|Posted by peteklein on April 20, 2016 at 2:20 PM|
Hamilton County has a birthday party
By PETE KLEIN
LAKE PLEASANT—The residents of Hamilton County held a countywide birthday party on Tuesday, April 12, celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Hamilton County as a county.
Bells were rung at 11 a.m. throughout the county, the time when the state of New York granted provisional rights to the fledgling county by naming the new municipality after founding father Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury.
The hub for the celebration was on the steps at the Court House in Lake Pleasant and this got started around 10:30 a.m. when William Farber, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, introduced State Sen. Hugh Farley and Assemblyman Marc Butler to the crowd of about 50 who gathered to hear them speak.
Both Farley and Butler spoke of the uniqueness of the county and the fortitude of its residents, interspersing their comments with some historical facts they later expanded upon in legislative Proclamations they presented to Farber when the celebrations moved inside the Court House.
Following Farley and Butler was Aaron Weaver, president of the Historical Society of Lake Pleasant & Speculator, who was dressed in clothing similar to what a farmer in Hamilton County in the early 1800’s might wear, provided more historical information before the cold wind drove everyone inside to await the ringing of a large bell at 11 a.m., provided by the Lake Pleasant Central School and rung by Hamilton County Historian Dr. Eliza Jane Darling.
Then it was back inside the Court House for cake and other refreshments, and celebrations that will continue throughout the county over the summer and into autumn.
The proclamations bestowed upon the county by Farley and Butler are briefly summarized as follows. They will be on display at the Court House.
Butler noted the county was first served by a government formed by settlers who gathered at the family home of Moses Craig, founding the Town of Wells on April 1, 1805. The county would later be created from the 18,000 square miles of land partitioned from Montgomery County in 1806; and granted provisional rights to the fledgling county in 1816, naming the new municipality after founding father Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton County gained full stature as a county on April 22, 1837.
Butler’s proclamation further noted that much of the land in Hamilton County was purchased as part of the Totten and Crossfield Purchase and the Jessup Purchase. Brothers Edward and Ebenezer Jessup purchased large swaths of land above Albany, including the portion that covers parts of Hamilton County today.
Butler’s proclamation concluded by saying, “Whereas, the long and extensive history of Hamilton County and its people brings great pride to the state of New York; now, therefore, be it Proclaimed that as a duly-elected member of the Assembly of the State of New York, I celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of Hamilton County during its bicentennial year.”
Farley’s proclamation celebrated the fact that “For the past 200 years, Hamilton County has proudly stood as a close-knit, safe and vibrant community in the Adirondack Park region of northern New York State, the largest park in the contiguous United States.”
Referencing history, the Farley proclamation noted the county was formed from part of Montgomery County on April 12, 1816, as a provisional county and remained under the legislative control of Montgomery County until the late 1830’s because there were too few residents to form a government according to State Law.
It wasn’t until 1840 Hamilton County became an independent entity with the county seat at Sageville, present day Lake Pleasant.
The Farley proclamation noted that even after the county became an independent entity, it was threatened with dissolution through annexation to neighboring counties several times and as late as the 1930’s.
Farley’s proclamation concluded with, “Whereas Hamilton County has continued its steadfast commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all of its residents, ensuring a safe, peaceful and educational climate for individuals and families to thrive, now therefore be it Resolved, that this Legislative Body pauses to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Hamilton County to be celebrated on April, 12, 2016, in order to recognize the significant role the county plays in the life of the community of the State of New York.”
For more information about the history of Hamilton County and stay up to-date on celebrations planned for the months ahead, go to - http://www.hamiltoncountyhistorian.org/