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champlain
                      historic calendar main street with mansion house
                      on left and presbyterian church on right-looking
                      east


2016
Champlain Historic Calendar


_______________________________________________________________


The Many Faces of Champlain:
A Photo Odyssey of Champlain and Rouses Point

    The 2016 Champlain Historic Calendar details several well known buildings in the area and presents many never-before-seen portraits of Champlain’s residents.  In Champlain, a history of the Mansion House (later the Costello Apartments) on Main Street is given.  In Rouses Point, two important tourist destinations are examined: the former Windsor Hotel (later the Saxony) and Marnes Inn and Dock.  The Windsor Hotel was a summer resort in the late 1800s and early 1900s before it became a popular dance and banquet hall by the 1920s and into the 1980s.  Marnes Inn and Dock was established in the 1920s by Dr. Charles Marnes and was also a popular tourist spot.  An expanded 19 page pictorial shows many photographs of Champlain residents.  Several family group photographs show the Bredenberg, Castine and Thibodeau families.  Approximately 120 high-quality studio portrait photographs from circa 1904 show people with the names of Albee, Bowron, Clark, Dickinson, Dodds, Dudley, Dupont, Duquette, Elvidge, Falcon, Gettys, Hubbell, Kaufman, Lafountain, Lavalley, Lambert, Lewis, Lucas, McCrea, Neverett, Roberts and Stone, among others.  There are surely ancestors of today’s residents in this collection of studio portraits that have been hidden from the public for 110 years.



This calendar series has 13 large format photographs (about 10in wide) and smaller inset photos related to the main photograph.  The calendar is printed on a high quality satin (semi-gloss)
cream paper to give the images a true photo look. 


A history is written about each photograph and usually includes extensive primary sources and newspaper references.
 

The 2016 calendar also has an additional 19 pages of
photographs in the back. 

The below contact sheets show a sample of the images in this calendar.

 

2016 champlain historic calendar images
                      sheridan iron works in months

Monthly Image Descriptions
(partial descriptions)


January
The Mansion House, Village of Champlain
The Mansion House and Commercial House.  The Mansion House was a large, three-story hotel on Main Street in the Village of Champlain opposite the Presbyterian Church (later the Village Hall after 1928).  It was one of several hotels in the village that included the Champlain House and American House, also on Main Street.  The hotel was built in 1848 and is first mentioned in a letter from Laura Moore Nye to her husband Bartlett on October 12, 1848 (the builder of the Locust Hill residence, later called the Savoy Hotel):  “Bigelow has his roof raised and it is almost as tall as the church steeple.”  In this letter, Laura referred to John Bigelow, first proprietor and builder of the hotel.  The church steeple was on the Presbyterian Church across the street (rebuilt as the clock tower).  By 1876-1881, J.B. Roberts was the proprietor of the Mansion House.  In July of 1884, the house was leased to a Mr. Leland of Crown Point.  In the early 1900s, the house was called the “Commercial House”. 

Costello Apartment House, formerly the Mansion House, with large garage and adjacent lots.  This property is located on Main Street, at the corner of Main and Church streets and runs through to maiden Lane.  There are eight apartments in this property, which, after taxes and insurance are paid, brings a net income way above any property in this vicinity.  This will be proven to anybody interested in the purchase.  A bargain at the price I am offering.  Ad in “The North Countryman,” October 10, 1940. 

February
Windsor Hotel, Rouses Point
The Windsor Hotel in Rouses Point was located at the corner of Champlain and Lake Streets.  The hotel was very popular in its early days and has been a gathering place for people for over 100 years under several hotel names.  Before it was a hotel, the building was a family residence owned by a man named Webb of the firm “Webb and Rawdon.”  The firm was contracted by the federal government to build Fort Montgomery in 1843 but later went bankrupt when the government briefly stopped the fort’s erection in 1846.  According to longtime resident James B. Stearns who later owned the building in the late 1930s, the original brick building (seen in photographs here) was Webb’s original house.  The brick is said to have been imported from England.  The property was purchased by John Angell.  By 1854, the residence was referred to as the “American House” and was owned by B.C. Webster, according to an edition of the Rouses Point Advertiser (he owned it as early as 1847, this name is also seen on Beers’ 1869 map).  Webster died in 1871 at the age of 71 and is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery.  Webster’s hotel should not be confused by the “American House” on Main Street in the Village of Champlain which had the same name.   In 1860, George W. Angell ran it as a hotel.  In the late 1800s, summer hotels such as the Hotel Champlain south of Plattsburgh became popular with residents of New York City, Albany and Montreal, and many came to the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain to vacation and escape the heat of the cities.  This prompted Theodore M. Leonard (1841-1926) to purchase the hotel in 1884 and convert it into a major summer resort for tourists.  Leonard later added the frame annex behind the original brick building which contained a large dining room.  Leonard chose a prime location in Rouses Point as the hotel was close to the train station and a ferry ran from a nearby dock to Vermont (at one time, the railroad tracks ran parallel to the shoreline in the water down to a new dock).  In April of 1884, Leonard hired Abijah North, who was landlord of the Nye’s “Champlain House” in Champlain, to remodel the still named “American House.”  The renovation was a success and the “Windsor Hotel”, as it was now called, was opened......



:

T.J. Chevalier Now Owner of Once Popular Hostelry
The Windsor Hotel at Rouses point, at one time one of the largest summer resort hotels in Northern New York, has been sold by the administrators of the estate of the late J.B. Stearns to Thomas J. Chevalier, of Hartford Connecticut, formally of Rouses point. The hotel will be remodeled and repaired and will be operated by Mr. Chevalier as a summer resort.  The main part of the Windsor was built something more than 70 years ago at his location on what is now the Lakeshore Drive by the late George Angle, and it was a popular summer hotel for several decades. Mervin Andrews, a Mr. Taylor and Lawrence Marney were other early operators. It was remodeled and the large frame annex containing the dining room was added when it was purchased by the late T.M. Leonard in 1882. Abijah North ran it for Mr. Leonard for several years and other owners or tenants included Charles Beck, Howe, Joseph Ripley, R.B. Mayo and the late Joseph Goyette. James B. Stearns purchased the building from the Goyette estate and Mrs. Ida Erving reopen the hotel for a few months in the summer of 1943. Most of the furniture and furnishings were sold at auction.  [newspaper article]

March
This image shows the devastating 1911 flood.  The back of the houses on River Street are shown with the Champlain Academy and Locus Hill residence in the background.  The square building in the middle of the image was one of Bill Earls buildings and had a sign on at that stated “WM. Earl Bicycle Repair Shop.”   Other photographs in this calendar show the same buildings.

April
Bill Earl Park, Village of Champlain
    The land surrounding River Street has been used for many different purposes over the past 227 years.  Prior to 1829, it was a lush riverside pasture for Judge Pliny Moore’s cows.  By the mid-1800’s, the riverbank was used for commercial purpose.  A store, marble shop, warehouse and boat yard were built here.  By the early 1900s, many houses lined River Street but only a few remain today due to past floods.   In the late 1800’s, a sawmill was located at the end of River Street and was owned by John Earl, father of Bill.  Bill worked here when he was young and later hauled sand from Lake Champlain to the Sheridan Iron Works in a boat he owned.  Around 1906, Bill operated a small bicycle repair shop near his house on the riverbank and Champlain’s youth often had their bikes repaired here.  He also rented pleasure boats and owned a small paddlewheel that cruised the river.  Bill was known to take children to see Lake Champlain’s islands.  Bill Earl died on May 15, 1943 at the age of 76 and his funeral was held in the nearby funeral home.  Hugh McLellan was one of the pallbearers at the funeral.  Hundreds of children passed his casket and paid their respects.  He was buried in Glenwood Cemetery with his family members. 



:
May
This photograph shows one of the more dynamic houses in the Village of Champlain.  This small house is found on Elm Street at the base of Prospect Street today and looks very different from when it was originally built.  The earliest photograph of the house shows it as a simple frame building on a stone foundation with no porch.  A later photograph shows the same house with a front porch and basic roof.  A third photograph shows the house with an extended roof over the porch and dormer windows on the roof.  The back of the house has also changed dramatically since it was built.  An addition was added and this was modified several times (note the changing shape of the roof).  In the early 1900s, Elm Street was level with the front porch, but today, the road has been raised significantly because of the constant flooding on River Street.  Additional photographs of the house are shown in the back of this calendar. 

June
The Great Chazy River is shown looking east from the Elm Street bridge (also known as the “Lower Bridge”) in the Village of Champlain.  On the north bank is Bill Earl’s bicycle repair shop and his father’s sawmill with smoke coming out of the chimney.  On the south bank is the back of the commercial buildings on Main Street.  Bill Earl owned a small paddlewheel boat which is seen in several photographs here.  When the boat was not in use, it was left on the bank by his building. 

July
Sheridan Iron Works Employees, 1938


August
Village of Champlain Baseball Team
In the early 1900s, baseball was extremely popular in Champlain and the surrounding communities.  Many posters were printed into the 1930s announcing games between Champlain and rival teams.  In this photograph, the Champlain baseball team is shown in 1913.  The inset photograph shows a sign on Main Street about 1911 that announced a game with the Plattsburgh team.  The second inset photograph shows several girls from the Champlain High School basketball team of the 1928-29 season.  The captain was Dorothy Wright, daughter of Champlain photographer M.L. Wright who took this photograph.

September
Marnes Inn and Dock, Rouses Point
Charles Martin Marnes (1863-1939) was a doctor, public official and large property holder in Rouses Point.  He was the son of John Edward Marnes who was born in England and Margaret May Costello who was born in Ireland.  Charles had three brothers named George, Edward and William and two sisters named Mary and Margret.  Charles grew up in Chazy and graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine and Dentistry in 1886 and became a general practitioner and surgeon who resided in Rouses Point.  Dr. Marnes practiced medicine for 35 years (1890 to 1935), was a postmaster (1915-1921) and health officer in Rouses Point (1890- ) and then operated the Marnes Inn and dock as well as other properties nearby. 



:

October
The Windsor, Marnes and Slingsby Docks in Rouses Point
“In days gone by Rouses Point on Lake Champlain was an attractive summer resort which hosted many vacationers who returned year after year to relax on its lakefront, rest at its two well-known hotels, the Marnes' Inn located in the business section of Lake St. or the Windsor Hotel at the south end of the village.   Attractive features of these two summer hotels were the docks which extended out into the lake and offered a cool haven for meditating.  The Marnes Inn had a covered dock where boats could tie up and where benches were provided for those just wishing to enjoy the scenery.   Just north of the Marnes Inn Dock was the Slingsby Dock, also a covered dock with tie-up facilities and benches. In between the two docks was an attractive square pier where a cannon was mounted and a flag pole which usually was topped by the American Flag.   The distance between the three structures attracted many a lad and lassie to try their first attempts at becoming swimmers by dog-paddling the distances between them and climbing up on any of the three to rest or bask in the sun.   Young fishermen spent hours with homemade fishpoles catching sunfish, perch and hunting for tadpoles in the not too deep waters in the summer.   Early spring was another matter and the high levels of the lake inundated the benches and dock platforms and as the pictures show, the area presented a bleak and cold looking scene, with promises of better days to come.   The Windsor Hotel also had a dock extending out into the lake and just north of the hotel was a small park with evergreen trees and a little attractive summer house, where people liked to visit.  Time changes all things and Marnes Dock and Slingsby's Dock and the quiet little park have all disappeared now and only exist in the memories of those who enjoyed them in the wonderful past.” [reprinted from the article “Remember When”, The North Countryman, February 24, 1972]

Advertisement:  February 2, 1939, The North Countryman.
FOR RENT - Four room apartment at Marnes Inn.  Automatic heat, built-in cabinets, newly decorated.  Large living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bath. 

November
Armand Catelli Funeral, WW1 Veteran, Village of Champlain
During World War I, many Champlain residents served in the Army and Navy in Europe.  Poison gas was used during the war and thousands were killed from the effects of it.  Armand Catelli (1899-1919) was a Champlain soldier who succumbed to the lingering effects of a gas attack in France.  Armand was the son of Pierre (1844-1937) and Dorila (1865-1931) Catelli.  Pierre lived at the top of Church Street near the corner of South St. in the house that was built by Dr. Julius Churchill, a prominent doctor of Champlain in the mid-1800s.  Armand’s funeral was held in this house on November 29, 1919.  In this photograph his father is shown behind the coffin in the fur hat.  Undertaker Elmer Deal, who had a funeral business on Main Street, stands to the right holding his hat.  The extended Catelli family continued to live in the Champlain and Rouses Point area throughout the last century.  One prominent family member was Paul Catelli who worked at the Sheridan Iron Works and lived in Rouses Point.  He also had a son named Armand. 

A second photograph shows the Armand Catelli funeral procession on Church Street.  The small house to the left is still present and is adjacent to Catelli’s house.  This is not a commonly seen photograph as it has never been identified as being of the funeral.

December 3 - Armand M. Catelli, son of Mr. and Mrs. Pierre Catelli, died at his late home on Church St., November 25th.  He was 20 years of age and his death was the result of being “gassed” in France while in the service of his country.  / He was a member of the 359th Ambulance Company of the 90th Division.  He was on duty on the St. Mihiel, Meuse and Argonne fronts, and became a victim of German fiendishness on November 2nd, 1918, over a year previous to his death.  After being gassed he continued his work of aiding the wounded and went into Germany with the Army of Occupation after the Armistice was signed./ When his condition became serious he returned to this country and secured his discharge at Camp Upton in June.  He preferred coming home to being sent to a hospital and has suffered intensely though everything possible was done for his relief. / The funeral was held from St. Mary’s Church Saturday morning and was largely attended.  He was buried with the military honors.  About four squads of the Champlain American Legion under command of Lieut. O.R. Dunn [Orville Dunn] acted as guard of honor.  They were assisted in the burial of their late comrade-in-arms by a squad of the 63nd Infantry from Plattsburgh Barracks.  A volley was fired over the grave and the bugler sounded taps. / Mr. Catelli was a great favorite with his friends, and the whole community is saddened by the sacrifice he has made for his country. / The following out-of-town people attended the funeral of Armand Catelli:  Mr. C.H. Catelli. Mr. Leon Catelli, Mr. Adolf Masson, Mrs. E.A. LeMoine, Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Lattinrille, of Montreal; Mrs. J.E. Hebert and Miss Irene Hebert of St. Johns, Québec.   [Plattsburgh Sentinel, December 5, 1919]

December
Station House Hotel with the Steamboat “Canada”, Rouses Point
The Station House hotel was first discussed in the 2014 Champlain Historic Calendar and several drawings and maps were shown.  The huge one-and-a-half story building was built in 1852 by the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad Company on a 620 foot long by 100 foot wide wharf.  The building served as a railroad depot, steamboat dock, customs house and hotel.  The first floor housed the railroad depot on the west end, a customs house at the east end by the lake and a large dining room for guests.  The second floor contained hotel rooms. The Rouses Point Beacon noted that the hotel was the “the mightiest edifice of which Northern New York can boast."   This railroad depot and steamboat dock was used for people arriving from or departing to St. Johns, Quebec, Burlington and Whitehall as well as other localities along Lake Champlain.  On August 12, 1870, a tornado or hurricane severely damaged half of the depot.  The west end gable which contained the car house was leveled and several cars were thrown from the track.  The main building had several hundred feet of roof ripped off and the roof over the main office was also damaged (other buildings around Rouses Point were severely damaged).  The depot building was abandoned and removed quickly afterwards.  Years later, dirt was used to fill in the wharf to create a pier and the railroad built a warehouse at the end of the pier.  Afterwards, the Rutland Railroad came into possession of the pier, and in the 1960s, was sold to the Rouses Point Sportsman’s Club.

In this rare image, the paddlewheel steamboat “Canada” is moored at the dock.  The steamboat “Canada” was one of three steamers owned by the Lake Champlain Transportation Company that included the “United States” and “America”.  It was built in Whitehall, N.Y. in 1853 and was the largest steamer on the lake at 260 feet long and 33 feet wide.  The ship operated from 1853 to 1870 and now lays at the bottom of a bay in Vermont with other scuttled steamboats.  By the end of the 1860s, the steamers “Adirondack” and “Montreal” were also sailing on Lake Champlain.  The steamboat “Canada” was used to transport soldiers from Rouses Point to Whitehall during the Civil War.  One regiment was composed of 1,500 officers and soldiers and a second regiment was composed of 1,100 men.  The troops were given space on deck as well as below deck in special quarters.  A member of the 142nd N.Y. Regiment Infantry wrote, “At Rouses Point the convenient and capacious steamboat Canada was in waiting, and in a very short time the regiment was transferred, and the boat was steaming through Lake Champlain.  They will obtain their arms at New York.”

This photograph was taken by W.B. Pierce, also known as Washington Brooks Pierce.  Pierce was a dry goods dealer in Rouses Point and was one of its first photographers.  He may have also taken several unidentified 1860s photos shown later.  Pierce was born in Chelmsord, Massachusetts in 1841 and was living in Rouses Point prior to 1863.  In 1864, Pierce married Nancy Addie Wright but she died two years later on March 7, 1866, at the age of 22 and was buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Lot 25.  Pierce then married Maud May Green who was born in 1851.  Unfortunately, Pierce died on September 7, 1875, at the age of 34 and was buried in Maple Hill Cemetery.  A child named Nydia Maud Pierce is also buried in Pierce’s Lot 25 and she died on August 11, 1876 at the age of one but her parents were H. and H.A. Bissell.  She has the same name as Pierce’s second wife and may have been adopted by the Bissells after Washington died.  Pierce was a member of Christ Church in Rouses Point and had one daughter named Emma from his first wife. 


A sample of images found in the
expanded 19 pages in the back of the calendar

2016 champlain historic calendar images in back
                iron works in months

Elizabeth Nye McLellan (1840-1914) - two photos of the child shown above (one with doll)
These two daguerreotypes are included here because of their remarkable age and clarity.  The young girl pictured here is the mother of Hugh and Malcolm McLellan and great-great grandmother of this author.  She was born in Champlain on November 8, 1840, the daughter of Bartlett and Matilda (Moore) Nye.  The photos show a girl about five to seven years old which would date the images to 1846-7, and to the dawn of photography.  The daguerreotype was invented in France prior to 1839 and by the early 1840s was prevalent in the United States.  One characteristic of this technique is the clarity of the image. The daguerreotype image has an extremely high resolution that surpasses today’s film and digital photography because it is printed on a silver plated copper plate instead of paper. These 170 year old images were either taken in Montreal or Burlington or by an itinerant photographer.  P. Tenney Gates was a prominent Plattsburgh photographer but he did not get into the daguerreotype business until 1850.  Parts of the oval photograph was hand painted.

L. P Case was a photographer in Champlain in the 1860s and 1870s.  He took many portraits of people.  Unfortunately, little information about him has been found in the archives. 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Paine's Studio Portraits
Champlain, New York

Approximately 120 high-quality studio portrait photographs that date to about 1904 show people with the names of Albee, Bowron, Clark, Dickinson, Dodds, Dudley, Dupont, Duquette, Elvidge, Falcon, Gettys, Hubbell, Kaufman, Lafountain, Lavalley, Lambert, Lewis, Lucas, McCrea, Neverett, Roberts and Stone, among others.  There are surely ancestors of today’s residents in this collection of studio portraits that have been hidden from the public for 110 years.

Two groups of contact sheets are shown below.  The calendar has five pages of contact sheets similar to the two shown here.  Many more names of people are on the other contact sheets. 

The original glass plate negatives are owned by the Clinton County Historical Association in Plattsburgh and have been scanned at high resolution.
Contact the association if you would like a copy of one of the portrait images.  


paines studios
                champlain new york studio portraits owned by clinton
                county historical association

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

paines
                studios champlain new york studio portraits owned by
                clinton county historical association


Bert F. Paine and “Paine’s Studio” 
Main Street, Village of Champlain (1898-1910)


Bert F. Paine was originally from Burke, N.Y. and settled in Champlain in January of 1898. He purchased a lot on Oak Street near Maple Street and built his residence here.   The house included a small photography studio inside.  His studio was not there long and in April of 1904 he moved it to the Doolittle building on Main Street (the brick building to the left of Champlain Hall later called the Mauer building).  Paine was there until the spring of 1909 when he moved to a frame house, formerly the store of S. Legendu (or Legendre), that was located to the left of the Champlain House.  Between 1906 and 1910, Paine took many celluloid negative photographs around the village and town of Champlain and used these to make postcards and prints.  Inside his studio, he took formal portraits and made cabinet cards or mat framed prints.  A circa 1910 photograph of Paine’s studio shows a postcard advertisement displayed in the window with hundreds of postcards and portraits hanging on the wall inside.  In 1909, Paine had an assistant named Myron L. Wright and he took over Paine’s business when he left Champlain in May of 1910.  The 2012 Champlain Historic Calendar had more images of Paine and his studios.


Read or hear about the 2016 Champlain Historic Calendar in local media:



About the sources of material for this calendar series



All images in the 2016 calendar are courtesy the Special Collections, Feinberg Library at Plattsburgh State University College, the Clinton County Historical Association in Plattsburgh, the
Samuel de History Center in Champlain or the author.  


To purchase a
calendar


            This calendar, with an expanded 19 page historical essay will benefit the Glenwood Cemetery Association of Champlain.    It can be purchased at many locations in the Champlain and Plattsburgh areas.

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