Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/545

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531
THE SALT-DEPOSITS OF WESTERN NEW YORK.

allowed to remain undisturbed until two years ago, when a well was sunk in Warsaw to a depth of thirteen hundred feet, where a bed of salt eighty-five feet thick was encountered. From this bed the Warsaw Salt Company has been drawing one hundred and fifty barrels of brine daily for the past year. Two miles below this is the well of the Crystal Salt Company, which, starting with a daily yield of fifty barrels, has now reached several hundred. On the eastern slope of the valley extensive works have been erected by Dr. Guionlock, who has had thirteen years' experience with the salt product at Goderich, in the Province of Ontario, and who prefers the Warsaw product to the other. Across the valley, on the western slope, is the well of another Warsaw company. In short, there are, within a radius of three miles of Warsaw, seven wells already down and three more in process of digging, the output of which when completed will be three thousand barrels daily, the output at Syracuse being but five thousand barrels daily.

The unexpected treasures found at Warsaw have added hundreds to its population, have increased real estate fifty per cent, and have secured a new railroad, the "Oatka Valley," in addition to the Rochester and Pittsburg, and the New York, Lake Erie and Western, and the Lehigh Valley, which are already there. The newly-laid tracks of the New York, Lackawanna and Western are only a dozen miles away. The hill-sides are covered with hard-wood timber, which can be converted into barrels. With this bright outlook it would not be strange if the people of Warsaw should picture to themselves a future labyrinth of salt-mines that might rival that of Austrian Galicia, with its saline church dedicated to St. Anthony. Even at this stage of the enterprise the men of Warsaw are said to keep one of their number on guard at the arrival of every train, lest some prospector should stray as far down the valley as Wyoming, Pavilion, Covington, or Le Roy, or even over the ridge to Greigsville. If they have their own way, no other spot aside from Warsaw will share in the benefits of the discovery; and from his elevated post on the magnificent soldiers' monument the stone sentinel will gaze defiantly on the surrounding towns. In such a case the poet sang of the sentinel as well as of Kosciusko:

"Warsaw's last champion from her heights surveyed,
Wide o'er the fields, a waste of ruin laid."

But are the men of Warsaw to have, what they naturally desire, a monopoly of the new salt production? It is evident that the average depth of the salt-bed thereabout is eighty feet, and that the depth of boring required to reach the bed becomes less as the prospector travels north. This southerly dip has given hopes to the dwellers about Rochester that the bed will be found much nearer the surface at that point—a fact that would lead to cheaper production, even if the thickness of the bed were less. Then, too, the dwellers east and west of the meridian line, upon which are located most of the wells bored thus far, are confident that salt will be found many