Abstract from the Story:
"(...)Somehow, these railroad builders received word that cheap land, with great farming potential, existed in the Thumb region of Michigan. Francis Polk, along with others, such as Anton Slawik, Francis Susalla and the step brothers Thomas Smielewski and Ambrose Ciechanowski (step-father was Casper Smielewski), explored this area (it had been officially surveyed around 1835) for its possibilities. Through their foresight and very hard work, they were eventually able to develop an area of thick forests and marshes into fertile farming land similar to that which they had to leave in Poland. These hearty pioneers drained their marshes using methods they learned while working on the railroads in Canada, where the railroads periodically encountered wetlands in the path of the track system.(...)"
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