Asbestos Use in Massena
Massena was one of the fastest growing commercial and industrial centers in St. Lawrence County, New York during the twentieth century. Despite the industrial activity in Massena, the town has remained fairly small with a population of approximately 13,000 people.
Bordering the St. Lawrence River, Massena is intimately involved in commerce associated with the St. Lawrence Seaway, a system of locks and navigable channels allowing Atlantic shipping to reach into the Great Lakes. The five Great Lakes coupled with the St. Lawrence Seaway is known as the “Fourth Coast.” Massena is often considered the gateway to America’s Fourth Coast.
Beginning in 1902 with Alcoa opening an industrial plant in the town, the people of Massena and the surrounding area enjoyed many decades of employment and financial stability. In 1959, General Motors opened an engine casting plant that employed over 1,600 employees at its peak.
Alcoa’s Massena Operations is the longest continually operating aluminum facility in the world, serving customers in the automotive, transportation, aerospace, and industrial distribution markets. Today, it employs nearly 1,100 residents.
Besides being the center of commerce for St. Lawrence County, Massena offers local residents and tourists many recreational opportunities including boating, ice fishing, and indoor and outdoor ice skating. The town is located a short distance north of the Catskill Mountains that provide many opportunities for the outdoor recreationist.
The Downtown District houses exciting specialty boutiques, a 108-room hotel, and a full range of financial institutions and professional service firms. Both the Grasse and Raquette Rivers wind through the north end of town, providing luxurious waterfront properties for commercial or residential use.