LEWIS COUNTY - COUNTY PORTION:
This county was formed from Oneida, March 28, 1805, and named in honor of Gov. Morgan Lewis. Slight changes were made in the boundary on the erection of Pinckney, in 1808, and of Wilna, in 1813. It lies mostly within the valley of Black River, N. of the center of the State. It is centrally distant 116 mi. from Albany, and contains 1,288 sq. mi. Its surface consists of the broad intervales which extend along the course of Black River, and uplands which rise upon the E. and W. The eastern half rises gradually to the E. border of the co., where it attains an elevation of about 1400 feet above tide. This part of the co. forms a portion of the great wilderness of Northern N. Y. The surface in many places is broken by low ridges or isolated masses of naked gneiss. The streams generally flow over rocky beds, and in places through wild ravines. The soil is a light, yellow, sandy loam and unprofitable for cultivation. In the eastern forests are great numbers of picturesque lakes, many of which are scarcely known except to hunters and fishermen. The streams flowing from the plateau are generally rapid, furnishing an abundance of water power. (The water of these streams is discolored by organic matter, manganese, and iron, and imparts to Black River the color which has given it its name.) Magnetic iron ore has been found interstratified with gneiss and red specular ore on the N. E. border of the co., and along the margins of the streams is an abundance of iron sand. At the junction of the gneiss and white limestone in Diana are a great number of interesting minerals. (Zircom, sphene, tabular spar, pyroxene, nuttallite, blue calcite, bright crystallized iron pyrities, Rensselaerite, and coccolite are found near Natural Bridge.)
The W. side rises from the valley of Black River by a series of terraces to near the center of the W. half of the co., whence it spreads out toward Lake Ontario. These terraces are occasionally broken by oblique valleys from the N. W. The summit is 1500 to 1700 feet above tide. The intervale along the river, and the banks which immediately border upon it, are underlaid by Black River limestone. Next above this, in an irregular terrace, rises the Trenton limestone, 300 feet thick in the N. part of the co. and gradually diminishing toward the S. This limestone is very compact and strongly resists the action of the elements. In many places it presents the face of steep declivities approaching the perpendicular, and the streams from the W. plateau generally flow over this formation in a single perpendicular fall. This rock underlies an extremely fertile and nearly level tract of 1 to 3 mi. wide. Above it, on the W., the strata of the Utica slate and Lorraine shales rise about 500 feet higher, and from the summit the surface spreads out into a nearly level region, with its waters flowing both toward the E. and W. (The highest part of the range is said to be on Lot 50, in High Market, and is 1700 feet above tide. On a clear day the hills of Madison co. can be seen from this place.) This range in Lewis co. is known as Tug Hill. The soil in the limestone region is sometimes thin, but is everywhere productive. Near the foot of Tug Hill is a strip of stiff clay a few rods wide, extending the whole length of the co., and marked by a line of springs and swamps. The soil upon the slate is deep and well adapted to grazing, but, from its great elevation, it is liable to late and early frosts. Upon the summit of the slate table lands are extensive swamps, which give rise to streams flowing into Black River, Lake Ontario, Oneida Lake, and the Mohawk. Drift deposits are scattered promiscuously, and sometimes lie at a great depth, more particularly upon the northerly sides of the oblique valleys before mentioned.
The streams which rise on the summit of Tug Hill in many places flow through ancient beaver meadows, and upon the brow of the hill they have invariably worn deep ravines into the slates, and shales, in some instances 3 or 4 mi. in length and 100 to 300 feet deep. Chimney Point and Whetstone Gulf, in Martinsburgh, are localities of this kind. There are but few ravines in the limestone terraces, though the Deer River Falls, near Copenhagen, are in a gorge worn in this rock. A think layer of Potsdam sandstone rests immediately upon the gneiss in Martinsburgh. Waterlime of excellent quality has been made from the lower strata of Black River limestone, and veins of lead ore have been worked in the upper part of the Trenton limestone in Martinsburgh and Lowville. (About the year 1828 a silver mine was announced as discovered near Lowville; and in 1837 a lead mine was somewhat extensively wrought 1 mi. N. W. of Martinsburgh Village, and several tons of lead were made at a great loss. More recently a company of speculators have bought the premises; but work has not been resumed, and probably will not be. Black oxyd of manganese has been found in swamps upon the summit of Tug Hill in the S. W. part of Martinsburgh.) The outline of the hills readily indicates the character of the underlying rocks. (In the primary region the upheavals retain their original forms without change; the limestone terraces rise by steep slopes to their level summit; and the slate and shale hills exhibit the yielding character of the rocks which compose them, by their rounded outline and the gorges which every spring torrent has worn upon their sides.)
The S. W. part of the co. is drained by Fish Creek and its branches, and the headwaters of the Mohawk. Salmon River rises upon the W. border, and the Oswegatchie and Indian (Called by the Indians O-jeŽquack, Nut River) Rivers take their rise in the N. E. The principal tributaries of Black River are Moose (Indian name Te-kaŽhun-di-anŽdo, clearing and opening) and Beaver Rivers (Indian name Ne-ba-saŽne, crossing on a stick of timber), Otter (Indian name Da-ween-net, the otter), Independence, and Fish Creeks, and Fall Brook, on the E.; and Sugar River, Mill, Houses, and Whetstone Creeks, Roaring Brook, Lowville Creek, and Deer River (Indian name Ga-neŽga-toŽdo, corn pounder) upon the W. Several mineral springs are found within the co. (The largest of these arises from the limestone in Lowville, near the line of Harrisburgh. Others rise from the slate upon Tug Hill. All of them emit sulphuretted hydrogen gas, and some have been used for medicinal purposes.) Spring grains are readily cultivated; but this co. is particularly adapted to pasturage, dairying forming the principal pursuit of the people. Droughts seldom occur; but the uplands are noted for their deep snows. Within a few years, several extensive establishments have been erected upon Black, Moose, Beaver, and Deer Rivers, for the manufacture of leather, paper, lumber, and articles of wood. Two furnaces for the manufacture of iron from the ore are located near the N. border.
The county seat is located at Martinsburgh. A wooden courthouse and jail were built here in 1810-11, upon a site given by Gen. Martin. (The co. seat was located by the same commissioners that were appointed for Jefferson co. Benj. Van Vleeck, Daniel Kelly, and Jonathan Collins, by act of 1811, were appointed to superintend the completion of these buildings. The first co. officers were Daniel Kelly, First Judge; Jonathan Collins, Judah Barnes, and Solomon King, Judges; Lewis Graves and Asa Brayton, Asst. Justices; Asa Lord, Coroner; Chillus Doty, Sheriff; Richard Coxe, Clerk; and Isaac W. Bostwick, Surrogate.) The present clerk's office was erected by citizens of Martinsburgh in 1847. Active efforts were made at an early day, and renewed in 1852, to obtain the removal of the co. seat to Lowville, and a fine edifice was built at the place for the courts, in the hope of securing their removal. The co. poorhouse is located upon a farm of 59 acres 1 mi. W. of Lowville. The average number of inmates is about 90. The institution is well managed in regard to economy, neatness, and the health of the inmates. The only internal improvement in the co. is the Black River Canal, connecting Black River below Lyons Falls with the Erie Canal at Rome. (The Black River & Utica R. R., now finished to Boonville, will probably be extended through the Black River Valley.) From Lyons Falls the river is navigated to Carthage, a distance of 42-1/2 mi., by small steamers. Three newspapers are now published in the co.:
This co. is entirely within Macomb's Purchase, and includes a part of GreatTract No. IV1, most of the Chassanis Purchase2, Watson's West Tract3, the Brantingham Tract4, and a small part of John Brown's Tract5, on the E. side of the river; and 4 of the "Eleven Towns, 6 5 of the Thirteen Towns of the Boylston Tract7, Constable's Five Towns8, and Inman's Triangle9 on the W.
1This tract was bought by the Antwerp Company, and embraced an area of 450,950 acres. (See Jeff. Co.)
2This tract was purchased by Pierre Chassanis in 1792, and was supposed to contain 600,00 acres. Upon a survey being made, it was found that the tract fell far short of this; and a new agreement was made, April 2, 1793, for 210,00 acres. A narrow strip of this tract extended along the E. side of the river to High Falls. The settlers of this tract were principally refugees of the French Revolution. Many of them were wealthy, titled, and highly educated, and, in consequence, were poorly fitted for the hardships of pioneer life. Large sums of money were expended to render the settlement successful, but the settlers soon after returned to France and the enterprise was abandoned. Rudolph Tillier was the first agent; and in 1800 he was superseded by Gouverneur Morris, who appointed Richard Coxe his agent. The first buildings were erected near the present residence of Francis Seger.
3James Watson purchased 61,433 acres, in 2 tracts, connected by a narrow isthmus. The eastern tract is mostly in Herkimer co.
4So called from Thomas H. Brantingham, of the city of Philadelphia, who at one time held the title. It is mostly in Greig, and contains 74,400 acres.
5This tract, which is popularly regarded as the whole northern wilderness of New York, included 210,000 acres sold by Constable to John Julius Augerstein, and afterward conveyed to John Brown, of Providence, R. I. It was divided into 8 townships, as follows:
1. Industry |
The first settlers came from New England and settled at Leyden in 1794. The fame of the "Black River country spread through Mass. and Conn., and within the next ten years the country between Tug Hill and the river rapidly filled up with a laborious, intelligent, and enterprising population. A romantic project of settlement formed by refugees of the French Revolution, in which Arcadian dreams of rural felicity were to be realized, was abandoned after a short experience of the real hardships of pioneer life. Except an expensive but ineffectual attempt by Brown to settle his tract, toward the close of the last century, little improvement was made E. of the river until about 1820; and this section has at present time less than one-fourth of the population, and a still less proportion of the wealth, of the co. A systematic effort at settlement of the extreme W. part was first made in 1840-46, under Seymour Green and Diodate Pease, agents of the Pierrepont estate. Much of this region is still a wilderness.
1Named in honor of Col. Geo. Croghan. It is locally pronounced "CroŽgan;" its proper pronunciation is "Crawn."
2Locally known as the "Prussian Settlement."
3Evan. Asso. or Germ. Meth., Ref. Prot. D, M. E., and 2 R. C.
DENMARK1 -- was formed from Harrisburgh, April 3, 1807. It lies W. of Black River, on the N. border of the co. Its surface descends to Black River on the E. by a succession of irregular terraces. Deer River flows through the town, and upon its course are several falls, affording an abundant water power. The High Falls, one mi. below Copenhagen, descend 160 feet, at an angle of about 80o, and are celebrated for their picturesque beauty. Kings Fall, 2 mi. below, has a descent of about 40 feet. The E. part of the town is covered with deep deposits of drift. Near the mouth of Deer River are extensive flats; and Black River is bordered by a cedar swamp. The soil is very fertile. Copenhagen,2 (p.v.,) on Deer River, in the W. part, contains 3 churches and several manufactories.3 Pop. 505. Denmark, (p.v.,) in the E. part, contains about 50 houses; and Deer River, (p.v.,) on the river of the same name, 2 mi. from its mouth, 35.4 The first settlement was made in 1800, by Jesse Blodget.5 The census reports 6 churches in town.6
1This town embraces Township No. 6 (illegible), or Mantua, of the Eleven Towns.
2Originally called "Mungers Mills," from Nathan Munger, one of the early settlers.
3About 1830 the manufacture of cordage was commenced here on an extensive scale; but it has recently been abandoned.
4Abel French was the first settler at this place, and it was originally known as "Frenchs Mills."
5Among the early settlers were Freedom Wright, Major J. Crary, Robert Howe, Asa Pierce, Ichabod Parsons, Lewis Graves, Jonathan Barker, J. Rich, and Andrew Mills.
6Bap., organized in 1810, Cong., M. E., Univ., and 2 Union.
DIANA -- was formed from Watson, April 16, 1830, and a part of Croghan was taken off in 1841. This is the extreme N. E. town in the co. Its surface is level, or gently rolling. In the E. part are 2 isolated hills, 300 to 500 feet above the surrounding surface. The principal streams are Oswegatchie and Indian Rivers and their branches. Bonaparte1 and Indian Lakes, in the N. part, and Cranberry, Legiers, and Sweets Lakes, in the E., are the principal bodies of water. The greater part of this town is yet a wilderness. The soil is light and sandy. Iron ore is found in the N. and E. parts, and coarse, crystalline marble, of a sky-blue tint, on the banks of Indian River, near Natural Bridge. Sterlingbush,2 (p.v.,) in the W. part, contains 15 houses; and Harrisville 12. Blanchards Settlement (Diana Center p.o.) is in the S. part. Diana is a p.o., and Alpina3 is a hamlet. There are 2 churches in town, (Bap. and M.E.,) but no church edifice.
1Bonaparte Lake was so called in honor of Joseph Bonaparte, who built a log house upon its banks, for the accommodation of himself and friends while upon hunting and fishing excursions, during his stay at his summer residence at Natural Bridge.
2Formerly called "Louisburg." It owes its origin to an iron furnace built here in 1833.
3An iron furnace was built here in 1847 by Suchard & Farvager, Swiss capitalists, and the place has grown up around it.
GREIG1 -- was formed from Watson, April 5, 1828, as "Brantingham." Its name was changed Feb. 20, 1832. It is the S. E. corner town of the co. Its surface is rolling in the W., but it is broken, rocky, and in some places hilly, in the E. The principal streams all tributaries of Black River, are Moose River, Otter, Stony, and Fish Creeks, and Cole and Fall Brooks. The scenery along Moose River is celebrated for its wildness and beauty. The greater part of the town is yet a wilderness. In the E. part are several small lakes, which constitute some of the favorite resorts of fishermen. The soil is principally a light, sandy loam. Iron ore and ocher are found, and near Brantingham Lake is a sulphur spring. Lumber, leather, and paper are made, and on Otter Creek is an extensive match box factory. Lyonsdale,2 on Moose River, 3 mi. from its mouth, and Greig and Brantingham, near Black River, are p. offices. In 1796 the French, under Rodolph Tillier, settled on the Chassanis Tract, near Black River, below the High Falls.3 The only church in town (Presb.) was formed in 1807.
1Named from the late John Greig, of Canandaigua, who owned large tracts of land in the town.
2The first settlement was made in this place by Caleb Lyon, in 1819. He died in 1835, the year before his long cherished project of a State canal to the Black River was authorized by law. His son, Caleb Lyon of Lyonsdale, has at this place a Gothic villa, located in the midst of picturesque scenery and adorned with elegant collections of art.
3See previous comments in County Portion.
HARRISBURGH1 -- was formed from Lowville, Champion, (Jefferson co.,) and Mexico, (Oswego co.,) Feb. 22, 1803. Denmark was taken off in 1807, and a part of Pinckney in 1808. It lies upon the slate hills and limestone terraces N. W. of the center of the co. Its general inclination is toward the N. E., its S. W. corner being 300 to 500 feet above Black River. Its surface is generally rolling, but on the S. W. it is moderately hilly. Deer River and its tributaries are the principal streams. The soil is generally a rich loam largely intermixed with disintegrated limestone and slate. Harrisburgh, in the N. E. part, and South Harrisburgh, in the S., are p. offices. Settlement commenced a short time previous to the War of 1812.2 The first religious services were conducted by Elder Amasa Dodge, a Free Will Baptist minister. There are 4 churches in town.3
1Named from Richard Harrison, of N. Y., one of the early proprietors. The town embraces No. 10, or Platina, of the Eleven Towns.
2Among the early settlers were John and Silas Bush, Amos Buck, Geo. Stoddard, and Thomas and Gilbert Merrills.
3Bap., Free Will Bap., M. E., and R. C.
HIGH MARKET1 -- was formed from West Turin, Nov. 11, 1852. It lies upon the elevated slate region W. of Black River, a little S. of the center of the co. Its general inclination is toward the S. E. Its surface is rolling in the S., but broken and moderately hilly in the N. and W. Its streams are Fish Creek and its branches, the principal of which are Big and Little Alder Creeks. The soil is a loam mixed with disintegrated slate, and is best adapted to pasturage. High Market (p.o.) is in the S. E. part of the town. Most of the town is still unsettled. Among the first settlers were Alfred Hovey, L. Fairchild, John Felshaw, Sol. Wells, and Benj. Martin.2 A large proportion of the people are of Irish nativity.3 There are no churches in town.
1This town embraces Township No. 9, or Penelope, of the Boylston Tract, and parts of Nos. 2 and 3, or Flora and Lucretia, of Constable's Towns.
2S. C. Thompson kept the first store and inn and built the first gristmill; and James McVicker erected the first sawmill. The first school was taught by Ada Higby.
3They settled in town soon after the suspension of the public works in 1842.
LEWIS1 -- was formed from West Turin and Leyden, Nov. 11, 1852. It lies upon the elevated plateau in the S. angle of the co. Its surface is generally rolling, but in the W. part it is broken and hilly. Its entire surface is 700 to 1200 feet above the valley of Black River. The principal streams are Fish Creek, the W. branch of the Mohawk, and the W. branch of Salmon River. Most of the town is yet an uninhabited wilderness. The soil is generally a sandy loam, moderately fertile and best adapted to grazing. Owing to the elevation of the town, spring is late, autumn early, and snows deep. West Leyden, (p.v.,) situated on the headwaters of the Mohawk, in the E. part of the town, contains about 20 houses. Settlement was commenced about 1800; but the present inhabitants of the town are mostly new comers, of German nativity.2 The first church (Presb.) was organized in 1826. There are now 4 churches in town.3
1Named from the co.
2Among the earliest settlers were John Barnes, Medad Dewey, Joel Jenks, Matthew Porter, C. and J. Putnam, and Augustus Kent.
3Presb., Bap., M. E., and R. C.
LEYDEN1 -- was formed from Steuben, (Oneida co.,) March 20, 1797. Brownville (Jefferson co.) was taken off in 1802, Boonville (Oneida co.) in 1805, a part of Wilna (Jefferson co.) in 1813, Watson in 1821, and a part of Lewis in 1852. It lies on the W. bank of Black River, upon the S. border of the co. Its inclination is toward the E., the W. border being about 500 feet above the river. Its surface is undulating. Its principal streams are Sugar River and Moose Creek.2 The soil is a fertile loam mixed with disintegrated slate and limestone. Port Leyden, (p.v.,) on Black River, has a population of 192. Talcottville, (Leyden p.o,) in the center of the town, of 50; and Leyden Hill, in the N. part, of 40. Settlement began in 1794,3 under the owners of the Triangle. A Cong. church was formed at a very early period, by Rev. ___Ely, and a Bap. church in 1798. There are now 6 churches in town.4
1This town, with that part of Lewis which was set off from it, forms the tract known as "Inman's Triangle."
2Upon Sugar River is a beautiful cascade of about 60 feet fall in the space of 200 feet; and upon Black River, a little below Port Leyden, are a series of rapids, known as "The Narrows," where the banks are so contracted that a person can jump across the stream during the dry season.
3Among the first settlers were Wm. Topping, Bela Butterfield, Brainard and David Miller, Hezekiah Talcott, Asa Lord, Wm. Bingham, Theo. Olmstead, ___Adams, Allen Auger, J. Hinman, L. Hart, and Benj. Starr. The first birth was that of Jonathan Topping, in 1794; and the first death, that of Calvin Miller, March 22, 1797. The second mill in the co. was built at Port Leyden, about 1800, by Eber Kelsey and Peter W. Aldrich.
4 2 Cong., Bap., M. E., Calv. Meth., Univ.
LOWVILLE1 -- was formed from Mexico, (Oswego co.,) March 14, 1800, and a part of Harrisburgh was taken off in 1803. It lies upon the W. bank of Black River, a little N. of the center of the co. Its W. border is about 400 feet above the river. Its surface is gently rolling. A wide intervale, the N. part of which is swampy, extends along the course of the river. The soil is a deep, fertile loam intermixed with disintegrated limestone.2 A mineral spring is found near the N. border of the town. Lowville, (p.v.,) incorp. under the act of 1847,3 is situated near the S. border of the town. It contains 5 churches, an academy,4 2 printing offices, and a bank. Pop. 908. West Lowville, (p.o.,) in the W. part of the town, Stows Square, about 3 mi. N. of Lowville, and Smiths Landing, on Black River, are hamlets. Settlement was commenced about 1797, under Silas Stow, agent for N. Low, and the town was rapidly filled with immigrants from New England.5 The first church (M. E.) was founded in 1804. There are now 6 churches in town.6
1This town embraces No. 11 of the Eleven Towns. It was named from Nicholas Low, of N. Y., the early pioneer.
2In the Trenton limestone are veins of the sulphurets of lead and iron, intermixed with calcite and fluor spar.
3The charter was confirmed Feb. 27, 1858. In 1852-53 active efforts were made to secure the location of the co. seat in this village; and a fine brick building, now used as a town hall, was erected in anticipation of its removal.
4The Lowville Academy has from the first maintained a high rank. Its 50th anniversary was celebrated July 22, 1858.
5Among the early settlers were Jonathan Rogers, Ehud Stephens, Moses Waters, A. Wilcox, B. Hillihan (?), Daniel Kelley, Isaac Perry, J. H. and S. Leonard, John Schull, Wm. Darrow, Jas. Bailey, John Bush, A. F. and J. Snell, David and Benj. Rice, and Ebenezer Hills. The first birth was that of Harriet Stephens. The first inn was kept by Capt. Rogers, and the first store by Fortunatus Eager. The first mill was built by D. Kelley.
62 Bap., Cong., Friends, M. E., and Prot. E.
MARTINSBURGH1 -- was formed from Turin, Feb. 22, 1803, and a part of Turin was annexed in 1819. It lies upon the W. bank of Black River, near the center of the co. It has an easterly inclination, its W. border being nearly 1000 feet above the river valley. Its surface is rolling, with a wide, level intervale bordering upon the river. The principal streams are Martins and Whetstone Creeks.2 The soil is a deep, fertile loam, except along the river, where it is sandy. Near the head of Whetstone Gulf is a sulphur spring. Martinsburgh (p.v.) is situated on Martins Creek, near the center of the town. It contains the co. buildings, 3 churches, and a newspaper office. Pop. 2l0. West Martinsburgh, (p.v.,) in the N. part of the town, has a pop. of 164. Glensdale, (p.o.,) in the S. E. part, is a hamlet of about 12 dwellings. Settlement was begun by Gen. Walter Martin, at Martinsburgh, in 1801.3 The first church (Presb.) was organized in 1804, by Rev. Elijah Norton. There are 7 churches in town.4
1This town embraces Township No. 4, or Cornells, of the Boylston Tract, and Porcia and a part of Lucretia, of Constable's Towns.
2Maritins Creek was formerly called Roaring Brook." At Chimney Point, near the center of the town, this stream has worn a channel through the shale and Utica slate, for 2 mi., to the depth of 200 to 250 feet. This remarkable chasm above the "Chimney" is tortuous, with precipitous sides, and in many places is so narrow that the stream occupies the entire space between the ledges. Whetstone Gulf, upon Whetstone Creek, in the S. part of the town, is a similar ravine.
3Among the first settlers were Elijah Baldwin, Mrs. Richard Arthur and sons, Reuben Pitcher and sons, N. Cheney, Eli Rogers, Ebud Stephens, N. Alexander, Stephen Searle, Joseph Sheldon, Chillus Doty, A. Conkey, D. Ashley, S. Gowdy, C. and D. Shumway, and J. and O. Moore. W. Martin built the first mills, and in 1807 a paper mill.
4 2 M. E., 2 Union, Bap., Presb., and Second Advent.
MONTAGUE1 (Mon-ta-guŽ) -- was formed from West Turin, Nov. 14, 1850. It lies near the center of the W. border of the co. Its inclination is toward the N. W., and its elevation is 1200 to 1600 ft. above tide. Its surface is generally rolling, but in some places it is broken and hilly. It is watered by numerous small streams, flowing into Deer River. The N. branch of Salmon River flows through the S. W. corner. Upon lot 22, in the N. W. part, is a sulphur spring. The soil is a moderately fertile, sandy and gravelly loam. Gardners Corners (Montague p.o.) is in the N. part of the town. Settlement commenced in 1846, under the agency of Diadate Pease, agent of the Pierrepont estate. There are 2 churches in town; M. E. and Bap.
1This town embraces Township No. 3, or Shakespeare, of the Boylston Tract. It was named from the daughter of H. B. Pierrepont, the proprietor.
NEW BREMEN -- was formed from Watson and Croghan, March 31, 1848. It lies upon the E. bank of Black River, N. of the center of the co. Its surface is level in the W., but rolling, broken, and rocky in the E. It is watered by several tributaries of Black River, the largest of which is Beaver River, on the N. boundary. The E. part is sparsely settled. The soil is a light, sandy loam. Dayansville1 (New Bremen p.o.) is in the W. part of the town. Pop. 200. Settlement was commenced in 1798, by Samuel Illingworth and some French families.2 In the W. part is a settlement of Germans, and in the N. one of French. There are 4 churches in town.3
1This place was laid out in 1826, by Charles Dayan.
2Several of the French company located at the head of navigation on Beaver River, where they designed to build a city. A sawmill was built, a half-dozen houses were erected, and the place received the name of "Custorville." Jacob Obosier (?) and Rodolph Tillier were engaged in this project.
3Bap., M. E., Evan., Luth., and R. C.
OSCEOLA1 -- was formed from West Turin, Feb. 28, 1844. It lies upon the high region in the S. W. corner of the co. Its general inclination is toward the S. W. Its surface is undulating, and the highest points are 1500 to 1600 ft. above tide. The streams are branches of Fish Creek and Salmon River. The soil is a moderately fertile, sandy loam. Nearly all the town is yet a wilderness. Osceola is a p.o. in the S. part. Settlement was commenced about 1838, by Seymour Green, agent for Pierrepont. There are 2 churches in town, M. E. and Ind.
1This town embraces Townships 13 and 8, or Rurabella nd Hybia, of the Boyslton Tract. It was named from the celebrated Seminole chief.
PINCKNEY1 -- was formed from Harrisburgh and "Harrison," (now Rodman, Jefferson co.) February 12, 1808. It lies upon the highlands in the N. W. corner of the co., and has an average elevation of 1300 ft. above tide. It forms the watershed between Deer River and Sandy Creek, the head branches of which constitute the principal streams. A series of swamps extend along the E. border. In the town are several mineral springs, one of which has acquired considerable local notoriety for its medicinal qualities. The soil is a light, slaty loam upon the hills, and a deep black laom in the valleys. Pinckney, New Boston, Barnes Corners, and Cronks Corners are p. offices. Settlement was commenced in 1804, under Abel French, agent of Mr. Henderson.2 The first church (Bap.) was formed in 1810. There are now 4 churches in town.3
1By the act organizing this town, Township No. 9, or Handel, of the Eleven Towns, was annexed to Lewis co. The town was named in honor of Charles C. Pinckney, a statesman of S. C.
2Among the early settlers were F. Penington, Phineas Woolworth, N. E. Moody, Stephen Hart, James Hunt, and Stephen Armstrong. French was succeeded in 1805 by Jesse Hopkins, and he by L. W. Bostwick, a few years after. Owing to its great elevation, the town is liable to deep snows, and, in consequence, its settlement was retarded until a recent date. Since the introduction of dairying, it has become an important town for the production of the staple products of the county, -- butter and cheese.
32 M. E., Bap. and R. C.
TURIN -- was formed from Mexico, (Oswego co.,) March 14, 1800. Martinsburgh was taken off in 1803, another portion was annexed to Martinsburgh in 1819, and West Turin was taken off in 1830. It lies upon the W. bank of Black River, S. of the center of the co. Its W. boundary is 800 to 1000 ft. above the river, giving to the town an easterly inclination. The surface is level, except near the W. border, where it ascends to the slate hills, and in the E., where it descends to the river intervale. The soil is generally a deep, fertile loam mixed with disintegrated slate and limestone. Turin, (p.v.,) situated in the S. part, contains 3 churches and several manufactories.1 Pop. 438. Houseville,2 (p.v.,) in the N. part, has a pop. of 90. The first settlement was made about 1797, by Nathaniel Shaler, of Middletown, agent of Wm. Constable and part owner, and the town was rapidly settled by immigrants from New England.3 The first church (Presb.) was organized Sept. 19, 1802, by Rev. John Taylor. There are six churches in town.4
1There are 3 gristmills upon Mill Creek, near Turin, and a woolen factory 1 mi. below the village.
2Names from its founder, Eleazer House.
3Among the early settlers were Enoch Johnson, Zaocheus (?) and John Higby, Levi, Elijah, Justus, and Reuben Woolworth, Thos. Kilham, Ezra Clapp, C. Williston, Eleazer House, Z. Bush, and W. and G. Shepherd. The first birth was that of Cynthia Clapp; and the first marriage, that of Levi Collins and Mary Bush.
4 3 M. E., 2 Presb., and O. S. Bap.
WATSON1 -- was formed from Leyden, March 30, 1821. "Brantingham" (now Greig) was taken off in 1828, Diana in 1830, a part of Croghan in 1841, and a part of New Bremen in 1848. It lies upon the E. bank of Black River, and extends from near the center of the co. to its E. border. Its surface is level or gently rolling in the W. part, but in the central and E. parts it is more hilly and broken. It is watered by Beaver River, Independence Creek, and several smaller branches of Black River. The central and E. parts are yet covered with unbroken forests; and a large tract upon the extreme E. border constitutes a portion of the far famed "John Brown's Tract." In the recesses of these forests are numerous beautiful lakes that are scarcely known except to hunters. Chases Lake, on the S. border, is noted for its beautiful scenery and is much visited by tourists. The soil is light and sandy. Watson,2 (p.o.,) situated on Black River, in the W. part of the town, is a hamlet. The early settlers located along the river, and settlements were not made in the interior until about 1815.3 The first church (M. E.) was organized in 1820. There are 3 churches and 1 church edifice (M. E.) in town.4
1Named from James Watson, of N. Y., former proprietor.
2Among the first settlers were Eliphalet Edmonds, Isaac and Jabes Puffer, Jonathan Bishop, David Durfy, Ozem (?) Bush, J. Beach, and R. Stone.
3A bridge was built across the river near this place in 1828. It has recently been rebuilt at the joint expense of the State and town.
4Bap., Seventh Day Bap., and M. E.
WEST TURIN -- was formed from Turin, March 25, 1830. Osceola was taken off in 1844, Montague in 1850, and High Market and a part of Lewis in 1852. It lies upon the W. bank of Black River, S. of the center of the co. Its inclination is toward the E., its surface rising by successive terraces from the intervale of Black River to the hills 800 feet above. Its streams are Sugar River, which flows easterly through near the center of the town, and numerous smaller creeks and brooks. Lyons Falls, upon Black River, plunge over a ledge of gneiss rock 63 feet in height, at an angle of about 60o.1 These falls form an excellent water power but little used. The soil is a deep, fertile loam upon the river valley, and a slaty loam upon the W. hills. Constableville2 (p.v.) is satuated upon Sugar River, at the foot of the Slate Hills, near the center of the town. Pop. 472. Collinsville,3 (p.v.,) in the E. part of the town, contains 2 churches and a population of about 200. Lyons Falls, 4 (p.o.,) on Black River, is a hamlet. The first settlement was made at Constableville, in 1796, by Nathaniel Shaler.5 There are 9 churches in town.6
1Formerly called, "High Falls." The rock has been but slightly worn; but the iron which enters into its composition has gradually dissolved, and the precipitous banks at and below the falls are so colored by it that they seem to have been painted by art; hence they are called the "Pictured Rocks."
2Named from Wm. Constable, son of the original proprietor.
3Names from Homer Collins.
4Named from Caleb Lyon, first resident and proprietor of the Brantingham Tract.
5Among the early settlers were Jas. and Seth Miller, E. Crofoot, W. Hubbard, John Ives, Levi Hough, H. Scranton, Willard Allen, Horatio G. Hough, J. Rockwell, and Jonathan Collins. Ex Bishop L. S. Ives is a son of Levi Ives, formerly of this town.
6Union, 3 R. C., 2 M. E., and Prot. E.
NOTE: Charts, which appeared in the Towns Portion, have not been reproduced here. Those charts consist of statistical data: Acreage of land, valuations in 1858, population, number of schools, live stock, and agriculutral products.