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Jay is a town in Essex Countymarker, New Yorkmarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 2,306 at the 2000 census. The town is named after John Jay, governor of New York when the town was formed.

The Town of Jay in on the north border of the county and is southwest of Plattsburghmarker. Jay is inside the Adirondack Park.


Jay was formerly known as "Mallory's Bush", after the principal settlement, based on early settler Nathaniel Mallory, who arrived around 1797.

The Town of Jay was formed in 1798 from part of the Town of Willsboromarker. Afterwards, part of Jay was used to form, in whole or part, the Towns of Keenemarker (1808), Elizabethtownmarker and Wilmingtonmarker (1921). In 1822, the town was increased by territory from the Town of Chateaugaymarker (now in Franklin County), and the Town of Perumarker (now in Clinton Countymarker).

Lumber production and iron ore extraction were important to the early econmomy of the town.

Land of Makebelieve was a former theme park (1954-1979) located in Upper Jay.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 68.3 square miles (176.8 km²), of which, 67.7 square miles (175.4 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) of it (0.76%) is water.

The north town line, partly defined by the Ausable Rivermarker is the border of Clinton Countymarker. The East Branch of the Ausable River flows northward near the west town line

New York State Route 9N is a north-south highway through the town, following the course of the Ausable River.


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,306 people, 918 households, and 651 families residing in the town. The population density was 34.0 people per square mile (13.1/km²). There were 1,443 housing units at an average density of 21.3/sq mi (8.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.44% White, 0.30% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.61% of the population.

There were 918 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.0% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $35,612, and the median income for a family was $39,954. Males had a median income of $29,145 versus $21,438 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,673. About 6.9% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in Jay

  • Green Street – A location southeast of Au Sable Forks.
  • Jay – (formerly "Mallory's Bush") – The hamlet of Jay in on NY-9N by the East Branch of the Ausable River. It is considered the oldest settlement in the town.
  • North Jay – A hamlet northeast of Jay village, located on County Road 64.
  • Rome – A small hamlet west of Au Sable Forks on the Ausable River.
  • Upper Jay – A hamlet southwest of Jay village near the southwest corner of the town on NY-9N and the East Branch of the Ausable River.
  • Au Sable Acres – A small community located near the banks of the West Branch Ausable River above the old mill dam, comprising several hundred year-round inhabitants.

Notable Residents and Natives

One of the notable residents of this town was John Jay.


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