centennial_of_the_village_of_champlain_1973

1873 — 1973

CENTENNIAL

OF THE

VILLAGE OF CHAMPLAIN

NEW YORK

 

SOME HISTORICAL NOTES

Compiled by

Lawrence Paquette & Charles W. McLellan

CENTENNIAL DAYS

SATURDAY, SUNDAY, AUGUST 25 - 26

1973

 


 

The Sheridan Company


A Division of

HARRIS INTERTYPE CORPORATION


Manufacturers of

Bookbinding Machinery

 

Congratulations

to

The Village of Champlain

On its

Hundred Years of Growth


Our Company since its founding in 1840, and the Village of Champlain since 1873,
have grown to maturity together.
And may the years ahead continue this partnership to our mutual benefit.  1840 —

SHERIDAN IN CHAMPLAIN — 1973




        CHAMPLAIN —THE FIRST SETTLEMENTS

    The Village of Champlain lies entirely within the boundaries of the "Smith & Graves Patent" of 1785.

    In 1781 and 1782 the State of New York authorized the raising of two regiments, for service within the state for the duration of the Revolutionary War, on bounties of unappropriated lands.

    Pliny Moore of Kinderhook, N.Y. was delegated by 63 soldiers to locate their rights. Being on active service in the Mohawk Valley as a lieutenant in one of these regiments, he appointed an agent to act for him. In 1783 two applications for land were made—one on the Susquehanna River and the other south of Seneca Lake.

    These not being granted, attention was turned to the Lake Champlain wilderness, and late in 1785 the Smith & Graves Patent of 11,600 acres was issued, after considerable dispute over the claims of Col. Gabriel Christie and the Canadian & Nova Scotia Refugees. The title of the grant is derived from the names of the first two persons on the original patent: Levi Smith and Mark Graves.

    Pliny Moore made an outline survey of the location in the spring of 1785, completing it the following year by laying it out into 119 lots. These lots were balloted for in February 1787, and by the so-called Great Deed were distributed among the proprietors.

    On March 7, 1788, the state legislature created Clinton County (formerly a part of Washington County), which included all of the present Essex County and parts of Franklin County. What is now Clinton County was divided into two townships, Plattsburgh and Champlain, the latter including all of the present towns of Chazy and westward into Franklin County.

    On May 23, 1788, Pliny Moore, together with Samuel Ashmun, William Beaumont, Elnathan Rogers, Joseph Rowe and Caleb Thomas, arrived here to start the new settlement by clearing land, cutting out rough roads, and building a saw mill. Its first name was "Moorsfield on the River Chazy."

    By 1790, according to the first Federal Census, the town had grown to 37 families, totaling 149 persons. 28 of these families were of French-Canadian stock.

    These French-Canadians were those who had supported the American cause during the Revolution as soldiers, thus losing their homes in Canada—the Refugees. New York State eventually granted them land (including all of Rouses Point, the Town of Mooers, and portions of Chazy and Altona). Prior to this they "squatted" along the shores of Lake Champlain.

    A census made in 1787 include many names still found in the area: Gossel in, Hamelin, Belangee, Ayot, Trehent, Marney, Lavoie, Langlois, Pepin, Durivage, Paulint, Lizot. (Spelling as shown on original.)

    Only one of the families in this census can with reasonable possibility be placed as within the present borders of our village: that of Presque Asselin, the ancestor of present-day Ashline families. He thus could have been the first permanent settler in Champlain.






SOME "FIRSTS" IN CHAMPLAIN

    The first death in Champlain was that of Joseph Rowe in 1789. He was buried near the top of Church Street.

    The first birth was that of Ann, daughter of Pliny Moore, in 1790. She married Julius Caesar Hubbell, a lawyer and life-long resident of Chazy. His office is now the Chazy Public Library.

    Dr. Benjamin Moore, a brother of Pliny, was the first doctor to settle permanently here, about 1797. His ledgers indicate that it cost about $1.25 to be born and about $2.50 to die.

    Our first library was established in 1807. Our present library was organized in 1924, on the second floor of the old bank building.

    The first postmaster was Pliny Moore, in 1797.

    The oldest large home in original condition is Alfred Gagnon's on Oak Street, built by Alexander Whiteside in 1816.

    Champlain's first newspaper was "The Herald of Freedom," an anti-slavery paper published by Orson Branch Ashmun.

    Trains ran for the first time in 1848, between Champlain and Mooers Forks. It was completed from Rouses Point to Ogdensburg in 1850.

    Our first fire engine was purchased in 1873. The name of our present department is derived from the name of the engine­ Niagara—painted on its side by the manufacturer. It required 60 men to fully man it.

Our first soda fountain was installed in 1881 in the drug store of B.C. Moore, later Falcon's Drug Store.





CONGRATULATIONS TO

VILLAGE OF CHAMPLAIN

ON THEIR

CENTENNIAL

SMITH & SON

Petroleum Products

Champlain, New York Phone 298-9521

24 HOUR BURNER SERVICE



CHAMPLAIN AS AN INCORPORATED VILLAGE

    An election was held on Sept. 23, 1873, to decide whether or not we would incorporate. The final vote: 91 "yes" and 87 "no." Those who opposed incorporation filed a petition in 1875 to "dis-incorporate" and in February a second election was held, this time the vote being 104 to remain incorporated and 89 against.

    The size of the new Village was 730 acres, 104 square rods, and 16 and 6 ' 16th square feet.

    During the earlier years the Village Board consisted of a President and three Trustees (later increased to four). About 1926 the title of President was changed to Mayor. A complete list of Presidents and Mayors with their terms of office are:

1873-74 Timothy Hoyle                         1899-1908 George Graves

1874-75 Charles Everest                       1908-10 Milo Scriver

1875-76 S. Alonzo Kellogg                    1910-23 Oliver Lafontaine

1876-82 Charles Everest                       1923-26 Fred Dodds

1882-83 John Whiteside                      1926-43 Arsene E. Tremblay

1883-86 Charles Deal                          1943-44 Noah E. Lafontaine

1886-87 Benjamin C. Moore                 1944-45 Nazaire Lavoie

1887-90 Robert H. Hitchcock                1945-47 Foster M. Strickland

1890-92 Henry S. Milliette                    1947-51 Arsene E. Tremblay

1892-93 Robert McCrea                         1951-53 James Todd

1893-94 Amasa B. Spelman                  1953-65 Clifford LaPlante

1894-97 Charles F. Nye                         1965-69 David Southwick

1897-99 Oliver Roberts                         1969-   Robert Morgan

Only thirteen Village Clerks during this hundred years:

1873-75 Daniel D.T. Moore                   1875-78 Scott Ransom        1878-82 David Savage                         1882-83 A.L. Webb

1883-84 Wilmer H. Dunn                           1884-87 J. Goulding Smith

1887-91 Egbert Everest                       1891 Newton J. Herrick
1891-1930 N. Ponchel St. Maxens        1930-32 Clarence A.Scriver     
1932-34 Abel Glaude                           1934-52 William A. Paquette

   1952-to date Lawrence Paquette

Recent Treasurers have been Walter H. Doolittle (1912-44); Ken­neth Kaufman (1944-51); Lawrence Paquette (1951-57); Francis Deloria.

Trustees during the past 30 years, in alphabetical order, are:
Fred Bodette             Percy Bosley            Armand Cardin   
Lester Coopy             Bennett Dame         George Favreau
Henry Garceau           Bernard Guay         Frank Jefferson
Gerard Juneau

Kenneth Kaufman      Albert Morelli

Albert Lapine             Robert Morgan

Arthur Lapine            Aurel Parsons

Clifford LaPlante        Richard Purcell

Homer Laramie           Leon Roberts

Warren Lavalley          David Southwick

Nazaire Lavoie            Jay Stiles

Elmer Lucas               James Todd

Daniel Maher            Ronald Tromblay

Allan Maynard            Richard Wootton

Homer Miller





DID YOU KNOW THAT...

    In 1806 a bounty of $20 was offered for every wolf killed in the town—later raised to $50? A "wolf ring" was formed in Mooers, which imported dead wolves from Vermont and Canada, claiming them to be killed here, thus defrauding the taxpayers of several thousands of dollars. With the termination of the bounty, no further wolves were discovered in the area.

    Our present "Champlain House" was built in 1850, and ad­vertised that their stages would meet all steamboats at Rouses Point?

    The International Fair Grounds and Trotting Park, owned by Robert McCrea, was located about where the Northway Theatre is today?

    A paper mill was operated by the Whiteside Brothers (John and Frank) a bit downstream from the village water tower?

    Fire carts with hose were placed strategically in various locations around the village? Some of these were behind our Village Clerk's home on Pine Street; near the "ski shop;" near the Sheridan plant; and back of the American House and on Cedar Street.

    A distillery was built in Champlain before 1800, on Distillery Street (now Water Street) behind the present A & P store? It was later converted into a tannery, in operation until about 1892, when it was destroyed by fire.

    The school taxes on one piece of property in the village was $31.31 in 1945 and had risen to $206.39 by 1972?






ANACHEMIA

CHEMICALS INCORPORATED

Manufacturing Chemists

Established in the Village of Champlain
for the past 19 years.

Manufacturers of High Purity Reagent Chemicals, Clinical Solutions, Solvents, Stains. etc.

One of the largest manufacturers of the Hemodialysis Concentrate used in the Kidney Machines Throughout the United States and Canada.

 



Champlain High School - 1889 - 1940

EDUCATION IN CHAMPLAIN

    The lamp of knowledge came to Champlain in 1792, with an Englishman, Michael Fotherg ill, as the first teacher. Four years later the first Board of Trustees was chosen, followed in 1797 by the first schoolhouse—a log building near the railroad crossing on Oak Street.

    The second building was of frame, built a few years later on Church Street where the "locker plant" now stands. This was also used as a blockhouse during the War of 1812, and was burned in 1814. The U.S. Government reimbursed the owners to the amount of $400.

    A brick building was built on the same site at a cost of about $1100. This building was 40 by 26 feet. It was sold by the School District in 1884.

    The Champlain Academy was erected in 1842, at the corner of Elm and Prospect Streets. It was a three story brick and stone building, 40 by 80 feet, and cost $5,200 including furnishings. Destroyed by fire in 1887, it was replaced at a cost of $11,000 by the building shown above, to which an addition was built in 1905. This structure was completely destroyed by fire in December 1940, the site now being occupied by the home of Mr. Carl Fresn.

    A new building was built in 1941-42 at a cost of $171,000, which is now the present grade school for our area of the Northeastern Clinton Central School.

    Consolidations of the many small school districts started in 1860; continued with the establishment of the Union Free School System in 1871 and the gradual expansion into our present Central School System.

    Notable among our early instructors are Dr. William Beaumont, who taught School in Champlain in 1807-10, and Jehudi Ashmun in 1815. Recent principals before Mr. Maher were Mr. Bacon, Marvin and Codding.






DID YOU KNOW THAT...

    The Village Hall was officially opened in May 1929?    It is on the site of the Presbyterian Church, destroyed by fire in 1927.

    A street car line was seriously considered in 1905, to run between Champlain and Rouses Point?

    The statue of Samuel de Champlain shown on the cover was unveiled in front of St. Mary's Church on July 4, 1907? This was the first statue ever to be erected in the United States to our namesake.

    The fourth annual New York State French-Canadian Convention was held in Champlain in 1881?

    The Bredenberg Brothers (Oscar and Henrik) were one of the first manufacturers of skis in the United States, about 1910?

    For seven years (1930-36) the Champlain Community Exhibit "packed 'em in" at the Village Hall, and disbanded because it was too successful? Some twenty thousand admissions were sold (at 15c each) for this depression-inspired activity to stimulate community togetherness and boost local businesses.

    The island in our river was created into an "Island Park" about 1876? It was complete with bath houses, band stand and con­cessions, and foot bridges connected it with both shores.

    A news item in the "Champlain Doodlebug" printed in 1933 said: "Spring must be here; Woody McLellan was seen on the street this morning at eleven o'clock?"


CONGRATULATIONS TO

The Village of Champlain

CHAMPLAIN LAUNDRY

& CLEANERS, INC.

"Serving Champlain for 50 Years"



CHAMPLAIN AND THE WAR OF 1812

    During the first hundred years of its existence, Champlain was very much in a "war zone"—either actual or potential.

    Point au Fer, south of Rouses Point, was occupied by a British garrison until 1796, who claimed all of our area and repeatedly warned the citizens to vacate their lands.

    War seemed inevitable in 1807, after the attack by the British on an American war vessel. A Committee of Safety appealed to the Governor for protection, who quickly authorized the storing in Champlain of a quantity of arms and ammunition for the use by the citizens, should the need arise. These arms remained in the com­munity until 1813, when they were turned over to the arsenal at Plattsburgh,

    Pliny Moore's diary contains numerous references to "training and trooping" during this period. And until the conclusion of the final peace, the diary gives much light on the military activities in the area. His home, being the largest in the community, was used by both American and British officers as their headquarters.

    Here are samplings from his diary: Gen. Pettit here; Gen. Dearborn; Gen. Fasset; Gen. Wilkinson; Gen. Winder; Gen. Izard; Gov. Provost; Gen. Brisbane; also numerous other officers. Of particular interest are the entries merely marked "VDK," which indicated conferences between the American leaders and Eleazer Williams of Hogansburg, who organized a "Corps of Observation" or spy ring of Iroquois Indians.

Military activities are also numerous:

    June 3, 1813: Battle of Lt. Sidney Smith & loss of 2 armed Sloops. July 31: British at Plattsburgh. Aug. 3: Block Houses burnt by British. Sept. 7: British squadron sailed up the lake. (These last three entries refer to the daring raid on Plattsburgh, Swanton, Chazy and Champlain by the British Col. Murray.) Sept. 20: The Army passed into Odletown Battle. Sept. 21: Counter Marched. (A defeat for the Americans.) Mar. 30, 1814: Gen. Wilkinson's Battle of Lacolle. Mar. 31: Gen. Wilkinson returned to Champlain. (Another defeat.) July 25: A man shot for desertion. Aug. 28: British Indian Force came into Champlain. Aug. 29: All peaceable except for one drunken Indian. Sept. 4: British Army, about 14,000, passed on to Chazy with 16 pieces cannon. Sept. 6: Battle at Beekmantown. Sept. 11: Battle of the Fleets. McDonough took the Ship, the Brigg and 2 Sloops. Sept. 13: British Army passed (in retreat) except one Brigade at Champlain. Sept. 25: British Army left Champlain. Feb. 22, 1815. Celebration of Peace.
   
    During the Canadian Rebellion of 1837 the community again prepared for trouble, as the "rebels" used the United States as places of refuge.

    Finally, during our Civil War, troops were stationed along the border, as war seemed near several times with Britain. And with the Confederate raid on St. Albans from Canadian soil in 1864, Committees of Safety were for the last time organized by our citizens.





THE VILLAGE OF CHAMPLAIN, N.Y.

1973

Robert E. Morgan, Mayor

Daniel E. Maher                                                   Armand Cardin

Homer W. Laramie                                            Aurel W. Parsons

Trustees

Lawrence Paquette, Village Clerk
Francis Deloria, Village Treasurer

CENTENNIAL COMMITTEE

Gerald Mayo, Kenneth La Plante, Cleo Willette
Chairmen

Albert Morelli, Parade Marshal
Francis Deloria, Treasurer



Congratulations

To The
Village of Champlain

On Its Centennial

As you celebrate your 100th anniversary as an In­corporated Village, we complete our First Year of operations in the area. We now look forward to our Centennial and your Bicentennial

ALCO PACKING CO., INC.

WHOLESALERS OF BEEF AND VEAL


  Ridge Road                                                                  Champlain






PROGRAM

Saturday, August 25

10:00 a.m.                               Games, Rides and Booths opened.

10:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.                          Displays throughout Village.

12:00 noon                Box Lunches on Elementary School Grounds.

2:00 - 5:00 p.m.      Children's Games and Races on School Grounds.

6:00 8:00 p.m.             Band Concert in Village Park on Main Street.

Straw Hatters
Sweet Adelines
Barber Shoppers

8:00 p.m.                                             Dedication of Village Park.

Guest Speaker: Congressman Robert C. McEwen

8:00 p.m.                                                       Two Street Dances

(one near the American Hotel, the other
on Prospect Street near the Savoy Hotel)

Sunday, August 26

11:00 a.m.                                         Games and Rides resumed.

1:00 p.m.                                                                      Parade

2:30 - 4:00 p.m.                                           Band and Music Exhibitions

2:30 p.m.                             Chicken Barbeque on School Grounds

4:00 - 8:00 p.m.                         Smorgasbord at the American Legion.

8:00 p.m.                               Raffle Drawings on School Grounds.

9:00 p.m.                                                        Closing of Booths.






JOTTINGS FROM THE RECORDS OF THE VILLAGE CLERK

    The official Village Seal, adopted in 1873, bears a replica of the Coat of Arms of Samuel de Champlain.

    John Bigelow was appointed our first Police Chief, Stephen Boileau the first Street Commissioner, and Benjamin Moore the first Fire Chief.

    In 1874 a Poll Tax of $1 was imposed on all males between 21 and 60 years of age (later raised to 70 years). Firemen and clergymen were exempt.

    Amos Voodrie was hired at $30 a year to wind the Village Clock in 1874. Although later reduced to $20, he kept the job for 18 years.

    In 1876 the Police Chief was charged with failure to arrest drunks.

    A Resolution was adopted in 1878 forbidding the building of gates which would swing outward onto the sidewalks.

    June 1887 the Board voted to purchase 12 gasoline street lamps to light the Main Street area. Paid $60 for them installed, purchased from Sun Vapor Light & Stove Company of Canton, Ohio. The following year 20 kerosene lamps were added. Louis Louisel le was appointed the first Lamplighter of the village at $36 a year. The H. L. Doolittle store got the first kerosene contract at 8.9c a gallon. In 1890 the Board voted to spend $800 on building a Village Lock­up. At election time the voters turned it down.

    After years of requiring residents to build and maintain their own wooden sidewalks in certain portions of the village, the Board voted in 1891 to take over their maintenance. This was voted down by the residents at a special election, 38 to 16, but in 1895 the Board did take over the sidewalks.

    As early as 1891 the question of a water system for the village was discussed. Finally in 1897 a special election resulted in a 172 to 29 vote in favor of raising $20,000 for a water system to provide "pure and wholesome water" to the village. In the same year the Board contracted with F. 8 J.R. Whiteside for lease of land for a pumping station and for use of water, at $1000 a year, "plus 25c per capita when our population exceeds 2000 persons." (In 1970 our population was still only 1500.) Our water system was in full operation by the summer of 1898.

    In June 1897 the Board authorized a contract with a "reputable company" for electric lighting within the village, and contracts with Robert McCrea for $650 a year for five years if he got the system up by September 1, 1898.

    In December 1897 the Board hired "special detective police" to curb gambling in the village.

    N. Ponchel St. Maxens, the Village Clerk, was employed in January 1898 to complete a census of the village.

    In May 1898 the Board authorized the installation of two "telephone boxes" "to correspond with station," one to be installed in Niagara Hall, the other at the Champlain House.

 



Flood Waters in Champlain-1904

BY FLOOD AND BY FIRE

    Since its earliest settlement, our village has been menaced almost annually by ice jams and spring floods on our normally peaceful and lazy Great Chazy River.

    In an early diary are found references for seven years between 1801 and 1819 of such disasters: "foot bridge went," "saw mill went," "new dam broke," "stone mill went," "old saw mill dam broke," etc.

    Other references found include "the rarest, most destructive flood ever witnessed in our river in 1857;" "The great flood at Champlain on April 1, 1886, carried away the new iron bridge and did great damage to property;" "1892, the river rose from 7 to 8 feet." And on at least two other occasions bridges were destroyed by the ice jams.

    The editors have photographs of many other floods in this cen­tury, at least eight between 1904 and 1946. And few of us will forget the flooding this past winter of 1973.

    Of the many fires which have over the years threatened our village, probably the best remembered by old-timers was that of April 27, 1912, which endangered the entire community, due to the "wind of almost tornado proportions." Starting in the building across from our Village Hall, it quickly spread to a nearby bakery, crossed the river to Dr. Wootton's present home, gutted the McLellan home (Parson's), spread to buildings owned by the Nye's and the Crook's, and some two miles away to the Bernard Dodds farm. Numerous roofs took fire, and departments assisted from Rouses Point and Plattsburgh—the latter arriving in automobiles con­taining fire hose. A special train started from Malone with their equipment, but turned back when news was received that the fire was contained.

 

DO YOU REMEMBER...

    When school would be let out one fine day each spring, to go to a Sugar Bush to eat sugar on the snow?

    During the 1930's when a dollar would buy quite a lot of food? Corn Flakes at 7c; sugar at 10 pounds for 45c; 2 heads of lettuce for 15c; 25c a dozen for oranges; bacon at 22c a pound; hamburg at 12c; sirloin steak at 27c; eggs at 20c a dozen and butter at 23c a pound.

    The building which collapsed from the heavy snow a few years ago, across from the old bank building? It had been, among other things, a roller skating rink, a bowling alley, a garage, a hall for dances and bazaars, a creamery, and a basketball court.

    When the American Legion sponsored amateur boxing and wrestling in the Village Hall during the 1930's?

    That a boat-yard was located at the foot of River Street for many years? A great number of barges, canal boats and private boats were built there. During its later years it was operated by Bill Earl, the friend and "father-confessor" to countless generations of our local boys, who enjoyed his endless stream of tall tales.

    That "bootlegging" was probably the biggest "industry" in Champlain from 1920 to 1933? Ask any old-timer about his memories (and possible participation) in this most lucrative activity, which laid the foundation for many local fortunes.

    When a postal card cost l cent?



Paquette's Insurance
Agency Incorporated

INSURANCE - REAL ESTATE

Main Street                                         Champlain, N.Y.



 
THE IRON AGE IN CHAMPLAIN

    In 1820 Solomon Bostwick, a local cabinet and furniture maker, listed "Wood Patterns for Castings" among his items. These were used by the Champlain Agricultural Works, established in the same year; their products included plows, mowers, tedders and rakes, churns, corn shellers, and other farm equipment. Their operations continued as late as the 1900's.

    A second foundry was established in 1840 by Thomas Whiteside on the corner of Main and Cedar Streets. In 1847 it was leased to David Finley and James Smith. Although the machine shop con­nected with it burned down in 1848, it was soon rebuilt and con­tinued there for six years.

    In 1854 Finley and Smith built a new foundry on the site of the present Sheridan Company. It consisted of a two-story brick machine shop, 40x80, and a brick foundry building, 40x100, con­taining two cupolas. They made steam engines and boilers, cir­cular saw mills, iron water wheels, brass and iron castings, stoves and pumps—also car wheels for the Northern (later Rutland) Railroad.

    The years that followed saw changes in ownership and name: D. Finley & Co., H.W. Clark & Co., Champlain Foundry & Machine Shops, Champlain Iron Works, Sheridan Iron Works, and now The Sheridan Company, a Division of the Harris Intertype Corporation—but it is the only one in the North Country with a con­tinuous history of 133 years.

    Ownership passed to Averill and Kellogg in 1880, and an office was opened in 1886 in New York City. Their shipments during this period consisted of letter presses, standing presses, inkers, and other bookbinding machinery.

    The T.W. & C.B. Sheridan Co. acquired half-interest in 1887, which later became full ownership. The years since have been ones of steady development, and to Mr. Alfred Bredenberg, Chief Engineer for many years, may be credited much of this advance. Among his inventions are the Sheridan Book Covering Machine, the Bookbinder, the Casemaker, and the line of Sheridan Presses.

    Sheridan Bookbinding machinery is used throughout the world in the mass production of books and periodicals; their presses have contributed greatly to the automotive, aircraft, textile, leather, chemical, and packaging industries. And it may truly be said that scarcely a person in the world has not at one time or another come in contact with some product that has passed through a Sheridan machine—made in Champlain.

CHAMPLAIN'S BRICKYARDS

    Four locations for brick-making in Champlain are known. (1) First, on Cedar Street, beyond Bredenberg's Hardware. (1) And on the hill near Stone's Studio. (3) Also between the railroad right-of-way and the Glenwood Cemetery. (4) As late as 1895, a brickyard was located east of the road from the Sheridan to the Rapids, not far from the present home of George Cameron.


A CHAMPLAIN SCRAP-BOOK

    Champlain's "Haunted House" was a large stone building on the east side of upper Oak Street, not far from the Canadian border. Built by one of the Corbins, it gradually crumbled away until today nothing remains. Probably called "haunted" because some thirty American soldiers were buried nearby during the War of 1812, during a smallpox outbreak.

    River Street was called "Blue Street" for years, because a row of houses built by E.M. McDowell were painted a brilliant blue.

    The building now occupied by the Clark Funeral Home is ex­ternally a duplicate of the home built by Judge Pliny Moore in 1802. The original building cost about $2000, including "two barrels of rum for the raising."

    1816 is known in history as "The Year Without A Summer." From an early diary are found entries showing snow as late as July, and crop-damaging frosts and ice every month in the year.

    John Jacob Astor, America's first multi-millionaire, was a frequent visitor in Champlain. As early as 1794, for the trans­shipment of a few packs of furs; as late as 1817, one fur shipment consisting of "221 Bales, 9 Puncheons and 1 Barrel" valued at some $200,000.

    Jehudi Ashmun, son of one of the first settlers, is considered the founder of the African country of Liberia. An historical marker on Oak Street indicates his birthplace.

    Dr. William Beaumont, one of America's greatest physiologists, began his medical studies in Champlain. His researches regarding the process of digestion laid the groundwork for all future studies in this field. He was Champlain's schoolmaster in 1807-10.

    Our only major railroad accident occurred in August 1891. The east bound mail train collided with a returning Sunday School Excursion train, just east of our old station. Among the killed were Wilmer Angell, aged 17, and Henry Lamountagne, aged 23, of this village. Numerous injuries were suffered, several of which later proved fatal.

    The hill on Church Street was called Brisbin's Hill, after Ezekiel Brisbin, a blacksmith. It was a favorite toboggan slide in winter.

    The area around the present Sheridan plant was nicknamed "Nebraska" because of its distance from "down town" in the village.

    Favorite swimming holes for generations of boys were the Nine-foot Hole, and the Sand Bank at the Rapids.

    And a favorite picnic and swimming place was the Flat Rock, a short way below the village water pumping station.

    Two early hotels in Champlain were The Herrick House and The Mansion House. The former was across the road, just east of the railroad station; the latter, across the street in front of the Village Hall. Both were destroyed by fire in recent years.

As it looked Fifty Years Ago.

THE SESSION HOUSE

    Buildings, like people, have biographies. Probably no building in Champlain has a more varied and interesting genealogy than the one now the home of Father Chagnon Council, K. of C., for its an­cestry dates back to the burning of the Montreal Court House 125 years ago.

    It seems that a Canadian was awaiting trial in Montreal, accused of smuggling, with the records and evidence stored in the Court House. Charles Lepage of Champlain, a friend of the accused, agreed to burn down the Court House, thus hopefully destroying the evidence.

    Lepage constructed a so-called "infernal machine." With this he experimented on the Champlain Presbyterian Church in June 1844, and was eminently successful. A month later he made a similar attempt on the Montreal Court House This was only partially successful, and Lepage escaped to the United States. After lengthy hearings before Justices in Champlain, he was extradited to Canada, tried and convicted, and was the "guest" of the Canadian Government for some fifteen years. He is supposed to be the first American extradited to Canada under the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.

    The Trustees of the Champlain Presbyterian Church im­mediately built a structure to serve as a temporary church until a permanent building could be erected. It was called a Session House for many years, and is now the older part of the Knights of Columbus Hall.

    During the next century and a quarter, it has been used for almost every conceivable purpose. An admittedly incomplete list includes: church, Woodmen of America Lodge Hall, village fire house and lock-up, public hall for dances and political purposes, furniture factory, cow barn, garage, feed store, U.S. Customs House, music studio, stores of every description (jewelry, grocery, furniture), newspaper office (The Champlain Counselor), doctor's office, printing office, apartments, and probably best remembered as the Lyceum Theatre from 1914 until 1948.



MAIN STREET—THE LAST THIRTY YEARS OR SO

(Can you add to, or correct, the following list? Jog your memory!)
On the north side of the street, starting at:

Arthur Brassard, Parquet Flooring. Now residence of Leon Tremblay.

Tremblay Chevrolet. Now Village Garage.

Noah Gload's Meats & Groceries; Lionel Trudeau (later Edward Leege) Western Auto. Later demolished.

Fred & Chauncey Mac Kay's Meat Market; Pearley Abare's Shoe Repairs.

Ulysses Laventure's Bar, Restaurant & Dance Hall. Burned in 1943.

Mamie & Lillian's Beauty Parlor & Hat Shop; E. Lalonde's Barber Shop; O.R. Dunn's Law Office. Burned in 1966.

Grocery of Gilbert Gaudette, later John Wells, Albert Ives, finally James Chevalier. Destroyed by fire.

Bert Jefferson's Ice Cream; Ma Bruso's Restaurant; Restaurant, Bar & Grille by Gene Bedard, Boucher & Trombly, Hubert Trombley, and Willis Goodrow; Leo Filion's Laundromat. Destroyed by fire.

Kenneth Kaufman's Dept. Store; Mousseau's Pharmacy. Burned in 1966.

Frank Jefferson's Furniture; Mert's Restaurant (later Gerald Babbie's and Harold Babbie's). Now Bernyce's Upholstery.

Grand Union; Baily & Therien's Furniture; Elmer Lucas Grocery; Lucas Western Auto. Now Mousseau's Pharmacy.

Reginald Gardiner's (later Fred Porter's) Grocery; Marcel's Clothing; O.R. Dunn's Law Office. Now Quinn & Keable's Law Office.

A & P ; Mousseau's Pharmacy. Now Care Center.

John Dupont's (later Elmer Lucas) Grocery; Laundromat. Now vacant.

Margaret & Grace's Country Store; Claude Lavoie's Hardware; Clinton Auto Parts. Now vacant.

Walter Doolittle's Clothing; Paul Bailey's Hardware; Nil-O-Dor Manufacturing; Margaret's Store. Now vacant.

Phil Agel's N.Y. Bargain Store; Pearl's. Now Fashion Shoppe. Ernest Barrier's Gas Station. Site of present A&P and Bank. Bea's Beauty Shop; Jim Todd's Restaurant. Now Romeo's Restaurant.

Costello's Farm Machinery; Emile Jefferson's IGA. Now Clinton Auto.

Mansion House; Costello Block; various shops. Now Art's Amoco site.

And do you remember these on the south side of Main Street?

Falcon's Drug Store; Bill Hogge's Drug Store (formerly Bran­ch's); Bill LeClair's Sundries; Therien's Furniture; Arsene Tremblay's Barber Shop; Ezra Trepanier's Insurance; Goven's Restaurant; Gladys Averill's Bar & Grille; Clarence Mayo's Barber Shop.

A few other businesses. Remember them?

Fred Bodette's Shoe Shop, Louise Dupont's Candy Store.







R. DESO, INC.

CONTRACTOR

EXCAVATIONS STREET PAVING REDI—MIX
"You Name
it — We do it"

Congratulations

to

The Village of Champlain

on its

One Hundredth Anniversary

as an

Incorporated Village

 

 


A hundred years is an age which few people attain, yet the life of a community goes on forever.

May we wish that the next hundred years will continue to bless Champlain with citizens kind in heart and strong in spirit.






Bank on

The Bank for

everything.

The

Bank


National Commercial Bank and Trust Company

Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
Centennial
                      of the Village of Champlain, New York, 1873-1973
moorsfield press footer
        forpublications