Timeline of town creation in New York's North Country

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Counties of the North Country highlighted

The towns and cities of New York's North Country were created by the U.S. state of New York as municipalities in order to give residents more direct say over local government.[1] The North Country consists of Clinton County, Essex County, Franklin County, Jefferson County, Lewis County, and St. Lawrence County. When counties were first formed in 1683 the entire area was theoretically under the jurisdiction of Albany County though actually wilderness inhabited by Native Americans, by 1764 most of the area became effectively controlled by Albany County. The state would sell off this land to settlers and speculators, most notably as part of the Old Military Tract (1786) to veterans of the US Revolutionary War and as Macomb's Purchase (1791) to Alexander Macomb.[2] In 1772 the northern and western portions of Albany County was divided into two counties– Tryon and Charlotte. Tryon encompassed Lewis, Jefferson, and St. Lawrence counties along with the western section of Franklin; Tryon was renamed Montgomery in 1784. Charlotte encompassed Clinton, Essex, and the majority of Franklin County; the name of the county was changed to Washington County in 1784. In 1788 Clinton County was split from Washington, Essex was formed from Clinton in 1799 and Franklin was formed from Clinton in 1808. Montgomery County's North Country area went to Herkimer County on that county's formation in 1791, but western Franklin and eastern St. Lawrence were returned to Montgomery in 1797. In 1798 Lewis, Jefferson, and western St. Lawrence became part of the newly formed Oneida County from Herkimer in 1798, leaving only central St. Lawrence County as part of Herkimer. In 1801 the future St. Lawrence and Franklin counties which were portions of Montgomery, Herkimer, and Oneida were transferred to Clinton County; the next year in 1802 St. Lawrence was formed as a county. In 1805 both Lewis and Jefferson counties were formed from Oneida County.[3]

In 1785 the township of Plattsburgh was formed in Washington County, and the next year all of Washington County was divided into townships, including the formation of Crown Point township which included all of future Essex County while Plattsburgh was expanded to include most of future Clinton County and Franklin counties.[1] Towns in Franklin can all be traced back to Chateaugay, formed in 1799 a descendant of Plattsburgh. All the towns of Jefferson and Lewis counties can be traced back to Whitestown a town formed in Montgomery County in 1788. In 1801, a year before St. Lawrence County was formed the area of the county, which was 10 survey townships, was combined as the town of Lisbon, all towns in the county are descended from Lisbon.[4]

New York experimented with different types of municipalities before settling upon the current format of towns and cities occupying all the land in a county,[5] and all previous forms were transformed into towns (or divided into multiple towns) in 1788 when all of the state of New York was divided into towns.[1] Some early forms of government in earlier years included land patents with some municipal rights, districts,[6] precincts,[7] and boroughs.[8] Though originally intended to be mere “…involuntary subdivisions of the state, constituted for the purpose of the more convenient exercise of governmental functions by the state for the benefit of all its citizens” as defined by the courts in 1916 (Short v. Town of Orange), towns gained home rule powers from the state in 1964, at which time towns became "a municipal corporation comprising the inhabitants within its boundaries, and formed with the purpose of exercising such powers and discharging such duties of local government and administration of public affairs as have been, or, maybe [sic] conferred or imposed upon it by law.”[9]

The following is a timeline showing the creation of the current towns from their predecessors stretching back to the earliest municipal entity over the area. The timelines only represent which town(s) a particular town was created from and does not represent annexations of territory to and from towns that already existed. All municipalities are towns unless otherwise noted as patent, township, borough, district, or city.

Essex County[edit]

Crown
Point[A]
township
1786-1788
 
 
 
 
 
Willsboro[B]
1788
 
For further
descendents
see
Clinton and
Franklin counties
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Crown
Point
[B]
1788
 
Ticonderoga[C]
1804
 
 
Lewis[C]
1805
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Essex[C]
1805
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chesterfield[C]
1802
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jay[B]
1798
 
Dansville[D]
1821
(Wilmington
from 1822)
 
St.
Armand
[C]
1844
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Keene[C]
1808
 
North
Elba
[C]
1849
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Schroon[C]
1804
 
Minerva[C]
1817
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Newcomb[C]
1828
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Moriah[C]
1808
 
North
Hudson
[C]
1848
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elizabethtown[B]
1798
 
Westport[C]
1815
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Notes[edit]

[A] = A part of Washington County.
[B] = A part of Clinton County until 1799, thereafter Essex County.
[C] = A part of Essex County.

Clinton and Franklin counties[edit]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For further
descendants
see
Essex
County
 
 
 
For antecendents 
see
Essex
County
 
Willsboro[B]
1788
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Peru[D]
1792
 
Au Sable[D]
1839
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Black
Brook
[D]
1839
 
 
 
 
 
 
Champlain[D]
1788
 
Mooers[D]
1804
 
Ellenburg[D]
1830
 
Clinton[D]
1845
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chazy[D]
1804
 
Altona[D]
1857
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chateaugay[E]
1799
 
Burke[F]
1844
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bellmont[F]
1833
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franklin[F]
1836
 
 
 
 
 
 
Westville[F]
1829
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Harrison 1805
(Ezraville
from 1808;
Malone[E]
from 1812)
 
Constable[E]
1807
 
 
Fort
Covington
[F]
1817
 
Bombay[F]
1833
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Duane[F]
1828
 
Brighton[F]
1858
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Harrietstown[F]
1841
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dickinson[E]
1808
 
Moira[E]
1828
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bangor[F]
1812
 
Brandon[F]
1828
 
Santa
Clara
[F]
1888[10]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Waverly[F]
1880[10]
 
Altamont
1890
(Tupper
Lake
[F]
from
2004)[11]
 
 
Plattsburgh[A]
township
1785[4]-1788[1]
 
 
Plattsburgh[D]
1788[1]
 
Saranac[D]
1824
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Beekmantown[D]
1820
 
Dannemora[D]
1854
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Schuyler
Falls
[D]
1854
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Plattsburgh[D]
City 1902[12]
 

Notes[edit]

[A] = A part of Washington County.
[B] = A part of Clinton County until 1799, thereafter Essex County.
[C] = A part of Essex County.
[D] = A part of Clinton County.
[E] = A part of Clinton County until 1808, thereafter Franklin County.
[F] = A part of Franklin County.

St Lawrence County[edit]

Lisbon[A]
1801
 
Canton
1805
 
 
Waddington
1859
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Madrid
1802
 
 
Potsdam
1806
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ogdensburg
City 1868[13]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oswegatchie
1802
 
 
Gouverneur
1810
 
Macomb
1841
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Morristown
1821
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
De Kalb
1806
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
De Peyster
1810
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Massena
1802
 
Stockholm
1806
 
Norfolk
1823
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Louisville
1810
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Clifton
1868[14]
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hermon
1834
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brasher
1825
 
Lawrence
1828
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Clare
1880[14]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hammond
1827
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pierrepont
1818
 
Fowler
1816
 
Edwards
1827
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hopkinton
1805
 
Russell
1807
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pitcairn
1836
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rossie
1813
 
 
Fine
1844
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Piercefield
1901[15]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parishville
1818
 
Colton
1843
 
 

Notes[edit]

[A] = A part of Clinton County until 1802, thereafter St. Lawrence County.

Lewis County[edit]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Denmark[F]
1807
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whitestown[A]
1788
 
Mexico[D]
1782
 
Lowville[E]
1800
 
 
Harrisburg[E]
1803
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Champion[G]
1800
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pinckney[F]
1808
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Adams[G]
1802
 
Harrison 1804
(Rodman[G] from
1808)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Turin[E]
1800
 
Martinsburg[E]
1803
 
 
High Market[F]
1852[4]-1973[17]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For further
descendants
see
Central
New York
 
 
West
Turin
[F]
1830
 
 
Osceola[F]
1844
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Montague[F]
1850
 
 
 
 
 
 
Steuben[B]
1792
 
Leyden[C]
1797
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lewis[F]
1852
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Watson[F]
1821
 
Brantingham
1828
(Greig[F] from
1832)
 
Lyonsdale[F]
1873[18]
 
 
New
Bremen
[F]
1848
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Diana[F]
1830
 
Croghan[F]
1841
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Notes[edit]

[A] = A part of Montgomery County until 1791, Herkimer County from 1791 to 1798, then Oneida County from 1798.
[B] = A part of Herkimer County until 1798, Oneida County thereafter.
[C] = A part of Herkimer County until 1798, then Oneida County until 1805, thereafter Lewis County.
[D] = A part of Herkimer County until 1798, then Oneida County until 1816, thereafter Oswego County.
[E] = A part of Oneida County until 1805, thereafter Lewis County.
[F] = A part of Lewis County.
[G] = A part of Oneida County until 1805, thereafter Jefferson County.

Jefferson County[edit]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alexandria
1821
 
Theresa
1841
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whitestown[A]
1788
 
Steuben[B]
1792
 
Leyden[C]
1797
 
Brownville[E]
1802
 
Le Roy
1806
 
Antwerp
1810
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Philadelphia
1821
 
 
Wilna
1813
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For further
descendants
see Central New York
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pamelia
1819
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Orleans
1821
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mexico[D]
1792
 
Malta 1804
(Lorraine[E] from 1808)
 
Worth
1848
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Champion[E]
1800
 
For further
descendants
see Lewis County
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Adams
1802
 
Harrison 1804
(Rodman from 1808)
 
For further
descendants
see Lewis County
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ellisburg
1803
 
Henderson
1806
 
 
 
 
 
 
Clayton
1833
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Watertown
1800
 
Watertown
city 1869[19]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hounsfield
1806
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rutland
1802
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lyme
1818
 
Cape Vincent
1849
 
 

Notes[edit]

[A] = A part of Montgomery County until 1791, Herkimer County from 1791 to 1798, then Oneida County from 1798.
[B] = A part of Herkimer County until 1798, Oneida County thereafter.
[C] = A part of Herkimer County until 1798, then Oneida County until 1805, thereafter Lewis County.
[D] = A part of Herkimer County until 1798, then Oneida County until 1816, thereafter Oswego County.
[E] = A part of Oneida County until 1805, thereafter Jefferson County.
[F] = A part of Jefferson County.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ a b c d e Laws of the State of New York Passed at the Sessions of the Legislature Held in the Years 1785, 1786, 1787 and 1788, inclusive, Being the Eight, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh, sessions. II. Weed, Parsons and Company/State of New York. 1886. p. 103 & 748. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  2. ^ "Franklin County:History". Franklin County. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  3. ^ "New York County Maps and Atlases". Genealogy, Inc. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  4. ^ a b c French, John H. (1860). Gazetteer of the State of New York. R. Pearsall Smith. 
  5. ^ "Governmental Units". John B. Deitz. Retrieved May 18, 2009. 
  6. ^ The Colonial Laws of the State of New York From 1664 to the Revolution, Including the Charters to the Duke of York, the Commissions and Instructions to the Colonial Governors, the Duke's Laws, the Laws of Dongan and Leisler Assemblies, the Charters of Albany and New York and the Acts of the Colonial Legislatures from 1691 to 1775 Inclusive. V. James B. Lyon (State of New York). 1894. p. 383 and 395. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  7. ^ The Colonial Laws of the State of New York From 1664 to the Revolution, Including the Charters to the Duke of York, the Commissions and Instructions to the Colonial Governors, the Duke's Laws, the Laws of Dongan and Leisler Assemblies, the Charters of Albany and New York and the Acts of the Colonial Legislatures from 1691 to 1775 Inclusive. II. John B. Lyon. 1894. p. 956. 
  8. ^ Howell, George Rogers; Munsell, John H. (1886). History of the County of Schenectady, N.Y., from 1662 to 1886.. W.W. Munsell & Company. 
  9. ^ "Local Government Handbook" (PDF) (5th ed.). New York State Department of State. 2008. pp. 60 (PDF 64). Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  10. ^ a b Seaver, Frederick J. (1918). Historical Sketches of Franklin County and its Several Towns with Many Short Biographies. J.B. Lyon Company. p. VII. 
  11. ^ "Town of Tupper Lake". Northern New York American-Canadian Genealogical Society. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  12. ^ Bailey, Jim. "City of Plattsburgh: City Historian". Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  13. ^ Laws of the State of New York, Passed at the Ninety-First Session of the Legislature, Begun January Seventh, 1868, and Ended May Sixth, 1868, in the City of Albany. I. Van Benhuysen & Sons' Steam Printing House/State of New York. 1868. p. 715. 
  14. ^ a b Curtis, Gates, ed. (1894). "Our County and its People: A Memorial Record of St. Lawrence County, New York". The Brown History Company. 
  15. ^ Laws of the State of New York, Passed at the One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Session of the Legislature, Begun January Second, 1901, and Ended April Twenty-Third, 1901, in the City of Albany. II. J.B. Lyon Company/State of New York. 1901. p. 1827. 
  16. ^ Curtis, Gates, ed. (1894). Our County and Its People: A Memorial Record of St. Lawrence County New York. D. Mason & Company, Publishers. 
  17. ^ "Local Government Count". New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness. p. 7. 
  18. ^ Hough, Franklin B. (1883). "History of Lewis County, New York and its People". D. Mason & Co. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  19. ^ "City of Watertown". Jefferson County NYGenWeb. Retrieved 2010-10-17.