Keeseville is located in the northeast corner of New York State. The Village of Keeseville and surrounding areas are divided by the AuSable River. It is unique because it is situated in two counties (Essex and Clinton) with the river running directly through the center. North of the river and north of the village is the Town of AuSable in Clinton County. South of the river and south of the village is the Town of Chesterfield in Essex County.
The village was founded in the early 1800s but was not incorporated until 1878. The citizens of the community voted on October 22, 2013 to dissolve the incorporation which became effective December 31, 2014. It is still called “Keeseville” but not the “Village of Keeseville.” It is now legally under the Town of AuSable and the Town of Chesterfield.
The village was settled because of the hydro-mechanical power generated from the AuSable River for manufacturing purposes. Its early industries included paper and iron manufacturing, lumber related industries (e.g. furniture making), clothing mills and spin off Businesses. Due to its close proximity to Lake Champlain and its location in the Adirondack Mountains it became a center for the tourist industries with a railroad running from New York City to Montreal, Canada and ferry boats running from Burlington, VT. to Port Kent, NY via Lake Champlain. A spur was added to the railroad to bring tourist and goods to and from Keeseville.
Anderson Falls Heritage Society was organized in 1980 and received its Absolute Charter in 1998. The Anderson Falls Heritage Museum first opened its doors to the public in 1984, located in the Keeseville Civic Center. It remained there until 2010 and re-opened its doors at its new location, 96 Clinton Street, Keeseville, New York, with a Grand Opening held on September 22, 2012. Anderson Falls Heritage Society received its 501c-3 designation in the Spring of 2011.
A grassroots effort is currently underway to combine all community groups in the Towns of AuSable and Chesterfield as well as others in Essex and Clinton County to once and for all save Keeseville’s historic bridges—the “Upper Bridge”, the “Swing Bridge” (or “Walking Bridge”), and the Old State Road bridge at AuSable Chasm.
Save Keeseville’s Historic Bridges facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Keesevillehistoricbridges/
Online Petition (to be shared at town meetings): https://www.change.org/p/clinton-county-save-keeseville-s-historic-bridges?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_23637310_en-US%3A3&recruiter=1134068391&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=tap_basic_share
For a pamphlet from Adirondack Architectural Heritage which provides a self-guided walking tour of Keeseville, click here.
For a map of historic markers funded by the Pomeroy Foundation, click here.
For a brief video biography of Dr. Georgia Harkness, click here.
To see the trailer for a documentary on the Keeseville, AuSable Chasm & Lake Champlain Railroad (the “Peanut” railroad), click here.
To go to the web site for the North Star Underground Railroad Museum, click here.
To view the video of Dr. Gordon Pollard’s presentation, “The Iron Industry Heritage of Clintonville, NY”, click here.