Thursday, December 31, 2015

SKillings, Whitney & Barnes Lumber Co. Fire 1896

Skillings, Whitney & Barnes Lumber Co. Fire at upper planing mill January 8, 1896 (Jameson Glass Plate Collection-Ogdensburg Public Library 95-14.58) The smokestack still stands today.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

War of 1812 Talks

2015 War of 1812 Heritage Talks NEXT Saturday! Reserve your seats/meals NOW! September 18th and 19th The North Country is crucial to the narrative of American history and the 7th annual War of 1812 Heritage Talks sponsored for the first time by St. Lawrence University and the Fort de La PrĂ©sentation Association are instrumental in our community’s on-going understanding and appreciation of this region’s history. The talks also serve to highlight and strengthen our region’s value as a destination for historical tourism. The reception will take place Friday, September 18th from 5pm-7pm. Sponsored by the SLCHA at the Silas Wright House in Canton, it is free and open to the public. The talks will take place September 19th beginning at 8:30 and ending at 4:00. In total there will be 6 speakers who will give 20-minute presentations of their work followed by 10-minute Q&A periods. In addition to the Q & A periods, the talks will be broken up with two 15-minute breaks (morning and evening) and an hour-long lunch break. A box lunch will be provided to the speakers and attendees. $9 general admission. Includes the talks, continental breakfast, boxed lunch. St. Lawrence University Students, Faculty, Staff talks free. Boxed lunch for an additional fee. The speakers MELISSANE PARM SCHREMS, Ph.D. Associate Professor, History/Coordinator, Native American Studies, Saint Lawrence University Her research and teaching interest include the American founding until 1830. She will place the war in historical context and speak on the significance of the War of 1812 as a research topic and why it is ignored in the national narrative. CHERYL BOOTS, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer of Humanities, Boston University Dr. Boots is the author of Singing for Equality: Hymns in the American Antislavery and Indian Rights Movements, 1640-1855. Dr. Boots will speak on the importance of music in the roles of enslaved and free African Americans, Indians and Abolitionists in the War of 1812. GENE ALLEN SMITH, Ph.D. Professor of History/Director, Center for Texas Studies at Texas Christian University Dr. Smith's research interests include Early American, Maritime and Naval history. His most recent book is The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812. He will be invited to speak on enslaved soldiers and seamen within the context of War of 1812 maritime history. TIMOTHY ABEL, Ph.D. Historian/adjunct professor of anthropology at Jefferson Community College and SUNY Canton Dr. Abel will introduce and interpret the most significant findings of the 2015 Plattsburgh, NY field school: Pike's Cantonment Archaeology Project. RICHARD FELTOE curator and corporate archivist for the Redpath Sugar Museum and is active as a living history reenactor As a living history reenactor, he portrays the life of a Canadian militia soldier from the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada regiment in the War of 1812-1815. His many publications include Redcoated Ploughboys. KEITH HERKALO is the author of The Battles at Plattsburgh, a history of the land and lake fight that took place on Sept. 11, 1814, as the British Army and Navy launched a combined attack down Lake Champlain towards Albany. He is also the editor of The Journal of H.K. Averill, Sr.: An Account of The Battle of Plattsburgh and Early North Country Community, and is a regular speaker on historic topics as well as serving as president of the Battle of Plattsburgh Association.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lekki, Hill, Duprey & Bhatt

Recently I was lucky enough to get a tour of the law offices of Lekki, Hill, Duprey & Bhatt, which was the former home of George N. Seymour. I'm posting the interior pictures I took that day. The stained glass windows are by noted artist Harry J. Horwood.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Strolling Down State Street Tour

I will be leading a tour down State St. on August 14th at 11 am focusing on historic buildings and notable citizens of Ogdensburg. We will meet in front of the First Baptist Church. You will need a smartphone with a QR reader app. You may want to bring earbuds (headphones). The tour will last about 45 min. with light refreshments at the end. Please message me on Facebook or email me at if you plan to attend, so I have a head count. Hope many of you can make it. Thanks! For more information: click here

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Opera House Fire

The Opera House burned in January 22, 1926. This photo from the Norris Jenkins Collection shows the devastation.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sweetgrass Foundation Grant

Today I learned that the City Historian's Office had been awarded a grant of $1,000 by the Sweetgrass Foundation toward the purchase of a laptop and signage for a historic tour of State Street. The laptop will be used to make short videos which will be linked to QR Codes. Tourists will be able to use their smartphones or other mobile devices to scan the QR Codes to learn more about historic homes and notable people who lived on State Street. I am so excited to be able to offer this program this summer! I will be working hard to get everything ready for the tour. Thank you Sweetgrass Foundation!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Living History Day 2015

We had a great day on Lighthouse Point this year. Click the link below to learn more... Article

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Millstone More Than 200 Years Old Unearthed in Ogdensburg

OGDENSBURG - A lost stone artifact dating from the city’s early industrial days has been unearthed at a construction site near the Oswegatchie River. A large millstone, believed to be from Northern New York’s first gristmill built by Nathan Ford in the late 1790s, was recently dug up by a backhoe operator at Hosmer’s Marina, 54 East River St. William R. Hosmer, the marina’s owner, said the two century old artifact was unearthed during construction of a new bait and tackle shop on his property. He said, as soon as he saw the millstone he knew it was a significant part of the region’s early history. “We knew immediately he had found something unusual,” Mr. Hosmer said. “As we scraped the dirt off it, we realized it was a large millstone. I knew this stretch of the Oswegatchie shoreline was home to a lot of early industries. So when we found the millstone, I knew we had found a piece of Ogdensburg’s history.” In the two weeks since his construction crews unearthed the millstone, Mr. Hosmer said he has been able to conclude through research that the artifact was found at the exact location where historians say Mr. Ford built the region’s first gristmill in 1797. The 32-year-old Ford arrived at present day Ogdensburg in August of 1796 with four other men, two women and seven children, and were considered the first American settlers to arrive in the region, according to historical archives. About 50 British soldiers had evacuated Fort Oswegatchie just two months before on June 6, 1796, turning it over to the United States. New Jersey Col. Samuel Ogden purchased the township of Oswegatchie, including what is now Ogdensburg, as part of the state’s sale of disputed lands. Historical records indicate Mr. Ogden then sent Mr. Ford to the north country to look after his interests, and that when he arrived, he found a sawmill operating on the Oswegatchie River, built by former British Captain Verne Francis Lorimier. Historians say Mr. Ford then opened a store, and built a gristmill to grind grain. At the time of its construction Mr. Ford’s mill was reported to be the only grist mill in the region, with next nearest located more than 50 miles away in Canada. Mr. Hosmer said he believes the millstone his backhoe operator unearthed at Hosmer’s Marina on East River Street in Ogdensburg is an original from Mr. Ford’s first Ogdensburg factory operation. He said historical records point to Mr. Ford having millstones shipped from Montreal to his settlement some 120 miles away, and having the heaving stones carried by boat through the treacherous rapids of the St. Lawrence River that then stretched from Lisbon to Massena. Mr. Hosmer said additional research has found that by 1868 Mr. Ford’s original gristmill would be known as the Maple City Mills, and continued to operate until being destroyed by fire in 1925. “When I read the article that reported that the mill was still using the original millstone in 1924, the year before the fire destroyed the mill, I knew that this was the same millstone,” Mr. Hosmer said. “After the big fire that destroyed the business, they must have just buried it on site because it was too heavy to take anywhere.” Mr. Hosmer said he is still considering the best way to display the artifact, and is hoping to find a way to incorporate the millstone into a larger historical display highlighting the importance of the region’s early industries along the Oswegatchie and St. Lawrence rivers. “We are still looking at how we are going to display it, but I think we may use it to help people understand how the canal system powered all these early companies.” Mr. Hosmer said. Original Article: click here Source: Ogdensburg Journal May 6, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Lily, the Lion and the Eagle Podcast chapter 17

Old Houses of the North Country

Find out about your old house... click here Old Houses of the North Country Written by David F. Lane, published in the Watertown (NY) Daily Times, 1941-1956 From the collection of the Genealogy Department, Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, Watertown, NY. Title varies: Old Mansions of the North Country (No. 1-87) Old Homes of the North Country (No. 91-99, 103)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Irish Heritage Topic of next SLCHA 2nd Saturday Children’s Program

Many modern St. Lawrence County residents can trace their roots to Irish immigrants and most towns in the county at one time had “Irish Settlements” where the immigrants lived. While there were Irish settlers in the county by the early 1800s, there was huge influx of Irish in the 1840s due to the Irish Potato Famine. Learn about St. Lawrence County’s Irish heritage at 11 am on Saturday, March 14, 2015, at the Second Saturday Children’s Program at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association at the Silas Wright House. This is another in the SLCHA’s series of fun and free monthly educational programs for kids ages 4-10, and their parents or caregivers. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, kids will hear the Irish folktale of Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato and then make a potato craft. Parents, grandparents, other caregivers and their kids are welcome to attend this free program to be held at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, located at 3 E. Main St. in Canton. Parking is available in the back of the SLCHA, next to the museum’s main entrance. The SLCHA Gift Shop has winter-themed books like Eye on the Iditarod: Aisling’s Quest and The Pond Hockey Challenge (#12 in The Adirondack Kids series), as well as indoor games, such as jacks, marbles, and wooden tops. Visit the Gift Shop and find fun things to do on these long winter days! SLCHA members receive a 10% discount on most items in the Gift Shop. The St. Lawrence County Historical Association at the Silas Wright House is open Tuesday through Saturday noon to 4 PM, Friday noon to 8 PM . Admission to the museum is free; admission to the archives is free for members and children, $2.50 for college students, and $5 for the general public. The St. Lawrence County Historical Association is located at 3 E. Main St., Canton. Parking is available in the back of the SLCHA, next to the museum’s main entrance. The St. Lawrence County Historical Association is a membership organization open to anyone interested in St. Lawrence County history. For more information, or to become a member, call the SLCHA at 315-386-8133 or e-mail Second Saturday programs are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Visit the SLCHA’s website,, for more information on St. Lawrence County history

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Primitive Snowshoe Biathlon

March is boring! If you’re suffering from cabin fever and are up for a challenge, come and match your black powder shooting and snowshoeing skills against some of the toughest competitors in the North East – or – take it a little slower as a woods walk. Those hardy souls participating in the Snowshoe Biathlon will run a one and a half mile course, stopping at each of 5 stations and firing 2 shots; at the 6th and final station, there’s an optional tomahawk throw. Runners or woods walkers using a traditional muzzleloader will complete the course on traditional wood-framed snowshoes. A modern class will be open to shooters using in-line muzzleloaders and modern snowshoes. All shooters must use firearms with open sights. Event Sponsored By: The Fort La PrĂ©sentation Association (www.fort1749) and Forsyth’s Rifles ( When: Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, 2015 from 10:00 AM – 2:00PM. Where: St. Lawrence Valley Sportsman’s Club, 25 Sportsman’s Club Rd., Lisbon, NY To Benefit: The construction of a waterfront, recreation trail on Lighthouse Point, Ogdensburg, NY. For more info:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Battle of Ogdensburg February 21 and 22

THE BATTLE OF OGDENSBURG 1:30 PM Battle Re-Enactment, Downtown Ogdensburg 3:00 PM Thomas Bendict and the War of 1812 with Bryan Thompson 7:30 PM Winter Ball (English Country Dance) at the Ogdensburg Am-Vets – Ford Street, Ogdensburg 10:30 AM Wreath laying Ceremony at Sheriff York`s Grave at The Ogdensburg Cemetery 1:30 PM Battle Re-Enactment at Lighthouse Point. ALL EVENTS OPEN AND FREE TO THE PUBLIC NOTE Of INTEREST: The original battle of Ogdensburg occurred on February 22, 1813. We are pleased to be able to re-enact this for you 202 years later on February 22, 2015

Princess Shop

I found this photo in the City Historian's office today. It shows the Princess Shop, which was located at 215 Ford St. prior to Urban Renewal. The photo was taken in 1972. This building was owned by Sadie Freidman.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fodor Law Office

Nick Fodor's Law Office, which was originally the Ogdensburg Bank. Photo by Julie Madlin 2015 For more photos follow me on Pinterest

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Clark Mansion

Now the home and studio of artist John Morrow, the Clark Mansion or Locust Lawn is one of the oldest buildings in Ogdensburg.  It is a Federal Style house with Georgian influences possibly designed by famed architect Jean Jacques Joseph Ramee.  It is close in age to the Remington Art Museum and the Robert C. McEwen Customs House.  The two gateposts were the work of sculptor Bruno Zimm, who married Louise Seymour Hasbrouck in 1919.  The first owner of the house, Louis Hasbrouck is represented by the man on horseback.  The second owner Edwin Clark is represented by the sailing ship.  The name Locust Lawn comes from the Locust trees that have surrounded the house for many years.  The Clark family lived in the house for 151 years. The mansion nearly was demolished during Urban Renewal, but was saved by newspaper publisher Franklin Little.

Located at 324 State Street (formerly Euphemia St.) the Clark House was completed in 1810 as a home for lawyer Louis Hasbrouck (1777-1834) and his wife Catharine Banks Hasbrouck (1777-1862).  Louis Hasbrouck along with Nathan Ford was a founder of Ogdensburg.  He was the first clerk of St. Lawrence County, a county supervisor and the first postmaster.  Hasbrouck was also the first president of the Village of Ogdensburgh.   He served as a state assemblyman in 1814 and was a state senator from 1832 until his death.   

On August 5, 1829 Sarah Hasbrouck Clark, daughter of Louis and Catherine Hasbrouck, and her husband Edwin Clark moved into Locust Lawn.  Edwin Clark (1800-1869) was a businessman who built the Eagle Block, which was located where Ogdensburg Mall is today.  In addition to owning the mansion, he also owned offices, stores and a number of other lots in the city.

Edwin and Sarah’s daughter Ella Clark died in the home in 1923.  She bequeathed the property to her nephew, Edwin Clark.  He married Dorette Bergemann in 1933.  The Clark family occupied the mansion until 1981 when Dorette Bergemann Clark passed away at age 90.


Ogdensburg Journal:  September 23, 1936

Rural News:  November 15, 1982

Advance News:  December 19, 1982, December 12, 1982
Dorette Clark picture:  Ogdensburg Public Library
Louis Hasbrouck Grave:  Anne Cady
Sarah Hasbrouck Clark picture:  Ogdensburg Public Library
Edwin Clark Picture:  Ogdensburg Public Library
Ella Clark Picture:  Ogdensburg Public Library
Clark House Photographs:  Julie Madlin

Michael Whittaker

Elizabeth Baxter
Persis Boyesen

Music by: Soundzabound

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Newton Martin Curtis: American Hero

Canton: An Ogdensburg statue stands in honor of General Newton Martin Curtis, a DePeyster native, who distinguished himself during the Civil War and won a Congressional Medal of Honor 150 years ago this week. On January 15, 1865, General Curtis successfully led the Union forces at the Battle of Fort Fisher, North Carolina. Find out more about the life and accomplishments of this true American hero at a special lecture and exhibit on Saturday, January 17th, from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association at the Silas Wright House, 3 East Main St., Canton. This event is part of the North Country Civil War Round Table and the St. Lawrence County Historical Association’s Commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which was fought from 1861-1865. Around 7,000 men from St. Lawrence County enlisted to fight for the Union during the Civil War. Beginning on January 17th, the SLCHA will host a special winter exhibit about General Curtis and the Battle of Fort Fisher. Artifacts on display will include a portrait of Curtis which used to hang at the St. Lawrence State Hospital and Curtis’ Medal of Honor. Shortly after noon on January 17th, Stanley Maine will give a presentation on Newton Martin Curtis’ life and career, and the Battle of Fort Fisher, NC. Stanley Maine, who lives in Pierrepont, serves as a trustee for the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, is chairman of its Building Committee, and is active with both the SLCHA’s Civil War Roundtable and the SLCHA’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Lost Empress

The Lost EmpressThe Lost Empress by Steve Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the 4th book in a series, but I read it as a stand alone with no problem. It combines mystery, genealogy and history seamlessly to weave a great story. What interested me was the sinking of the Empress of Ireland in the St. Lawrence River in 1914. I had never heard of this wreck which rivaled the Titanic and the Lusitania. I didn't expect to like the novel as much as I did so that was an added bonus. This is a book I would definitely Reread.

View all my reviews

Watertown Daily Times | Illustration of Spanish-American War sergeant donated to Ogdensburg’s Frederic Remington Museum

Watertown Daily Times | Illustration of Spanish-American War sergeant donated to Ogdensburg’s Frederic Remington Museum