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Haute-Saone

HAUTE-SAONE, a department of eastern France, formed in 1 790 from the northern portion of Franche Comte. It is traversed by the river Saone, bounded N. by the department of the Vosges, E. by the territory of Belfort, S. by Doubs and Jura, and W. by Cote-d'Or and Haute-Marne. Pop. (1906), 263,890; area, 2075 sq. m. On the north-east, where they are formed by the Vosges, and to the south along the course of the Ognon the limits are natural. The highest point of the department is the Ballon de Servance (3970 ft.), and the lowest the confluence of the Saone and Ognon (610 ft.). The general slope is from north-east to south-west, the direction followed by those two streams. In the north-east the department belongs to the Vosgian formation, consisting of forest-clad mountains of sandstone and granite, and is of a marshy nature; but throughout the greater part of its extent it is composed of limestone plateaus 800 to 1000 ft. high pierced with crevasses and subterranean caves, into which the rain water disappears to issue again as springs in the valleys 200 ft. lower down. In its passage through the department the Saone receives from the right the Amance and the Salon from the Langres plateau, and from the left the Coney, the Lanterne (augmented by the Breuchin which passes by Luxeuil), the Burgeon (passing Vesoul), and the Ognon. The north-eastern districts are cold and have an annual rainfall ranging from 36 to 48 in. Towards the south-west the climate becomes more temperate. At Vesoul and Gray the rainfall only reaches 24 in. per annum.

Haute-Saone is primarily agricultural. Of its total area nearly half is arable land; wheat, oats, meslin and rye are the chief cereals and potatoes are largely grown. The vine flourishes mainly in the arrondissement of Gray. Apples, plums and cherries (from which the kirsch, for which the department is famous, is distilled) are the chief fru'ts. The woods which cover a quarter of the department are composed mainly of firs in the Vosges and of oak, beech, hornbeam and aspen in the other districts. The river-valleys furnish good pasture for the rearing of horses and of horned cattle. The department possesses mines of coal (at Ronchamp) and rock-salt (at Gouhenans) and stone quarries are worked. Of the many mineral waters of HauteSaone the best known are the hot springs of Luxeuil (q.v.). Besides iron-working establishments (smelting furnaces, foundries and wire-drawing mills) , Haute-Saone possesses copper-foundries, engineering works, steel-foundries and factories at Plancher- lesMines and elsewhere for producing ironmongery, nails, pins, files, saws, screws, shot, chains, agricultural implements, locks, spinning machinery, edge tools. Window-glass and glass wares, pottery and earthenware are manufactured; there are also brick and tile-works. The spinning and weaving of cotton, of which Hericourt (pop. in 1906, 5194) is the chief centre, stand next in importance to metal working, and there are numerous paper-mills. Print-works, fulling mills, hosiery factories and straw-hat factories are also of some account; as well as sugar works, distilleries, dye-works, saw-mills, starch-works, the chemical works at Gouhenans, oil-mills, tanyards and flourmills. The department exports wheat, cattle, cheese, butter, iron, wood, pottery, kirschwasser, plaster, leather, glass, etc. The Saone provides a navigable channel of about 70 m., which is connected with the Moselle and the Meuse at Corre by the Canal de 1'Est along the valley of the Coney. Gray is the chief emporium of the water-borne trade of the Saone. Haute-Sa6ne is served chiefly by the Eastern railway. There are three arrondissements Vesoul, Gray, Lure comprising 28 cantons, 583 communes. Haute-Saone is in the district of the VII. army corps, and in its legal, ecclesiastical and educational relations depends on Besancon.

Vesoul, the capital of the department, Gray and Luxeuil are the principal towns. There is an important school of agriculture at St Remy in the arrondissement of Vesoul. The' Roman ruins and mosaics at Membrey in the arrondissement of Gray and the church (13th and 1sth centuries) and abbey buildings at Faverney, in the arrondissement of Vesoul, are of antiquarian interest.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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