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Glenham and Franklindale, in the same town, are flourishing manufacturing villages.
Pleasant Valley, on Wappinger's creek, in the town of the same name, is a manufacturing village of some importance. It is principally engaged in the manufacture of cotton goods. Population 700.
Hyde Park is a beautiful village, situated on the Hudson, and has some commerce and manufactures. Population 700.
Rhinebeck, in the town of the same name, is a large and thriving village, with several manufactories. The Rhinebeck academy is a highly flourishing institution. Population 1300.
X. ORANGE COUNTY.
Valuation, 1845, $11,319,430.
9. Deer Park, 1798.
13. Mount Hope, 1825. 10. Blooming Grove, 1799. 14. Hamptonburgh, 1830. 11. Monroe, 1799.
15. Chester, 1845. 12. Crawford, 1523. Mountains, &c. T. Matteawan. P. Shawangunk. d. Bare.
Crow's Nest. f. Butter Hill.
angunk. ·g. Wallkill. a. Murderer's Creek.
BOUNDARIES. North by Sullivan and Ulster counties; East by Hudson river and Rockland county; South by Rockland county and the state of New Jersey; and west by Sullivan county and the Delaware river.
SURFACE. Mountains, hills and plains diversify the surface of this county. The Matteawan mountains, or Highlands, cross its southeastern border diagonally; the Shawangunk range stretches along its western boundary; and, parallel to them, run a chain of low hills called Comfort hills. Between these and the Highlands extends a level valley, with occasional marshes.
Upon the banks of the Hudson, in this county, are some of the highest points of the Highlands. Bare mountain is 1350 feet, the Crow's Nest 1418 feet, and Butter Hill 1529 feet above tide water. The eastern face of the latter is an almost perpendicular precipice.
Rivers. Beside the Hudson, which forms a portion of its eastern boundary, the principal streams are the Wallkill (or Waalkill), the Shawangunk and Nevisink rivers, and Murderer's creek. The Wallkill, for about twenty miles of its course, flows through a marsh, known as the “Drowned lands." The Delaware river just touches a portion of the western boundary.
Ponds. In the south part of the county are several ponds of considerable size. Long pond, on the New Jersey line, is the largest, and is some nine miles in length.
RAILROADS AND CANALS. The New York and Erie railroad passes through the county, affording a daily communication with New York city, while the Delaware and Hudson canal crosses its western border.
CLIMATE. The climate of the county is mild and agreeable. In the vicinity of the Drowned lands, fevers prevail in autumn;
but the county generally is remarkably healthy. The spring opens about two weeks earlier than in the counties west of it.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS. The southeastern portion of the county, including the Highlands, is of primitive formation, and contains 'granite, sienite, hornblende, and primitive limestone. The remainder belongs to the transition system, being chiefly composed of slate, limestone and graywacke, of which the first and last are mostly found on the hills, and the second underlying the valleys. The Shawangunk mountains are composed mostly of graywacke, in which the millstone grit prevails.
It abounds in minerals of rarity and value. In the towns of Monroe and Canterbury, are vast beds of magnetic iron ore. Hematitic iron ore is also abundant and of excellent quality.
Among the minerals of interest may be enumerated spinel (a species of ruby) of extraordinary beauty ; fine Labradorite, a new mineral ; Ilmenite, a rare and interesting mineral, found more abundantly here than in any other known locality ; zircon, apatite, fibrous epidote, tourmaline, serpentine, Clintonite, Boltonite, scapolite, idiocrase, Bucholzite, white iron pyrites, sphene, pyroxene, hair brown hornblende, and many others of less importance. Their principal localities are in the towns of Monroe, Cornwall, Warwick and Deer Park. Excellent peat is found in the Drowned Lands and other low lands.
Bones of the Mastodon have been discovered in several places in this county. An entire skeleton of this gigantic animal, by far the most perfect hitherto disa covered, was disinterred in Coldenham, in 1845. The locality had evidently once been a marsh, and the animal, in attempting to cross it, had sunk in the mud, and was unable to extricate himself. His length is stated at thirty-three feet ; length of tusks ten feet; length of skull three feet ten inches; weight of head and tusks 692 pounds; weight of all the bones 2002. The contents of the stomach were found within the skeleton, consisting of crushed twigs, &c.
This skeleton is now in the museum of the Harvard University. The skeleton of the Mastodon, in Peale's museum, Philadelphia, was taken from the town of Montgomery, in this county, and bones of others have been discovered in Chester and other towns.
SOIL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. The soil is chiefly clay and gravelly loam, and is for the most part fertile, but better adapted to grazing than to the culture of grain, except the alluvial lands in the southern part. The vast marsh of the Drowned lands, when drained, furnishes a soil of great depth and fertility, and is annually covered with the most luxuriant vegetation.
The timber of the county is principally oak, chestnut, hickory, maple, blackwalnut, elm, &c. The county produces apples and other fruit in perfection, and a great variety of the natural grasses. Owing to the rapid and precipitous course of the Wallkill, before entering the Drowned Lands, and its sluggish progress through them, many plants, belonging to a more southern climate, are found here.*
PURSUITS. Agriculture mainly engages the attention of the inhabitants. Orange county stands in the first rank among the dairy counties of the state. More than 4,100,000 pounds of but
* The first treatise on the Botany of New York, and we believe the first botanical work by an American author, was the Plantæ Coldenhamiæ, by Governor Col. den, of Coldenham, near Newburgh. It was published at Upsal, in Sweden, in 1744.
ter were made in 1845, and about seven and a half millions of quarts of milk sent to New York city, the same year. Large quantities of wool and pork are produced. Considerable attention is also paid to the raising of corn, oats, rye and buckwheat.
Horticulture, and especially market gardening, is receiving increased attention.
Manufactures also furnish employment to a considerable number of the citizens of the county. The principal articles are cotton and woollen goods, flour, distilled and malt liquors, leather, iron, oil cloth and paper. In 1845, these amounted to nearly $2,000,000 in value.
Newburgh has considerable commerce with New York. Much of the produce of the county is also transported to that city by means of the Delaware and Hudson canal and the Erie railroad.
Mines. The iron mines in the towns of Monroe and Cornwall, are scarcely surpassed in value by any others in the state. Iron mines were worked in the county as early as 1751.
STAPLE PRODUCTIONS. Butter, milk, pork, wool, corn and oats.
Schools. There are in the county 180 district school-houses. The average length of the schools, in 1846, was nine months. 11,847 children received instruction, at a cost, for tuition, of $26,672. There were in the district libraries 27,629 volumes.
In addition to these, there were in the county seventy-two private schools, with 1335 scholars, eight academies, and one female seminary, with 528 pupils, and one military academy, with about 250 cadets.
RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS. Presbyterians, Methodists, Dutch Reformed, Baptists, Friends, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics and Congregationalists. There are ninety churches and ninetyfive clergymen of all denominations.
HISTORY. It seems to be uncertain at what date the first settlements were made in this county; but from the early date of the settlement at Esopus, (Kingston), in the adjacent county of Ulster, and the advantages afforded by the soil and surface of Orange, both to the agriculturalist and the trapper, it may be reasonably concluded, that the Dutch emigrants located themselves in the county, at a very early period.
In 1659, the inineral wealth of the county had been so far explored that mines of copper were extensively wrought, probably either in Deerpark or Minisink. The ore was exported to Holland, and with it a large quantity of iron pyrites, which the inhabitants of the county mistook for gold.
In 1669 a bloody battle was fought, in the town of Minisink, between the whites and Indians.
The county was organized in 1683, and then included Rockland. A delegate from the county sat in the colonial house of assembly, organized for the first time that year.
In 1689 the citizens embraced the cause of Leisler, and sent deputies to a convention called by him. Under the colonial government the delegates from Orange county were remarkable for their firm adherence to the principles of liberty. At the commencement of the revolution, a majority of the people embarked with zeal in the cause of their country.
Early in the revolution, Forts Clinton and Montgomery were erected, by the Americans, in the southeast part of this county. They were separated from each other by a small stream, the boundary line between two towns; Fort Clinton being in Monroe, and Fort Montgomery in Cornwall.
They were intended to prevent the British from ascending the river, and in addition to other obstructions in the river, an iron chain was extended from Fort Montgomery to a point on the opposite side, in the county of Putnam. These fortifications were under the command of Gen. Israel Putnam.
In October, 1777, Sir Henry Clinton, being determined to afford succor to General Burgoyne, ascended the river with a force of more than 3000 troops, attacked and carried by storm both these forts, after a brave and prolonged resistance on the part of the garrison (which consisted of only 600 men), and, breaking the chain, proceeded up the river. The British lost in this attack about 250 men, and the garrisons nearly the same number.
The ensuing year the fort and batteries at West point, (a much more eligible position) were erected,* and a larger chain stretched across the Hudson, from that fortress to Constitution Island, under the direction of Captain Machin.
The construction of the fort and batteries was entrusted, it is said, to French engineers, belonging to the army of Count Rochambeau. The work was superintended by Kosciusko, a Polish nobleman, of thorough military education, whose love of liberty had led him to espouse the cause of our country.
After the erection of this fortress, and the extension of the new chain across the river, the British never attempted to pass it. The possession of so important a post, was to them, however, an object of great solicitude; and, in 1780, they had well nigh accomplished it. The command of it had been assigned to
• The site of the fort at West Point was selected by General Putnan, and the first ground broken for the fortification in Jandary, 1778, by General Par. sons, when the snow lay on the earth two feet deep. It was mainly by the strenuous exertions and great personal popularity of Gov. George Clinton, that the materials for its construction were obtained.