Talking to people in Keeseville, it is easy to find a clear duality concerning the town. As a long established community, the town is steeped in history. The original sources of population, the lumber and iron trade, are long gone which creates a sense of identity loss. Things seem to come and go. The duality could be something of concern if it wasn't for the absolute dedication of many of the residents. Many are clearly here to stay.
Taking a leisurely walk through the town on a Sunday, I am glad my still fairly new-found home is safe even with the split personality. It was in 1812 that Anderson Falls became Keeseville officially, and it is easy to find much from that time period. The cemetery next to Immaculate Conception Church is incredible with its history. The church itself is a testimony to the test of time as Father Poissant is happy to inform any one that the church is the third oldest in the Ogdensburg Diocese and the oldest still standing.
Walking through the downtown area, a casual observer can find many foundations to buildings using the stone distinctive to our community. Some houses, such as namesake Richard Keese III's house, are entirely made of this stone that I believe came from the AuSable River, which runs through the center of town. Strolling down South AuSable Street, one can find a small building made of the stone next to a modern looking security company's wooden structure. In the woods near this lies the broken remains of an old shed structure so old the wood has the burnt charcoal look of age with all sorts of brush and grass growing throughout it.
In just a couple of weeks I will be heralding the coming of the Methodist Church Festival, the library summer sale and the farmer's market. While these are all worthy draws to the community, my Sunday stroll clearly shows we have a lot to offer now. We just need to keep a sharp eye out because the history is quietly all around us.