|The Watkins-Sisson House is an architecturally and historically significant resource in the Village of Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York. Built in the mid-1860s as a residence for prominent Potsdam citizen Henry A. Watkins (1819-1891), the house was erected in the prevailing Italianate style of that era with brick and stone masonry. Watkins, who was engaged in manufacturing and mercantile pursuits and who also proved a critical figure in the establishment of Potsdam’s Normal School, of which he served as president, lived in the house with his family from the time of its completion until his death in the early 1890s. The house is additionally associated with a second figure of considerable importance to Potsdam, George Wing Sisson, Sr. (1829-1913). Sisson, who came to this area from Glens Falls, Warren County, in the immediate post-Civil War period, was an influential figure in Potsdam’s industrial and mercantile enterprises in the latter stages of the nineteenth and the first years of the twentieth century. He was instrumental in the development of the lumber trade there and a pivotal figure in the establishment of the Racquette River Paper Company, 1892, for which he and his immediate family were the principal players for many years. Sisson acquired the nominated house in 1903 and immediately set about making renovations in the Classical Revival taste then popular; on the exterior this included the addition of a monumental portico and porte-cochere to the original square plan, hipped-roof front block. The house’s direct affiliation with both the Watkins and Sisson families lends it particular importance in the context of the community’s nineteenth and early twentieth century history. The property has been deemed significant in association with Criterion A, in the area of industry, given the house’s direct association with Henry A. Watkins and George W. Sisson, Sr., both of whom were major figures in the industrial interests of Potsdam in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Heirs of Sisson maintained ownership into the 1950s. Additional significance is being claimed under Criterion C, in the area of architecture; the house retains any number of character-defining elements from the ca. 1864 and ca. 1903 building campaigns and today represents an amalgam of the Italianate and Classical Revival styles and the occupancies of both the Watkins and Sisson families.