Town of Jay

Home of the Covered Bridge

Welcome to the Town of Jay

When the town filed application to be set off from Willsborough in 1797, it was known as Mallory's Bush for one of its earliest permanent settlers, Nathaniel Mallory.  Settlements grew quickly along the river and on the plateaus.  Lumber was plentiful, iron was available in the ground, and the soil was "vigorous and fertile."  The hamlet of Jay was the first to be settled.  It is here that Mallory built his forge. By 1812, Jay had a school, its own doctors, and a man on horseback who brought in the daily paper.  Early forges, gristmills and sawmills, were constructed.

The earliest successful business was lumbering.  Huge spars were taken from the Jay forests and dragged by oxen or floated on the river to Lake Champlain and sold to the English market in Canada for the War of 1812.  By 1820 the lumber in the Upper Jay market was exhausted by commercial harvesting and settlers clearing land.

     

As lumbering flourished in the forests, industrial development was growning in Au Sable Forks.  An entire town began to develop in Au Sable Forks around the lumber and forging business. The brothers Rogers acquired ownership in 1846 and bought Purmont's forge in Jay, the original  Mallory's forge.

   

Jay has broad fields, and open vistas.  The pastoral landscape was first developed as an iron ore processing community.  The ore came from the Arnold Bed and the Palmer Hill mines.  When the mining industry closed, the J. & J. Rogers company converted its machinery to process wood and pulp.  Au Sable Forks, where the two branches of the river converge, was a large and thriving community, but a one industry town.  Though not at the levels of the past, Jay continues to house one of the largest private employers in the county in the Ward Lumber Company.

   

The first image of Jay is often a view of the river running through the landscape.  Out of the High Peaks the AuSable River tumbles through Keene, and is joined by numerous streams and freshets as it spreads itself out over the Jay fields.  Early annual log drives scoured its bottom and cleared its banks.  Now the rver becomes wider and shallower each year.  The river empties into Lake Champlain at Plattsburgh.  It was once the principle highway and power source for the communities along its banks.  Changing times and needs, the continuing problems of transportation and the opening of miles in the west, have all affected Au Sable Forks industry.

      

The tremendous floods that wiped out all of the bridges at on time or another, still occur.  Ice jams form at bends in the river.  The jams release like a breaking dam, causing the river to pour through houses, over roads, carrying huge chunks of ice with it.  In 1999, an entire section of   Au Sable Forks, known as The Grove, was bought out with money from the Federal Emergency Management Act, due to the extensive flood damage.  The river, which has had its role in the successes and disasters that have struck the town, demolished Jay's most unusual attraction, The Land Of Make Believe.  The theme park with miniature houses that illustrated specific professions, was situated on a curve in the river in Upper Jay.  Floods tore away at the park, three floods in its last year of operation.  Opened in 1954, it gave up its fight against the river and closed in 1980.  Buildings by Arto Monaco, its talented designer, remain at Story Town and Santa's Workshop.

 

Town of Jay Supervisors

 

1800

Ezekiel Lockwood

1801-1802

John Cochrane

1803

John Douglass

1804-1805

Robert Otis

1806-1807

Ely Stone

1808-1811

Joseph Storrs

1812

Jonas B. Wood

1813-1815

Joseph Storrs

1816

William Finch

1817-1818

Reuben Sanford

1819

Joseph Storrs

1820

Reuben Sanford

1821-1826

Joseph Storrs

1827

William Wells

1828

Joseph Storrs

1829

William Wells

1830-1831

Isaac Vanderwarker

1832-1836

Joseph Storrs

1837

Thomas Brewster

1838

Joseph Storrs

1839

Josiah W. Hewitt

1840

John Purmort

1841

Jesse Tobey, Jr.

1842-1843

Benjamin Wells

1844

Josiah W. Hewitt

1845-1846

William H. Butrick

1847-1848

Daniel Blish

1849

Thomas D. Trumbull

1850

Samuel West

1851

Thomas D. Trumbull

1852

Daniel Blish

1853

Monroe Hall

1854

Herman G. Powers

1855

Jeremiah B. Briggs

1856

Samuel West

1857-1859

Nathaniel C. Boynton

1860

Henry D. Graves

1861

Nathaniel C. Boynton

1862

George S. Potter

1863-1867

Gardner Pohe

1868-1869

Henry Smith

1870-1872

Henry D. Graves

1873

Gardner Pohe

1874-1875

Henry M. Prime

1876

Richard D. Mc Intyre

1877

Henry Smith

1878

A. S. Prime

1879-1880

Amos Bosley

1881

Spencer G. Prime

1882

John C. DeKalb

1883-1884

Silas W. Prime

1885

Fred E. Trumbull

1886-1888

Louis F. Robare

1889-1890

Eugene S. Parmerter

1891-1892

F. O. Bartlett

1893

Fred C. Mihill

1894-1895

Richard L. Trumbull

1896-1897

Amos Bosley

1898

E. W. Featherston

1899-1908

Charles H. Cutler

1909-1913

Raymond T. Kenyon

1914-1935

Fred A. Torrance

1936-1952

Dr. J. D. Smith

1953-1965

Dr. J. W. Scott

1966-1972

Arthur J. Douglas

1972-1980

Thomas A. Douglas

1980-1991

Paul Savage

1992-1997

Vern McDonald

1998-1999

Thomas A. Douglas

2000

Dorothy E. Madden

2001 - 2003

Thomas A. O’Neill

2004- 2015

Randall T. Douglas 

  2015 - Present  Arthur "Archie" Depo

This website is dedicated In Memory of:Supervisor Thomas Douglas 1972-1980 & 1998-2000  (Whose Original Encouragment and Vision Helped Make This Website Project  A Reality For The Townspeople of Jay) & Special Thanks To Terry Young, Original  Town of Jay Web Designer  & Counciperson Amy Shalton  for making Former Supervisor Thomas Douglas' Website Exis 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Town Board

Resolutions

Assessment Rolls

Town Board & Event Videos

Town Board Meeting Schedule

2016 Town of Jay Board Meetings

January 14, 2016 (Organizational Mtg.)

February 11,, 2016

 March 10, 2016

 April 14, 2016

 May 12, 2016

June 9, 2016

 July 14, 2016

August 11, 2016

September 8, 2016

October 13, 2016

November 10, 2016

December 15, 2016

All Meetings Will Be Held at 7:00 pm @ the Community Center Unless Otherwise Noted

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