The Town of Lorraine, the middle of the three southernmost towns of Jefferson County, is about six miles square. Oswego County forms its southern border. On the west is Ellisburgh, north are Adams and Rodman, west is Worth, which was part of Lorraine until 1848. Settlement began in Lorraine while it was still part of the town of Mexico, Oneida County. On March 24, 1804, the legislature created several towns, of which Malta was one, but since Saratoga County already had a Town of Malta, the name soon changed to the present Lorraine. Lorraine was noted for its many gorges, and the elevation as well as the cheaper land prices brought many settlers within its borders.
Settlement in the Town of Lorraine began in November 1802. The first permanent settlers were Elijah Fox, James McKee and his wife, Sabra (Fox) McKee who came from the vicinity of Rome by way of Redfield, travelling on foot. They immediately set about building a log cabin on the 50-acre plot they had selected along what later became the state road, about one mile south of the present village of Lorraine. In the spring, Elijah Fox sold his interest to McKee and returned to Rome where he married Sally Barnham of Oneida County. The young couple purchased another 50-acre plot and returned to Lorraine. .
In 1803 several families settled in Lorraine, including Peter and Ephraim Chaffin, Comfort Stancliff, Benjamin Gates, Seth Cutler, John Alger, Clark Allen and Allen Pitkin. In 1804 the William and Isaac Lanfear, Asa and Aaron Brown, and Jonathan Remington families arrived. Mr. Frost built the first saw mill and Seth Cutler built the first grist mill in 1804. The first town meeting was held on the 5 May 1805 at the house of John Alger in Lorraine village. Officers elected were supervisor: Asa Brown; clerk: William Hosford; assessors: Clark Allen, Ormond Baker, and Warren Flowers; constable: O. Butler; poormasters: William Hunter and Clark Allen; commissioners of highways: William Hosford, Michael Frost, and Asa Sweet; Fenceviewers: William Lanfear, Joseph Case and Elijah Fox; Poundmasters: James McKee and John Griswold. In 1806 the town had 128 families, and by the next year 161 voters had the necessary property qualifications. James McKee and Elijah Fox kept the first inn.
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