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Horicon, NY

 

 

Imagine Horicon at 25 cents an acre!!!  In the late 1700’s, Moses Stickney invested in Horicon and purchased most of the land AND the water rights that later became Horicon.   He was hoping to make his fortune in the lumbering business.  Stickney created the first mill pond, and built the first sawmill and grist mill in the area.  He built hotels, but with the thought of housing his workers more than tourist at that time.    He later sold much of his holdings to his nephew, Judson Barton. 

On March 29, 1838 the town incorporated with these lands plus portions of Bolton and Hague.    The Barton family owned most of the town.   The general store was the town’s hub with events of meetings, dances, post office and a community room upstairs.  It is said they had a donkey basketball game in the community room.  One can only imagine the donkeys trying to navigate the narrow stairs!  This general store, unfortunately burned in 2006 (ironically by an arsonist), and many of the original records were destroyed.   Luckily the family kept excellent records which were passed down to descendents, so Horicon can continue to enjoy. 

In the mid 1800’s the town included several  hamlets with their own schools (Adirondack, Bartonville, South Horicon, and Hayesburg).    Tanneries supported many families, and boarding houses and taverns were accordingly built.  During the war, Horicon proudly provide more men for the cause (in portion) than any other town in NY.    By the late 1880’s, another major industry developed as tourist arrived.  Influential visitors, like Teddy Roosevelt, enjoyed weeks of fishing on the lake.  Hotels sprang up and the shoreline became dotted with homes.   In the early 1900’s, many summer camps for children were built.   Some started out as tents mounted on wooden platforms, to offer the true Adirondack experience.   Camp Redwing and Sascatuan brought in over 100 campers. 

The community was very focused on community.   For example, a local summer resident Emily Hienzelman, donated 150 books for the development of the first town library.  All residents donated books, and raised funds for the library.  From the words of a past Historian, Miss. Helen Persons, expresses the community “Horicon is off the pathway of great historical events, but its development through the spirit and help of her people is a fine example of community life.”

 The first school (Mill Brook) was built in 1852 and is still standing at 625 Johnson Road.  The Adirondack school was built in the early 1900’s and looks the same as it did many years ago.  Later they built a larger school with two classrooms (yes, two), and indoor toilets.  We’ve come a long way for the children with the North Warren Central School.