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7 Pieces Of History Near Potsdam, NY

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Potsdam, New York is a town rich in history. Located in the northern part of New York State, Potsdam has been the site of key historical events that have shaped America. From Native American settlements to colonialism to early European exploration, there’s a lot to learn about this town. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Potsdam, NY:

1. Native American Settlements: Before European settlers arrived in the area, the St. Lawrence Valley was home to many Native American nations. The most prominent of those nations were the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, who lived in the area until about 1600. They were eventually driven out by the Mohawk Iroquois Confederacy.

2. Potsdam Patent: In 1763, the Potsdam Patent was granted to a group of forty-seven men from New England. This gave them the right to settle in the area that is now known as Potsdam, NY. The patent covered a large area and provided opportunities for farming, hunting, and trading.

3. War of 1812: Potsdam played a part in the War of 1812, which was fought between America and Great Britain. The town was a strategic location due to its proximity to the St. Lawrence River. In 1813, American General James Wilkinson set up headquarters in Potsdam and used it as a staging area for his troops.

4. Underground Railroad: Potsdam was a stop on the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to freedom in the north. The town was home to several Quaker families who were active in the abolitionist movement and helped enslaved persons escape to Canada.

5. Civil War: During the Civil War, Potsdam was a center for recruiting soldiers for the Union Army. Many men from the town joined the fight in various regiments. Additionally, Clarkson University (then known as the Union School) volunteered to be a military training ground.

6. Raquette River Dam: In the early 1900s, the Raquette River Dam was built near Potsdam. It was the largest hydroelectric dam in the world at the time and provided power to the entire region. The dam had a significant effect on local industry and led to increased development in the area.

7. The Cold War: During the Cold War, Potsdam was home to several missile sites that were part of the Strategic Air Command. The sites included launch pads and silos that housed nuclear weapons. The presence of these weapons had a significant impact on the town and the surrounding region.

In conclusion, Potsdam, NY has a rich and diverse history that spans across several centuries. From Native American settlements to the Cold War, the town has played a significant role in shaping America’s past. By learning about these historical events, we can gain a deeper understanding of the town’s culture, traditions, and identity, which are still visible today.
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