« 上一頁繼續 »
partially improved. The Delaware forms the northeast and southeast boundaries. The other streams are the Waullenpaupack, on the northwest boundary; the Lackawaxen, which flows across the northern corner; the Shoholo and Bushkill; and those of less note are Masthope cr., Big-pond cr., Glass cr., Sawkill, Ramy's kill, Dingman's cr., &c. &c. The number of kills, (the Dutch word for creek, marks the fact of the early settlement of the Dutch along the Delaware. (See Monroe co., page 474.)
Most of these streams have their sources in ponds and marshes, and flow rather sluggishly, for many miles, through broad, alluvial flats, showing the existence of a high table-land: on approaching the verge of the great slate and shale formation, near the Delaware, they are precipitated from a great height into wild, narrow, and rocky glens, through which they go foaming and tumbling on towards the Delaware. The Waullenpaupack, near the Oswego and Milford turnpike, pours down a chasm of 70 feet, and then dashes over three successive cataracts, of 150 feet in all, within a mile and a half. The Sawkill, at Milford, also falls over a similar precipice. The Delaware and Hudson canal, from Carpenter's point, passes up the Delaware, on the New York side, crosses into Pike co. at the mouth of Lackawaxen, and continues up the valley of that stream into Wayne co. The citizens derive a great part of their subsistence from the forest, and agriculture has been hitherto but a secondary business. Many German and Irish emigrants are coming in, the former of whom make good farmers. There are great quantities of unseated land in the interior of the county, to be had at from $2 to $5 per acre, which would make many a happy and independent home to the poor laborers hovering around our great cities in want of work. The neighboring county of Sullivan, in New York, with an equally mountainous surface, and the same kind of soil, bears a population of nearly 20 to the square mile; while Pike co. has scarcely 7 per square mile.
View in Milford. The first settlement made at MILFORD, the county seat, was about the year 1799, by one Vandermark, a Dutchman, who gave name to the creek north of the village. In the year 1800, there were but two houses and a
blacksmith's shop on the site. The whole plain was thickly grown over with pines, hemlocks, and bushes. By some carelessness the under-brush took fire, and the fire extended over the whole plain—not, however, destroying the buildings above mentioned. Some wag published a statement in the papers, that “a fire had ravaged the town of Milford, and had left but two houses and a blacksmith's shop standing !" The town, in its present shape, was laid out by Mr. John Beddis.
In 1814 it became the county seat of Pike co., since which time it has increased gradually—most rapidly in the speculative times of 1836. The buildings are situated principally on two streets, in the shape of an L. The preceding view was taken from the centre of the street running north and south. The town contains the courthouse, a jail seldom tenanted, a Presbyterian and a Methodist church, and an academy. The Sawkill, which dashes down the ravine near the southern border of the town, turns several mills in its course. The citizens are much engaged in the lumber-trade. There is a fine bridge here across the Delaware. Many of the inhabitants of the village, and quite a number of farmers in the vicinity, are immigrants from France. They make industrious and thriving citizens and farmers; and by their good taste give an air of neatness and embellishment to their dwellings, which stimulates others to do likewise. The construction of the Delaware and Hudson canal has taken much business away from this town to Port Jarvis, in New York, six miles above.
About a mile and a quarter southwest of Milford, in a very secluded spot, may be seen the magnificent falls of the Sawkill. This stream, after flowing sluggishly for some miles through level table-land, is here precipitated over two perpendicular ledges of slate rock—the first of about 20 feet, and the second about 60 feet-into a wild, rocky gorge. The stream still continues, dashing and foaming on for a quarter of a mile, over smaller precipices, and through chasms scarcely wide enough for an individual to pass. The beetling cliffs that form the sides of the gorge are surmounted and shaded by cedars and hemlocks, that impart a peculiarly sombre and terrific air to the scenery.
The surface of the hill by which they are approached is on a level with the top of the second fall; and the spectator, on account of the bushes and trees, may reach the very verge of the precipice, and within almost leaping distance of the falls, before he perceives them; and if he should happen for the first time to have trodden that lonely path without a companion, after the shades of twilight had thrown a deeper gloom around the glen, he will not soon forget the awful sublimity of the scene.
WILSONVILLE is situated on the right bank of the Waullenpaupack, where the Oswego turnpike crosses it, and near the great falls of that creek. It was formerly the seat of justice of Wayne county, before the separation of Pike co. ; but the removal of the county business checked its prosperity. The inhabitants are principally engaged in the lumber business. On the turnpike, about a mile or two southeast of Wilsonville, is Tafton, a small, but smart village, of recent growth. Bushville is a small village on the Delaware, near Bushkill creek.
The Sylvania Association, a company recently formed in New York and Albany for carrying out the system of " Industrial organization and social reform, propounded by Charles Fourier,” have started a colony in
Lackawaxen township, between Shoholy and Lackawaxen creeks, northeast of the Milford and Owego turnpike. Great benefits are anticipated by this colony from the principle of association,—that is, from owning and cultivating their “domain” in common, and dwelling together in one or more immense mansions called phalanxteries,—whereby the expenses of separate house-building and house-keeping shall be avoided, and the distinction of master and servant be abolished. The following facts are derived from a pamphlet containing the constitution and byelaws, with some additional information from an officer of the association
The association was formed early in 1843, by a few citizens of New York and Albany, mainly mechanics. In April, about 2500 acres of land, in three large tracts, was purchased, and a pio. neer division of some 40 persons entered upon the possession and improvement of the land. The number has been increased in Oct. 1843) to about 130 or 140, including about 25 whole families of men, women, and children, and some single persons. These colonists are generally young, or in the vigor of life, and “all recognizing labor as the true and noble destiny of man on earth.” The soil of the domain is a deep loum, well calculated for tillage and grazing. About 80 acres had been cleared before the association purchased the tract; and they found upon it a saw-mill, an unfinished grist-mill, and two or three dwellings, &c., which have served for the temporary accommodation of the colonists. They have now about 160 acres cleared. It is intended to erect a spacious edifice for a dwelling, with workshop, &c. The land lies in gentle sloping ridges, with valleys between and wide level table-lands at the top. Much of it can be cleared at $6 per acre. A small stream, or branch of the Shoholy, passes through it, affording abundant water. power for all purposes. The domain is three to five miles from the Delaware and Hudson canal, 14 miles northwest from Milford, and 94 from New York city by the Milford turnpike, or 110 by way of Port Jervis, Middletown, and the N. Y. and Erie railroad.
Any person of good character may become a member of the association, by owning a share, ($25,) and laboring on the domain under the rules of the association.
A capital of $10,000 has been raised by subscription, upon which legal interest is paid by the association. This capital is to be increased, when practicable, to $100,000. Labor is paid for on a graduated scale of compensation, according as it is considered more or less repulsive, neces. sary, useful, or agreeable. Members are at liberty to pursue any branch of employment they may select; but all labor performed must be for the benefit of the association, and must be prosecuted on the domain, or under the direction of the association. Disputes must be settled by arbitration, with privilege of appeal to a supreme court of the colony; but any member who seeks legal redress out of the colony shall be expelled. Women receive five-eighths the wages of a man; children from ten to fifteen one-third-from fifteen to eighteen one-half. Profits are divided annually, and all balances due individuals, above their board, clothing, and other items of expenditure, are to be credited as stock. A library, and suitable apartments for public exercises and amusements, are to be provided. The great edifice is to be leased according to an assessment of the various apartments, at an annual rent of ten per cent. on its cost. Members who wish to take their meals separately may do so by paying extra, and may use any extra fur. niture which they choose to have at their individual cost. Children under ten, and the aged and infirm, are at the charge of the association. Young women may vote at the age of eighteen, and young men at twenty. The association may not hire a minister of religion, but provides a room, in which any one invited and paid by individuals may preach. The association may not suppress any public amusement, nor "exclude wine or ardent spirits from the tables of the association, but shall furnish the same to any member desirous of using them, according to the plan adopted with reference to wearing apparel, or other articles.” “ Drunkenness subjects the guilty party to public rebuke, fine, or expulsion." If too many select any one occupation, the supernumeraries are detached by lot Thomas W. Whiteley, president ; J. D. Pierson, vice-president; J. T. S. Smith, secretary; Horace Greeley, treasurer-all of whom at present reside in New York city, except the vice-president.
Another colony of individuals, principally from Brooklyn, N. Y., under the title of the “Social Reform Unity,” have recently made a settlement in the southwestern part of the county, adjoining the Monroe co. line.
POTTER COUNTY was separated from Lycoming, by the act of 26th March, 1804. Length 37 miles, breadth 30; area 1,106 sq. miles. Population in 1810, 29; in 1820, 186 ; in 1830, 1,265; in 1840, 3,371.
The county comprises the high, rolling, and table-land, adjacent to the northern boundary of the state, lying on the outskirts of the great bituminous coal formation. Its streams are the sources of the Allegheny, the Genesee, and the West branch of the Susquehanna ; and a resident of
the county says that all these streams head so near together, that a man in three hours may drink from waters that flow into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Chesapeake bay, respectively. The names of these sources are the Allegheny, the Genesee, the East branch of Sinnemahoning, Kettle cr., Pine cr., and Cowanesque cr. The soil is a chocolate-colored loam, of fair quality, covered with a heavy growth of beech, maple, elm, basswood, pine, oak, chestnut, and hemlock; and along the streams, hickory, butternut, and thorn. The land is well adapted for grazing. In the south part of the county, bituminous coal and iron-ore are found; and a bed of coal has been recently discovered within three miles of Coudersport. The leading roads of the county are as good as could be expected in a new county.
COUDERSPORT the county seat, is a small but thriving town, situated on the right bank of the Allegheny, at the crossing of the great east and west state road. Another road leads to Jersey Shore, on the West Branch. The place contains a stone courthouse and jail, an academy, three stores, two taverns, a carding-machine, mills, and dwellings. Stated preaching, by ministers of different denominations, is regularly enjoyed on the sabbath.
John Keating, Esq., of Philadelphia, who owns immense tracts of wild lands in this region, presented one half of the town-plot for the use of the county, and $500 for the academy. He also gave 50 acres of land to each of the first 50 families that settled on his land ; and many other benevolent acts of that gentleman are gratefully remembered by the early settlers.
It is evident, from a comparison of the population with the area, that the greater part of the county is still a wilderness; and although enterprising settlers are fast coming in, there is still a vast quantity of “unseated" farming land, that may be purchased at a low rate. The history of the early pioneers is one of extreme toil and hardship, yet health and competence have been their reward ; and where they found nought but a howling wilderness, traversed only by the Indian, the bear, the wolf, the panther, the elk, and the deer, they now see cultivated fields, abounding with cattle and sheep, and an industrious population, furnished with mills, schools, and manufactories. The following extracts are from the correspondence of respectable citizens of the county. An early settler, Benjamin Birt, Esq., says
In the year 1808 an east and west road was opened through Potter co. Messrs. John Keating & Co., of Philadelphia, owning large tracts of land in the northwest part of the county, agreed with Isaac Lyman, Esq., to undertake the opening of the road. In the fall of 1809 Mr. Lyman came in, with several hands, and erected a rude cabin, into which he moved in March, 1810. He then had but one neighbor in the county, who was four miles distant. I moved in on the 4th May, 1811, and had to follow the fashion of the country for building and other domestic concerns, -which was rather tough, there being not a bushel of grain or potatoes, nor a pound of meat, ex. cept wild, to be had in the county ; but there were leeks and nettles in abundance, which, with venison and bear's meat, seasoned with hard work and a keen appetite, made a most delicious dish. The friendly Indians of different tribes frequently visited us on their hunting excursions. Among other vexations were the gnats, a very minute but poisonous insect, that annoyed us far more than musquitoes, or even than hunger and cold; and in summer we could not work without raising a smoke around us.
Our roads were so bad that we had to fetch our provisions 50 to 70 miles on pack-horses. In this way we lived until we could raise our own grain and meat. By the time we had grain to grind, Mr. Lyman had built a small grist-mill; but the roads still being bad, and the mill at some distance from me, I fixed an Indian samp-mortar to pound my corn, and afterwards I contrived a small hand-mill
, by which I have ground timny a bushel, but it was hard work. When we went out after provisions with a team, we were compelled to camp out in the woods; and, i in