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Cuba Patriot, Aug. 18, 1887 - Researched & Submitted by Richard Palmer

                              A Trip "Down The River

                    A Little Lake Surrounded by a

                       Wide Moss Covered Beach

               An Allegany County Industry Heretofore Unheard of.

     A trip "down the river" is always interesting to those who make it at this time of the year. Although the Genesee river is not reached when following the canal road from Cuba, until we get into the beautiful town of Belfast, it has become common to speak of the route as "down the river.

    On a recent overland jaunt through parts of this section, accompanied by friends, we journeyed to a strange and partially unheard of place to a large majority of Allegany residents. It is situated about two miles west of Caneadea, and is known in that vicinity as "Bull-head Pond," its name being derived form the fish of that name which abundantly inhabit its waters.

    Instead of being called a "pond" it is worthy of a more elevating title, on account of the peculiar characteristics outlining its borders - "Moss Lake" would b more appropriate. We do not mean to give the impression that it would be a good site for a summer resort or an invalid's retreat, because its shores are not built that way.

     The "beach" of this little lake is not composed of earth; a luxuriant growth of moss, from ten to twenty rods in width encircles it. The thickness of the moss was not learned by our party, nor do we understand that it has ever been determined by anybody. The soil seems to be entirely moss, not a fine green moss, but a coarse blonde quality.

     Many different flowers, plants and shrubs take root in the moss and flourish equally as well as though planted on the best cultivated ground. The moss is thoroughly saturated with water, but by stepping on the promiscuous little mounds it is possible to walk to the water's edge without being in danger, although your footing seems rather uncertain, and the sensation is like stepping on a sponge.

     This cryptogramous covered place is owned by B. J. Bacon, who  lives near by, and makes a business of gathering the moss for which is found a good market, principally among  nurserymen. The moss is cut out in places and piled to dry, afterwards being sold at $80 a carload.

     It would seem that the business could be made very profitable as the supply is unlimited and the only expense is in cutting and transportation to the Caneadea depot.  During the last year of "canal days," Mr. Bacon shipped 680 tons, for which he received a large return.  The moss is used by nurserymen in packing  stock for delivery, as it will retain moisture for several weeks, and when put around the roots of trees, or plants, keeps them in a live condition.

     Mr. Bacon says he has no knowledge of the thickness of the moss, as he only uses the first cutting of about eight inches, and its growth for the past twenty-five years has made no perceptible encroachments upon the lake.

    Bull-head Pond is about one-half of a mile  square and there is no perceivable inlet or outlet, but a stream of spring water flowing towards the head of he pond loses itself in the ground some distance from it, which is without doubt  the feeder. The outlet also takes an underground course and comes to the surface several rods away. This lake adorned with with the peculiar fringe  is not a beautiful resort, but certainly has a romantic attractiveness not to be seen every day when on a drive about Allegany county. At an inviting distance from the marshy shores grow water lilies in all their extreme whiteness and beauty.

     Many more strange sights met our gaze in this locality, but for lack of space and time we content ourselves by giving readers of The Patriot this short sketch of Allegany's "Moss Lake."

 

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