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GROUP IV: Counties-Boundaries—Topography-Counties Described-Clinton, Essex, Frank
lin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Warren-Aren-PopulationValuations of Land- Farms-Routes of Traffic- Aggregate-Value of Real and Personal Estate-Distribution of Land-Grass-Tillage-Vegetable Products–Value-Animals-Products and Value- Aggregate Products-Annual Value of Farm Products-Agriculturo-Sug. gestions when Land first Cleared-Appendix-Agricultural Statistics-Assessed Value-Financial.
GROUP IV. Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Warren--9.
BOUNDARIES, &c. This group is bounded east by the west line of Washington county and by Lake Champlain, north by Canada East, northwest by the St. Lawrence river, southwest and west by the counties of Jefferson, Lewis and Oneida, and south by the counties of Otsego, Montgomery, Schenectady and Albany. Its greatest length is from Glens Falls, in Saratoga county, to the northwest corner of Franklin county, and is about one hundred and thirty-five miles. Its average breadth is not far from one hundred miles. This group constitutes an entire whole, and as the northern division of the State, is susceptible of no subdivision which will convey an adequate idea of its agricultural capacities, it may be considered as an isolated portion of the State, bordered by three great valleys—the valley of Champlain in the east, the Mohawk on the south, and the St. Lawrence on the north and west. The adjacent country slopes towards each of these valleys, more or less abruptly. Topographically considered, this group presents one great range of highlands, which stretch diagonally across the country, from Little Falls, on the Mohawk river, in Herkimer county, to Trimbleau Puint, on Lake Champlain, in Clinton county.
Geologically considered it is one great uplift, with gradual but unequal slopes on all sides. Still the country does not slope from a continuous ridge, but rather towards all the valleys which almost surround this group. There is a culminating point in the region of the greatest elevation, from which the several slopes proceed.
To a person placed upon one of the most commanding eminences, the whole country would appear studded with a multitude of peaks, which at first are irregular and without order, but on further examination an orderly disposition of the mountain masses becomes evident.
TI masses may be arranged into chains or ranges, each of which pursnes a course from the northeast to the southwest, and have evidently given direction and force to the great northern current which has swept up through the valley of the St. Lawrence, between the termination of this range and the commencement of the Laurentian range, which bounds the valley on its northern side.
These mountain ranges do not present a uniform unbroken ridge, but are made up of subordinate short ridges, whose axes are oblique to the axis of the main range wherein they are situated. The axis may be called the
major and minor axis of the range. The former lies in the principal direction which the range pursues, which is from the southwest to the northeast, the latter in the direction of the short, uninterrupted ridges, which is from the southeast to the northwest.*
The highest mountains in the State are in these ranges, reaching an elevation of over 5,300 feet, and their peaks within the range of perpetual frost.
The table land and lakes have an elevation of from 1,500 to 2,000 feet. The broken condition of its surface, together with its general altitude, presents but little attraction to the agriculturist, and except upon its northern slope in the counties of St. Lawrence and Franklin, and its northeastern along the Canada line, in Clinton county, the general condition will be that of wilderness, broken only by now and then a sparse settlement of some hardy pioneers, who find their profits not in the cultivation of the soil but in hunting and fishing, and boarding the summer tourist who seeks in these wilds for the solitude and grandeurs of an Alpine region.
The mountains of Essex, the lakes and waterfalls of Hamilton and Warren have attractions, that once seen and known, will be sure to draw an annually increasing crowd from the sweltering cities to admire and become invigorated by their pure air and limpid waters.
These lakes amount in number to several hundreds, and range in size from those covering a few acres to the dimensions of 35 miles in length, and situated at an elevation of nearly 2,000 feet above tide water, and the surrounding mountains often reaching an elevation of 3,000 feet above the surface of the lakes.
The attention of the public has often been called to this interesting region. But comparatively few people are aware that a territory, equal in size to the superficial area of several of the separate States of the Union, lies in the bosom of the State, touching on one extremity the long occupied and thickly populated valley of the Mohawk, and encircled by a highly cultivated and matured country, is still shrouded in its primeval forests. This territory embraces Hamilton county, parts of Oneida and Lewis, in addition to considerable portions of all the other counties of the group, and extends over one hundred miles in length by about eighty miles in breadth.
A large portion of this territory is mountainous and impracticable to culture, for here is found the loftiest mountains east of the Mississippi river.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF COUNTIES WITH REFERENCE TO THEIR PRESENT OR FUTURE
CLINTON COUNTY. Clinton county is bounded on the north by the Canada line, on the east by Lake Champlain, on the south by the county of Essex, and on the west by the county of Franklin.
The surface is generally rolling or mountainous. The soil of the eastern and northeastern portions is much superior to the balance of the county.
• Natural History of State of New York.-[Exxons.
It is on the extreme northeastern part of the State, and a frontier county. Its climate modifies the productiveness of its soil, and it is at best but a third rate county. Its railroad connection with the New England States and the Canadas, with the advantage of a connection with the Champlain canal, give it great facilities for market, and if it had a more congenial soil and climate would make it a second class county.
One of the State prisons are located in this county, but its inmates cannot be supported from the surplus of its soil.
It has, in the iron mines, an inexhaustible supply of the most valnable ores; and there are some furnaces and other manufacturing done in the county; but there is no important manufacturing centre, nor can the present population subsist from the products of the soil in the county. Its valuations will not require revision oftener than once in five years.
Essex County. Essex county is bounded on the east by Lake Champlain, south by the county of Warren, west by part of the counties of Hamilton and Franklin.
Its surface is broken and mountainous, and its soil thin, and adapted mainly to grass. For agricultural purposes, it is one of the least valuable in the State. Its mineral resources are apparently exhaustless, and will in their development attract a considerable population. But the population cannot be adequately supported by the products of its soil. It has no public works, and its only facilities for marketing its mineral products are furnished by Lake Champlain, through the Champlain canal. So slowly will its population and wealth increase, that a review of its valuations will not be necessary oftener than once in ten years.
FRANKLIN COUNTY. Franklin county is bounded on the north by the Canada line, east by Clinton and part of Essex counties, south by part of Essex and Hamilton, and on the west by St. Lawrence county. It lies wholly within the region known as the “Northern Wilderness," and its surface is mountainous and broken, and more than two-thirds covered with lakes and forests. Its soil is uninviting for agricultural purposes, except a portion of its northern border. Like the rear of all the counties bordering upon the Adirondacs, centuries may elapse before it is sufficiently cleared of its forests to make room for agricultural ocenpation by even a very sparse population. It is now one of the least valuable counties in the State. It has extensive hydraulic power, which is used to some extent at Malone, a flourishing village, and a manufacturing centre of some importance.
The only public work is the Northern railroad, crossing its northern border from east to west, which furnishes ample facilities for developing all its resources. Its population will increase very slowly, and its valuations will require revising only at intervals of six or eight years.
FULTON COUNTY. Fulton county is bounded on the east by the county of Saratoga, south by Montgomery, west by Herkimer, and north by Hamilton. It lies on the