||HISTORY OF LOWER SCIOTO VALLEY
Kay L. Mason
Scientific View of the Scioto Valley. Its Topography-The Scioto River-Its Drainage System-The Geology of Scioto Valley-Fire-clay, etc.-Archaeology of the Scioto Valley-The Mound-builders- Piketon Walls-The Fauna of Scioto Valley-The Beasts of the Valley-The Reptiles of Scioto Valley-The Flora of the Scioto Valley-Conclusion-The Future of Scioto Valley-Its Mineral Resources-The Future Population of the Scioto Valley. [Text Version]
The Scioto Valley runs due north and south. Within its limits known as such are fifteen counties, and it is one of the richest of the river sections of the State, both from an agricultural and mineral point of view. The richness of this valley is known far and wide. Its deep alluvial soil is inexhaustible, and this may also be said of its mineral deposits of coal and iron ore, its quarries of stone and its beds of fire-clay. Especially is this mineral region in the Lower Scioto Valley the theme of wonder for its richness, ease of mining and its immense quantity and quality. Nature has seen fit to combine nearly all the wants of man within the area of this wonderful and fruitful valley, and in this great laboratory of minerals she has abundant material for future exhibits of her cabinet of mineralogical wealth.
The river section, termed the Scioto Valley, is composed of the counties of Delaware, Pickaway, Franklin, Ross, Madison, Marion, Highland, Union, Morrow, Fayette, Hardin, Pike, Jackson, Scioto and Adams. These counties are geographically arranged under the Scioto Valley sectional head, but the scientific sketch relates principally to that part of the Scioto Valley district which lies within the mineral district and the coal measure, known as the Lower Scioto Valley, and drained by the Scioto River and its eastern tributaries. These lower counties lie wholly or in part within the mineral belt, for this work relates only to the counties of Scioto, Pike and Jackson. The latter is wholly within the coal measure, a small portion of Pike, and about one-half of Scioto. The Scioto Valley bottoms contain a very large amount of gravel of the hills and the decay of vegetable matter make a soil fertile in the extreme. The limestone ridges also make a very durable and fertile soil.
The topography of the Lower Scioto Valley presents a great variety of interesting features. The valley presents a magnificent array of fruitful farms, and its hills, gorges, ravines, etc., present to the eye a varied landscape which, at every turn, presents new, beautiful and interesting changes upon which the sight never wearies. The wild and romantic scenery up the little valley of Salt Creek, in Jackson County, is hardly to be surpassed in the beauty of its ever-changing and kaleidoscopical appearance. Following the eastern divide of the Scioto Valley beginning at its southern extremity and traveling northward, nature varies your prospect with every change of horizon. The curves which you are following (the curves of the water-land) which drain the mineral region of the Lower Scioto Valley, seem to change their course in every few rods of advance. At one time you are climbing a high conical peak from which your view is quite extended and enchanting. Again you descend into a low gap in the divide, where your outlook is circumscribed by surrounding ridges and protracted spurs, shooting forth from the chief divide. In the manner you travel, up and down, to the right and to the left, till, passing around the heads of the eastern confluents of the Scioto, and noting all their hills, spurs, gulches, ravines and tributary valleys describing its northern curve, you arrive at the extreme head of the coal measure which bounds the eastern and northern limits of the valley. The land surfaces in the Scioto Valley present a continued succession of bottom lands, more or less extended. Above these low creek and river bottom lands are a few plains, scattered here and there, while the higher lands consist of sidehills, slopes or plains, forming with the horizon every possible angle of inclination, having a face for every point in the heavens.
Other portions of the surface form coves under which were the early creek and river channels, now covered by ancient land-slides to the depth of twenty to fifty feet. The crests of the spurs and principal ridges are usually very narrow. Sometimes, however, they are broad, rich and well adapted to grain and fruit culture.
In the Scioto Valley, consisting of the river trough, its tributary valleys, its ravines, gulches, plains, river and creek bottoms, coves, side-hill slopes, spurs, and their main ridges, we can find but little waste land. A few acres of swamps and ponds, the remaining parts of old beds of the river and branches, are to be found in the Scioto Valley. It now remains to introduce the agency by which these physical changes, already described, were formed, which refers almost exclusively to the mineral region of the Lower Scioto Valley. But first let us describe the beautiful river from which the valley takes its name.
The Scioto Valley is noted far and wide for the richness, the fertility and the inexhaustible quality of its soil, the beauty of its landscape, and the wealth, culture, and refinement of her enterprising and hospitable people, but no less so is the beautiful. And gentle Scioto River, known for its extraordinary length and the fan-like shape shown by its numerous heads. It takes its rise in no less than six different counties, with as many fountain heads, forming a fan-like shape from just above Chillicothe, each stream which centers there being the framework of a fan. The head waters of the river are formed in Hardin, Marion, Crawford, Union, Delaware and Richland Counties. Its branches, like itself, are long and numerous, and are called "long legs," by their size. On the east are the Oleutangy, Gahannah or Big Walnut, Little Walnut and Salt Creek. On the west side are Rush Creek, Mill Creek, Boke's Creek, Darby, Deer, Paint and Brush creeks. They all rise in a comparatively level and alluvial country, excepting the Salt Creek, whose magnificent scenery-in the grandeur of its bold bluffs, the rugged outlines of its massive ranges of hills, of its dark, deep and gloomy gorges, its little valleys that here and there admit the shimmering rays of the glorious sunlight-makes a picture the traveler drinks in with silent awe. Then again as a dark cloud obscures the sun's bright rays, a weird and ominous-like gloom pervades and hovers over its wild and mystic water-course, giving shape to the imagination of phantom spirits reveling in the spirit world. South from Chillicothe, where this fan-like shape unites into one noble stream, it enters the sandstone region and breaks through these hills, spreading out again into the beautiful and far- famed valley which has become so well known and noted. The River Scioto is fully 200 miles in length, and from its head waters to its mouth it has a distance on an air line of one hundred and thirty miles, and this is the length of this magnificent valley, with a breadth averaging from fifty to seventy miles. Here, just before the harvest season, can be seen a perfect paradise, waving with grass and grain as far as the eye can see, interspersed with fine farm residences, well-filled barns, lowing herds, and here and there beautiful cities, hamlets and villages nestling on its quiet bosom. Seeing this valley, and then the work of the Mound-builders, showing that it once was largely peopled with a prehistoric race, and remembering in our time the love the Indians had for this rich and lovely valley, the mind can easily contemplate the bitter and unrelenting hate of the Indian for his paleface brother, when he was deprived of this glorious heritage of his ancestors. And it is not to be wondered that the daring pioneer left many a record of Indian hate and revenge in the deadly work of the tomahawk and scalping knife and in the burning of his cabin. Time and man's industry has but added to its beauty, and the present is but a continuance of the past and the light of its future.
The surface configuration of the Scioto Valley from its head water to its mouth, the land formations, are a series of effects of adequate causes. The principal agent that has operated through many geological ages to bring about such stupendous results is water. That fluid is an erosive agent, as well as a shipper. It loosens the dissolving elements and transports them into the sea.
The Scioto River takes its rise in the Northwestern part of the State. It is by far the longest river in the State in proportion to its water flow or supply. It drains in its northern and central portion a magnificent agricultural country. Its course is southeast and east of south until it reaches Columbus, in Franklin County, when it curves slightly and runs almost due south, except one big bend to the east in the lower part of Ross County, coming back to its general course in the northern part of Pike County, and then as before running due south until its waters mingle with those of the Ohio. The Big Scioto River, passing as it does nearly through the center of Pike County from north to south, with its tributaries, gives a very effectual drainage to that county, its slopes all tending, although in devious courses, to be drained by that river. Coming into Jackson County there is a peculiarity of this drainage system which is worthy of attention. The back bone or ridge which runs through the east side of the county divides its surface drainage. Raccoon Creek, which rises in the northern part of Vinton Creek, passes close to Jackson, runs south and southeast through Gallia, and empties its waters into the Ohio. Little Raccoon Creek, one branch of its head rising in Vinton County, the other in Lick Township, Jackson County, runs east and southeast and unites with Big Raccoon. Then comes Symmes Creek, rising in Madison Township, Jackson County, runs nearly due south, passing through a portion of Gallia, and through Lawrence from north to south, and empties also into the Ohio. Therefore the east portion of Jackson County is drained by the waters of these creeks. Passing through the southwest portion of the Hocking Valley, while the water-shed of the Scioto River lies within a mile or two of the head waters of these creeks, and empties into either the Ohio or the Big Scioto River. Jackson County, however, is given a place in the geographical department, known as the Scioto Valley. The Little Scioto River, of which its contents, the Rocky Fork and Brushy Fork, unite and form this stream in the northeast corner of Bloom Township, which then takes a generally southeast course, sinuous in the extreme, and mingles its waters with the Ohio about six miles above the city of Portsmouth. Pine Creek, which rises in the southern part of Jackson County, is another tortuous stream, rising in the southern part of Jackson County, flowing first southwest, then south, touching Lawrence County, then west and northwest, emptying into the Ohio. It waters Bloom, Vernon and Green townships. Its northern arm is called Hale's Creek. These are the principal streams that take their rise in the water- shed that slopes to the southeast and south directly to the Ohio River. Within Scioto County, the Scioto River has no large tributaries on the east side, the dividing ridge giving the streams a southerly course, like the Scioto itself, emptying into the Ohio. On the west the Scioto's largest tributary within the limits of the territory embraced in this work is Brushy Creek, a fork of the Little Scioto. This stream rises in Highland County, and finds its way through a serpentine course, coming into Scioto County at its northwest corner, and flowing southeast and east unites with the Scioto near the center of Rush Township. Its principal tributaries are South Fork and Bear Creek, the latter rising in Brush Creek Township, the other in Adams County. A short stream called Pond Creek, which takes its rise in Union Township, after a sinuous northeast and southeast course flows into the Scioto River at the northeast corner of Washington Township, opposite Big Island. Pond Run with its three forks take their rise and are wholly within the limits of Niles Township. The extreme southwest like the southeast drains its waters into the Ohio. There are numerous streams and tributaries besides those mentioned. Thus in a measure has been recorded the drainage system of the Lower Scioto Valley, with its ridges and cross ridges, giving its water ways, which take their rise within a short distance of each other, in diametrically opposed courses.
Drainage is not the entire object of our river systems. Irrigation and exposure of deep and otherwise hidden treasures are evidently had in view by the Author of Nature with all is elementary combinations. He that makes eyeless fishes where no light can every penetrate would not upheave and plow down the earth's crust without having in view some special object. Scioto Valley is not, by any means, destitute of the foot-prints of the Deity, but is proof of his handiwork.
This composed the survey of the river system of the Scioto Valley and its tributaries, from its fountain head till its waters are seen mingling with its kindred waters of the noble Ohio. Many questions of interest might be discussed relative to this river system. Of the seven river systems of Ohio, which is the most ancient? For they are, geologically, quite different in their ages and unlike in their growth. Their modes of formation and their movements and their mission are dissimilar. A few words relative to the ages and mission work of the Ohio rivers will enable the reader better to understand the philosophy of the things in the Scioto Valley.
1. The Maumee Valley, embracing eighteen counties, shows glacial action over its entire surface, in its heavy drifts of bluish clay intermingled with sand, gravel and boulders. Its drainage is peculiar. The St. Joseph River has no tributaries on the south, and the St. Mary is without any on the north. Old drift deposits determine the features of its drainage, whether to the lake or to the Mississippi.
2. The Western Reserve drainage is sluggish, except where the streams head near the lake. Twelve counties lie principally within the lake basin. The rim is above 600 feet, in places, above the surface of Lake Erie. The Cuyahoga and Chagrin rivers are rapid and eroded; deep valleys mark their flow to the lake.
3. The Ohio River section has its peculiarities of drainage. This section numbers four counties. It is drained principally by short affluents of the Ohio, taking their rise in the extremity of the spurs of the river hills. The valleys are, generally, deep erosions.
4. The Muskingum River Valley, having sixteen counties, has its name from its principal river, its system of drainage. It is a valley of erosions, it being noted for its small amount of drift, and, consequently, its large amount of native soil-that which is formed from erosion and disintegration of its own strata. Its drainage extends to the center of the State.
5. The Scioto River section includes fifteen counties. The Scioto River has great length in proportion to its volume of water. Its course is from the north to the south, following one meridian in much of its southern division. Its branches are usually lengthy, its western affluents predominating. The coal-measure hills give rise to its eastern tributaries.
6. The Miami forms another extended river system. It includes fifteen counties and has an area of 6,440 squares miles. This section has the highest and the lowest land in the State; still the surface slopes so gradually that the country seems somewhat level. The river erosions have been moderate, the waters flowing tardily.
It will be seen, from the sketch above given that Scioto Valley has its peculiarities of drainage, the closer resemblances being found between it and the Hocking and Muskingum valleys.
Having noticed in a measure its surface and drainage let us investigate the causes which in the past ages have superinduced these surface configurations and drainage. The rock formations of the valley are chiefly the coal measures. They are fire-clay, sandstone, limestone, coal and ironstone and shale. In Fairfield County we have the Waverly group, and the glacial drift. The fertility of the soil and its large, well- cultivated and well-stocked farms are the objects of attraction in this district. In the Eastern portion the surface prospects assume a more rugged form; spurs, between which are seen the most lovely valleys, five signs of your proximity to the Alpine district of Ohio.
Jackson County is rich in coal and iron. The celebrated Jackson Shaft coal and the Hill coal is here. The Waverly sandstone is also found. It has limestone in vast quantities, and its beds of fire-clay have stood the test of practical manufacture. These remarks apply with equal force to Eastern Scioto County. Pike County has but little coal or iron. It has vast quarries of the Waverly sandstone. It just touches on its eastern side the great coal means, and the western line is found within its border. The next interesting feature of the valley may be termed the analysis of its geology.
In the geological sketch is described each formation as a whole, such as shale, sandstones, limestones, fire-clays, marls, iron ores and coal.
All the formations native to the Scioto Valley are what may be termed sedimentary. The particles of which they are composed were held in solution by the waters of the ocean once covering the entire globe. Scioto Valley cannot date beyond the Waverly. Its age is that of the lower productive coal measures. The valley is, geologically, young. Ages after the Laurentian Mountains of Canada and the Adirondack Mountains lifted their snow heads above the primeval ocean the Allegheny Range quietly slept beneath its turbid brine. In the revolving cycles, the loftiest peaks struggled into atmospheric life; through a series of risings above the sea surface, and fallings beneath it, the mountains stood forth to sink no more. By the upheaval of the Allegheny Mountains and the Cincinnati Arch, the Ohio River trough was formed, the western side of which has, in part, been grooved out into what is now called the Scioto and Hocking valleys. The valleys themselves have, therefore, been formed since the deposit of all its eroded strata, and is more recent than the Cincinnati Arch and the Allegheny Mountains. The strata that form the lower coal measures are sedimentary deposits from the ancient ocean. And since coal is of vegetable origin, the forests which produced the coal must have grown above the waters, and, afterward, submerged, and made the floor of later deposits. All the other strata, such as shales, fire-clay, limestone, sandstone, iron ore, were submarine deposits.
When speaking of strata it must not be supposed that each stratum is found in every part of the valley, nor that they are of uniform thickness. Shales vary in thickness from a few inches to fifty feet. Ad they were Stillwater deposits, the duration of the stillness and the amount of clay sediment and clay and sand determine the amount of deposit. Limestone formations are not uniform; nor are the sand rocks, iron ore and coal deposits; they often lie in pockets and lagoons. As we pass down the valley we shall pass up the strata, as one ascends a flight of stairs, each stratum being a step, or, as the shelves of a mineralogical cabinet, each stratum forming a shelf. Commencing with the Waverly as the floor of our cabinet let us note each shelf and its contents as we ascend.
It may be remarked, then, that the first shelf in our coal-measure cabinet has the Maxville limestone; this horizon does not extend over the entire valley, still it is a large deposit in certain localities, and is of considerable value. It is a valuable deposit of the cabinet. The shale stratum is next in order in the ascending stratigraphical shelves. As the shales have not been utilized, only by nature in forming the basis of many of its soils, we shall pass them with a general remark, that they, being still-water deposits, predominate in our valleys and determine, principally, their extent.
The alteration of mineral rock deposits require sandstone. The sandstone strata are numerous, and vary exceedingly in their texture. Some are too soft for building stone, others hard and shelly; some are conglomerate and coarse grained. The ridges have specimens of glass rock over fifty feet thick. Some of the rocks resemble the best Waverly sandstone. The valley contains extensive beds of excellent flagstone; therefore is placed the freestone stratum among our valuable minerals. There are many horizons of fire-clay. These are in places of excellent quality. They form the floors of our iron ore beds, coal seams, and sometimes underlie limestone formations. The fire-clays are therefore of great commercial value. The iron ore of the valley has been used fully a half century. The veins are of varying thickness, and on analysis yield from twenty-five to sixty per cent of pure iron, which, mixed with Lake Superior and other ores, makes an excellent iron. The geological history of the State gives the stratas and their shale, sandrock, limestone, coal, etc., etc., as the shaft passes through the different formations.
This inclined plane, which was, by erosion, constructed into the Scioto Valley by the rising of the land, must have had six formative periods when the surface was above the sea and remained above water until the growth of vegetation prepared materials for a vein of coal, when it again subsided, thus rising and falling till the last coal vein was formed, when, after the various strata were deposited, it arose to sink no more. Such appears to be the process by which the plain was formed. The valley was grooved into this inclined plain by running water. The Ohio River flowed toward the gulf down a series of inclined plains 100 feet below the plains down which its waters now flow. The tributaries were formed by a similar process, the eroded materials being carried into the main stream. In like manner the branches of the branches, even to the smallest rills, were eroded. This process of erosion is still in progress, and would finally carry all the hills to the ocean, unless a new era should change the order of things. What a vast amount of eroded particles have been taken out of the valley. For the purpose of drainage, irrigation and exposure of the mineral resource, what a work has been and is being accomplished in the Scioto Valley. The earth truly is standing out of the water and in the water, and the coal elements growing out of the water, but converted into coal under the water.
Thus has the Architect of all the created universe, in his laboratory in the ocean caverns, constructed a rich cabinet of minerals for exposition and future use. After constructing the materials for ages to come, and placing his mineral merchandise upon their appropriate stratigraphical shelves, he raises the entire material above the deep, and begins the process of opening his grand exposition. We have seen his erosive work. It is our duty to examine the effects that we may discover their intelligent, all-powerful cause. Having now examined the geological make of the Scioto Valley in its mineral capacity, and walked up and down its strata, noting their variety, their position, and searched into the modes of their formation, its practical uses can now be referred to. The deposits of iron ore and coal, both in their superior quality and their inexhaustible quantity, in Scioto and Jackson Counties, is admitted; Pike County is only partly in the coal measure, but it has an immense quantity of stone deposits of the very best building material. The celebrated Waverly is found there as it is also in Scioto and Jackson, and the fine millers' burrs. Scioto and Jackson have immense beds of coal and iron as above remarked, and some idea of its exhaustless nature may be gathered from Prof. Briggs's report some years ago, State Geologist. He said "that the counties of Jackson, Lawrence and Scioto were able to supply 400,000 tons of superior iron annually for 2,700 years." This, it will be observed, would be fully as long as any generation that the people of this day would be in any way interested in. He also remarked in regard to the coal measure in the same trio of counties, speaking of the extent and thickness of the veins, "that this belt of coal is equivalent to fifty miles in length, five miles in width, and nine feet thick, and will yield 9,000,000 of tons per square mile." Prof. Mather endorses this, and says: "This coal is very pure, yielding but little ash or residuum, and has scarce a trace of sulphur." A recent development of this coal and iron in Scioto County has been examined by a scientific and practical committee, who report that in all the numerous hills, in some five miles square, which they examined, they found nineteen feet of pure coal, which by a railroad of less than twenty miles, can be delivered in Portsmouth at $1.40 per ton, or 5 cents a bushel, and to manufacturers for a less price. The discovery also of the celebrated black band ore among the other varieties is an important source of wealth to the iron interests of the valley. These were located within an average of thirty miles of the mouth of the Scioto River; fifty-seven furnaces with an annual capacity of 142,500 tons of pig-iron, the quality known in commercial terms as "Hanging Rock," of which the best iron and steel is made.
Abundance of this article is found through the Lower Valley, and it has become quite an important manufacturing interest, and is rapidly developing itself. The supply, like that of coal and iron ore, will last a decade or two of centuries.
A portion of the rock in the region is so perfect an argillaceous sandstone, or nearly silicate of alumina, that it is largely used at home and abroad for fire-beds and cupolas to furnaces; supplies Tennessee for that purpose, and cargoes have been sent to Oregon. The deposits of coarse sandstone are very large and valuable-are, and will be, used for furnaces, as well as other buildings. The deposits of blue, white, and ferriferous limestone are also large and not the least valuable of her vast deposits.
When the Europeans first entered the Scioto Valley they found it occupied by the Indians. But who were the Indians? Were they indigenous to the soil, natives, born out of the earth of the valley, or were they exotics? Elias Boudinot, LL. D., held that the Indians were of the ten lost tribes of Israel. He made a collection of many of their traditions, manners and customs, and, from testimony which he deemed sufficient, came to that conclusion. Be this theory true or not they were not aborigines of that valley. They came into this valley from some distant country of the East, with their peculiarity of living and mode of thought. The Indians seemed not to have any idea of the Mound- builders, or when the mounds were built. That these mounds were built over chieftains and near battle-fields as well cities, is attested by the fact that war-like instruments, flint arrow-heads, are sometimes found quite numerous near these tumuli, and in such cases undoubtedly was a battle field. These are numerous in the Scioto Valley. The materials of which these mounds are composed vary according to the geological formation of the country or districts where they were erected. On the plains they are found principally of the drift-sand and gravel. The materials were carried great distances and by many person, showing a populous country; and well packed, for they have stood the storms of the centuries without being washed to a level plain, which would have been the case if science and art had not existed in directing their formation. The valleys of the Hocking, Muskingum and Miami, as well as the Scioto, are full of these wondrous works of a prehistoric race. Their weapons of war, their arrows and battle-axes were made mostly of flint, which they might have secured from the river terraces or from distant points where flint is found. Some these stone instruments were of a nature that their uses were hard to discern. The race of Mound-builders was an industrious one. It is said that there are 10,000 mounds, and 1,500 circumvallations in Ohio. Of what race were these Mound-builders has not been satisfactorily ascertained. That they were originally from Asia it seems quite sure. From a skull obtained from one of these mounds it would give them a Mongolian extract. They evidently came to America over Behring's Straits, which they could have crossed on the ice, or in small crafts. It would require centuries to have gone as far south as Central or South America. As they moved toward the south they advanced in their arts. That they came from Northeastern Asia and from that quarter peopled America will appear from this: that the American continent, between the great mountain range (consisting of the Rocky Mountains in North America and the Andes Mountains in South America) and the Pacific Ocean, was first peopled and grew into powerful empires. The memory of the Mound-builders had perished from the earth, and the rude monuments give us a far more imperfect sketch of their being and character than that of the fossils whose tombs are in the earth's strata.
Just when they came, how long they remained, and what caused their being effaced from the face of the earth, has been in the thoughts of men for over a century past, and much time and research have been given to solving the problem as to who the mysterious people were who inhabited this valley and State.
That the valley of the Scioto was the habitation of the Mound-builders is well-known. The evidences of their work is found from Portsmouth on the Ohio River to the northern limit of the valley, and especially in Ross and Pickaway counties, where so many mounds have been found, exceeding in number those seen in the Lower Scioto Valley. Still these ancient works and their contents, for some have been opened and examined, have been confounded more or less by superficial observers and writers, as of a more modern date. The fact that medals have been found bearing date of the 15th century and of French origin, sometimes in or near these mounds, or in caves, have caused some to believe that the early French settlers, or the inhabitants, Indians, were in some way connected with these Mounds-builders. That cannot be. Who these Mound-builders were is simply conjecture, but facts have been gathered to show that a race of people living on the Eastern Continent in Asia and the Scythian race of men were the original Mound-builders.
Of the East, were undoubtedly the first pioneers and settlers in the northwestern territory. They were all, or nearly all, of French extraction. They are a pioneer race and a devoted one to the tenets of their faith, and on their arrival in this country early in the 18th century they did not remain on the Atlantic coast, but pushed inland, secure in their faith and in the spirit which controls the pioneer. They proclaimed not their intentions, but quietly left the coast, and pushed their spirit of adventure into the vast and unknown wilderness which lay before them. That the Jesuits had several settlements between Lake Michigan and the Illinois and Mississippi rivers is quite certain, and that these were made in the 16th century is also quite certain. LaSalle found one of these settlements in what is now Illinois, which seemed to have been quite old, while on his trip from the lakes to the Mississippi, in 1679. The Jesuits were among the first arrivals on this continent, but their religion did not coincide with that of the Mayflower immigrants, and they did not seek to mingle with them, but pushed boldly into the interior among the Indians. Two French settlements were made in Central New York in 1654 and 1656, under the auspices of Jesuit missionaries.
Quite a number of French relics have been found in different sections of the State. A medal was found near Portsmouth early in the present century by a Mr. White. It was of Masonic origin with Roman letters on both sides, with a half moon and star on one side and on the other a human heart with a sprig of cassia growing out of it. General Robert Lucas saw this medal, and it seemed to be of French origin, and of date earlier than the settlement of this country. It was probably brought here by the Jesuits and lost. Other medals and Roman coins were found in other sections of the country.
In regard to the work of the Mound-builders, they are found all along the Ohio on both sides, and seemed from their great elevation to have been signal points. The largest series of these mounds or works were found on Paint Creek, Ross County, and of such an extent as to fully gain the impression that a large city once covered its immense area. In and around Chillicothe and at Circleville these mounds and evidence of a former civilization were found. At the mouth of the Scioto were found, also, very extensive ones. Right opposite Portsmouth, or, more properly speaking, the old site of Alexandria, on the Kentucky shore, a fort once stood, and every evidence goes to show that a once populous and flourishing settlement rested on both sides of the Ohio River as this point. The following description of this fort was published by the American Antiquarian Society in 1820: "On the Kentucky side of the river, opposite the mouth of the Scioto River, is a large fort, with an elevated, large mound of earth near its southwestern outside angle, and parallel walls of earth. The eastern parallel walls have a gateway leading down a high, steep bank to the river. They are about ten rods asunder, from four to six feet in height at this time, and connected with the fort by a gateway. Two small rivulets have worn themselves channels quite through these walls, from ten to twenty feet in depth, since they were deserted, from which their antiquity may be inferred. The fort is nearly a square, with five gateways, whose walls of earth are now from fourteen to twenty feet in height. From the gateway at the northwest corner of this fort commenced two parallel walls of earth, extending nearly to the Ohio, in a bend of that river, where, in some low ground near the bank, they disappear. The river seems to have moved its bed a little since these walls were thrown up. A large elevated mound was at the southwest corner of the fort, but outside of the fortification. It had some twenty feet or more elevation, and was undoubtedly a signal station, and covered some half acre of ground. Buried in the walls of this fort have been found and taken out large quantities of iron manufactured into pickaxes, shovels and guns, supposed to have been secreted by the French when they were driven from the country by the English and American forces." On the north, or Ohio side, still more extensive works have been found. Commencing near the banks of the Scioto are two parallel walls of earth, a counterpart of those built on the Kentucky side. They leave the Scioto River bank eastwardly for about 150 feet and then widen, and at about the same elevation, keeping some twenty rods apart, climb a hill some twenty-five feet in depth, but is supposed to have been filled up fully as much, if not more, or in other words, from the surroundings, the well must have been from sixty to seventy-five feet deep. Here on this plain are all the evidences of a large city. Here are three circular turmuli elevated about six feet above the plain, while not far distant is another some twenty feet in height, and yet another of conical shape twenty-five feet or more of elevation. Two other wells were found and parallel walls running for two miles in length to the Ohio, averaging from six to ten feet in height, but were probably of uniform elevation when built. The earth between these walls was smooth, and made so probably at the time the walls were made, being like a wide level avenue.
At Circleville, at Newark, and on the Little Miami duplicates of these works are found; near Piketon two such parallel walls of earth were found fully twenty feet in height; the land on each side seems to have been leveled, or, in fact, a uniform surface was made on each side and between them when the walls were made. These walls lead directly to a high mound, which seemed to have been a place of sepulcher. From the number and size of these mounds on both sides of this stream, near Piketon, it is believed that a great population once existed there. Sometimes these walls encircle the mounds found near them, being a sort of protecting work for their preservation as the sacred receptacle of their dead.
That these people lived here for a long time is very evident from the numerous cemeteries, and the vast number of persons of all ages buried. It would seem as if more people were buried in these mounds than was living in the State of Ohio at the time the researches were made, between 1815 and 1825, or in other words over three-fourths of a million people occupied the Ohio Valley and the valleys of its tributaries, like the Miami, Scioto and Muskingum rivers. Their largest settlements in Ohio were on Paint Creek, a few miles from Chillicothe; at Circleville, along the banks of the Ohio River, especially near Gravel Creek, and at the mouths of the Muskingum and Scioto rivers. They seemed from increased numbers to have moved down the Ohio, and it is believed they came there in the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries, if not earlier, and were of Asiatic origin. Of course absolute certainty as to number is not possible, but the examination of these mounds, their city grave-yards, tell of a wonderful people and of a populous country. The antiquarian, Brackenridge, estimated there were 5,000 villages of these people in the valley of the Mississippi, and it is believed that the valley of the Ohio was fully as populous. Many of the mounds at the mouth of the Scioto and others mentioned above contain an immense number of skeletons. Those of Big Grave Creek were believed to have been filled with human bones, and millions of people have been buried in these tumuli. It would seem from this, that the arts and agriculture must have been extensive to have supported such a number of people. The question then arises, What became of them? Was it a scourge or a deluge that swept them from the face of the earth? The curtain of the past cannot be lifted, and the mind is left in a chaos of doubt and bewilderment. The arts flourished among these people. Gold and silver ornaments have been found in these tumuli, and in some good brick have been found, besides copper bowls and kettles, arrow-heads of the same metal and medals; urns made of clay (fire-clay) seem to have held human bones; these things and many others besides being found in the tumuli, have been found in other places from six to fifteen feet below the surface, showing that centuries must have elapsed to have them covered so deep. One of the medals found by Judge Crull, of Scioto County, represented the sun with its rays of light. It was made of very fine clay, colored and hardened by heat. It was about three inches in diameter. It will be thus seen that our fire clay was known and used many centuries ago. Idols also have been found, and conjecture even is at fault as to their uses, the only evidence being in Europe, Asia and in Africa similar works have been found, and that this people belong to the different races of those who worship idols. But still that these inhabitants of the valley were an idolatrous people must also be left somewhat to conjecture. Again, these people covered nearly the whole of this Western country. On the Canada side of the river, above Malden, and nearly opposite the city of Detroit, Mich., are a group of tumuli, three large and of uniform and size, and the smaller ones standing in prominent places, which are a counterpart of three such found near Athens in this State, and on many places along the Ohio River. The same gods they worshipped, in the shape of idols, are found in Mexico and in Peru. Were these people then driven from this country by the Indians of the Atlantic Coast, and in thus being dispossessed of their country did they follow the course of the river, and at last find a home and refuge in Mexico? History can give us no information of their chiefs, their statesmen, orators or poets; the veil cannot be lifted, and the past will remain an impenetrable blank. Imagination, taking its wings from the imperfect record left us of the tumuli, forts and ruined city, the building up of a vast and populous country filled with a strange people, versed in the arts, sciences and agriculture, who inhabited all this region, the valley of the Scioto being among their chosen places to enjoy life, and when the mind gets thus far in its imaginings, then comes the terrible one of a known fact, that they have disappeared from the face of the earth, and how?
It is thought best to describe Scioto Valley in its three departments, or kingdoms: Mineral, Animal and Vegetable. Having described its mineral or geological formations, and dropped a few thought relative to its aboriginal inhabitants in their monuments, now remains to consider its original animal and vegetable kingdoms. What beasts, birds, fishes and reptiles originally occupied the valley?
When the first white man entered within the limits of the Scioto Valley, it was a dark unbroken wilderness. The silence of its continuous forest was broken by the piercing cry of the eagle, the howling of the wild beasts and the whoop of the savage. The co- mingling of such wild, unusual and discordant voices produced a sense of loneliness to which the present occupants of the valley are utter strangers. Far from the cheering smiles of quite civilization he is resolved to take up his abode with these untamed denizens of the valley.
What were they that made his nights so dangerous and gloomy?
A few of its most dangerous occupants deserve special notice. Others will be simply named.
(a.) Puma, or Cougar, is one of the largest of the American feline, rivaled only by the jaguar. It is called panther. It is sometimes called the American lion. It does not often attack man, but has an unusual thirst for blood. One puma has been known to kill fifty sheep in one night, drinking a little blood of each. These monarchs of the forests were not numerous in this valley, but their name always carries terror with it. When it was reported that a panther had been heard or seen in any district, the whole country turned out for a hunt, each man hoping to be the fortunate one to give it the death shot. This animal was the prince of beasts, though sometimes mastered and killed by a single dog.
(b.) Bear.-American black bear were found in abundance, all over the valley. It was rather timid, but had great muscular power. It usually fed on berries; seldom made an attack on man, but, when attacked it was very dangerous. The bear was hunted for the value of his fur and oil. Bear-hunting was a chief pursuit in the early settlement of the valley, and a successful "bear hunter" was enrolled among the honorable. Bear meat was a great relish. Long since has the American black bid adieu to his favorite haunts in the Scioto Valley, and retired to Western lands, from the face of his human foe, there to pursue in secret his own natural calling.
(c.) The Wolf.- The gray wolf was the wolf usually found in this valley, though now and then a black wolf was caught. The wolves roved in packs, and when hungry disputed with the early settlers the right of possession of the flocks, and at times challenged man to mortal combat. Their barking howl, breaking upon the ear at noon of night, reminds one of those fabled monsters that are said to guard the entrance to the realms of Pluto.
Wolf hunts were very common and quite necessary. They, too, have been driven from the Valley, and in a few more years even their name will scarcely be known.
(d.) Deer.- Deer were in early times very numerous. They were hunted for their skins and flesh. Many families lived, principally, on venison, and made deer-hunting their chief occupation. The deer have also retired from the valley. Here and there one may be seen, but they are so scarce as to render the hunting quite unsuccessful.
The four kinds of animals formed those classes which were, perhaps, the most noted. While these haunted the valley, hunting formed one of the chief occupations. When they disappeared hunting became more of a sporting business. Other wild animals were numerous, some of which were valued for their furs, such as the beaver, foxes, otters, muskrats, minks; others may be enumerated, as the hares, squirrels, mice, rats, weasles, porcupines, badgers. These animals occupied the valley at the time when the white man first entered it. The smaller animals still continue. Foxes have been very numerous and often destructive on the poultry. The opossums were numerous.
The Eagle Family deserves the first notice as it is the royal family among birds. The eagles were, in the early settlement of the valley, quite numerous, there being many species. The eagle has always been a noted bird. Its extraordinary powers of vision, the height to which it is able to rise, its love for wild scenery, and its longevity constitute it as a bird of poetic associations. "It was associated with Jupiter in the Roman mythology; its figure on the standards of the Roman legions expressed and animated their confidence in victory." It is the emblem of our standard. The American eagle inspires the American soldier the day of battle. The species of eagles formerly numerous in the valley are: (a) The white, or bald-head eagle of America, the chosen emblematic eagle of American States, is also one of the eagle group; (b) the forked-tailed eagle was another species quite common in the early settlement of the valley. On almost any clear day of summer its piercing cry would call your attention. Looking toward the sun you would discover the eagle, with expanding winds immovable, and forked tail, circling in a spiral path upward till it disappeared in the boundless expanse above. That bird has also forsaken the valley. The bald eagle did much damage in the way of carrying off pigs, lambs and other small animals. Sometimes infants have been stolen.
The Hawk is an "ignoble" bird of prey. This family has always had a full representation. The two most noted species are the (1) "hen hawk," so called from its larger size; and (2) the "chicken hawk," one much smaller. A third species may be added, the "blue hawk." The three species are "ignoble" birds of prey. They are far-seeing, and have always been disputants of a large share of the domestic products of the poultry. Our good and wise law-makers placed the family for a time, under legal restrictions, but, for some reason, wise, perhaps, have signed for them a reprieve. This large family is pleased with its treatment and fare, and has concluded to continue its residence in the valley.
The Scioto River and its tributaries were abundant in their supply of excellent fish. Some have been caught weighing fifty pounds. They were of many varieties, and of nearly all sizes. Those prized most for food were the pike, weighing from one pound to ten pounds; the black perch, sometimes called bass; white bass; the sucker and salmon. The cat fish, sometimes called "mud cat," is now, by far, the most abundant in the Scioto waters. It grows, sometimes, to a very large size, and affords an excellent supply of choice food for the inhabitants of the water courses. During early spring fishing is made a pleasing and profitable amusement. To fish with a hook and line, standing in the water up to the middle, was one of the early pioneer spring and summer occupations. Should our waters be supplied with foreign varieties of choice fish, the time may come when Scioto River and its affluents will yield the citizens of the valley a satisfactory income. Fish culture, in point of commercial value, will, perhaps, compare favorably with grain products, provided, however, that the culture is properly guarded.
When first discovered, the valley was full of reptiles. (1) Ophidia, or serpents; (2) Sauria, or lizards; (3) Chelonia, or tortoises. The serpents were of many species: (1) The rattle-snake; (2) Copperhead; (3) The blacksnake; (4) The striped snake; (5) The "racer." These were the most common of the serpent family. The rattle-snake and the copperhead were very poisonous. The rattle-snake always gave warning, and was not, therefore, so dangerous as the copperhead, which accomplished its deadly work from an ambush. The racer was not poisonous; still it was dangerous in its mode of attack, coiling about its victim, and, suddenly, and with great power, crushing the object. There were combats between the rattle-snake and the racer which resulted in the total destruction of the former. The serpents of the poisonous species have become scarce; except in a few localities. Lizards in the Scioto Valley are small, and without any special interest. About the same may be said of the tortoises; some few species are used as food. The insects of the valley were also numerous, some of which are useful. The wild honey-bee belongs to that class. Many species may be placed in the rank of pests. Space will not allow further notice.
Before closing this notice of the Fauna of the valley, it may be well to notice some ancient animals that once occupied the valley but are now either extinct or have long since retired to other regions.
Among these we may reckon the buffalo, and the mastodon. That both of these species once made this valley their homes, we have sufficient proof. The points of ridges were selected by them as watch towers, to give alarm at the approach of an enemy. What proof, it may be asked, is there that the mastodon ever inhabited this section of country? About fifty-one years since, the Hocking River, during a high flood, on its east bank, on the farm of William Courtney, one mile above the town of Athens, washed out part of the skeleton of a mastodon. It was in the alluvial bank, about thirteen feet below the surface. Its molar teeth and some parts of the jaws remained; still, exposed to the air they began to slack. They were removed to the museum of the OhioUniversity, where they remained for many years. From the size of those parts obtained the size of the animal was approximately estimated at about eleven feet high and sixteen feet long. It was deposited in the water, or mud of the river. Whether it died there, or washed there from some other part of the valley, cannot be ascertained. It was not found, however, in the glacial drift. That the buffalo and the mastodon once fed upon the banks of the Scioto and Hocking rivers, passed up and down its numerous branches, roamed over its ridges, and stood upon its spurs, cannot be a matter of any doubt.
They had left the valley before the white man entered it; how long before is a matter of conjecture. From the condition of skeletons, the mastodon and the Mound-builders might have been face to face.
But, aside from the ancient denizens of the Scioto Valley, let us view the inhabitants of the valley when first seen by the Caucasian. Not a tree had yet fallen before the ax of the white man. Among the waving branches of the heavy timbered bottoms, and on the stately oaks of the hills, were heard the notes and cries of birds of various plumage, new and strange. The Indian whoop, the panther's cry, the hoarse growl of the bear, the howl of the wolf, mingled with thousands of notes of animated beings of a new world. Is he dreaming? Or, does he behold the animated beings of a literal country, like the ones left behind him?
Are these numberless organisms indigenous to the soil, like the trees that grow out of it? Or, are they the offspring of eastern ancestry, that, in ages long passed, found their way over a pathless ocean? Has the human family one center, or many? Do animals follow the same law of unity? These points are unsettled in the minds of many learned men. The animals of the new world had their laws of natural combination corresponding with a new human development, each to move in unison as another great whole in the divine government.
The flora concerns those trees and plants which are indigenous to the district, and will, under this term, include the botany of the valley, as it was when first settled by Europeans. A few general remarks will be of use to a proper understanding of what shall follow. The Arctic flora of Europe, Asia and America resemble more closely than that of the equatorial regions. The same holds true of their fauna. This affords an argument in favor of one floral center. Species in the three grand divisions are not alike. Trees of the same name differ in America from those in Europe and Asia. These variations are mostly the result of climate and soil, and not because of different original centers; the families are more alike than their species. The family name is not changed, but the species differ. The American forests, as in Europe and Asia, consist of pines, oaks, birches and willows; but they are not like those that cover the plains and mountains east of the Atlantic. The same is true of other trees, such as poplars, elms, maples, hazels, and other families of trees, and, also, it holds good with roses, brambles, strawberries, bilberries, etc.; it is true, also, of grasses, common flowers and weeds. Each zone, therefore, has its peculiar flora. The change in the species is evidently the result of a change in the soil and climate. The oaks and pines on the mountains of Mexico differ from the Arctic oaks and pines of America. Geological formations very the features. Look at the white oaks, growing on thin hill land, rich north side hills, southern and western exposures, on rich bottom lands, on lands containing much iron, lime or sand, those that are on wet, cold and sour soils. To conclude, therefore, the flora of a country varies with its geological formation, temperature, light and heat. We speak of a white oak soil, a walnut soil, buckeye soil, and beech soil. Each soil adapted to its peculiar flora. The seeds being in the soils will not germinate unless the laws of germination are met. This is true of all floral seeds. Put a heavy coating of lime on a field and, without sowing, clover springs up from seed already in the earth. These laws of germination understood, we proceed to investigate the flora of the Scioto Valley.
No one passing for the first time (1883) through the various sections of the Scioto Valley, noting carefully its cultivated fields; its railways, villages, towns and cities; its coal, salt, and iron establishments, can form any fair picture of the valley and its tributaries on century since. All its bottom lands were then shaded by a very dense, high, and heavy growth of green, healthy trees, composed of immense sycamore, poplar, black and white walnut, black and white ash, buckeye, beech, soft and rock maple, white, black, red and yellow oak, standing so dense when clothed with foliage as not to allow the sun's rays to penetrate to the earth, turning bright noon-day into twilight. What immense labor to consume those primeval forests. The hills were covered with a dense growth of oak, hickory, ash; here and there pine, poplar, maple and some few other species of forest trees. The ravines, slopes, and plains were covered with a mixture of the bottom and upland growth. These dense forests have given way to the march of civilization. Over a large portion of the valley there is nothing left to teach the rising generation the majestic beauty of nature's original clothing. What is a cornstalk beside a venerable oak, or poplar, or ash, or sycamore? What are our steepled houses beside the beauty and the glory of "God's first temple"?
These forests, so wantonly mutilated and destroyed, have been the necessary servants of the citizens of the valley, by supplying them with fuel, bridge, fencing and building materials, and by satisfying various other wants. There has been, however, a great waste of timber; thousands of acres of choice timber were burned. The "log rollings" of early times are sufficient testimony of the truth of the assertion. Could that choice timber have been sawed into lumber, and have been protected, it would have supplied the wants of many generations; but where then were their portable saw-mills and the men to work them? Steam, itself, was yet slumbering.
Relative to the flora of the Scioto Valley, something should be said relative to its tree families, their location, growth, and particular habits. Many families, each consisting of several members or species of trees, formed the vast wilderness of this valley. Sometimes miles were occupied by the members of a single family, such as the oak family; in other localities the family of hickories held almost exclusive possession; in another, poplar; beech another, and so on through the catalogue of families, each family occupying the land that best suited it, forming all over the valley "little squatter" sovereignties. Other localities were covered with family mixtures. Not that they amalgamated, but that they were not exclusive in their habits' they grew up quietly in the same beautiful grove. Such habits do not come by chance; they must spring from philosophical causes. Why such habits among the more noble families of the floral kingdom? Be it true or false, we venture an explanation. Seeds, the parentage of vegetation, were the result of an original creation. Whether they were created in one place and distributed or were formed where they were afterward germinated, we do not say. The seeds, through some agency, by the waters of the flood, by birds, or by some other means, entered the soils in every quarter of the globe, waiting there for favorable conditions of germination, each variety or family varying in its conditions. They may have been placed there in the original creation. The ground is full of seed not sown by the hand of man; how long sown is not known. Seeds retain their vitality many centuries; instances are given which would show that some varieties (grains of wheat about Egyptian mummies) have had their vitality forty centuries. Corn in the tombs of Incas has vegetated. "After the great fire of London, in 1666, plants not previously common sprang up abundantly on the waste ground; certain plants previously unknown are sure to appear after a fire in the American forests, in deep trenching of land, or turning up of the soil, by railway or other operations, producing a crop of some kind of plants unknown or rare in the locality." The seeds then that have been produced these families may have been in their localities ages before exposed to their various conditions of germination. The seed of the oak might germinate in one place; those of the beech in another; of the poplar in another, each variety of seed germinating in that locality best adapted to its growth. Thus we call one soil a beech soil, another oak, another walnut, because best adapted to that peculiar growth. These tree preferences and habits are well understood, and followed in the purchase of lands.
Each geological formation has its distinct flora. It is not our purpose to discuss fossil botany, but simple to give some account of what might be the origin of the forests. These forests sprang up among the debris of the lower coal measures, yet they are infants in age compared with the duration of those measures. To the cretaceous formation many of the genera now living are said to belong. "They formed the forests of that period, and the fossil remains show that their appearance was much the same as now. Among the living genera represented were the oak, poplar, plane, willow, beech, sassafras, magnolia, fig, maple, walnut, tulip tree, etc." That the seeds were long in their various localities, and were not therefore brought from the Old World, will appear when we learn that many are natives of America, such as maize (Indian corn) and the potato.
The wild flowers of the Scioto Valley were exceedingly numerous and of many varieties. We have no data by which any botanical description can be given, neither will the limited space permit such a scientific notice. We simply describe it as the first settlers saw it. Wherever the sun was permitted to warm the earth, seeds of unknown plants germinating sprang up in profusion. The deep soils of the river and creek bottoms soon brought them into bloom. One of nature's flower gardens would extend many miles, showing every size, shape, and shade of color.
Such a profusion and co-mingling of odors and tints can exist only in the gardens of nature's planting. You might walk seventy miles and still be surrounded with this wild Eden bloom. The rose, the pink, the violet, the tulip and the lilies! Who could count the numbers or tell their varieties? We have floral exhibitions of our times, but they would not favorably compare with one of Nature's exhibitions in the Scioto Valley of those early days. Over hills, up ravines, along the slopes, on the plains, in the valleys, over a space of 2,000 square miles, from April till September, was this beautiful flower garden on exhibition. How true to nature are these lines:
"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
Meteorology discusses atmospheric phenomena, and we will confine our remarks to those phenomena that relate to weather and climate. This department of nature has, so far, refused to submit to any regular system of well-defined laws. At least it has been very reticent before the most distinguished savants.
The element that we breathe, and in which we live and move and have our being, is too intimately associated with our health and happiness to allow us not to be familiar with its nature and habits. Pure atmosphere is the element of life. Impure air is a death angel. Whatever, then, affects its purity or faithful servant and companion, should be made familiar. The atmosphere in the house of those meteors that so much affect the human family, viz.: Dew, clouds, fog, rain, hail, frost, lightening and storms of wind, rain, hail and snow. Its temperature and weight are constantly varying. Whatever changes its weight, its temperature, its moisture or its motion or direction has a direct bearing on our health and our enjoyment. We speak, also, of its electricity. In every light, therefore, atmospheric changes affect our happiness more sensibly than any other natural department. All nations are watching its changes, that, if possible, they may discover the laws which govern its greatest meteor storms, how to forecast storms, and, consequently, to avoid their terrible effects. If its tornados, or cyclones could be seen twenty-four hours in advance, much of their damages could be avoided. To prevent rains when too abundant, or to cause showers in times of drought, would be a great achievement. The atmosphere is like water, under the control of specific laws; these laws will finally be known, and meteorology will be brought under the theorems and problems of all true sciences. This, however, will not be accomplished until the influence of disturbing causes are distinctly ascertained. Then storms will be accurately predicted and their forces ascertained. The 2,000 daily observations taken in all parts of the world are bringing about an important era in the history of meteorology. All that aid in that work are public benefactors.
Every river system has its own meteorological peculiarities. The course of the river and its branches, and the nature of its soils, determine the character of its atmosphere. These, united with temperature and the rapid or tardy flow of streams-all these combined-makes it peculiar atmospheric features. The atmosphere of the Mississippi is subjected to two currents of air, between which there exists a continuous struggle; a cool, dry wind from the north and northwest, and a sultry wind, charged with vapor, from the south and southwest. Were it not for the struggle for the ascendancy between these opposing winds the Mississippi Valley would long since have been a desert waste. The reason of this will appear when a third atmospheric current is traced.
A west wind, saturated with vapor, starts from the Pacific, eastward, direct for the Mississippi Valley, in the same latitude. Passing over the Coast Range, with the fall of temperature its capacity to hold moisture decreases. There it parts with a portion of its vapor. It does not recover its full capacity when it meets with its second mountain range (the Nevada), where it makes its second deposit, this range being higher than the Coast Range. Having passed the third range (the Rocky Mountains) it descends the eastern slope a dry wind. Crossing a vast extent of country with a higher temperature it has no moisture to precipitate; it reaches us a dry west wind. Should there be no north or south winds we should have no rain. Two currents, one cool, the other warm and saturated with vapor, make a general rainfall-what we call "steady rains." Summer showers are produced by the law of condensation, but in another way; a warm, saturated current moving upward meets a cold stratum of air; part of its vapor being condensed is precipitated in the form of rain or hail. The law is the same in each, but they differ in mode and direction; the one is horizontal, the other vertical. Let us examine the lay and peculiar features of the Scioto Valley. Its course is north and south, the direction of the two contesting currents of air-the line of advance and retreat of the contending elements. The storm belt is where the contending winds meet. If the wind is southeast the storm is further north; if south, then we have a northwest wind. Our various winds have the following characteristics in this valley; A south wind, east wind or southeast wind in the spring , fall and winter brings a storm, because they, being warmer and saturated with vapor, meet a cold wind which precipitates a portion of its moisture, and will continue to storm until they are driven southward, and the wind, in common language, shifts to the north-northwest. The true expression is, the colder or opposite wind prevails and has driven the warmer wind, and, consequently, the storm belt to the south. The rains in the valley are local, often covering less than a mile square. Sever and protracted droughts are seldom known here. The reasons are obvious. The valley has so many hills and ridges that they serve to introduce heated rising currents carrying their vapor with them it is condensed and falls in rain. Hence it is said that turning up so as to show the under surfaces of the growing leaves is a sign of rain. It shows the existence of upward currents of air, which indicate rain. A west wind is usually a dry wind for reasons already given. East winds, those due east, bring rain only when they are heavily charged with vapor-for meeting a cool, dry west wind, much of its vapor will be absorbed.
The winds of the Scioto Valley are very much broken, owing to so many breaks. Every hill is a wind-break. The north winds have no obstruction, but in every other section the hills, spurs and ridges "chop" the winds. Among the hills it is difficult to determine the general course of winds, except by the clouds. Within one mile square the wind at different points blows at the same time from every quarter, it meeting with obstructions. Four persons meeting after a severe blow, might thus speak: A.-We had a severe north wind this morning. B.-No, sir; it was a west wind. C.-You are both mistaken; it was an east wind. D.-You must all have been dreaming, for I was on a hill and know that it came from the south. They were all correct, for, chameleon like, it had a course for each. In this manner the valley in a hot summer's day, when upward currents are forming, is full of eddies or local whirlwinds. The winds of the valley are, therefore, peculiar.
Its climate, for the same reasons, is peculiar also. It has every kind of exposure. On the same farm there are summer gardens and winter gardens, summer fields and winter fields in one locality, owing to the exposures being nearly a month earlier than another. This climatic variety gives the valley an advantage in fruit culture, since there is scarcely a season in which the fruits of all its localities are destroyed.
From its conformation it has its share of fogs and clouds, rains, snows and storms. The valley, at times, has had its tornadoes, yet they have been quite limited, since all the hills combining soon put an end to their devastations. The evaporation of the valley is also very unequal. The whole structure of the valley tends to destroy atmospheric equilibrium. Storms must be the result.
One question deserves further notice: Has the valley civilization changed or modified its meteorological phenomena? What atmospheric changes have resulted from clearing, draining and cultivating the soil, and creating villages, towns and cities, and establishing manufactories, constructing railways and other improvements?
The seasons are not now what they were one-half century ago. The four seasons have been changed, not that they are opposite in character, but that there has been many atmospheric changes and modifications.
The valley evaporation has been made over and vastly augmented. The letting of the sun's rays, unobstructed by dense forests, falling upon the earth has greatly increased evaporation. Streams that once flowed during the entire summer are dry except after showers. This vapor floating in the atmosphere must change its density and tend to produce local rains.
The cultivated fields are great absorbents, so that the size of the streams, except in heavy rainfalls, is reduced. Much of the land since the removal of its forests lies in the undress. It suffers the extremes of heat and cold, sowing in its bosom the seeds of consumption. This epidemic tendency is communicated to the atmosphere, robbing it of its freshness and vitality. We breathe a cultivated air, impregnated with a thousand malarial impurities.
The improvements of the valley have changed its atmospheric phenomena. Prot. J. P. Espy, the "storm king," used to say: "Give me fuel enough and I can break up any drought." A great upward current thus produced would carry with it a mass of vapor to be condensed and fall in rain. An upward current must be produced to have rain-fall in the summer. It is said that it rains every day in and around London; so many fires in such a small space produce upward rain currents. These disturbing elements are increasing in the valley, and their results are apparent. Any cause that tends to break up the atmospheric equilibrium introduces a storm element. Man, has, therefore, introduced meteorological changes. These disturbing causes will increase as the valley fills up with a working, enterprising population. A coal district is subject to a greater flow of water, and, therefore, affects the atmosphere. Human industry so much changes the meteorological phenomena that it is difficult to predict accurately coming changes of weather. Every person should learn the names and peculiar characteristics of the clouds, winds and all such meteorological phenomena as affect either his health, character or business.
The natural history of the Scioto Valley has been briefly outlined. It now remains to aggregate its principal features and sketch its future.
The sections of Ohio known as the Scioto and Hocking valleys were once an irregular block of mineral deposits, about 100 miles long by fifty to sixty miles wide, and 1,200 feet deep, resting horizontally on the Waverly group, composed of about six geological formations, viz.: Sandstones, shales, limestones, fire-clay, coal and iron ore, consisting of nearly 100 layers or strata resting upon each other horizontally, as they were deposited from the primeval ocean, and, at that time, under its waters. Its upper surface was smooth, horizontal and level. That plain was some feet above the highest point of the eastern watershed, the hills being lowered by ages of erosion. When these strata were finished to the smooth surface of the last and highest stratum, a great geological change took place. The Cincinnati Arch and the Allegheny Mountains arose out of the bosom of the waters, carrying up with them the strata intervening to an elevation above the sea level, and inclining so as to form the longitudinal trough, the bottom of which is now occupied by the waters of the beautiful Ohio. Since that noted upheaval which extended over thousands of miles, there was no further submergence of these valley sections. The work of the valley formation by erosion then commenced. The Ohio River flowing in a channel its tributaries and sub-tributaries erode very rapidly. Scioto River then ran in a channel about 100 feet below its present bed. All its tributaries near their months were 100 feet lower than now. This made their flow much more rapid, and the growing process was very active. Every flood carried out of the tributary valleys an immense amount of eroded debris. Thus was the valley formed and fashioned into its present size and shape. One other modification of the depth and face of the chief valley deserves notice. A glacial epoch followed with a temperature of Greenland in the valleys and over the continent. Immense masses of ice were formed, binding up in their glacial fetters millions of tons of sand, gravel and boulders. This was followed by a sinking, so far as to detach icebergs, which, floating south-southeast, by melting, depositing their drift, boulders, clay and gravel. All Western and Northwestern Ohio was deposited along the valley, through which the river has cut its modern channel.
Such is a brief sketch of the formation and shaping of the present valley. Had it not been for the upheaval there would still have been a sea to occupy its present site; there could have been no erosion; and without erosion the geological and stratigraphical formation of the valley would never have been known. This great upheaval gave birth to the valley, with all its living organisms. It was evidently elevated above the ocean waters and made and shaped by erosion for some wise purposes. The immense mineral deposits of the valley, exposed by the upheaval and erosion, are sufficiently indicative of the intention of its creator.
The topography of the Scioto Valley is peculiarly varied. It would be a difficult task even to count its ridges, spurs, hills, mounds, gulches, ravines, slopes, valleys and plains; its fountains, rills, rivulets or creeks; and its various bodies of water. Such a pleasing variety never tires the eye. But, to the geologist preparing to benefit mankind by his untiring researches, the valley is a theater of unusual interest. Its mineral formations are remarkably rich and exceedingly varied. Of these its early inhabitants knew but little. There are no remains of any structures in the Scioto Valley that indicate any extended use of its sandstones, limestones, shales, fire-clay, coal or iron ores. Flint supplied the place, principally, of iron; cones of earth, that of marble monuments. In the midst of untold mineral wealth they pursues the chase, and, residing in forests, they subsisted on nature's most simple fare.
Its fauna and flora have changed, and we now behold a valley fast filling up with a population capable of appreciating and utilizing the resources treasured for their use by Nature's architect.
Who knows its future? We forecast only as He furnishes the data and ability. Three terms given, a fourth readily follows. Scioto Valley's future depends upon its mineral resources, the capital to develop and the will; their actual development necessarily follows as the fourth term. In this term is the future of the Scioto Valley. Its future, therefore, can readily be ascertained.
No mineral that is not found in the valley, and as herein described, will be named. We do not say that each one extends over the entire valley. This would not be true. What we describe is in the valley, and is equal in quantity and quality to our estimates. This is all that any one should require. What, then, are the mineral resources of the Scioto Valley? 1. Salt.-The brine of Scioto Valley comes from Upper Waverly. It is from 570 to 1,000 feet below the surface. It has produced a large amount of salt. Should the brine be drawn up by the power that elevates the coal, and evaporated by the slack of the shaft steam, it could be manufactured with profit. We reckon salt as one of the mineral resources of the valley.
2. Freestone.-Building stone is in great abundance. Some of the strata are of excellent quality. They are in localities fifty feet thick, fine grained and sharp, white and pure- a glass-making rock. We have districts where the flag-stone is well developed. The quarries consist of many layers, varying from one to six inches thick, sound, and with surfaces as level and smooth as the sawed flag of the Euclid Avenue, Cleveland. A vast amount can be obtained.
3. Fire-clay.-This deposit is very abundant in the valley, and much of it is said to be of very superior quality. It will, in time, add much to the mineral wealth of Scioto Valley. Three minerals remain, which, from the joint use, should stand as a whole relatively: Iron ore and limestone, and coal employed in their reduction. Profitable iron-making requires that these three minerals should be found in the same localities. This is true of the Scioto Valley.
4. Limestone.-Three veins of limestone extend over the most of the Scioto Valley. It may be truly said that the limestone is ample for all its practical uses.
5. Iron Ore.-Deposits of iron ore can be found in nearly all sections of the valley, especially in the coal measures. One vein of coal is the floor of an iron ore seam. They occupy different horizons of the same territory. One vein, on analysis, yields thirty three per cent of pure iron; another, fifty-five per cent, and a third, sixty per cent. These seams extend for miles, and crop out in the opposite slopes of the same hills. Two men of great experience in iron-making, made the following remarks: One from the Cambria Iron Works said: "There is iron ore enough; the per cent is fair." The one from Mahoning Valley said: "One bushel of coal should not be taken out of the valley, for it will all be wanted in smelting its ores." Neither of these practical iron masters had seen all the horizons. Such declarations from practical men must have meaning.
6. Coal.-We have reserved this mineral to the last, because it is first in value, and well deserves the name of "King of minerals." It is the motive power-the motor of the world's machinery, for its heat generates the steam that moves the world; the treasured sunlight of the carboniferous age; the world's renovator; the fuel for man in his high intellectual life. The value of coal is measured by the power generated in its combustion.
"The power developed in the combustion of a pound of coal is reckoned by engineers as equal to 1,500,000 foot-pounds. The power exerted by a man of ordinary strength during a day of labor is about the same, so that a pound of coal may be regarded as equivalent to a day's labor of a man. Hence 300 pounds will represent the labor of man for a year." It has been estimated that 20,000,000 tons of the annual coal product of Great Britain (100,000,000 tons the whole product) is devoted to the development of motive power, and that is equivalent to the labor of 133,000,000 men.
"These men, in this calculation, are considered as exerting merely 'brute force,' but they may all be regarded as producers only, and not consumers. The profit on the balance of her coal product (80,000,000 tons) fully covering all expenses, we are safe in estimating the contribution made to the wealth of Great Britain, by her annual coal product, as equivalent (equal) to that of 133,000,000 skilled operatives laboring for her enrichment." J. S. Newberry, Chief Geologist of Ohio.
Based upon its coal, its iron ores and its limestone. Let us assume, what can be readily established, that Scioto Valley has, within itself, all the materials which are necessary to utilize all of its own mineral products, and consequently, that the entire labor can be more economically done in the valley than anywhere out of it. That being true, we conclude that work, whether by men or machinery, or by both, will be accomplished in the valley. How much work, then, must be done in the Scioto Valley, to utilize its entire freestone, limestone, iron ores and stone-coal? Let the basis of calculations be on the products of three minerals-limestone, iron ore and coal, limestone being necessary as a flux.
What a vast amount of labor will be required to mine and utilize these three minerals? But the miners and those engaged in placing minerals where they are to be used do not constitute over one-fifth of the population.
We know of one district in the Lower Scioto Valley where it would require 2,500 persons, including miners, their families, and necessary help, to mine and remove and utilize each square mile of the minerals in 100 years.
We do not propose the above-named districts as a sample for the entire valley, for there are districts in the valley much larger than the one named that are without coal, yet the coal measures of the valley form so much of its eastern surface that we are justified in saying it will have a population far beyond any other district of equal size in the State.