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forming a part of the high central section of the state. Its northern boundary lies on the watershed, or dividing ridge between the waters flowing into Lake Ontario, and the tributaries of the Susquehanna river. The broad valleys of the streams, and the rounded and fertile hills, give the surface an agreeably diversified aspect.
Rivers. The Tioughnioga, rising near its northern boundary, with its tributaries, waters nearly the whole county. The Otselic, its main branch, drains the southeastern section. Both streams are navigable for small boats, when swollen by the heavy rains of spring and autumn.
CLIMATE. Healthy and equable. From the elevation of its surface, the winters are long and much snow falls.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS. Slate is the basis rock of the county. On the north this is covered with Onondaga limestone, or the limestone and slate of the Helderberg series. On the south and east the Chemung sandstone and shale üre the surface rocks.
The minerals of the county are salt, bog iron ore, and marl. some sulphuretted hydrogen springs.
SOIL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. The soil is generally a gravelly loam, intermingled with the disintegrated lime and slate, and is quite fertile, yielding good crops of grass and grain. The timber is chiefly oak, maple, beech, basswood, butternut, elm, and chestnut. Groves of pine and hemlock are found in the southern part of the county.
PURSUITS. Agriculture is the principal pursuit of the inhabitants. Much attention is paid to the rearing of cattle; considerable quantities of grain are also raised. The products of the dairy are large.
Manufactures are increasing in importance in the county. The principal articles are flour, lumber, cotton and woollen goods, leather and potash.
STAPLE PRODUCTIONS. Butter, cheese, wool, oats, corn, and fax. Considerable quantities of wheat, barley, buckwheat, potatoes, and pork are also produced.
SCHOOLS. The whole number of district schools in the county is 180. In 1946, these were taught, on an average, seven months, and 9,273 children received instruction during the year at an expense of $9470. The district school libraries contained 15,197 volumes.
There are in the county twenty-eight private schools, with 443 pupils, and two academies with 233 scholars.
RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Episcopalians. There are in the county forty-five churches, and fifty-four clergymen of all denominations.
HISTORY. Cortland county comprises a portion of the Military Tract, or lands given by the state of New York to her Revolutionary soldiers. It was principally settled by emigrants from the eastern states, who removed here after the Revolution. Homer, the oldest town, was organized in 1794.
The county received its name from General Peter Van Cortlandt, who was a large landholder here. It was taken from Onondaga in 1808.
VILLAGES. CORTLAND, in the town of Cortlandville, is the largest village, and the seat of justice for the county. It is pleasantly situated on the north branch of the Tioughnioga, and has a number of fine public buildings. The Cortland female seminary is a flourishing institution.
The private residences of the citizens are neat, and many of them elegant. Population 1500.
Homer, in the town of the sa ne name, is a beautiful and thriving village on the Tioughnioga. It has an old and flourishing academy of high reputation, with six teachers, and departments for both sexes. In 1846, a large and enthusiastic meeting of its alumni and friends was held, attended with ap. propriate exercises.
The village is one of the most beautiful in central New York. It is considerably engaged in manufactures. The churches, four in number, and the academy, occupy a public square six acres in extent. Population 1400.
Truxton and Virgil, in the towns of the same names, are villages of some importance. The former has some manufactures.
TOWNS. 1. Malone, 1805.
9. Duane, 1828. 2. Chateaugay, 1805.
10. Westville, 1829. 3. Constable, 1807.
11. Belmont, 1833. 4. Dickinson, 1803.
12. Bombay, 1833. 5. Bangor, 1812.
13. Franklin, 1838. 6. Fort Covington, 1813,
14. Burke, 1843. 7. Moira, 1827.
15. Harrietstown, 1843. 8. Brandon, 1828. Mountains. GG. Chateaugay. g. Seward. h. Adirondack. Rivers. a. Deer. b. Salmon. c. Trout, d. Chateaugay.
e. St. Regis. f. Racket. j. Saranac. Lakes. i. Upper Saranac. I. Lower Saranac. k. Tupper. Forts. Covington. Villages. MALONE. Fort Covington.
BOUNDARIES. North by Canada East; East by Clinton and Essex counties; south by Essex and Hamilton counties, and West by St. Lawrence county.
SURFACE. Elevated and mountainous, in the southern and southeastern sections, where the Chateaugay range crosses it; elsewhere it is undulating or level. Mount Seward, and the Adirondack group, are peaks of this range. Mount Seward has never been ascended, but its height is computed at about 5000 feet.
Numerous lakes are formed in the valleys of the mountain ranges.
Rivers. The principal rivers are Salmon, Trout, Chateaugay, St. Regis, Deer, Racket, and Saranac.
Lakes. Upper and Lower Saranac, Tupper, and numerous others of less importance.
CLIMATE. The high latitude, and elevated surface of this county render the climate rigorous. The winters are long and
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS. The mountainous district is principally of the primitive formation, and is composed of hypersthene, granite and gneiss. The two latter, indeed, form the surface rocks of a large part of the county. The transition formation, however, extends over the northern slope of the county, and is mainly composed of the Potsdam sandstone, very fine specimens of which are quarried in Malone, Chateaugay, Moira, and Bangor. In the northeast corner of Franklin township, the calciferous sand rock makes its appearance.
The principal minerals are magnetic iron ore, found in Franklin, Duane, and Malone townships, purple scapolite, green pyroxene, graphite in six sided tables, bog iron ore, tufa, peat, and massive pyrites.
SOIL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. The soil of the north
ern towns is probably eq'ial in fertility to any in the state. The southern townships are less picductive. It is mainly a sandy loam, occasionally mixed with clay, and ...uch of it encumbered with stone.
It is not well adapted to wheat, but grass, oats, barley, corn, and the esculent roots, thrive luxuriantly.
The forests, which cover the central and southern portions, are very dense, and consist of wite and yellow pine, hemlock, oak, beech, birch, basswood, elm, and white cedar.
PURSUITS. Agriculture is the employment of the greater part of the inhabitants, and their attention is particularly directed to the raising of cattle, and the cultivation of summer crops. The preparation of lumber for market, is also the occupation of a considerable number of the citizens of the county. There is some commerce, the Salmon river, the only navigable stream, and a few mines. The iron ores already mentioned will eventually furnish employment to considerable numbers.
STAPLES. Potatoes, oats, wheat, corn, butter and wool.
SCHOOLS. In 1846, there were 120 district schools in the county, in which 6190 scholars were taught. The schools were maintained an average period of seven months, and $6,041 expended for tuition. The district libraries contained 10,230 volumes.
There were also seven select schools, with seventy-four pupils, and two academies, with 113 students.
RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS. Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Baptists, Universalists, Episcopalians, and Congregationalists. There are twenty churches, and twenty-nine ministers of all denominations.
History. This county was the home of the St. Regis tribe of Indjans, who, under the direction of the French, were so often engaged in hostile incursions upon the colonies of New England and New York, in the latter part of the seventeenth and commencement of the eighteenth centuries. The tribe have still a reservation of eleven miles in length and three in breadth, in the county, lying in the towns of Bombay and Fort Covington.
A daughter of Rev. John Williams, of Deerfield, Massachusetts, who, with his family, was taken captive by this tribe in 1704, remained with the Indians, after her father's return, married one of the chiefs, and one of her descendants was a few years since chief of the tribe.
The first settlers were Canadians, who located at French Mills, now Fort Covington about the year 1800.
In April, 1804, Messrs. Benjamin Roberts, of Winchester,