Cape Vincent

Warren Settlement

St. Lawrence Settlement

First Grist Mill


Warren Settlement was a wilderness in 1825, when Shepherd Warren and his brothers James and Asa began a clearing. Very soon they were joined by Edwin Tuttle, and the place was often known as Tuttle and Warner neighborhood. William Johnson was also one of the first settlers. Johnson took the place of one Wheeler. When Joel Torrey moved into the settlement, in 1831, there were only four families, and no laid-out road, except one used by the lumbermen. At this date nearly all the white-oak had been cut, and between 1832 and 1834 Joel Torrey, James and Christopher Irving took but the pine. The Irvings were thus early settlers. Of the original pioneers only Redolphus Cook, Ira Stewart, and Shepherd Warren were left in the present school district of that neighborhood. John Howard came in 1832; after him, John F. Torry, Charles Linnell, Simeon Adams, Samuel Linnell, Thomas Tarbell, Harry Kilbourn, and Rufas Linnell.

On the 18th of June, 1843, was formed the Union Burial Ground Society. The trustees were Levi Torrey, Daniel Cromwell, Erastus Warren, Samuel Linnell, Jr., J. A. Williams, and Abram Whitcomb. Levi Torrey was made president, and Dr. Dyer E. Pierce is now in that office.

The first school-house was built in 1833, of hewn pine logs, and stood on the west corner of the road, opposite the present building. The first teacher was Phebe Lightle. (Jefferson County History, by L. H. Everts, 1878 - Transcribed by Holice B.Young. Original HTML by Debbie Axtmantop


The St. Lawrence region was occupied still later than 1825, when Stephen Johnson came from Depauville and opened the first store. Forty-five years ago there were not half a dozen cabins where the village of St. Lawrence now stands. A Miss Lawrence, of New York, owned a large tract of territory in this neighborhood, and when the postoffice was established, in 1848, Lawrenceville was sent on to Washington as an appropriate name. It was given in remembrance of this lady. But it was found that another office in the State bore the same title, and the Post-Office Department therefore changed Lawrenceville to St. Lawrence, which the inhabitants allowed to remain. The village was called St. Oars' Corners at first, then Rogers Corners, because James Rogers built the first tavern. Afterwards Gotham Corners, and, finally Crane's Corners, till the establishment of the mail-route. The following person were among the early settlers: Lewis St. Oars, M. Gardinier, Hiram Britton, John Potter, John Minard, Jacob St. Oars, Silas Mosier, Eli Wethey, Horatio Humphrey, Hamilton C. Wallace, Samuel Dillon, Jerome Wethey, Daniel Corso, Charles Cummins, Dyer Pierce, Curtis, Wheeler, Campbell, and Carpenter. (Jefferson County History, by L. H. Everts, 1878 - Transcribed by Holice B.Young. Original HTML by Debbie Axtmantop


A flour- and grain-mill was of prime consequence to the settlers, and one of the first things looked after. John B. Esselstyn once carried a bushel of corn on his back to Chaumont, had it ground, and brought the meal home in the same manner. This was not an uncommon feat when the road would not permit a trip with a horse. The first mill in Cape Vincent was built on Kont's Creek. Negotiations were begun for a site as early as 1803. In a letter written to Mr. R. M. Esselstyn by Mr. Le Ray, he was offered a "mill-seat and twenty-five acres" of land at four dollars per acre, unless during the year of erecting the mill a town should spring up around it, added Le Ray, I should feel "at liberty to break the present bargain." A mill was not built so early as this year or the next. The Esselstyn brothers and Henry Ainsworth were the only merchants here for many of the first years. Goods brought from New York in a month, so late as 1820, made a quick passage. Sometimes Mr. Esselstyn would go in a lumber-wagon to Hudson, his wife accompanying him, and bring home such merchandise as had been transported for him to that point on a sloop from the metropolis. During one of these overland trips he carried a heavy bag of ? under some straw on the bottom of his wagon. Whenever he stopped for the night he would carelessly throw his harness over the straw and bag,--either to disarm suspicion or else to teach our generation that the former times were better then these. On another occasion he wrote home of his splendid ride on the "Clermont" of Robert Fulton (140 feet keel and 16 1/2 feet beam), the first steam-packet that ever made a successful trip in the universe. This boat, wrote Mr. Esselstyn, with enthusiasm, ran at the marvelous speed of four miles an hour directly against the wind. And it was marvelous in contrast with those trips by the Hudson river sloops, when passengers spend a whole day walking along the shore and picking berries to while away the time till the wind was favorable. (Jefferson County History, by L. H. Everts, 1878 - Transcribed by Holice B.Young. Original HTML by Debbie Axtmantop


© Kevin Subra.   This site was begun September 7, 2000 in order to encourage interest in the history and ancestry of Cape Vincent. Thank you for visiting! E-mail the webmaster, or visit his Subra Family website which he is developing to help his family get to know THEIR history!

Thanks to Holice B. Young and Debbie Axtman for their previous efforts in launching this project!


This nonprofit research site is a USGenNet CertifiedSafe-Site™ and affiliate of the American Local History Network, Inc. (ALHN). Web hosting is generously provided by USGenNet, a nonprofit, tax-exempt public benefit corporation. This site makes no claim to the copyrights of individual submitters, and is in full compliance with USGenNet's Conditions of Use.