We often talk about being embraced by the communities we visit, well in Fort Plain we were adopted. Our hosts provided us a room at Sweet’s Garden Place B&B and every meal for the crew while we were there. The breakfasts at Sweet’s are possibly the best in the world and our Tom became a living legend for his capacity to enjoy large amounts of flap-jacks. I was delighted to be asked to provide a talk for the Fort Plain Free Library and spoke to a capacity crowd about the Lois McClure and Lake Champlain shipwrecks. Fort Plain has connections to many of the storylines which flow from Lake Champlain with a rich menu of Native Peoples, Colonial, Revolutionary War and canal history. This was really brought home to me as I viewed the excellent exhibits at the Fort Plain Museum. The museum is housed on the site of the original European settlers just below the expansive hill that was the site of the fortifications established at Fort Plain prior to and during the American Revolution. The quality of the exhibits, reflecting on Native Peoples, early European settlement, archaeology and particularly the collection of artwork created by Rufus Grider makes this splendid museum reason enough to visit Fort Plain. Down on the waterfront we were treated to a huge and enthusiastic flow of visitors that once again consisted of all generations of families gathering to enjoy a day by the water and a perspective that reflects on their community history. Our crew enthusiastically rose to the occasion and working aboard our proven time-machine, provided a warm and thoughtful reflection of canal history, its relationship to their place and the shipwrecks that inspire and add to the story. Our final breakfast at Sweets was an unexpected opportunity to talk with our hosts from the library, museum and Friends group joined Mayor Guy Barton, the regional Economic Development planner and their Congressman Paul Tonko about our impressions of the visit and to offer any suggestions we might have for enhancing maritime themes. Congressman Tonko is spearheading a major Waterways initiative to tie together the communities along the upper Hudson and Mohawk Valley which resonated perfectly with one of the tours central messages; “Our shared heritage along the waterways”.
2 thoughts on “Fort Plain”
Art, many thanks for your comments about my wonderful village and my friends.( I was at Sweet’s Monday evening when you arrived with Annie.) I grew up here,went off to nursing school and then left for NYC and St.Pete,Florida ….anywhere as long as I was away from this one horse town.! Now,40 years later,I’ve returned to care for my aging father. AND I am so happy to be in this lovely village,along MY lovely river ,in MY lovely Mohawk Valley. Isn’t maturity a blessed happening!? I’ve traveled alot and nothing compares in my heart tothis. I’m so glad you and your great crew and vessel took time to see us!
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