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199-year-old Parishville history

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PARISHVILLE - Without men like David Parish and Luke Brown, the town of Parishville would unlikely be where they are today, on the doorsteps of reaching the two century mark and gearing up for its bicentennial celebration.

The Historical Association and the rest of the community is busy preparing for the opening ceremony of the bicentennial on March 18, while also keeping the primary festivities scheduled for late July in the back of their minds.

According to the town’s web site, New York state made a treaty with the Mohawk Indians on March 29, 1791 where they surrendered their lands. The lands were soon put up for sale and the principle purchaser was Alexander Macomb.

Following the sale of much of the property, Mr. Macomb turned over the land still in his possession to William Constable who then sold it to de Chaumont on July 24, 1804. Mr. Chaumont in turn sold it to Mr. Parish in 1810, leading to the town’s namesake.

“The town originally came about from David Parish, who was a wealthy English merchant. He bought a large portion of land, about 200,000 acres, basically as an investment. In 1809, he had hired a group of men to cut a road in Parishville,” Historical Association President and Co-Historian Joseph R. McGill said.

“One of the men, whose name was Luke Brown, he offered him his pick of a piece of land to settle for farming. Mr. Brown returned in 1810 and built a kind of crude home in Parishville Center. He became the first white settler in Parisvhille.”

Mr. Brown’s first child, christened Luke Parish Brown, was born on March 30, 1812 and two years later Mr. Parish gave the child 50 acres of land for his name. This led to the towns of Parishville being formed.

“The reason our bicentennial isn’t until 2014 is become we didn’t become a township until 1814,” Mr. McGill said. “Like most of the small towns around here, Parishville was chosen as a place to settle based on the river and usage for timber related industry.”

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