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Massena
Town
Town of Massena
Nickname(s): Gateway to the Fourth Coast
Country United States
State New York
County St. Lawrence
Incorporated 1802
Area
 • Total 56.14 sq mi (145.4 km2)
 • Land 44.37 sq mi (114.9 km2)
 • Water 11.77 sq mi (30.5 km2)
Elevation 200 ft (61 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 10,067
 • Density 179.320/sq mi (69.236/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 13662
Area code(s) 315
FIPS code 36-46030
GNIS feature ID 979205

Massena is a town in St. Lawrence County, New York, United States. Massena is located along the northern border of the county, just south of the St. Lawrence River and the Canada–US border. The population was 10,883 at the 2010 census. The town of Massena contains a village also named Massena. The town and its village are named after André Masséna, a general and Marshal of France during the Napoleonic Wars.

History

The town was first settled circa 1792 by French lumberjacks. Massena was one of the first towns settled in St. Lawrence county and was incorporated in 1802. The town is named after one of Napoleon's field marshals, André Masséna, who commanded around that time.

The town suffered natural disasters in 1944 (earthquake) and in 1998 (ice storm).

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 944
1830 2,070 119.3%
1840 2,726 31.7%
1850 2,870 5.3%
1860 2,925 1.9%
1870 2,560 −12.5%
1880 2,739 7.0%
1890 2,740 0.0%
1900 3,904 42.5%
1910 4,806 23.1%
1920 8,975 86.7%
1930 12,029 34.0%
1940 12,979 7.9%
1950 14,862 14.5%
1960 17,937 20.7%
1970 16,021 −10.7%
1980 14,856 −7.3%
1990 13,826 −6.9%
2000 13,121 −5.1%
2010 10,883 −17.1%
Est. 2016 9,467 −13.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
Massena, NY Water tower 2005
The town's water tower.

Massena has attracted an array of immigrants throughout its history. Many citizens of French heritage settled in the town due to its proximity to Quebec. Early settlement mirrored New York City, as many Factory workers were often recruited from Ellis Island. Many citizens have in Irish, Polish, German or Italian & Sicilian heritage. There is also a sizeable Armenian and Jewish population.

In 2012, there were 10,536 people, down from 16,021 in 1970. As of the census of 2000, there were 13,121 people, 2,510 households, and 3,454 families residing in the town. The population density was 293.7 inhabitants per square mile (113.4/km2). There were 5,880 housing units at an average density of 131.6 per square mile (50.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.80% White, 0.30% Black or African American, 1.25% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and .02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.

There were 5,510 households out of which 39.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.1% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.98 and the average family size was 3.67.

In the town, the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $28,391, and the median income for a family was $32,696. Males had a median income of $38,484 versus $18,819 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,111. About 16.9% of families and 18.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.4% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in Massena

  • Barnhardt Island – An island in the St. Lawrence River northeast of Massena village. The island is at the international border and is the northernmost point of land in New York.
  • Long Sault Island ("Isle au Long Saut") – An island in the St. Lawrence River north of Massena village.
  • Massena – A village at the west town line on both banks of the Grasse River.
  • Massena Center – A hamlet northeast of Massena village.
  • Massena Power Canal – A waterway connecting the Grasse River to the St. Lawrence River.
  • Massena Springs – A hamlet south of Massena village by the Raquette River. The community was the site of health resorts and hotels based on sulphurous spring water.
  • Raquette River – A hamlet east of Massena village, located by the Raquette River. It was first settled around 1804.
  • Robert Moses State Park – A state park in the northern part of the town.
  • Rooseveltown – A hamlet near the eastern town line by the Raquette River.
  • Wiley Dondero Canal – A waterway constructed as part of the St. Lawrence power project.

Transportation

The town is served by Massena International Airport, located east of Massena village, south of NY-37.

Resources

Some of the town's main employers are Dwight D. Eisenhower Lock, Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam, ALCOA, Massena Memorial Hospital, Highland Nursing Home, and St. Regis Nursing Home.

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