Excerpt from Harper's Young People, 1893, Vol. 14
It was not to be a timber raft only. Major Caspar did not care to attempt the navigating of a huge affair, such as his entire stock of sawed material would have made, nor could he afford the expense of a large crew. Then, too, while ready money was scarce in his neighborhood, the prairie wheat crop of that season was unusually good. So lie exchanged half his lumber for wheat, and devoted his leisure during the summer to the construction of a raft with the remainder.
This raft contained the very choice of the mill's out put for that season - squared timbers, planks, and boards enough to load a ship. It was provided with two long sweeps, or steering oars, at each end, with a roomy shanty for the accommodation of the crew, and with two other buildings for the stowing of cargo. The ﬂoors of these structures were raised a foot above the deck of the raft, and were made water-tight, so that when waves or swells from passing steamboats broke over the raft, their con tents would not be injured. In front of the central build ing, or shanty, was a bed of sand six feet square, en closed by wooden sides, on which the camp fires were to be built. Much of the cooking would also be done here. Besides this there was a small stove in the shanty for. Use during cold or wet weather.
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