Essex is located on the shoreline of Lake Champlain near the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The town was important for its role in lake commerce, shipping goods down the Champlain Canal to the burgeoning markets of New York City and via the Erie Canal to Rochester, Buffalo, and points west during America’s golden age of expansion. The photographic record of Essex contains the mansions of the merchants and the houses of the workers who all lived together in this prototypical American community. The town contains a remarkable collection of Greek Revival buildings from 1820 to 1860, its period of national significance, that are still intact. Today Essex exists with the majority of its historic structures standing and little fringe development, and the edges of the hamlet continue to merge seamlessly into the agricultural countryside.
About the Author
David C. Hislop Jr. has a graduate degree in historic preservation and has restored several prominent buildings in Essex. He served as president of Adirondack Architectural Heritage, an Adirondack Park–wide historic preservation organization. The images in Essex on Lake Champlain are from the comprehensive collections of the Essex Heritage Center of the Essex Community Heritage Organization.
Table of Contents
1 The Natural Environment 11
2 Maritime Merchants 27
3 Village Views 41
4 Business and Industry 55
5 Civic Life in Public Buildings 67
6 Village Life and Country Life 93
7 Merchant Row Mansions 107