Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 362
Click on the image to view a larger, bitmap (.bmp) image suitable for printing.


Click on the image above for a larger, bitmap image suitable for printing.


WATERTOWN1—was formed from Mexico, March 14, 1800. Rutland was taken off in
1802, and Ilounsfield in 1806. It lies upon Black River, s. w. of the center of the co. The surface
in the s.
e. part is broken by the irregular terraces of the Trenton limestone, and in the n. it is
level or rolling. The river bank is rocky throughout its whole extent; and in the village, about
3 mi. below, are several extensive caves. It is an important agricultural town; but it is chiefly
distinguished for the extent of its trade and manufactures. In amount of business it is unsur¬
passed by any town in Northern N.Y. Watertown,2 (p.v.,) the co. seat, plpasantly
situated upon the s. bank of Black River, was incorp. April 5, 1816. Pop. 5873. -It contains an
,3 4 newspaper offices, 5 banks, and 9 churches. Black River here flows, for the space of a
mile, in a succession of rapids over the limestone terraces, affording an abundance of water power,
which is largely improved, making the village one of the most important manufacturing places in
the State
.4 Three road and 2 r. r. bridges cross the river within the limits of the village; one of the
former is a wire suspension bridge. An ice cave, near Whittleseys Point
,5 extends under a part
of the village. By an act passed March 22, 1853, a board of water commissioners was created,
with power to borrow $50,000 for the construction of water works for the village. The work was
finished during the following summer. The water is taken from the river, near the upper part
of the village, and thrown by water power into a reservoir
200 feet above the village, and about 1
mi. distant; and from the reservoir it is distributed through the streets. A beautiful fountain is
constructed in the center of the principal square
.6 At an early day, two rectangular pieces
of land were given by the owners of the adjacent lots for public use
;7 and these now constitute
beautiful public squares
.8 Burrs Mills9 (p. o.) is a hamlet, on Cold Creek, in the E.(part of
the town. Watertown Center and Fields Settlement are hamlets. Henry Coffeen
and Zachariah Butterfield were the pioneer settlers, in 1800; they located upon the present site of
the village
.10 An arsenal was built at Watertown in 1809, and a building for an academy in 1811;
the latter was used as a hospital during the war. The census reports 10 churches

WIEN A12— was formed from Le Ray, and Leyden (Lewis eo.) April 2, 1813. It lies upon
BjackRiver, in the extreme
e. part of the co. Its surface is somewhat broken. It is chiefly under¬
laid by the primary rock, which rises into low, naked ridges, and by calciferous sandstone. Black
River forms its w.'boundary; and upon it are a series of rapids, forming an abundance of water
.13 The Indian River, in the n. part, also affords water power at several places. At Natural
Bridge this stream flows beneath the surface through passages worn in the coarse white lime¬
stone *which here forms the surface rock. Several interesting minerals are found at this place.

1 Its present limits embrace No. 2, or “Leghorn,” of the
“ Eleven Towns.” It first contained Nos. 1, 2, and 3.    -

2 First settled in 1800; and became the co. seat in 1805. In
1849 the business portion was almost destroyed by fire, b^t it
recovered from the disaster in 2 years,

3 The Watertown Acad, was incorp. May 2,1835, and a large
academic building was erected in a grove in the s.
e. part of the
village. It was soon after merged in the Black River Literary
and Religious Institute, founded under the joint auspices of the
Watertown Presbytery and B. R. (Cong.) Assoc, in 1836. In May,
1846, its name was> changed to the Jefferson County Institute.

4 During the war a factory was built, at a cost of $75,000, for
the manufacture of cotton and woolen cloths. ‘ In 1827, Levi
Beebe purchased Cowans Island and erected upon it, an im¬
mense stone cotton factory. It had just been put in operation
when, July 7, 1833, it was burned, under suspicious circum¬
stances. The loss was $20


and the site has since remained
a ruin. The manufactures of cotton and woolen goods, flour,
paper, iron castings, machinery, leather, agricultural imple¬
ments, lead pipe, sash and blinds, and furniture, are extensively
carried on.

6 Named from the wife of Samuel Whittlesey, who in 1815
threw herself from this'point into the river, and was drowned.
Her husband, a lawyer, and paymaster to the drafted militia,
had received in N. Y. the sum of $30,000, in bills, and while
returning to Watertown was secretly robbed of $8700 hy his
wife. He -was greatly alarmed, hut was persuaded by her to
keep quiet, as it would he difficult to convince the public that a
thief would have left so large a portion, and, as.they must them¬
selves be suspected of having taken a
part, they might as well
keep the
whole. Her logic succeeded, upon the weak-minded old
man, and before reaching home she had matured plans for con¬
cealment and evasion. He started with his portmanteau for
Oneida co., leaving appointments along the road for paying on
his return; but on arriving at Trenton he found he had been
robbed. The news of the robbery spread quickly over the
country; but the most active inquiry and very liberal rewards
failed to bring the thief to justice. On his return home he met
his family frantic with grief; hut there was an inconsistency in
his story, and upon a searching conversation, held separately,
with his two bondsmen, Perley Keyes and Jason Fairbanks, the

latter were convinced that there was fraud. By an ingenious
course of inquiry and eavesdropping, they were not only con¬
firmed in the belief, hut assured that; the family soon intended
to remove, and that summary means must, be employed to re¬
cover the money. They accordingly invited W. to take a walk,
which led as if hy accident to a lonely spot near the village,
previously prepared, where they suddenly charged him with the
robbery and threatened instant drowning unless he disclosed.
He was twice submerged and life nearly extinguished, when he
confessed and was liberated. The money was found sewed into
a pair of drawers fitted to be worn by either husband or wife,
Mrs. W. immediately after slipped away from the crowd unob¬
served, rushed down to the river, and was drowned.—
Hist. Jeff. Co., p.
263.    ,

6 An Artesian well was bored 127 feet deep upon Factory
Square in 1829, and a copious supply of water was obtained,
slightly impregnated with sulphur and iron.

1 These lots are respectively 12 By 28 and 9 hy 32 rods.

3 The principal business of the village is located around the
Square and upon Court St.

9 Named from John ’Burr & Sons, vrho settled here in 1804.
Hart Massey built a saw and grist mill here, in 1801, for Low,
the proprietor.

10 Oliver Bartholomew came in the same year, (1801,) and in
1802, about 80 families arrived. Jonathan Cowan built the first
grist mill, in 1802, and Dr. Isaiah Massey opened the first inn the
same year. In 1803, a bridge was built near the present court¬
house. In 1805, Wm. Smith and John Paddock opened the first
store; and a dam was built across Black River the same year.
The first birth was in the family of Moses Bacon; and the first
death, that of Thornton, who was killed hy a falling tree.

n Two Presb., 2 M. E., Bap., Wes. Meth., Prot. E., R. C., Union,
and Univ.

12 Named from Wilna, in Russia, then fresh in memory from
its battle.

13 After affording 42 mi. of navigation, the river here com¬
mences to descend by a series of rapids, extending to the lake,
falling, in all, 480 feet. The “ Long Falls” here descend 55 feet
in a distance of 5090; and in the rapids are about 50 small
islands. The State Dam, built at this place, is 900 feet long, and
the State Bridge 500i


This page was written in HTML using a program written in Python 3.2