Auburn, a city and the county seat of Cayuga county, N. Y., 174 m. by rail W. of Albany, and 2 m. N. of Owasco lake, the outlet of which intersects the town; pop. in 1860, 10,986; in 1870, 17,225. It stands on high, uneven ground, and is handsomely built, with wide streets planted with shade trees. It has 16 churches, of which 3 are Methodist, 4 Presbyterian, 3 Roman Catholic, 2 Episcopal, 2 Baptist, 1 Disciples', and 1 Universalist; and it is the seat of a Presbyterian theological seminary founded in 1821. To this has been recently added a large building for a library, the gift of William E. Dodge of New York and E. B. Morgan of Aurora. Auburn also has an orphan asylum, a home for the friendless, a young men's Christian association with reading-rooms, one high school, six district schools, and a young ladies' institute, eight banks, several hotels, and two opera houses. Two daily newspapers, four weeklies, and one monthly are published here. Water works on the Holley plan supply the city. The Auburn state prison, founded in 1816, is conducted on the "silent system." It is a fine massive structure of limestone, covering, with its cells, yards, and workshops, 12 acres.
The prison buildings are arranged in the form of a hollow square, standing at a distance from the outer wall, which surrounds them. This wall, which is 3,000 ft. long, 4 ft. thick, and 12 to 35 ft. high, is manned night and day by guards. The prison has usually over 1,000 convicts (in 1872, 1,100), who are employed in a variety of manufactures, the proceeds of which are generally sufficient to defray the expenses of the institution. Each convict on arrival is assigned to work at the trade with which he is familiar, or, if ignorant of any, is taught one. Among the principal of these are the hame shop, tailors', shoemakers', cloth and carpet weaving, cabinet, sash and blind, cooper, stone-cutters', tool, axletree, smith, and machine shops. The convicts make such articles as they use, and build such structures as they occupy. They sleep in separate cells, but at meals and in the shops are together. No communication by word or sign is allowed. In an adjoining enclosure of nine acres is the state asylum for insane criminals, founded in 1857. It has usually 80 to 100 inmates. The Owasco lake supplies one of the best water powers in the state, which is utilized by nine dams, the river falling within the city limits 160 ft.
There are upward of 20 factories and mills, the chief of which are those of cotton and woollen fabrics, carpets, agricultural implements (many of which are exported to Europe), machine shops and tool factories, flouring mills, and breweries. These manufactories employ a capital of from $4,000,000 to $5,000,000. Valuable limestone quarries are worked within the city limits. One of the two branches of the New York Central railroad runs through Auburn. The Southern Central railroad also passes through it, connecting it with Lake Ontario and the Pennsylvania coal mines. Auburn, formerly called Hardenburgh's Comers, was first settled by Capt. John L. Hardenburgh in 1703. At a short distance from the court house stands an elevation called Fort Hill, in the forest on the summit of which were found the ruins of an ancient Indian fortification and relics of its former occupants, such as arrow-heads, tomahawks, and pottery. It is now the site of a cemetery, prominent among whose monuments is one to the memory of Logan, the Cayuga chief.
Auburn State Prison.