Place:Westport, Essex, New York, United States


Coordinates44.183°N 73.433°W
Located inEssex, New York, United States
Contained Places
Hillside Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

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

Westport is a town in Essex County, New York, United States overlooking Lake Champlain. The population was 1,312 at the 2010 census.

The town is on the eastern border of the county and is south of Plattsburgh and south of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Westport is inside the Adirondack Park.

Westport is the birthplace of the Adirondack chair.

The Essex County Fair is held in the town. The Essex County Fairgrounds was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.


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

In 1642, Jesuit missionary Isaac Jogues was tortured by Iroquois at Coles Bay. He survived and was eventually saved by merchants from New Amsterdam.

The town was founded by William Gilliland in 1764 who surveyed an area in the southern part of the town and was granted ; he also established the neighboring towns of Elizabethtown, named for his wife, and Willsboro. Gilliland originally called his patent "Bessboro" after his little daughter. The original settlement, which may have supplied wood to Benedict Arnold's troops, was completely destroyed during the American Revolutionary War in connection with British General John Burgoyne's march from Canada to Saratoga. The first permanent settlement was in 1785.


The town of Westport was established in 1815 from part of the town of Elizabethtown. The community of Westport in the center of town incorporated as a village in 1907. The community abandoned its status as an incorporated village on December 31, 1992.

Westport the resort

By the mid-nineteenth century, Westport was a fashionable resort town. Its social scene was regularly reported on in The New York Times and by the Boston press. Like many other East Coast resorts, its popularity gradually declined, starting in the 1930s, as first automobiles and then airplanes made possible a wider selection of vacation sites. Since the 1950s, however, Westport's lakeshore property has steadily increased in value. Although once most of the "summer people" stayed for weeks, now distinctions are not as clear: there are "year-round summer people" whose livelihood stems from outside Westport, weekenders whose principal residence is fairly close by (for example, Albany, which is two hours distant by car), and commuters to workplaces as distant as Plattsburgh, New York, or Middlebury, Vermont.

Westport is home to Camp Dudley, YMCA, the oldest summer camp in continuous operation in the United States, founded in 1885 by Sumner F. Dudley, who moved to Westport in 1891. Meadowmount, the summer school for string players founded by Ivan Galamian, is northwest of the center of town, in the town of Lewis. Westport is known as the ice fishing capital of Essex County.

Westport is home one of the only two professional theatres in the Adirondacks proper, the second being Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake. The Depot Theatre was founded in 1979, and operates out of the historic Amtrak railway station. The 136-seat, air-conditioned theatre hosts plays and musicals on its main stage during the summer months, as well as an annual gala.

The Camp Dudley Road Historic District, Champlain II Shipwreck, Essex County Fairgrounds, First Congregational and Presbyterian Society Church of Westport, Lake View Grange No. 970, and Vergennes canal boat are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Research Tips

External Links

  • Outstanding guide to Westport family history and genealogy resources (FamilySearch Research Wiki). Birth, marriage, and death records, town histories, cemeteries, churches, newspapers, libraries, and genealogical societies.

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