Press-Republican

History

February 24, 2014

Postcards: windows on times past

Historian Office's postcards featured in book by Anastasia L. Pratt

PLATTSBURGH — Dr. Anastasia L. Pratt’s new release, “Postcard History Series: Clinton County” offers armchair time travel at its finest.

Printed by Arcadia Publishing, the 128-page book features black-and-white photographs spanning a century and the county.

“One of the things that I was very fortunate about with this is that Tim Clukey, who is a friend of mine and a professor at Plattsburgh State, actually scanned the entire postcard collection at the Historian’s Office,” said Pratt, who is a mentor at SUNY Empire State College and Clinton County historian.

Pratt discussed her new book at a signing held at the Alice T. Miner Museum in Chazy Thursday evening.

DRIVING TOUR

Though she searched through the collections of local institutions to fill in the holes, the ones she liked best, with a few exceptions, she already had.

Inheriting the travel bug from her father, Pratt conceptualized the book as a driving tour.

“There wasn’t an easy way to do it,” she said. “I couldn’t really start at any one spot in the county and move continuously and catch all the places that I had. So I compromised. The first chapter starts at Rouses Point at the border and travels down through the county to the southernmost part. And then each of the chapters that follow focuses on a little area of the county. So, you kind of twirl around. And the final chapter goes back up Route 9 to the border. It’s still a bit of a driving tour but just not as easy to explain.”

The book’s six chapters are: “Route 9,” “Around Town,” “A Trip to the City,” “At the Base,” “Where to Stay” and “On the Waterfront.”

BORDERLANDS

The Clinton County Historian’s Office has more than 400 postcards, pristine and never mailed, and postcards, in English and French, used for correspondence. The postcards also offer insight into borderlands culture.

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