when the town was settled the timber consisted principally of beech, maple, elm, ash, cherry , hickory, pine, and hemlock; consequently, for many years there was considerable lumbering by the people. But the leading interest of the farmers at present is dairying. There are 5 cheese factories in town, at which the milk of about 1900 cows is manufactured into butter and cheese. There are also about 300 cows the milk of which is not sent to factories. A few years ago the people were more largely engaged in wool growing than at present. In 1865 it amounted to 7000 or 8000 pounds. At present it is less than 3000 pounds. In the fall of 1877 the apple crop amounted to over 50,000 bushels. Of hay there was cut in 1875 5779 tons; corn raised, 22,292 bushels; oats, 34,342 bushels; potatoes, 16,735 bushels. Portions of the town being well timbered with rock maple, formerly there was a large amount of maple sugar manufactured. At present the product of sugar and syrup is about 30,000 pounds annually. The largest producer in town is S. C. Pierce. He sometimes sets 1500 buckets, and makes 5000 pounds of sugar, and sends his sugar and syrup to all parts of the county.
The Connewango Creamery is 60 by 40 feet, three stories high, and was used as such since 1870. It is owned by Bigelow & Gardner. It daily consumes the milk of 430 cows, making 330 pounds of butter and 19 cheeses. This factory received in 1877 1,310,066 poinds of milk, making 38,491 poinds of butter and 106,263 pounds of cheese,--producing a pound of cheese from 12.32 pounds of milk, and a pound of butter from 34.29 pounds of milk. The patrons received 11.38 mills per pound for the milk which they furnished.
The Axeville Creamery was erected in 1869 by Robinson & Spore, and is now owned by W. J. Bigelow. The size of the building is 28 by 70 feet, three stories high. It is receiving the milk of 600 cows, and makes 450 pounds of butter and 22 cheeses daily. It is run by an engine of 8 horse power.
The Rutlege Creamery is 24 by 50 feet, with a wing 24 by 32, three stories high. It was built in 1871 by George Mason, and is now owned by Charles B. Darling. It uses the milk of 430 cows, making 450 pounds of butter and 19 cheeses daily. It has an engine of 12 horse power.
The Highland Creamery was built in 1878 by bigelow & Gardner, and is now owned by them. It is on the old Chautauqua road, between Axeville and Rutledge. It is 36 by 24 feet with a wing 24 by 18feet. The Milk of about 200 cows is used, making 9 cheeses and 190 pounds of butter daily. It has an 8 horse power engine.
The Elm Creek Creamery was built by John Wiggins in 1874, at a cost of $3700. The building is 60 by 30 feet and three stories high. They receive the milk of 325 cows, making 17 cheeses and 225 pounds of butter daily. The engine is 20 horse power.