Harwinton and the Ancient Book

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But far the most important and valuable mineral in the whole territory, which has hitherto been almost wholly unappreciated, is 1 Shepard's Geol. Survey of the State. This has been overlooked as an iron ore in this State, nearly to the present time; and still continues to be almost totally neglected, although it is by far the most remarkable mine of this ore in the United States. The mine was discovered at a very early period, and the abundance and peculiar properties of the ore excited a high degree of curiosity and expectation.

Numerous attempts were made to work it as a silver mine, and immense sums expended, without exciting even a suspicion of its value for iron. Spathic iron ore is one of the most disguised of all the ores of iron possessed of economical value. Its high specific gravity, added to the development of iron-rust occasioned by exposure to the weather, are the only properties by which its ferruginous character is generally detected. Its name of spathic or sparry iron was bestowed in allusion to its brilliant and easily effected cleavages in three directions, and which result in rhombic fragments of constant dimensions.

Its hardness is greater than that of calcareous spar, and its color when freshly taken from its repositories is a light yellowish gray, which passes, however, by exposure to the air, to a reddish brown. It is composed of protoxide of iron from 57 to 60 per cent. The lime and magnesia, however, are liable to slight variations in their proportions. The spathic iron mine in question occurs in a mountain about three hundred and fifty feet in height, situated on the west bank of Shepaug River in Roxbury, about six miles above its junction with the Housatonic. The mountain is known in the vicinity by the name of Mine Hill.

The rock of which it is composed is, for the most part, concealed by a soil supporting a fine growth of hard wood. Wherever the rock makes its appearance, however, it exhibits a remarkable uniformity in character and arrangement. The direction of the strata is nearly N. The ore occupies a perpendicular vein from six to eight feet in width, cutting directly across the strata; and has been detected at numerous places, from the base of the hill, near the banks of the river, quite to its summit, a distance of above half a mile. The course and width of the vein, wherever exposed, appear uniform.

The vein stone or gangue of the ore is white quartz, which frequently preponderates in bulk over the ore. No other substances deserve to be mentioned as entering into the composition of this very remarkable. Whoever examines this vein, must be convinced of the abundance of the ore, as well as struck with the facility of its situation for being wrought.

The expense to be incurred in raising it from its repository, and its delivery upon the banks of the Shepaug, where the necessary water-power is afforded for carrying on extensive iron works, must be comparatively trifling; while an abundant supply of hard wood is at hand for fuel, and a land carriage of four miles would connect the works with the navigable waters of the Housatonic. The spathic iron being an ore of such unusual appearance, and nowhere wrought in the United States, it is not surprising that the remarkable deposit here alluded to, has been so long treated with neglect.

Public attention, however, can in no way perhaps be better excited toward so valuable a resource, than by making known its extensive use in other countries, and by pointing out a few of the leading facts connected with its conversion into steel. It furnishes almost exclusively the well known German steel, so largely manufactured in the Austrian dominions. Thus in the Tyrol, the annual produce is two thousand quintals, and in Carinthia seventy thousand, and large quantities are manufactured in several other countries of the Old World.

Shepard, in his " Report on the Geological Survey of Connecticut," from which the foregoing account is mostly extracted, also gives the history of this mine, as follows, with slight alterations-' The first digging at this place was made about the middle of the last century, by Hurlbut and Hawley, but the history of their operations is nearly lost. The second company, organized by the Messrs.

Bronsons brothers near the year , prosecuted the enterprise with much spirit. The working was conducted under the direction of a German goldsmith of the name of Feuchter, who carried on his processes of pretended separation and refining with great secrecy. It is said that he produced occasionally small quantities of silver, which kept alive the hopes of his employers. The result of this experiment might, in. When he left, he was assisted by a slave in removing a number of very heavy boxes, one of which accidentally falling to the ground in the journey between Southbury and Derby, burst open and revealed to the eyes of the negro a quantity of bars, which he described as having the appearance of silver.

Harwinton And The Ancient Book

The agent was now suspected to have carried on the working of the mine fraudulently, and to have caused its products to be surreptitiously conveyed out of the country for his private advantage; consequently the mine again acquired the character of a valuable deposit of silver. They commenced operations on a much wider scale, and have left behind them proofs of a very heavy expenditure. The excavations made by this company exhibit more skill in the working of mines.

They descended the mountain toward the river, in the direction of the vein, removing at intervals the accumulations of soil and loose rocks which conceal it throughout its whole distance, until they reached half-way to the base of the mountain, when they commenced carrying in a level having the full width of the vein, and which was prosecuted seven rods to the vein, and two rods on the vein. The result of this enterprise was equally unpropitious with the former one, though not sufficiently discouraging to lead to the final abandonment of the project. Still another company was formed, consisting chiefly of persons living in Goshen, who recommenced the diggings at the top of the mountain, and persevered in the undertaking until the failure of several of the stockholders compelled them to relinquish it.

Asalel Bacon, an extensive landholder in that neighborhood. It finally began to attract attention as an iron mine, and considerable quantities of the ore, raised by the different companies, were carried to Ient, and there reduced along with the hematite of that place, with which it is said to have formed a very tough and excellent iron. An unskillful attempt was afterward made to reduce the spathic iron by itself, in a furnace at no great distance from the mine, which proving unsuccessful, no farther notice has been taken of the ore.

STILES, of Southbury, procured a sample of pig-iron, obtained during the last mentioned trial, and caused it to be forged into steel under his own inspection, by an experienced iron-master in Salisbury. The operation was attended with great facility; and a variety of cutting instruments were manufactured from the steel, all of which proved of excellent quality. A powder-house, dwelling-house and furnace were erected by them, and they were proceeding with their operations, when legal proceedings were commenced against them by Mr.

David J. Stiles, who holds the title of Mr. Suits are still pending in the courts, for the purpose of. But it is believed that the suits will prove a richer mine to members of the legal profession, than the ore in question to the contending parties for years to come. The belief in the existence of an exceedingly rich vein of silver, some two feet in diameter, traversing the entire extent of the vein of spathic iron, about one hundred and twenty-five feet below the surface, has again become paramount in the minds of the litigants; and it must be admitted that there are many facts tending to show that belief well founded.

It is much to be regretted that the parties can not agree on a compromise of their claims, and turn their energies and resources to the working of the mine, acknowledged to be one of the richest in the world, for at least spathic iron ore. There are three chalybeate springs in the territory, of some efficacy.


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One of these is situated in Woodbury, by the side of the road, not far from the house of Mr. James Morriss; another in Washington, by the road-side, between the furnace and the marble quarries; and the other on Mine Hill, at no great distance from the " old shaft" of the mine. The village of South Britain is nearly surrounded by high hills and ledges, and the place, viewed from the south, has a very romantic appearance.

kvartlife.ru/wp-includes/zoqotikur/qig-lm-dng.php The two principal bluffs are called Squaw Rock and Rattlesnake Rock-of which more will be said hereafter. The face of the country throughout the territory is of an undulating character, being pleasantly diversified with hill and dale. It is well watered with numerous streams besides those already described, furnishing an excellent water-power for numerous manufacturing establishments. Upon the rivers and streams there are intervals of considerable extent, and other level tracts in the many valleys.

The soil is generally a gravelly, and in some places a calcareous loam, warm and fertile, well adapted to the production of corn and the various kinds bf grain. The lands are good for grazing purposes, and favorable for fruit of the various kinds.

Valuable orchards of apples, pears, cherries, peaches and other fruit-trees abound. The natural growth of timber is oak of the different kinds, maple, elm, ash, birch, walnut, chesnut and other deciduous trees.


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Hemlock, fir, pine, cedar and other evergreens appear in various places. The climate is mild and healthful, and, in the valleys particularly, many degrees warmer than in the neighboring towns. The first settlers found here the bear, the wolf, the moose, the deer and the wild-cat, in considerable numbers. To these we owe at the present day some of our local names; as Bear Hill, Moose Horn. Beavers were found on many streams; otters were numerous many years after the settlement was commenced, and some are now occasionally found.

The Indians carried on quite an extensive commerce in the furs of these animals with our forefathers. Wild turkeys were also abundant. Shad and other choice fish were taken in the Pootatuck River. On the whole, Woodbury may be considered a good agricultural and manufacturing town, and our forefathers may well have congratulated themselves, that their "lines had fallen to them in pleasant places. THE descendants of the founders of Woodbury can look upon their landed possessions as having come to them by fair, honest and legitimate titles.

No violence, no conquest, no stain of blood, attaches to the hem of the garments of our forefathers. They not only purchased their lands of the Indians, but, in some instances, several times over from conflicting claimants and dishonest pretenders.

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They were very particular in this respect, and had the alienations executed in legal and solemn form. They were the more careful, that they might, in this manner, more vividly impress on the minds of the Indians, the binding nature of their contracts. Some of the earlier purchases were made before there was any distinct idea, or perhaps any idea at all, of making here a new plantation. Some of these conveyances are lost. The earliest deed on record is given below. It is taken from the first book of Woodbury Land Records, to which it was transferred from the Stratford records.

The first volume of our records was copied, by vote of the town, about a hundred years after its settlement, and the original has been lost. By this means, much of the ancient spelling is lost. A Recordl of a parcell of Land to Lew. Wheeler, by Tautannimo, a Sachem at Pagasett, is as followeth: This present writing witnesseth, that I, Tautannimo, a Sachem at Pagasett, considerations moveing me thereunto, do freely and fully make over, alienate and give from myself, and heirs, and all other Indians, and their heirs, a parI Woodbury Land Records, Book I.

Wheeler, and his heirs forever. And I do fully give ye sd Lew. Thomas Wheeler full power to have it recorded to him, and his heirs, according to ye Laws and Customs of ye English. In witness hereunto I interchangeably set to my hand, this 20 of April, , the names of ye Indians that subscribed. This deed, as will be seen, is signed by the Sachem of Pagasett, Derby, and four of his sagamores, or counselors, and comprises a territory in Litchfield and New Haven counties, nearly as large as Litchfield county itself.

This seems to have been the last sale of lands made by the Derby Indians in this direction, and, no doubt, covered all the territory claimed by them at the north. Their right to' sell the land at all, seems somewhat doubtful, as the most of the territory sold, was occupied by the Pootatuck' tribe of Indians. In this indorsement, it is stated, that he was related to Wompegan. What the relationship was, whether by blood, or marriage, is not stated. It is certain that Aquiomp was independent of the Paugasett Sachem, and that his successors in the sachemdom, after that date, made numerous grants to the English.