Place:Bellmont, Allegany, New York, United States


Located inAllegany, New York, United States

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Bellmont is a town in Franklin County, New York, United States. The town is on the east border of the county and is southeast of Malone. The population was 1,434 at the 2010 census. The town is named after William Bell, a major landowner in the early history of the town.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Due to the slow development of northern New York state, a homestead act was passed by the legislature in 1822 to grant plots of land to settlers. The town had few settlers before that date.

The town of Bellmont was organized in 1833 from the town of Chateaugay. Additional land was attached to Bellmont from Chateaugay in 1838.

Early attempts to extract lumber from the forests met little success due to the high cost of transportation. Mining and smelting iron became a more successful activity until the deposits diminished.

William Bell, who came to Chateaugay Lake around 1783, sold to Samuel C. Drew, of Gilmanton, New Hampshire, who came to the area about 1816 and settled on the west shore of the Lower Lake. Although there were no regular settlers at that time there was a hunter's shanty near the site of the present Banner House, and Drew lived in the shanty while clearing the land and building on the west shore.

The first child born to parents of the Chateaugay Lake region was William Henry Drew, born in 1819.

Soon a large number of people followed the Drews from Gilmanton and took up land around the Lower Lake. Smith Bunker located on Bunker Hill about 1820 and gave it his name. Elias Beman, whose brother was a Revolutionary soldier in the army of General Washington, and Enoch Merrill settled on the east side of Bunker Hill, and Paul, his brother, on the west side of the Lake.

Jonathan Bellows, from South Charlestown, New Hampshire, settled here about 1820, being a direct descendent of John Bellows who was registered on the ship Hopewell from London in 1635.

At the close of the Papineau Rebellion in 1837, a group of English officers summered with Mr. Bellows on the Lower Lake, marking the probable beginning of the "summer resort" phase of this region. Bellows had a hotel called the Lake House, which by that time had grown to substantial proportions. Among those who came here for recreation purposes were A. F. Tait and Chester Harding, the artists. Here Tait had a studio and painted works such as Arguing the Point, in which there is an excellent portrait of Jonathan Bellows. Many of these pictures were lithographed by Currier and Ives. Among other famous guests were Dr. Bethums, a cousin of James Russell Lowell, and Mr. Ashman, chairman of the convention which nominated Abraham Lincoln.

In 1892, the Lake House was purchased by J. S. Kirby who changed the name to "Banner House". Following his death the place was operated by F. W. Adams.

The first sawmill was built by Gates Hoit in 1828 at the outlet of the lower lake near the present dam. The mill was soon purchased by John B. Jackson, who later erected a larger mill on the west shore.

In 1874, Pope, William & Company built a forge at what was then Moffits. The iron ore was brought down from Lyon Mountain mostly by barges and was of unusual quality. Most of it went into the manufacture of Bessemer steel and was much sought after by steel manufacturers. In 1880 a new company was formed with a capital of $1,500,000. They enlarged the forge to sixteen fires, making the largest "Catalan" forge in the world. This forge and its sixteen fires consumed annually 37,500 cords of wood, which made 1,500,000 bushels of charcoal. This forge operation lasted until 1893.

Among other places where ore was found was one above the hotel owned by Lewis Bellows. He and Edgar Keeler, of Chateaugay, operated a mine back of the hotel for a year and took out about a thousand tons of ore. The mine was finally abandoned owing to the large amount of sulfur found in the ore.

Another mine was located on land owned by Alanson Roberts. He built a separator on Thurber Brook, where he separated some amount of ore. Later another separator was built near Lewis Bellows house, but finally both were abandoned. The shaft of the old Bellows mine still exists and is a point of interest to its present-day tourists.

Chateaugay Lake has always drawn those interested in fishing and hunting; the region abounded in speckled and rainbow trout as well as deer and bear. Among those who came to hunt or fish and built cottages on the lakes were Geraldine Farrar, the singer, as well as Jack Clifford and Evelyn Nesbitt Thaw. Seth Thomas of clock fame built a beautiful cottage with a high tower containing a huge three-sided clock, which could be seen for miles around.

During the early days, long before the advent of automobiles, there was a stage route from Chateaugay to the Banner House landing. From here a small steamer— first the Adirondack and later the Emma— made regular trips up through the Narrows and around the Upper Lake, stopping at every dock to deliver mail and supplies. The arrival of this little steamer was the high spot in the day's activities at all the camps. People felt a personal responsibility in meeting the boat and getting the latest news. The stage that came from Chateaugay was also an "institution", and Pratt Hill, the driver, was well known throughout the area.

Soon the coming of private launches in large numbers made the regular streamer trips unnecessary, and they were abandoned. Most of the campers then kept boats or launches at the M. S. Bellows boat shop and from there went the rest of the way by water. Soon roads began to improve and again a change in the matter of boats. Campers now took the new road up along the lakeshore and stopped near their camps. This made the need for launches much less, and they soon dwindled in number.

Cottages have so increased that there is almost no unoccupied space on the east side of the lower lake, and shorefront values climb higher and higher each year.

The First Union Protestant Church of Mountain View was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

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