Warren County, New York
Genealogy and History

1860 French's Gazetteer Town Profiles Part 1

Towns of Bolton, Caldwell, Chester, Hague & Horicon

BOLTON- was formed from Thurman, March 25, 1799. Hague was taken off in 1807, a part of Caldwell in 1810, and a part of Horicon in 1838. It lies E. of the center of the co., between Schroon River and Lake George. The E. shore of the lake constitutes the E. line, so that more than one-half of the lake is within the limits of this town. The surface is principally occupied by the high mountainous ridges which lie between the lake and Hudson River. There are 3 principal peaks belong to this range within the limits of the town,- Tongue Mt.,(2) on the peninsula between the lake and North West Bay, 2,000 ft. above tide; Pole Hill, in the N. part, 2,500 ft. high; and Cat Head, in the center, 1,500 to 1,800 ft. above tide. The mountains generally rise precipitously from the lake; but toward the W. the surface assumes the character of a high, rolling upland. High up among the hills are numerous little crystal lakes, the principal of which are Trout Lake, Marsh Pond, and Edgecomb Pond. Trout Lake is 1,000 ft. above Lake George. Not more than one-half of the town is susceptible to cultivation. The soil is a thin, sandy loam. (3) Bolton, (p.o.) situated on Lake George, opposite Green Island,(4) is a small village. The settlement of the town was commenced in 1792, principally by New England people.(5) The improvements are confined mostly to the vicinity of Lake George. The first church (Presb.) was formed in 1804; the Rev. ___ Armstrong was the first settled minister. There are 2 churches in town; Bap. and M.E.

2. Indian name, At-al-a-po-sa, a sliding place.

3. Within the limits of this town is the most beautiful scenery of the lake. Its channel is studded with a multitude of small islands, some of them consisting of barren, desolate rocks, while others are clothed with the richest verdure. Diamond Island, near the S. extremity of the lake, derives its name from the beautiful quartz crystals that have been found upon it.

4. During the Revolution this island was fortified, and Gen. Burgoyne, when he advanced to the Hudson, left upon it a large amount of public property, guarded by two companies of the 47th regiment, commanded by Capt. Aubrey. After the partial success which attended the attempt upon Ticonderoga in 1777, Cols. Warren and Brown, on the 24th of Sept., made an attack upon this place with the gunboats they had captured. They were repulsed with loss, and retreated to the E. shore. The enemy being in pursuit, they burned their boats, crossed the mountains to Lake Champlain, and returned to Gen. Lincoln's camp at Pawlet, Vt.

5. Among the first settlers were James Ware, Joseph Tuttle, Rufus Randall, Benj. Pierce, David and Reuben Smith, Eleazer Goodman, Daniel Nims, Frederick Miller, ___ Boyd, ___ Wright, and Thomas McGee. The first birth was that of Lydia Ware; and the first death, that of Mrs. John Pierce. Sally Boyd taught the first school.

CALDWELL- (Col-well)(6) was formed from Queensbury, Bolton and Thurman, March 2, 1810. It lies around the s. extremity of Lake George. A range of mountains occupies the extreme w. part. The central portion is a high, hilly region, descending abruptly to the lake. Prospect Hill, w. of the s. extremity of the lake, has an elevation of 2,000 ft. above tide. South of this hill a low valley extends s.w., through Caldwell and Luzerne, to the valley of the Hudson near the mouth of Sacandaga River. This depression seems to be a continuation of the valley in which Lake George is situated, and shows that a change of a few feet in elevation would cause the waters of the lake to flow into the Hudson. In this valley is a chain of small lakes. A narrow strip of los and lies immediately upon the border of the lake. The soil is a sandy loam among the hills, and a dark, rich, sandy and clayey loam on the lowlands. Caldwell, (p.v.) the county seat, is situated near the head of Lake George. it contains 2 churches, several hotels, and about 50 dwellings. This place is the annual resort of great numbers of tourists and pleasure seekers, who are attracted hither by the beautiful scenery of the lake and the surrounding region. During the summer the steamer Minnehaha plies daily between Caldwell and the foot of the lake. Fort William Henry and Fort George are situated near Caldwell, at the head of Lake George and Bloody Pond, in the s. part. Settlement commenced at the head of Lake George, soon after the conquest of Canada; but its progress was arrested by the Revolution. Soon after the close of the war, settlement was recommenced.(7) There are 2 churches in town; Presb. and Union.

6. Named from Gen. James Caldwell, a merchant of Albany, who became a patentee of 1,505 acres, in 4 parcels by grants dated Sept. 18-20, 1787.

7. Among the early settlers were Daniel Shaw, Benoni Burtch, __ Tierce, Andrew Edmonds, Reed Wilbur, Obadiah Hunt, Thaddeus Bradley, Elias Prosser, Nathan Burdick, Gen. Van Deusen, ___ Butler, and Christopher Potter. The first inn and gristmill were erected by Gen. Caldwell.

CHESTER- was formed from Thurman, March 25, 1799. It lies upon the N. border of the co., between Hudson and Schroon Rivers. The surface is broken. The Kayaderosseras Mts. extendn through the s. part, and the Schroon range occupies the N.W. portion. A continuation of the valley of Schroon Lake, extending in a S.W. direction to the W. branch of the Hudson and separating the mountain ranges, contains a chain of small lakes. Loon Lake is the principal one in this valley; and s. of it, among the hills, is another sheet of water, called Friends Lake. Schroon Lake is about 1,0000 feet above tide, and the hills that surround it are 500 to 800 feet above its surface. The soil is generally light and sandy. A cave in Mt. Moxon is quite a curiosity, and has some local notoriety. Near the N. border of the town, upon Stone Bridge Creek, is a natural bridge.(1) Feldspar has been quarried to a considerable extent and exported for the manufacture of porcelain. Chestertown (p.v.) contains the Chester Academy and 246 inhabitants; and Pottersville (p.v.) 126. The settlement of this town commenced toward the close of the last century.(2) The first church (Bap.) was organized in 1796; and the Rev. Jehiel Fox was the first pastor. There are now 6 churches in town.(3)

1. The stream, after falling into a basin, enters a passage in two branches under a natural arch 40 feet high and about 80 broad, and emerges in a single stream from under a precipice 54 feet high, 247 feet from its entrance. This bridge is described in Morse's geography (1796) as follows:- "In the county of Montgomery is a small, rapid stream emptying into Schroon Lake, west of Lake George; it runs under a hill, the base of which is 60 or 70 yards in diameter, forming a most curious and beautiful arch in the rock, as white as snow. The fury of the water and the roughness of the bottom, added to the terrific noise within, have hitherto preventned any person from passing through the chasm." - Am. Univ. Geog., 508.

2. The first settlers were Titus, Jabez, Levi, Gideon, Enos, Jonathan, Daniel, and Caleb Mead, ___ Beman, Isaac Bennett, John Haskins, Obadiah and Benj. Knapp, Noel Wightman, James Storbuck, ___ Seward, and D. and J. Punderson. The first birth was that of a son of Caleb Mead; and the first death, that of Martin Wightman.

3. 3 M.E., Bap., Presb., and Prot. E.

HAGUE- was formed from Bolton, Feb. 28, 1807, as "Rochester." Its name was changed April 6, 1808, and a part of Horicon was taken off in 1838. It lies upon the shore of Lake George, in the N.E. corner of the co. The surface is very mountainous, not above one-fourth being susceptible of cultivation. The mountains along the lake generally descend abruptly to the very edge of the water. The narrow valleys of Trout and North West Bay Brooks form the line of separation between the two mountain ranges. Ash Grove Hill, upon the W. border, is 2,000 to 2,500 feet above tide; and upon the shore of the lake, in the N.E. corner, is another mountain peak of nearly the same elevation. Rogers Rock is on the lake shore, in the N.E. corner. It rises from the water's edge at an angle of about 45 degrees and attains an elevation of 300 feet.(4) Sabbath-Day Point is a headland projecting into the lake near the S. border.(5) The soil is a light, sandy loam. Iron ore has been found near Seventh Pond; and mines have been worked to some extent, but they are now abandoned. The beauty of the lake and the solitary grandeur of the mountain scenery of this town render it a favorite resort for hunting and fishing parties and the lovers of the beautiful in nature.(6) Hague, (p.o.) on McDonalds Bay, and Wardboro (p.o.) are hamlets. The principal improvements are along the lake. The first settlement was made about 1796.(7) There is a union church in the town.

4. This rock, sometimes called Rogers Slide, receives its name from an incident traditionally related of the escape of Maj. Robert Rogers at this place in the winter of 1758. He was surprised at the top of the rock by a band of Indians, and most of his party were cut off; but he escaped by sliding down the rock to the frozen surface of the lake.

5. It is generally supposed that this name was derived from the fact that Gen. Amherst and his suite, while passing down the lake on their way to Ticonderoga in the summer of 1759, stopped here to refresh themselves upon the Sabbath; but this derivation of the name is doubtful, for it is mentioned in Rogers's Journal, June 28, 1758,- the season before.

6. On the 29th of July, 1856, the steamer John Jay, while on her way up the lake, was burned near Garfields. Six persons jumped overboard and were drowned; but the rest were rescued by boats from the shore.

7. Among the first settlers were Abel Rising, Abner Briggs, Elijah Bailey, Samuel Cook, Ellis Denton, Samuel Patchin, John Holman, Isaac and Urial Balcom, and Uri Waiste.

HORICON- was formed from Bolton and Hague, March 29, 1838. It lies upon the N. border of the co., E. of Schroon Lake. The greater part of its surface is occupied by the two branches of the Kayaderosseras Mts., which are here divided by the valley of Brant Lake. In the N. and E. these ranges rise, in numerous sharp, rocky peaks, 1,600 to 2,000 feet above tide; but in the S. and W. they sink into a hilly plateau region. About one-half of the surface is arable. Among the hills are great numbers of small lakes, laving with their crystal waters the base of the huge, rocky masses which tower above them. Brant Lake, the principal of them, is 10 mi. long and is everywhere surrounded by precipitous hills. The soil is a sandy loam. Horicon (p.v.) situated on Schroon River, in the S.W. part of the town, contains about 20 houses; and Mill Brook, (p.v.) on Schroon Lake, 15 houses. Aaron Harris, Joseph Gregory, Bishop Carpenter, and Timothy Bennett were some of the earliest settlers.(8) The first church (Wes. Meth.) was formed in 1820; Nathaniel Streeter was the first minister. There are 4 churches intown; 2 Bap., M.E. and Wes. Meth.

8. Howard Waters, Nathan, Benj., and James Hayes, Benj. Hayes 2d, John Robbins, James Frazier, and Benj. Wright were also early settlers. Hannah Reynolds taught the first school.

Source: "Gazetteer of New York State, Embracing a Comprehensive View of the Geography, Geology, and General History of the State, and a Complete History and Description of Every County, City, Town, Village and Locality, with Full Tables of Statistics," by J.H. French. Syracuse: R.P. Smith, Publisher. 1860.

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