ESSEX COUNTY. 305
broken up. During the French War many skirmishes1 and one general engagement2 took place in
the town. The subsequent history of the fortress belongs to the general history of the country.
Permanent settlement commenced immediately after the Revolution.4 The first church was St.
Pauls, Prot. E.; and the first preacher, Rev. Mr. Harwood.5
WESTPORT—was formed from Elizabethtown, March 24, 1815. It lies upon the shore
of Lake Champlain, near the center of the e. border of the co. The Schroon Mts. extend n. e.
and s. w. through the town, occupying nearly all of the w. half. A wide valley extends w. from
Northwest Bay, breaking the continuity of this range and completely separating the highlands
at Split Rock from the southern continuation of the chain. The Boquet and its branches drain the
N. part, and numerous small streams flowing into the lake drain the remainder. About one-half
of the surface is susceptible of cultivation. The soil is clayey along the lake shore and sandy
among the mountains. Iron, leather, and lumber are largely manufactured. Westport, (p. v.,)
formerly “Northwest Bay,” contains the Essex Academy and 456 inhabitants. WildEiums
Mills (p.v.) contains 25 houses. A small settlement was begun, and a mill built in the s. part
of the town, before the Revolution. After that period, settlement was commenced by Charles
Hatch, (first store and inn keeper,) Joseph Stacy, and Nathan Hammond.6 The first church (M.E.)
was formed in 1800, and the first preacher was Rev. Cyrus Comstock.7
WTEESBOROUGH—was formed from Crown Point, March 7, 1788, and named from
Wm. Gilliland. A part of Peru was taken off in 1792, Jay in 1798, Chesterfield in 1802, and
Essex and Lewis in 1805. A part of Peru was reannexed to this town upon the formation
of Essex co. in 1799. It lies upon the shore of Lake Champlain, n. of the center of the co.
The surface is rolling and in parts hilly. A range of highlands and isolated hills marks the
course of the Boquet Mts., ending in the cliffs which overlook Perou Bay. The Boquet River flows
through the s. e. corner. East of the river the soil is clayey, and w. a sandy loam. The falls
upon the Boquet furnish an excellent water power. Iron is found in places; and the Black River
limestone crops out, from which both quicklime and waterlime are obtained. Leather, lumber,
and iron are largely manufactured. Willsborouglt Falls (Willsborough p. o.) contains 300
inhabitants. Settlement was commenced by Wm. Gilliland, a merchant of New York, in 1765.8
Mr. G., in 1764, purchased a tract of 2000 acres, intending to convert it into a manor. He suc¬
ceeded in laying the foundation of quite a flourishing settlement, which was broken up during
the Revolution. In 1784, Mr. G. returned, and commenced selling his land to settlers. Joseph
Sheldon and Abraham Aiken, from Dutchess co., became the first purchasers, and located in 1784.9
The first church (Cong.) was organized before 1800. There are three churches in town.
WIEMINGTOST—was formed from Jay, March 27, 1821, as “ Dansville.” Its name was
ohanged March 22, 1822, and St. Armand was taken off in 1844. It lies upon the N. border of the
co., w. of the center. A branch of the Au Sable Mts. occupies the n. w. border of the town, and
another branch of the same range lies between the Au Sable Forks in the e. part. The highest
peaks, 2500 to 3000 feet high, lie in the s. part, and from them the surface declines toward the n.
Wilmington Notch, in the s. w. corner, is a place worthy of note.10 Copperas Pond, near the foot
of Whiteface, covers about 100 acres.2 Beds of iron ore are numerous. The soil is a sandy and
1 Bodies of rangers from the vicinity of Fort Wm. Henry
often carried their petty warfare up to the very walls of the
fortress. Among the partisan officers distinguished in this
warfare were Maj. Robert Rogers and Maj. Israel Putnam.
The former named officer conducted no less than 25 parties to
tlie invasion of this region. In 1758, at the head of a party of
180 men, he was attacked by a large party of French and
Indians a short distance w. of the fort, and defeated, with the
loss of 125 men. The remnant of the party escaped, but suffered
great hardships before reaching a place of safety.
2 See p. 298.
8 When the fortress of Ticonderoga was surprised’ by Allen, in
1775, its garrison consisted of 48 men, commanded by Capt.
Delaplace. The military stores captured consisted of 120 iron
cannon, 50 swivels, 2 10 inch mortars, 1 howitzer, 1 cohorn, 10
tons of musket balls, 3 cart loads of flints, 30 new carriages, a
large quantity of shells, a warehouse full of materials for boat
building, 100 stand of small arms, 10 casks of poor powder, 2
brass cannon, 30 bbls. of flour, 18 bbls. of pork, and a large
quantity of other provisions.
4 Among the first settlers were Charles Hay, Isaac Kellogg,
(first merchant,) Wm. Hurlbert, Wm. Wilson, (first innkeeper,)
Nathl., Charles, Noah, and Manoah Miller, John Kirby, John
and Robt. Hammond, Jedediah Ferris, Francis Arthur, Peter
Deall, Elisha Belden, Gardner Shattuck, and Samuel Cook.
5 There are 3 other churches; Bap., M. E.. and R. C.
The census reports 3 churches; M. E., Cong., and Bap.
8 See pages 299, 301.
® Among the first settlers were Aaron Fairchild, Jonathan
Eynde, Martyn Pope, Melchor and John Hoffnagle, John and
Wm. Morehouse, Hooker Low, Stephen Taylor, Elisha Higgins,
Peter Payne, and Daniel Collins. The first school was taught
by Scott, in 1787. The first death was that of Thos. Hyer,
in 1786. Jonathan Lynde and Stephen Taylor kept the first inn,
John Hoffman the first store, and Gilliland built the first mill.
The first birth was that of Elizabeth Lynde.
1° Here the Au Sable is compressed to a few feet in width, and
breaks through the mountain barrier. Whiteface rises nearly
perpendicularly, upon one side, to a height of 2000 feet; and
another mountain, upon the opposite side, is but a little less in
height. In the midst of its rapid and tortuous course through
this passage, the stream leaps down a perpendicular precipice
of 100 feet.
u Its waters are strongly impregnated with sulphate of iron:
hence its name. Copperas is also found in the rocks in the
vicinity, formed by the decomposition of iron pyrites; at some
future time it will probably be manufactured for commercial