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Champlain installing interpretive panels

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Interpretive panels like the one seen here in front of St. Mary’s Church in the village of Champlain, are being installed this month to tout the roles of the village and town of Champlain in the War of 1812.

— The roles of the village and town of Champlain in the War of 1812 are being honored by three new historical interpretative panels.

The panels will be erected in the village at the historic home of village founder Pliny Moore on Oak Street and a stone farmhouse on Prospect Street used as a British commissary when the British marched to Plattsburgh in September 1814. The third panel will be erected in the town at the former Dewey's Tavern, located at the intersection of State Route 276 and Prospect Hill Road.

Celine R. Paquette, founder of the Samuel de Champlain History Center, said the panels helped to remind us of our history.

“It’s such a wonderful educational tool,” Paquette said. “I think we forget what happened here 200 years ago to make our communities what they are today.”

After the event, David Patrick of Colchester, Vt. — whose descendants hail from Champlain — said installing the panels was important.

“It’s important because there’s a lot of history in Champlain,” Patrick said, referring specifically to the conflict between Britain and the United States. “Champlain town saw more activity than any other town in the county.”

Champlain Village Mayor Greg Martin struck a similar note.

“These interpretive panels are important because they portray the contribution that the village of Champlain played in the War of 1812,” Martin said. “It gives people a sense of the history of the village.”

The mayor said he hoped the panels would spark interest in local history.

“The placement of these panels will allow visitors to stop and read the information on them,” Martin said. “Hopefully, it will spur some interest in looking at the history of the village of Champlain overall.”

The Pliny Moore home is currently owned by Reginald F. Clark and occupied by M.B. Clark Funeral Home; the stone farmhouse is currently owned and occupied by Allen Racine. Dewey’s Taven is owned by Louis and Rita Bedard and was where two of the four Prisoner of War treaties negotiated during the War of 1812 were signed and was home to American and British army encampments during the conflict.

“It probably saw the most activity out of all the places in town,” said Patrick.

The panels were paid for with three War of 1812 Interpretive Trail Wayside Exhibit Grants in the amount of $1,500 each, through the Lake Champlain Basin Program, Grand Isle, Vt. The panels are in the process of being installed, and expected to be erected at their final locations by the end of the month.

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