Tupper Lake, NY 12986
 
Native Indians frequented the Tupper Lake region for several generations before a handful of hardy trappers, hunters and fisherman ventured into the area soon after the Revolutionary War. Sir John Johnson made the earliest-known white man's visit to the region in 1777, leading a group of Loyalists to avoid capture -- from Johnstown, NY, north to the Raquette River for a stopover in the Tupper Lake wilderness, then across southern St. Lawrence County and the St. Lawrence River to safety in Canada.

The first settlement is believed to have been established around 1844 near the shores of Big Tupper Lake. History records indicate that a land surveyor named "Tupper," who drew the boundary that now marks the St. Lawrence-Franklin County line (the lake straddles that county line), named the sprawling lake after himself in the late 1790's.

In the 1850's, Pomeroy Lumber Company began the first logging operation overlooking Raquette Pond and Tupper Lake. The new settlement established there became what is now known as the village of Tupper Lake. The settlement, which grew along the shores of Tupper's lake, was officially named for the lake and incorporated in 1890.

In the 1890's, Pomeroy foreman William McLaughlin sold many of the lots in the company's forest clearings spurring a boomtown growth for Tupper Lake. Then a major overnight fire in July 1899 destroyed nearly 170 buildings and wiped away much of Tupper Lake's early settlement.  But relentless, Tupper Lake pioneers launched a community rebirth, building new homes and reestablishing their businesses, and restoring their village to prosperity within just a few years. Timber harvesting and lumber-cutting operations resumed at a record pace.

The Raquette River provided the first corridor for moving logs to market. The Hurd Railroad, which arrive in July 1890, and Webb railroad which came about two years later, were built through downtown Tupper Lake. The extensive freight operations, roundhouse and other rail facilities built near the juncture of the two lines transformed Tupper Lake (also called Tupper Lake Junction) into the leading rail center in the Adirondack region. Over the next two decades, four sawmills sprung up along the Raquette Pond.

Tupper Lake's second economic boom began in 1922, when the community raised an astonishing $20,000 for the purchase of a 160-acre parcel on the eastern edge of the village and establishment of the Sunmount Veterans Hospital (now Sunmount Developmental Center) which was dedicated in 1924, before a crowd of 2,500 people.

Today, efforts are underway to establish Tupper Lake as the home for the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks.
   

   
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