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.