National Geographic : 1903 Mar
GEOGRAPHIC NOTES II3 Courtesy of The Scientific American Diagram Showing the Railways of Cuba cattle do well everywhere, for the grasses are luxuriant and highly nutri tious, and there is usually an abun dance of water. Around the coast are to be found many excellent harbors, and it is reported and believed that the unexplored part of the island contains much hidden mineral wealth. The interior, which is sparsely popu lated, is comparatively level, and largely covered with hardwood timber, and while the soil of the different districts is generally of extraordinary fertility, some places are more desirable than others, both in this respect and in re gard to healthfulness. For the tropics, the climate is a tolerable one, and the island will soon be rendered more healthy by foreign irrigation, drainage, and an improved system of sanitation. The northern employes of the Cuba company have as a rule been free from illness of any kind, notwithstanding their employment on railway construc tion under conditions not always favor able to health. Unlike many of the West India islands, Cuba is entirely free from poisonous reptiles, and has fewer mosquito and similar pests than any other southern regions. There are no obtainable government lands in Cuba ; practically all of the lands are held by individuals, and in the eastern half of the island they are usually held in large areas. No system atic land survey has yet been made, and the large tracts are mostly in irregu lar forms and their boundaries are diffi cult to define and trace; land titles in the unoccupied and in the newly settled parts of Cuba are in many cases de fective and need investigation, though the government has recently taken steps toward the perfection of titles.