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The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States

History of Columbia County: Chapter I,   pp. [309]-[325] ff. PDF (9.3 MB)

Page [309]

                                  CHAPTER I.
     The geolozical formations of Columbia County are the Huronian qartzite
and -uarz-
porph-rry      P tie ots-dam sond t  e; Ahenotaimene           Maaisoiamlotone(beds
Dasgse between t e Potsamn         ower i a nesian * the Lower Magnesian
limestone; the-
St    .gssn    tn;tmTrxto -          estone;.the Glacal drift, and the rpecentalluvial
The Huronian appears'in the quartzite ridges of the town of Caledonia, which,
uniting at their
eastern extremities form a bold point around which the Wisconsin is forced
to find its way in a
wide bow. The Huronian also rises to the surface on Section 7, of the town
of Marcellon,
where are low knobs of quartz-porphyry. The quartzite and quartz-porphyry
have a thickness
measured by thousands of feet, are folded and tilted, and have all the more
recent formations
placed upon them unconformably. The Potsdam sandstone, eight hundred to one
feet thick, underlies the whole of the county, except where the Huronian
appears, coming
to the surface over all the lower levels along the Wisconsin and its tributaries,
besides forming
considerable portions of the slopes of the outliers and higher lands. All
about the Caledonia
quartzite ranges, it rises to very considerable altitudes, apparently rising
here into the horizon
of some of the newer formations. Farther north again, it occupies all levels,
having attained
now a much increased altitude by virtue of its general northern rise. The
Mendota and Madi-
son beds, sixty to eighty feet. thick, occupy parts of the slope, or else
cap the summits, of
many of the outliers, flanking the great limestone escarpment which runs
diagonally across the
county from Scott, in the northeast, to West Point, in the southeast.  These
layers also form
the surface rock along the western slope of the limestone edge just westward,
occasionally, as
in Lowville and Springvale, coming to the surface over a belt of country
several miles in width.
Even east of the limestone escarpment, a considerable area in the adjoining
portions of Otsego
and Fountain Prairie is eroded down to the level of the Madison sandstone.
The Lower
Magnesian, with a thickness of from fifty to one hundred and forty feet,
caps many of the outlying
bluflfs east of the Wisconsin, and is the surface rock over most of the county
east of the limestone
escarpment. It is overlaid, however, by the St. Peters' sandstone (thickness
fifteen to one
hundred and twenty-five feet), and the Trenton limestone (thickness in Columbia
County proba-
bly never more than thirty feet), in southeastern Hampden, southern Columbus,
eastern Fountain
Prairie, northeastern Courtland and eastern Randolph. The St. Peters sandstone
alone, occurs
also in several patches in southeastern Arlington, lying upon the irregular
upper surface of the
Lower Magnesian. It also, with the great thickness of one hundred and twenty-five
feet, forms
the face of Gibraltar Bluff, in the town of West Point.  The Glacial drift
spreads all over
Columbia County, reaching a morainic development in the towns of West Point
and Newport.

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