Willsboro is the oldest town in the county, established by William Gilliland in 1765. Typically, the hamlet grew up around the waterfall where first a sawmill, then a gristmill, and eventually a papermill drew power from the Boquet River.
More recently, Willsboro has enjoyed the benefits of pioneering work in environmental conservation as the Boquet River Association and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation created a fish ladder to allow landlocked Atlantic Salmon to swim upstream in spring and fall. Soon, a riverside trail will link the falls with the town beach at the mouth of the river, where General Burgoyne camped with his troops in 1777. The beach area also offers tent sites and a nature trail.
On Willsboro Point, the Adsit Log Cabin recalls the cramped quarters of the early settlers. The black limestone quarry on Ligonier Point supplied stone for the New York State Capitol and suspension anchors for the Brooklyn Bridge.