National Historic Landmarks are places officially recognized by the US government for their outstanding historical significance to the United States. They are not common – and we have only one here in Lewis County. Of the roughly 90,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places – those deemed worthy of preservation because of their historical significance – there are over two dozen in our County.
Built in 1860, this tall and imposing stately red brick Italianate mansion was home to “the Father of American Forestry,” noted historian, scientist and physician, Dr. Franklin B. Hough. So designated in 1963, it is Lewis County’s only National Landmark. A NYS Historic Roadside Marker marks the location.
Built in 1869, with characteristics of both the Italianate and Second Empire architectural styles popular in the mid to late 19th century – the period of Lowville’s greatest growth and prosperity – this large, four story brick structure dominates the Lowville downtown streetscape. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
Built in 1892, this historic grange hall originally housed the Beaver Falls Grange No. 554 and is representative of the many grange organizations that became prevalent in rural agricultural communities in the post-Civil War era. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.
Revolutionary War Veteran Jonathan Collins and his family were amongst the most influential early settlers and politicians of the County. His house, built on farmland between the Sugar and White rivers was sold to Collins by William Constable, and was operated both as a tavern and as a Masonic meeting hall – but unfortunately was torn down shortly after it was placed on the National Register in 1988. The Collins family cemetery, which contains several fine examples of funerary design, remains.
This historic burial ground, circa 1810, is a great example of an early settlement-era cemetery, with two centuries of funerary markers ranging from simple, New England-inspired, rectangular stones to elaborate obelisks, with many of the early stones bearing lovely examples of verse epitaphs. The cemetery contains veterans of most every major US conflict, including the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Also interred here are such individuals as the first settler of the Collinsville/Turin/West Turin area, a freed, former slave born in Africa in 1757, and the consort of the infamous “Pierre Jean DuPont.” It remains an active cemetery and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.
One of the most unique and beautiful stone mansions in the State, this is the manor house of the historic Constable family, who opened vast tracts of land in northern New York for settlement in the early 1800s. Built between 1810 and 1819 in the Federal style, it was listed on the National Register in 1974. Refurbished by local philanthropists, it now houses one of the most worthwhile historic museums in the State. Rumor has it that the famous poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas was inspired by this house and may even have been written here. A NYS Historic Roadside Marker marks the location.
This historic saw mill and dam complex dates from the 1840s – although the original dam was wood – and the saw mill was one of several to be built nearby over the years. The mill (which is still in use) was the last remaining traditional water-powered commercial lumber mill in New York State. Listed on the National Register in 2010.
Referred to by locals as “the Brick Building,” this small structure served as Lewis County’s first county clerk’s office prior to 1864, when the county seat was moved to Lowville. Added to the National Register in 2017, a NYS Historic Roadside Marker stands at the location.
The original church was erected in 1854 on a small point of land between the Black and Moose rivers (and is marked by a NYS Historic Roadside Marker). Crossing the river to its current location in 1894, this lovely church is a one-story, brown stained, eclectic, pitched roof, Shingle Style building with Gothic elements. It has a front facing gable, a unique square bell tower with flared eves, a portico, and contains several of the windows from the 1854 church, as well as the original church bell presented by Lyman Lyon. Added to the National Register in 2004.
This historic complex, circa 1903, includes three contributing structures: the palatial main house; the carriage house and barn; and the office building that served as the headquarters of Gould Paper Company. Constructed of native limestone, granite and wood, these magnificent Romanesque and Queen Anne Revival neoclassical buildings are not only significant architecturally, but historically – built by G.H.P. Gould, a local industrialist and entrepreneur who was instrumental in shaping the economics and politics of northern New York through industry, employment and technological innovation. Listed on the National Register in 1978.
This lovely stone mansion was the home of Gen. Walter Martin, perhaps the County’s foremost political leader in the early 1800s. The main block of the house was built in 1805 in the Federal style, with the Greek Revival wings being added about 1835. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, Greystone is currently in the process of being refurbished by the Lewis County Historical Society. A NYS Historic Roadside Marker stands at the location.
Built in 1909-10 for Harry and Molly Lewis, whose family members were the preeminent industrialists in Beaver Falls, operating pulp and paper mills in the area for over 100 years, this large, Colonial Revival-Neoclassical brick house was ambitious by regional standards. Rich in classically inspired ornamentation, the house includes a fully pedimented, monumental two-story portico, Ionic order columns, denticulated cornices, and decorative keystones in the lintels. Listed on the National Register in 2012.
This historic fairground district, originally known as Forest Park, was developed around 1876, and includes its lovely grandstand, half mile race track, antiques building, taffy stand and information both. The Lewis County Fair is the longest, continually operated county fair in New York State, and these fairgrounds, in continuous use since its construction, are both historically significant and a testament to the strong agricultural underpinnings that have been a dominant force in molding the character of Lewis County. The county fair is generally held the third week of July each year, and this site was added to the National Register in 2002.
Erected in 1883 (and completely restored in 2012), this commemorative zinc monument is a locally-significant art object reflecting the Victorian-era shared perception of the County’s residents of the noble character and valor of the Union Civil War veterans and their cause. Listed on the National Register in 2009.
Known locally as the Talcottville School, this 1870 one room school house is cruciform in shape, with unusual architectural details combining late Greek and Gothic Revival woodwork and trim. One of 224 common schools in Lewis County when built, the school was ultimately consolidated into Boonville’s central school district in 1944, though it continued to operate as a one room school house until 1962. It is one of the few remaining buildings in Lewis County recognizable as a school house. Placed on the National Register in 2017, the building is currently used as the Leyden Town Hall.
Located on the site of the original Lowville Academy, this beautiful stone church was built in 1831 after two previous buildings burned within three years. Its façade features a stone pavilion with a triangular pediment surmounted by a staged wood bell tower containing the “town clock.” It remains the oldest standing church building in Lewis County, was listed on the National Register in 2007 and a NYS Historic Roadside Marker stands at the site.
Built in 1928 to serve as the meeting hall of the local masonic lodge, this lovely historic Colonial Revival building situated in the historic core of the village of Lowville currently houses the Lewis County Historical Society. Listed on the National Register in 2012.
Build in 1811, this Georgian-inspired, Federal period building, with architecturally sensitive Victorian period alterations, was the first courthouse to be erected in Lewis County and is the County’s oldest public building. The only pubic execution for capital punishment in Lewis County was a hanging perform at the courthouse in 1839. Listed on the National Register in 2001.
Dating from about 1840, this historic church is of wood frame construction with clapboard siding in the Carpenter Gothic style. It features a lovely two-stage bell tower surmounted by a steeple. Listed on the National Register in 1983.
The family home of emigres from Alsace-Lorraine who made their way to Lewis County as indentured servants in the 1830s, this farm houses a museum that preserves the religious and cultural heritage of the Mennonite community and its Anabaptist origins in northern New York. Listed on the National Register in 2010, a NYS Historic Roadside Marker stands at the site.
This is one of the earliest, intact cemeteries in Lewis County and perhaps the oldest in the town of Lowville. The cemetery is an excellent historical resource for the area’s earliest days, and many of Lowville’s founding settlers, as well as veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War, are buried here. Listed on the National Register in 2016.
Built in 1882, originally as a Methodist Church, this historic town hall, featuring large, Gothic-arched windows and decorative wooden trim, is a great example of the Carpenter Gothic style of religious architecture. The building originally featured a square bell tower supporting a tall spire, which was removed when the church was converted for use as a town hall in the 1920s. Listed on the National Register in 2005.
Establish in 1810, this historic cemetery contains approximately 240 marked burials of early settlers of the region (1810 to 1901), including veterans of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Listed on the National Register in 2014.
Located in the town of Watson and built in 1896 to be available for any religious group to use, this church is noted for its unusual interior. This lovely wood-frame building with a two-story bell tower has a sloping theater-like floor, which necessitates the use of chairs with shortened rear legs. Listed on the National Register in 2009.
Known locally as “The Pines” for its wooded overlook of the Lyons Falls cataract, the Seger-Fisher manse, a large timber-frame, flat-roofed Italianate style residence, was erected in 1860 by Francis Seger, Lewis County judge and state senator, and whose wife, Laura, was the eldest daughter of Caleb Lyon, Sr., the namesake of Lyonsdale and Lyons Falls. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
This historic Episcopal church was built in 1865. A wood frame, board and batten-sided structure, with tall lancet windows, this lovely old church, designed in the Gothic Revival style, is an excellent intact example of rural Episcopal church building practices in the mid-1800s. The building was listed on the National Register in 1998.
Built in 1898, and incorporating Queen Anne and Colonial Revival design elements, this asymmetrical wood frame dwelling was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
The second oldest cemetery in the town of Leyden (and still active), many of the towns earliest settlers are buried here, including three veterans of the Revolutionary War, 23 veterans of the War of 1812 and 17 Civil War soldiers. With markers of limestone, granite, marble, natural stone and zinc, the clustering and size of family plots is an indication of the important role certain families played in the early development of the area. Listed on the National Register in 2014.
A testament to the philanthropy of the Lyon family, this lovely historic cemetery and two-story blue limestone Late Gothic Revival chapel are located just outside Lyons Falls. Also, at the northeast corner of this cemetery (junction of River and Davis Bridge Roads) is a bronze plaque on a massive stone outcropping marking the spot where Caleb Lyon, Sr. dismounted his horse and died in 1835. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
Built between 1800 and 1804 by Jesse Talcott, and known locally as “The Stone House,” the exterior limestone walls of this beautiful house are over a foot and a half thick and were cut from the neighboring Sugar River. Used as a high-class tavern during the stage coach days, the house eventually became the summer home of America’s greatest literary critic, Edmond Wilson. Listed on the National Register in 1973.