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The hills, however, are never abrupt, but generally gently waving, and rounded at their summits.
RIVERS AND CREEKS. The principal streams of the county are Flint creek, Crooked lake outlet, connecting Crooked and Seneca lakes; West river, a tributary of Canandaigua lake, and Big and Rock streams flowing into Seneca lake. The Crooked lake canal follows the course of the outlet.
LAKES. Seneca lake forms the entire eastern boundary of the county. Two-thirds of Crooked lake lie within its limits, and Canandaigua lake forms its northwestern boundary.
CLIMATE. The climate is temperate and healthful, and for the cultivation of fruit is not surpassed by that of any county in the state.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS. The Ludlowville shale is the prevailing rock, and approaches the surface in the southern part of the county. The soil above this is a marly clay, highly fertile, and particularly favorable to grass crops. The northern portion of the county belongs to the great central limestone formation, but the limestone alternates with slate.
Sulphate of iron (copperas) is found native in the eastern part of the county. There is a valuable sulphur spring near the foot of Crooked lake. An infiammable gas spring has been discovered near Rushville, and a very productive brine spring has been found at the Big stream falls, near Dundee, in the town of Starkey.
VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. The timber of the county is large, but not so dense as in some other sections. It consists of oak, hickory, chestnut, black and white walnut, wild cherry, maple, beech, linden, poplar, ash, &c. The apple, pear, plum, cherry, melons and grapes, are all very successfully cultivated here.
PURSUITS. Agriculture is the pursuit of a majority of the inhabitants——the elevated and diversified surface of the county renders it well adapted to grazing. In portions of it, however, grain is successfully cultivated.
Manufactures are attracting some attention. The principal articles manufactured are flour, lumber, woollen cloths, oil, distilled liquors and leather.
The commerce of the county is confined to lake and canal navigation, and is not very extensive. There are no mines of importance.
STAPLE PRODUCTIONS. Wheat, oats, corn, barley, butter, wool and pork.
Schools. There are in the county 106 public school houses. In these, schools were taught an average period of seven months, in 1846. The number of volumes in the district libraries is 13,644; 6536 children were instructed during the year, at an expense of $8789.
There were in the county eighteen private schools, with 218 pupils, and one academy, with twenty-six scholars.
RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS. Methodists, Baptists, Presbyteians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists and Dutch Reformed. There are forty-five churches, and forty-one clergymen, of all denominations, in the county.
HISTORY. This county was entirely included in the Massachusetts grant, and formed a portion of the Pulteney estate. The first inhabitants were from New England and Pennsylvania.
This county was the residence of the celebrated Jemima Wilkinson, during the latter part of her life.*
VILLAGES, &c. Penn Yan, the seat of justice for the county, is a village in the town of Milo. It is pleasantly situated at the foot of Crooked lake, and received its name from the circumstance that its original inhabitants were Pennsylvanians and Yankees, in equal numbers. Population 2500.
Jerusalem, one of the earliest settled towns in the county, is fertile and well cultivated. Bluff point is a high bold tongue of land extending between the arms of Crooked lake. The landscape, which spreads itself before the beholder, from this lofty headland, is one of the most picturesque and beautiful afforded by the scenery of the smaller lakes.
Starkey is a hilly but well watered town. The falls of Big stream, in this town, are worthy of the attention, both of the geologist and traveller. The stream, after dashing over a rapid half a mile in length, leaps down 140 feet, into a basin eight or ten rods in diameter, from whence its foaming waters find their way to the lake, by a channel some eighty rods in length.
Dundee is a busy and thriving village in the town of Starkey. It has some manufactures. Population 1000.
* Jemima Wilkinson, or as she styled herself, the “Universal Friend,” was born in Cumberland, Rhode Island, about the year 1753. She was educated among the Friends. When about twenty-three years of age, she was taken sick, and during her illness an apparent suspension of life occurred. After her recov. ery she professed to have been raised from the dead, and to have been invested with divine attributes, and authority to instruct mankind in religion. She also pretended to foretell sutnre events, and to possess the power to heal the sick and to work miracles; and if any person who made application to her was not healed, she ascribed it io a want of faith. She asserted that those who refused to believe her claims, would be forever punished for their incredulity. She possessed ex. traordinary beauty, and though illiterate, discovered great tact in maintaining her extraordinary pretensions. Her memory was said to be very retentive. She settler at Milo, in this county, with her followers, in 1790, and subsequently rernoved to Bluff Point, where she died, in 1819. The settlement at Milo numbered about forty familes, and was then the largest in the whole Genesee country. A few of her disciples still remain at Bluff Point.
Square miles, 572.
Valuation, 1845, $6,818,533.
Phelps & Gorltowns.Porchets Military Tract 1. Palmyra, 1789.
9, Savannah, 1824. 2. Sodus, 1789.
10. Arcadia, 1825. 3. Williamson, 1802.
11. Marion, 1825. 4. Ontario, 1807.
12. Butler, 1826. 5. Wolcott, 1807.
13. Huron, 1826. 6. Lyons, 1811.
14. Rose, 1826. 7. Galen, 1812.
15. Walworth, 1829. 8. Macedon, 1823. Rivers, &c. a. Mud Creek. b. Canandaigua River. c. Clyde. Lakes and Bays. J. Ontario. d. Sodus Bay. e. Port Bay. f. East
Bay. h. Crusoe Lake. Villages. LYONS. Palmyra. Newark. Clyde. Pulteneyville.
BOUNDARIES. North by Lake Ontario; East by Cayuga county ; South by Seneca and Ontario, and West by Monroe.
SURFACE. The surface is much diversified. The Ridge Road extends through the county, from east to west, at a distance of from four to eight miles from the shore of Lake Ontario, and at an elevation of 140 feet above it. North of this road, the descent to the lake is gradual and nearly uniform; south of it, and extending to the mountain ridge, the surface is raised into low hills of gravel and sand, seemingly by the action of the waves of the lake, which, perhaps, at some remote period, covered this whole region.
The mountain ridge forms, here, the watershed of the county, dividing the waters which flow into the lake from those which run southerly.
Rivers. The principal streams of the county are Mud creek and the Canandaigua river or outlet. The length of each of these streams is about fifty miles. They unite in the town of Lyons and form the Clyde, a tributary of the Seneca river.
Bays. The lake coast is indented by three considerable bays, viz: Sodus bay, Port bay and East bay. The first of these affords a very good harbor for vessels of light drast.
Crusoe lake, in the town of Savannah, is a shallow pond, one and a half miles in circumference.
CLIMATE. The temperature is rendered agreeable by the extent of surface exposed to the lake. The county is generally considered healthy.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS. The Medina sandstone appears on the surface along the shore of the lake. As the land rises, this is succeeded by the Clinton, Niagara and Onondaga groups-all limestones. South of the Ridge-Road, the county is traversed by numerous long, narrow, parallel ridges of sand and gravel, from twenty-five to thirty feet high.
Lenticular iron ore and bog iron ore are found in considerable quantities. Gypsum, marl, gypseous marl, and water limestone are abundant. Sulphur springs and weak brine springs occur in several localities. The latter were formerly of considerable importance. In 1810, 50,000 bushels of salt were manufactured from them. In Wolcott, specimens of heavy spar have been discovered.
SOIL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. The soil of this county is very fertile, and experience has proved, that the process of cultivation renders it increasingly so, by producing disintegration and decomposition of the earths of which it is composed. The timber is similar to that of the other counties on the lake, consisting of beech, maple, elm, black and white oak, white walnut, some hemlock and pine, black and white ash, &c.
PURSUITS. Agriculture is the principal pursuit of the inhabitants. The diversity of the surface renders grazing and the culture of grain nearly equally profitable, and both are practiced extensively.
Manufactures are increasing in importance in the county. Large quantities of flour and lumber are produced, and the manufactures of iron, glass, leather, distilled and malt liquors, pot and pearl ashes, employ a considerable amount of capital.
The commerce of the county is not large, vessels of light draft only being able to cross the bar, at the mouth of the Sodus bay, on which the principal landings are situated.
There are some iron mines, or quarries, as they are denominated, in which considerable quantities of the lenticular iron ore are obtained.
STAPLE PRODUCTIONS. Wheat, corn, oats, potatoes, flax, wool, butter, cheese and pork.
Schools. The whole number of school-houses in the county is 227. The public schools were maintained on an average eight months during the year 1846; 15,296 children received instruction, at a cost of $17,635 for tuition. The district libraries contained 25,760 volumes. There were in the county thirty-one private schools, with 871 pupils.
Religious DENOMINATIONS. Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Friends. Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Dutch Reformed, Universalists, Unitarians and Lutherans. There are in the county seventy-two churches, and eighty-nine clergymen, of all denominations.
HISTORY. The settlement of this county dates since the revolution. About two-thirds of its territory, including one quarter of the towns of Galen, Rose and Huron, and all west of these, was included in the Massachusetts grant to Messrs. Phelps and Gorham, and formed a part of the Pulteney estate. The other third belonged to the Military Tract. The emigrants were from New England, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, England, Scotland, and Germany. During the late war with Great Britain, Sodus, and Pulteneyville, (a village in the town of Williamson,) were invaded by the British, and the former burnt. They were repulsed in each instance, before obtaining the provisions, which were the object of their incursions.
In 1829 or 30, the Mormon delusion originated at Palmyra, in this county. Joseph Smith, the reputed prophet and founder of that system, resided in the town of Manchester, in Ontario county, and his leading disciple, Martin Harris, was a thrifty farmer of Palmyra. By money furnished by this man, Smith was enabled to publish the first edition of the book of Mormon, or the Mormon Bible, as it has since been called. In the autumn of 1830, Smith removed to Kirtland, Ohio, afterward to Missouri, and finally to Nauvoo, Illinois.
VILLAGES. LYONS, the county seat, is a pleasant village in the town of the same name. It was first settled in June, 1793, by Mr. Van Wickle and about forty other emigrants from New Jersey and Maryland. It has a fine hydraulic power, obtained by a canal of half a mile in length, from the Canandaigua outlet. The mill privileges afforded by this canal are well im proved. The High school here is an excellent institution, surpassed by few academies in the state. Population about 2000.
Palmyra, one of the earliest settled towns in the county, has a village of the same name within its limits, situated on the Erie canal. It is a place of considerable business, and extensively engaged in the lumber trade. It is considered one of the most