What if the Red Coats Won?

The Red Coast are coming! Travel to an alternative universe, what would happen if the Yankees lost the War of 1812?

Pluky Rooster, Plattsburgh Brew Co., legends, beer, plattsburgh bars

The Battle of Plattsburgh’s Secret Weapon: Plucky Rooster Ale

Plattsburgh Brewing Co. brewmaster Jason Stoyanoff, 33, walks across the room wearing a cotton t-shirt, jeans and Red Sox hat. He sits down and sips his beer, but as he starts talking a look of confusion comes across his face. “I’m sorry give me just a second,” he says. “Something isn’t right.” He runs into the back room and after a few minutes emerges and apologizes for the delay, explaining there is a problem with the chilling system. This is the kind of attention to detail vital to success in craft brewing. And Stoyanoff knows the business well. The beer…

A Blast to the Past: Prohibition in Plattsburgh

Back in the early 1920s, Ed Favreau used to drive along Plattsburgh’s Route 22 without his headlights on. He was safer in the darkness — or as safe as he’d get. Smuggling alcohol from the Canadian border to Plattsburgh was a dangerous journey during Prohibition. No one could see him in the pitch-black night, but he could still hear the gun shots in the distance. “All you could hear was ‘bang, bang’ in the air,” Favreau recalled these days in a video produced by Hometown Cable Network in 1994, three years before he died. Today, that same drive will lead you to scattered bars,…

Benedict Arnold’s Forgotten Valcour Battle

Before he became the country’s most infamous traitor, Benedict Arnold was a real North Country hero who led a battle that ultimately helped win the American Revolution. Don’t believe us? A visit to the Clinton County Historical Association Museum in Plattsburgh, N.Y., will force you to reconsider this long-hated character. The Battle of Valcour Island, Oct. 11, 1776, was a defeat by American forces, yet, due to Arnold’s strategizing and will, it remains a major turning point in the war. Outnumbered and out-armed, American forces at Valcour were doomed to defeat, but their refusal to surrender early struck the British…

Clinton Community College’s Historic Past

As you approach the top of a long, winding hill surrounded by trees, a light appears at the end. An elegant building is perched on the hill. Over 100 years ago, that place was Hotel Champlain. Today, it’s Clinton Community College. Clinton Community College opened in 1969. The views, paths and history continue living in the walls of the college after all these years. Sitting 200 feet above the magnificent Lake Champlain, Clinton Community students see Crab Island, some small islands, and Vermont. Hotel Champlain was built on June 17, 1890. The Victorian wood-framed building contained 500 rooms, and seven…

champy glass

Legendary Beast Beneath Lake Champlain

Champy has been the lake’s resident leviathan for longer than the lake has had its name. She has been called a zeuglodon, a plesiosaur, an over-grown sturgeon and even an optical illusion brought on by one-too-many drinks. No matter, her rumored presence has inspired — and eluded — cryptologist investigations, monster hunts, TV specials and countless urban legends. Champy is somewhat of a recluse. Dee Carroll, whose family owns the Westport Marina, remembers in the early 1990s a Japanese film crew, complete with a famous Japanese actor who played captain, traveled all the way to the lake and assembled a…

Civil War Monument

Clinton County Soldiers Search for Abraham Lincoln’s Killer

John Wilkes Booth adored his slaves, but he loathed his president, Abraham Lincoln. On April 14, 1865, Booth became the first man to assassinate an American president, marking his name in infamy. While this is well-known to many, fewer people are aware of the role of New York’s 16th Volunteer Regiment. The 16th Regiment, led by Lt. Edward Doherty, was comprised of Clinton County soldiers who were tasked to capture Booth in the nation’s most historic manhunt. “It’s amazing how obscure these men are in history,” says Jan Couture, who works for the Clinton County Historical Museum. After participating in…

sleigh

Sleighs: The Vehicles of the Past, Fun of Today

While sleighs today signify a fun winter outing, in the past they were used to get around town.  “Essentially the sleighs were used as cars before cars were invented,” says Karen Lassell, equine manager at The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, which houses old sleighs in its Heart’s Delight Farm Heritage Exhibit. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, sleighs delivered mail in the winter months. Farmers in Cadyville, New York, used sleighs to transport potatoes to starch factories in Peru and Chazy, New York. Once cars came around, people no longer needed sleighs to get their goods across…

Bryce Mitchell

North Country Rinks Showcase U.S. and Canadien Hockey History

The Canadiens are up 3-1 in their eighth game of the 2014 regular season, with the final five minutes of the third period ticking down. The crowd is on the edge of their seats, roaring in both excitement and anxiety — the Rangers have come from behind a couple times this season, and they’re pushing hard for this win. The chants and screams all meld into one deafening crescendo as the Rangers shoot one, two, three shots at goaltender Carey Price. He blocks all of them, and the place goes absolutely wild: “Carey, Carey, Carey!” The fans are on their…

gravestones

Ghostly Trails of Clinton County

Everywhere they haunt us. They manifest in the TV listings and possess our screens. Even after Halloween has passed, stories of the paranormal are inescapable. Though Plattsburgh may not have been featured on these programs yet, visitors to the area can embark on their own ghostly adventures while taking a scenic walk or bike ride around town. Overlooking the western shore of Lake Champlain is perhaps Clinton County’s most widely-recognized paranormal sites, the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, where apparitions of soldiers are still said to stand guard. Along with the base’s War of 1812 museum, visitors can tour the…

A Guiding Hand to Equality: John Brown

John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave, but his soul goes marching on. Even if you recognize the song, and on the off chance you use “a-mouldering” in everyday speech, we bet you didn’t know the famed abolitionist John Brown called the Adirondacks home. Brown came to Northern New York in 1849, when he purchased 244 acres of land in North Elba, New York, near Lake Placid. There, he ran a farm and taught freed slaves how to establish their own. He stayed for five years before heading to Kansas to continue his fight against slavery. After 1855, he…