Excerpts used with
permission from "St.
Lawrence County Almanac," Vol. 1, by Bob LaRue.
N.Y., is a small rural village located about six miles southeast of the
city of Ogdensburg in St. Lawrence County. Heuvelton is the lone
village in the town of Oswegatchie, one of the four towns initially
established under the formation of the county in 1802. Early
native Indians established small encampments and some of the county's
earliest pioneers established homes in the Heuvelton area, in the
vicinity of the Oswegatchie River which wends its way from the
Adirondack foothills and gently flows through Heuvelton on its way to
the St. Lawrence River, just six miles away. The town and river
were named for the Oswegatchie Indians who also had a small encampment
near Heuvelton in the late 1700's. The name "Oswegatchie"
is Amerindian in origin, meaning "black water."
Heuvelton, N.Y. was originally called "Fordsburgh" to honor
Nathan Ford, the man who has since become known as the "Father of
St. Lawrence County," who established a second home there and
assisted in some of the area's early development. The location was
also frequently mentioned in historical records as "East
Branch," in reference to its location on the Oswegatchie River.
The first settlers to the community were the Bristol, Jones, Osburne and
In the 1820's, New York aristocrat Jacob Vanden Heuvel purchased the
territory that contained the village and an adjoining land tract.
Vanden Heuvel invested in several extensive improvements including mill
construction, marking the first notable economic growth in the
struggling community. To honor the contributions of Jacob Vanden
Heuvel. The community name was changed from Fordsburgh to
Heuvelton in January 1832.
During the generations that followed, agricultural interests continued
to be the principal livelihood for most of the Heuvelton area. In
the early 1900's, Heuvelton and the surrounding countryside was
considered to be quite a center for producing turkeys. The
Heuvelton turkey market attracted thousands of commercial and private
buyers during periodic "market days" and several tons of
turkeys were marketed from Heuvelton each year.
Large dairy farms supplied milk for several local cheese factories.
While the McCadam cheese company plant closed in 2002, Heuvelton remains
as home to three other large cheese producers. Ninety-percent of
the milk produced in St. Lawrence County goes into local cheese
The simple, rural farming and dairying atmosphere also attracted a
settlement of Amish families to the Heuvelton area, one of the few
remaining colonies of this religious following remaining in New York
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