Photo: Courtesy Minerva Historical Society
As many of us celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, raise a glass to a unique Adirondack connection to this unofficial holiday.
Just over Hoffman Road, the hamlet of Irishtown was incorporated on this day in 1823. And there’s a very Irish reason the town bears this name thanks to four families: the O'Neils, Donnellys, Doughertys, and Kellys. The Minerva Historical Society has the rich history of how Irishtown came to be, sliced from a large tract of land that was once known as Dominick:
Ebenezer West and five sons came to Dominick in 1800, settling near the crossroads of what now would be known as 28N, 14th Road and Shed Road. The West holdings were called "The West Side". William Hill settled in what is now known as Olmstedville, and built a saw mill and gristmill. This settlement was called the "Four Corners".
Absalom P. Morse became Supervisor in 1817 when Minerva was named a Town by the State Legislator and he named the town "Minerva" after the Greek goddess of wisdom. The West Side became known as Minerva: The Four Corners was named Olmstedville after the Olmsteds who started the tannery: The section of town taken over from Schroon Lake was called Leonardsville: The northeastern section of town where the O'Neils, Donnellys, Doughertys, and Kellys who brought their land directly from the Dominick heirs and was called Irishtown.
During its heyday Irishtown boasted having several mills and mines. All that remains today are St. Mary’s Church and the Irishtown School, recently acquired by the Minerva Historical Society.