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History of Westport New York

Historian Reports

2008 Historian's Report - 2/12/2009
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Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 2 No. 4 - 10/1/2008
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Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 2 No. 4 - 10/1/2008
Part 2  Click here to view
Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 2 No. 3 - 7/1/2008
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Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 2 No. 3 - 7/1/2008
Part 2  Click here to view
Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 2 No. 2 - 4/1/2008
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Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 2 No. 2 - 4/1/2008
Part 2  Click here to view
2007 Historian Report - 2/14/2008
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Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 2 No. 1 - 1/3/2008
Part 2  Click here to view
Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 2 No. 1 - 1/3/2008
Part 1  Click here to view
Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 1 No. 4 - 9/24/2007
Part 2  Click here to view
Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 1 No. 4 - 9/24/2007
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Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 1 No. 3 - 6/27/2007
Part 2  Click here to view
Glimpses Into the Past Vol. 1 No. 3 - 6/27/2007
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2006 Historian Report - 2/5/2007
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Essex County Fairgrounds Historic Designation - 10/31/2005
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Time Line

1642   Father Isaac Jogues was tortured by Iroquois Indians on the island in Coll’s Bay.
1764   William Gilliland surveyed and named the patent of Bessboro.
1770   The first settlement within the borders of our town was formed by Edward Raymond near the mouth of the brook which empties in Lake Champlain near Camp Dudley. This settlement was almost entirely destroyed during the Revolutionary War.
1785   Hezekiah Barber made the first permanent settlement within the town of Westport.
1798   A township was formed which included the present day Elizabethtown and Westport.
1800   Enos Loveland formed a settlement near the present Hoisington Cemetery on Ledge Hill Road.
1800   The first map of the Village was made. The map laid out 34 lots and 3 streets: Washington, Liberty and Water Street. Water Street ran north and south along the lake shore and intersected Washington and Liberty.
1800   John Halstead built the first frame house (Halstead Tavern) at the top of the lake hill.
1802   Main Street was laid out and the number of lots was raised to 62.
1804   Charles Hatch settled at Northwest Bay; Jesse Braman and Aaron Felt settled near the falls in Wadhams.
1807   The first church was organized in our town. It was a Baptist church and was called “Northwest Bay Church.”
1808   James Coll started a new settlement near where Edward Raymond had lived in 1770.
1811   The first schoolhouse was built.
1815   The name of Westport was given to the town when the division was made from Elizabethtown.
1815   The first town meeting was held at the home of Charles Hatch.
1816   The first Methodist church was organized here.
1819   Charles Hatch began building the Old Stone Mill.
1822   Lumen Wadhams came to the settlement now named after him.
1823   The first post office was established at Wadhams Mills.
1825   Merriam’s Forge was built on the Boquet River near the Essex Town Line.
1848   Francis Jackson built the Sisco furnace near Northwest Bay. “Jacksonville” was the most important iron enterprise in Westport’s history.
1849   The settlement known as “Cheever” was removed from the Town of Westport and added to the Town of Moriah.
1850   The population of the town was 2352 according to the census. That was the highest the number of residents ever reached here.
1876   A fire destroyed the buildings containing the old Lake House hotel, a home, several stores, the Post Office and the Town Clerk’s Office.
1876   The railroad between Albany and Montreal was finished opening the doors to Westport’s tourist industry.
1882   The first known murder to have been committed within the town occurred when Betsy Wells Debosneys was shot and stabbed by her husband on the lake road to Essex.
1887   The Westport Inn opened on the site of the former Halstead Tavern.
1887   The Westport Library Association was incorporated; and the Westport Library built the following year.
1889   The village schoolhouse was built near what is now the Federated Church parsonage. This schoolhouse was in use until the present day central school was built in 1933.
1891   Westport Water Works was chartered bringing water from the “Mountain Spring” to the village.
1897   A flood swept away the ruins of Merriam’s Forge.
1906   The steamboat “Ticonderoga” was built and carried passengers and freight between Plattsburgh, Burlington and Westport.
1907   The Village of Westport becomes incorporated.
1916   First hard top state road built through the main village street.
1921   A concrete highway was built between Westport and Wadhams.
1929   Westport Yacht Club was built.
1936   A fire destroyed 4 buildings on Main Street between the bank and what is now Bessboro Gift Shop. A grocery store, harness and plumber shop, soda fountain and a second story apartment were lost.
1966   The Westport Inn was demolished.
1992   The Incorporated Village of Westport was abolished.

 


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Town of Westport NY
22 Champlain Ave / PO Box 465
Westport, NY 12993

Phone: (518) 962-4419
Fax: (518) 962-2098

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