Photo by Bethany GrantGrant comes from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership for Pathway to America250

Announcing Clinton County’s Semiquincentennial Anniversary Steering Committee

Plattsburgh, N.Y. – The CCHA Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the award of a 2023 Local Heritage Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership totaling $8000.  The purpose of this grant is to form a team, identify a leader within that team and prepare a plan to make the America250 commemoration of our nation’s founding the most comprehensive and inclusive celebration in our County’s history, using as a guide the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission’s mission and vision.  See .

An area guide will be created to identify all partners and their commitments to personifying America250 themes, with an emphasis on encouraging students, visitors, Clinton County residents, and our Canadian and Vermont counterparts to learn more about the Revolutionary War and the events that took place on both the land and water in our area. The guide, along with a toolkit and manual, will include planned events through to 2027 and even further as necessary to cover the entire story of our Revolutionary War milestones.

Special programs include the Annual Battle of Valcour Commemoration and the opening of the Battlefield Memorial Gateway in 2026. Many more programs, activities, and speakers will be announced in the coming months.

We are pleased to announce the formation of Clinton County’s America250 Semiquincentennial Anniversary Steering Committee. The Committee is a coalition of historical, educational, nonprofit, government, and other representatives who for several months have been discussing the various event opportunities for the upcoming 250th anniversary of the founding of our nation. The committee’s objective is to harness Clinton County’s collective efforts to ensure it marks this region’s imprint on the American Story. CCHA President Geri Favreau is serving as Project Coordinator. Desmond Meacham, a recent SUNY Plattsburgh graduate majoring in history, serves as project lead for aspects of the project related to the grant.

Steering Committee Members are:  Sharon Bell (Saranac Chapter, NSDAR.), Michael Cashman (Supervisor, Town of Plattsburgh, Battlefield Memorial Gateway Park & Committee Co-Chair), Geri Favreau (President, CCHA, Committee Co-Chair & Project Coordinator), Rich Frost (Historian & Author), Wendell Hughes (County Legislator), Brandy McDonald (Supervisor, Town of Peru), Desmond Meacham (Grant Team Leader), Helen Nerska (Director, CCHA & Town of Peru Historian), John Rock (Sons of the American Legion and Friends of Crab Island; Battlefield Memorial Gateway Park), and Craig Russell (Valcour Battle Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution)


Michael Cashman - “This region is rich with history. Especially military history dating back to the formation of this great nation. The Town of Plattsburgh along with our partners the Clinton County American Legion are excited to be advancing efforts of the Battlefield Memorial Gateway project. Our goal is to create a multigenerational space that helps to tell important stories that occurred on the land, islands and Lake Champlain. The BMG project will focus on the Battle of Valcour and Crab Island. While serving as a launching off point for locals and visitors to continue to explore history throughout the North Country. It is with great pride to be part of a larger effort to celebrate our region’s history as stories in the earliest chapter of the American story.”

Geri Favreau – “Our region has had a significant impact on the formation and birth of our nation from the Original People who were here first to the Revolutionary War to the Battle of Plattsburgh and beyond.  The mission of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission is ‘To commemorate our 250th anniversary with inclusive programs that inspire Americans to renew and strengthen our daring experiment in democracy.’  An experiment that has survived for 250 years!  It is with great pride that Clinton County and the Clinton County Historical Association will lead in commemorating the Revolutionary War in our region and the beginning of our democracy.”

Desmond Meacham – “I am excited and honored to be working on a project concerning our area’s strong roots to the birth of the country. The semiquincentennial celebrations here in Clinton County will include many moments to remember and learn about the role this land and the lake played in America’s earliest days.”

Craig Russell – “The Battle of Valcour Bay was the first ' naval encounter ' after independence was declared. Although a tactical defeat it was a strategic win for the patriot cause. Although he eventually betrayed the country, Benedict Arnold was truly the foremost combat general from 1775 to 1777. Had he remained faithful to the cause of liberty he surely would be ranked just under George Washington as a revered general. We must present the events that led up to that fateful October 11, 1776 and link the events in the Champlain Valley as well as Quebec Province commemorating the overall picture of what occurred and presenting and understanding the good part of Benedict Arnold's military career.”

Sharon Bell – “The Battle of Valcour was a pivotal, but little known, battle in the American Revolution. By delaying the British Invasion force, Arnold bought time for the fledging American cause. The Saranac Chapter US Daughters of the American Revolution, has been commemorating the Battle of Valcour for 127 years. We look forward to participating in the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution.” 

John Rock – “Our area is very rich in history with the battles that have taken place and the veterans we have had who served our nation. The North Country needs to tell our story about what events took place in our fight for independence and the birth of a new nation. I hope everyone will help us plan this huge event for 2026, all towns and communities.”

For more information about Clinton County’s America250 program planning, contact:

Funding for this project came from a 2023 Local Heritage Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership.