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Essex County, New York facts for kids

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Essex County
Lake Placid, in Essex County
Lake Placid, in Essex County
Flag of Essex County
Official seal of Essex County
Map of New York highlighting Essex County
Location within the U.S. state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  New York
Founded 1799
Named for Essex
Seat Elizabethtown
Largest CDP Ticonderoga
 • Total 1,916 sq mi (4,960 km2)
 • Land 1,794 sq mi (4,650 km2)
 • Water 122 sq mi (320 km2)  6.4%%
 • Total 37,381
 • Density 20.8/sq mi (8.0/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 21st

Essex County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2020 census, the population was 37,381. Its county seat is the hamlet of Elizabethtown. Its name is from the English county of Essex. Along with Hamilton County, Essex is entirely within the Adirondack Park.


When counties were established in the state of New York in 1683, the present Essex County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York state as well as all of the present state of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766, by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont. On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Charlotte County, contained the eastern portion.

In 1784, the name "Charlotte County" was changed to Washington County to honor George Washington, the American Revolutionary War general and later President of the United States of America.

In 1788, Clinton County was split off from Washington County. This was a much larger area than the present Clinton County, including several other counties or county parts of the present New York state (near Clunes).

Essex County was split from Clinton County in 1799.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,916 square miles (4,960 km2), of which 1,794 square miles (4,650 km2) is land and 122 square miles (320 km2) (6.4%) is water. It is the second-largest county in New York by land area and third-largest by total area.

Essex County is in the northeastern part of New York state, just west of Vermont along the eastern boundary of the state. The eastern boundary of Essex County is Lake Champlain, which serves as the New YorkVermont border at an elevation of just under 100 feet (30.5 m). The highest natural point in New York, Mount Marcy at 5,344 feet (1,629 m), is in the town of Keene.

The Ausable River forms a partial northern boundary for the county.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 9,477
1820 12,811 35.2%
1830 19,287 50.6%
1840 23,634 22.5%
1850 31,148 31.8%
1860 28,214 −9.4%
1870 29,042 2.9%
1880 34,515 18.8%
1890 33,052 −4.2%
1900 30,707 −7.1%
1910 33,458 9.0%
1920 31,871 −4.7%
1930 33,959 6.6%
1940 34,178 0.6%
1950 35,086 2.7%
1960 35,300 0.6%
1970 34,631 −1.9%
1980 36,176 4.5%
1990 37,152 2.7%
2000 38,851 4.6%
2010 39,370 1.3%
2020 37,381 −5.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

As of the census of 2000, there were 38,851 people, 15,028 households, and 9,828 families residing in the county. The population density was 22 inhabitants per square mile (8.5/km2). There were 23,115 housing units at an average density of 13/sq mi (5.0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.84% White, 2.81% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races; 2.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the population, 22.0% were of French, 16.3% Irish, 13.0% English, 8.6% German, 7.1% American and 6.2% Italian ancestry; 95.2% spoke English, 2.2% Spanish, and 1.3% French as their first language.

There were 15,028 households, out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.20% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.60% were non-families. 28.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.80% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 107.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,823, and the median income for a family was $41,927. Males had a median income of $30,952 versus $22,205 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,194. Of the population, 11.60% of individuals, 7.80% of families, 14.50% of those under the age of 18, and 8.60% of those 65 and older, were living below the poverty line.


Harris Lake
Harris Lake in Newcomb


The following public use airports are located in the county:


Essex County Public Transportation operates several accessible bus routes connecting the county's major communities. Between scheduled stops, riders may flag down buses or request to be let off almost anywhere. Riders may also request minor route deviations for a small fee with advanced notice. Fares generally cost a few dollars or less.

In 2020 and 2021, bus service was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Champlain North route operates from Elizabethtown north to Wadhams, Whallonsburg, Essex, Willsboro, and to Keeseville, where riders may connect to Clinton County Public Transit bus routes.

The Champlain South route operates from Elizabethtown south to Westport, Mineville, Witherbee, Port Henry, Crown Point, and Ticonderoga. The service partially follows New York State Route 9N. Riders can connect to Amtrak's Adirondack train at Westport station for service to New York City and Montreal.

The Mountain Valley Shuttle operates from Elizabethtown west to Keene, Jay, Au Sable, Wilmington, and Lake Placid. Riders may connect to Clinton County Public Transit bus routes in Au Sable.

The Cascade Express route operates from Elizabethtown west to Keene, North Elba, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake.

The Lake Placid XPRSS route operates within the village of Lake Placid. The bus is fare-free and supports tourism.




Census-designated places



Private schools

  • Mountain Lake Academy
  • National Sports Academy
  • North Country School
  • Northwood School
  • St. Agnes School
  • St. Mary's School

Higher education

  • North Country Community College

Notable people

  • John Brown (1800–1859), an abolitionist who owned a farm in North Elba. His sons John Jr., Watson, and Owen all lived, when young, on their father's farm.
  • Sophie Clarke (born 1989), winner of Survivor: South Pacific, from Willsboro.
  • Vincent Colyer (1825–1888), was a successful American artist and humanitarian who worked to help freedmen and Native Americans; he was born in Bloomingdale.
  • Francis Donnelly of Olmstedville (1903–1980), at the time of his death in 1980 was the longest continually serving town elected official in the United States, having served as the Town of Minerva Supervisor and as that town's representative at the county level for 46 years
  • Carlton Foster (1826–1901), Wisconsin lumberman, Wisconsin state legislator, and mayor of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
  • Ben Goldwasser (born 1983), keyboardist for psychedelic rock band MGMT. He grew up in Westport.
  • Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born 1985), known professionally as Lana Del Rey, grew up in the town of Lake Placid.
  • Inez Milholland (1886–1916), leader in the women's suffrage movement, is buried in Lewis Cemetery. Her family had a summer home in Essex, which is now the Meadowmount School of Music.
  • Johnny Podres (1932–2008), pitcher for Brooklyn Dodgers and 1955 World Series MVP, was born in Witherbee.
  • Tom Tyler, silent film star, originally from Mineville.
  • Eli Winch (1848–1938), born in the town of Wilmington, a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and manufacturer.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Essex (Nueva York) para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Inventors:
Lonnie Johnson
Granville Woods
Lewis Howard Latimer
James West
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