History of Schuyler County
Historic Buildings in Schuyler County
- During the Revolutionary War, when General John Sullivan and his army moved through the Finger Lakes region in 1779, most resident Indians fled to the British at Fort Niagara, Canada where they had been promised safety and care
- Small groups remained outside the perimeter of the Army’s march which was ordered by George Washington as a move to deprive the British of support provided by their Indian allies. Villages and crops were destroyed
- After the war, some of the veterans of the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition returned to the region to settle the lands
- Earliest permanent settlers arrived in the towns of:
- Montour in 1788
- Hector in 1790
- Dix in 1797
- Cayuta, Reading and Tyrone in 1798
- Catharine in 1799 and
- Orange in 1802
- As known today, Schuyler’s eight towns were formed as follows:
- Catharine in 1798
- Hector in 1802
- Reading in 1806
- Tyrone in 1822
- Cayuta in 1824
- Dix in 1835
- Orange in 1836 and
- Montour, the last defined geographically, in 1860, six years after the county was established
- Watkins Glen was officially declared the county seat in 1877 after a prolonged legal struggle with Montour Falls for the designation
A founding father of today’s Montour Falls, Cook’s visions are still evident today, especially in the downtown structures.
John Magee was a poor, uneducated young man with a lot of ambition, in an undeveloped frontier region.
Charles Deland Clawson
Dr. Charles Deland Clawson was one of Schuyler County’s pioneer doctors. He operated the Bethesda Sanitarium in Montour Falls for 40 years.
Queen Catharine Montour
There are varying accounts of her life and the myths and legends that have surrounded the influential “Queen.”
Jane Arminda Delano
Twenty years of innovative nursing had given Miss Delano an understanding of the country’s need for more trained nurses.
David Bennett Hill
A politician who gained a national reputation, David B. Hill was born in Havana, now Montour Falls. He served as New York’s governor from 1885-1891.
By 1842, Dr. Watkins, widely held as the founder of Watkins Glen, had established a strong community.
Born in Scotland, artist James Hope fought in the Civil War and was known for his landscapes of the Watkins Glen gorge.
James A. Shepard
William H. Shepard Sr. purchased a small foundry in Havana, now Montour Falls, in 1878. By 1880 he and his two sons, William Jr. and James, started their own company known as William H. Shepard & Sons. James developed gearing systems and drive designs that are still in use today.
Schuyler County History Books Online
Stories From Schuyler County History