Westville, NY

21/05/2012

 Westville

Prespyterian Church Westville, NY 1907

 

Westville was established in 1829, and was known as West Constable unitl it became its own town.  The town is partially on the Canadian border.  Westville was and is primarily a farming community, with flat tillable fields and rich soil.  Westville is in the St. Lawrence Valley. The Salmon River runs through Westville fields, where it widens as it approaches the St. Lawrence River in Quebec.  Westville was a settled by Scottish settlers from Vermont and New England and was a traditional village, with  Protestant churches and a town center. While the town still exists, Westville Center is only a shadow of the bustling community it once was with a range of mills, businesses , including a balcksmith shop and a few stores.  Westville Corners, the other small  hamlet, had a large Presbyterian Church as pictured here and a genral store and at most a couple of other businesses.  

Ordway Store, Westville, NY originally called West Constable -

 

Our informant Orville Langlois, born in 1877, took us back  into the mid. 19th century with stories told to him by his father and others and describes many of the early mills and businesses in the community; Frank Holden another well known farmer also talked extensively about early days in Westville, while Ola Stockwell, a well-known historian in the Westville community, talked about the difficulties and rewards of being a country school teacher. George Chapman was a farmer and Katherine Cushman Chapman, a school teacher. Both came from farm families that had farmed and settled in the community in the early 19th Century. Daily life for many of the interviewees centered was hard work on the farms and  and centered on the Presbyterian Church, the Grange and the General Store, which was initially built and operated by W. S. Ordway.

Mr.Langlois’s grandparents operated farms and subsequently the general store, originally owned by W. S Ordway, in Westville from 1952 until 1963. Mr. Langlois lived in Westville as a child, in one of the apartments above the store and like his other siblings spent time with his grandparents at the Store.  in high school, Mr. Langlois, used to stay with his grandparents in Westville and commute to Franklin Academy with Ola Stockwell, who was teaching at a school in Malone, during the 1960’s.

 

  From Seaver’s Historical Sketches of Franklin County and Its Several Towns 1918

 Albany, J. B. Lyon company, printers

  CHAPTER XXII  WESTVILLE  

  Westville was formed from Constable in 1829, and was so called from the fact that it was the west half of what remained of the parent town  after Fort Covington had been set off there from. For many years the northern of the two hamlets in “Westville was known as West Constable, but is now generally called Westville Corners. The other is Westville Center.  Westville’s surface is generally level. In the northern part the soil  is clayey, and in the central southern sandy. Elsewhere it is generally a light loam, with interval lands here and there which are rich and very productive. Formerly a considerable section of the southern part was thought to be almost worthless for farming purposes, but much of these lands have since been developed wonderfully, and have become Malone’s garden patch, producing the earliest and finest vegetable and berries.  

The town is watered by the Salmon River, which traverses it from southeast to northwest; by Deer River, which cuts through its southwest corner; and by a number of brooks, the largest of which are the Plumb and Briggs brooks.   

Another hotel stood at the intersection of the Trout River road with the highway leading from Fort Covington to Malone, at about the point where Mr. Ordway’s store and Grange Hall is now located…  

About 1885 the church building had come to be sorely in need of repair, and considerable feeling developed over the question of renovating it or erecting a new edifice. It was finally decided to take the latter course, a new house of worship was built upon another site, and the old structure was  torn down—the land reverting to the Man estate. This new building is distinctively Presbyterian.  

For further information:

Westville Historical Organization

http://www.westvillehistory.net/

Address: Westville History Center, 3510 State Rt. 37, Westville Corners; P.O. Box 157, Constable, NY 12926
Telephone: (518) 358-9222, or 358-2374

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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