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County Description - 1843
*Alleghany County, Virginia, lies in the central part of the state, among the
Alleghany mountains, and is drained by the head waters of James river. It contains an area of 521 square miles.
Soil is rich on the streams, and on the "rich patch mountain" is highly productive, and densely
populated. On the other mountains, the land is poor, and covered with pines. A stream issuing
from a spring, after a short, tranquil course, has a fall of 180 feet, and proceeds from cataract
to cataract, until its entrance into Jackson's river. The passage of Jackson's river through Waite's mountain,
is regarded as a curiosity. Its mountainous situation, and great elevation, give it a cooler temperature
than might be expected from its latitude. Capital, Covington. There were in 1840, neat cattle 2,686,
sheep 3,647, swine 4,578; wheat 25,449 bushels produced, rye 9,142, Indian corn 70,828, oats 58,860,
potatoes 9,372, tobacco 42,500 pounds; 5 stores, capital $2,400; 4 tanneries, 5 distilleries, 1 pottery,
4 flouring mills, 20 grist mills, 21 saw mills, 1 furnace. Capital in manufactures $28,890. 5 schools 88 scholars.
Population 1830, 2,816; 1840, whites 2,142, slaves 547, free colored 60; total, 2,749.
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