Parishville (HM1L1I)

Location: Potsdam, NY 13676 St. Lawrence County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 37.699', W 74° 48.838'

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Powered by the West Branch of the St. Regis River

David Parish, a wealthy European merchant, purchased a 200,000 acre tract of wilderness here on speculation in 1808. A town would soon be formed here to take advantage of the power of the St. Regis, and eventually given the name of "Parishville." Parishville's industry saw its peak in the mid to late 19th century. A combination of factors led to the end of this era, including a series of disasterous fires, and the absence of the railroad in Parishville. Still, the river continues to be an important factor in the life of this small town, as the focus turned to hydropower and water recreation. Log Transport. A log drive on the West Branch of the St. Regis River. The men directing the logs, known as "Log Drivers" or "River Pigs," are seen with their pike poles or peaveys, which were long poles with fixed metal points and hooks. Water Powered Industries. One of the many timber-related factories and mills beyond the Gorge. This sawmill was owned by Simeon Clark and his son Pliny, who owned many water powered factories in Parishville, working local lumber. Views of the factories along the West Branch of the St. Regis River. There were 14 factories/mills beyond the Gorge in the early history of Parishville, including rake factories, butter tub factories, starch factories, grist mills, cabinet shops and distilleries. Some items produced by Parishville Mills. Sugar tub. Rake. Grain Shovel. Birdseye View of Parishville c1870. An artist's conception of the mill complex as it might have looked from the north. The town was built around the river and its potential for industrial power. Hydropower & Recreation. Recreational boaters enjoy the flatwater and rapids above the dam. Aerial Photo circa 1945. The Parishville hydropower facility was developed and built in 1925. Water falls a total of 143 feet in elevation through a 2,545 foot metal pipeline which drives a 2.5 megawatt generator capable of generating enough electricity to power 1,200 homes for a year. Together, the Parishville and Allen Falls projects generate over 21,400,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy per year. 1800-1870 David Parish's plans for development initially focused on clearing roads and making land available for farming, which began in 1809, but his long term plans focused on the potential for industry along the West Branch of the St. Regis River. By 1811, a saw mill and a grist mill were both erected, and powered by the river. Over the next several decades, a dozen more factories were established along the river, bringing in a sizeable population of settlers and their families. 1870-1925 By the end of the 19th century, the industrial era in Parishville was coming to an end. The absence of the railroad put Parishville at a disadvantage to other areas of St. Lawrence County that did have available rail transport. A series of fires, beginning with the devastating fire of July 20, 1897, left the industrial section of Parishville in a state of destruction after which many factories and mills were never rebuilt. 1925-present The use of the river in the last 100 years has taken quite a shift from the days of industry. The introduction of the automobile made it much easier for the working residents of Parishville to seek employment in neighboring towns, and the river was becoming more of a recreational treasure rather than a resource for industrial power. St. Lawrence County Utilities became the primary user of the river as a power source in Parishville when it built the dam and hydro station above the Gorge in 1925.
HM NumberHM1L1I
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, June 11th, 2015 at 2:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 514756 N 4941679
Decimal Degrees44.62831667, -74.81396667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 37.699', W 74° 48.838'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 37' 41.94" N, 74° 48' 50.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)315
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1764 NY-72, Potsdam NY 13676, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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