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Elizabethtown occupies Pleasant Valley, between the Champlain Valley and the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Early tourists considered Elizabethtown an ideal summer resort, with two large hotels, nearby fishing in the Boquet and Branch Rivers, and one of the earliest golf courses in the state.

The Essex County Government Center reflects the Greek Revival architecture of the courthouse, built in 1828. The county's history unfolds at the Adirondack History Center, located in the old central school at the north end of the village. In addition to exhibits and travel information, museum visitors can enjoy the colonial garden, climb the fire tower, or shop at the farmers' market on Friday mornings.

Located to the north of Elizabethtown, the Town of Lewis was formed from Willsborough in 1805, and given the name of Governor Morgan Lewis, a soldier and politician. Residents cut Evergreens to fuel the forges that processed iron ore from Moriah, and cleared the land for farms. Soon the tanneries, mills, distilleries, and forges provided employment supported by hotels, general stores, a library and a Church.

Lewis received national attention through the suffragist activities of Inez Miholland of Meadowmount. Inez was one of the first women lawyers and was active in the labor movement. She died in 1916, 4 years before the passage of the 20th Amendment, and in 1924 a pageant in her honor “Forward into the Light” drew thousands to Meadowmount, where she is buried. Students now draw visitors to Meadowmount every summer for concerts from the world-renowned school founded by Ivan Galamian.