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GEOLOGY AND MINERALS. About two-thirds of the county, upon the north, belong to the Ontario group, consisting principally of the limestone of the Onondaga salt group, which, in some cases, approaches very near the surface. In the southern portion, the Ludlowville and Cashaqua shales are the prevailing rocks, though intermingled with limestone.
Bog iron ore occurs in the county. Gypsum is abundant. Some brine springs have been discovered, though not of great value. The sulphur springs of Avon* have a high and deserved celebrity, in numerous diseases, and rank among the best sulphur springs in the United States.
SOIL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. The soil is generally highly fertile, and well adapted to the growth of grain. In the north it consists principally of sandy loam, intermingled with decomposed limestone, which renders it perpetually fertile,
In the north, the oak prevails, but is occasionally interspersed with other timber; in the south, oak, maple, elm, basswood, butternut, walnut, ash, hemlock, white pine, &c., are the principal forest trees.
PURSUITS. Agriculture. The culture of grain, and the rearing of cattle and swine, form the principal pursuits of the inhabitants of this county. Manufactures are, however, rising in
* The following are analyses of the sulphur springs of Avon. That of the Up. per spring was made by Professor Hadley, of Fairfield, and that of the Lower, by Dr. S. Salisbury, Jr. of Avon.
Carbonate of lime,
soda, Muriate of soda,
Amount of saline ingredients.
8 84 10 16 18.4
importance. The principal articles manufactured are flour, paper, lumber, distilled liquors, cloths, &c.
Commerce. The Genesee Valley canal furnishes a convenient mode of transportation, for the produce of the county, to tide water. There are no mines in the county.
STAPLE PRODUCTIONS. Wheat, pork, and cattle are the great staples of the county. Large quantities of butter, wool, oats, and corn are also exported. Hemp and flax are grown largely in the Genesee valley.
Schools. There are 193 school-houses in this county. The schools were taught, on an average, nine months during the year 1846, and 12,677 children were instructed, at an expense of $19,502. There were 25,121 volumes in the district libraries.
There were twenty-four private schools, with 136 pupils, and three academies,
with 165 students.
Religious DENOMINATIONS. Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Dutch Reformed, Universalists, Unitarians, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and Jews. There are seventy-two churches, and ninety-two clergymen of all denominations.
HISTORY. The banks of the Genesee river in this county, were the favorite residence of the Seneca Indians, for a long period before the white man had trod that beautiful valley. In civilization, this tribe were more advanced than the Indians generally, and were considered foremost in the arts of peace, among the allied tribes. They cultivated their fields, built cabins for themselves, and when they could not obtain a supply of food from the forests or the lakes, looked to the products of their soil for sustenance.
In 1687, the Marquis de Nonville, governor of Canada, enraged at the firm adherence of this tribe to the English, collect. ed a large force of French and Indians, and commenced an expedition against them. Following the course of the Genesee, he approached their villages with the intention of destroying them, and subjecting the captives he might take to the torture; but the wily Senecas were too crafty for the French commander. They stationed 500 warriors in ambuscade. on his route, and having thrown his troops into disorder, by a well directed volley of musketry, rushed upon them, tomahawk in hand. The battle was fierce and bloody; the Senecas were at length repulsed, but not without severe loss on the part of the French. De Nonville could not be persuaded to follow them till the next day, and then found that they had destroyed their villages, and removed their wives and children beyond his reach. Two old men, all that remained, were carried away, killed and eaten by his savage allies.
De Nonville returned to Canada, establishing, in his route, a fort at Niagara, which he garrisoned with 100 men. This fort was so closely invested by the Indians, that eighty-eight out of the hundred perished from starvation, and but for the aid of a party of friendly Indians, the rest would have shared the same fate.
In 1779, General Sullivan terminated his campaign on the banks of the Genesee, in this cou ty, alter sending a detachment to Little Beardstown, now Leicester. It was in this town that the brave Lieutenant Boyd met with his melancholy fate, being executed with the most horrible tortures by the Indians, at the instigation of the infamous Butler, after his life had been guarantied by Brant.
Ebenezer Allen, known as Indian Allen, the first miller of Rochester, a monster of wickedness, settled here soon after the revolution, but in a few years removed.
The principal founders and benefactors of the county were William and James Wadsworth, who emigrated from Connecticut in 1790. They purchased large tracts of land, which, by the rapid tide of immigration, soon became very valuable. Many of the early settlers were from Connecticut, and their enterprise and industry has made them wealthy.
VILLAGES. GENESEO, in the town of the same name, is the seat of justice for the county. It is pleasantly situated, about a mile from the river, on the terrace back of the flats. It is well built, and has considerable trade. The Geneseo academy, formerly the Livingston county high school, of which Mr. Wadsworth was the chief benefactor, is located here. It has a spacious building, and is well endowed.
In this town are situated the Wadsworth farms, located on the broad alluvial flats of the Genesee, and celebrated for their fertility and superior cultivation. The mansion of the late James Wadeworth is, perhaps, unsurpassed in the state for the beauty of its location. Population 1600.
Avon, in the town of the same name, has become a favorite resort of late for invalids and pleasure seekers, from all sections of the country. The healing virtues of its justly celebrated springs were known to the Senecas, long before the country was visited by the whites. Red Jacket, a distinguished Seneca chief, was accustomed to resort to them. Population 800.
Upon the Genesee flats in this town, the Mechoacan, wild potatoe vine, or man of the ground, (Convolvulus panduratus,) is found abundantly. It has a large bulbous root, three or four feet in length, and frequently six or eight inches in di
It is a mild cathartic, resembling rhubarb in its effects. There is a pond on the flats irregularly circular in form, a neck of land runs into it and expands within the circle, and upon this are remains of Indian fortifications.
Lima, situated in the town of the same name, is a beautiful village, remarkable for the neatness of its dwellings. The Genesee Wesleyan seminary, located here, is under the control of the Methodists. It was incorporated in 1834, and placed under the visitation of the Regents of the Universi y in 1836. It is well endowed, and in a highly flourishing condition. Population 600.
Mount Morris, in the town of the same name, is a finely situated, thriving village, settled in 1804, by emigrants from Connecticut. It is considerably engaged in manufactures. Population 1400.
Dansville, in the town of North Dansville, at the head of the Genesee valley, forty-five miles from Rochester, is a large, thriving and busy village. It is extensively engaged in manufactures, and has an abundant supply of hydraulic power. Paper, flour, leather, iron, cloth, and lumber, in large quantities, are among its principal manufactures. A branch of the Genesee Valley canal extends to this village. Population 1800.
Nunda, in the town of the same name, on the proposed line of the Genesee Valley canal, is a place of considerable business. It has a flourishing academy, and several manufactories. The town in which it is situated was annexed to Livingston county, by the legislature, in 1846. Population 1100.
Portageville is in the town of Portage, on the west bank of the Genesee river, where it enters the gorge, and is surrounded by beautiful and picturesque scenery. It has great facilities for manufacturing. This town, like the preceding, was taken from Allegany in 1846. The falls and tunnel here are worthy of notice. Population about 1000.
TOWNS. 1. Chili, 1802.
11. Pittsford, 1814. 2. Gates, 1802.
12. Ogden, 1817. 3. Greece, 1802.
13. Rochester, 1817. 4. Parma, 1808.
14. Henrietta, 1818. 5. Riga, 1808.
15. Rush, 1818. 6. Penfield, 1810.
16. Clarkson, 1819. 7. Mendon, 1812.
17. Wheatland, 1821. 8. Perrinton, 1812.
18. Irondequoit, 1837. 9. Sweden, 1913.
19. Webster, 1838. 10. Brighton, 1814. Rivers. N. Genesee. a. Sandy Creek. b. Black Creek. C. Allen.
d. Honeoye. e Salmon, f. Little Salmon, h. Irondequoit. Falls. p. Genesee Falls. Honeoye Falls.