Westport, New York

Westport, New York

Seal
Motto:
Coordinates:
Country United States
State New York
County Essex
Area
 - Town  66.9 sq mi (173.2 km)
 - Land  58.4 sq mi (151.3 km)
 - Water  8.5 sq mi (21.9 km)
Elevation  226 ft (69 m)
Population (2000)
 - Town 1,362
 - Density 23.3/sq mi (9.0/km)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 12993
Area code(s) 518
FIPS code 36-80775GR2
GNIS feature ID 0979625GR3
Enlarge picture
Westport, NY train station
Westport is a town in Essex County, New York, United States overlooking Lake Champlain. The population was 1,362 at the 2000 census.

The Town of Westport is on the eastern border of the county and is south of Plattsburgh. Westport is inside the Adirondack Park.

Westport is the birthplace of the Adirondack chair.[1]

The Essex County Fair is held in the town.[2] The fairgrounds was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.[3]

History

Early history
In 1642, Jesuit missionary Isaac Jogues was tortured by Iroquois at Coles Bay. He survived and was eventually saved by merchants from New Amsterdam.

The town was founded by William Gilliland in 1764 who surveyed an area in the southern part of the town and was granted 2,300 acres; he also established the neighboring towns of Elizabethtown and Willsboro. Gilliland originally called his patent "Bessboro" after his wife. The original settlement, which may have supplied wood to Benedict Arnold's troops, was completely destroyed during the revolutionary war in connection with British General John Burgoyne's march from Canada to Saratoga. The first permanent settlement was in 1785.[4]

Incorporation
The Town of Westport was established in 1815 from part of the Town of Elizabethtown. The community of Westport set itself off from the town in 1907 by incorporation. The Village of Westport abandoned this status as an incorporated village in 1992.

Westport the resort
By the mid-nineteenth century, Westport was a fashionable resort town. Its social scene was regularly reported on in The New York Times and by the Boston press. Its popularity declined after the building of the interstate highway system in the 1950s.[5]

Westport is also home to Camp Dudley YMCA, the oldest summer camp in continuous operation in the United States, founded in 1885 by Sumner F. Dudley, moved to Westport in 1891. Westport is known as the ice fishing capital of Essex County.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 173.2 km² (66.9 mi²). 151.3 km² (58.4 mi²) of it is land and 21.9 km² (8.5 mi²) of it (12.65%) is water.

The east town line is formed by Lake Champlain and the border of Vermont. The town is inside the Adirondack Park.

New York State Route 9N, New York State Route 22, and New York State Route 44 are north-south highways in Westport. NY-9N and NY-22 become conjoined in Westport village. Interstate 87, the Northway, passes across the northwest part of Westport.

Birding
Several sites on the Lake Champlain Birding Trail are located in Westport[6][7]: and the
  • the Westport Boat Launch.

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there were 1,362 people, 593 households, and 381 families residing in the town. The population density was 9.0/km² (23.3/mi²). There were 887 housing units at an average density of 5.9/km² (15.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.65% White, 0.15% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.73% Asian, 0.15% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.03% of the population.

There were 593 households out of which 25.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.3% were married couples living together, 6.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the town the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 3.7% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 29.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $40,000, and the median income for a family was $49,917. Males had a median income of $31,042 versus $26,550 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,063. About 5.2% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.0% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.

Public transport

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Westport, operating its Adirondack daily in both directions between Montreal and New York City. A bus connection is available from Westport to Lake Placid, New York. The Amtrak station also houses The Depot Theatre.

Notable accidents/incidents
On August 28, 2006, at approximately 6:45 p.m. local time, a Greyhound bus traveling from New York City to Montreal overturned on the Adirondack Northway in Westport, New York, after suffering a blown tire, killing five and injuring 48. [8]

Notable residents

Some notable Westport, NY residents, past and present, include:

See also

Communities and locations in Westport

Inhabited locations

  • Wadhams (formerly "Wadhams Mills" and "The Falls") -- A hamlet in the northern part of the town on NY-22 at the junction of County Road 8 and 10. Wadhams has its own free public library, volunteer fire department, and dam which produces hydro-electricity for the town. All of these can be seen from standing on the bridge next to the free library. Wadhams is best known locally for its farmer's market and Merrick's Bread Store. The farmers market takes place in front of Merrick's Bread store. Wadhams is also known for its annual Strawberry Festival.
  • Westport -- The hamlet of Westport, was formerly a village between 1907 and 1992. The community is located on the shore of Lake Champlain on NY-9N at the junction of NY-22.

Geographical locations

  • Barber Point -- A projection into Lake Champlain south of Bluff Point.
  • Black River -- A stream forming part of the west town line.
  • Bluff Point -- A projection into Lake Champlain south of Westport village.
  • Cole Bay -- A small bay of Lake Champlain, south fo Northwest Bay.
  • Furnace Point -- A projection into North West Bay, north of Westport village.
  • Hoisington Brook -- A stream entering Lake Champlain at Westport village.
  • Moore Point -- A projection into Lake Champlain south of Barber Point.
  • Nichols Pond -- A small lake near the west town line.
  • North West Bay -- A bay of Lake Champlain by Westport village.
  • Split Roch Mountain -- An elevation at the boundary between Westport and the Town of Essex, known for its rattlesnake population.
  • Stacy Brook -- A stream entering Lake Champlain at Coles Bay.

References

1. ^ Adirondacks: The thrones of summer, by Tom Keyser, Albany Times Union, September 1, 2007.
2. ^ Essex County Fair
3. ^ Letter notifying the Westport Planning Board, reproduced on the website of the Town of Westport.
4. ^ A Walking Tour Guide to Westport, New York, on Lake Champlain by Jessica Roemiscer, Westport, NY: The Westport Chamber of Commerce and the Westport Historical Society, [1998]. Discussed in the section on section on Historical Background. (Pages not numbered.)
5. ^ A Walking Tour Guide to Westport, New York, on Lake Champlain by Jessica Roemiscer, Westport, NY: The Westport Chamber of Commerce and the Westport Historical Society, [1998]. Discussed in the section on the Westport Inn, which mentions the New York Times feature, "Social Notes from the Westport Inn.
6. ^ Lake Champlain Birding Trail
7. ^ High Peaks Audubon Society Trip Reports
8. ^ Greyhound bus bound for Montreal crashes, Globe & Mail, August 29, 2006.
9. ^ Self-Guided Walking Tour of Seventh Avenue, The Journal of San Diego History, Spring/Summer 1990, Volume 36, Number 2&3: "Miss Lee was close friends with both Mrs. Grover Clevelend and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, and often dined at the White House. President and Mrs. Roosevelt, Mrs. Cleveland, and other distinguished visitors were often guests at Miss Lee's Seventh Avenue home."
10. ^ Ross Sterling Turner bio on Museum of Fine Arts, Boston store's website.

Further reading

  • A Walking Tour Guide to Westport, New York, on Lake Champlain by Jessica Roemiscer, Westport, NY: The Westport Chamber of Commerce and the Westport Historical Society, 1982, 1989, 1998.
  • A View of Westport, NY on Lake Champlain, 1902—1972 by Raymond D. Clark, Elizabethtown, NY 1972.
  • Bessboro: A History of Westport, Essex County, New York by Caroline Halstead Royce, Westport, NY 1902.
  • Bessboro Beginnings by Carlin Walker, Westport, NY 1988http://www.westportland.com/history_property.html.
  • Personal names: A supplement to the index in Bessboro, a history of Westport, Essex Co., N.Y. by Caroline Halstead Royce
  • Glenn's History of the Adirondack's, a multi-volume series by Morris F. Glenn

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