CHAMPLAIN - David Patrick of Colchester, Vt., has been creating calendars since 2003, focusing on subjects relating to the history of the town of Champlain.
Patrick, whose descendants hail from Champlain, recently unveiled his newest calendar, "A History of the Settlements and Early Settlers in Champlain Town: Champlain, Coopersville, Perry's Mills and Rouses Point," detailing the history of familiar locations in the Northern Tier.
The calendar is the product of three months of writing, research and layout, utilizing photos from Patrick's own collection and Feinberg Library's Special Collections Department at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
When developing a calendar, Patrick said he tries to choose "an eye-catching cover photo that people will recognize." The photo used on the 2011 cover is of the original St. Mary's wooden church in the village of Champlain, dating back to 1880 - five years before the stone church which stands there today was built.
"There is only one likeness known to exist and every copy I have seen has been of very poor quality and not printable," said Patrick. "I was able to find a better image to work with. The cover photo is definitely a collector's copy."
Featuring St. Mary's also coincides with the church's 150th anniversary, which was Patrick's reason for also writing a detailed history of St. Mary's in the calendar. The calendar also features photos from all four settlements in the town in the late 1700s up to approximately 1840. Locations like the Ebenezer Cooper house and Route 9 bridge in Coopersville, Fort Montgomery in Rouses Point, and the old school on Church Street in the village of Champlain are among those featured in the calendar, painting a historical look at the Northern Tier.
"I want people to know about this mostly forgotten history," said Patrick. "The clues are in front of everyone but without the primary sources, it is difficult to interpret them."
When it comes to future calendars, Patrick said he is "always thinking about potential subjects for the next year's calendar."
"I will start to seriously think about it in winter and may do some preliminary work then," said Patrick. "I also have a good idea what photos I will use. If I cannot fit a photo in for this year, I put it in the folder for next year which makes it easier to choose photos."
What keeps Patrick producing calendars year after year is his own love of history, and the following his calendars has received.
"I went to a Champlain school reunion this summer and found that many people already had the complete series," said Patrick. "It started with only one relative getting my calendar and now, so many more have bought it."
Calendars are available in Champlain at Kinney Drugs, Champlain Memorial Library, Chauvin Agency, the Samuel de Champlain History Center and at the town and village of Champlain offices. Calendars are also available at Cornerstone Drug and Gift in Rouses Point, Conroy Organics in Beekmantown, and, in Plattsburgh, Cornerstone Bookshop, the Clinton County Historical Association and the Kent-Delord House.
Calendars cost $15 each, with proceeds benefiting the Glenwood Cemetery Association, Champlain.
For more information, including how to order past calendars in Patrick's series, visit www.moorsfieldpress.com.