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į HISTORY OF OHIO.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALOGY.
: PREFATORY REMARKS.
This state is situated between 38° and 42° north latitude, and between 30 30' and 70 40' longitude West of Washington city.
On the surface of the earth, within our limits, is, almost every where, a rich vegetable mould, made by the decay and putrefaction of vegetable substances. Along the Ohio river and all its larger tributaries in this state, are wide intervales of rich alluvial soil, on which, when we settled in the country, a thick growth of gigantic forest trees flourished. In the hilly region hereafter to be noticed, there are two kinds of soil the silicious and argilaceous. The former is made by the disintegration of the sandstone, near the surface, the latter by the clay slate which exists there. And where it is quite hilly, as it often is, these two kinds of soils, become intimately blended together. By a wise provision of nature, we see here, the clay for bricks, and the sand in which to mould them. The wild scenery, of this region, seventy, or even fifty years ago, must have been eminently beautiful. If any one, at that time, had ascended any elevated ground, near the Ohio, or of any of its larger rivers, the prospect, of hill and dale, spread out, immense, must have been delightful to the eye of the beholder. The spectator beheld tall trees, covered with vines of the grape, and of wild roses, hanging in clusters from near the ground to the topmost boughs. He saw, too, a beautiful shrubbery of flowering plants, tall grasses, and a great profusion of wild flowers in full bloom, of every shade of color. All was silent and still, except the singing birds of every variety, of wild fowls;—the paroquette, bob-oflincoln, quail, turkey, pigeon and mocking bird. If he ascended the second bank of lake Erie, he saw, what appeared before him, a boundless ocean, or bounded, only by the distant horizon. When the lake was calm, he heard the same solemn, sublime hum, that the Atlantic rolls to its shore. When the spectator approached near to the lake in mid summer, he felt the land and the lake breezes succeed each other, and felt all the inconveniences produced by sudden changes of temperature.
While he stood on some lofty summit fronting the Ohio, and near it, he saw that delightful stream moving slowly, but majestically along, noiseless as the foot of time, and as resistless.
But, we will proceed, directly to our object, which is, to consider for a moment our
The whole valley of the Mississippi, is what Geologists de nominate “ a secondary formation." Those who have written on Geology, may be divided into two classes, Huttonians and Wernerians, from Hutton and Werner, the founders of the two sects of naturalists. The former, refer all the changes ob-served on the earth's surface, to the action of heat, the latter to that of water. We may say, with great propriety to those theorists: “ Non nostrum inter vos tantas componere lites." It belongs not to us to settle such disputes between you. That both these causes, have operated on this globe, to pro duce changes in its external surface, at different periods of time;—and, that both these causes are still operating, is equally certain. But, the great valley of the Mississippi, exhibits very few marks of volcanic action, whereas every thing shows its Neptunian origin. From the Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior. lakes, to the Mexican gulph, this great valley, every where exhibits, a deposite of great depth, evidently derived from the action of the ocean, upon the surface of the earth, north of this valley, running in currents, so powerful, that nothing of the kind, now in existence, resembles them. This whole valley, is covered, to a vast depth, with the ruins of a former world. This is the greatest valley, and the largest tract of secondary formation, in the whole world. This vast field has been but recently visited by geologists, and books can afford us very little aid, in the remarks we are about to make, on this subject. Having examined no small portion of this tract, we venture a few. general observations on its principal outlines, as Ohio is connected with them. On the south side of Lake Ontario, we find the same formation. That the surfaces of all our northern lakes were originally much higher than they are now, appears certain from indubitable evidence. Ontario has been once so elevated, as to wash the edge of what is now, a considerable ridge, about twenty rods south of what is called the ridge road, between Rochester and Niagara river That road, resembles a turnpike, consisting of sand and peb bles, which the waves had dashed upon the shore, with such a force, that these materials rebounded, and finally settled where they now repose, forming the best natural road, in the Union. In process of time Lake Ontario wore down its outlet, and settled its surface, to where we now find it.' The falls of Niagara began to be, at Queenston, and have ascended the river, seven miles to the interesting spot, where they now roar.
The present bank of lake ERIE, on the southern side, is about seventy feet' above the now, common surface of the lake. Running all along the present southern shore and generally about two miles and a half south of it, is another elevation of about seventy feet. We have said generally, because there are exceptions, as to the width of the strip of land, between the old and new banks of Lake Erie. Cleaveland stands on the present bank of the lake. And the earth, on which it stands, is made up of sand, and pebbles rounded and smoothed, by the action of water. The first strip of land south of the lake, is, (where no stream has brought down its alluvial depos. ite,) composed of pebbles and sand, water worn, abraded and smoothed, by friction, in water. The whole belt of land, near est the lake, is composed of sand and water worn pebbles, all along its southern shore. The strip of land, which we have described, is elevated about seventy feet above the present surface of the Erie, and immediately south of, and touching its waters, and generally about two or two and a half miles in width, is succeeded on its southern side, by another elevation of about seventy feet in height, above the land, lying immediately along the present lake Erie. The second ridge consists of slate rock, which shows on its northern edges, every where, marks of the violence of the waves and rocks, and ice driven against it by the winds, in a storm. This slate rock, which lies under the second rise of land, is evidently older than lake Erie, and it is composed of secondary slate, crumbling into a blue clay, where long exposed to the action of the atmosphere, rain and frost. This slate rock contains some few remains of small shells, but more frequently, we find in it, zoophitæ. Reposing on this old clay slate, east of Sandusky city, in Ohio, we often see sandstone, of the same age, with the slate, or perhaps of even a more recent date. West of Huron river, in Huron county, limestone, lies upon the slate rock. Among the sandstones, we have every variety, of secondary, in colour, and hardness, cemented by much, or a little lime. Some sandstones are cemented by iron. Its grains are quartz, frequently very fine, but sometimes very coarse, so much so, as to be called pudding-stone. Some of these rocks, in the county of Huron, when first raised from their native beds, may be conveniently sawed into suitable slabs for buildings, for grind and whetstones. Some eight miles, or more, south of the mouth of the Geauga or Grand river, at Fairport, there are, what are called “the little mountains,” consisting of sandstone of a very coarse grain. At an early date of our settlement of that region, mill-stones were made of this pudding stone. It proved not to aŋswer that purpose very well, being destitute of the necessary hardness, and liable to crumble into small pieces.
The height of the surface of the earth, in Ohio, above the surface of the ocean, varies, from seven hundred, to fifteen hundred feet. As a whole, it may be fairly estimated, at eight hundred feet. Its surface is infinitely varied, in its hilly region; sometimes it rises into abrupt precipices, in the sandstone regions, and then again, falling off, into long plates. It was generally covered with a thick growth, of forest trees, while in its natural state. We have neither the highest hills nor the deepest vales, but, generally, a surface undulating enough, for every useful purpose. The dividing line, between the sandstone and limestone formations, both of the same age, begins on Lake Erie in the mouth of Huron river, the sandstone lying on the east, and the lime stone on the west of it. Running nearly south, it is about nine miles east of Columbus, bearing rather westwardly it is four or five miles east of the Scioto river, quite across Pickaway county, when, it abruptly crosses the Scioto westwardly, almost as soon as it gets fairly below Pickaway county, south line. Extending westwardly, near to, but west of Bainbridge, on Paint creek, it bears off, southwardly and westwardly until it strikes the Ohio river at or near Aberdeen, opposite Maysville, Kentucky. Thence turning southeastwardly it strikes the highlands west of the Big Sandy river, some eighty miles above its' mouth. This line, as we have stated, which separates the sandstone from the limestone region begins on lake Erie, at the mouth of Huron river, and, passing through the town of Huron, in Huron county, and extending to the Ohio river, at Aberdeen, thence to the Alleghany mountains, by the route which we have indicated.
We proceed to remark upon, the minerals East of the above mentioned line — and we begin with the sandstone, which often lies nearest the surface of the earth. In many parts of the