Sunday, December 10, 2023

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WPBS-DT, the North Country’s public broadcasting station, announces a new high definition, three-part documentary series, Discovering Watertown.  This documentary chronicles the fascinating and rich history of Watertown, New York in three, thirty minute episodes.  “The project was a true mission-match for WPBS. It is educational, entertaining and informational. With respect to our four avenues of services: Education, Economic Development, Travel & Tourism and Arts & Culture, we believe it is a natural fit in every category”, stated Lynn Brown, President & General Manager of WPBS. Tracy Duflo, Director of Production at WPBS added, “Each time we complete a project, we see an increase in foot traffic to a region. We are hoping we will have the same impact on Watertown, the surrounding areas and all it has to offer!”

Part one premieres November 21st at 7:30pm; part two will air November 22nd at 7:30pm; and part three will air November 23rd at 7:30pm.  A three-part marathon will broadcast November 25th at 9pm on WPBS-DT.  The 3-part DVD is also available for pre-order on

Part-one, “Settlement & the Early Years”, covers the prehistoric ice age through the founding of Watertown and into the 1840’s. Watch as as surveyor, Benjamin Wright, explores Jefferson County in 1796. Discover the influence of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 on the North Country and why early American settlers decided to make Watertown their home.  Learn about the Native Americans who were here prior to the American Settlers and uncover the key players whose courage and ambition helped build the foundation for Watertown to become a successful community.  Gain insight into founding father, Henry Coffeen, and his efforts to make Watertown a place of prominence in the new frontier.

Part-two, “Industrial Growth & Prosperity, shows us how the city transforms from a rugged wilderness into an industrial powerhouse.  Watch as the textile and manufacturing industry grew, jettisoning Watertown into an era of wealth and prosperity during the mid 1800’s and into the twentieth century.  Uncover how the landscape of Watertown changed as immigrant workers came to fill the factories and brought with them their culture and religion.  See how a class of new wealth was created in Watertown, making it a place of repute throughout the North East.  Catch a glimpse of the challenges and hardships Watertown had to endure throughout its development. Challenges such as harsh winters, natural disasters, and several national wars.  Part two of Discovering Watertown covers the Industrial boom in the 1850’s through the end of World War II in 1945.

Part-three, “The Modern Era”, watch as Watertown adjusts to a world after World War II and new challenges.  From the controversial Urban Renewal movement under President Lyndon B. Johnson, to the departure of the manufacturing infrastructure.  Uncover the economic influence of Fort Drum and the long and intertwined history that the Fort and Watertown share today.  Discover the rich history of local sports in Watertown, from boxing with Sugar Ray Robinson to hosting the oldest semi pro football team in the United States.  Discover how Watertown has adapted in order to succeed in the modern era and how the undefeatable spirit of Watertown is still alive and well.   

Major funding for Discovering Watertown is provided by the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation.  Additional funding Provided By: New York Air Brake.Slack ChemicalJCED, T. Urling & Mabel B. Walker 


WPBS-DT is a non-profit public television station serving approximately 650,000 households throughout Northern New York and Eastern Ontario. WPBS-DT’s mission is to educate, entertain and inform our two-nation audience through superior local and national content and media engagement in order to enhance the lives of those it serves.  More information about WPBS-DT is available at, or by following WPBS on Twitter and Facebook.  Download our mobile app at Google Play or the iTunes App Store.




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