Clinton County Historical Association  
Plattsburgh, New York  

Preserving our past
for the future



Hotel Champlain

"The 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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Hotel Champlain written by Patricia Snyder, appeared previously in the Clinton County Historical Association's monthly newsletter: North Country Notes, No. 164, February 1981


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