This county was formed from Montgomery, Feb. 16, 1791.1 Onon¬
daga was taken off in 1794, Oneida and a part of Chenango in
1798; the present territory of Hamilton co. was taken off and an¬
nexed to Montgomery in 1797; parts of Montgomery co. were
annexed April 7,1817; and parts of Richfield and Plainfield, Otsego
co., were annexed in forming Winfield in 1816. It is centrally dis¬
tant 80 mi. from Albany, and contains 1,745 sq. mi. Its surface is
a hilly upland, with a series of ridges extending in a general n. and
s. direction. Mohawk River flows e. through the co. in a deep
valley which cuts the ridges at right angles and separates the high¬
land into two distinct parts. A broad ridge extends from the s.
border to the Mohawk, and thence x. of that river along the w.
bank of East Canada Creek to the x. line of the co. The Hasenclever Mts., another broad ridge, lie
along the w. border of the co., x. of the Mohawk. From the Mohawk the highlands rise toward
the s. in a series of hills, the declivities of which are steep and their summits 500 to 1,000 ft. high.
North of the river the surface gradually rises to a height of 1,000 to 1,500 ft., where it spreads out
into a rocky and broken plateau region, the highest summits being 2,500 to 3,000 ft. above tide.
Mohawk River breaks through a mountain ridge at Little Falls, the valley forming a natural
channel of communication between Lake Ontario and Hudson River. At this place the mountains
on each side of the river are masses of naked rock rising nearly perpendicular to a height of 5Q0
to 600 ft. An intervale, with an average width of 2 mi., extends along the river w. of the pass,
and from it the land rises on each side in gradual slopes. East of this point the Mohawk flows for
some distance through a valley bordered by steep and nearly perpendicular hills. The river re¬
ceives from the x., Starling, West Canada, Cathatachua, and East Canada Creeks; and from the s
Furnace, Browns Hollow, and Nowadaga Creeks. East Canada Creek2 forms a portion of the e.
boundary of the co., and receives as tributaries Trammel, Spruce, and several other small creeks.
West Canada Creek flows s.w. through Wilmurt, Ohio, and Russia, thence s.e. along the w. bordei
of Russia, thence s. through Newport, Fairport, and Herkimer, to the Mohawk. It receives from
the e. Black, White, apd North Creeks, .and from the w. several small brooks. Several small
streams take their rise in the s. part of the co. and form branches of the Unadilla. The x. part
of the co. is yet an unbroken wilderness. It is a wild, mountainous region, with very little land
susceptible of cultivation. The streams, usually flowing in deep, rocky ravines, form headwaters
of Black, Moose, Beaver, and Oswegatchie Rivers.
The portion of the co. lying n. of a line extending w. of Brocketts Bridge, on East Canada Creek,
is covered with primary rocks..3 This samq formation also outcrops at Little Falls on the Mohawk.
Rising successively above the primary are the Trenton limestone, appearing in Norway and
Russia; the Utica slate, appearing upon the summits of all the hills immediately x. of the Mo¬
hawk; the Frankfort slate, appearing immediately s. of the river; the Oneida conglomerate and
Clinton group, extending in a belt through near the center of the s. half of the co.; the Onondaga
salt group, waterlime, Onondaga and corniferous limestones, appearing in thin layers next s.; and
the Marcellus shales and limestones of the Helderbergh Range, covering the summits of the s. hills.
These rocks yield an abundance of lime, waterlime, and building material in nearly every part
of the co.; and for these purposes they are extensively quarried. Drift is found in deep deposits
in many parts of the co. The useful minerals are few in number.4
Agriculture forms the leading pursuit The hilly character of the surface particularly adapts
this co. to pasturage; and dairying has long been the leading branch of industry.5 Hops are
be the most easterly point in the State where it can be ob¬
tained. The discovery of small particles of anthracite, found'
associated with sandstone near Little Falls, has led to the erro¬
neous supposition that coal might be obtained in the vicinity.
Among the other minerals found are crystals of quartz, adapted
to optical instruments, iron sand, iron and copper pyrites, lead
ore, heavy spar, graphite, alum, and alum slate.
8 The amount of cheese produced in this co. is three times as
great as in any other co. in the State.
This name was originally “Erghemarand it has been
variously written, as Herchkeimer, Hareniger, Harkemeir,
Herchamer, Harchamer, Harkemar, and Herkimer.—Benton’s
Herkimer, p. 150.
8 West Canada Creek was called by tbe Indians Teugh-tagh-
ra-row, and the East Creek Ci-o-ha-na.
8 The rocks peculiar to this region are granite, gneiss, feld¬
spar and hornblende. Calciferous sandrock is found associated
with gneiss at Little Falls.
Gypsum is found in small quantities; and this co. is said to