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Long Ceramic Field Tile. Trumpet-shaped with flared end at the bottom. Tapererd with an enlarged ring and narrow fitting rim on the other end. Hand thrown. When the first white settlers arrived in Champaign County in the 1820s, the area was extremely swampy. The pioneers farmed the savannahs at the edges of wooded areas but rarely ventured out onto the prairie. By the time of the Civil War (1861-1865) many farmers were having success farming dry prairie areas, but the wet prairies remained untilled. After the war, improved drainage technology arrived from the East Coast and the wholesale draining of the prairie began. Almost every town had a tile factory which turned out thousands of drainage tiles a day. Drainage was big business and massive legal battles were fought about where the water from the newly drained land should go. Some new immigrants proved particularly adept at draining farm land. German East Frisian immigrants who settled near Flatville and Gifford brought with them knowledge of how to drain areas other settlers felt could not be farmed. American Communities in History; Settling in the Midwest 16 History; 17 Geography
|Early American Museum|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
Champaign County, Illinois
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