Malone: The Beginning

English: Armory, Malone
English: Armory, Malone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we look out the window, not daring to take a step outside on these frigid winter days, it’s easy to see why Malone had been called the Siberia of the North. The forested landscape and hills as they rolled down from the Adirondacks, were as beautiful then as they are today. However, no one wanted it. Not even the Indians.

In 1791, a section of New York called the Macomb Purchas was made. This was the Old Military Tract of about four million acres. Richard Harison bought the middle tract, and thus Malone had its beginnings.

Portrait of John Jay
Portrait of John Jay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richard Harison was a frined of John Jay‘s (a governor of New York from 1795-1801) and was once a law partner of Alexander Hamilton’s, as well as a friend of George Washington.

The first settlers who came to Malone in 1802 were Enos, Nathan and John Wood, three brothers who had fought in the war for Independence. Noel Conger and Noah Moody followed shortly after. They, along with others, came from the Vermont corridor. These first settlers cane “with devotion to home, with belief in the church and the school and with fidelity to conscience” (Seaver, Historical Sketches 14).

The young town grew up around Main and Webster Streets, and you can see the historical marker of Harison’s home next to Davis School on Webster.

Our town, erected in 1805, was originally named Harison, but he settlement along the river was more frequently called the Center. In 1808 Harison changed its name to Ezraville after his friend Ezra L’Hommedieu. Eventually it was named Malone after Edmund Malone and eminent “Irish Shakespearean scholar” and another friend of Harison’s.

And today, people complain about the lack of activities in Malone. Today, as in 1805, aside from churches and government, no other organization existed. A situation soon to be rectified.
Coming next week: early growth.


  1. trista lauzon says:

    Is Richard Harisons home still standing or is there just a sign there now? I am writing a history paper and was wondering if the home still stood. I googled it but couldnt find anything about it.

    • Carol McClain says:

      On Webster Street a Harrison House is standing. It’s a private residence. The house is next to an elementary school.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.