Historian's Corner

Charlene Cole
Sandy Creek/Lacona Historian
Historian's Corner
April 28, 2014

Photo: Lacona Depot – the sign above the door reads – American Express Co.

The Twin Villages of Lacona and Sandy Creek are located on the Little Sandy Creek, at Exit 37 on Interstate Route 81, in the Town of Sandy Creek. The Town was formed in 1825, from the greater part of survey town No. 10, called Rhadament, part of Constable’s Purchase, on the southern edge of New York’s North Country.

The water-power of the Little Sandy was harnessed during the pioneer era for sawmills and tanneries, soon followed by grist-mills and a wool carding machine and fulling mill.

The earliest known school building in the town was built of logs in 1807. The History of Oswego County 1789-1877: “The first school was taught by Mamrie Harding in the winter of 1806 and 1807 from a room in her father’s house at Lacona.”Statistics taken from a State Education Department abstract showed that during the 1826 school year there were nine common school districts in the newly formed Town of Sandy Creek. All nine districts sent in proper reports and showed an average school year of seven months, the same as the whole county average. Even as the hamlets of Sandy Creek and Lacona were often engaged in a hot rivalry, the two villages settled their differences long enough to create a Union School District and to build a brick high school taking in students from the whole area.

The same era saw the establishment of the Sandy Creek News, the formation of the first local bank and the misadventure of the Syracuse Northern Railroad (a local financial disaster). In 1878, the Village of Sandy Creek was formed and Lacona followed suit in 1880. The Lacona and Sandy Creek Fire Departments were organized in 1885 following many disastrous fires in the villages.

The East Sandy Creek Post Office was established March 3, 1865 with Julius S. Robbins, a local merchant as the first postmaster. His store contained the Post Office which was opposite the Central Hotel. The name of the Post Office changed to Lacona on September 12, 1870. The present post office was built August 6, 1961.

The following was written in 1979 by Burns D. Edick and is taken from the consolidated history of the Village of Lacona, which was prepared at the request of the officers of the village.

“After spending many hours compiling these important highs of our village, I have to feel that the men who formed our community knew what direction we should go, and I have tremendous esteem for the people who started with zero and made a solvent and well ordered community over the years. Troubles they had, financially as well as economically, but whether they had to draft an ordinance banning bicycles from the side-walks, or keep chickens from picking on neighbors lawns, somehow they did a job that merits nothing except praise.”

“There are people who say that western villages were tough, but can you imagine the organizers of the village of Lacona in 1880 who appointed a police chief and two deputies; and at their second meeting in April 1880 directed two trustees to start looking for a “lock-up”. At their third meeting they advised the village fathers of the need for an additional two deputies.” (the lock-up was found.)

Charlene Cole
Sandy Creek/Lacona Historian
1992 Harwood Drive
Sandy Creek, NY 13145
315-387-5456 x7
office hours: Friday 9am to 2pm