Hotel Champlain on Bluff Point, the most commanding Promontory on Lake Champlain,
three miles south of Plattsburgh, New York, overlooks an unrivalled landscape
of mountains, lakes, forest and intervale. First opened in 1890, it was
at once recognized as a leading summer resort, unequalled in location and
management." Hotel Champlain, which still stands today as Clinton
Community College, commands a history of nearly one hundred years of
events, both magnificent and tragic. However, its service as a hotel for
some sixty-one years is what will be underlined here.
In 1870, Smith M. Weed, a wealthy and famous Plattsburgh businessman, bought
the Bluff Point property with the intention of building a residence there.
He built roads and an observation tower "for a better view of Lake
Champlain and its surroundings;" however, he never built a home.
Weed proved successful in persuading the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company
to merge with the New York and Canadian Railroad Company to build a railroad
on the western shore of Lake Champlain. The Legislature granted seven thousand
dollars. The Delaware and Hudson also purchased the Champlain Transportation
Company, the oldest steamboat company in the country. This gave the Delaware
and Hudson primary control of northern transportation.
Weed promoted the idea of a hotel on Bluff Point. The Delaware and Hudson
Company proposed the idea to the Plattsburgh citizens at a public meeting
on August 15th, 1888. The proposal was that Weed would give five thousand
dollars, the railroad one hundred fifty thousand dollars, if the citizens
of Plattsburgh gave twenty-five thousand dollars. On September 12, 1888,
the Bluff Point Land Improvement Company was established. In October, 1888,
Smith sold the land, over one thousand acres, to the Delaware and Hudson
Company for twenty-five thousand dollars.
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Champlain written by Patricia Snyder, appeared previously in
the Clinton County Historical Association's monthly newsletter: North
Country Notes, No. 164, February 1981
© 2004 Clinton County Historical Association