lack of
attention, on account of preoccupancy of the mind, are not noticed. Nor is
it much wonder that individuals should reside right in the midst of the
garden of Eden and not be aware of it; see many of its peculiar
characteristics, and yet not recognize them; simply because they seem
natural; were indeed natural; just as God made it; or, the results of
natural growth and changes. It is perfectly plain from the Bible account,
and _that_ is our guide in this matter, that Eden was a country, and that
a very important river crossed or ran through and watered that country,
and because of its importance was named Euphrates.—the great river, a very
common ancient method of naming things.—And that, “Eastward,” or on the
eastward bank of that river, central in this Eden, at a certain
point,—where three rivers joined the great river, the four entering, and
crossing the garden, and only the great river running out of it,—was
located the garden of Eden; _One_ of the most desirable places for a human
being to dwell. Conducive of human happiness: First, where there was a
plenty of _good water,_ for human uses, and to fertilize the land, also
for fishes and fowls, and yet exempt from malarial diseases. And we ask,
where can there be found another plat of earth, of the same size and
surroundings, so abundantly watered, and with all the requisites for a
garden, and yet so free from malaria, as is our garden of Eden.  Second,
far enough north to catch the dry, balmy, health inspiring atmosphere, and
the pure water, the native home of the speckled trout, and yet the summer
temperature of the mild temperate zone, a medium from which to send its
inhabitants north and south. Third, exemption from the great terrors of
mankind, earthquake and cyclone. While the mountains are far away “round
about” our Eden, and the minerals in great abundance and variety are
within and about it, yet so far removed are they from the garden, as
entirely to exempt it from earthquakes; as these are confined to sea
coasts, and gas producing regions.  And as cyclones are supposed to be
produced by the sun’s rays,—as they never occur in the night,—and peculiar
electric concentration, which requires uniformity of land, or region, and
heat, and as our garden is sunk down into the earth to the depth of 500
feet, and in a line or direction, requiring a cyclone to cross it at right
angles,—as their course is from the south of west, toward the north of
east—and thus would have to leap the chasm, or loose its force in tumbling
into it,—and such is the uneveness of the country around it as to lessen
liability—for a cyclone is simply an electric wind storm, and not a
thunder storm, and moves in a single cloud, and not spread abroad, and
would be broken by an uneven country; find also on account of the
evaporation arising from the “much water” of our garden, such an electric
heated current could not well be formed across it; so we are naturally
exempt from cyclone, as well as earthquakes, which must be a great relief
of mind, and source of enjoyment to our residents. Yet from its size, and
shallowness, we must still be subject to high and purifying winds, and
rain storms. And as evaporation and consequently the conducting of
electricity from the earth to the cloud regions, must go on more rapidly
in our garden, on a hot day, because of its “much water,” so, doubtless,
we shall always have our full quota of thunder storms. The rains, however,
being generally, of the more steady and general character.

To the language of Bishop Foss in his article on Minnesota, just published
in the _Christian Advocate:_“From my vantage ground of observation, near
the center of the continent, I greet you and many of your readers on its
distant rim;” we just wish to add, that our garden of Eden is bounded on
the west by southern Minnesota, therefore central. Again, “My point of
observation is lofty as well as central. Minnesota occupies the most
elevated plateau between the Gulf of Mexico and Hudson Bay, and forms the
watershed of three great river systems of the central part of North
America—the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence, and the Red River of the
North—its average elevation being just about 1,000 feet, the highest point
1,600 feet.” Again, “Concerning the climate, I condense the statement of
the _Encylopedia Britanica:_ Its elevation above sea-level gives an
agreeable rarefaction to the atmosphere, and makes the prevalence of fogs
and damp weather unknown. The comparative dryness of the atmosphere
neutralizes the severest effect of excessive cold. The Smithsonian Chart
assigns to Minnesota an average temperature for the hottest week in summer
of from 85° to 90° and for the coldest week in winter from 10° to 20°
below zero. The average annual rainfall is about 25½ inches. It is evident
that the causes which mitigate the actual severity of the climate as felt,
and so many clear days * * are those which render a climate healthful in
the highest degree.” What is thus true of Minnesota, is pre-eminently so
of our Garden.

While there is in our garden nearly every grade of soil, from the sand
blow-out, to the richest black muck, yet it is principally sandy loam,
just the foundation, for a garden. Still it produces fairly all kinds of

In our early settlement, over thirty years ago, Deacon Gilbert, raised,
near Galesville, fifty-two bushels of wheat to the acre; and it was
reported of some one raising 60. On a farm, located midway between the
hanging garden and the opposite wall, purchased by D. O. VanSlyke from the
government—as “Hopkins choice,” or the refuse vacant land, and last to be
entered on the prairie, or entire upper end of the garden,—when, at its
best, produced forty bushels of wheat to the acre. And as one forty was
devoted to wheat, several crops were taken, averaging over 35 bushels to
the acre; then gradually decreasing to the fifteenth crop, one having been
of corn, and fourteen of wheat, without the application of any fertilizers
whatever, when it produced only 18 bushels of No. 1 wheat to the acre.
These facts came within my own observation, and are probably, above the
average of the entire garden; as the assessors assessed this farm, for a
number of years at nineteen dollars per acre, when it was offered for sale
at fifteen dollars per acre. But Trempealeau Prairie has been notable for
many years as the “Egypt” for corn producing. And we have no way of
estimating what could be done in the line of gardening, for lack of a
market, or capitalists to successfully enter competition. But as to the
apple-tree, that appears to have been driven out with fallen man; and
whether redeemed man can restore it, is a question, as it is not designed
at present, for man to live on the spontaneous productions of the earth.

Of the scenery we have never tired. It is always fresh and enchanting. And
such an inspiring feeling, of “this is my home!” “O what a delightful

If any, who pass along at the base of Chappel Peak, on a clear day will
take the foot path and ascend it to its top, its altitude probably not 200
feet above them, they will have within easy range of the eye such a
landscape scene, as but few upon earth ever have the privilege of looking;
and one that will greatly enthuse an admirer of nature. And they will be
apt to feel as well as to see the appropriateness of its name. If they can
sing, or preach, they will want to join with those preachers, and sing, or
preach to an assembled world, seated within the incircling walls.

If you are at Galesville, ask some one to point out “Heuston’s Bluff,” you
need no guide, only good walking muscles, pick your way, and tug on until
you reach the top. Then, after taking a general look all around you, sit
down and rest you. Now, take another general sweeping birds-eye view, all
around, seeing everything in the aggregate; then rest awhile, and
contemplate it.

Now you are, or ought to be, prepared to itemize, or to look attentively
at particular objects; and if you have our description, it will greatly
assist, as well as interest you. We believe that no grander garden valley
scene exists on this beautiful earth. Therefore patiently wait, don’t
cease your viewing, or think of leaving the place in less than two hours;
or until you fully realize the “inspiration” of this masterly scene; and
we have no fears, if you are anything of an admirer of the magnificent in
nature, but that you will thank us a thousand times for calling your
attention to it.

That heavy bold front in the garden wall beyond the mouth of Black River
is “King bluff” which is now easily distinguished as the central highest
point in the eastern wall, and which is just opposite of “Queen bluff,”
the central highest point in the western wall of our garden, and said to
be the highest land on the Mississippi river. Here, from Heuston’s bluff,
we have a better view of Black river, and its tributaries, than from our
former place of observation.  Now we stand as it were right over them, and
can see to the “Northward and Eastward.” “Alps on Alps arise;” Decora’s
Peak and Mound so plainly and beautifully near; then those most beautiful
cone mountains, and Chapel Peak, up Beaver creek, points for beacon
lights, and charmingly beautiful scenes looming up most conspicuously.  We
do say that you can find many grand valley and landscape scenes on the
Mississippi, and its tributaries, and we do not wonder that good writers
extol them,—should wonder if they did not,—but we further say that we have
the Garden; and everything considered, not only the greatest, and
grandest, and best, but the only spot on earth that answers the Bible
description of that notable spot, or Garden of Eden.

Moritz Engel of Dresden-Newstadt, Germany, has written a book, an octavo
of 207 pages, dated Adam’s and Eve’s day, December 1884, entitled: “The
Solution of the Paradise Question.” To a review of this book, President W.
J. Warren of the Boston University, has devoted over a column in the
Christian Advocate of Aug. 20, 1885. Engel claims to demolish, and
doubtless does, the preceding “eighty nugatory attempts at a solution.”
And as anyone can see, Dr. Warren demolishes Engel’s attempt to foist his
riverless “Tartarian swale in the heart of the North Syrian desert,” as
the veritable Eden; in the lower end of which was his Garden, alternating
between a pool or lake, caused by the rains, and filled by the torrents
during the rainy season, and a dried up, parched, barren spot, drying up,
“towards the end of May, or first of June; without a green thing,”—utterly
uninhabitable,—and which Engel admits, “has always been so.”

The chief value of Engel’s production, as well as Dr. Warren’s North Pole
Garden, is to show, (in Dr. Warren’s own language.) “The imperishable
interest of the Eden problem;” and to leave the subject entirely clear for
me, and a calm consideration of the facts of the case as we find them. Dr.
Warren, naturally, (as anyone who undertakes to do a thing and fails,)
scouts the idea of anyone else doing it, or of a litteral four rivered;
Garden of Eden. So have others who have failed to find it.

Engel puts in a claim of Divine inspiration directing him to the spot; and
he writes with the positiveness and unreasonableness of a crank. All the
inspiration we claim, is the beauty and grandeur of the scenery, and the
adaptation and facsimile, or actual description of the spot, to the
description given in the Bible, a Divinely inspired book, as our guide to

We are aware that we are living in an age of scientific speculation, of
counterfeits, and humbugs. After misguided explorers have given up the
search, in the Eastern Continent, a scientest, to show his skill, must
throw a cloud on the possibility of finding a literal “four rivered spot,”
on earth, and gives us an ingenious unaproachable North Pole Garden. A
crank gives us a volcanic “Tartarian,” riverless desert as the _spot,_
under a profession of Divine inspiration, A land speculator, must dress up
a Florida malarial swamp as the place, to entice purchasers to his lands.
Now, providentially, we are clear of all these objections. We do not have
an unapproachable, frozen sea; or Tartarian volcanic region;  or malarial
swamp; or government, or company, lands to sell. Our Garden is principally
owned by actual settlers. All the land I own, is a burial lot in the
Galesville cemetery, and not for sale; and not many have money enough to
purchase it.

_But we have an Eden that challenges your attention; and a Garden that
will awaken your admiration.  Come and see!_ Please notice the natural
youuthfulness of the region immediately around our Garden. Take about a
hundred miles square,—of which our Garden is the centre,—and you will have
some of the most charming mountain and valley scenery in the world, minus
the mountains, or all in miniature, just such hills and valleys in which
the youth most delight. A more appropriate region to surround the Garden
we cannot conceive.  While immediately outside of this region you enter
upon a broad level country, principally prairie, of rich farming lands,
indicating the next step in developed humanity, and the very beau ideal of
an Eden; and as you go outward, the earth abounds in minerals, and in
unlimited sources of wealth. Take a map of Palestine giving a birds-eye
view of the hills and valleys, of which Jerusalem is somewhat central, and
you will have a fair representation or view of the region around our
Garden, and see the force of the expression, “as the hills are round about
Jerusalem, so is the Lord round about his people,” and so are the hills
round about our Garden.

Did you say as you looked down over our Garden valley, that this is too
large a plat of ground for the Garden of Eden? Bless you! have you not
considered that the Garden should be proportionate to the Land of Eden?
Why, did you think that the Garden of Eden was only a half-acre garden
patch, or small orchard? Read again your Bible on that subject. How could
you get four rivers into it then, to water it, and one of them a
“Euphrates” a wonderful great river? And is not the usual idea of a
garden, a beautiful rich flat, or valley, like Lot’s plain of Jordan?
Please just think again, how God had created the whole earth for the
habitation of the human family, and would he stint the allotment of the
first pair? Did you think how long they lived, how many children they
probably had, what a numerous family before the first pair died, numbering
into the ten thousands? Did you ever give thought to the plan of
settlement, of these children? Of the necessity of water thoroughfares,
and the wisdom of God in locating them in some grand centre, as is this
garden, in this central, wonderful water-shed in this Eden as already
shown, comprising the great centre of this continent; and that when this
garden should be well filled with inhabitants, by means of boats, and easy
water conveyance, they could easily branch out and make settlements along
the rivers? Can you grasp the mightiness of Jehovah’s plan, in locating
the first pair at the junction of so many rivers into one so great a
river, and central to this Eden; thus naturally and easily to extend the
settlements over so vast a region of excellent country, as this Eden—the
greatest half of a continent,—and all this before the invention of wagon
roads and railroads. Please give it wise thought, before deciding it so

Did you pugh! pugh! at the idea of the garden, and antdieluvian
settlements, being so far away from Mt. Ararat? An ingenious Yankee, F. H.
Kribs, has figured that out long ago; that the ark would naturally go
eastward, and would just about reach that mountain in the time it was
floating; and that the current ran eastward is proven by the eastward
direction of submerged antediluvian trees. Then, how natural that God
should remove the redeemed ones far away from the scenes and remembrances
of human corruption and abominations before the flood; and let him develop
“up anew,” in the midst of new scenes and surroundings, and, as it were,
in a “new world,” until the sufficient development of his being, to allow,
by slow stages, to return him to the place of commencement. Did you ask
what mean these mounds, or earthly representations of such a variety of
living objects, so plentiful in and around this garden, and scattered
throughout the country of Eden, on one of which we are now standing? There
was science and durability in their construction. Did he say they were
built by the mound-builders? Evidently; but who are the mound-builders?
That is not in history or tradition. The first who came here after the
flood, found the mounds here, and asked the question: who are the
mound-builders? The mound-builders were silent. And every new comer and
every generation have asked that question, but no one could answer.
Naturally enough, “There was not one left to tell the tale.” They had
unwisely, and laboriously used their time, strength, and ingenuity, for
unworthy objects and purposes, and not for the comfort, education, and
moral development of humanity. They had added to their folly wickedness;
“they had changed the truth of God into a lie;” had “served and worshiped
the creature, (and dirt images) and not their Creator;” and God had
blotted them out, while some of their earthworks remain.

Did a lawyer from this place, make a point in his plea before court at
Whitehall, by declaring that I must be mistaken in my locality of the
Garden of Eden, for lack of the presence of a personal devil? In retort, I
am compelled to say, that I was sent a missioniary to this region, over
thirty years ago, and that I found the devil, or his tools, then
predominating in the M. E. society here; and when we tried to “turn the
rascals out,” we found that he, or they, outnumbered us in influence and
facilities, and turned the scale against us; and we have abundant facts to
show that he has held his grip in that society “unto this day.”

Did that Witty Editor say that we could prove our proposition by Josh
Billings’ method; _viz.:_ “that no one could prove that it was not the
Garden of Eden?” Very good. But we can do better. We _can and have_ proved
it, on scientific principles. We give a law: “An hypothesis that explains
all the phenomena, and contradicts every opposing hypothesis, is
considered proof.” Now, our hypothesis, and exact description of the plat,
explains the phenomena, answers perfectly the requirements; and, as it is
admitted that no other known plat on earth does so, we claim the proof,
and shall hold the ground until driven from it by a more successful
discoverer. And we do not fear Dr. Warren as competitor, though he has
also written a book; as he must first go, or get some one to go to the
North pole and survey his garden before he can bring in his proof, (and
that, doubtless, will let us out during the present generation) and
without which proof we will laugh down his theory, and his book, the
editor of the Christian Advocate to the contrary notwithstanding.

We have necessarily, given a very condensed statement, and discription, to
meet, developed modern, as well as original modes of thinking, and to give
the less developed ones an opportunity to study.

In giving the description of the Garden of Eden, does the Bible, there, or
anywhere, say so, or is there any grounds to believe, or suppose that it
was written or printed in legible imperishable characters, on the walls
around, on the sky above, or on conspicuous places within the garden,
“This is the Garden of Eden?” If not, what is our guide? Evidently not a
Lo here, or a Lo there, but the plain description, fairly interpreted, and
the place that answers that description; and we have it. Now, the public
press of La Crosse, and Winona, within the borders of our garden and who
might be supposed to know the merit, or demerit of my claim, have not
deigned to notice my articles on the Garden of Eden; so they cannot be
accused of conspiring with me to mislead the public, to attract to their
cities; or of having any faith in my discovery; and yet, I challenge any
of them to show any material incorrectness of my description and

Once, when on a steamboat, coming up the Mississippi, through our garden,
and standing forward, on the upper deck, near a well dressed gentleman,
who was intently looking at and admiring scenery which had also attracted
my attention, he turned suddenly, and excitedly said, “See! (pointing) O
see, that most enchantingly lovely scene, there!” (as if he had never
before seen its equal.) “There, if an artist should paint that, they would
say, ‘That is purely imaginary; the result of fancy’; but _there_ is the
foundation and excitement to his art; and no known artist can measure up
to the reality.” Perhaps neither of us will ever again see so enraptureing
a scene of clouds, shades, lights and shadows, of bluff scenery,—and that
means something here—of beautiful islands and forest trees, as was just
then around us, and mirrored to us in that grand old looking-glass, on
whose placid waters we were then floating. Being of like sympathy, I
entered into conversation with him, when he kindly informed me, that, to
gratify his passion for scenery, he had traveled extensively in the old
world, or foreign countries, that he was now taking in the Mississippi
River, and that this was the most beautiful and attractive river scenery
he had ever seen in his life; and that it far surpassed anything they had
seen in the old world. I have had several similar statements of noted
travelers, enough, with what I have seen myself, to satisfy me of the
truthfulness of my claim. I have taken several acknowledged eminent
travelers to my first point of observation, (Healds Bluff) who invariably,
like myself, evidently, labored, and failed for language adequately to
express the overwhelming beauty and grandeur of this valley scene. Now, if
ours is not the veritable original Garden of Eden, it is certainly easy of
access, of increasing reputation and importance as a summer resort, and
open to investigation, and we challenge the strictest inspection. Come and
see! Come and see!

I am glad to learn from the Editor of the Independent that I am not the
first one who has “located the old Bible ground in the Northwest;” would
like very much to see the volume alluded to, “written fifty years ago,”
treating that subject.  Perhaps we might gain some information from one
who had given it close intelligent thought, as well as some very desirable
information on this somewhat mysterious subject. Mine was an entire new
thought to me, suggested by the actual sight, viewing the garden from a
point on the hanging garden, and studying it over and over during my
residence here of over thirty years.  And despite of my natural
skepticism, I have become so impressed with the striking resemblance or
exact likeness of this, to the Bible garden, as therein, described, and
the immediate surroundings of this, to Palestine, (the type of the
surrounding or original habitation of man) as to force me to admit the
possibility, and to write out my convictions for the benefit of some one
better informed, and to enable such a one to draw better conclusions.

When God formed the earth into a globe, and set it rolling to keep it so,
and started it in its orbit around the sun, and the light of the sun first
flashed upon it, producing the requisite light and motion, for marking
time, then, with half in light and half in shade, as round the sun earth
took its flight, time on earth began. The day, the month, the year.
Chronological time commenced on the first day at high 12, and “The evening
and the morning [ending on the second day at high 12, one complete diurnal
revolution of the earth] was the first day.” And as man was the only
intelligent being placed on earth, capable of noting time, his residence
was, evidently, on that central line. Our “long” river and garden of Eden,
is exactly there, on the 90th meridian of central time, as laid down on
our present time table maps for this continent.

As everything in creation was full and perfect, God wisely placed the
earth in the summer solstice point of its orbit, and this continent facing
the sun, so that when he placed man upon it, as to give him the benefit of
harvest, and correct time, and all of which is proved by the change, God
ordered, from original reckoning of time, when Israel left Egypt, Ex. 12,
2, “This month [Abib, the 7th month] shall be unto you the beginning of
months, it shall be the first month of the year to you.” Thus changing the
beginning of the year from mid-summer to mid-winter. The commencing of the
reckoning of the day has also been changed from mid-day to midnight. That
the original first month, now the 7th month, was harvest time, is proved
from Lev. 23, 9-39; and that the seasons, of summer and winter, were then
as now, is also proven by Gen. 1, 14, and the history of the clothing of
the first pair, first aprons, then skins and furs.

The names given to the rivers and places, in connection with the original
habitation of man, were naturally washed out by the flood, or their
recollection continued in names of similar places on the new continent.
Then, is it not somewhat remarkable that, our garden valley is in the form
of a beautiful dove, or bird of paradise; and so grandly walled in as to
appear as a single valley, and have a hanging garden so situated that from
its height, the whole valley, the rivers, and “much water” all in plain

Is it not a little strange that the Holy Land should be the counterpart of
the regions around our garden, only ours, geologically, a little older,
and at present, at least, vastly superior in productiveness and
desirability as a home; and that so many things, in connection with and in
addition to, the exact Bible description of the garden of Eden, and of the
Holy Land, point to this place as the original garden; oldest, and best
adapted place on earth for the commencement of human existence, and from
which naturally to branch out, filling the Palestine around it; then, over
the entire Eden as already described. Let me once more call your attention
to the region immediately around our garden, of a section of which we have
such a good view from this Heuston’s Muff, of beautiful hills and valleys,
similar in appearance and extent, to the land of Palestine; which was
selected by the Creator as a representation of the habitation of man on
earth, in its pristine glory; a beau ideal of a country, a paradise; a
region of supreme felicity and delight; “A land flowing with milk and
honey;” which means susceptibility of the highest earthly enjoyments, and
figure of the world to come. Such a rough, youthful country, is not
naturally subject to cyclones, and disastrous storms, “but of rains,” and
“green pastures;” not a land of malaria, but a land of health and
happiness. Palestine was central to the habitable part of the eastern
continent, and was thus, in connection wilh its other good qualities,
selected for the residence of God’s chosen people, and contained many of
the mountains on which God appeared to man, a very interesting chapter in
the history of that country. Then, the central location of Jerusalem, “the
city of the great King;” “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole
earth, is Mount Zion;” in which was built the Holy Temple—of which God
himself was architect—with its Holy of Holies, where God met the High
priest, and kept up, though somewhat broken, yet, for long periods,
special communication with man, thus making it a holy and God honored
spot. There the Jews used to point to a stone, set as they claimed, by
some miraculous power, in the precise centre of the world. But whether
this was so or not, the city was for a long time the centre of attraction
of the world’s commerce, and of the best form of religion.

“A land flowing with milk and honey.” Yes, and that we have the place we
hope to make appear by a few extracts from a speech delivered by T. D.
Lewis, before the Wisconsin Dairymen’s Association, at Arcadia,
Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, February, 1885, published by the Dairymen’s
Association. Mr. Lewis, not knowing of our garden and Palestine, spoke
only in reference to what is beginning to be recognized, and well known
facts in relation to the dairying interests of this region. Commencing on
page 76: “As good, natural grasses and plenty of the right kind of water
are the material requisites necessary to successful dairying or
stock-growing generally, I propose to discuss in a brief manner, and for
the first time, call the attention of the public to the peculiar quality
of the soil in this section, and its adaptability for successful grass
growing, especially clover, and of its action, through the grasses and
water, in producing a superior quality of butter. * * * * It is now, I
believe, generally conceded by all stock growers that there is no known
plant grown that requires so small an outlay of labor and expense
generally, and furnishes so great an amount of plant food of just the
right kind for producing the best butter, cheese, and good, quickly
fattened beef, as clover, where it can be grown with anything near
success. * * * * * * My attention was first attracted to this subject some
eight or ten years ago, by noticing spots along the roads where clover had
sprung up in small patches, in soil either wild, or but, at the most,
partially subdued. I observed that it grew in the most luxuriant manner,
and spread rapidly, did not winter kill; in fact, looked just as if it had
come to stay. I then began a thorough examination of the soil that I have
not yet entirely completed, but have ascertained enough to warrant me in
saying, that through the agency of the decomposition of an ancient stratum
of rock, of which the most of our argillaceous clays are composed in this
vicinity, I find we have a soil peculiarly adapted to the growth of
clover. * * * * * * What were the reasons, do you suppose, why the Arcadia
creamery butter took the first, and the Alma creamery the second premium
at the fair held at St. Louis last fall?  This was from butter made in
Arcadia the second, and in Alma the first season of their opperation. You
could not believe, for a moment, that the butter makers employed in these
two creameries were so much better than all the others that exhibited
butter at that time, that this was the cause of obtaining the premiums? I
find, also, that the Arcadia butter, when placed upon the Elgin market of
Illinois, is considered superior to the other butter, in all the qualities
that go to make up a first-class article, and that is the largest butter
market, outside of Chicago, in the state. You would most certainly assign
this cause to other and more correct reasons, and, by an investigation
into the facts, would find it was produced through the effects of this
peculiar chemical material, in its action through the grasses and water of
this region. * * * *Any one looking on Prof. Owens’ geological chart of
his government survey of this state and Minnesota, will see a small area,
colored and marked metamorphic shades. It is no great extent of territory,
includes this and Buffalo county, and a portion of Jackson, and about us
much in Minnesota. It has been badly cut up through the agencies of
erosion, corrosion, and denudation, and probably one-fourth of this area
is now composed of arenaceious valleys, practically inexhaustible.” Clover
fields, “flowing with milk and honey,” how appropriate. A Wisconsin
Dairyman took the first premium on butter at the Worlds fair, at
Philedelphia, in 1876; at the World’s Exposition at New Orleans, in 1880,
in dairy products, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota stands at the head; and
the head centre of which, when once developed, is our palestine. In cheese
products, at New Orleans, out of 84 premiums, Wisconsin took 71, amounting
to $2,838. On butter, out of 69 premiums, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin
took 54, amounting to $3,364, thus leading the world.

Thus who can predict the future greatness of our garden, and the region
around it; naturally exempt from cyclone—which is beginning to be one of
the great terrors of man-kind—as it would require a miracle to leap a
cyclone from the top of our southwestern wall, down 600 feet, on to the
broad Mississippi river—and into a decidedly different atmosphere, the
reason already given—and keep a whirling. Thirty years of observation has
taught me, that small, single storms pass around us, and larger ones,
often, divide, and, no matter how portentous they look, as  did the one
the other day—since the St Cloud cyclone—which, at first sight,
approaching from the southwest, at the right time of day, and frightful
blue black color, made the timid ones tremble: but on approaching the
garden, it naturally divided, and passed around us, as usual; thus
confirming our statement.

Not being a believer in the speculative vague theories of modern
geologists, I shall leave the discussion of the geological age of our
garden to those wiseacres. But simply notice, that according to standard
authorities, our hanging garden contains the veritable Potsdam sand stone
of the primordial age. And my stone door step, taken from another strata,
is a mass of Molusk shells of the tribe of Brachiopods—specimens of the
earliest life on earth—the shells “less in size than a finger nail;” (see
Dana’s geology page 81) related to the modern Lingula; thus composing a
Lingula flag, or Lingula sandstone, of which mine is a slab over 5 feet
long, 2 feet wide and six inches thick, the finest specimen I have ever
seen, and lies at my front door, free for inspection.

Thus, on the oldest continent, with an overwhelmingly rich, great, grand
Eden; watered by the “Uphrates,” (long river) which, in itself, is
superlative; and which, with its tributaries, waters a superlatively grand
portion of the earth; and with its central garden, and surpassingly grand
hanging gardens, which overtop, and as immeasurably transcend the hanging
gardens of Babylon—which tourists travel thousands of miles to see—as does
the Niagra Falls, a common creek mill pond, or as the works of nature
transcend the works of art.  And did not God know which was the longest
river on earth, and which, with its tributaries, watered the grandest
region of country on earth, Eden, when he said the garden was on it?

When all these things shall be properly understood by the public, who will
not wish to come and see? Yes come and see!! “Be not faithless, but
believing,” come and see!! And now may the King Eternal, banish the evil
one from this place forever, and build his promised “New Jerusalem” here,
or to have an extensive one within our Palestine.


In preface, line 11, for antediluvians read postdiluvians.

On page 11, line 16, for 35 miles long etc., read 27 miles long and 9
miles through the centre; and the hanging garden in a similar form and
geometrical proportions, 3 miles long and 1 mile through the centre.

On page 16, line 20, for is read and.

There are few minor mistakes which the reader can readily correct.

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