Warren County History

 

Early History of Warren County, NY

 

Samuel de Champlain, in 1609, on a journey through the upper part of New York, was told of a wonderful lake called by the Indians Andia-toroc-te, but he never went south enough to see it. In 1642, a war party of the Iroquois, returning from Canada to their Mohawk Valley homes, passed down this lake. With them were three French prisoners, one of whom was a Jesuit priest, Father Jogues, the first of many white men who were to see this lake. To it he gave the name Lake of the Blessed Sacrament, a name which it bore for more than a century. James Fenimore Cooper wrote of this body of water as Horicon the "silvery water." But it remained for Gen. William Johnson, encamped at its head, in 1755, to give it a name in honor of his King, one which still clings, Lake George.
Some one has said that Warren County was "the land which grew up around Lake George," and without going into the question of which came first, there is no doubt the county is about the lake to the south and west, and that the fame of the lake, and the thousands who come to it, have had much or most to do with the growth and prosperity of Warren. The lake, with its wild and picturesque setting between the mountains, with its cliffs and points and islets, all reminiscent of the Indian and the olden time, is too well known to be described or lauded.

Long before its settlement sanguinary battles had occurred between the French and English. In 1755, General Johnson defeated the French on the shores of the lake in the only successful campaign of the British Army that year. In 1757, they were called upon to defend the territory they had won, and failed. In 1759, Fort George was built by General Amherst; he advanced to Ticonderoga, and the French withdrew, and thus was ended all control by the French in the settlement of Warren County and the State.

The pioneers began to flock to this wonderland by the lake as soon as the French had been driven back to Canada, and there was every reason to expect that a series of towns should come into being. The region is a rugged one, the Adirondacks thrust their peaks almost down to the shores, but not in the high nor stony fashion. The soil is not of the best, but there were water powers and transportation, the distance to Albany being only about sixty miles, and Lake Champlain but a portage away, and it was thought that there were metals in the hills. But the prospects of successful settlement were blighted by the breaking out of the Revolution, and the real settlement of Warren County did not come until just before the close of the eighteenth century.

Warren County was formed from Washington, March I2, I8I3, and named in honor of Gen. Joseph Warren, Revolutionary hero. Caldwell, or as it is now known, the village of Lake George, was established as the county seat, and a courthouse built in 1816-17. The first courts were held in the Lake George Coffee House. The means of transportation in the county have been primitive from the first until the last fifty years. Boats were placed upon the lakes; one of the first steamboats in the United States made its initial run on Lake George. A canal connecting the two lakes, and early improvements of log navigation in the Hudson, were about all that was done to connect the county with the outside world. In modern times, both railroads and improved highways have come in, and it seemed likely that, in 1926, one or two bridges might be built across Lake Champlain, which would have an effect upon the accessibility of the Lake George country. As has been suggested, tourists and summer residents are a source of income to the county. It is only a part of the county, however, that is reached by the tourist. Back from the lake are the farming sections. Here, too, are the timber areas, which are still not exhausted. Lumber was at one time the principal export of Warren. Glens Falls is an important industrial city, with more than 100 factories, and Warrensburg has a number of manufactures.

 

Historical Information Found On This Page Comes From
Hope Farm Press
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