1824 History of Niagara County, NY

Source: "Cities, Villages, Canals, Mountains, Lakes, Rivers, Creeks, and Natural Topography," by Horatio Gates Spafford, LL.D., Packard & Van Benthuysen, Printer, Albany, 1824

NIAGARA COUNTY.

Niagara County, erected in 1821, from the northern part of the County of that name, the southern being erected into Erie County, is situated on Niagara River and Lake Ontario, 22 miles N. of Buffalo, and 300 W. of Albany; bounded N. by Lake Ontario, or Upper Canada, E. by the County of Genesee, S. by the Tonnewanta creek, or the new County of Erie, W. by Niagara River. Its extent E. and W. is about 28 miles; N. and S. 16; and its area may be 448 square miles, or 286720 acres.

Towns.      P.Offi.  Pop.  Imp land.  Villages, Poll Offices, &c.

Cambria     P.T.1   1134     4811     Lockport V.& P.O., 299 miles from Albany, 50 h., Locks.
Hartland    P.T.    1448     5476     Hartland V.; Salt Springs.
Lewiston    P.T.     869     3498     Lewiston V., 50 h., 27 miles from Buffalo, and 314 f. Albany.
Niagara     P.O.1    484     3244     Manchester P. O. & V.; Niagara Falls; Pendleton V. 
Porter      P.O.1    850     1561     Youngstown P. O. & V.; Fort Niagara.
Royalton    P.O.1   1849    14228     Lockport V.; Mountain Ridge; Erie Canal.
Wilson      P.O.1    688     1957     Kempsville P. O. & V.; Eighteen-mile Creek.
           ------  -----    -----    
              7     7322    34775

The County of Niagara is composed of the territory described in the 1st edition of this Work, under 'Cambria,' then one Township. For about 7 to 9 miles S. from the shore of Lake Ontario, the surface has a gradual rise, and at about that distance, extends the Mountain Ridge, as it is called, E. and W. across this County. The summit of this ridge, or terrace, is elevated about 330 feet above the surface of the lake, and S. of this the country has a pleasing variety of surface. The soil, in general, is productive, though not abundantly rich. Near the foot of the Mountain Ridge, is the Alluvial Way, separately described, a stupendous work of the waves of Lake Ontario, in days of yore, along which is the Ridge Road, and a line of Post-coaches. The waters of this County, excepting those on its borders, are of small importance, though it is pretty well supplied with mills. Eighteen mile, and Tuscarora creeks, run N. into the lake, and there are several others of inferior size. Along the Rapids, above Niagara Falls, there are several mills erected, and they may be increased to any number desired. The Erie Canal enters this County about 3 miles S. of the Alluvial Way, and continues westerly, under the Mountain Ridge, till it reaches the west transit line of the Holland Company, where it rises the slope, and continues southerly 7 miles, to the Tonnewanta creek, which it enters 10 miles from its mouth. It has lately been discovered, that a part of the precipice, which forms the river bank, between Lewiston and Niagara Falls, is composed of gypsum, which has been found to be of good quality. It forms a thick stratum, where first discovered, 70 feet below the surface. The Falls of Niagara, in this County, are separately described, as is also Ft. Niagara. The Portage, around the Falls, is in this County, and extends from Lewiston, to Schlosser, 8 miles. The Niagara River is navigable from Lake Ontario to Lewiston, 7 miles. From Schlosser to Buffalo, 20.5miles, the trade is by boats of about fifteen tons. But it is thought the completion of the Erie Canal, will render the trade with Canada, and by the portage of this County, of little importance. Lockport, the County Town, is situated on the Erie Canal, where it descends the Mountain Ridge, has 5 double locks, and has already become a Post-Village of some 1500 inhabitants, and 400 buildings. See Lockport. In 1796, there was but one white family, (exclusive of Ft. Niagara and Schlosser,) in the territory that now forms this County. There will, by-and-by, be a delightful road, across this County, on the Mountain Ridge, via Lockport, Tuscarora Village, At., overlooking Lake Ontario, 7 to 12 and 14 miles distant from that lake. A plan is now in agitation for a Canal around Niagara Falls, from Fort Schlosser to Lewiston, noticed under the town of Niagara.

Statistics.-Niagara elects 1 Member of Assembly: and with Erie and Chautauqua, 1 Representative to Congress, forming the 30th Congressional district: Townships, 7; Post-Offices 7; population, 7322: ratio of increase, yearly, 80 percent: school districts, 40; schools kept 6 months in 12 ; amount of public money received last year, $169-55; No. of children between 5 and 15 years of age, 1130; No. that received instruction in the schools last year, 1184: taxable property, $1,118,547; electors, 1697; yards of cloth made last year in families, 36950; acres of improved land, 34775; neat cattle, 7846; horses, 894; sheep, 11265: 9 grist mills, 23 saw mills, 3 fulling mills, 4 carding machines, 5 cotton and woollen factories, 1 iron works, 1 trip hammer, 7 distilleries, and 22 asheries.