The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Green Mountains

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The American Cyclopædia
Green Mountains
Edition of 1879. See also Green Mountains on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

GREEN MOUNTAINS, the northernmost portion of the Appalachian chain, extending from Canada S. through Vermont. To this state, over which they are largely spread, they give its name, from the term monts verts by which they were known to the early French settlers. The continuation of the range through Massachusetts and Connecticut is also known to geographers as the Green mountains, but by the inhabitants of these states other names are applied to them; as the Hoosac mountains in Massachusetts for that portion lying between the Connecticut and Housatonic rivers, and constituting the most elevated portion of the state, and the Taconic mountains for the western part of the range, along the New York line. These ranges extend into Vermont near the S. W. corner of the state, and join in a continuous line of hills, that pass through the western portion of the state nearly to Montpelier. Without attaining very great elevation, these hills form an unbroken watershed between the affluents of the Connecticut on the east and the Hudson and Lake Champlain on the west, and about equidistant between them. South from Montpelier two ranges extend, one N. E. nearly parallel with the Connecticut river, dividing the waters flowing E. from those flowing W.; and the other, which is the higher and more broken, extending nearly N. and near Lake Champlain. Through this range the Onion, Lamoille, and Missisque rivers make their way toward the lake. Among the principal peaks are Mt. Mansfield, 20 m. N. W. of Montpelier, 4,279 ft. above the sea; Camel's Hump, 17 m. W. of Montpelier, 4,188 ft.; Killington peak, near Rutland, 3,924 ft.; and Ascutney, in Windsor co., near the Connecticut river, 3,320 ft. — This portion of the Appalachian chain neither possesses the marked uniformity of elevation and parallelism of its ridges that characterize the same chain further S., nor has it the abruptness and precipitous outlines of the granitic summits of the White mountains. The body and eastern side of the Green mountain range is generally of primitive geological structure, consisting of hornblende, granite, gneiss, &c. The rocks of the western slope are principally old red sandstone, containing iron ore and manganese. The general range of the rocks is about N. 15° E., with a prevailing dip of 30° to 55°, and sometimes more, toward the east. These give a comparatively smooth outline to the surface of the hills; and though the soil they produce is not generally fertile, the slopes are covered on the disappearance of the snow with fine pastures of rich green grass, which may have given the mountains their name, though this is commonly referred to the growth of evergreen forest trees, which abound upon the poorer lands and along the margins of the streams. Upon the better lands is found the hard-wood growth of beech, birch, sugar maple, white oak, ash, &c. The mineral products of the Green mountains are very valuable, including excellent iron ores, manganese, marble, slate, &c. (See Vermont.)