CHAMPLAIN - The history of the town and village of Champlain has been shared through pictures in an annual calendar for the past seven years. In honor of the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's exploration of the region, next year's calendar will offer an even broader look at the way things once were in the North Country.
David Patrick of Colchester, Vt., has completed his seventh calendar featuring historical black and white photographs taken from his family archives. Patrick began the annual projects in 2002, utilizing photographs and papers handed down to him from his great-grandfather's brother, Hugh McLellan. The artifacts, which have been preserved at Special Collections at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh's Feinberg Library and Clinton County Historical Association, include papers dating back more than a century. The documents include writings from Pliny Moore, the founder of Champlain, who is Patrick's and McLellan's common ancestor.
Originally, Patrick wanted to compile a book of the documents, but instead opted to create a more functional item - a calendar.
When planning his 2009 calendar, Patrick had intended to continue his focus on the town and village, but was contacted by former county legislator Celine R. Paquette, who serves on the Champlain Quadricentennial Commission.
"[Paquette] suggested that I focus on the 2009 quad celebrations," Patrick said. "I thought about this and realized it was a perfect fit for my calendar series and that it was now or never to work on it."
The project had even more meaning in the new direction as McLellan was also the architect for the two Champlain memorial monuments at Crown Point and Plattsburgh, built from 1911-1912. Both memorials were built in response to the 300th anniversary celebrations in 1909 of Champlain's arrival.
"What a great coincidence, especially to have a Champlainer who designed two very famous memorials," said Patrick.
The process to create the calendar took several months of research and approximately six weeks to compile and complete, said Patrick. The photos extend far beyond the realm of the Northern Tier, though the Champlain monument at St. Mary's Church in the village of Champlain and several others are among those featured. In the end, more than 90 images of the memorials and dedications were compiled for the calendar.
"I found I had many never before seen photos of the building of the memorials," said Patrick. "Some were owned by my grandmother, whose father was brother to Hugh. Other photos were at the Special Collections and [Clinton County Historical Association]."
Patrick said he is particularly proud of the calendar's cover photo, an image of the dedication of the Crown Point Memorial Lighthouse in 1912 in honor of Champlain.
"I found that in one of her photo albums," Patrick said of his grandmother's collection.
In addition, a historical essay of Champlain included in Patrick's previous calendars was expanded to 15 pages in the new calendar, in honor of the quadricentennial, he said.
"Since this was a project that was only relevant to 2009, I wanted to include as much information as I could as I would not be doing it for any later calendars," said Patrick.
The 2009 Champlain Quadricentennial Calendar, which is sold for $15, may be purchased at several locations in the Champlain area including Kinney Drugs at the corner of State Routes 9 and 11; the Village of Champlain Office, 1104 State Route 9; the Town of Champlain Office, 729 State Route 9; Champlain Memorial Library, 148 Elm St.; and Paquette's Insurance Agency, 1033 State Route 9. The calendar is also available at Cornerstone Drug and Gift, 72 Champlain St., Rouses Point, and Conroy's Organics, 8173 State Route 9, Beekmantown. In Plattsburgh, the calendar may be purchased at the Corner-Stone Book Shop, 110 Margaret St.; Kent-Delord House Museum, 17 Cumberland Ave.; and the Clinton County Historical Association, 98 Ohio Ave.
Proceeds from calendar sales will benefit the Glenwood Cemetery Association in Champlain, which is working to relocate and restore the Pliny Moore Gazebo.
For more information about the calendar, contact Patrick via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.moorsfieldpress.com.