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Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Herb Carpenter

This issue of Strictly Business is the second time we have featured businesses that are 100 or more years old. Two have been passed down in the same family; three have had more than one owner, but maintained an unbroken business service record.

Our cover story features Haselton Lumber of Wilmington, New York. The company, founded by Daniel Haselton 122 years ago, originally operated its saw mill with water power, a steam boiler and power provided by a horse on a treadmill. Over the years the Haseltons faced two fires, a World War and several recessions/depressions, but today the company is going strong under the guidance of fourth generation president Sam Haselton.

Opened in 1898 the Monopole on Protection Avenue was originally an upscale restaurant that attracted the well to do and the famous. Over the years it evolved, but never lost its importance to the community. Today the Monopole is the oldest continuously operating business in downtown Plattsburgh and a place that evokes fond memories for generations of North Country residents.

The Parker Family Maple Farm’s success story is one of ambition, innovation and hard work. Adolphus and Amelia Parker immigrated from Quebec in 1884 and purchased one acre in West Chazy. When they could afford it, they bought more land. Today the farm is more than 2,000 acres. In 1952 grandson Earl was producing 2,000 gallons of syrup a year. This year great grandson Michael expects to market 60-70,000 gallons. Don’t miss this up-close view of an amazing family.

The end of the 19th century began the era of the grand hotels built to accommodate America’s wealthy. The 400 room Hotel Champlain, built in 1889 at Bluff Point just south of Plattsburgh, was widely acclaimed as one of the most luxurious and distinguished resorts of its time. One of the many amenities the hotel offered was its golf course – originally three holes, but later redesigned and expanded to 18 holes. Today the course is recognized as the third oldest golf course in the country and the oldest resort course.

Roger Black brings his extensive knowledge of Clinton County history to this issue of SB with a detailed look at life in Plattsburgh in the 1920’s. You won’t want to miss his observations about Prohibition, a fire that destroyed landmark buildings and businesses in the center of the city’s downtown, the Plattsburgh Idea, the area’s love affair with the automobile, and more.

No history of the area would be complete without a look at the building of Physicians Hospital. In December of this year, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the fateful discussion between philanthropist William Miner and Dr. Cassius Silver that dramatically changed the quality of health care in the North Country.

In Strictly Business we often talk about the enormous impact the Chamber of Commerce has had on our region. In this issue we offer a timeline of some of its most impactful efforts beginning in 1912, the same year the national Chamber was formed at the urging of President William Howard Taft.

This month’s Insight article features Dr. Anne-Marie Spear, who is following in her father and uncle, John and Roger, and grandfather, Isadore Boule’s footsteps. Today Dr. Anne-Marie and her brother Dr. Michael Boule are carrying on the family dental practice begun in 1911.

At a time when businesses, large and small, are struggling we believe our stories about Haselton Lumber, the Monopole, Parker Family Maple Farm, Bluff Point Golf Club, Physicians Hospital and the North Country Chamber of Commerce can serve as inspirations. Through fires, floods, depressions, wars, civil unrest, and the closure of Plattsburgh Air Force Base they have persisted and come out the other side. We salute them! The history of our region has always been built on determination and hard work…

...and that's good for business.

Herbert O. Carpenter, Publisher

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