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Lakes and Bays. J. Ontario: i. Teoronto, or Irondequoit Bay. j.
Braddock's Bay. k. Duck Pond. I. Long Pond.
BOUNDARIES. North by Lake Ontario; East by Wayne county; South by Ontario and Livingston counties, and West by Genesee and Orleans counties.
SURFACE. This county, like Orleans and Niagara, is divided into terraces by the Ridge-Road, and the mountain ridge, which cross it from east to west. The surface as a whole declines gradually towards the lake. The terrace, at Rochester, is 270 feet above Lake Ontario, and sixty-four feet below the upper terrace, which is nearly on a level with Lake Erie.
On the shores of Irondequoit bay, and Irondequoit creek, are numerous conical sand hills, sometimes single, at others united, and rising to an average height of
RIVERS. The Genesee is the principal stream. Its tributaries are the Honeoye creek, from the east, and Black, and Allen's creeks, from the West.
Sandy, Salmon, Little Salmon, Rush, and Irondequoit creeks, flow directly into the lake.
Bays. Teoronto or Irondequoit Bay, Duck Pond, Long Pond, and Braddock's, or Bradlow's Bay, are the principal of the numerous inlets of e lake, upon the coast of this county.
The name of the first (Teoronto) is of Indian origin, and signifies “the place where the waves gasp and expire."
CLIMATE. The climate of this county, influenced by the nearness to the lake, is mild and equable, and the thermometer has a less average range, than in most parts of the state. Pulmonary affections are, however, becoming increasingly prevalent.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS. The basis rock of the county is the Medina sandstone, which is widely expanded, and makes its appearance at the surface along the shore of the lake. Above this lies the Clinton group, thinner than in Wayne; next the Niagara group, abounding in fossils; next the Onondaga salt group, which is well developed in some parts of the county; and contains numerous beds of gypsum.
There are several salt springs in the county, but the brine is not sufficiently strong to render them valuable. Sulphur springs are numerous, but few of them are visited. The Monroe springs, five miles from Rochester, are the most celebrated. There are also springs strongly impregnated with sulphur in the town of Ogden. There is a mineral spring at Riga containing iron.
Marl is abundant in Wheatland, Chili, and Riga. Gypsum occurs in large quantities in Wheatland. A bed of argillaceous iron ore extends from the Genesee river to the eastern limit of the county, but it is little worked.
Blende and galena, the sulphurets of lead and zinc, are also found in the county in small quantities. Fire stone, a magnesian earth used for lining staves and
fire-places, is found abundantly in Ogden and Sweden. There is some limestone suitable for building,
SOIL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. The soil is gravelly loam, usually of great depthi, and by the aid of disintegrated limestone, is rendered perpetually fertile.
Te timber is mainly oak, beech, and maple, frequently very dense, but in the oak openings more sparse.
In the swamps are black oak, pine, and tamarack.
The Genesee wheat, so abundantly raised in this county, is found, on analysis, to contain more saccharine matter than that of the southern states, and to combine with less water in the composition of bread. The superiority of its flour is too well known to need remark.
PURSUII'S. Agriculture holds a l.igh rank among the pursuits of the people of this county. It is the largest grain county in the state. In 1845, there were raised in the county 1,338,000 bushels of wheat, besides large quantities of other grains.
Manufactures are also in a highly flourishing condition. The county contains, perhaps, the largest flouring mills in the world, and produces flour annually to the value of more than two and a half milions of dollars. Lumber, cloths, iron, paper, and leather are also extensively manufactured.
Commerce. A steamer plies on tue Genesee, between Rochester and Avon, in Livingston county. Steamers from the lake ascend the Genesee to Carthage, which is the port of Rochester; the Erie canal receives a large portion of its immense freights from this county. There are no mines of importance.
THE STAPLE PRODUCTION is wheat. Considerable quantities of butter, wool, and pork are also produced.
Schools. There are in the county 240 school-houses. The schools were taught, during the year 1846, an average period of nine months. 19,448 children received instruction, at a cost of $33,994. The libraries of the districts contained 34,468 volumes.
There were sixteen private schools in the county, attended by 297 children, and eight academies and female seminaries, with 432 pupils.
The organization of the Rochester city schools has been described at page 125. The Rochester university was incorporated in 1846.
RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Friends, Universalists, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Unitarians, Dutch Reformed, and Lutherans.
History. This county was settled principally by emigrants from New England, with a few from other states, and other sections of New York.
In 1726, a station was established at Teoronto or Ironde. quoit bay, to cecure the Indian trade.
In 1796, the first permanent settlement was made at Hanford's landing, where was erected the first house in this county,
west of Genesee river. Indian Allen, so notorious in the history of this region, erected a grist mill and saw mill on the hundred acre lot on which part of the city of Rochester now stands, in 1789, receiving a deed of a hundred acres of land adjoining, from Messrs. Phelps and Gorham, the proprietors, for his encouragement.
In a few years, these decayed and were abandoned. Rochester was not settled till 1811, and was laid out as a village in 1812,
In 1813, the Seneca Indians held a great sacrifice and thanksgiving of several days continuance, on the present site of Rochester.
The terror inspired by the incursions of the British and their savage allies, during the late war, prevented the rapid settlement of the county.* After the close of that war, however, its growth was astonishingly rapid. The completion of the Erie canal, by opening a market for the productions of its fertile soil, gave a new impulse to its prosperity, and it is now one of the most populous counties in the state.
CITIES AND VILLAGES. ROCHESTER city lies on both sides of the Genesee river, seven miles from Lake Ontario. It is finely situated and handsomely built. The streets are generally wide and well paved. The two sections of the city are connected by several bridges, and by the splendid aqueduct of the Erie canal. It has many fine edifices, among its churches and public buildings.
* In 1814, Sir James Yeo, with thirteen vessels of various sizes, appeared off the mouth of the Genesee river, threatening the destruction of the infant settlement. There were but thirty-three people in Rochester capable of bearing arıns. They assembled, together with the few who could be gathered from the other settlements, and hurried down to the mouth of the river. The militia were undisciplined and not in uniforın, but they were brave and determined. They were inarched and counter-marched through the woods, in order to deceive the enemy in regard to their numbers. Presently an officer was sent from the British fleet with a flag of truce. He was received by ten of the most soldier.like of the militia, who, in order to be ready for action, kept fast hold of the triggers of their muskets. The British officer expressing his surprise at this, the officer, to rectify his mistake, ordered his men to grourid arms. This astonished the British officer still more, and believing their ignorance to be feigned, he hurried back to the fleet, fully satisfied that a plot was laid for them.
In the afternoon of the same day another officer was sent with a flag of truce, the object of the enemy being, if possible, to obtain the provisions stored there, without endangering their own safety. Captain Francis Brown was deputed with a guard to receive the flag. The officer was still suspicious, and finally asked that the military stores and provisions should be given up, on the condition that the settlements were spared by Sir James Yeo. "No," was the prompt reply of the patriotic Brown, “ Blood knee deep first." While this parley was in progress, an American officer with his staff, on their return from Fort Niagara, were accidentally seen, passing from one wooded point to another. This confirmed the suspi. cions of the British officer, and on his return to the fleet, a vigorous attack was made upon the woods with bomb shells and balls, which were returned with some effect by a rusty old six pounder, which had been furbished and remounted for the occasion.
After a few hours, Admiral Yeo slipped his cables and ran down to Pulteneyville, where, to his mortification, he learned how he had been outwitted by a handful of militia.
This city owes its rapid growth to the vast hydraulic power created by the falls of the Genesee river, which amount to 268 feet within the bounds of the city, there being three falls of ninety-six, twenty, and 105 feet, besides rapids. The passage of the Erie canal through the city, and the navigability of the Genesee river, above and below the falls, render it a central point for the immense trade of the fertile counties by which it is surounded.
iester was laid out in 1812 by Nathaniel Rochester, Charles Carrol and William Fitzhugh, and received the name of the senior proprietor. In 1816 it numbered but 331 inhabitants; and in 1817 it was incorporated as a village, under the name of Rochesterville. In 1834 it received a charter as a city, and now (1846) has a population of more than 25,000 inhabitants.*
The quantity, as well as the quality of the flour manufactured here, entitle the city to rank among the first flour markets in the world. Between one and two millions of dollars are invested in this business.
Brockport, a village in the town of Sweden, is pleasantly situated on the line of the canal. It has a large trade, particularly in grain. The collegiate school edifice, erected by the citizens at an expense of $25,000, is a noble stone building, five stories high. Population 2000.
Wheatland is appropriately named; the fertility of its soil and its adaptation to the culture of grain is such as to render it the granary of the county. It is rich also in gypsum and marl.
Scottsville, in this town, was founded by Isaac Scott, in 1800. It is a thriving village, and has some manufactures. Population 600.
Mumfordsville and Garbellsmills are small villages in the town.
West Mendon, in the town of Mendon, is a manufacturing village of some importance.
Port Genesee, at the mouth of the Genesee river, in the town of Greece, has a customhouse, lighthouse, several large warehouses, &c. Its harbor is good, having thirty feet water within the bar. It has some trade.
Pittsford, in the town of the same name, is a thriving village on the canal. Population 800.
About the commencement of the present century, it was proposed in the leg. islature of New York, to build a bridge across the Genesee river, at the present site of Rochester. The project wis strongly opposed, and one inember remarked that it was “a God-forsaken place, inhabited only by muskrats, and visited only by straggling trappers, through which neither man nor beast could gallop without fear of starvation, or fever and ague.”
1. Jerusalem, 1789.
5. Milo, 1818. 2. Middlesex, 1789.
6. Barrington, 1822. 3. Benton, 1803.
7. Starkey, 1824. 4. Italy, 1815.
8. Potter, 1832. Rivers. a. Crooked Lake Outlet. c. Big Stream. e. Flint Creek.
f. West. Lakes. BB. Seneca. h. Canandaigua. m. Crooked. Villages. Pen. YAN. Rushville. Bellona. Dresden.
POUNDARIES. North by Ontario county; East by Seneca lake; South by Steuben county, and West by Crooked and Canandaigua lakes, and Ontario county.
SURFACE. The surface of this county is greatly elevated. It lies on the northern declivity of t e ridge which separates the waters of the Susquehanna from those flowing into the lakes and the St. Lawrence. The southern extremity of the county is elevated from 1200 to 1300 feet above tide water, and in the town of Barrington attains the height of 1600 feet. From this height it descends to the surface of the Canandaigua and Seneca lakes-the former of which is 670, and the latter about 420 feet above the level of the ocean.