Massena, New York
|Town of Massena|
|Nickname(s): Gateway to the Fourth Coast|
|• Type||Town council|
|• Town supervisor||Tim Currier|
|• Total||56.14 sq mi (145.4 km2)|
|• Land||44.37 sq mi (114.9 km2)|
|• Water||11.77 sq mi (30.5 km2)|
|Elevation||200 ft (61 m)|
|• Density||180/sq mi (69/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||979205|
Massena is a town in St. Lawrence County, New York, United States. Massena is located along the northern border of the county, just south of the St. Lawrence River and the Canada–US border. The population was 10,883 at the 2010 census. The town of Massena contains a village also named Massena. The town and its village are named after André Masséna, a general and Marshal of France during the Napoleonic Wars.
The town was first settled circa 1792 by French lumberjacks. Massena was one of the first towns settled in St. Lawrence county and was incorporated in 1802. The town is named after one of Napoleon's field marshals, André Masséna, who commanded around that time.
The economy of early Massena was partly based on health spas, but the modern town is involved in power production, aluminum production at ALCOA, and the commerce of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Massena's economy has suffered for the past few decades due to its large exposure to American manufacturing and the automotive industry. The town is home to an Alcoa Aluminum plant, the longest continually operating aluminum facility in the world, and a former Reynolds Metals Company plant, now called Alcoa East (temporarily idled in July 2009). Alcoa currently employs over 900 people at its facilities in Massena.
Massena is also home to a former General Motors aluminum engine-casting plant which was closed in 2008, laying off or relocating over 600 employees.  The New York Power Authority also operates a hydroelectric power generating dam, the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project, on the St. Lawrence River adjacent to Massena. Curran Renewable Energy manufactures wood pellet fuel and mulch in the town.
Massena is also home to the Eisenhower Locks, part of the St. Lawrence Seaway which allows ships and vessels to pass through the St. Lawrence River and onto the Great Lakes.
On November 2, 2015, Alcoa announced the permanent closure of Alcoa East, and the idling of the smelter at the remaining plant, known as "Alcoa West". The Forgings and Extrusions facilities at Alcoa West were unaffected. The changes resulted in the loss of 487 jobs. Through negotiations with New York State, 400 jobs were saved until 2019.
It was estimated in 2013 that nearly 30% of Massena residents live below the poverty line. St. Lawrence County’s poverty rate is higher than both the state and federal rates and currently ranks the 5th highest in New York State. Limited economic opportunities mean fewer young adults return home after college, which is fueling rapid population declines and out of state migration.
Massena has attracted an array of immigrants throughout its history. Many citizens of French heritage settled in the town due to its proximity to Quebec. Early settlement mirrored New York City, as many Factory workers were often recruited from Ellis Island. Many citizens have in Irish, Polish, German or Italian & Sicilian heritage. There is also a sizeable Jewish population.
In 2012, there were 10,536 people, down from 16,021 in 1970. As of the census of 2000, there were 13,121 people, 2,510 households, and 3,454 families residing in the town. The population density was 293.7 inhabitants per square mile (113.4/km2). There were 5,880 housing units at an average density of 131.6 per square mile (50.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.80% White, 0.30% Black or African American, 1.25% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and .02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.
There were 5,510 households out of which 39.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.1% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.98 and the average family size was 3.67.
In the town, the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $28,391, and the median income for a family was $32,696. Males had a median income of $38,484 versus $18,819 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,111. About 16.9% of families and 18.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.4% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.
Communities and locations in Massena
- Barnhardt Island – An island in the St. Lawrence River northeast of Massena village. The island is at the international border and is the northernmost point of land in New York.
- Long Sault Island ("Isle au Long Saut") – An island in the St. Lawrence River north of Massena village.
- Massena – A village at the west town line on both banks of the Grasse River.
- Massena Center – A hamlet northeast of Massena village.
- Massena Power Canal – A waterway connecting the Grasse River to the St. Lawrence River.
- Massena Springs – A hamlet south of Massena village by the Raquette River. The community was the site of health resorts and hotels based on sulphurous spring water.
- Raquette River – A hamlet east of Massena village, located by the Raquette River. It was first settled around 1804.
- Robert Moses State Park – A state park in the northern part of the town.
- Rooseveltown – A hamlet near the eastern town line by the Raquette River.
- Wiley Dondero Canal – A waterway constructed as part of the St. Lawrence power project.
The town is served by Massena International Airport, located east of Massena village, south of NY-37.
Some of the town's main employers are Dwight D. Eisenhower Lock, Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam, ALCOA, Massena Memorial Hospital, Highland Nursing Home, and St. Regis Nursing Home.
- Aaron Bogosian, Former American Hockey League player
- Zach Bogosian, National Hockey League player
- Gary Danko, chef
- Jim Deshaies, former Major League Baseball player, television color analyst.
- Alan Haskvitz, National Teachers Hall of Fame educator lived in Massena for ten years.
- Mike Hurlbut, retired professional hockey player, collegiate ice hockey coach
- Bid McPhee, former Major League Baseball player and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Horace N. Polley, Wisconsin State Assemblyman and farmer, was born in Massena.
- Myron Reed, Wisconsin State Senator and lawyer, was born in Massena.
- Hal Smith, actor
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 202.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- National Teachers Hall of Fame web site
- Reichler, Joseph L., ed. (1979) . The Baseball Encyclopedia (4th ed.). New York: Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 0-02-578970-8.
- 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1899, Biographical Sketch of Horace N. Polley, pg. 770
- Michaud, John D. III, ed. (2004) . More than Otis: No Bull! A Salute to Hollywood Actor Hal J. Smith (1st ed.). Massena, New York: Stubbs Printing.
- Rays-Place.com - Early Massena history
- NorthCountryNow.com - Massena information
- Google Map of Massena
- mymassena.com - Massena Local Online Community
- Massena Historic Map