A mill pond, 1807

1024px-chara2Frederick Pursh, an eminent German botanist, visited the Fairmount area in the summer of 1807 on a plant-investigation trip through the Northeast.  He passed by the mill pond of the Geddes farm (via today’s Onondaga Road) on July 13:

Near Mr. Geddes I found the Blitum virgatum in fruit, and in his mill dam a monstrous thick covering of Chara fragilis, which emitted a most horrid smell, the dam being broke and dry, and the whole of this Chara turn’d to be sun, and changed its green color, which it has, when under water, to a clear white; at my first coming to the creek, I thought the bottom of the pond or dam was a kind of marl by its color; but getting down to it, I found it to be the Chara which had covered the bottom all over.

[Journal of a botanical excursion in the northeastern parts of the states of Pennsylvania and New York, during the year 1807] Photo: Christian Fischer