THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

thelivyjr
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Re: THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

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THE MILITARY AND CIVIL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW YORK; and a GENERAL SURVEY OF ITS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ITS MINES AND MINERALS, AND INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS, EMBRACING AN ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS; AND ALSO THE MILITARY ANNALS OF THE FORTRESSES OF CROWN POINT AND TICONDEROGA., continued ...

By WINSLOW C. WATSON.

PART III.

NATURAL HISTORY.
, continued ...

MINERALOLOGY AND GEOLOGY

The Adirondac District, continued ...

The upper works, and the village of Adirondac, are situated upon the river, midway between Lakes Henderson and Sanford, in a narrow ravine, embosomed amid the lofty pinnacles that surround it.

This neat little village realizes to the mind our ideality of a Swiss hamlet, its lake, its river, its mountains "crowned with their coronal of snow."

Lake Henderson, in exceeding loveliness, slumbers in quiet and beauty at the foot of the giant Santonine, and is almost enveloped in a mountain screen.

These works, by the existing circuitous road, are about fifty miles removed from Lake Champlain.

A ponderous and costly dam erected by the Adirondac Company, at the lower works, a distance of ten miles, throws back the volume of water to the very base of a dam erected at the upper works, in connection with the furnace completed in 1861.

This fact affords striking evidence of the formation of the country.

An excellent water communication is created by this improvement between the upper and lower works.

At each extremity of the navigation, wharves, cranes, and every other appliance, are constructed to facilitate the transportation of heavy commodities.

A survey has established the existence of a practicable and cheap route for either a rail road or a plank road, from the lower works to the Schroon valley, a distance of only eighteen miles.

The wants of an industrious community, and the exigencies of general business, must secure the construction of a rail road through that valley to the Hudson.

When this most desirable project is accomplished, the furnaces and ore beds of the Adirondac district will be separated by a land transportation of only eighteen miles from New York.

The rail road at this moment approaching Essex connty through Warren, promises still more practical result, by penetrating in its proposed route, within a few miles of the Adirondac mines.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
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Re: THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

THE MILITARY AND CIVIL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW YORK; and a GENERAL SURVEY OF ITS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ITS MINES AND MINERALS, AND INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS, EMBRACING AN ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS; AND ALSO THE MILITARY ANNALS OF THE FORTRESSES OF CROWN POINT AND TICONDEROGA., continued ...

By WINSLOW C. WATSON.

PART III.

NATURAL HISTORY.
, continued ...

MINERALOLOGY AND GEOLOGY

The Adirondac District, continued ...

The lofty group of mountains which occupy this region formed almost exclusively of the hyperstene rock, which has been rendered somewhat familiar to the scientific world by the reports of the state geologists.

This rock, in different proportions, is diffused through almost every section of the county.

The mineral hyperstene from which it derives its name, is incorporated in it, in very minute quantities, whilst the labradorite or opalescent feldspar constitutes its most conspicuous element.

Although essentially granite, the hyperstene does not exhibit the ordinary appearance of that rock.

Its color, as revealed in the quarry, is a smoky gray.

In some quarries it is lighter, and in others it presents a strong green tinge, which forms a predominant shade.

On the surface this rock is seamy to so great a degree, as to present almost an appearance of stratification; deeper in the quarry it is thrown out in large and firm blocks.

Its beauty is greatly enhanced when lines of lighter color occur, by which it is traversed.

Experiments have been successfully made in sawing and polishing slabs from this rock.

If it yields blocks sufficiently firm and consolidated for this purpose, it will prove a most valuable and desirable material for the structure of the delicate and ornamental fabrics, to which the choicest marble is only appropriated.

No Egyptian stone surpasses it in its beautiful and variegated colors, or in the brilliancy of its lustre.

The hyperstene is equal to the granite as a building material.

The labradorite is an exquisitely beautiful mineral, rivaling the plumage of the peacock in its brilliant iridescence when wet or polished, and exposed to the action of the light. 14

Highly, opalescent specimens are not common, although that characteristic is partially exhibited in every crystal.

Blue is the predominant shade, at times mingled with green.

The green seldom occurs alone, but is exceedingly brilliant and beautiful.

14 R. Clark.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
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Re: THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

THE MILITARY AND CIVIL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW YORK; and a GENERAL SURVEY OF ITS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ITS MINES AND MINERALS, AND INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS, EMBRACING AN ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS; AND ALSO THE MILITARY ANNALS OF THE FORTRESSES OF CROWN POINT AND TICONDEROGA., continued ...

By WINSLOW C. WATSON.

PART III.

NATURAL HISTORY.
, continued ...

MINERALOLOGY AND GEOLOGY

The Adirondac District, continued ...

Gold and bronze specimens are occasionally discovered, and rarely, crystals are found combining all these colors in a splendid iridescence.

At times the crystals are striated, each alternate stria showing the opalescent reflection.

Occasionally two colors alternate in the same crystal; both are seldom seen in the same direction of light.

The bed of the Opalescent river, which derives its name from the circumstance, abounds in this mineral, and when the sun shines at the cascades through the clear water, the whole rock seems to beam and glow with the refulgence of the beautiful gems. 15

Bright opalescent specimens, polished and in settings, are highly valued in jewelry.

This mineral was discovered by the Moravian missionaries in Labrador, and when originally introduced into England, commanded most exorbitant prices.

There are but few foreign minerals enclosed in the hyperstene rock.

Some of the feldspar taken from a vein near the works are peculiarly beautiful; they exhibit a remarkable glittering, spangled appearance.

Crystals of iron have been found in this vein, similar to the crystalized ore.

Serpentine is also sparsely mingled in it. 16

15 R. Clark.

16 Idem.

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thelivyjr
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Re: THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

THE MILITARY AND CIVIL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW YORK; and a GENERAL SURVEY OF ITS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ITS MINES AND MINERALS, AND INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS, EMBRACING AN ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS; AND ALSO THE MILITARY ANNALS OF THE FORTRESSES OF CROWN POINT AND TICONDEROGA., continued ...

By WINSLOW C. WATSON.

PART III.

NATURAL HISTORY.
, continued ...

MINERALOLOGY AND GEOLOGY

The Adirondac District, continued ...

Graphite exists in this locality, but has not been discovered either in sufficient extent or purity to give it value, although often found in very beautiful radiated nodules.

It usually occurs in small quantities at the juncture of the gneiss and primitive limestone rocks.

Slight veins of trap are numerous, and, I may add, to avoid recurrence to the subject, that this rock is prevalent in almost every section of the county, sometimes exhibiting extensive walls, and forming the dyke of most of the iron ore beds.

At Jay, lower village, it spans the river in a massive dam.

Remarkable developments of trap dykes occur both on Mt. McMartin and Mt. Mclntyre, on the former its disintegration has formed a huge gorge, which, at its entrance, is one hundred feet wide and one hundred and fifty feet deep.

This gorge beautifully discloses the entire stratification of the rock.

The debris from the gorge, in large masses, was deposited in Avalanche lake.

This lake is a fountain head of the Hudson, situated two thousand five hundred feet above its level, and is probably the most elevated body of water in the state.

Its cold element is only inhabited by a small lizard.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
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Re: THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

THE MILITARY AND CIVIL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW YORK; and a GENERAL SURVEY OF ITS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ITS MINES AND MINERALS, AND INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS, EMBRACING AN ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS; AND ALSO THE MILITARY ANNALS OF THE FORTRESSES OF CROWN POINT AND TICONDEROGA., continued ...

By WINSLOW C. WATSON.

PART III.

NATURAL HISTORY.
, continued ...

MINERALOLOGY AND GEOLOGY

The Adirondac District, concluded ...

The Adirondac Company was originally incorporated with a capital of $1,000,000.

Large sums have been disbursed in the progress of these improvements, in opening the wilderness, and in a series of experiments upon the ores of this district.

The tragic death of Mr. Henderson in the midst of these scenes, which his great energy and spirited enterprise had tended so much to animate and reveal, impeded these efforts.

Not a sound, not a pulsation of business indicates the heart of a region boundless in the wealth of nature.

The lofty upheaval, that embraces the immense deposits of iron ore, which have been revealed in the Adirondac district, extends northerly through Essex and into Clinton county, and includes the town of Minerva at the south.

The rocks and general geological formation throughout this extended territory are closely assimilated.

In Clinton county, this range is the site of most of the valuable ore beds belonging to that district.

The town of Minerva, lying directly south of Newcomb, exhibits the evidence of great mineral wealth, although but one bed of iron ore has been actually opened and partially worked.

In the language of a correspondent; "Minerva may already be regarded as a mineral town, with wood equal to the supply of charcoal, for fifty years."

The bed which has been opened, lies on lot 21, township 25, Totten and Crossfield purchase.

It is owned by a company, composed of Hon. E. H. Rosekrans, J. C. Durand, and other prominent and energetic men.

On the surface, the ore is somewhat impregnated with sulphur, but as the excavation penetrates the deposit, the quality of the ore obtained is pure, rich, and highly magnetic.

It is easily reduced, and is pronounced better adapted for making pig, than bloom iron, but has produced in the forge, the best quality of iron. 17

The abundant presence of ore on the adjoining lot No. 28, and upon most of the contiguous territory, is satisfactorily ascertained.

In comparing the results of my examinations of the ore beds fifteen years ago, with their present condition, I observe many striking changes in the characteristics of the ore.

In the ores from several of these mines, sulphates, phosphates and other foreign substances were then incorporated; but in almost every instance in which the mines have been worked to any considerable extent, the ore is now wholly or nearly so exempt from the impurities.

17 E. F. Williams.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
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Re: THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

THE MILITARY AND CIVIL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW YORK; and a GENERAL SURVEY OF ITS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ITS MINES AND MINERALS, AND INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS, EMBRACING AN ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS; AND ALSO THE MILITARY ANNALS OF THE FORTRESSES OF CROWN POINT AND TICONDEROGA., continued ...

By WINSLOW C. WATSON.

PART III.

NATURAL HISTORY.
, continued ...

MINERALOLOGY AND GEOLOGY

SCHROON.

The Schofield Bed is situated in the town of Schroon, near the head of Paradox lake, and was opened in the year 1828, by Horace Hall.

Bar iron was at that time made in the Schroon forge from the ore of this mine, which was worked by various proprietors, until 1845.

In this year, I infer, operations were suspended at the bed.

An average of two hundred tons of iron was made during the above period, which established and maintained the highest character in market.

The bed has been again worked during the last year by the present owner, Mr. John Roth, and the ore has been used in both of his forges in Schroon, with decided success.

The ore yields fifty per cent of iron of the first class.

The vein is only from three to four feet in thickness, and has been worked about two hundred and fifty feet in length and from twenty to sixty feet in depth.

Horse power is used in hoisting the ore, but the pit is pumped by steam.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
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Re: THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

THE MILITARY AND CIVIL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW YORK; and a GENERAL SURVEY OF ITS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ITS MINES AND MINERALS, AND INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS, EMBRACING AN ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS; AND ALSO THE MILITARY ANNALS OF THE FORTRESSES OF CROWN POINT AND TICONDEROGA., continued ...

By WINSLOW C. WATSON.

PART III.

NATURAL HISTORY.
, continued ...

MINERALOLOGY AND GEOLOGY

SCHROON, concluded ...

The Skiff Bed lies about two miles from Paradox lake.

It was opened by A. P. Skiff in the year 1857, but is now owned by Mr. Roth.

This ore, like that from the Schofield bed possesses the highest qualities, but the same embarrassments impede at present its successful and remunerative development.

The vein is small, where it has been disclosed, and is compressed between walls of rock, that immensely enhance the difficulties and expense of working it.

The energetic owner, under the conviction that a wider vein exists and can be reached, has already expended many thousands of dollars, in the construction of a tunnel at the base of a mountain, in the hope of revealing such a vein.

If this enterprise, which is still to be pressed, results in the discovery of a large deposit of ore equal to that which has been worked, this bed will probably be made one of the most valuable in the region.

The ore furnished by both of these mines is generally conceded to be equal to any in the country.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
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Re: THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

THE MILITARY AND CIVIL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW YORK; and a GENERAL SURVEY OF ITS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ITS MINES AND MINERALS, AND INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS, EMBRACING AN ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS; AND ALSO THE MILITARY ANNALS OF THE FORTRESSES OF CROWN POINT AND TICONDEROGA., continued ...

By WINSLOW C. WATSON.

PART III.

NATURAL HISTORY.
, continued ...

MINERALOLOGY AND GEOLOGY

Crown Point.

Near the boundary line between Schroon and Crown Point two iron ore beds of great value are located, which were included formerly by the state geologists in the Moriah district.

They are of the magnetic type, and appear to possess inexhaustible deposits of the mineral.

They are known as the Hammond, and Penfield mines.

These mines are situated about ten miles from Lake Champlain.

Hammond Bed. The existence of this mine was ascertained as early as 1827, but it was not worked extensively until 1845.

It is situated on lot No. 278 in Paradox tract, and is now owned by G. & T. Hammond and
E. S. Bogue.

It has been constantly worked since 1845, and produces an average of about four thousand tons of ore annually, which is consumed in the blast furnace of the proprietors, for making pig iron.

It requires no separating.

It is a black magnetic ore, of a close, fine grain or texture, with very pure white quartz in small particles disseminated very evenly through it.

The ore is hard to drill and sledge.

Worked in a blast furnace, it yields a fluid glassy cinder, and makes a superior quality of pig iron.

The ore has no infusion of sulphates or phosphorus.

There are two pits opening out of this mine; one descends, at an angle of about forty-five degrees to the depth of four hundred feet, and the other, recently opened, has reached a descent of about fifty feet.

The ore is raised by horse power.

In 1852, I saw teams loaded alongside of the breast of ore.

The Hammond ore possesses the highest qualities of peculiar strength and softness, and is eminently adapted to the purposes of the foundry and the fabrication of machinery.

The harder parts of the pig metal are particularly calculated for the manufacture of car axles and malleable articles.

The extreme fluidity of this iron, and the long time it remains fluid, renders it highly valuable in the manufacture of these fabrics.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
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Re: THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

THE MILITARY AND CIVIL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW YORK; and a GENERAL SURVEY OF ITS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ITS MINES AND MINERALS, AND INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS, EMBRACING AN ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS; AND ALSO THE MILITARY ANNALS OF THE FORTRESSES OF CROWN POINT AND TICONDEROGA., continued ...

By WINSLOW C. WATSON.

PART III.

NATURAL HISTORY.
, continued ...

MINERALOLOGY AND GEOLOGY

Crown Point., concluded ...

Penfield Bed is about half a mile from the Hammond bed.

The ore is very similar, and the mines are probably parts of the same deposit.

The Penfield bed was first opened many years since, but not worked to any extent until 1824, when it was opened by Messrs. Penfield & Taft.

Since that period, it has been in constant operation.

It was subsequently carried on by Penfield & Son; afterwards by Penfield, Harwood & Co., and at present by Penfield & Harwood.

Although worked for so long a term, this mine exhibits no appearance of exhaustion.

The ore excavated is used in the forges of the proprietors in Crown Point.

I regret that I have been unable to procure more in detail statistics of this highly important mine.

The description, however, of the characteristics and qualities of the Hammond ore has a general application to the ore of this bed.

I shall refer to the properties of the iron it produces, in my notice of the Irondale forge.

In the south part of Crown Point large deposits occur of magnetic iron ores, but these are strongly impregnated with sulphurets.

In the central part of the town an ore bed, known as the Saxe bed was worked about forty years ago by Jacob Saxe, and used in a blast furnace, of which he was the proprietor, that stood at the mouth of the Salmon river in Plattsburgh.

The furnace has long since been abandoned and fallen into ruins.

The bed has not recently been worked, and is superseded by mines yielding richer and more desirable ores.

The Saxe bed and ore are fully noticed in the Natural History of the state, part 4, Geology, page 282.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
thelivyjr
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Re: THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

THE MILITARY AND CIVIL HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, NEW YORK; and a GENERAL SURVEY OF ITS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ITS MINES AND MINERALS, AND INDUSTRIAL PURSUITS, EMBRACING AN ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS; AND ALSO THE MILITARY ANNALS OF THE FORTRESSES OF CROWN POINT AND TICONDEROGA., continued ...

By WINSLOW C. WATSON.

PART III.

NATURAL HISTORY.
, continued ...

MINERALOLOGY AND GEOLOGY

TICONDEROGA.

The development of iron ore in the eastern part of the town of Ticonderoga has not been favorable.

Graphite appears at present to be the prominent mineral of the district.

A bed known as the Vineyard possesses a large deposit of iron ore, but it is so impregnated by sulphur as to be unavailable for practical purposes.

A vein of red oxide has been opened, from which about one thousand five hundred tons of ore have been taken, but it is too hard in drilling to be remunerative.

A vein of magnetic ore about two feet wide upon Mount Defiance is being opened by Weed & Burleigh.

A shaft is excavating, in the hope of discovering a large expansion of the vein.

Upon the Tub-mill property five veins of iron ore have been partially opened, and afford evidence of large deposits of good ore.

They are situated ten miles from the lake, and have been only partially developed.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
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