Friday, March 23, 2012

Keeping Them Straight: Madrid, Potsdam and Waddington

Just for your general information:

Madrid was formed in 1803 and included the current towns of Potsdam and Waddington.

The town of Potsdam was formed from the south east part of Madrid in 1806.

Following that event, the two main hamlets in Madrid were Columbia and Hamilton. In 1859 Columbia became the hamlet of Madrid which exists today. Hamilton was renamed in 1818 to Waddington. There were two Hamiltons in NYS at that time and the Postmaster
 General required that one name be changed. Incidentally, Joshua Waddington, for whom the hamlet was named, was land agent for David Ogden who was the oeiginal land owner as well as being his brother-in-law.

The hamlet of Waddington continued to grow and became an incorporated village in 1839. Town offices remained in the hamlet of Columbia (Madrid) about nine miles away which made transacting legal business difficult for Waddington residents. In 1859 the town of Madrid was divided in half to form the current towns of Madrid and of Waddington with Waddington being the north west half. Of the three towns, Potsdam is by far the largest in population and probably has been for 150 years. Potsdam had excellent water power from the Raquette River, was a center for sawing logs from the Adirondacks and offered higher education in the 19th century. Today Potsdam's major industry is education with SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University located there. I do not know why Potsdam was listed as the birthplace of two Donnlleys unless Patrick was working in a saw mill or one of the small water powered industries there,
perhaps as a seasonal laborer.


Fred from cold and snowy Waddington

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