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St. Lawrence County Facts

General County Business

County Office hours are 8:00 to 4:00 Monday - Friday. The Motor Vehicle office in Canton is open from 8:00 to 5:00 all year, Massena & Ogdensburg DMV 8:30-4:30 & Gouverneur DMV 8-4. The county has a 911 emergency system located in the Public Safety Building. Any emergency in the county complex should be reported by dialing 911.

Most county departments are located within the county complex . Community Services (which includes mental health and alcohol and substance abuse), Public Health, Office for the Aging, One Stop Career Center and the Veteran's Department are located in the Human Services Center on Rt. 310 near Kinney Drugs. The Highway, Solid Waste, Consumer Affairs/Weights and Measures and Forestry Departments are located on Park Street in Canton.


About St. Lawrence County, New York

St. Lawrence County, a delightfully rural mix of farms, forests and small towns, is the largest county in New York State and the fifth largest United States county east of the Mississippi River. Canton, the county seat, is located about 25 miles from the St. Lawrence River. Our "Maple City", Ogdensburg, and the equally large (small?) Village of Massena are located on the St. Lawrence. The beautiful St. Lawrence forms the boundary between our county and our neighboring counties in Ontario, Canada. The northern gateway to the fabulous Thousand Islands area is found in our river Towns of Morristown and Hammond.

St. Lawrence County originally was comprised of 10 towns and was a part of Clinton County with Plattsburgh as the County Seat. Because of the great distance and danger of traveling to Plattsburgh the people of the west petitioned for the establishment of a new county, now known as St. Lawrence County.

St. Lawrence County was formed on March 3, 1802 with its county seat in Ogdensburg. As the county expanded, citizens in the central and southern parts became dissatisfied with the location of the county government. They complained about the long, hazardous journey in the winter months, and feared an attack by the British, since Ogdensburg was so close to Canada.

In 1828, after a bitter debate the county seat was moved to Canton, a more central location. The county government has remained in this location since.

The county and its government have gone through many changes since their beginning. Some changes were as a result of the citizens desires; other changes were beyond their control such as destructive fires, population growth, and changes required by law.

The county is now comprised of 32 towns, 1 city, and 13 villages. Click here to find the locations of towns, villages and city within the County.

St. Lawrence County is definitely on the northern US frontier, and some consider it remote. But it's not. In fact, Acco Corp. chose to locate its eastern North America distribution center in Ogdensburg, and the Cives Corp. distributes structural steel throughout the Northeastern US from its facility in the Village of Gouverneur. We are conveniently located close to Ottawa, Ontario, which is Canada's capital city, and to Montreal, Quebec, North America's French-speaking metropolis.

We are definitely a down home place, but we like our culture, too! We are home to SUNY Potsdam and its Crane School of Music, Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton Technical College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's Ranger School, and Wadhams Hall and Seminary.

The southeastern third of the county, 953 square miles, is within the Adirondack region, one of America's most unique wild areas--unique in being a patchwork of private and public lands, with several hamlets, paper and wood products industries, and all the vacation paradise one could wish for--if your idea of vacation is fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, birding, geologizing, cycling, snowmobiling, back-country skiing, or just relaxing and taking in the vistas. The county has thousands of acres of state land, including wilderness areas, that are open to public recreational use. Many acres of private forest land are open for public recreational use where so posted.


County Numbers

Population, 2000: 111,931
Population, 1990: 111,974
Square Miles: 2,822
Urban Population, 1990: 46,474
Rural Farm Population, 1990: 2,952
Rural Non-Farm Population, 1990: 62,548
Persons Per Square Mile, 1990: 41.7
Estimated Population, 1996: 114,759
Per Capita Income, 1996: $15,994
Political Party Enrollment, 1997: Democrats: 23,386
Political Party Enrollment, 1997: Republicans: 24,969
All Others Registered Voters: 13,694
Poverty Rate, 1993: 17.2%
Number of Active Farms, 1993: 1,610
Acres in Farmland, 1993: 439,400
Number of Dairy Farms, 1995: 582
Cattle in 1992: 81,978
Milk Production, 1992 (lbs): 438,900,000
School Enrollment, K - 12, 1995: 19,484
Pupil/Teacher Ratio, 1995: 14.1
High School Graduates, 1995: 1,266