The first settlers to Lowville arrived in 1798 and 1799, though the village was not formally incorporated until June 29, 1854. Lowville was named for Nicholas Low. The county seat is located at Lowville, having been removed from Martinsburg, the original seat, by an act passed March 10, 1864. Construction on the Lowville Courthouse was begun in 1852, when it was felt that the seat should be changed from Martinsburg to Lowville, the latter being more centrally located and more active industrially. It was completed in 1855 and used as atown hall until 1864, when county occupancy took place.
In 1902, a new County Clerk’s office was erected on the north side of the courthouse. On November 30, 1947, these buildings were badly damaged by fire and were rebuilt using the same outside walls and design. Walking along State Street is a journey through Lowville History. In the northern part of the village on State Street is a white-painted brick home. In 1807, this home was a tavern and a stagecoach stop. Also on State Street are two limestone houses side-by-side. The smaller was formerly the Calvin Lewis Hat Factory; the larger was the Northrup House built in 1840. Another limestone house on this street is the Calvin Lewis House, built in 1826. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad, which aided fugitive slaves to escape to the freedom of Canada.