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Old 09-20-2006, 09:46 PM
 
Location: NNY
31 posts, read 287,981 times
Reputation: 27

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We are headed to Fort Drum next year and plan to purchase a house off-post. While we know about Watertown and Carthage, I was wondering if there were any other hidden gems that we might want to consider looking at. Hoping someone might have some friendly words of advise for us.

Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:10 AM
 
11 posts, read 75,218 times
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Talking Welcome to the North Country!

Hi,

I was born and raised in the North country (that's what it is called as you will soon find out....). I actually grew up in a small, very hick/redneck town called Gouverneur. It is about 40 minutes north of Fort Drum/Watertown.

I am not sure where you are moving from, but you MIGHT be in for a big surprise depending on what you are used to. People from the North country are very very friendly and from what I have seen very much welcome all new "Fort Drummers" to the area. You will probably notice how very poor most of the area is, and how you will feel like you stepped back in time about 20-30 years. For example, only recently there has been a lot of building occurring outside the Watertown area--due to the huge numbers of folks living at Fort Drum. But for the most part, you will see lots of FLAT land (I think it could be a lot like Texas, but I have never been there to be certain).
At any rate, over all I love the North country. People are not in a rush, treat other with lots of respect and general are just good people.

Some pieces of advice on housing: due to the large numbers of people moving to Ft. Drum, housing is a HUGE problem in the area! I don't just mean Watertown/Carthage...I mean all the way to Potsdam (which is about an hour and a half north of watertown.) The rent prices are super high (compared to what they were even 10 years ago) and houses are very hard to come by. Gouverneur isn't a great town, but since I grew up there, I know it has SOME good things about it (it isn't too far). You should look into areas around Alexandria Bay, Philadelphia, Croghan (maybe?), Dexter, Adams Center--they are all reletively close, and might have more of a selection for housing.

I think compared to most places in the country you will find buying a house and lots of land (if you are looking for that kinda thing) to be DIRT cheap.

Well, I wish you luck in your move, and I really hope you enjoy living North country. Drop me a line with more specific questions. I would love to chat with you

Oh...don't be surprised to see Amish folks in their horse and buggies if you ever head towards the Ogdensburg area/Canton area. They make GREAT pies!!
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:31 PM
 
Location: NNY
31 posts, read 287,981 times
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Thanks so much NNYGirl. My husband is originally from MN, but this will be my first time to be where snow actually sticks to the ground. (I have lived in CA, TX, LA and AL which is where we will be moving from.)

I am looking forward to it, but I am just not too sure I can comprehend exactly what I will be getting myself into in regards to the weather changes. I have been living in the South for so long. The closest I have come to a real winter was one Christmas week up in Northern MN. LOL!

I appreciate the housing info. We do have the option of living on-post, but we are really considering buying again. We are very spoiled here in Alabama, though. The taxes on our home are only $450 a YEAR, and it is a large newer home with acreage. Yep, four hundred and fifty dollars for the full year. It is amazing. And so going up to the land of several thousands a year in property taxes really makes us think about the difference of what we WANT vs. what we NEED in a home. Hard to step "down" in housing, when you are increasing your payments by several hundred a month, you know?

And I have heard pretty much exactly what you described about the local attitude. I was told that the South may be known for its hospitality, but that it really has nothing on the North Country. I am looking forward to that.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it!

Last edited by Soon2BNYer; 09-21-2006 at 06:47 PM..
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Old 09-29-2006, 01:44 PM
 
Location: NNY
31 posts, read 287,981 times
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I guess there isn't too much help for the Fort Drum / Watertown area? Still hoping to get more insight, if possible.
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Old 10-20-2006, 03:17 PM
 
1 posts, read 22,402 times
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Smile Plenty of help

I live in Virginia now and have for about twenty years. I am going to retire in two years and plan to move back to the Gouverneur/ Fowler area(Which is where I was born and raised). There is so much to do and see within an hour of any direction of Fort Drum. Compared to the schools in Virginia, I know that any school in the Northern NY area is much better. Any town in St. Lawrence County is good in my opinion. The crime rate is no comparison to the south I feel that it is a much safer area in and around the Fort Drum area. I've tried to get home at least once a year since I left because all of my side of the family is still in the St. Lawrence County area. The hardest battle I will have getting back home is convincing my wife because of the cold long winters because she is a southerner. I would recommend anything around Fort Drum -Gouvernuer, Alexandria Bay, Harrisville, Edwards, Carthage, Philadelphia, Antwerp. I can't wait to move home.
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:14 PM
 
365 posts, read 753,584 times
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Hi, well I've been here now for over two years and here are some observations about the place. I live in Champion just outside of West Carthage. You had better love snow and lots of it. Good lord I have never seen so much snow in my life till arriving here and I'm a native Coloradan. Snow and cold, cold, cold temps wow amazing. My big beef about the winter weather is lack of sunshine. It is very depressing in the winter months. There are plenty of little towns all over Fort Drum that are appealing. Look into Lewis County also-Lowville, New Bremen, Croghan, Denmark, Castorland, Denmark. Traffic is no concern because there really isn't any. Yes this place is behind the times about 20 years but thats a plus in my mind. It's a great place to raise a family with heavy religious influence all over. Plenty of amish and mennonites too. Dairy farms galore- I believe there is more head of cow than people in Lewis County. Crime is real low and people are pretty friendly. I am not used to the high property taxes but the home prices are pretty reasonable. I only covered a little bit but if there is something specific let me know- Good luck on your move-
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:25 PM
 
365 posts, read 753,584 times
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One more thing- I just re read your post. If you are buying a home off post make sure you invest in a generator. The power will go out in winter and believe me you need a generator to keep you warm and pump out the basement of water. There is rivers and lakes and water everywhere here so the chances are high that water will find its way into a basement. Shovels, tractors, snowblowers, snowplows- you need one of these or all to remove the snow. Lake effect snow- research it online your'e about to experience it here when you move.
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:11 PM
 
Location: NNY
31 posts, read 287,981 times
Reputation: 27
Thanks so much, Tina! I am going to be sure to have my hubby read this thread. He is from Minnesota and is counting the days until we leave Alabama for up north. Me? Well, I am excited, but also nervous. The farthest "north" I have ever lived was... well, I guess I would have to say the Sacramento area of California. (It is further north than Austin, Texas or Fort Polk, Louisiana or even Fort Rucker, Alabama. Ha-Ha-Ha!)

Culture shock, here I come!
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:20 PM
 
17 posts, read 93,847 times
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I grew up in Philadelphia and my mother still lives there in a house built in 1855. My family has lived there for nearly 200 years. Philadelphia is a very small village of only about 1,500 people but the school district there encompasses several towns & villages and has about 4,000 students in K-12, The school there, and all the schools in this area, are top notch, much more modern than you will find most anywhere else, especially Indian River Central in Philadelphia. There is nothing backwards about the area, or depressing, either. It's beautiful in Summer and in Winter, as long as you understand there may be snow there, depending on the year. Lake Ontario is nearby - lots of water fun there. The area is replete with small lakes that are the envy of many. Then there is the St. Lawrence River and 1,000 Islands. Lots of fun, to be sure. Let me know if you need to be put in touch with people there to help you locate there. Philadelphia, by the way, is a ten minute drive from the center of Fort Drum. Very important in the Winter.
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Old 11-21-2006, 05:40 PM
 
Location: NNY
31 posts, read 287,981 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reporter View Post
I grew up in Philadelphia and my mother still lives there in a house built in 1855. My family has lived there for nearly 200 years. Philadelphia is a very small village of only about 1,500 people but the school district there encompasses several towns & villages and has about 4,000 students in K-12, The school there, and all the schools in this area, are top notch, much more modern than you will find most anywhere else, especially Indian River Central in Philadelphia. There is nothing backwards about the area, or depressing, either. It's beautiful in Summer and in Winter, as long as you understand there may be snow there, depending on the year. Lake Ontario is nearby - lots of water fun there. The area is replete with small lakes that are the envy of many. Then there is the St. Lawrence River and 1,000 Islands. Lots of fun, to be sure. Let me know if you need to be put in touch with people there to help you locate there. Philadelphia, by the way, is a ten minute drive from the center of Fort Drum. Very important in the Winter.
Thank you for your reply. It helps a lot to hear from people that are very familiar with the area. I appreciate it.
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