The Clinton County Historical Society will kick off October by hosting a tour of three local cemeteries.
The tour will start at Immaculate Heart of Mary cemetery and finish at the Frontier Cemetery. Frontier is the first ever cemetery in Plattsburgh, and where the original settlers are buried.
After the cemeteries, the tour concludes at Dicks Country Store, which Rebecca LeClair, the town historian of Clinton, describes as “the most historically significant business in the town of Clinton.” Bought by Dick Decosse in the 1970s, the combination grocery, gas station, gun and guitar shop has hosted numerous musical acts over the years.
LeClair was approached about doing a type of event by the Historical Society, and agreed it would be a great idea to share small town history in an interactive way.
“A lot of people brush over small town history, but it’s in so much of all of us,” LeClair said. “When we brush over those details the story gets lost.”
LeClair, a SUNY Plattsburgh alumna, will provide information about the cemetery’s history, historical figures who are buried in them and the town itself. There will also be handouts provided with key historical information, along with instructions on safely cleaning headstones.
Rose Wise, a history major specializing in Cold War history, said an event like this can create a greater appreciation for one’s surroundings.
“There’s a uniqueness to this place, it’s not just any town,” Wise said.
Wise recommends students attend the cemetery tour. “Living on campus in the dorms is isolating,” Wise said. “A college campus is a bubble that could exist anywhere on earth.”
The tour is a few hours of a student’s time that can connect them to the city that is their home for a few years.
Rachel Boyer, a resident of Plattsburgh whose family has lived in Clinton County for generations, never knew too much about her history until she got into genealogy. From that initial exploration, she began to question her older relatives about their history.
“It’s important to me to know things about my past, because it helps me learn things about myself,” Boyer said. “I knew of events like the Battle of Plattsburgh, but there are smaller stories I’m sure most of us will never know that are just important.”
LeClair hopes students from SUNY Plattsburgh will attend the event, stressing the value of having the new generation interested and knowledgeable about local history.
The tour will start Oct. 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The registration fee for the tour is $15 and includes lunch and the handouts. Students interested in registering can mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register.