Buena Vista Grasslands Drainage Canal

Drainage Canal on trhe Buena Vista Grasslands

Drainage Canal on trhe Buena Vista Grasslands

The Buena Vista Grasslands, south of Plover, Wisconsin, was originally a tamarack swamp with extensive areas of open marsh and alder shrubs. In the late 1800’s the timber was cut and the marsh was burned.   In 1890 the State of Wisconsin formed the Portage County Drainage District. During 1905 The District began operations in townships of Buena Vista, Grant and Pine Grove to drain the Buena Vista Marsh.  Extensive acreage in the district was purchased by the  Bradley Polytechnic Institute of Illinois. An employee of Bradley, W. (Wallie) B. Coddington platted a community to be known as Pine Island in 1911. The name Pine Island (it was one area of high ground in the marsh with some pine trees taller than the tamarack) never really took. A post office was established at the location in 1912 and was called Coddington.  The area was drained by several ditches that crossed the marsh.

This drainage canal in the  middle of the Buena Vista Grasslands near Coddington remains ice free during the entire winter, a testament to the efficiency of the canals to continually drain the area. The early morning sun is kissing the tops of vegetation along the canal while the canal itself is still in deep shadow.

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