Town of Malone

"Foothills of the Adirondacks"

27 Airport Rd. - Malone, NY 12953 ~ Phone: 518-483-4740 ~ Fax: 518-483-1445


History of the Town and Village of Malone

The Town and Village of Malone, New York is rich in history dating back to the town’s inception on March 2, 1805.  The Village of Malone wasn’t incorporated until 1853, when it boasted of having a population of 2,039.  Originally, the Town of Malone had a land area of more than three-quarters of a million acres, however presently the same land area is divided into all of Franklin County’s nineteen townships.  Each of these townships, excluding Bellmont, Burke, Chateaugay and Franklin, were formed directly or indirectly from Malone.


The first settlers in Malone arriving in the area were John and Nathan Wood, in 1802.  Other settlers followed, many from the State of Vermont.  Malone boasted of many early industries including saw mills, tanneries and carding mills.  Malone also had one of the regions few operating iron mines in 1815.

When Franklin County was established in March of 1808, from Clinton County, Malone became the County Seat.  As County Seat a combined court house and jail were built two years later.  This building also provided a place for the community to worship until churches could be constructed.


The first school in the county was Franklin Academy, founded in 1806.  The schools were not initially chartered by the State Board of Regents because the citizens of Malone could not guarantee the one hundred dollars a year required by the State.  Then in 1831, when the financial requirements had more than doubled, seventy-three Malone and vicinity residents banded together to provide funds and thus Franklin Academy finally became officially chartered.  This charter in 1851 was extended in perpetuity.  The Academy merged with the village schools in approximately 1868; however the Academy retained its corporate existence with self-perpetuating Board of Trustees.


The War of 1812 was instrumental in encouraging the extensive road development which took place in and around Malone in the early 1800’s.  Following the war, stage coach service was established in Franklin County, connecting Plattsburgh and Ogdensburg. 

1850 was the year that the community witnessed the completion of such landmarks as the Ogdensburg and Champlain Railroad, the forerunner to the Penn Central Railroad, providing the North Country with a more adequate transportation system.  The railroad’s headquarters and principal car shops were located in Malone, which brought a flood of workers to the town.  The railroad also provided a forward momentum for the dairy industry, which now had a passage for their products.  Creameries sprang up, thus allowing butter and cheese to become the County’s heaviest farm export. 


The Salmon River enters the Town at its Southeastern Corner and courses through the entire length of the Town, running through almost the exact center of the Village.  This waterway, which falls some 600 feet in its course through the Town, provided waterpower for the many early saw mills and other activities located along the banks.  The Salmon River today, continues to be an important water resource to the Village and Town, as a great fishing stream, visual landmark, and scenic attraction.

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