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Rivers. K. Allegany. s. Connewango Creek. b. Oil. c. Great
Valley. e. Cold Spring. f. Cattaraugus. g. South Branch.
n. Ischua. Lakes. l. Lime. m. Ischua Creek Reservoir. Villages. ELLICOTTVILLE. Olean. Hinsdale, Lodi.
BOUNDARIES. North by the counties of Erie and Wyoming; East by Allegany county; South by the state of Pennsylvania, and West by Chautauque county.
SURFACE. The surface of the county is elevated and much broken. The high grounds in its centre divide the waters of the Allegany from those of the Chautauque Creek. The valley of the Allegany river is from one to two miles in breadth, and has a depression of 700 or 800 feet below the general surface of the county. North of this river, the land rises for fifteen or twenty miles, and attains the summit of the very irregular ridge which commences at Perrysburgh, on the north-west, and terminates at Farmersville, on the east.
RIVERS. The Allegany river, Cattaraugus, Oil, Great Valley, Cold Spring, South Branch, Connewango and Ischua creeks, are the principal streams of the county.
LAKES. Its lakes are Lime lake and Ischua creek reservoir.
RAILROADS. The line of the New York and Erie railroad crosses the southern part of the county.
CLIMATE. From the elevation of the surface, the climate is cold but healthful.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALOGY. This county is wholly within the Erie group. In the northern part, the Ludlowville slate is the surface rock, with occasional alternations of limestone. In the central and southern portions, the Chemung sandstone predominates. On the highest points in the county, the conglomerate of the Catskill group is occasionally found.
The Rock City, situated seven miles from Ellicottville, and near the line between Great and Little valley, is a remarkable natural curiosity.
The rock here is conglomerate, and by the removal and disintegration of portions of it, large masses from fifteen to thirty-five feet high, have been left standing isolated, and are separated by alleys and passages of various widths. The whole area covered by these blocks is over one hundred acres. The scene is in the highest degree imposing, and impresses upon the beholder the conviction that the name has not been improperly chosen,
The minerals are not numerous; the most valuable are, peat, marl, bog iron ore and manganese. There are also some saline and sulphur springs; petroleum or mineral oil, similar to the Seneca oil, found in Cuba, Allegany county, has been discovered at Freedom.
SOIL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. The soil is well adapted to grazing. Grain thrives better in the northern section than in the southern.
Probably no region of equal extent in the United States has produced more valuable timber. The forest trees consist chiefly of pine, oak, hickory, ash, elm, linden, chestnut, walnut, beech, maple and hemlock. The maple is abundant, and affords large quantities of sugar.
PURSUITS. The people of this county are an agricultural community, paying more attention however, to the productions of the dairy, and the rearing of cattle, than to the raising of grain.
Manufactures. These are in their infancy, and chiefly confined to lumber, flour, fulled cloths, and leather.
The manufacture of lumber is prosecuted to a greater extent than in any other county in the state, 200 million feet being exported from the county annually.
Commerce. The Allegany is navigable for arks and small steamboats, at high water, to Olean; large quantities of lumber are exported from this county to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, by this channel.
Its Staples are lumber, potatoes, oats, butter and cheese.
Schools. The county had, in 1846, 234 district schools, which were in session an average period of six months each. The number of children taught was 11,914; the amount paid for tuition $10,870, and the number of volumes in the district libraries, 16,087. There were twelve select schools, with 264 scholars.
Religious DENOMINATIONS. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Unitarians. The number of churches ofall denominations, is thirty; of clergymen, sixty-seven.
History. This county belonged originally to the Holland Land Company's purchase, and the titles of most of the inhabitants are derived from that Company. The first settlement in the county was made early in the present century, at Olean, by Major Hoops, of Albany, who named it after General Hamilton, "Hamilton on the Allegany."
The next settlement was in the present town of Persia, in 1813. The growth of the county has been quite rapid. Cornplanter and Big Kettle or Ganoth-jowaneh, two of the most distinguished of the Seneca chiefs, resided in this county.
A tract along the Allegany river, extending through the towns of Cold Spring, Little Valley, Great Valley and Carrollton, is still held as a reservation by the Indians.
The-Society of Friends in Philadelphia, have taken great pains to instruct the Indians of this county, in the arts of civilization, sending instructors among them, and establishing settlements in the vicinity. Some of the Indians are now quite wealthy, owning well stocked farms, and large saw mills.
VILLAGES. ELLICOTTVILLE, the county seat, is situated in the town of the same name. It was incorporated in 1837, and contains besides the county buildings two extensive land offices. The scenery around the village is beautiful. The town received its name from Joseph Ellicott, late principal agent of the Holland Land Company. Population, 800.
Loui is a thriving manufacturing village on Cattaraugus creek, in the towns of Persia and Collins, in Cattaraugus and Erie counties. The water power is abundant, and only in part occupied. Population, 900.
At Hinsdale, is to be the junction of the New York and Erie railroad, and the Genesee Valley canal. The state is constructing a large basin here. An incorporated academy is located in this village. Population, 600.
Olean is advantageously situated on the north side of the Allegany river, in the town of the same name. Large quantities of lumber and other produce are annually exported from this place. It is to be the terminus of the Genesee Valley canal. Population, 500.
Franklinville, in the town of the same name, is a thriving village, and has some manufactories. Population, 600.
Cadiz, in the same town, is a village of some importance.
Rivers. a. Twenty Mile Creek. b. Chautauque. c. Canadawa. d.
Walnut. e. Silver, f. Cattaraugus. g. Chautauque Outlet. h.
Casadaga Creek. j. French. k.Connewango. Lakes. L. Erie. 0. Chautauque. p. Casadaga. 9. Bear. r. Finley.Villages. MAYVILLE. Jamestown. Westfield. Dunkirk, Fre.
donia. Fayette. Van Buren.
BOUNDARIES. North by Lake Erie and Erie county ; East by Cattaraugus county ; South and West by Pennsylvania.
Surface. The surface is hilly and elevated. Through its central portion, at a distance of from three to six miles from Lake Erie, and nearly parallel with it, runs the dividing ridge which separates the waters
of the lakes from those discharging into the Gulf of Mexico. This ridge is elevated from 800 to 1400 feet above tide water. From this altitude it declines to the northwest, toward the lake, and on the southeast toward the Connewango creek and the Allegany river. The land lying on Lake Erie is a rich and fertile alluvium. The hills throughout the county are nowhere precipitous, but capable of cultivation to their summits.
RIVERS AND CREEKS. The principal streams are the Connewango creek, which drains the eastern and southeastern portions of the county, and uniting with the waters of the Chautàuque outlet, in Poland, forms the Connewango river; Cattaraugus creek, which separates this county from Erie; Silver, Walnut, Canadawa, Chautauque, Twenty Mile, North and South branches of French creek, Great and Little Broken Straw and Casadaga creeks. Most of these streams furnish valuable mill privileges.
LAKES. Lake Erie forms the northwestern boundary of the county. Chautauque lake, which gives its name to the county, was so called by the Indians from its form; the Indian name Chautauqua signifying a pack tied in the middle.
It is a beautiful sheet of water, eighteen miles long, and from one to five in width. It is 726 feet above Lake Erie, and 1291 above tide water. Its waters are remarkable for their clearness and purity, and are abundantly stocked with fish. Two steamers ply upon it. It is probably the highest body of water in the world, navigated by steam.
The Casadaga lakes, three in number, each about a mile in extent; Bear lake, and Finley's lake, are the only other lakes in the county.
RAILROADS. The New York and Erie Railroad will pass through this county, and terminate at Dunkirk. Several other railroads have been chartered, but have not been eonstructed.