Oswegatchie, New York

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Oswegatchie is a town in St. Lawrence County, New York, United States. The population was 4,370 at the 2000 census. The name reportedly means "Black water" in the aboriginal language. It is on the northern border of the county and is adjacent to the city of Ogdensburg.



The area was first explored by French missionaries during the 17th century. The town was founded in 1802 upon the formation of the county. After the end of the French and Indian War, the British renamed the former French community of La Gallette as Oswegatchie, the name of the local native tribe. After the end of the American Revolution, the community became Odgensburg, after the new land owner and developer. During the War of 1812 Ogdensburg and much of the town was captured by British forces. In 1817, the community of Ogdensburg set itself apart from the town by incorporating as a village, and became the City of Ogdensburg in 1868. The Town of Morristown was formed from the western part of Oswegatchie in 1821. Another part was used to make part of the Town of De Peyster in 1825.

Mater Dei College was opened in 1960 and closed in 2001.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 71.4 square miles (184.8 km²), of which, 65.8 square miles (170.5 km²) of it is land and 5.5 square miles (14.3 km²) of it (7.76%) is water.

The Oswegatchie River flows through the town, defining part of the south town line. The northwest town line is defined by the St. Lawrence River, and is an international border with Canada.

New York State Route 812 is a north-south highway. New York State Route 37 is a highway on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River. New York State Route 68 is by the northeast town line.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 4,370 people, 1,508 households, and 1,091 families residing in the town. The population density was 66.4 people per square mile (25.6/km²). There were 1,896 housing units at an average density of 28.8/sq mi (11.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.49% White, 0.30% African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.02% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.30% of the population.

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