1838 Text from map at Cayuga County Historians office. The map is an updated version of the 1829 Burr Atlas map. We know it is updated because the railroad through Aurelius was built about 1837 and is on this map.


Cayuga County was formed from Onondaga, 8th March, 1799; but other counties have since been taken from it. It is now bounded N. by Lake Ontario; E. by Oswego, Onondaga and Cortland; S. by Tompkins; and W. by seneca and Wayne, counties greatest length N. and S. 55, greatest breadth E. and W. 23 miles; area 647 square miles; situate between 42 deg. 37 min. and 43 deg. 24 min. N. Lat. and 0 deg. 10 min. and 0 deg. 38 min. E. Long. centrally distant from New York, N.W. 301, from Albany, 1?6 miles.

Upon the S. the surface rises into ridges along the Cayuga lake, the Owasco lake and inlet, and the Skaneateles lake. Between the ridges on the first two lakes, flows the Slamon creek, seeking southward, the Cayuga lake near Ludlowville, in Tompkins county; whilst the inlet of Owasco lake flows northward, and Fall creek, of the Cayuga lake, rising in the S.E. angle of this county has a S. western direction. This disposition of the waters shows an irregular surface. The Poplar ridge, E. of the Cayuga lake, rises in some places 600 feet above, but has a gentle slope towards, the lake, displaying finely cultivated farms. The eastern declivities of this and the other hills, are more abrupt. On the north of Auburn the country is comparatively level, yet has a rolling appearance from the many large gravel hills scattered over the plain, assuming in many places the semblance of stupendous mounds formed by art. This gravel has much lime stone, and produces excellent wheat.

The southern portion has for its basis rock, secondary slate; whilst the northern rests upon saliferous stone; upon both, are imposed shell lime, lias lime and gypsum. These impositions, however, are not abundant in the S. A broad belt of argillaceous oxyde of iron, extends across the county. From sucha basis good soils only are to be expected, and ew portions of the State possess more fertile lands, or can boast higher cultivation. About two thirds of its area are under improvement.

In all the fruits of the climate, this county is prolific. Upon the N. it is not yet densely settled; from one third to one forth part of this section may be still covered with wood; but on the S, little more of the forest remains than is requisite in rural economy. The timber consists of oak, beach, butternut, elm, poplar, bass wood, pine, and hemlock. The principal streams, are Salmon and Fall creeks, tributaties of Cayuga lake; the Inlet and Outlet of the Owasco lake, and the Seneca river, which is the eventual recipient of all these waters. The river flows through a plain in which its sluggish course is scarce perceptible, and the marshes which it waters, extend to the western border of the county; in its way it poasses through Cross lake, a basin 5 miles long by 2 wide, lying on the eastern boundary, in low, swampy district, whose surface is 370 feet above tide. The Erie canal crosses the county N. of its longitudinal centre and parallel with the Seneca river.

The Cayuga lake, which forms a large part of the W. boundry, is a beautiful expanse of water, 36 miles long and from one to four broad. Its outlet is about 25 miles S. of Lake ontario. Its shores are often low, but not marshy, except near the outlet. Around its head, the country is high and hilly. Its present area is about 80 square miles. In some parts th ewater is so deep that it is rarely closed by ice in the most rigerous winters. It is the recipient of many fine streams, and is well stocked with fish. At one period this lake spread N. over the Montezuma marshes, and S. into the vale of Ithaca, having a length of 50 miles, and now, during high floods, it overflows the marshes.

The county is divided into 22 towns.

Auburn, taken from Aurelius, 28th March , 1823; surface rolling; soil fettile clay loam, on lime stone; of which extensive quarries supply a valuable building material, much used in the village. The lands are highly cultivated. The Owasco lake touches the S.E. angle of the town, and its outlet affords admirable mill sites. The town, 3 miles by 2 , comprehending 6 lots of the military tract, is included within the chartered limits of the village. The compact part of the village lies on the Outlet two and a half miles from the lake, on the great western turnpike, 169 miles N.W. from Albany, 314 from New York, and 7 S. from Weedsport on the Erie canal, was founded in 1793 by Col. John L. Hardenburg, and was for many years known as "Hardenburgh's Corners." It became a post village in 1800, and in 1805, received from Dr. Crosset, the name which it now bears. In the same year it became the county town, and in 1897, the public buildings having been commenced, the courts were first holden here. It was incorporated, 8th April, 1816, and in 1836, the several acts of incorporation were revised and consolidated, giving the trustees, poweres similar to thoise of the Mayor and Alderman of the city of Utica. The village and town is divided into four wards, each of which elects two trustees; the president of the board is chosen by general ticket. It is one of the most thriving and beautiful villages of the State; though not very regularly laid out, its rprincipal strets are wide, are Macadamised, and areadorned with spacious, lofty buildings of brick and dressed lime stone; some of them four stories high, with stores that would not discredit Broadway or Pearl street. Many of the private dwellings are notable for neatness and commodiousness. During the year 1835, several extensive ranges of buildings of dressed limne stone were put up. The American and Exchange, hotels, merit notice: both are large; the latter of wood, and the former of dressed lime stone, 56 feet square, 4 stories high, with wings, and contains 80 apartments. The new county prison, raised in 1833, 72 by 45 feet and three stories high, is also of this material.

Auburn contains a population of 5368 souls; 850 houses, State prison, theological seminary, court house, jail, county clek's office, the bank of Auburn, capital $200,000, and Cayuga county bank, capital $250,000, 2 Presbyterian, 1 Epsicopal, 1 methodist Episcopal, 1 baptist, 1 universalist, 1 Roman Catholic, churches; 1 academy, 6 district schools, 2 infant schools, 3 select schools, 15 private schools, 1 band of music, 1 museum, 8 hotels, 4 printing offices, issuing weekly papers, 20 lawyers, 15 physicians, 24 dry good stores, 29 groceries, 4 druggists, 5 hardware stores, 3 copper, tin and sheet iron factories, 4 jewlers and silversmiths, 2 soap and candle factories, 1 tool factory, 1 brass clock factory, 2 bookstores, 2 binderies, 5 tailor shops, 2 comb factories, 4 cabinet ware rooms, 5 saddle and harness shops, 8 blacksmith shops, 2 looking glass factories, 3 leather stores, 3 morocco factories, 9 boot and shoe stores, 3 hat stores, 2 tobacco factories, 3 distilleries, 1 brewery, 1 brush and bellows factory, 3 furnaces, 1 burr mill stone factory, 1 coverlet and carpet factory, 1 cotton factory, 4 flouing mills, 1 marble yard, 2 livery stables, 2 threshing machine factories, 1 card factory, 2 wool carding and clothiers works, 1 dentist, 2 portrait painters, 6 milliners, 5 dressmakers, 2 carriage makers, 1 steam engine factory, besides manufactories of copper tea kettles, jappanned ware &c. &c.

Auburn College, founded in 1836, received from the regents of the University a charter upon condition that the trustees shall, within three years, become possessed of a site and buildings, free from incumbrances, the cost of which shall nott be less than $30,000, and of a perminant fund of at least $50,000, secured by mortgage at an interest of 7 per cent. Tha applicants propose to devote the full sum of $80,000 to this institution.

A company has been incorporated for the making of a rail road from the village to Rochester. A rail road is finished from this village to Syracuse, distant 20 miles. Company's capital $400,000. Anothe company was incorporated in 1836, to make a like road hence to Ithaca, in Tompkins county and by Oswego rail road to connect with the Erie rail road, and with a view to increase the water power at Auburn, and to open a navagable communication by the lake with adjacent country, a canal has been made by great volume of water, has thus been obtained.

At this village the Theological Seminary established by the Presbyterian Synod of Geneva, in 1819, and by the act of incorporation of 1820, placed under commissioners chosen by the synods of Genesee, Geneva, and Oneida. There are three professors in the institution, and about 60 students. Since its establishment, 240 ministers of the gospel have been qualified here for their important offices. The buildings are very advantageously located on high ground, north of the village, and consist of substantial stone edifaces. The library contains 4000 volumes.

Here, also, is the Auburn state prison, commenced in 1816.

Aurelius, organized January 27, 1789, since modified; diastant W. from Albany 159 miles; surface gently undulating; soil clay loam; drained chiefly by the Owasco creek, crossing the N.E. angle. Aurelius, Cayuga, and Fosteville, are post villages. The first, centrally situate, 4 miles W. of Auburn, on the turnpike road to Buffalo, has 2 taverns, 2 stores, and about 20 dwellings; the second, at the foot of Cayuga lake, 8 miles W. from Auburn, contains a Presbyterian church, a high school, 3 taverns, 4 stores, and about 40 dwelings. A wooden bridge, lately renewed, 1 mile and 8 rods long, crosses the lake; it belongs to an incorporated company, and the stock has been at 200 percent. Valuable beds of plaster are extensively wrought upon the lake, a short distance from the bridge. A steamboat plies to Ithaca from the bridge daily.

Clarksville is rather a suburb of Auburn, than a distinct village, being only a mile from the county town. It has a paper mill, a cotton factory, grist and saw mills, furnace, 2 trip hammers, clothing works, 1 tavern, some stores, and about 50 dwellings upon the Owasco river.

Brutus, taken from Aurelius, 30th March, 1802, since altered; distant from Albany, W. 153 miles; surface hilly, being partly covered with gravel mounds; soil, clay and sandy loam, generally cleared and under excellent cultivation; drained N. by Broad Creek and Cold Spring brook flowing into Seneca river. The former is a feeder of the Erie canal, and is a good mill stream; lime stone and plaster are found here, and a quarry of the latter is worked. Weedspoort and Centerport are villages.

Weedsport incorporated in 1831, 7 miles N. of Auburn, 87 W. of Utica, and 26 from Syracuse, and by canal 197 from Albany, named after the founder, has a post office, 1 Presbyterian and 1 Methodist church, 1 ashery, tannery, 8 stores, 3 forwarding establishments, 3 taverns, 1 furnace, 1 saw mill, and 120 dwellings. This is a thriving village, at which much business is done, being the canal port for the northern part of the county, and for Auburn. This is one of the hundred canal creations.

Centerport has merely a grocery and about 20 dwellings, founded as a rival to Weedsport, but it has been unsuccessful in the race.

Cato, taken from Aurelius, March 30, 1802, since altered; distant from Albany 155, from Auburn N.E. 13, miles; surface in the S. gently undulating, in the N. rolling; soil , sandy loam of good quality, but having some swamps and ponds -- of the latter, Parker's, Otter lake, and Cross lake, are chief. Cross lake ha a length of 5 miles, and a bredth of 1, the others are much smaller; Muskrat river, and inconsiderable stream, runs S. to the Seneca river, bounding the town on the south. Cato Corners, and Cato Four Corners, are post villages; the former situated partly in Irra, upon the line, has a Dutch Reformed church, 4 stores, 2 taverns, 1 saw, 1 grist mill, 1 ashery, 1 furnace for casting, and 35 dwellings. The latter, centrally situated, has a Babtist church, 1 store, 1 tavern, 1 brick school house, 1 furnace, an extensive wagon and carriage factory, and about 30 dwellings.

Conquest, taken from Cato, 16th March 1821; distant from Albany 162, from Auburn N.W. 14, miles; surface rolling; soil clay and sandy loam; drained on the S. by the Seneca river, separating it from the town of Mentz, a branch of which curves round the S.W. angle, forming Howland's Island. In the north is Duck lake, in the circumference about 5 miles, stored with the fish usually found in the waters of the West. The post office, named after the town, is in the hamlet of "Perkins CornersI" , where are a tavern, store, ashery, and 15 dwellings.

Fleming, taken from Aurelius 28th March, 1823; distant from Albany W. 160, from Auburn S. 5, miles; surface undulating; soil clay loam, very well cultivated; drained northward by a small tributary of Seneca River. Fleming, post village, centrally situated, has 1 Methodist church, 2 taverns, 2 stores, and about 20 dwellings.

Genoa, organized by the name of Milton, by general Session of Ontario, pursuant to act, january 27, 1789, name changed April 6, 1808, since altered; distant W. from Albany 185, from Auburn S. 20, miles; surface rolling; soil clay loam, highly fertile and cultivated; drained S. by Salmon creek and its branches flowing to the Cayuga lake. The post village, centrally placed called after the town and formerly "Indian Fields," has one Presbyterian and 1 Universalist church, 1 grist and saw mill, 1 distillery, 1 tavern, 4 stores, and from 40 to 50 dwellings. Northville, in the west, has a Presbyterian church, 1 tavern, 3 stores, 1 steam flouring mill, and about 20 dwellings. -- The King's Ferry post office is at this village, and 2 miles W. from it is a ferry over the lake, here 2 miles wide, called by the same name. There is a third post office, called the "Five Corners," about 3 miles south of Northville, at which is a store, a church, and some half dozen dwellings. East Genoa, also a post office, is 1 mile E. of Genoa village, where are 1 store, 1 tavern, and 5 or 6 dwellings.

Ira, taken from Cato, 16th March, 1821; distant from Albany, 189, from Auburn 20, and from Oswego 18, miles; surface rolling; soil sandy loam; more than three-forths cleared, and generally very well cultivated; poulation rapidly increasing; watered by some small brooks, but having no considerable stream. Ira, post village, centrally situated, has a Presbyterian church, 2 stores, 1 tavern, an ashery, and about 25 dwellings.

Ledyard, taken from Scipio, 30th January, 1823; distant from Albany 170, from Auburn S. W. 16, miles; surface rolling; soil clay loam, resting on clay slate, in which the remains of shell fish are so abunddant as to convert it into marl; drained by some small tributaries of the Cayuga lake. Levanna and Aurora are post villages, both lying on the lake. The first, 14 miles from Auburn, has a tavern, store, several stores for the forwarding business, and about 20 dwellings. the second, 18 miles from Auburn, has 1 Presbyterian, 1 Episcoplal, and 1 methodist church, the cayuga Academy, 2 taverns, 4 stores, 2 store houses, and about 150 dwelings. This is one of the most charming villages on the lake, lying upon a gently inclined plane, ending in an indentation of the lake surrounded by a very rich country, under the highest cultivation, and ornamented by many neat dwellings, inhabited by wealthy families. A steamboat from Ithaca to the bridge, touches daily at this and the other villages upon the lake. The post office has the name of the town.

Locke, taken from Milton, original name of Genoa, 20th February, 1802; distant W. from Albany 166, from Auburn S.E. 21, miles; surface hilly; soil gravelly loam, underlaid with slate, of a quality somewhat inferior to the adjacent towns; drained by Owasco inlet, furnishing valuable mill power. Milan village has the post office called after the town; a grist mill, saw mill, carding and cloth dressing mill, tannery, distillery, 1 Presbyterian and 1 Baptist church, 2 taverns, 2 stores, and about 50 dwellings.

Mentz, taken from Aurelius by the name of Jefferson, name changed 6th April, 1808; distant N.W. from Albany 161 , miles; surface undulating; soil gravelly and sandy loam, highly fertile; drained N. by Owasco outlet, and a smaller tributary of Seneca river. The Erie canal crosses the town south- westerly passing by an acqeduct of stone over the outlet. The montezuma salt springs and works lie one-quarter of a mile N. of the canal, to which there is a side cut. The land here is low and marshy. Port Byron, Montezuma, and Throopsville, are post villages. Port Byron, 3 miles W. of Weedspor, on the Erie canal, 8 from Albany, ha 1 baptist church, 5 stores, 2 taverns, 2 grist mills, an extensive merchant mill, and 140 dwellings. Montezuma village or Lakeport, has a collectors office for canal tolls, 3 taverns, 1 store, several groceries, and about 40 dwellings; about 1 mile W. of the village commerce the Montezuma marshes. Throopsville, on the outlet of Owasco Lake, 3 miles N.W. from Auburn, has 1 Presbyterian church, 1 flouring mill, 1 saw mill, carding and cloth dressing mill, 1 tavern, 2 stores, and from 20 to 25 dwellings. The fall on the stream here is about 15 feet.

Moravia, taken from Sempronious, 20th March, 1833; distant W. from Albany 157, from Auburn S.E. 20, miles; surface hilly, with broad valley, in which is the Inlet of Owasco lake, running to its recipient with a very rapid current. A branch of the Inlet from the E. falls perpendicularly 70 feet at the head of the Owasco flats. The flats are highly fertile, but the soil of the hills is indifferent. The hills are high, and afford a very extensive prospect. The town is generally underlaid with slate. Settlements commercial here 1794 when there were still some Indians residing on the flats. Moravia and Montville are post villages.

Moravia contains a Presbyterian and Episcopal church, 2 taverns, 6 stores, 1 cotton manufactury, 1 grist , 1 saw mill, clothing works, tannery, distillery, and about 50 dwellings. Montville, 1 mile E. from Moravia, has a grist mill, tavern, store, and 6 or 8 dwellings.

Niles, also taken from Sempronius 20th March, 1833; distant W. from Albany 160, from Auburn S.E. 15, miles; surface rolling; sandy clay and sandy loam, on lime and slate; drained easterly by some small tributaries of the Skaneateles lake, which laves the E. boundary. Kellogsville, post village near the south line, has 1 Presbyterian church, 2 stores, 1 tavern, and about on dozen dwellings. There is a post office called West Niles.

Owasco, taken from Aurelius 30th march, 1802; W. from Albany 164, miles; surface rolling; soil rich loam, highly cultivated; it has the Owasco lake on the W. for about 4 miles of its length, and is watered by several small streams running into the recepticle. Owasco, post village, 8 miles from Auburn, has 1 Presbyterian church, 1 tavern, 2 stores, and from 15 to 20 dwellings.

Scipio, originally organized as part of Ontario County, by general Sessions pursuant to Act, jan. 27th, 1789; since modified; W. from Albany 180, miles; surface gently undulating; soil clay loam and calcareous alluvion, resting on slate, very fertile, and highly cultivated; drained S. by Salmon creek: The Owasco lake forms the whole of the E. Boundary. Scipio, North Scipio, Scipioville, and Sherwood's Corners, are post villages.

Scipio , 10 miles S. of Auburn, has 1 Baptist churh, 1 tavern, 1 store, and several dwellings -- Sherwood Corners has a tavern and 2 stores, and some 12 or 15 dwellings -- Scipioville, a Baptist church, tavern, 2 stores, and about a dozen dwellings. -- North Scipio, one store, and a few houses. There are a settlement and post office called the Square.

Sempronius, organized March 9th, 1799; W. from Albany 153, from Auburn S.E. 16, miles; surface rolling; soil clay loam, resting on lime. Skaneateles lake touches it on the N.E. and receives froom it some small tributaries. At the post office called after the town, are a store, and several dwellings.

Sennett, taken from Brutus 19th March, 1807; from Albany 160, from Auburn N.E. 5, miles; surface rolling, soil clay and gravelly loam, under high cultivation; lands v alued at from 25 to 50 dollars the acre. Sennet, post village, on the road from Weedsport to Auburn, equally distant from each, contains 1 Baptist and 1 Presbyterian church, distillery, tannery, 1 tavern, 2 stores, and about 30 dwellings, upon a fertile plain. The county poor house is on a farm in this town.

Springport, taken from Scipio and Aurelius, Jan. 30th, 1823; W. from Albany 166, frm Auburn S. W. 9, miles; surface rolling, soil rich calcareous loam; drained by some small streams flowing to the Cayuga lake.

Union Spa, post village, laid out in 1813, so called from two springs whose united waters form a useful mill stream, on the lake, 10 miles from Auburn, contains 1 flouring and plaster mill, clothing works, 6 stores, 3 taverns, 50 dwellings, extensive quarries of lime and gypsum, and is a depot for the wheat and other products of the country, designed for transportation on the lake. There are salt and sulpher springs adjacent to the village, but they are not held in esteem for curative properties. Plaster of the cockscomb kind, white or transparent, is plentifully found on the lake shore, being washed from the bank where it lay embedded; and by digging may be obtained at a consoiderable distance from the shore.

Sterling, formed from Cato, 19th June, 1812; W. from Albany 172, from Auburn N. 28, miles; surface rolling; soil sandy loam, on the E. stony; drained by Little Sodus creek, emptying into Little Sodus Bay, of Lake Ontario. Its waters are fed by a small lake near the centre of the town. Sacketville and Little Sodus, are villages; the former has the post office having the name of the town, 1 grist mill and 1 saw mill, 2 taverns, 2 stores, ??????ine 25 dwellings; the latter is yet smaller. Two-thirds of the town ?????ared and settled. There is a third post office named Martville.

Summer Hill, taken from Locke, 26th April, 1821, by the name Plato; name changed 16th March 1832; ????from Albany 147, and from Auburn S. ?25 miles; surface hilly, soil clay loam on slate, tolerably cultivated, but deemed the least fertile town of the county, yet having some good lands in the vales, and the whole adapted to grazing; drained southerly by the branches of Fall creek, flowing from Locke Pond, in the north. Summer Hill, the post village, contains 1 Presbyterian church, 1 tavern, 2 stores, distillery, tannery and about 20 dwellings.

Venice, taken from Scipio, Jan. 29th, 1823, W. from Albany 162 miles; surface undulating: soil clay and gravelly loam upon lime and gypsum. Venice, Talcott's, Tupper's and Smith's Corners, are post villages. Venice 15 miles S. from Auburn, has 1 Baptist church, 2 stores, 1 tavern, 20 dwellings; Smith's Corners, 1 tavern, 2 stores, 15 dwellings, 14 miles from Auburn; Talcott's 15, and Tupper's 17, miles from Auburn, are similar to Smith's.

Victory, taken from Cato, 16th March, 1821; W. from Albany 167, from Auburn 20, miles; surface undulating; soil sandy and graveliy loam; four-??? of the land are cleared and under pretty good cultivation, drained northward, by Little Sodus creek, Lathrop's Corners, centrally situate, has 2 taverns, 2 stores, school house, ashery, and some 30 dwelings, and the Victory post office.

Thomas F. Gordon's Gazetteer 1836. (A copy of this gazetter is at Seymour Library in Auburn)