PLATTSBURGH was first recognized as a town April 4, 1785. A part of Peru was taken off in 1792, Beekmantown
in 1820, Saranac in 1824, and Schuyler Falls in 1848. It lies upon Lake Champlain, a little south of the east border
of the county, and includes Valcour and Crab Islands. These islands are memorable, the first for the naval engagement
which took place near it during the Revolution. The remains of the Schooner Royal Savage, sunk at that time may
still be seen. Crab Island, for its being the burial place of the sailors and marines killed in the naval battle
of Sept. 11. 1814. The surface of the town is level and gently undulating in the east, and broken and hilly in
the west. It is principally drained by the Saranac and its branches. This river is the dividing line on the south
between this town and Schuyler Falls. The soil in the east is a clayey loam, underlaid by Trenton limestone; in
the center, a sandy loam underlaid by Calceferous sandstone; and in the west, a light sand underlaid by Potsdam
sandstone. Cumberland Head is peninsula extending into the lake, and forming Cumberland Bay. Extensive Military
Works were begun here in 1814, but were abandoned upon the approach of the enemy. The State of Vermont presented
Com. MacDonough with a farm on this point, which is still owned by the descendants. Plattsburgh, upon Cumberland
Bay, at the mouth of the Saranac, was incorporated March 3, 1815. It has a safe and commodious harbor, and an excellent
waterpower, giving it facilities for a large amount of both commerce and manufactures. Besides the county buildings,
it contains a town hail, custom house-built in 1856, at a cost of $80,000, and contains rooms for the custom house,
post office and U. S. Court,-and the Plattsburgh Academy. A large amount of mercantile and manufacturing business
is carried on, there are also three first class Hotels. A destructive fire occurred on Bridge Street, on 17 Dec.,
1861. Upon a sandy plain, one mile south of the village, and ninety feet above the lake, are situated extensive
barracks belonging to the United States Government.
These buildings were commenced in 1838; and were originally designed to
enclose a space of 600 feet square.
Only a part of the design has been carried out. Troops were stationed here until 1846, when they were sent to join
the army in Mexico. The buildings are now used by the Clinton Co. Agricultural Society for its annual fairs. During
the fall and winter of 1861, the Macomb Regiment was recruited here under Capt. Lot Chamberlain. Cadyville, upon
the Saranac, Elsinore, one mile above Cadyville, and Salmon River (South Plattsburgh P. 0.) are small villages.
West Plattsburgh is a post office. The first settlement was made before the Revolution, by Chas. de Fredenburgh
and several associates, under royal grants. During the war, the settlers were driven off and the improvements were
destroyed. In 1785, a tract of seven miles square was granted to Zephaniah Platt and 32 associates who had bought
up military land warrants to that amount; Nathanie Platt was the first Surveyor and Agent for the proprietors.
The first three families who settled under this grant were those of Charles Platt, Chas. McCreedy and Kinner
Newcomb. The town has an area of 30,380 acres.