In a barren wilderness in the northernmost part of the town of Potsdam, a settlement was born in the 1840's that was the result of an agreement over the location of St. Lawrence Countyís first railroad. The placement of the Northern Railroad lines across the northern tract of Potsdam was due to the vision and persuasiveness of Norwood founder Benjamin Baldwin who owned a farm and a large tract of land in the territory. In 1846, Baldwin offered a right-of-way and fifteen acres of land for a depot, convincing railroad officials to build on his land. At the place where the tracks intersected the horse- trodden stagecoach path from Potsdam to Norfolk, Baldwin oversaw the rapid development of a nearby depot, a hotel and a business block marking settlement of what was initially called Raquetteville. Other homes, stores, hotels and businesses were built to support the type of trade that the railroad was expected to bring. After a brief period as North Potsdam, the village was officially incorporated under the name "Potsdam Junction" in 1872. The name was permanently changed to Norwood in 1875. The village thrived as Potsdamís sister settlement, thanks to the century-long heyday of the railroad industry. 

Today, trains pass through Norwood with little impact on life in the small village. In the summertime, thousands of northern New York music lovers flock to the Village Green for a series of outdoor concerts. For one weekend each summer, Norwood Lake on the Raquette River attracts hundreds of speedboat enthusiasts for Title Series races. The storied Norwood Brass Firemenís Band, with a history of performances at the 1980 and 1984 Winter Olympics and the inauguration ceremony of Ronald Reagan, still entertains with its trademark rendition of the tune, "When the Saints Go Marching In."  Norwood still lives up to its slogan, "A Nice Place to Live."  
More by Bob LaRue.

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St. Lawrence County & Norwood, NY History
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