CHAMPLAIN - Since 2003, David Patrick has highlighted the small town of Champlain through a calendar. This year, he narrowed his focus to the historic Dewey's Tavern.
Over the years, Patrick has expanded his calendar, beginning with a "basic calendar" with images of old photos to which he had access.
"Over the next few years, I expanded the captions and also started to write an essay on specific subjects," Patrick explained. "This culminated in 2007 and 2008 when I wrote a two-part series on the founding of Champlain by Pliny Moore."
Some of the information he came across he had never been seen before, much less put together in an essay.
"So, I was writing about some very relevant subject matter for Champlainers," said Patrick.
This year, however, Dewey's Tavern became the focus for Patrick, as it is one of the most historic homes in all of Clinton County.
"The house and surrounding fields lay witness to American and British armies encamped around the house over three years," Patrick explained. "Many militia also camped here as well as half of the British Army in 1814 on their way to Plattsburgh."
The tavern was also where two of the four Prisoner of War treaties negotiated during the war were signed.
"Champlain saw more military activity than any other settlement in Clinton County," Patrick said.
Compared to the two major conflicts held in Plattsburgh, Champlain was the site of daily activity over the course of three years.
"Champlainers were in perpetual fear and many left town never to return," he said.
During his research, Patrick also found many "skirmishes took place around Dewey's Tavern on Route 276 as well as on Prospect Street."
"This is new information," said Patrick.
He also found out over the course of the last few months, not only were British soldiers buried in the Dewey family cemetery after being brought to the tavern from the Battle of Plattsburgh, but American soldiers were buried there as well.
"Many American soldiers were buried here in mass graves after a siege of the stone mill in Lacolle in March of 1814," Patrick explained.
Today, the land is owned by the town of Champlain, after purchasing it from Louis and Rita Bedard, owners of the Dewey's Tavern home.
"This military burial site is the second most important military burial site in the town of Champlain, after the Revolutionary War site at Point au Fer," said Patrick. "I hope that the town will make the cemetery into a military memorial site as it is sacred ground."
How did Patrick come across all this historic information?
"Several articles written from 1936 to the 1970s gave an overview of the history of the tavern," he said. "But, they all seemed to recycle the same material."
Patrick included material he came across in the calendar, also adding the information he has accumulated over the years.
"I wanted to make this essay on Dewey's Tavern as comprehensive as possible," he said.
Patrick found information at Special Colllections at Feinberg Library at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, where he also came across old photographs. He also received information through the Clinton County Historical Association, and by located several Dewey relatives.
The money raised from the calendar sales will benefit the Glenwood Cemetery Association.
Where to find it
David Patrick's calendar may be purchased at several locations in the Champlain area including Kinney Drugs at the corner of State Route 9 and U.S. Route 11; the Village of Champlain Office, 1104 State Route 9; the Town of Champlain Office, 729 State Route 9; and Champlain Memorial Library, 148 Elm St.
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.