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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/509

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505
SPRINGS AS A GEOGRAPHIC INFLUENCE

and then built his log house. Others coming into the region made similar locations. Settlement generally moved along streams, since in the absence of roads valleys are more accessible. If the valley has been developed in water-bearing formations, which are not much tilted, springs border the bottom land on either side. Both topographic convenience and the presence of water tended to confine the earliest habitations to the valleys. Later settlers spread over the intervalley areas, building their houses in proximity to springs.

Primarily the highways lead from house to house; eventually, however, several factors become operative before the roads are permanently fixed. In the case of a valley having a commodious floodplain, but not extensive enough to warrant the maintenance of roads on each side, the slope bearing the better springs was normally the decisive factor; the homes on the opposite side would be approached by fords and lanes, or by only the latter if located near a transverse highway. In the uplands the permanent lines of traffic appear to take courses that will accommodate the greatest number without making too great sacrifice in distance; even then some dwellings are isolated. The isolation may continue but one generation, or until the desire to live on the highway overcomes the convenience of water and the associations of the hearth; the latter factors have prevailed wherever we see an isolated frame house, whereas a deserted log cabin means the dominancy of the former.

Moreover, the intervalley highways sometimes exhibit an economic influence. When the area is heavily timbered, and lumbering rather than agriculture is the initial occupation, the roads made in connection with logging and milling may become permanent. For example: North of Wilkins Corners (see map) the second highway leading west ascends about 100 foot in one half mile; this road parallels a valley a

PSM V72 D509 Iron content of the rock inhibits springs from forming.png

The Iron Content of this Sharon Rock induces the "honeycomb" effects in weathering, and also makes the springs less desirable.