Hamilton County Courthouse in Lake Pleasant
Location within the U.S. state of New York
New York's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Alexander Hamilton|
|Largest CDP||Long Lake|
|• Total||1,808 sq mi (4,680 km2)|
|• Land||1,717 sq mi (4,450 km2)|
|• Water||90 sq mi (200 km2) 5.0%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2.8/sq mi (1.1/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Hamilton County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,836, making it the least populous county in New York. Its county seat is Lake Pleasant. The county is named after Alexander Hamilton, the only member of the New York State delegation who signed the United States Constitution in 1787 and later the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. The county was created in 1816 and organized in 1847.
Hamilton County is one of only two counties that lie entirely within the Adirondack Park (Essex being the other). Because of its situation in the Adirondack Park, any development in the county is restricted by the New York State Constitution, which designates the park as "forever wild." There is no permanent traffic light in the county.
On April 12, 1816, Hamilton County was created by partitioning 1,800 square miles (4,700 km2) from Montgomery County, but due to low population it remained unorganized and administered from Montgomery County, N.Y. until it was recognized as sufficiently prepared for self-government on January 1, 1838. The organization process was completed by summer 1847.
On April 6, 1860, Fulton County was partitioned, with 10 square miles (26 km2) of land in Sacandaga Park transferred to Hamilton County. On May 24, 1915, land was swapped between Hamilton and Essex counties, with Hamilton ceding Fishing Brook Mountain for Indian Lake. Hamilton gained an additional 20 square miles (52 km2), whereas Essex County lost 30 square miles (78 km2). This left Hamilton with its present size of 1,830 square miles (4,700 km2).
The former town of Gilman was dissolved in 1860. The original county seat was Sageville, now part of Lake Pleasant.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,808 square miles (4,680 km2), of which 1,717 square miles (4,450 km2) is land and 90 square miles (230 km2) (5.0%) is water. It is New York's third-largest county by land area and fifth-largest by total area.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,379 people, 2,362 households, and 1,558 families residing in the county. The population density was 1/km² (3/sq mi); both the total population and population density rank lowest in the state of New York. There were 7,965 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.73% White, 0.45% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. 1.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.9% were of Irish, 15.7% German, 15.2% English, 10.9% French, 7.3% American and 5.7% Italian ancestry. 97.5% spoke English and 1.7% French as their first language.
There were 2,362 households out of which 23.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.70% were married couples living together, 6.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.00% were non-families. 29.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.74.
In the county, the population was spread out with 19.70% under the age of 18, 5.20% from 18 to 24, 24.20% from 25 to 44, 30.90% from 45 to 64, and 20.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 100.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,287, and the median income for a family was $39,676. Males had a median income of $29,177 versus $21,849 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,643. About 6.00% of families and 10.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.50% of those under age 18 and 8.70% of those age 65 or over.
Since World War I Hamilton County has been the most consistently Republican of New York. Since Woodrow Wilson carried the county in 1916, the Republican candidate has lost only once, when Barry Goldwater in 1964 failed to win a single county in the state. The county was Goldwater's third strongest in the state however. In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, John McCain carried Hamilton County by a 26.9% margin over Barack Obama, with Obama winning statewide by a virtually equal margin over McCain; Republican nominee Mitt Romney won the county over President Obama in the 2012 election, too. Hamilton gave McCain the highest margin of victory in the state.
It was the only county won by Howard Mills over incumbent Chuck Schumer in the 2004 U.S. Senate election. It also voted for John Faso over Eliot Spitzer for governor in 2006, and for John Spencer 55.5%-42.1% over incumbent Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Senate in 2006. It was one of only a handful of counties outside Western New York to have voted for Carl Paladino over eventual winner Andrew Cuomo for Governor in 2010.
The following public use airports are located in the county: