city in Jefferson County, New York

Watertown is a small city in New York's North Country, and the seat of Jefferson County.

Old Jefferson County Courthouse


Former Woolworth building, under renovation for apartments (2013)

Settlers came here in the early 1800s to use the power from the Black River for industry. On April 13, 1852 Frank Winfield Woolworth was born in the tiny village of Rodman, ten miles south of Watertown; he attended business college in the city and worked as a stockboy in a general store on Watertown's Public Square in 1873 before attempting to launch his own "five-cent store" in Utica in 1878. That short-lived effort fared poorly, but a Woolworth "five and dime" in Lancaster (Pennsylvania) in 1879 succeeded.

Watertown is only a few miles from Fort Drum, home of the US Army 10th Mountain Division, the region's largest employer. It is home to various manufacturing industries (the "Car Freshener" scented air freshener is a local invention) and to Jefferson Community College.

Today. Watertown has a beautiful, historic downtown center.

Get inEdit

Map of Watertown (New York)

Watertown is about 75 mi (121 km) north of Syracuse on US 11 or Interstate 81 (exits 45, 46, and 47). Adirondack Trailways Service and Greyhound provide bus service, while the closest Amtrak stations are in Rome or in Syracuse.

The closest major airport is Syracuse Hancock International (SYR IATA) a little over 70 mi (110 km) to the south.

There is no direct scheduled transportation from Watertown to Canada, despite its proximity (Kingston and Brockville are each an hour away by road).

Get aroundEdit

  • CitiBus. Provides a limited local bus service on three daytime routes.


  • New York State Zoo at Thompson Park, +1 315 755-0894. Apr-Oct: daily 10AM-5PM. 32-acre Thompson Park Zoo exhibits species that are or were native to New York State, including wolverines, black bears, eagles, mountain lions, Canada lynx and grey wolves. $9/adult.
  • Washington Street Arboretum, 200 block of Washington Street. Over 30 different varieties and species of trees.


  • Black River. Kayaking and whitewater rafting. Three rafting companies (Adirondack, Bob's, Hudson), seven miles of whitewater, fourteen sets of class III and IV rapids. Riverfront walking trails at the Veteran's Memorial Riverwalk, Waterworks and Marble Street Park; bike, hike or fish along the shoreline.
  • Dry Hill Ski Area, 18160 Alpine Ridge Rd, +1 315 782-8584, toll-free: +1-800-379-8584, fax: +1 315 782-1741. Wintertime tubing, snowboarding and downhill skiing.
  • Thompson Park, entrances off Gotham St, Academy St and Franklin St. Daily 7AM-9PM. A historic Olmsted Creation with scenic views, children's playground, pool, golf course, zoo, picnic area. On or near the 4th of July, the Potsdam-based Orchestra of Northern New York presents the 1812 overture with cannons as a concert in the park, followed by fireworks.



  • Farmers' Market, Washington Street (by City Hall). Open Wednesdays; everything from fresh fruit & vegetables to arts & crafts,
  • Salmon Run Mall, 21182 Salmon Run Mall Loop West, +1 315 788-9210. M-Sa 9:30AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Mall with stores including Target, Lowe's, near I-81, popular with Canadian cross-border shoppers.





Postal service is available from USPS at 232 Commerce Park Drive 13601-9900 (phone +1 315-786-5900); commercial parcel receiving service is available from the UPS store at 968 Bradley Street (phone +1 315 755-2028, fax 755-2030).

Wi-fi is available at most fast food and coffee shop chains, or at the public library:

Go nextEdit

Routes through Watertown
Ends at  Thousand Islands  N   S  PulaskiSyracuse
ChamplainPotsdam  N   S  PulaskiSyracuse
SterlingSackets Harbor  W   E  Tupper LakePlattsburgh
MorristownClayton  N   S  UticaBinghamton

This city travel guide to Watertown is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.