Champlain's "Singing Sands Beach" 1902 hotel brochure-Private
1, 1911, the new Hotel Champlain was opened to the public. The estimated
cost was three hundred thousand dollars. It was much smaller, with no
annex. The framework was of structural steel. Walls and roof were of
hollow tile. The dimensions of the building were three hundred and twenty-four
by forty-seven feet.
The ground floor consisted of a large foyer, grotto, officers' dining
room, barber shop, offices, servants' dining rooms, grill, cocktail
lounge, dining rooms and storage. The second floor consisted of a veranda,
main dining room, ball room, parlor, foyers, offices, kitchen and library.
Third and fourth floors were mainly large and small private rooms, and
apartments. Private baths were an added attraction in the new hotel.
Champlain room key
It was advertised
as "fire proof." American and European plans were offered.
It was designated as the official hotel by the American Automobile Association.
The hotel was furnished in the style of Louis XVI.
From September 6 to September 11, 1914, the celebration of the victory
of General Macomb and Lieutenant Macdonough was held in Plattsburgh.
There was a large banquet. Again the list of dignitaries was impressive,
including assistant Secretary Roosevelt and Governor Glynn.
The Civilian Volunteer Program of 1915 brought an increased population
to the base and consequently the hotel, among them was Theodore Roosevelt,
Richard Harding Davis and Robert Bacon. Their social lives centered
around the hotel.
Fisher's "Mutt & Jeff" comic strips focused on Hotel Champlain.
Fisher was stationed at the Plattsburgh Barracks while his characters
hid out in the Hotel Champlain Bar. This gave thousands of dollars of
Motion pictures also came to Hotel Champlain. Scenes from the film,
Janice Meredith, were filmed on the hotel grounds. Because the film
centered on the Revolutionary War, the Plattsburgh 26th Infantry appeared
in battle scenes. When Washington crossed the Delaware, it was really
the Saranac River.
In 1939, a long depression brought financial difficulties to the Delaware
and Hudson Company. Hotel Champlain was sold to Mailman Brothers, a
financier from Montreal. The hotel was redecorated, furniture was brought
from the S.S. Normandie. Cabana Clubs were built on the "Beach
of Singing Sands." They were equipped with showers, refreshments
stands and bars.
the depression, war, transportation, and new vacation spots lessened the
attraction of Lake Champlain and its majestic hotel. The hotel remained
in operation, but at a loss. Finally, on July 2, 1951, Hotel Champlain
was sold to the Society of Jesus and converted to a college.
Thus ended the era of a great institution. An era of banquets, concerts,
festivities, and gaiety - but most of all, the end of an institution of
elegance, splendor, and grace.
to Hotel Champlain-->
Champlain written by Patricia Snyder, appeared previously in
the Clinton County Historical Association's monthly newsletter: North
Country Notes, No. 164, February 1981
Copyright © 2007 Clinton County Historical Association