Three Autumn Views

Driven Wells in Cortland County

For this series I travelled a short distance south from where Palmer Road intersects with Virgil Road, crossing the border from Tompkins to Cortland County, closer to Carpenter Hill.

In the 19th Century driven wells (also called tube wells) were an innovation developed in Cortland County under the command of a Civil War era Colonel Nelson W. Green who sought for twenty-two years to impose royalties on use of driven wells. I.H. Palmer assisted John W. Sugget, both of Cortland County, in a seminal patent law case they won in U.S. Supreme Court seeking the release from royalty payments from thousands of driven well installations throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States. Their successful argument was for two years before any patent application, in Cortland County, driven wells were in use. I cannot say Palmer Road has a connection to I.H. Palmer, though it is an interesting historical aside.

View east from Palmer Road across corn stubble. A feeder stream to Virgil Creek is marked by the nearest line of trees, beyond the land rises over the shoulder of Owego Hill.

View east/southeast from Palmer Road across corn stubble. A feeder stream to Virgil Creek flows through the first tree line on left with the creek itself in the far trees, center at the foot of Carpenter Hill. The green field at edge of corn stubble is the fallow field of the next photograph.

View east/southeast from the east edge of a fallow field along Palmer Road. Looking across Virgil Creek to the slope of Carpenter Hill. Cortland County, New York.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

7 thoughts on “Three Autumn Views

Comments are closed.