• Sunset on the Point
  • Sailing on the Bay
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  • Lazy River
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  • Noblewood Lodge
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  • Founded 1765
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Posting #1

The Cold war comes to Willsboro with the Atlas F Missile.

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Located in northern New York State on the historic Boquet River and beautiful Lake Champlain just at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains. Willsboro has endured the tumultuous begininnings of our nation. Partake in our legacy - for a visit or for a lifetime.

History of the Town

Willsboro Is the earliest European settlement north of Crown Point and south of Canada. William Gilliland founded the town in June of 1765 and his activities decided the early development of the entire area. The town of Willsboro was formed from part of the territory of Crown Point on March 7 of 1799. Originally over 900 square miles, Willsboro encompassed what are today the towns of Essex, Lewis, Chesterfield, Jay, Wilmington, St. Armond, North Elba and parts of Peru and Keene. The area was once described as "a howling wilderness, more than 100 miles removed from any Christian settlement".

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Willsboro was significant as the site of a major British military encampment, several small battles or skirmishes and later a prospering "mill town". Iron ore was used in local forges to prepare anchors for American warships, mill irons and consumer goods. The railroad arrived in 1875 and in 1884 the Champlain Fiber Company commenced operations making paper pulp until 1965. Numerous farms prospered to the south of town and on Willsboro Point. Farming and the famous Bluestone Quarries helped support a thriving local economy. In addition to Willsboro's colorful military and industrial past, Lake Champlain, Willsboro Bay and the Boquet River make Willsboro a "longtime favorite resort for pleasure and recreation seekers".

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General Information:   Town of Willsboro, NY

Origin: First settled in 1765. The oldest lake town in Essex County established in 1799.

Location: Northeastern New York, at the mouth of the Boquet River on the shores of Lake Champlain.

Elevation: Average 100' above sea level at the shores of Lake Champlain to its highest of 1,285' at the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain.

Climate: Average coldest month - January 19° F.   Average warmest month - July 70° F

Population: 2000 Census Town: 1,903 County: 38,851

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Government

Willsboro's government is comprised of a Town Supervisor and four Council Members, an elected Town Clerk, DPW Superintendent, two Town Justices, Codes Officer, a Planning Board and a Zoning Board of Appeals.

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Tourism & Recreation

The four seasons offer a great mix of activities in Willsboro throughout the year. Golf, fishing, hunting, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, swimming, tennis, snowmobiling, boating, hiking, as well as historic sight-seeing are all available in Willsboro. A wide variety of accommodations such as a lakefront motel with dockage, unique Bed and Breakfasts, cabins on Long Pond or private camps located on Lake Champlain and Willsboro Bay. Most are available by the day, week or season. Further information can be obtained by visiting Willsboro's new Visitor's Interpretive Center (VIC) on Main Street at the site of the former 1830's school house and Willsboro's first firehouse.

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Things To See & Do

In addition to the natural beauty, historic sites and architecture, Willsboro offers a fabulous par 35, 9 hole golf course open to the public. If fishing or boating is more to your liking, Willsboro has a NYS Boat Launch with a paved parking lot, restrooms, and a pump-out station. Willsboro Bay is classified as a safe harbor on Lake Champlain Navigational Maps. The two full service marinas on Willsboro Bay also offer seasonal lakefront dining. In the winter, the state boat launch offers access to some of the best ice fishing in the north county. Willsboro boasts several professional hunting and fishing guides on both Lake Champlain and Long Pond. A must see is the fish-way/ladder at the falls of the Boquet River. A viewing window affords the occasional spotting of migrating Salmon.

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Noblewood Park, at the confluence of the Lake Champlain and the mouth of the Boquet River, offers a unique unspoiled natural experience. Noblewood Beach, part of the park, is a prime sandy beach that encompasses over a mile of shoreline on both the River and the Lake. The Willsboro Town Beach is operated daily from July 1 until Labor Day with life guards and park rangers on duty. Nature trails abound for bird watching or just a leisurely walk in the woods. Noblewood Park is accessible by auto or boat. The Park is also available throughout the winter months for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

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The Town maintains tennis courts on the Essex Road for public use. In addition, Foley Park Includes a public ice rink for skating, rollerblading or hockey and a snow-sledding hill. The hill and ice rink are both illuminated until 11PM in the evening for wintertime enjoyment. A short hike up Rattlesnake Mountain (no snakes) will afford you a magnificent view of Willsboro, Willsboro Bay, Willsboro Point, as well as the Champlain Valley and the Green Mountains of Vermont. The hike is doubly beautiful during fall foliage season.

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Historic Sites

Willsboro enjoys a colorful historic past resulting in five National Register sites. Two of these are primarily open to the public; The Adsit Log Cabin on Willsboro Point, known to be one of the oldest surviving log cabins in the country and the Congregational Church over looking the downtown. Sites of importance include the ghost of a structure known as the "Phoenix Grist Mill" which stands today as a monument to Willsboro's industrial and agricultural past. Other places depicting Willsboro's history includes the Willsboro Heritage Center & Museum located In the "old" Essex County Champlain National Bank building downtown. The building has been restored and is used as the headquarters for the local historical society and as a repository of historic artifacts and archives. Ironically, the building Is located near the site of the infamous Burgoyne Encampment. Another interactive historic site is the 1812 Homestead and Farm located north of town. The Homestead operates a "living" museum depicting the way life was in the mid 19th century.

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Highlights

Families thrive in Willsboro. Small town honesty and friendliness are big reasons people visit and decide to stay. The quality of life and safety offered by this rural community is unsurpassed.

Annual Events

Memorial Day (observed), Founder's Day-June 8th, Independence Day (July 4th ) celebration, Annual Craft Fair-last Saturday of June

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Places of Worship

Willsboro hosts several churches and places of worship including St. Phillip's Catholic Church, Willsboro United Methodist Church, Reber United Methodist Church and the Congregational United Church of Christ as well as an Episcopal Church nearby.

 

Health Services

The Smith House Health Care Center is a facility offering quality out­ patient care and diagnostic services. The Center is staffed by Board Certified Doctors and a professional support team. It is located near the Senior Citizen Housing complex which opened in 1996. The Smith House serves Willsboro as well as the surrounding communities.

Community Services

Willsboro has a very dedicated volunteer fire department and rescue squad. The Department of Public Works is a function of the town government and is responsible for the roads, water, sewer, public safety, etc. The youth commission is operated by the town and is responsible for feeder sports programs, the summer youth program and the youth nutrition program. The United States Post Office is located at the southeast side of Town. In addition to the downtown area, the main shopping area runs the full length of the town. The Paine Memorial Free Library is located downtown and operates regular hours and offers special programs year-round. The Champlain National Bank and town hall are located across the street from one another on the north side of town.

School

Public Schools

Willsboro School District built and opened a new central school in 2001. The school is K through 12 with approximately four hundred students. The school district includes the towns of Willsboro and Essex.

Media

One private cable operator providing access to both local and national programming. The same company also provides dial-up and cable internet access.

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Transportation

No local public transportation is available. Amtrak is available via Westport to the south and Port Kent to the North. Lake Champlain Transportation provides yearly ferry service to Vermont.

Utilities

Electricity is provided by New York State Electr ic and Gas (NYSEG). The local phone service is provided by Verizon. Cell Phone Service is provided by the national companies but service Is limited in areas. There is no Natural Gas available at this time. Water and sewer are provided by the municipality in the immediate area of the town.

Important phone numbers

Town Hall 518-963 -8668, Town Garage 518-963-4556, Fire Department and rescue squad 911, Emergency Services 911, State Police 911. Smith House Health care Center 518-963- 4275, Willsboro Central School 518-963 -4456.


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