During the Revolutionary War when General John Sullivan and his army moved through the Finger Lakes region in 1779, most resident Indians fled to the British at Fort Niagara, Canada where they had been promised safety and care. Small groups remained outside the perimeter of the Army’s march which was ordered by George Washington as a move to deprive the British of support provided by their Indian allies.  Villages and crops were destroyed.

After the war some of the veterans of the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition returned to the region to settle the lands. Earliest permanent settlers arrived in: Town of Montour 1788; Hector 1790; Dix 1797; Cayuta, Reading and Tyrone, 1798; Catharine 1799 and Orange in 1802.
As known today, Schuyler’s eight towns were formed as follows: Catharine in 1798; Hector 1802; Reading 1806; Tyrone 1822; Cayuta 1824; Dix 1835; Orange 1836; and Montour, the last defined geographically, 1860, six years after the county was established.
Watkins Glen was officially declared the county seat in 1877 after a prolonged legal struggle with Montour Falls for the designation.

Want to learn more about the history of this area? Please come visit our museum and our research library located in the Brick Tavern in Montour Falls. If you are unable to visit us, we have gathered several websites that we think might be use to you in your search for more information. Good luck!
Franklin Street in Watkins Glen, looking south, circa 1880
108 N. Catherine Street (Rt.14), PO Box 651 / Montour Falls, NY 14865
(607) 535-9741 /  info@schuylerhistory.org
Our mission is to preserve, interpret, and share the history of Schuyler County, New York
For Genealogists and
Local History Buffs


Family Folders at Museum
Old Schuyler & Regional Newspapers
Database which includes Watkins Review & Montour Falls Free Press, etc.

Church Records of Schuyler & Tompkins
Cornell University Library Holdings
Back Issues of The Vista
(our informational newsletter)

Volume 1 (2008):  Issue  1   2    3   
Volume 2 (2009):  Issue  1   2    3   
Volume 3 (2010):  Issue  1   2    3   
Volume 4 (2011):  Issue  1   2    3   
Volume 5 (2012):  Issue  1   2       
Volume 6 (2013):  Issue  1   2    3    4
Volume 7 (2014):  Issue  1   2    3    4