xt783b5w6z1g https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt783b5w6z1g/data/mets.xml Lesley, Joseph. 1861  books b96-11-34702530 English Printed at the Yeoman Office, J.B. Major, state printer, : [Frankfort : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Geology Kentucky. Kentucky Topography. Coal Kentucky. Topographical and geological report of the country along the outcrop base line, following the western margin of the eastern coal field of the state of Kentucky  : through the counties of Carter, Rowan, Morgan, Bath, Montgomery, Powell, Estill,Owsley, Jackson, Rockcastle, Pulaski, Wayne, and Clinton, from a survey made during the years 1858-9 / by Joseph Lesley, jr. text Topographical and geological report of the country along the outcrop base line, following the western margin of the eastern coal field of the state of Kentucky  : through the counties of Carter, Rowan, Morgan, Bath, Montgomery, Powell, Estill,Owsley, Jackson, Rockcastle, Pulaski, Wayne, and Clinton, from a survey made during the years 1858-9 / by Joseph Lesley, jr. 1861 2002 true xt783b5w6z1g section xt783b5w6z1g 




                   OF TEE





          M[ADE DURING THE YEARS 1868-9,


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                             PHIADELPHIA, November 1,1859.
To David Dale Owen, State Geologist:
  SIR: In compliance with your instructions, I herewith submit my
Report of the Geological and Topographical Survey, for determining
the western outcrop of the eastern coal field of Kentucky, made during
portions of the years 1858 and 1859.
                        Very respectfully, yours,
                                  JOSEPH LESLEY, JS,
                    assistant in Geological Survey of Kentucky.

 This page in the original text is blank.



                       LOTRODUCTORY REMARKS.
  According to instructions received at the time of my appointment as
Assistant of the Geological Survey of Kentucky, on the 5th of April,
1858, I made the necessary preparations to "prosecute and extend the
Geologico-Topographical Survey along the margin of the eastern coal
field ;" and for that purpose started for headquarters, at Lexington, on
the 25th of August following, where I was joined by my Assistant, Mr.
William Whitehead, and his rodman, and thence proceeded to Irvine, in
Estill county, that being selected as the most fitting point from which to
commence the outcrop base line of the eastern coal field.
  Work was commenced upon the 1st of September, and was actively
prosecuted until the 13th of December, when the party returned to
Lexington, and was disbanded. During the winter Mr. Whitehead was
employed in working up the field notes in the office, and in obtaining
data, such as copies of surveys made by the State and by the Lexington
and Big Sandy railroad, the latter to be incorporated in our own work.
  The corps again met at headquarters, in Lexington, on the 11th of
April, 1859, and, proceeding to Irvine, as before, started from a point
near that town, and pushed the line southwestwardly until it reached the
southern border of the State, when the party returned to Lexington, and
was disbanded on the 3d of Septemfer last, since which time the office
work has been constantly in hand.
   In running the outcrop base line, roads being selected, an odometer
was used for the measurements, and a compass with side telescope and
eccentric target for the courses The compass was furnished with a
clinometer for taking the angle of the slopes, enabling the compassman to
check the barometric observations which were regularly taken at every
station by the target-man; but as one of the objects of this survey was
to " serve as the groundwork for the construction of a correct geograph-
ical map of the State," it was deemed necessary to follow with the spirit
loy, ia orda Fa only to fix polivo Maiig points for the barometric



observations, but also to establish the exact height above tide of the
principal stations along the line. These levels were of additional value
for determining the dip of the rocks; while the bench marks, which may be
found at nearly every fork of the road, will remain as sure starting points
for future State or county surveys. As experience has shown that the
original notes of surveyed lines, either for railways, turnpikes, canals,
rivers, or common roads, are rarely to be found when wanted, I herewith
add a table showing the number, description, and locality of each bench
mark, with its elevation above low water of the Ohio river, at Catletts-
burg, the datum level of the Lexington and Big Sandy railroad. and
also above tide, as obtained from the published report of Mr. Ellet on
the Mississippi and Ohio rivers:


                CARTER COUNTY.

On a sycamore, K mile east from Grayson, and on the left
  bank of the Little Sandy river
On the S. E. corner-stone (below string-course) of the court-
  house in Grayson -__-    --     -    --    -   -
On a beech, K mile east from the Mt. Savage furnace, and 200
  feet from the junction of Gum braneb with Straight creek
On a beech, 250 feet above R. McGuire's house, and on the
  north side of the Grayson and Mt. Savage furnace road
On a white oak, in Wolf creek valley, near crossing of Gray-
  son and W. Liberty road __         -         -
On a white oak, on the Grayson and West Liberty road, near
  the mouth of a run above J Savage's house -     -    _
On a beech, on the right bank of the Little Sandy, opposite
  the house of Greenup Clay, and near the Greesbriar creek
  road --       -------------------------_-_     -_
On an ash, on the left bank of Bruin creek, and at forks of
  road to W Liberty _     -         -   -       -
On a cherry, below Abijah Whitt's house, and at a fork of the
  road leading to Tygert's creek-_
On a beech sapling, (against a poplar,) near H. M Skegg'a
  house, at a fork of the road leading westwardly to Olive
  HilI P   -O  -_-------------------------------------
On a beech, at a fork of the road leading to Tygert's creek
  bridge                  .----      .    - ---- -_ -_ -_
O.n a white oak, on the dividing ridge between Little and Big
  Caney creeks, and at a fork of the road leading to Triplett'.
  creek ----------------------
Bed of Little Sandy river, at the mouths of Laurel and Open
  fork s  _- - - - - - -   -  _- - - -  -  - - -  - -  - -
EOn a sugar tree, 1,380 feet above Cook's store, on the right
  bank of Open fork _----_     --_     ------
On a sugar tree, at a fork of the road leading to West Liberty
  via Enoch's creek __   -   -       --    -     -
IOn a mnlberrv,4630 feet above the last mentioned forks in road
Water shed, between Open fork of Little Sandy and the North
  fork of Licking rive ----- __-_


Above Cat- Above tide.







150 .926

256 .017

532 373


623 .054


632 275




944 .603
716. 617














o X

14 On a black oak, near Cox's house and on road leading from
   I Hampton's mill to West Liberty        -          - : -
15 On a large chestnut, on the west bank of the Llcking river,
     and near Hampton's mill  __---     _-_-_     -_-_
   Foundation of Ha         l-ptoit's mitt _-_      _-     l
16 On a chestnut oak, in the forks of the roads leading to Hamp-l
     ton's mill and to Hallegreen _
17 On a white oak, in the vaIley of Brushy fork of Beaver creek,
     and in forks of road to Owingsville _
18 On a white oak, near where the Brushy fork road comes into
   ! the State road -       --
19 On a small white oak, on "d Drv ridge," at the head of McCor-
     mick's branch of Bever creek -       _-.-_-.-    .-_

                      BATH COUNTY.
   Summit, on State road between Slate and Beaver creeks _  

                 MONTGOMERY COUNTY.
23 On a large white oak in Slate creek valley, on the right of the1
     State road, and 50 feet west of road leading to Red river _-
21 On a large double black oak, in a grove near the village of
     Jeffersonville  k_ --------------
92 On a black oak, on one of the branches of Lalbegrud creek,1
     and at fork of road to Stanton- -__-_-__-----------------

                     ESTILL COUNTY.
   Low water of Red river, at mouth of Black creek, near the
     Powell county line crossing -      -      _
   Top of the lowest course of stones at the N. E. corner of tbe'
   I Estill furnace stack --_ ------_-----_
   Top of the "d State House " rock, near Estill furnace
23  On a black oak, on a dividing ridge between Miller and Cow,
     creeks, to the east of the Cow   creek road, (the tree is
     marked, "221 miles + 2,004 feet")         .-_-_-    __
   Top of the S. W. foundation corner of cells in the new jail in
     Irvine_ -----------------------.---

                    OWSLEY COUNTY.
62 On a black oak, at a point where the road from Proctor inter-
     sects that from Estill furnace to Hazlegreen.- - -  
   'Top of the "s Standing Rock," at the corners of Powell, Estill,
     and Owsley counties              _           _-    _
SO IOn the S. W. corner of the foundation of the steam mill stack,
     in Proctor, at the mouth of the South fork of the Kentucky
     ri -- -- -- - -- -- ---- -    - ---------- ------------- -- - -- ----------    
   Low water of Kentucky river, at the mouth of Sturgeon creek
59 On a white oak, to the right of road in Duck creek valley, 700
     feet above Sturgeoti creek road forks  _-_   -       _-_
58 On a chestnut oak, at a point where the path from Sturgeon
     creek comes into the Booiieville and Ir-ine road, and on the
     dividing ridge separating StAtion Camp creek waters from
     those of Grassy and Grannv-Dismal branches --     -


Above Cat- Above tide.


266. 8)0
237 453







127 .330




765.200 1   1261.200










1261 .204

892.369     1388.369

203.766      699.766





174.38       670.838
130.359      626.359

162.253      658.253

794.192 I   1290.192

                    JACKSON    COUNTY.                    i
56 'On a poplar, in the valley of Wild Dog creek, 50 feet nortb'
   I of the Manchester and McKee road- .--- --     I_   _ I

507.190        0




446           ToPonApmaaL REPORT OF GEOLOGICAL SUtVn.

                 DESCRIPTIVE TABLE-Coatinued.

r                                                              LEVELS.

Aet           JACKSON     COUNTY-Continued.
ot MAbove Cat-                                                       Above tide.
                a                                        lettsbnarg.

 65 3n a hickory, at the forks of the Big Hill and Manchesterl
      road, on dividing ridge between War fork and Laurel fork .j  867.103    1363.103
 54 On a white oak, i; lndian creek valley, 1,6110 feet atst of the
      jail in McKee -_----                 --         -     544.352      1040.352

                  ROCECASTLE COUNTY.
 51 On a large white oak, to the right of the connty road, 50 feet
      from the Madison turnpike, and near Mr. Golding's, on the
      Big Hill- -_--               _-------------------    1058.590     1554.590
 50 On a che-tnut oak, on the left bank of Roundetone creek,
      near road crossing below house of Pleasant Fish    - -     417.556       913.556
 49 On the N. W. corner of the foundation wall of the Mountl
      Vernon court-house- -------                           660.764     1156,764
 48  On a black walnut, to the east of the Crab Orchard turnpike,;
      and 125 feet east of Wim. Jones' house, and near forks oti
      road to Skeggs' creek -_----------        _-----      80.640       1376.640
 46 On A sugar tree, marked "' 6,671," standing on the u.r.-h aie,
      of Skeggs' creek, 1,l1(0 feet above Holbert McClure's.
      house- - _----_   ----_----------                     366.587      862.5d7

                     PULASKI COUNTY.
 45 On a syeamore, in the bed of Line creek, at the junction of
       the London, Crab Orchard, and Somerset roads- -       397 612      093.612
 44  On a black wl]nut, in Dobbit's grae-yard, near Dallas P. 0   473. k        969.580
 43 On a post oak, on ridge at forks of wad to Buck creek, Crab
       Orchard, and the coal banks -___ _   -_   -__    -    718.159     1214.159
     Low .water in Buck creek, at road crossing below W. R. Mize'se
     house- -    _                                         258.900      754.900
 42 On a white oak, to the wesl of Buck creek, southeast of the
       Beud meeting-house -  _----  _------        __--      554.417     1050.417
 40 On a black walnut, near the house of John Bratcher Lee, on
       the Pittman's creek rond, on right bank of the creek, and
       300 feet from road crossing -_-_-_-_-          _-    340 631      836.631
 39 On a black oak, near the mouth of Sinking creek, and near
       the house of Woods Leece- -_-----         _-_-  _     334.250      830.250
     LAw wate of the Cumberland river, at Waitaboro'_ - __    77 -70      573.700
 37 On a large elm, on the left bank of the Cumberland rder,
       near the ford below.'aitsboro-   ------------         107 199      603.199
 36 On a black oak, near Long's mill, on the South fork, and at
       fork of road leading to the Jackeboro' wad -_-__._-_--     396.777       892.777

                     WAYNE COUNTY.
 35 On a sugar tree, at the cross-roads, at the Three forks of sig!
       Sinking creek -----------------------------------------    364.179       860.179
     Sommit, (at road crossing,) dividing Elk Spring from Big
       Sinking creek waters -._I__     -   ----          1   802. i;0    1298.500
 33 On a red oak, near the Widow Goddard's house, in the Elk.
       Spring valley -__------  _----   _-----           1   477.059      973.059
     Top of the N. E. corner of the N. door sill of the Masonc
       hall, is the town of Monticello - __- _-_-_--         439.019      935.019
 30 On a white oak, 34 mile west of Newberv P. O., at the forks'
       of the Livingsten or old Alabam   stock road. _-- ___-__-   474 885      970. 85

                     CLINTON COUNTY.
 St On a large black oak, near the Widow Owen's hone, and at!
       forksa of sd lading to Rowes,         --ST.U _mU_ _



                DESCRIPTIVE TABLE-Continued.

.0                                                       LEVELS.
a            CLINTON COUNTY-Coutlneed.
                                                    Above Cat- Above tde.

   Suummit at Wade's gap -__---__-_-_-  _,-  _     813 800 -  1309 .80
98 On . black oak, between Spring creek and I. Sloan's house,
     one mile Dorth of Elliott's cs-soeds -__-_-__-_-_-- 35.653  881.653
27 On a white oak, east of the Livingston or Alabama stock
     road, and 80 feet north of the Tennessee State line --   523. I4  1019.184

  The smaller of the two maps accompanying this Report is intended
to show at a glance the whole extent of the great eastern coal and iron
field of Kentucky. It was compiled fiom the notes of the Survey, from
old maps in the Internal Improvement office, and from railroad surveys,
upon the basis of the large published map of the State, and correcting
some of its numerous errors. New counties have been inserted, the
boundaries of one proposed in the southern part of the State are indi-
cated, and many of the present incorrectly marked lines have been
placed in their proper positions.
  The second, or large map, represents all the ground covered by the
Survey, and is intended to show the positions of the coal openings,
towns, county line crossings, and other points of interest; as well as a
portion of the east and west parallel base line, the materials of which
were kindly placed at my disposal by Mr. S. S. Lyon.
  The elevations upon this map are shown by cpntinuous horizontal
contour lines, with intervals, representing 50 feet of vertical bight. The
scale is three miles to the inch, being a reduction from the original plot-
tings, upon a scale of 500 feet to the inch.
  During the progress of the Survey specimens of coal, iron ore, and
other minerals, were collected, as also full suites of characteristic soi
from the different geological horizons traversed Attention was paid to
the milling power, culture of the soil, pasture lands, and timber, a descrip-
tion of which, in detail, will be found under the head of the different
  In order to render intelligible the numerous references which it will
be necessary to make in the Report, I will bere describe the route of the




Survey, from its northern terminus, at the town of Grayson, in Carter
county, to its southern terminus at the Tennessee State line. Leaving
Grayson court-house, the line follows the Louisa road up the left bank of
the Little Sandy river to the house of John H. Vincent; thence across
to the Little fork of the Little Sandy, at the mouth of Straight creek,
up the latter, passing the Mount Savage furnace, to the mouth of Gum
branch, where it joins the detailed surveys of Greenup and Carter coun-
ties, made in 1856 and 1857, under the superintendence of Sidney S.
  Returning to Mr. Vincent's, the line continues up the Little Sandy to
the mouth of Wolf creek, which it follows to its head, striking the river
again at a school-house, near the forks of the road to Elliot's, and thence
keeing up to the east of the river to the Rock Spring meeting-house,
where it crosses; thence southwestwardly across Gimlet creek and Little
Caney creek, at a point near its mouth, to Elliot's mill, on Big Caney;
thence south to mouths of laurel and Open forks, and up the latter to
its head, crossing the Carter county line on the summit; thence down
the North fork of the Licking river to the mouth of Bear run.
  Returning to Grayson, a line was run from the courthouse westward
along the old turnpike to Olive Hill P. O., on Tygert's creek; thence up
Tygert to its head, on the ridge dividing Carter from Rowan county;
thence to Kirk's horse mill, and so up Christie's branch of Triplett
creek to the ridge dividing the waters of Licking river from those of the
Little Sandy; thence along this ridge, crossing into Morgan county, at
the head of Judd Day's branch of Mince's fork, to John Nichols' house;
thence in a southeast direction, crossing the Devil fork, to the head of
Bear run, and so down the latter to its mouth, to join the main line.
From here the line follows the North fork for a few miles, and then
taking up the town branch, and down the Lick fork of Elk creek, strikes
the Gill's mill and West Liberty road, at Cox's; thence westward to
Hampton's mill, on the Licking river; thence across, and up Tom's, and
down Barney's branch to Blackwater creek; thence in a due west course
to the head waters of Brushy creek, in Bath county, where it enters the
State road leading from Hazlegreen to Mount Sterling, and follows the
latter to Jeffersonville, in Montgomery county; thence south across the
head waters of Slate creek to Black creek, following the latter to its
mouth, and entering Estill county, at the Red River Iron WorM, from



whence it follows Red river to near the mouth of Hardwick's creek, and
up the latter to the Estill steam furnace; thence down the Cow creek
road to Irvine court-house and Estill Springs. Returning to the EMil
furnace, the line takes along the Hazelgreen road in a southeasterly
direction to the "Standing Rock," at the corners of Powell, Estill1 and
Owsley counties; thence along a ridge southwardly to the town of
Proctor, on the Kentucky river; thence down the left bank of the river
to the mouth of Sturgeon creek; up the latter to Samuel Branden-
burg's; and thence along Brushy mountain to the Station Camp road at
Elijah Hurd's; thence along the Manchester road and county line to
Wild Dog creek, where it crosses into the new county of Jackson, and
keeps around the heads of the War fork of Station Camp creek to the
house of Thomas Carson, on the " Big Hill road," and on 'McCammon's
branch of Laurel fork of Rockcastle; thence down the waters of Indian
creek to McKee court-house, and so in a northeast direction to the top
of the 'Big Hill;" thence due south along the Madison State road to
Wim. Golding's, where the line enters Rockcastle county, and follows the
county road along the ridge dividing Indian and Brush creeks to
Pleasant Fish's, on Roundstone creek; thence across and up Renfro's
creek and Langford's branch to Mount Vernon court-house.
  From Mount Vernon a line follows the Crab Orchard turnpike to the
point where it crosses the Rockcastle river. From this line the main
line takes off at a point near L. Langford's, and runs down the East
fork of Skeggs' creek to H. McClure's, near the mouth of the West
fork, whence another branch line descends the creek southeastward to the
Rockcastle river. From H. McClure's house the line follows a county
road, crossing the West fork at MHink's, and thence around the heads of
Eagle creek and down Mill creek to Line creek, at the forks of the
Crab Orchard, Somerset, and London roads, in Pulaski county; thence
down Line creek to its mouth. Returning to the forks of the roads, it
crosses in an easterly course to Sinking Valley, and thence to the cross
roads at Dallas P. O., from which point it runs southeastwardly to a
deserted cabin, at the head of Whetstone creek; thence southwest to
the Bend meeting-house. in the valley of Buck creek, and so across to
the Long Hollow; up the latter and down the Blazed Hollow to Pit-
man's creek, crossing it at G. Meece's, and thence down it to John B.
Lee's, at the crossing of the Somerset and Coal Banks road; thence




along this road for six miles to the former place. Returning to Lee's,
the line follows the right bank of the creek to John Beatty's, when it
strikes over to Waitsboro', on the Cumberland liver. Crossing the river
at the lower ford, it runs southeast to Long's mrill. on the Big south fork;
thence southwardly across Cedar and Middle Sinking creeks, to the
Three Forks of Big Sinking creek, in Wayne county; thence up the Dry
fork to its head, and down a branch of Elk Spring creek to the Monti-
cello and Rock creek road; thence along said road, in a northwest direc-
tion, to Monticello court-house. From here the line follows the Monti-
cello and Albany road, crossing Beaver creek at Ard's ford, and Otter
creek at Phillips' Mill. to John Wade's on Indian creek, in Clinton
county; thence south, by the way of Wade's gap, to 'Squire Guinn's
house, on Smith's creek, (trom here a line was run southwest to Albany
court-house,) and so across to Janes Givens, on the Livingston or Ala-
bama stock road, in Spring creek valley; thence up the creek to Long's
gap. Returning to Giveus, the line runs due south through Elliott's
cross roads to the Tennessee State line, at a point to the south of John
Crouche's house, on the waters of Wolf river.

   The traveler from Frankfort, directing his steps towards Virginia or
North Carolina, by any of the great routes, will, after passing over the
so called "blue-grass country," encounter a belt of cone-shaped hills,
extending from the Ohio river southwestwardly towards Tennessee. These
hills are often found in groups, familiarly known as the " Green River
Knobs," "Estill Knobs," "lied River Knobs," &c, and are composed
of the olive-colored shales and overlying grit stones of the Devonian
system, known in the reports of this survey as the Knobstone Forma-
tion. They have for their bases the Devonian black slates, and are fre-
quently capped with limestone-a fine instance being that of the Sweet
Lick Knob, near the Estill Springs, rising to a height of more than five
hundred feet above the Kentucky river, the outline of which, with that of
many other knobs in the vicinity, gives a peculiar charm to the scenery
of this portion of the State.
   Having passed this line of knobs, the traveler has fairly entered the
 great Appalachian coal field. He passes over in succession the black
 slates, olive-colored shales and sandstones just mentioned, the sub-car-




boniferous limestones, the sub-conglomerate coal and iron ore series, and
capping all, the massive conglomerate or millstone grit, bhich, in its
turn, forms the true base of the coal measures which stretch on to the
confines of Virgilnia.
  This series of formations sinks towards the southeast in a great wave,
the crest of which being broken off towards the northwest, presents that
line of bluffs and hill-slopes which forms the commencement of the
"mountain district" of Eastern Kentucky. But the crest line of this
great wave, running northeast and southwest, is, itselg undulating, rising
and falling in a series, as it were, of cross-waves of no great length and
depth, but quite sufficient to determine the principal lines of drainage out
from the mountain country to the plain.
   Along the eroded crest of this great wave, the outcrop base line was
run, not only defining thus the irregularly shaped margin of the coal
field, but also supplying material for the construction of the profile
which acco0mpanies map No. 2, and represents a nearly straight line,
extending from Gnayson, in Carter county, to a point on the Tennessee
State line, one half mile south of Elliott's cross-roads, in Clinton county.
The base of this profile is equivalent to a height of four hundred feet
above tide in the Gulf of 'Mexico. The same base was used in the coit-
struction of all the profile sections which appear in the detailed reports
upon the counties.
   The lowest formation which appears upon the main profile is that of
the knobstone. The thickness of this rock varies between three hun-
dred and fifty and five hundred and fifty feet, the measurements being
approximate, as but few opportunities occurred for obtaining whole set-
tions of the formation. The lower and larger portion is conmposed of
olive-colored mud rock, with pretty generally disseminated nodular
masses of earthy iron ore. From this horizon flow the numerous chaly-
beate springs of eastern Kentucky. The upper portion is a thin-bedded
and generally fine-grained sandstone, also olive-tinted, containing, as a
characteristic fossil, a cock-tail fucoid, similar in appearance to that of
the caudi-galli grit formation of northern New York. Portions of this
rock are valuable for building purposes; and from certain strata, fine-
grained grindstones are obtained.
   The streams which cut through this formation, flow in broad, flat-bot-
tomed valleys, with gently sloping sides, and produce, during the first




few years of cultivation, such as is here in vogue, from seven to thirteen
barrels of corn to the acre. It must be borne in mind that these bot-
toms receive the washings from the overlying limnestones, and, also, that
the above average yield will not hold good for the longer settled districts,
as the system of farming is very imperfect, and little or no attention is
paid to manuring or draining. It is upon these bottoms that the
greater number of experiments have been made in the culture of sor-
ghum, or Chinese sugar cane. Here, also, grows, in its greatest perfection,
the sugar tree, which, with the other maples, the white oak, and the beech,
make up the principal timber. The beech is found near the top of the
formation, and only there when the neighboring hills are capped with
  Next in order, above the knobstone formation, comes that of the sub-
carboniferous or mountain limestone, extending along the whole line, but
thickening southwestwardly from seventy feet, on Tygert's creek, to
over four hundred feet at the Poplar Mountain, in Clinton county. It
is composed of alternating white, grey, and buff-colored layers of rock,
varying in quality from the most argillaceous claystone to the purest
plaster limestone. Clear and copious springs constantly mark the junc-
tion of this limestone formation with the underlying knobstone; and its
lowest strata contain, in many places, large, dark-green flint pebbles,
which, judging from present appearances, must have been extensively
quarried by the Indians. Traces of lead are found through the center
of this formation, but not in sufficient quantities to be of value.
  The drainage through this formation is peculiar, and deserves more
than a passing notice. The valleys are dish shaped, broad and shallow,
and rarely have streams running through them; for the water issuing
from the very numerous springs is carried down through sink-holes and
cracks in the cavernous strata below, and often re-appears at the surfLce
only to take another plunge before it gushes out at last in some never-
failing spring, near the mouth of the valley. We have thus valleys which
are technically dry, the bottom being a mere series of dry, crater-shaped
holes, which, with proper treatment, may be made to supply with neces-
sary water the cattle of this really admirable grazing portion of the
mountain district of the State. To the topographer, however, no coun-
try could be more difficult to work over; and not unfrequently a stranger
would be entirely at a loss to guess the direction of up stream from




  The soil of the valleys just described is generally a tough clay mixed
with sand, where the overlying millstone grit series forns the escarp-
ments on each side; but it is not unusual to see large portions of the
side slopes bare. As near as I could ascertain it, seven barrels to the
acre is the average crop of corn for this formation, although laud freshly
broken up and properly tended will yield from ten to twelve barrels to
the acre. Clover and other grasses thrive well, and could be made prof-
itable. if taken in connection with cattle raising, upon the top lands
overlooking these limestone valleys.
  The timber is principally white oak and beech; but black, red, and
post oak, together with red cedar, white walnut, poplar, buckeye, and
hickory, are common. Pawpaw throughout, and the muscadine grape in
the southern portion of the district, mark this formation.
  Overlying the sub-carboniferous limestone comes the millstone grit
formation, which may be described in two divisions, the lower of which
is made up of alternating sandstones and shales inclosing beds of coal
and iron ore, and the upper a massive, coarse-grained, ferruginous sand-
rock, containing pebbles. This sand rock I shall hereafter, in this report,
make mention of as the conglomerate, and the underlying strata as the
sub-conglomerate coals, iron ores, &c. Though unexposed at the start-
ing point of the section, I feel safe in saying that its entire thickness
under the town of Grayson is not over ninety feet, a thickness which
increases in the usual direction (S. W.) until it has become 305 feet in
the Poplar mountain before mentioned. This, and the other formations
with it, it must here be understood, not only thicken southwestwardly,
but also rise into the air in that direction, as may be seen in the profile,
where the top of the conglomerate, below Grayson, is f