(What's on this website.)|
E-Z Inquiry Form
April 1, 1998: Historic public meeting of the Town of Jay Board at the Landmark Schawbaum/Southmayd Homestead.
CLICK & GO.(On this page.) Historic Town kicks off its bicentennial bash on Tuesday." It's so good we still have Southmayd House. This is history we have to save and cherish."--Mary Wallace Happy Birthday to the Town of Jay, 200 years old on the first of April! Photo Captions for this page. Text & Photo Credits for this page. More About Jay & The Covered Bridge. More pages in An Adirondack Miscellany: Newspaper reports, Magazine articles and Book notices. From my mailbag: "a lot of great information on The Adirondacks." Are you in this picture?
When the Town Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, it won't be business as usual.
Instead leaders will be reenacting part of Jay's past, and at the same time, officially kicking off the town's bicentennial celebration. On April 1, 1798, the first meeting in Jay was held at the Southmayd home. [See Historic Background: Southmayd Stone House.]
The next year, the community became one of Essex County's four original towns, taking its name from New York Gov. John Jay.
On Tuesday, Town Historian Mary Wallace will introduce the current board, lead the pledge of allegiance and offer a prayer.
Early Wars. Jay has a storied past. During the War of 1812, soldiers trained on the Village Green, stored their muskets at the First Baptist Church.
That church is also celebrating its 200 anniversary, formed Nov. 16, 1798.
Modern Times. A recent controversial topic--sure to be recorded in the town's history--is the Jay Covered Bridge. [See Natives and Outsiders at the Jay Covered Bridge.] The bridge was built in 1856, covered and finished 1857.
Last year, the bridge was taken down after state engineers ruled it unsafe. A Navy Bailey bridge has temporarily replaced the old span.
Coming up. Here are some bicentennial events the community can look forward to.
The American Legion will hold a memorial for veterans at the Village Green. Also a Town Picnic is planned.
On July 4, the Fire Department will set up a town gathering. [Parade at Noon, a fair with games and fireworks.] Wallace will have a booth to showcase all the artifacts she has, including old eyeglasses, pocketbooks, photographs and books.
On July 5, a walking tour of AuSable Forks, Jay and Upper Jay will be held.
Six days later, a strawberry social is planned at the Village Green.
July and August, school kids will learn how the Indians lived and they'll build teepees. [Note 3/31/09: That's teaching the kids wrong! Tepees were for the nomadic prairie Indians. Northcountry Indians lived in longhouses or lodges made of wood.
"It's so good we still have Southmayd House. This is history we have to save and cherish."--Mary Wallace April 3, 1998 Plattsburgh Republican
Maurice Southmayd's great-great-great-grandfather built what is now the historic stone Southmayd House in Jay.
It was 1829, and a similar stone mansion was built up the road in 1830. "In 1946, that house was for sale for $12,000, with 1,000 acres of land," Maurice Southmayd said. "But I didn't have $12,000."
On Wednesday, residents of the Town of Jay gathered at Southmayd House to celebrate the April 1, 1798 founding of the town.
The Southmayd family was among the town's first settlers, coming here from Salem. Massachusetts. John Southmayd was commissioner and poormaster in 1798.
Essex County Board of Supervisors Charwoman Teresa Sayward of Willsboro was on hand at Wednesday's ceremony to present maps and historic documents to Jay Town Supervisor Thomas Douglas.
In 1798, the residents of Mallory's Bush, as the area was called then, petitioned the State Legislature to create Jay out of Willsborough.
Everyone who had to agree agreed, and on April 1, 1798, the first Jay town meeting was held at John Southmayd's home on the Jay-Upper Road. "We've come a long way in 200 years," Wallace said.
Maurice Southmayd grew up in Jay, but he was born in Lake Placid because his parents had moved there to work. They moved back to Jay in 1932, and his daughter, Connie, was later born in Southmayd House.
"My father was born here in 1894," Maurice Southmayd said.
"My family got a grant from the queen (of England) in the 1600's to come to America. That's how we got here."
Jay is full of history. It has the Jay Covered Bridge, buiult in 1856, now the last covered bridge in the Adirondacks.
The First Baptist Chuch of Jay dates from Nov. 16, 1798, and is also celebrating its 200th anniversary. The old Methodist Church was built in 1834 from clay mined out of the banks near Southmayd House. It now houses the offices of Adirondack Life Magazine.
And although the Southmayd family doesn't live in the Southmayd House any longer, it's been restored as close as possible to its original 19th-century condition.
"It's so good we still have Southmayd House," said Wallace.
"This is history we have to save and cherish."
Happy Birthday to the Town of Jay, 200 years old on the first of April! March 13, 1998 Lake Placid News
The public is invited to attend a special celebration at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 1, at the old Southmayd home. A re-enactment of the first town meeting will be presented.
John Southmayd, who built the federal style stone house where the anniversary celebration will take place, was a commodore on Lake Champlain in the War of 1812. Southmayd was a wealthy man who made his money from iron ore mining in the nearby Arnold Hill ore beds, which he owned, according to Martin Schwabaum, the current proprietor of the house.
Schwabaum has had the house restored as much as possible to its original state. He asks that Jay birthday guests do not use the door facing Route 9N, but instead turn down Stonehouse Road and turn left to come in "behind" the house. ([As with many old houses] The front of the house actually faces away from [the road] 9N).
Photos and Text on This Page [except for text enclosed in [[double brackets]] ] are Reproduced With the Kind Permission of the
Lake Placid News, P.O. Box 111, Lake Placid, NY 12946.
Press Republican P.O. Box 459, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, 800/288-7313.
Subscribe to one of our Home Town newspapers and keep up with Northcountry Events on your own.
Subject: Compliments & thanks for your Activities & Resources page :)
From: "Bethany "
Date: Fri, 27 May 2011 12:42:04 -0400
There was a page on the sitewww.4peaks.com that I really enjoyed (http://www.4peaks.com/flinkadk.htm), so I wanted to say great job & thank you!! My family loves taking vacations, so I'm always looking for new & fun information & ideas online!
Secondly, & I hope this doesn't seem rude, but I also wanted to make a suggestion for your page. You've compiled a lot of great material, but I wanted to suggest the addition of another great page that I found online recently: http://attractions.uptake.com/blog/guide-to-the-adirondacks-13352.html . It has a lot of great information on The Adirondacks so it might be a really helpful/useful addition to your page!
Subject: Re: Compliments & thanks for your Activities & Resources page :)
From: "Martin (Your Adirondack Guide)"
Date: Sat, 28 May 2011 07:54:39 -0400
To: "Bethany "
Thanks for your email and for liking my webpage and finding it useful and for suggesting http://attractions.uptake.com/blog/guide-to-the-adirondacks-13352.html I appreciate it.
That page does make good reading, but like a lot of blogs out there is really just second hand information lifted from other pages on the internet, maybe entertaining, but not researched or responsible in a sense.
I noted particularly the statement about settlers.
"It was in the 1800s that both loggers and tourists began to visit the area." Bethany--The loggers here in the 1800's were born here! They lived and farmed on my Fourpeaks eight homesites you can come and visit today. Tourists didn't start coming up till Murray wrote his book and with the advent of the steamboat and rail access. But not the loggers and miners. They were my neighbors (now deceased).
I left a comment on the page.
"the area was left alone and viewed as a hostile wilderness until the 19th Century." Not true. Settlers from New England moved here in the 1700's. Iron was discovered above AuSable Forks early on and by the Revolutionary War Mr. Washington's troops bore muskets and iron shot from those mines, There was enough development by 1798 to form town governments. See http://4peaks.com/fk3shs.htm and related pages.
Come and visit. I'll help make it affordable and fun.