Santa Clara is a town in Franklin County, New York. The town has an area of area of 191.7 square miles, and a population of 395 as of the 2000 census. It is 30 miles long in a north-south direction, and between six and seven miles wide. The name was derived from the wife of an early town businessman, John Hurd.
There is a hamlet of Santa Clara at the northern end of the town on the Northwest Bay Road, now New York State Route 458.
The town is in the southwest part of the county and lies southwest of the Village of Malone, and west of Saranac Lake. It includes the 58 ponds of the Saint Regis Canoe Area, presently the only Canoe Wilderness Area in the Adirondack Park, and most of 4,700-acre Upper Saranac Lake.
The hamlet of Santa Clara started as a railroad and logging town in the 1880s when Hurd's Northern Adirondack Railroad came through the area. The Town of Santa Clara was formed from part of the Town of Brandon in 1888. An piece from Brandon was added to Santa Clara in 1896.
Communities and locations in Santa Clara
- Bay Pond – A hamlet in the south-central part of the town. It was a former Rockefeller summer home.
- Brandon – A former community, located north of Bay Pond. It became part of the Rockefeller estate and its buildings were removed.
- Derrick – A hamlet west of Saranac Inn
- Everton – A former community abandoned after the forests had been stripped
- Floodwood – A hamlet west of Saranac Inn near the west town line
Hill Crest and Uplands - A sanatorium for working girls with tuberculosis.
- Kildare – A hamlet west of Saranac Inn near the west town line
- Madawaska – A hamlet near the east town line
- Madawaska Pond – A lake near the center of the town
- Middle Saranac Lake – Part of the lake is in the southeast corner of the town
- Meno – A location northeast of Madawaska. There is a rare USGS quad map by this name.
- The Saint Regis Canoe Area – A 19,000-acre wilderness area with 58 ponds
- Santa Clara – A hamlet near the western town line in the northern part of the town on NY-458
- Saranac Inn (also "Upper Saranac") – A hamlet in the south part of the town
- Saranac Inn Station – A location east of Saranac Inn
- Spring Cove – A hamlet near the west town line, south of Santa Clara village
- Upper Saranac Lake – A large lake most of which lies within the south part of the town
- Weller Pond – A large pond in the southern part of the town
Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 18, 1886
FRANKLIN'S NEW LUMBER REGION.
The Northern Adirondack Railroad; Moira to Buck Mountain; One Man Power, Lumber Camps, Sawmills and Tanneries.
(Correspondence of the Canton Advertiser).
The new railroad, known as the “Northern Adirondack,” begins at the Moira depot, on the Ogdensburgh and Lake Champlain railroad, and runs southerly up and around hills, to an incipient lumber camp now known as Buck Mountain, where the forest is being cleared away and a sawmill is about to be erected. As yet, there is scarcely a place where the weary traveler can lay his head or find a meal, except in some little camp or hut of the most primitive construction… From here the railroad ascends through what may properly he called a “slash,” the best of the timber having been taken off years ago, so that now the country on either side of the road, until “Santa Clare” [sic] is reached, presents a dismal array of old trees, lying and standing, among rocks and sandbanks, on hills and in swamps, relieved by a small river, which is filled with millions of feet of spruce logs.
Santa Clare, which is but a lumber camp, is, like the railroad, owned by one firm, and no citizen or foreigner can purchase land there on which to erect a dwelling or place of business. The eating house in the railroad station and the store, are both controlled by the same firm. So are all the mills, and the houses are all built and rented by them to their employes. The soil is sandy and hilly, and well calculated for a desert when the scattering timber is tut off. This camp is 18 miles from Moira…
[For the full article from which this is an excerpt, see Northern Adirondack Railroad]
Massena Observer, February 7, 1949
Santa Clara and Points North - on N. Y. & O.
Like many other "Adirondack lumber towns, the tap roots of Santa Clara were laid deep in the forest which surrounded it. Its ultimate survival, however, depended to a great extent on the New York and Ottawa, which was its very life line.
When the railroad was in its heyday, Santa Clara was a boom town with many lumber camps, from which came an endless supply of logs. The railroad shops were located there and the growth of the village, at that time, seemed assured.
When the shops burned, the town suffered a severe blow from which it never fully recovered. More serious yet, was the abandonment of railroad service in 1936. Although but a shadow of its former self, the town still survives, possibly because of its location on the highway and of its two Summer vacation houses,—the "Uplands" and "Hill Crest".
It has lately been definitely established that considerable iron ore exists in this general area, but whether or not the deposits may warrant development, remains to be seen.
Between Santa Clara and St. Regis Falls, the track closely follows the meandering course of the east branch of the St. Regis River and was about as crooked as the river itself. There was but little, if any, straight track and I am told there were some 30 curves in this distance. The sharpest curve of all was at Sheppard's Rock, where a high rocky cliff, very close to the river's edge, had been blasted away and left but mighty little clearance. In rounding the sharp curve, one could almost touch the perpendicular well of rock from the mail car door…
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 1, 1977
Shoreowners kill re-zoning
By JAMES M. ODATO
SANTA CLARA — A group of land owners in the Upper Saranac Lake area has stalled a rezoning plan that could have allowed more development there.
The Upper Saranac Lake Association has blocked for at least two years a proposal by the Santa Clara Town Board to rezone the properties near Hoel Pond, 49 acres owned by George A. Donaldson, Sr. and Sons, Inc. near the shorefront, and Eagle Island.
The association opposition forced the withdrawal of the proposal in September when the town board was seeking approval for the changes from the Adirondack Park Agency (APA).
The proposal called for the rezoning of the Donaldson property and that near Hoel Pond from low intensity to moderate intensity. Eagle Island, a Girl Scout camp, was to be changed from rural to moderate intensity.
Kenneth Bennet, assessor and chairman of the town planning board, says the rezoning was desired to give the property its proper rating. It already is developed to the point of being a moderate intensity area, he says.
The association, about 192 landowners and their families who live on a temporary or permanent basis in the Upper Saranac Lake region, claimed the plan was a "piecemeal approach to rezoning," Alfred C. Werner, association president says.
The association requests instead a comprehensive review and proposal for rezoning of lake properties, Werner says.
The Hoel Pond property is eight acres with 16 lots in an area between the road through the Saranac Inn golf course and the pond. The area surrounding this property is moderate intensity.
The Donaldson land contains 140 shoreline properties on 49 acres.
Eagle Island, which belongs to the Orange, N.J. Girl Scout Council, contains a number of buildings.
Eagle Island cannot handle further development, Bennett said. He said sewer lines are at their capacity there.
"We're absolutely in no rush," Bennet said about drafting a rezoning plan.
He said the town may hire an outside planner or utilize APA services to plan rezoning of the entire town.
"You can't pass a zoning ordinance along APA regulations," he said.
"If you do draft one, voters won't accept it," he said.
The APA is the agency, established by law to zone the Adirondacks.
Malone Farmer, October 21, 1908
APPLICATION AND NOTICE thereof for the alteration of the boundaries of the towns of Santa Clara and Harrietstown, in the county of Franklin.
To the board of supervisors of the county of Franklin: The undersigned Freeholders of the towns of Santa Clara and Harriestown, in said county of Franklin, hereby respectfully request that the board of supervisors of said county alter and change the division line between the town of Santa Clara and the town of Harrietstown as follows:— By taking from the town of Santa Clara and including within the town of Harrietstown all of Township No. 20 and the north one-half of Township No. 23, in Great Tract One of Macomb's Purchase; and said town of Santa Clara shall consist of Townships No. 11, 14, and 17, Great Tract one of Macombs Purchase, and the south boundary line of said town of Santa Clara shall be the south boundary line of township No 17, and the said town of Harrietstown shall consist of, and there shall be included within it, Townships No. 20, 21, 23, 24. 26, and 21, of Great T'ract One of Maeomb's Purchase; and the northern boundary line of the said Town of Harrietstown shall be a line described as follows: Beginning at the northeast corner of Township No. 20, thence easterly along the north boundary line of said Townships No. 20 and 21, to the northeast corner of said Township, No. 21.
After said proposed alteration is made, the town of Santa Clara will be bounded and described as follows: Beginning at the southwest corner of Township No. 17, Great Tract One of Macomb’s Purchase, running easterly along the southern boundary line of said Township No. 17 to the southeast corner thereof, thence northerly along the eastern boundaries of said Township No. 17 and Townships No. 14 and 11, Great Tract One of Macomb's Purchase, to the northeast corner of said Township No. ll, thence westerly along the northern boundary line of said Township No. 11 to the northwest corner thereof, thence southerly along the western boundary line of said Townships Nos. 11, 14, and .17, to the southwest corner of said Township No. 17, the place of beginning, containing all the lands within said bounds.
And the said Town of Harrietstown, after the making of said proposed alteration, will be bounded and described as follows. Beginning at the northwest corner of Township No. 20, Great Tract One of Macomb's Purchase, running thence easterly along the northern boundary lines of said Township No 20 and Township No. 21 in said Great Traqt One of Macomb's Purchase to the northeast corner of said Township No. 21, thence southerly, along the eastern boundary lines of said Township No. 21 and Townships No. 24 and 27 in Great Tract One of Macomb's Purchase, to the southeast corner of said township No. 27: thence westerly- along the southern boundary lines of said Township No. 27 and Township No. 26 in Great Tract One of Macomb's Purchase, to the southwest corner of Township No. 26; thence northerly along the western boundary lines of said Township No. 26 and Township No. 23, and said Township No. 23[?], in said Great Tract One of Macomb's Purchase, to the northwest, corner of said Township No. 20, the place of beginning, containing all the lands within said bounds.
A map and survey showing the proposed alteration of the division line between said towns of Santa Clara and Harrietstown is hereto attached and made a part of this application.
Dated this 29th day of August, 1908.
Elizabeth W. W. Packard, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; The Upper Saranac Association, By Saml. B. Ward, Prest., Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Sam'l. B. Ward, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Edward W. Rankin. Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Edith H. Babcock, Freeholder of the town of Santa Clara; Francis Van Etten, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Edith Tod Sheffield, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Jeannie F. R. Runkle, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; E. P. Swensen, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; S. A. Swensen, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Thos. Blagden, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Sherwood B. Ferris, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; William H. Jackson, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Mitchell O. Levy, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; George P. Chandler, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Elizabeth C. Winston, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Mary C. Lewis Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Frederick K. Gibbens,[sic] Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Isabel C. Gibbens, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; Frank J. Firth, Freeholder of the Town of Santa Clara; John C. Russell, Freeholder of the town of Harrietstown; John C. Morgan, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; John R. Durgan, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; M. F. Otis, Freeholder of the town of Harrietstown; E. J. Kennedy, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; J. C. l.ittle, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; George L. Starks, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; A. Fortune, Jr., Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; Charles J. Stickney, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; Frank E. Kendall, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; Isaiah Vosburgh, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; Charles L. Sherrill, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown: John R. Hogan, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; Seaver A. Miller, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown: Charles H. Kendall, Freeholder of the town of Harrietstown; Milo B. Miller, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown; Charles F. Wicker, Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown
Freeholder of the Town of Harrietstown,
NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Take notice, that an application for the alteration of. the boundary line between the Towns of Santa Clara and Harrietstown, in the county of Franklin, in accordance with the petition of which the foregoing is a copy, will be made to the board of supervisors of the county of Franklin at the meeting of the said board of supervisors at its annual session, beginning on the 10th day of November, 1908.
Dated August 29, 1908.
[Then followed the entire list of freeholders once again]
Source: Wikipedia: Santa Clara, New York