Moriah to mark bicentennial

PORT HENRY The town of Moriah will celebrate its bicentennial with a ceremony Saturday, April 26. Festivities will include a re-enactment of the first town board meeting, remarks from local officials and guests and a public reception at the Moriah Central School auditorium in Port Henry. The event will begin at 7 p.m. It is free of charge and open to the public. The program will open with a slide presentation created by Moriah students assisted by the Adirondack History Center. That will be followed by current town board members, in period dress, re-enacting the first Moriah town board meeting held in 1808. Taking part will be Supervisor Tom Scozzafava and trustees Tom Anderson, Richard Carpenter, Tony Harvish and Paul Salerno. Scozzafava will then welcome people and town historian Joan Daby will deliver The History of the town of Moriah. Representatives of the towns of North Hudson and Crown Point, from which Moriah was formed 200 years ago, will also speak. The Rev. Paul J. Kelly will give an invocation and benediction. Music will be provided by John Brooks, the Moriah Central School chorus under the direction of April Reader and the Moriah school band directed by Mark Pray. The band will perform the Port Henry Triumph Rag-Time March, which was written by Moriah resident Perley Helms in 1902. There will be raffles and prizes for those attending. The celebration will conclude with refreshments served in the school cafeteria. Planning the bicentennial celebration has been a committee of Daby, Carpenter, Elaine Adkins, Barb Brassard, Diane Lashway, Mark Lashway, Greg Moore, Georgiana Scott, Catherine Sprague, Barton Swan, Shirley Tedford and Esther Waldron. Moriah officially became a town Feb. 12, 1808, when the state legislature approved Moriahs request to become separate from the town of Crown Point. The bicentennial was celebrated at the end of the regularly-scheduled town board meeting, which fell on Feb. 12 earlier this year. Scozzafava led those in attendance in singing Happy Birthday, members of the bicentennial committee presented gifts to the town and cake and refreshments were served. Moriah traces its history to the 18th Century. After the Treaty of 1763, soldiers were given land by King George for their service in the French and Indian War. Iron ore was discovered in those lands, lumber and grist mills sprang up, farms started, furnaces were built, and the shipping of ore started, first by water, then by railroad. Many families came to work in the iron ore mining industry, which flourished from around 1824-1971. Mines were privately owned, then became the property of Witherbee-Sherman & Co., and finally in 1938 the Republic Steel Corporation. In the late 1800s and early 1900s most of the large hotels, homes, churches and schools were built, many still existing today.

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