Plattsburgh, New York

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Plattsburgh, New York

The City of Plattsburgh is located at the mouth of the Saranac River on the western shore of Lake Champlain. It is situated 150 miles north of Albany, New York, 63 miles south of Montreal, Canada and 17 miles northwest of Burlington, Vermont. Plattsburgh is rich in history owing to its strategic location on Lake Champlain. Besides the lake's significant recreational opportunities including boating and fishing, Plattsburgh is an eastern gateway to the enormous Adirondack Park with its hiking, camping, skiing and myriad of wilderness activities.


In 1766 a grant of some 30,000 acres near the mouth of the Saranac River to Count Charles de Fredenburgh brought the first settlement to the area. The American Revolution forced de Fredenburgh to flee to Canada. Lake Champlain's strategic location as a gateway from Canada to the middle of the colonies put it at the center of several conflicts including the seizure of Fort Ticonderoga, the Battle of Lake Champlain at Valcour Island and General John Burgoyne's encampment on Cumberland Head as he moved south down the lakes to Crown Point, Ticonderoga and ultimate defeat at Saratoga.

Settlement of the region became rapid and permanent following the American Revolution . The rights to the old Fredenburgh grant were purchased in 1784 by Zepheniah Platt and others. Plattsburgh was founded in 1785, and by 1810 the population had increased to 3,112 individuals.

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, Lake Champlain's importance again came to the fore as an invasion route from Canada to strike into the heart of the U.S. and split the country in two. On September 11, 1814. Plattsburgh Bay was the site of a battle that changed the course of the war when a fleet under the command of Commodore Thomas Macdonough defeated the larger and better armed British fleet under the command of Captain G. Downey. With the loss of the British fleet, the invasion force of at least 11,000 well-appointed British troops commanded by the Governor-general of Lower Canada, Sir George Prevost, withdrew back to Canada.

Plattsburgh continued to grow throughout the 19th century, becoming a transportation and manufacturing center for the region. Following the Battle of Plattsburgh, the Plattsburgh Barracks army base was established and operated continuously until the late 1990s when Plattsburgh Air Force Base was closed by the government.

College Community

In 1889, the New York Legislature authorized establishment of Plattsburgh Normal School as a training school for teachers and nurses. In 1948 it was renamed SUNY Plattsburgh when it joined the State University of New York system. Plattsburgh State University remains an integral part of the Plattsburgh community to this day with an undergraduate enrollment of 5,400. The Plattsburgh area is also home to Clinton Community College offering two-year degrees and certificates in a variety of programs.

A major effort is currently underway to establish the Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute, offering a high-quality FAA and NYS Education Department-approved Part 147 Airframe and Powerplant School at the Plattsburgh International Airport opening in September 2007.

Economic Growth

The region is now looking to capitalize on the conversion of the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base into a large industrial complex centered around the brand new Plattsburgh International Airport, Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute and Laurentian Aerospace, a North American wide body aircraft maintenance and repair company.

Economic growth in the Plattsburgh area has become more focused on the city's location as one of the prime gateways between the U.S. and Canada and the Quebec-New York Corridor. The region is attracting growing numbers of manufacturers, assembly operations, distribution services and warehouses, particularly with companies looking to bridge the U.S.-Canada connection.

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High Points

Plattsburgh strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in New York):

Category Trophy
Short Commute Times
(vs. Peers)
Top 5% trophy Plattsburgh Short Commute Times
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 6% Plattsburgh Walking and Biking to Work
Affordability of Rents
(vs. State)
Top 18% Plattsburgh Affordability of Rents

Comparative Profile of Plattsburgh, New York

Comparing Plattsburgh to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in New York (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Female Share of the Population 9 9
Well-Paid Single Women 7 6
Senior Citizens 5 5
Racial Diversity 4 5
Well-Paid Single Men 4 3
Male Share of the Population 2 2
Age of the Population 1 1
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Average Household Size 1 1
Portion of People Married 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 7 6
Median Family Income 5 4
People in Middle Class or Better 2 1
People Above Poverty 1 1

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Short Commute Times 10 10
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Public Transportation Use 8 6
Working at Home 4 4


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Living Alone 10 10
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 10 10
Affordability of Rents 8 9
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 7 5
Affordability of Property Taxes 3 7
Housing Recently Built 3 7

Detailed pages on related topics: Colleges in Plattsburgh
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Plattsburgh Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 132 miles N of Schenectady, New York (center to center)
Nearest Large City 201 miles NW of Boston, Massachusetts
County Clinton
Standard Zip Codes 12901, 12903
Phone Area Codes 518
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 44.699
Longitude -73.453

Plattsburgh Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 3.5 miles
Jan Temp 8 to 26 F
Apr Temp 34 to 53 F
Jul Temp 60 to 80 F
Oct Temp 38 to 56 F
Annual Precip 34.4 inches
Station CHAZY
Distance 12.8 miles
Jan Temp 5 to 27 F
Apr Temp 32 to 54 F
Jul Temp 58 to 80 F
Oct Temp 37 to 57 F
Annual Precip 30.2 inches
Distance 19.9 miles
Jan Temp 6 to 25 F
Apr Temp 33 to 51 F
Jul Temp 60 to 79 F
Oct Temp 38 to 56 F
Annual Precip 36 inches
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Plattsburgh Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 18,816 100%
Male 8,720 46.3%
Female 10,096 53.7%
Under 18 3,099 16.5%
18+ 15,717 83.5%
65+ 2,662 14.1%
Median Age 29.6
Average Family Size 2.83
White 17,576 93.4%
African-American 463 2.5%
Asian 281 1.5%
American Indian & Alaskan 98 0.5%
Other 128 0.7%
Mixed Race 260 1.4%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 399 2.1%

Estimated Plattsburgh Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 19,181
Growth 365
Growth % 1.9%

Plattsburgh Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
French (except Basque) 21.3%
Irish 13.8%
French Canadian 11%
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 9.4%
English 7.9%
Italian 7.8%
German 7%
US/American 5.7%
Polish 2.9%
Scotch-Irish 1.7%
Dutch 1.3%
Scottish 1.1%
Greek 0.8%
British 0.7%
Canadian 0.7%
Hungarian 0.5%
Welsh 0.5%
European 0.5%
Russian 0.4%
Ukrainian 0.4%
Lebanese 0.3%
Romanian 0.3%
Eastern European 0.3%
Norwegian 0.3%
Arab/Arabic 0.2%
Armenian 0.2%
Jamaican 0.2%
Czech 0.2%
Austrian 0.2%
Slovak 0.2%
Swedish 0.2%
Scandinavian 0.2%
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Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Plattsburgh, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Beekmantown (12901)
South Plattsburgh (12901)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Plattsburgh 18,816 $46,337
Altona 1,056 $51,528
Dannemora 4,129 $47,019
Keeseville 1,850 $36,181
Mooers 440 $30,817
Morrisonville 1,702 $53,550
Peru 1,514 $43,125

Plattsburgh Public Libraries

Plattsburgh Public Library
Plattsburgh, New York
(518) 563-0921

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Plattsburgh Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(518) 561-2000
Emergency Service: Yes

Wal-mart in Plattsburgh

(As of 2006)
25 Consumer Square
(518) 561-0195
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Featured Colleges in the Plattsburgh Area (QuickSchools™)

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Plattsburgh High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 733 students.

6944 RT 22
Serves 645 students.

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Charleston, West Virginia 87.6   38.9% 17.6% 32.6% 17 $47,975 5.5% 19.4% 53,421 16.7% 75.4 0.6% 15
2. Knoxville, Tennessee 84.9   38.5% 14.4% 24.6% 21 $37,708 5.9% 20.3% 173,890 20.8% 65.5 0.3% 9.5
3. Springfield, Missouri 84.2   35.1% 14.9% 23% 18 $38,114 5.9% 8.3% 151,580 15.9% 80.9 0.4% 5.6
4. Asheville, North Carolina 84   37.1% 18.3% 30.4% 19 $44,029 5.4% 22% 68,889 15.5% 72.4 1.3% 6.9
5. Cookeville, Tennessee 83.6   35% 13.7% 28.2% 16 $39,623 5.3% 8.9% 23,923 23.2% 51.6 0.5% 4.6
6. Johnson City, Tennessee 83   33.9% 15.9% 29.4% 18 $40,977 5.5% 9.9% 55,469 15.9% 70.7 0.4% 6.1
7. Cape Girardeau, Missouri 82.4   33.6% 15.5% 29.3% 16 $43,917 5.4% 12.7% 35,349 15.2% 63.4 0.5% 5.3
8. Bowling Green, Kentucky 82.2   33.5% 12% 26.9% 17 $40,320 6% 19.2% 49,296 21.8% 59.8 0.4% 5.9
9. Florence, Alabama 75.2   33.6% 17.5% 25% 18 $40,577 5.8% 21.6% 36,264 20.4% 53.1 0.6% 4.6
10. Bristol, Tennessee 74.7   31.9% 17.9% 17.4% 20 $37,341 5.5% 4.9% 24,821 15% 57.1 0.3% 5.2
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Historic Plattsburgh


Fouquet House and D. & H. R.R. station c1904.

Select a photo to view (Source):

Fouquet House and D. & H. R.R. station c1904.

Fouquet House and D. & H. R.R. Delaware & Hudson Railroad station c1904.

Court House and park c1904.

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