May 2018

When you count up the North Country’s assets, at the top of the list will be the beauty of the area, our people and our rich history. In this issue of Strictly Business we take a look at how that history is being preserved and the impact it has on today.

Our cover story features Fort Ticonderoga, a strategic location in Revolutionary times and again during the War of 1812, that had faded from prominence in the late 20th century. Now under the guidance of director Beth Hill the Fort has been reborn, becoming an economic force for the region. If you haven’t visited in the past few years, you need to do it this summer. You will be amazed at all the Fort and its grounds have to offer for visitors of all ages.

Five museums within 500 feet on the Old Plattsburgh Air Force Base Museum Campus has become a draw for local residents and visitors alike. The Big Five include the Clinton County Historical Museum, the Plattsburgh Air Force Museum, the War of 1812 Museum, the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, and the Kids’ Station Children’s Museum. You can check out local history that goes back centuries, take a guided walk around the Oval on the Old Base, learn about the time when the Army, and then later, the Air Force were major players in the area, discover Plattsburgh’s long history in the transportation industry beginning with the Lozier cars made right here in the city, and become a kid again when you visit the Children’s Museum.

South of Plattsburgh at Au Sable Chasm you will find the North Star Underground Railroad Museum. Visit and you will learn about the North Country’s proud antislavery history. You can even take a tour through Keeseville and Peru that will bring you to homes that sheltered freedom seekers on their way to Quebec and Ontario.

William H. Miner is well known in the area for his generous contributions that gave us the Chazy Central Rural School, Physicians Hospital and the Miner Institute. In this issue of SB, we look, not at William Miner, but his wife Alice and the museum she created for her collections. Located on Route 9 in the village of Chazy, this special place offers a great way to learn about life in the early part of the 20th century.

And then there is this month’s Insight article featuring Mimi Lane, the president of General Composites in Willsboro. Lane, a biomedical engineer who holds several patents, has found career satisfaction in the Adirondacks and shares the progress and lessons of her career.

In this issue we begin a new feature called Beyond Business suggested by Jim Snook, Vice President and Branch Manager of Community Bank NA. The idea is to show how area business leaders and employees are firmly rooted in community service activities. Dedicated volunteers make all the difference in the success of these events. Our first BB article introduces you to Brenda and Paul Stevens who are a driving force behind the Plattsburgh Relay for Life, a major fund raiser for the American Cancer Society.

Jacki Kelleher offers part 2 of her article on the impact of protected status employees on employers’ rights under New York State’s at-will employment law.

Garry Douglas wraps up this issue with an invitation for all business people in the North Country to attend the Chamber’s annual Business Expo on Thursday, June 7th. With 165 booths offering every imaginable product and service, the Expo is an event you won’t want to miss.

While the history of the area may be fascinating, there is a practical, dollars and sense side of the preservation efforts we find all around us. The museums we feature in this issue of SB, bring history buffs to the area to do research. They bring alumni of Plattsburgh Air Force Base back to relive their time in the North Country. They bring car lovers here to inspect amazing vehicles collected under one roof. Those people stay in our hotels, they eat in our restaurants and they shop in our stores. And that’s good for business.