Essex County, New York

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Essex County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Essex County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded 1799
Named for Essex
Seat Elizabethtown
Largest town North Elba
 • Total 1,916 sq mi (4,962 km2)
 • Land 1,797 sq mi (4,654 km2)
 • Water 120 sq mi (311 km2), 6.25%
 • (2010) 39,370
 • Density 22/sq mi (8.4/km²)
Congressional district 21st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Essex County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 39,370.[1] Its county seat is Elizabethtown.[2] Its name is from the English county of Essex. Along with Hamilton County, Essex is entirely within the Adirondack Park.


When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Essex County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York State as well as all of the present State of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766, by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont. On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Charlotte County, contained the eastern portion.

In 1784, the name "Charlotte County" was changed to Washington County to honor George Washington, the American Revolutionary War general and later President of the United States of America.

In 1788, Clinton County was split off from Washington County. This was a much larger area than the present Clinton County, including several other counties or county parts of the present New York State. (near Clunes)

Essex County was split from Clinton County in 1799.

Notable people, past and present[edit]

  • Vincent Colyer (1825–1888), was a successful American artist and humanitarian who worked to help freedmen and Native Americans; he was born in Bloomingdale.
  • Robert Garrow, serial killer in the Syracuse area in the 1970s. He grew up in Moriah.
  • Ben Goldwasser (1983– ), keyboardist for psychedelic rock band MGMT. He grew up in Westport.
  • Solomon Northup (1808 – d. c. 1863), born in Minerva as a free man, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. Regaining freedom in 1853, he published his memoir that year, became nationally known and lectured on the abolitionist circuit. He became an inspiration for the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave.
  • Johnny Podres (1932–2008), pitcher for Brooklyn Dodgers and 1955 World Series MVP, was born in Witherbee.
  • James Renwick, Jr. (1818–1895), a successful nineteenth-century architect, was born in Bloomingdale.
  • Tom Tyler, silent film star. Originally from Mineville.
  • Sophie Clarke (1989– ), winner, CBS-TV Survivor, season 23 (fall 2011), from Willsboro.
  • Francis Donnelly was the nation's longest serving Town Supervisor; he served from 1934 until his death in 1980


Essex County is in the northeastern part of New York State, just west of Vermont along the eastern boundary of the State. The eastern boundary of Essex County is Lake Champlain, which serves as the New YorkVermont border at an elevation of just under 100 feet (30.5 m). The highest natural point in New York, Mount Marcy at 5,344 feet (1,629 m), is in the Town of Keene.

The Ausable River forms a partial northern boundary for the county.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,916 square miles (4,962.4 km2), of which 1,797 square miles (4,654.2 km2) is land and 120 square miles (310.8 km2) (6.25%) is water.[3]

Cities, towns, villages, and other locations[edit]

Lake Placid
Harris Lake in Newcomb
Note: Designation in parentheses is the official political level.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 9,477
1820 12,811 35.2%
1830 19,287 50.6%
1840 23,634 22.5%
1850 31,148 31.8%
1860 28,214 −9.4%
1870 29,042 2.9%
1880 34,515 18.8%
1890 33,052 −4.2%
1900 30,707 −7.1%
1910 33,458 9.0%
1920 31,871 −4.7%
1930 33,959 6.6%
1940 34,178 0.6%
1950 35,086 2.7%
1960 35,300 0.6%
1970 34,631 −1.9%
1980 36,176 4.5%
1990 37,152 2.7%
2000 38,851 4.6%
2010 39,370 1.3%
Est. 2012 38,961 −1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 38,851 people, 15,028 households, and 9,828 families residing in the county. The population density was 22 people per square mile (8/km²). There were 23,115 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.84% White, 2.81% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races; 2.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the population, 22.0% were of French, 16.3% Irish, 13.0% English, 8.6% German, 7.1% American and 6.2% Italian ancestry; 95.2% spoke English, 2.2% Spanish, and 1.3% French as their first language.

There were 15,028 households out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.20% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.60% were non-families. 28.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.80% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 107.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,823, and the median income for a family was $41,927. Males had a median income of $30,952 versus $22,205 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,194. Of the population, 11.60% of individuals, 7.80% of families, 14.50% of those under the age of 18, and 8.60% of those 65 and older, were living below the poverty line.




The following public use airports are located in the county:[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ Essex County Public and Private Airports, New York. Retrieved June 13, 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°07′N 73°46′W / 44.11°N 73.77°W / 44.11; -73.77