Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 479
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Townships of the Military Tract, continued.




Present Town.





and n. parts of Truxton
and Cuyler..................





Ovid, Lodi, and Covert......





and Lansing.................





Locke and Summer Hill ...


and Groton..................




Homer and most of Cort-




Solon, Taylor, and s. part
Truxton and Cuyler......








Ulysses, Enfield, & Ithaca,
nearly the whole of Dry¬







Virgil, most of Harford
and Lapeer, and 2j- lots
in Cortlandville, and 1
lot (20) in Freetown......




Freetown, Cincinnatus, &
most of Marathon.........




Junius, Tyre, Waterloo, N.
part of Seneca Falls......




Galen and Savannah........




e. part Wolcott and Butler,
and Sterling.................


Junius was added to compensate those who drew lots after¬
ward found to belong to the “ Boston Ten TownsGalen, to
supply those who belonged to the Hospital Department, and
who at first were not provided for; and Sterling, to satisfy all
the remaining claims. The TJ. S. granted 100 acres to each of
the soldiers in Ohio; and it was left optional with them to sur¬
render this claim and receive the whole 600 acres in this State,
or to retain the claim and secure but 500 acres. The 100 acres
reserved was taken from the s. e. corner of each lot, and be¬
came known as the
State’s Hundred. A charge of 48 shillings
was made upon each for the survey; and in default of .pay¬
ment a reserve of 50 acres, known as the
Survey Fifty, was


The first white person that took up his residence -within the limits of the co. after the Revolu¬
tion was Ephraim Webster, an Indian trader, who located his trading house on the banks of
Onondaga Creek, near its mouth, in 1786. The next year he was accompanied by another trader
named Neukerck, who died in the spring of 1787 and was buried near the trading house. In 1788,
Asa Danforth and his son Asa, and Comfort Tyler, from Mass., came in, and located on the present
site of Onondaga Yalley. The salt springs soon became generally known, and attracted many
immigrants to this region. The State reserved for salt purposes the territory surrounding the lake
and known as the Onondaga Salt Springs Reservation, embracing the greater part of the old town
of Salina, now the towns of Salina and Geddes, and the city of Syracuse, all of which, except the land
needed for the manufacturing establishments alone, has since been sold. In the treaty with the
Indians, the salt springs were to be jointly used by the whites and Indians forever. The salt
business immediately became important, and has since kept pace with the growth of the country.
It is now one of the most important branches of business carried on in the State, and is constantly

1 The first mention in history of the Salt Springs of Onondaga
is found in the journal of Father Lallemant, who visited this
region in 1645-46. He speaks of a salt spring, and of a fine
spring of fresh water, coming out of the same bank, within 80
or 100 paces of each other, on the margin of the lake. Father
Le Moyne, who visited the country in 1654, speaks of a spring
which the Indians told him was fouled by an evil spirit. He
made a personal examination of it, and made some salt from
the water, which he carried to Quebec. Other missionaries of
an early period make frequent mention of the’salt springs; and
before the English occupied the country the Indians had
learned how to manufacture salt.

At the time of the first settlement the salt spring was located
upon the marsh, immediately in the rear of the site of the
present Salina pumphouse, and the salt water came up from the
bottom. The Indians had excavated a hole, which was con¬
stantly filled with water to the surface of the ground. In 1789,
Asa Danforth and Comfort Tyler came down from Onondaga,
and brought with them a kettle, which they suspended from a
pole supported by 2 crotclied sticks; and in this they made the
first salt ever manufactured by the present race of settlers. In
about 12 hours they made 13 bushels of salt; and, secreting their
kettle in the bushes, they went home with the product of their
day’s labor,—feeling richer than they would had they discovered
a mine of gold. For several years it was customary for the
settlers from all the surrounding region to bring kettles with
them and manufacture sufficient salt for their own use. Tho
first settlers of Salina came in 1790, and principally located
upon the summit of the bluff above the salt springs. Most of
them came with the intention of entering into the manufacture
of salt. At first kettles suspended from poles were used exclu¬
sively ; but in a short time it was found more convenient to rest
the kettles upon a pile of stones. The “works” were afterward
covered to protect the manufacturer from the weather. Tlie
first caldron kettle, set in an arch, was used by James Van
Vleck, in 1793; and in a short time caldrons were exclusively
used. Two kettles were afterward used, and additions have been
made from time to time, until 20 to 104 kettles are now put in a
single block. The first salt made under a permanent building
was manufactured by Elisha Alvord, as agent of the Federal
Company, organized in 1798, and consisting of Asa Danforth,
Jedediah Sanger, Daniel Keeler, Thomas Hart, Ebenezer Butler,
and Hezekiah Alcott. A new well, about 30 feet deep, was dug
a little n. w. of the original one; and a building was erected
large enough to contain 32 kettles, set in 8 arches of 4 kettles
each. From this time the works increased rapidly in size and
number. The manufacture of salt was commenced at Geddes,
in 1793, by James Geddes, and in Liverpool about the same time,
by John Danforth. The first wells at tlie old village of Syra¬
cuse were opened in 1830. By continuous pumping, the water
in the wells becomes less and less salt,—the shallow wells
failing first. This renders the constant opening of new
wells a matter of necessity. The first solar works were con¬
structed in 1821, by a company formed for that purpose. The
introduction of the solar vats produced so much opposition that
the Legislature was obliged to pass special laws for their pro¬

The salt water was at first dipped up by pails and carried to
the places for boiling. In 1790 this method was superseded by
a pump placed upon a platform above the spring, with open
troughs leading to each block. At first each manufacturer
pumped water enough for his own use; but in a few years
thereafter men were employed to pump for all. As the works
increased and were located at a distance from the springs, lines
of pump logs were laid from the springs to the various works,
and a pump was used for each block, or group of blocks. A
horse-power for elevating salt water was .used by Asa Danforth,
jr., in 1805; and a water-power was obtained from several springs
in the vicinity by him soon after. In 1807 or ’08, a water-power—
obtained by conducting Yellow Brook from the vicinity of the
present county clerk’s office, in a race, to Salina—was used by
John Richardson. All the works in which machinery was
used elevated the water by means of a wheel, to which buckets
were attached. An experiment was made at an early period
to raise salt water by means of steam; An immense tub, placed
over the spring and connected with it by tubes, was filled with
steam, which was suddenly condensed by the admission of cold
water, a vacuum was produced, and the water would rush up
great violence and fill the tub. This experiment was
found too costly for general application. In 1821-22 the Coarse
Salt Company erected a large pump, worked by machinery
driven by the waste water from the canal, for the purpose of
supplying themselves with salt water. They also made arrange¬
ments to supply others, at certain prices. Up to this time, the
greater part of the water had continued to be raised by hand-
pumps. In 1826 the State bought out the pump works of the
Coarse Salt Company and enlarged them sufficiently to supply
all the manufacturers-with brine.

The Salina pumphouse is a fine stone building, completed
in 1841, at a cost of about $-30,000. The Syracuse pumphouse,
also of stone, was erected in 1858, at a cost of $30,000. A large
ground reservoir has lately been constructed near the Syracuse
pumphouse, of sufficient capacity to contain water enough to
manufacture 600,000 bushels of salt. The State designs to
double its capacity immediately.

The first great improvement made in the manufacture of
salt was the introduction of bittern pans, which took place
within a few years after the commencement of the business. A
great number of experiments have since been made; but tho


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