The geology of Clinton County has shaped the county’s history in complex ways. There are five major geologic rock types in the county, each mined for its beauty and strength. You can see them in the buildings. [Read more…] about The Geology of Clinton County and History
Clinton County, NY is noted for its extensive and influential military history – we helped save the United States from invasion in the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War just off Lake Champlain’s Valcour Island, and we help end the War of 1812 with Macdonough’s victory off the lake’s Cumberland Head. But there is more. Clinton County is also noted for its agricultural history – apples, maple syrup, milk production, and potatoes. [Read more…] about Potato Farming: A Four Generation Story
Children’s Christmas wishes and expectations years ago were much different from today’s world of high technology. I was so struck by this—the simplicity and innocence—that I included a chapter entitled Letters to Santa in a recent book on the history of Churubusco, New York.
The sample letters below were published in newspapers of Northern New York from 1920–1940. They portray the sharp contrast to the modern holiday, where expensive gifts have become the disproportionate norm. [Read more…] about Dear Santa: Send Candy, Nuts, and Fruit (Christmas Gifts of the Past)
The Clinton County Historical Association will host the lecture “Isaac Johnson: Slave, Soldier, Quarryman, Master Mason, Contractor” by Cornel “Corky” Reinhart, on Tuesday, July 13th, in Plattsburgh. [Read more…] about Isaac Johnson: A Soldier, Quarryman, Master Mason
As we near Election Day, I’m reminded of a man from a remote corner of the North Country, an individual who was once the right-hand man of a future president—and not just any president. Not everyone loved him, of course, but Franklin D. Roosevelt is one of the few to consistently appear near the top of “our greatest leaders” lists. The right-hand man I’m referring to was known professionally as M. William Bray (Bill to his friends), a native of the town of Clinton, which borders Canada in northwestern Clinton County. [Read more…] about Bill Bray: Churubusco’s Democratic State Chairman
On a recent drive in Clinton County, I was reminded of a story told to me by my grandfather, James Lagree. Jim was a Churubusco farmer near the Canadian border in Clinton County, but he also worked other jobs, including road construction. We both loved fishing, and in my pre-teen years, he took me to all his secret places, including Bradley Pond near Lyon Mountain. It happened to be that he had worked on construction of the Bradley Pond Road.
The conversation that day drifted to other roads, and that’s when he told me the story of a truck losing its brakes on Dannemora Mountain. It was hilarious the way he told it (he was great with jokes and embellishments), but not long ago, I learned just how true the story was. [Read more…] about Dannemora Mountain and a Truckload of Carrots
The Churubusco Live-In, planned as the 1970 sequel to the historic Woodstock concert of 1969, was in deep trouble. The town of Clinton, which included Churubusco, sought legal help to shut the event down. J. Byron O’Connell, an outstanding trial attorney, was bombastic at times, and his aggressive quotes [if long-haired people came to the village, “they’re just liable to get shot”] appeared in major newspapers in Boston, New York, and elsewhere. As Churubusco’s representative, he sought to derail the concert and preserve the hamlet’s quiet, rural life, while the promoters, Hal Abramson and Raymond Filiberti, fought back. [Read more…] about The Churubusco Live-In: Clinton County’s ‘Woodstock’
We’ve all heard of Woodstock at one time or another—that famous (or infamous) concert held in August 1969. It was scheduled at different venues, but the final location was actually in Bethel, New York, about 60 miles from Woodstock. For many who lived through three major homeland assassinations, the Vietnam War, and the racial riots of the turbulent 1960s, Woodstock was an event representing peace, love, and freedom. It’s considered a defining moment of that generation, and a great memory for those who attended (estimated at 400,000). [Read more…] about The Churubusco Live-In: Clinton County’s ‘Woodstock’
Scores of gigantic wind turbines in the Adirondacks’ northeastern and southwestern foothills are a startling site amidst historically bucolic scenery. The landscape appears “citified,” with structures nearly 40 stories high where the largest buildings rarely top 3 stories. It is a dramatic change, and a far cry from simpler days when family farms were prevalent. Few realize that in those “simpler days” of dairy farms, windmills were actually quite common across the region. [Read more…] about Wind Power Has A Long History in America