A Brief History of Ogdensburg, New York
From St. Lawrence County Almanac, Volume 1, copyright 1996 by author Robert J. LaRue.
In November 1748, French missionary Francois Picquet made his first voyage
from Montreal, Canada to northern New York. Picquet arrived in Montreal
several years earlier. In the spring of 1749, he led an expedition up the
St. Lawrence River to establish the first permanent white settlement in what
later became St. Lawrence County.
Upon their arrival, the members of the expedition built a fort where the St. Lawrence and Oswegatchie rivers converged. Picquet called the fort "LaPresentation," a name chosen for the fact that November 21st, the date of their first arrival, was the Catholic Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Picquet celebrated the first mass at the forty on the first of June 1749.
Picquet also intended the mission site to be an outpost to teach the native Indians, convert them to Christianity and to establish a protected settlement for the French of this region. The fort was guarded by a number of French soldiers. It contained a church, school and a small trading post that served the small community. Later, historians dubbed the fort "Picquet's Folly."
British troops took possession of the fort in an attack eleven years later (1760). However, before the community was overrun by the English, the French settlers destroyed the old fort. Subsequently, the British built a new fortress which they named Fort Oswegatchie, near the same location.
The place which developed from this first settlement soon became an important St. Lawrence River port. In 1817, the growing community was incorporated as the village of Ogdensburg, named for the first landowner Colonel Samuel Ogden. It was the first home of the St. Lawrence County seat from 1802 to 1828. In 1868, Ogdensburg was granted city status. It has since remained the only city in St. Lawrence County.
Among Ogdensburg's historic citizens are well-known artist sculptor Frederic Remington and Civic War hero General Newton Martin Curtis.