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Champlain monument rededication marks year's end of Quadricentennial activities

PLATTSBURGH - The official year-long celebration of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial has come to an end.

The 400th anniversary of French explorer Samuel de Champlain's exploration of the region was honored with a rededication of the monument which bears his name at DeLord's Point on Cumberland Avenue Sept. 25.

City Mayor Donald M. Kasprzak was joined by representatives from the commission, local historians and other officials as the 34-foot high monument was recognized.

According to historical information presented by Kasprzak; John W. Krueger, curator of the Kent-DeLord House Museum; and Robert Booth, descendant of John H. Booth, one of the members of the commission which was formed to create a monument honoring Champlain, DeLord's Point was not the initially-intended location for the memorial.

Several locations for a monument were discussed, including installing it on an island in the middle of Lake Champlain so it could be shared evenly between the states of New York and Vermont. However, it was ultimately decided to construct the original monument dedicated to Champlain in the town of Crown Point.

It wasn't until the people north of Crown Point expressed their displeasure with not having a monument in their region that a monument was proposed for the northern half of the lake, said Kasprzak. The commission which oversaw the Crown Point monument's construction committed funding left over from the Crown Point memorial project to build a monument in Plattsburgh.

"Which is where we stand today," said Kasprzak.

The inaugural dedication of the monument took place July 6, 1909 - 300 years since Champlain's arrival in America - though the monument's construction was not yet complete, said Booth. The dedication was attended by President William H. Taft and political dignitaries from France, England and Canada, and was said to have been a bigger to-do than the dedication held July 6, 1912, when the monument was finally completed.

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