Livingston Co

New York

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Description of Nunda 1824


When Spafford's Gazetter of New York State appeared in the 1820's, the Town of Nunda was less than twenty years old. Here is the entry for Nunda.


"NUNDA, a Township of Allegany County, 14 miles N of Angelica; bounded N. by Genesee County, E by Ossian, S, by Angelica, W. by Hume and Pike, which have been erected from the W. part of this town, since the publication of the 1st edition of this Work, together with Centerville. It now comprises near 4 townships, of the tract called Morris's Reserve, and has the Genesee River running northward across the NW. corner. It is a good body of farming land, though better for grass than grain, except the alluvial flats, which are extensive and rich.

There are many small streams, which are extensive and rich. There are many small streams, and tolerably good roads are opened, the principal one leading northward from Angelica. The Genesee has two falls in this town, 60 and 90 feet each, about 1 mile from each other.

Population 1188; 315 farmers, 16 mechanics, 1 trader; 1 free black; no slaves; taxable property, $91703; 8 school districts; $91.67; 277;302; 327 electors; 3192 acres of improved land; 1461 cattle, 156 horses, 1534 sheep; 8355 yards of cloth; 2 grist mills, 8 saw mills, 1 fulling mill, 1 distillery, and 9 asheries.

A Seneca Indian, one of Cornplanter's band or tribe, whom I found hunting in this country in 1817, told me that this 'Nunda, was an attempt of the Yankees,' to preserve the Indian sound of the name they had given to the rich alluvial mold of this country, signifying Potatoe Ground, a name they applied to lands of this description above the falls. There is a propriety in the designation, beyond what I could have imagined, without an examination of the growth of potatoes, equal, if not superior, to any I ever saw. But is is proper to remark the Indian tradition, that since their ancestors 'owned this country,' the high falls now in Nunda, were'away-away down the river' some 30 miles, by their traditions.

The Caneadea Indian Reaservation was formerly all in this Town, now in Nunda, Hume, and Caneadea. The Cottringer Tract, is partly in this Town. A very extraordinary Land Slide, occurred in this Town, June 30 1817, when near 15 acres slid off from the side of a high hill, into the Genesee River, which it completely dammed for some time. The break left a bank almost perpendicular, now more than 100 feet in height. The falling of this great mass, sensibly shook the earth, and much alarmed the inhabitants, for a considerable distance around the spot."



A Gazetteer of the State of New York... by Horatio Gates Spafford, 1824. (from the reprint by Heart of the Lakes Publishing, 1981) pp 365-366




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