McDonough, NY History Facebook Group

Founded: In 1816 from town of Preston land. Hamlets within the town: East McDonough, Genegantslet Lake, and Lake Ludlow.

Named after: The town is named after Commodore Thomas MacDonough, a naval officer who served on Lake Champlain during the War of 1812.

Current population: 896 (2010 U.S. Census)

Notable people: The famous secular Music Composer and Poet John Prindle Scott (1877-1932) called McDonough home for several years late in his life. Originally, he spent summers there. Then, in 1922, he purchased a house in the village that he called his “Scottage.” Truly inspired, his McDonough published poetry includes “The Old Road” and “The Hills O’McDonough.”

Interesting facts: Since 1927, McDonough residents have annually decorated a living pine tree during the Christmas season with electric bulbs. Standing at more than 115 feet tall, the tree is recorded as the “world’s largest living annually lit Christmas tree.” Bowman Lake State Park is a 966.94 acre park with roads that wind through evergreen and hardwood forests to shady campsites. There is a sandy lakefront for swimmers and sunbathers with several picnic areas. The lake is regularly stocked with trout and birdwatchers can spot as many as 103 species of birds. Campers from across the state come for day and weekend trips.

Industry past: From 1919-1979, McDonough was home to the famed “Ford Homes,” the Ivon R. Ford, Inc., prefab house factory. Started and owned by Ivon R. Ford, Sr., it was one of the first manufacturers of prefabricated buildings in the country and was a major employer.

Industry present: Agriculture plays a major role in the economy of McDonough.