Towns in Clinton County, NY
FROM: Gazetteer and Business Directory
OF Franklin and Clinton Counties, N. Y. For 1862-3.
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child, Ogdendburg, NY 1862
GAZETTER OF TOWNS.
ALTONA was taken from Chazy, December 2d, 1857. It is an in terior town lying north of the center of the County.
The west half is underlaid by Potsdam Sandstone, and hundreds of acres are covered with the naked rock. Great Obazy
or Champlain River is the principal stream. Its surface is a rolling upland, with a slight northeasterly inclination.
The / soil is light. and sandy, and a large siare is unfit for cultivation. The town is thinly populated and the
settlers are principally engaged in lumbering. There is no village in town. Chazy (Altona P. O.) in the north part
is a water and wood station on the O. R. R. Ellenburgh Dept is on the west line. The first settler was Simeon Wood,
who located in 1800. It has an area of 61,553 acres.
AU SABLE, pronounced Aw Saw-ble, a French name signifying river of sand, was taken from Peru, March 29, 1839.
It is the southeast corner town in the County, Its surface is nearly level in the east, rolling in the center and
hilly in the west. The Au Sable forms nearly the whole Qf the South botindary, the Little Sable flows northeasterly
through. the west part. Its soil is generally a light sandy loam, fertile in the east and center, but poor for.
agricultural purposes in the west. Upon the Au Sable, where it breaks through tbe Potsdam Sandstone, is a beautiful
cascade, known as Birmingham Falls. This cascade is located about two miles below Keeseville, and the romantic
and picturesque scenery will well repay the tourist for the trip to see them. Iron ore of an excellent quality
is to be found. The. principal ore bed now worked is that of Messrs. Arnold & Co., which yields from 1,000
to 1,500 tons anüually. Keeseville, named from Oliver and Richard Keese, Sons of John Keese, one of the original
proprietprs-upon the Au Sable, five miles from the Lake, contains seven churches, the Keeseville Academy, two extensive
rolling mills, three nail factories, a machine shop, an ax and edge tool factory, a cupola furnace, an axietree
factory, a horseshoe factory, a planing mill, two grist mills, and a nail keg factory.
BEEKMANTOWN, names from Wm. Beckman, to whom with oth ers, the town was granted on March 27, 1769-was taken
from Plattsburgh, February 25, 1820. Dannemora was taken off in 1854. It lies upon Lake Champlain, near the, center
of the east border of the County. It is drained by many small creeks and brooks. The surface is level in the east,
and moderately hilly in the west. . Point an Roche and Ram's Head are capes upon the lake. St. Armand's Bay extends
into the southeast corner. The soil is a clay loam in the east and center, and a light sand in the wesy. Beekmantown
(P O.) and East Beekmantown (P. O.) are hamlets on and near the line of the Plattsburg and Montreal R. R. The first
settlers were Maj. Benjamin Mooers and seven associates. who located at Point an Roche, August 10th, 1783. On the
6th of Sept., 1814, the British passed through the town, when a slight skirmish took place, resulting in the death
of Lieut. Colonel Wellington and Ensign Chapman, of the enemy, and several American militia. The town has an area
of 35,802 acres.
BLACK BROOK, named from its principal stream, was taken from Peru, March 29, 1839. It is the southwest corner
of the County. Its surface is rocky and mountainous, the highest peaks being 1,500 to 2,500 feet above the lake.
Among the mountains are several nearly level table lands, 200 to 300 feet above the general level. The forest trees
are thinly scattered, and nearly the whole town is too rough and poor for cultivation. The Au Sable river forms
a portien of the south boundary. The Saranac flows north-esterly across the northwest corner. Great and Little
Black Brook; tributaries of the Au Sable, drain the central parts of the town. Among the mountains are several
small lakes and ponds. The soil is cold, wet, and poorly calculated for agricultural pursuits. Extensive beds of
iron ore are scattered through the town. The Palmer mine, two miles north of Au Sable Forks, yields from 16,000
to 20,000 tons annually. The Myers and Trombois mines are also largely worked. The people are principally engaged
in the manufacture of iron, charcoal and lumber.
CHAZY- prononnced Sha-zee- was taken from Champlain, March 20, 1804. Altona was taken off in 1857. It lies upon
Lake Champlain north of the center of the county. Its surface is rolling, having a gentle inclination towards the
lake. The principal stream is the Little Chazy, flowing north-easterly through near the center of the town. Corbeau
Creek drains the north-west part. The soil is clayey and productive in the east, and sandy and poor in the west.
CLINTON was formed from Ellenburgh, May 14, 1845. It is the north west corner town of the county. Its surftce
is elevated, but generally level. The highest portion along the south border is about 1,050 feet above Lake Champlain.
It is nearly all underlaid by Potsdam Sandstone, which is here remarkably white. It is drained by small brooks.
- More than three fourths of the town is yet a wilderness, the principal settlements being in the northeast part.
The soil is a light sandy loam, capable of bearing but a thin growth of forest trees. A large part of the land
is owned by capitalists and speculators. Cherubusco is a Post Office and the "Summit" station upon the
O. R. R. The Frontiers (Frontier p. o.), on the north border, and Wrightsville on the west border are hamlets.
The first settlers located upon the Old Military Road and near the Frontiers previous to 1820. The town has an
area of 42,054 acres.
DANNEMORA named by Gen. Skinner from a celebrated iron loca lity in Sweden, was taken from Beekrnantown, Dec.
14, 1854. It is the central town upon the west border of the county. Its surfaee is mostly a wild, mountainous
upland, covered with a sandy soil and light growth of forest trees; Chazy Lake, near the centre, 3½ miles
long by 1¼ wide, discharges its waters into C hazy River, Upper Chateaugay Lake on the west border, 5 miles
long and 1½ miles wide, discharges its waters west into Chateaugay River. The settlements are confined to
the southeast corner. Dannemora is a small village grown up around the Clinton Prison. This prison was located
here in 1845, for the purpose of employing convicts in the mining and manufacture of iron, so that their labor
would not come so directly in competition with the other mechanical trades. The first permanent settler was Thomas
Hooker, who came to reside in 1838. The town has an area of 32,889 acres.
ELLENBURGH, named in compliment to Ellen, daughter of John R. Murray, of New York, the principal proprietor
of Township, No. 5 of the Military Tract, was formed from Mooers, April 17, 1830. Clinton was taken off in 1845,
it lies upon the west border of the county, north of the center. It is an upland, mountainous in the south and
rolling in the north, with an inclination towards the north-east. It is watered principally by the west branch
of the Chazy River. Crystal Brook flows through the extreme north part. The soil is generally sandy, in many places
covered with a rich vegetable mould. The settlements are chiefly confined to the east and west valley, near the
north line of
MOOERS, named from Maj. Gen. Benj. Mooers, an early settler and prominent citizen of the county, was formed
from Champlain, March 20, 1804. Ellenburgh was taken off in 1830. Its surface is tenerally level with a gentle
northeasterly inclination. The principal. streams are Great Chazy and English Rivers. The surface is entirely underlajd
by Potsdam Sandstone. and is covered with a light sandy soil. Along the north border are several small swamps.
Upon the Canada line in the northwest corner, is a remarkable chasm in the rocks; called The Gulf; it is 16 rods
wide and 300 feet deep. At its bottom is a pond of water saideto be 150 feet deep. The walls are of sandstone and
perpendicular. No existing agencies could have pro4uced the chasm. The lumbering business is carried on in town
to a large extent.
PERU, named from its mountainous Character- was taken from Plattsburgh and Willsborough, (Essex Co.) Dec. 28,
1792. A part was annexed to Willsborough in 1799, and Au Sable and Black Brook were taken off in 1839. It lies
upon Lake Champlain, south of the center of the county. The surface ih the center and east part is rolling and
slightly inclines towards the lake, and in the west it is broken and mountainous. The Au Sable flows across the
southeast corner, and along its course are extensive swamps. Little Sable and Salmon Rivers drain the remainder
of the town. Military Pond lies on the west line, and is drained by Black Brook. A strip of laud two miles wide,
extending along the lake, has a sell composed of clay and clayey loam. Most of this is a plain 4 miles wide, of
a sandy soil, interspersed with swamps. In the west, the soil is a light sandy loam. Peru village on the Little
Sable, near the center of the town, Laphams Mills, two miles below Peru, and Peasleville, on Salmon River, in the
northwest part, are thriving villages. Port Jackson (Valcour, p. o.) on the lake, opposite Valcour Island, is a
hamlet containing a church. Peru Landing is a hamlet, north of the mouth of the Little Sable, The first settler
was Wm. Hay, a Scotchman who located upon Steward's Patent in 1772. The town has an area of 46,763 acres.
SARANIC- was taken from Plattsburgh, March 29, 1824. It lies upon the west border of the county, south of the
centre. Its surface is a broken and mountainous upland. The highest summits along the west border are 4,000 feet
above tide. It is watered principally by the Saranac River and its tributaries. There are several falls upon the
Saranac, affording an immense amount of water-power. The east- part sloping towards the river is covered with a
light sandy soil, and the river intervale with a sandy loam and alluvium. The soil among the mountains is bandy;
but the whole western region is too rough for cultivation. Saranac Hollow, Radford and Russia, all on the Saranac
River, are small villages. The first settlement was begun in 1802; by Russell Case and Ezekiel Pearce. The town
has an area of 69,555 acres.
SCHUYLER FALLS, named from the proprietor of the present village site, was taken from Plattsburgh April 4, 1848. It is an interior town, lying a little southeast of the center of the county. Its surface is rolling in the east and hilly in the west, with an easterly inclination. The Saranac forms its north boundary, and Salmon River flows along its south border. The soil is a light sandy loam. Schuyler Falls, on Salmon River, Mossisonville, on the Saranac, (lying partly in Piattsburgh), and Norrisville, upon Salmon River, three miles west of Schuyler Falls, are thriving manufacturing villages. The first settler was Ezra Turner, who located upon Salmon River in 1797. The town has an area of 22,050 acres.