The town of Lyonsdale was established by an act dated November 26, 1873, approved by two-thirds of the members of the Board of Supervisors, which divided the town of Greig. The township was named Lyonsdale in honor of Caleb Lyon, an early settler who had built the first bridge across Black River and a grist mill. The first settlers were the Chase Brothers and John W. Southwick.
“Where the foam-flecked mighty Moose(Author Unknown)
Tumbles Down the Adirondack stairways,
Stands Lyonsdale town in peaceful glory,
Settled by pioneers of the earliest days.”
Lyonsdale is located in the south eastern section of Lewis County. The point of highest elevation is 1700 feet, which is on the Herkimer County line. There are approximately 42,737 acres in the town. The rough terrain is quite sandy, much of which is reforested (State, county, school and private). The Moose River flows across the town and empties into the Black River at Lyons Falls.
Over time, the township has consisted of the following communities: Welsh Settlement; Gouldtown; Kosterville; Shuetown; Lyonsdale; Fowlerville; Brownville; Pinney Settlement; French Settlement; Moose River Settlement; and portions of the villages of Lyons Falls and Port Leyden.
The Town of Lyonsdale watershed supplies water for the villages of Port Leyden and Lyons Falls.
Outstanding businesses have included logging, paper mills, tanneries, sawmills, hydroelectric power plants, carpeting, hotels, trucking, cheese factories, charcoal burning pits, log driver camps, a silver mine and farming.
At one time, Lyonsdale had at least 11 schools, five churches and 9 nine cemeteries. Currently, there are no schools and about one church.
Recreation is outstanding with kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and campsites.