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Johnsburg Town

Johnsburg Town Hall is located at 219 Main Street, North Creek NY 12853; phone: 518-251-2421.

Beginnings [1]

Johnsburg was partitioned from the old town of Thurman on April 6, 1805. It received its name from John Thurman, energetic pioneer and original owner of much of the land, who made the first clearing on Elm Hill, one mile southeast of the site of Johnsburg Corners, about 1790. The same year he began to clear land on Beaver Brook, nearly a mile west of Elm Hill, and soon he erected a sawmill and gristmill at the falls. Settlers began to move in from England, Scotland, Ireland, and New England.

In 1794 Thurman opened a store and put up a distillery to create a market for the large quantities of rye which the newly cleared lands produced. In those days whisky was distilled in every town, and here a store, malt house, and kiln were built for distillation of grain. In 1795 Thurman operated a woolen factory which he soon changed into a cotton mill. As early as 1797 he established a calico printing works, one of the first in America.

In 1800 Thurman put into operation ash works and made large quantities of potash, which at that time and for thirty years after brought farmers most of their ready cash. They were paid one shilling a bushel for ashes, while potash brought from $2.00 to $3.50 per ton. In September 1807, Thurman was killed by a bull at Bolton Landing. So much was the old pioneer the life of his business that at his death all the establishments, except the sawmill and gristmill, closed forever.

  1. Writer's Program of the Works Progress Administration, Warren County, A History and Guide, American Guide Series, Federal Works Agency, Warren County Board of Supervisors, Glens Falls, 1942
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