March 30, 2014

Getting the picture

CCHA exhibit highlights county's hotel history

PLATTSBURGH — If a picture is worth a thousand words, the Clinton County Historical Association will have said plenty by year’s end.

Three new exhibits are being prepared in a redesigned museum gallery, with the goal of creating an experience as welcoming as the North Country inns and hotels captured in photographs.

“In the local news today, we often hear about the significant efforts being made to attract visitors to upstate New York,” Clinton County Historical Museum Director Melissa Peck said in a press release.

“At the museum, we thought it would be a great idea to couple that push with these new exhibits, to remind folks that Clinton County has a longstanding tradition of welcoming all types of visitors to our community.”

As part of the ongoing I Love Clinton County exhibition series, “Once Upon a Time: The Historic Hotel Champlain,” “Haute Couture: Summer Styles of the Early 20th Century” and “Snapshots: A Pictorial View of Hospitality and Recreation in Historic Clinton County” will highlight the county’s history of tourism, covering roadside inns up to larger resorts, like the Hotel Champlain.

“Most of the establishments were locally owned, and learning the stories behind the owners, trying to get a sense of who they were too, was just so interesting,” Peck said.

“Many proprietors at that time had other side jobs, like farming or working in the general store, or even bootlegging.”

The pictures relate more than just images from the past.

“Many of the hotels had such amazing stories of parties and visitors linked to them. What struck me most was how much they were connected to the local community, as well as the visiting community,” Peck said.

“Although all of the establishments that are remembered in the exhibits no longer exist, their story is preserved in the many objects and photos they left behind.

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