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Moriah to celebrate bicentennial

PORT HENRY The town of Moriah will mark its bicentennial with a small celebration and a big one. Moriah officially became a town Feb. 12, 1808, when the state legislature approved Moriahs request to become separate from the town of Crown Point. That anniversary will be observed following the Moriah town board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Knights of Columbus hall in Port Henry. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. It just happens to fall on the day that our town was established 200 years ago, Joan Daby, chairwoman of the Moriah bicentennial committee, said of the town board meeting. We wanted to do something to celebrate that day, so that is when we came up with making a couple items that we wish to present to the board for the community, to be kept at the town hall. Besides the presentation of gifts, there will be a birthday cake and refreshments after the meeting, Daby said. Its a happy coincidence that our meeting date is the actual date the town was founded, Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. Its a milestone in our history. Scozzafava said he intends to keep the meeting agenda brief so people can get to the anniversary celebration. I hope we have a good turn out, he said. Ill try to keep things short. The major bicentennial celebration has been scheduled for Saturday, April 26, at 7 p.m. at Moriah Central School. That event will include several presentations, remarks by local officials and a reception. Moriahs bicentennial committee includes Daby, Elaine Adkins, Barb Brassard, Richard Carpenter, Diane Lashway, Mark Lashway, Greg Moore, Georgiana Scott, Catherine Sprague, Barton Swan, Shirley Tedford and Esther Waldron. 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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