Potsdam is a town located in St. Lawrence County, New York, United States. The town population was 17,029 at the 2010 census. The ZIP code is 13676. Potsdam is a cultural and educational hub of Northern New York. When SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University are both in session, the population increases by approximately 8,000 students. The town is named after the city of Potsdam in Germany. The Town of Potsdam also contains a village named Potsdam. Potsdam is centrally located within the county and is northeast of Canton, the county seat.
David Clarkson and Garret van Horn were early investors in the town, and white settlement began around 1803. The newcomers found Native Americans still residing in the town and in the fur trade.
The town was established in 1806 from part of the Town of Madrid. Potsdam is one of the original ten towns of St. Lawrence County.
The community of Potsdam set itself apart from the town in 1831 by incorporating as a village. The community of Raquetteville incorporated as the Village of Potsdam Junction (now Norwood) in 1871.