ROUSES POINT - The 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's exploration of the region will continue to play a part in the planning of more than a dozen events to be held in the village in the coming months.
Geri Favreau, president of the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society, recently released a schedule of events that will take place in the village from May-October, all which will have a special quadricentennial theme.
"When there was first talk about the quadricentennial, we were told not to worry about doing a lot of new stuff, but take what you do and 'quadricize' it," Favreau said of suggestions from the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission. "So, that's what we're doing."
The process has already begun, with Dodge Memorial Library having recently hosted a book signing by Kate Messner, author of Spitfire and Champlain and the Silent One, and the Rouses Point Civic Center hosting the North Country Skating Club's 30th annual skating show, which celebrated the exploits of Champlain.
Favreau said the quadricized celebrations will continue as the former D & H Railway Station on Pratt Street hosts the second annual National Train Day Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9. That event - which will be from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday for elementary students and 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday for the public - will celebrate the history of trains and train stations in the area which was once traversed by the famous French explorer.
"I'm not exactly sure how we're going to give that a Champlain theme, but it will focus on exploring the country by train, so maybe that's how we'll do it," Favreau said with a quick laugh.
That event will feature free junior engineer hats, bookmarks, coloring sheets and stickers for children, as well as souvenir tickets that will bear a National Train Day stamp.
The month will continue with a presentation by Clinton County Historical Society president Roger Harwood about the lighthouses of Lake Champlain. That event will take place Wednesday, May 20, at the Rouses Point Civic Center.
"That will be a fascinating discussion that Roger has put together," said Favreau.
The month of June will feature several events, including a visit from the Lois McClure, a full-scale replica of an 1862-class sailing canal boat, which will dock at Gaines Marina off Lake Street.
"We are so lucky to have her," Favreau said of the boat.
The visit from the 88-foot schooner will be hosted Tuesday, June 23, and Wednesday, June 24. During the visit, the historical society will host a wine and cheese party, with each guest receiving a souvenir wine glass featuring a medallion affixed to it which reads "Where Champlain Found His Lake."
"It will be a wonderful time," said Favreau.
The afternoon of June 24 will also feature "Caravan of Arts," an art exhibit hosted by the Arts Foundation of Chambly. The exhibit will be hosted throughout the village and highlight art, music and theatrical performances from 1609 to present day.
Other events throughout the summer include the village hosting a farmers market Thursdays in Rouses Park on Lake Street beginning July 2 and continuing through Sept. 3. The annual Fourth of July celebration will also have a quadricentennial theme, which is being selected by Rouses Point Elementary students, said Favreau. That day's festivities will include hosting the annual parade an hour earlier at 6 p.m., with fireworks again to be set off at dusk.
Can you help?
In preparation for the summer's celebration of the Samuel de Champlain Quadricentennial, photographs of the 1909 and 1959 celebrations in the village of Rouses Point are being sought.
Those with photographs or any information about the past celebrations may contact the village office at 297-5502 or Geri Favreau at 297-2064.
Also in July, the Point Au Fer Racing Club will host the Samuel de Champlain Cup, a long distance boating race, and arts organization Norte Maar will host its sixth annual Fete de Danse titled "Voyage de Danse: The Samuel de Champlain Ballet."
Events will continue through October, including tours of historic Fort Montgomery, the complete list of which will be made available on the village's Web site, www.rousespointny.com.
"We're really going to have something for everyone," said Favreau.