Essex County, New York

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Essex County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2000 census, the population was 38,851. Its name is from the English county of Essex. Its county seat is Elizabethtown. Along with Hamilton County, Essex is entirely within the Adirondack Park.



When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Essex County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York State as well as all of the present State of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766, by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont. On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Charlotte County, contained the eastern portion.

In 1784, the name "Charlotte County" was changed to Washington County to honor George Washington, the American Revolutionary War general and later President of the United States of America.

In 1788, Clinton County was split off from Washington County. This was a much larger area than the present Clinton County, including several other counties or county parts of the present New York State. (near Clunes)

Essex County was split from Clinton County in 1799.

Notable people, past and present

  • Vincent Colyer (1825-1888), was a successful American artist and a humanitarian who worked to help freed black slaves and Native Americans; he born in Bloomingdale.
  • Ben Goldwasser (1983- ), keyboardist and guitarist for rock/pop/electro band MGMT. He grew up in Westport.
  • James Renwick, Jr. (1818-1895), a successful Nineteenth-century architect, was born in Bloomingdale.
  • Johnny Podres (1932-2008), pitcher for Brooklyn Dodgers and 1955 World Series MVP, was born in Witherbee.

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