Sackets Harbor, New York

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Sackets Harbor (earlier spelled Sacketts Harbor) is a village in Jefferson County, New York, United States. The population was 1,386 at the 2000 census. The village was named after land developer and owner Augustus Sackett, who founded it in the early 19th century.

The Village of Sackets Harbor is within the western part of the Town of Hounsfield and is west of Watertown. The heart of the village, with a Main Street and well-preserved 19th c. buildings, has been recognized as the Sackets Harbor Village Historic District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[1]

Because of its strategic protected harbor on Lake Ontario and the military installations built there, the village had national importance through the 19th century. To support the War of 1812, the US Navy built a major shipyard and its headquarters for the Great Lakes at the village. Within a short period, more than 3,000 men worked at the shipyard. The Army constructed earthworks, forts, barracks and supporting infrastructure to defend the village and navy shipyard, and its troops also camped in town, which was overwhelmed by the number of military. Soon after the war, the Army strengthened its defenses on the northern frontier by constructing Madison Barracks. Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site commemorates a battle and the contribution of the area to the United States defense during the War of 1812.

The village had a commercial shipyard and many business connections to communities around the Great Lakes. Its businessmen were also connected to bases in the major markets of Louisville, Kentucky and New Orleans. In 1817 a consortium of local businessmen supported construction of the 240-ton Ontario, the first US steamboat on the Great Lakes. In July 1834, the commercial schooner Illinoisfrom Sackets Harbor was the first to enter the harbor of the new settlement of Chicago.



Prior to the American Revolutionary War, this area had been inhabited for thousands of years by differing cultures of indigenous peoples. The historic tribes were the Iroquoian-speaking Onondaga, part of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy. Long trading with the French and English, most of the Six Nations allied with the British during the Revolution, hoping to dislodge the American colonists. Following the war, they were forced to make major cessions of most of their land in New York to the United States. Most of the Iroquois went to Canada and settled on land granted by Great Britain.

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