S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE Continuation Page 3 keywords = Champlain college Associated ACUNY Plattsburg Plattsburgh SUNY Hamilton Harpur Endicott Cortland adirondack mountain north woods Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute RPI Marguerite van Bree

Updated:   01 Jul 2013, 15:30  ET
[Page created 11 Jan 2003; converted 29 Oct 2012
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/champlc3.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/champlc3.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Champlain College
Continuation Page 3

Plattsburgh, New York

{Save yourself a lot of embarrassment}

Don't even think of it!
(especially if you don't even know the meaning of the word "defunct"!) [See further admonition below.]

S. Berliner, III's


of Plattsburgh*, New York

(the late, if unlamented - NOT the newer #
Champlain College of Burlington, Vermont,
nor any of the others that keep coming out of the woodwork!)

ACUNY Seal - B&W
The seal of ACUNY (not Champlain, alone), with Mohawk, Sampson, and Champlain,
left, center, and right on the scroll (from the title page of the Gilbert book).

* - The city in the far northeastern corner of New York State,
on the northwestern shore of Lake Champlain,
just south of the Canadian border and Montréal, is Plattsburg (no "h");
the Pennsylvania city far to the southwest, has an h on the end - Pittsburgh -
but Champlain College was located in Plattsburg
(no matter what they call it now!).

[Ah!  But see Spelling on the main page.]

If you love the North Country or the Adirondack Mountains, you'll love the Adirondack Museum smack dab in the heart of the Adirondacks at Blue Mountain Lake, New York.  It tells the story of the Adirondacks far better than any book could.  I heartily recommend a visit!  If you can't get there, you may wish to visit my Adirondacks page.

You will find some yarns about my time at Champlain there.

03 CC Panorama
(2003 Campus panorama by S. Simon - all rights reserved; thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image)

Strat Simon forwarded this panoramic shot of the campus as it looked earlier this year (2003); if it was from 1948-53, it would be the frontispiece on the main Champlain page but it is recent (even though the view is not all that different) and I'm not ready to redo that page just yet.  I expect to key it shortly (now THAT should be good for laughs!).  The central view is toward the south, with east at left and west at right.


  note-rt.gif  I finally found where to get your ACADEMIC RECORDS!  Ray C. Brown, Ph.D., Executive Director, Associated Colleges of Central Kansas (ACCK) {of ALL places!}, with a research interest in, and a list of, "1,500+ colleges that have closed, merged, or changed names" has this site/page:

http://www.acck.edu/~arayb/ClosedColleges/NewYorkCC.htm, "Closed Colleges",
  where he has the following listing {heavily refomatted}:

"Champlain College, Plattsburgh, New York, 1946-1953 -
  initiated to meet needs of returning veterans as one of five
  Associated Colleges of Upper New York (ACUNY);
  former Plattsburg Army Barracks; in 1950
  became a part of SUNY system and ACUNY ceased to exist

http://sbiii.com/champcol.html {my main page}

which latter, in turn is a flawed link back to my own main CC page, but the link here will work!  That link takes you to the NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT's Office of Higher Education's STUDENT ACADEMIC RECORDS FROM FORMER COLLEGES chart, on which it tells you, for "Champlain College (closed - 1953)" to contact them here:

New York State Education Department
Office of College and University Evaluation
89 Washington Avenue - 5N Mezzanine
Albany, New York 12234

Simple?  TA, RA!  At long last, it can be told (and has)!  Better yet; an alum has already tested it and has transcripts coming; it works (wonders never cease)!

Better and better!  Another alum reports he got his transcript in only two weeks!  Even better yet; the heading on the document is "Associated Colleges of Upper New York State"!  There are separate checkbox sub-headings for Champlain, Mohawk, and Sampson to indicate which college the transcript is from.  His is checked in both the Champlain and Mohawk boxes as he attended both.  There is no other college in the listing.  At least for this transcript, the Associated Colleges of Upper New York State consisted of just those three colleges.  But best of all to my petty, vindictive mind, Plattsburg is spelled without the "h"!  HA! (or should I write "A!"?)

To make room on the main CC page, I had to move the HELP! section to Continuation Page 1 on 04 Dec 2001, but, to make room for more musings on that page, I also moved the material about Dr. Gilbert's book to page 2 on 23 Jan 2002.

On this continuation page, I will add the photos of the old campus I took on 25 Jun 2002, plus more Champlain apocrypha.

Be sure to visit the main Champlain College page, the Continuation Page 1, and the Continuation Page 2, as well.

note-rt.gif  I had recommended that you also see the Champlain College Website of Strat Simon, quite the capable photographer, who had put up six pages on Champlain on his photo site, where you could have clicked on the blue college seal at lower right, or you could have gone directly there by clicking but his sites are now gone.  I hope to be able to reproduce all, or at least most, of his old site here - stay tuned!   rev (01 Jul 2013)

The Champlain Flying Club's
1946 Aeronca Champ

CCFC Aeronca Champ
(Undated photo from the S. Simon collection - all rights reserved)

It appears that the Champlain Flying Club bought its Aeronca Champ new from the Aeronca plant in Ohio in 1946, that it was sold through a Québec dealer in 1956 (who had it from June 1953?), and was bought by an Ontario farmer named Willy Lamothe, in flyable condition (it went across the border in February 1956 on skis), and was stored in the open behind his barn together with a junker.  As of 31 Oct 2004, an Air Canada senior pilot (who piloted the last Air Canada 747 ca. 30-31 Oct 2004) bought the craft (and the hangar queen) sight-unseen and it turns out to be the actual CFC plane!  Not only that, but he has all the paperwork from day one, log book and all, is only the third owner, and proposes to restore her to flying condition (she even has her original engine in place!).

Other than some details of who signed the bill of sale from the CFC and such, the rest of this story is more an aviation miracle than a CC story and is fleshed out on my Aviation page 6 at Aeronca Champ.  The new owner, who collects, restores, tests, and flies antique aircraft and collects aircraft books, photos, and such, and who hopes to rebuild her to her original state in her original color scheme, would like color photos of the plane in its CFC livery, both inside and out.  He also asks that we keep an eye out for Aeronca aircraft parts and instruments as well as pre-1955 aviation manuals, books, and magazines.

However, although the American export/Canadian import documents of 1956 mis-spell the name of the city as "Plattsbrug", there IS NO "H" - HA!  [Persistent, ain't I?] former Platts

ROCKET CAR at Champlain College (1947)!

David Smith of Elmira is making a documentary film about "Elmira's Hungerford brothers, Daniel and Floyd, pioneer aviators, inventors, and eccentrics of the first order.  In 1929 they built a rocket-powered car which they named 'Shirley Lois, Moon Girl' after Daniel's young daughter.  For several years, they staged exhibitions with the car at county fairs and air shows in the vain hope of attracting investors.  By the 1940's they had given up on the project.  In 1947 a young friend of theirs, George Mapes, was preparing to attend Champlain College but had no wheels, so the Hungerfords graciously offered him the use of the rocket car for the entire school year.  I contacted Mr. Mapes and he sent me copies of three photographs of himself and the rocket car at school.  He also said that there was a newspaper article about all this, though he didn't have a copy of it and didn't remember if it was the local paper or the college paper."

The article was in the campus paper, not the local one.  Dave re-sent me the photos; I'm posting them and this wild information in the hope that someone out there has the article or any other photos (or even film!) of this incredible oddity.  Only at Champlain!

CC Rocket Car 27

CC Rocket Car 25
(1947 photos from George Mapes courtesy of D. Smith - all rights reserved;
cropped but without losing any background features)

Ye cats and little fishes!  Now THAT's about as weird as a vehicle can get!  Even back then there were motor vehicle codes that had to be followed; it sure doesn't look street legal to me.  C'mon, folks; surely SOMEONE out there remembers this beast, I mean steed, and has more information on it!!

One presumes that's young George.

Ooh, look; there's a prototype for the Chrysler PT Cruiser just beyond the Rocket Car!

Unless there's a door on the left, I don't even see a convenient means of ingress and egress and those had BETTER be reaction motors, not jets, because, if jets, the vacuum would collapse the vehicle as it killed the jets in the cold of a Plattsburg(h) winter with the windows shut tightly (that presumes there was a heater).

Strat tells me there was a CC wrestler named Neal who had a car without doors.  Now, my question is:

No doors in the openings, or  -  no openings for the doors?

Strat advises it's the former; no doors in the openings.  Heck, we had a car with no doors OR openings - in fact, no body at all, at RPI in '53-'55!

George Jones advised 26 Jun 2003 that the wrestler was Neal Rutt (d.).

Oh, wild!  One Joshua House e-mailed me on 26 Jul 2003 to advise (slightly edited - emphases and links mine) that "the rocket car still exists!  It is owned by the Empire@ State Museum in Albany, and is to be displayed at the Glenn Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York, from September 12th thru November 9th" {Finger Lakes region}; "the Curtiss museum has a good deal of information on the very colorful Hungerford brothers".  These guys got arrested for something that happened between them and the Elmira PD when they were rousted out of their family house for not paying property taxes; they were long-time, card-carrying communists, despite having founded a fairly successful company which still exists in the Elmira area".  A link to the Curtiss Museum says they "were aviation pioneers/inventors from Elmira".

@ - 17 Mar 2004 - According to Geoffrey Stein, Senior Historian, New York State Museum (to whom I am indebted for corrections made above), the "vehicle was donated to the State Museum in 1992 by Daniel Dwyer of Albany", and it had (and has) a door on the left side.  "The Hungerford brothers started with a 1921 Chevrolet 490 chassis"; the "orginal four-cylinder engine and drive train survive".  Mr. Stein sagely suggests that "Mapes rarely, if ever, fired the rocket motor"; I am inclined to agree, but we shall see.

Mr. Stein is now (07 Jun 2013) the "Senior Historian (emeritus)" and has completed a book on the Hungerfords and their car:   new (07 Jun 2013)

Daniel and Floyd Hungerford:
Rocket Power, Interstellar Travel and Eternal Life

The book is available in PDF format, for free, for reading or downloading on the NYS Museum site at:


[Just in case the link ever doesn't work, go to the Museum website, click on the header "Publications", then go to "AVAILBLE ONLINE (FREE)" and click on "NYSM RECORD", and, finally, click on "VOLUME 4" (the book cover is pictured).]

Pictures from my 25 Jun 2002 visit
to the former Champlain campus:

{to follow - I'd better get cracking!}

Champlain Reminiscences:

On 10 Jan 2003, I heard from Ned Hudson, of South Dennis, Massachusetts, who attended "Champlain College in Plattsburg" {no "h"!} for his freshman year (Jan to Sep 1947 - they were accelerated then) transferred to NYU but didn't graduate from there and wants to continue his education despite his age (77)!  Bravo, Ned!  One thing led to another and he sent me his reminiscences of the old Alma Mammy (minimally edited, primarily for format):

He wrote that although he "was in Plattsburg (no h) less than a year it looms large in my memories now.  It was a grand experience overall.  The Texas red hots were unforgettable so I enjoyed seeing the shack on your site.  There was also a spaghetti joint a ways down into town.  I remember how the roads had hardened snow on them all winter, and squeaked when you walked on them in that cold air.  Also the picture of the town in 1956, grand.  With my grandkids, I went back for a brief visit in the early '90s and visited the 'campus'.  The guard at the gate let us take some pictures on the parade grounds and look around."

"My problem that day was finding the 'college' once we reached town. I couldn't get my bearings.  I never did find the old railroad tracks.  We used to travel to Plattsburg on the train from NYC.  The night we first arrived in Plattsburgh us city boys debarked into a snow depth we never experienced before, about two feet.  In later trips we took the overnight and arrived in Plattsburg in the morning.  But at that hour Plattsburg was not an official stop, only a place for the engine to take on water.  Actually, the water tower was sort of on the outskirts of town and the Champlain College students all piled off, at least the ones who didn't sleep through the water stop.  For some reason the conductor always made a big fuss about us getting off.  We had to jump from the floor height once we got the doors opened, if we got them open before he arrived.  He would shout and rave and tell us to stay on until Rouses Point, the next official stop twenty miles farther on.  I never could figure out why he put so much effort into that.  I think once I slept past the stop and my friend and I had to hitchhike our way back down to the school."

Thanks, Ned!  The tracks are still there, just west of Route 9 and below grade downtown, but below the bluff along the lakeshore at the campus and southward.

Amazing, the fondness most of us still have for that place!

Next to check in was Larry Litman (23 May 2003 - from Far Rockaway, Long Island - attended '51-'52 - reminiscences only most minimally edited); he "lived in Saratoga C106 in a three-man very crowded, very messy, very popular room known as 'The Haven' with a sign for the Rouse's Point ferry hanging the wall.  Dean Horvath eventually called us on the carpet because of our rowdy behavior."

"Also in Sara C were some who stayed on for the 52-53 year: Mitch Cohen, my roommate and a childhood friend from Far Rockaway; Joe Genovese, and Donald Westlake, who later became a well known writer (two of his books became movies:  'The Hot Rock', starring Robert Redford, and 'Bank Shot', starring George C. Scott."

Larry has some questions regarding the pictures: re the pics of single students dorms: the upper he believes to be "Cumberland (note the curve of the oval) just on your left as you entered the main gate."  The lower is Clinton, he thinks.  "The cafeteria (28) was in the basement of Clinton.  The pics of the bonfire could not have been taken in December, which was cold, cold, cold, with snow on the ground from November to April.  The people are too lightly dressed, especially the girl {sic!}on the ladder."

"The student union was in the front, with the snack bar in the back.  If you enter 'Plattsburgh Barracks'² on Googol, there is a whole page of photos and postcards about the campus when it was an army post (including one of Teddy Roosevelt on the Quad)." {this latter and another will appear here momentarily - SB,III}

He and Mitch visited the campus in the late 90's; we may see more pix, yet.

Larry sent another message; "The student union was the second building on the left of the main gate, right next to Rt. 9.  In the photo looking across the oval past the soccer{?} goal the view is NW.  The infirmary was only on the first floor of Beaumont.  Floors 2 and 3 were girls dorms.  Male students on the northern end of Saratoga D could look into their rooms.  There was at least one classroom on the 1st floor of Beaumont.  I have a class assignment card from Spring 1951 with the name of the course and its location.  I had English at 8am T,Th, and Sat. (ugh) in Beaumont with a wonderful teacher named Jerry Kovalcik, who was also the college (and my) debating coach."

"ACUNY WAS SUNY by 1948¹.  I have a letter written to my family on CC stationary with the SUNY shield and the date 1948.  An aerial photo (Mapquest) shows the rectangular outline where Ticonderoga stood.  Apparently it was the dorm that burned down.  Behind it is the rounded outlines where Kilroy's Castle stood.  Do you remember the Lido Club, or as it was called, the Libido Club, where we would go to meet and dance with local girls?  It was there I developed a lifelong hatred of country music.  Rouses Point has no apostrophe and no ferry.  It has a bridge which we took to UVM."

"If anyone is interested, many libraries have a copy of Dean Gilbert's book.  Here in Boston, Boston U. and UMass Boston have and others also.  I might have somewhere the small Champlain Guide which was given to incoming students."

And even more: " - - - we had a college advisor {at Far Rockaway High} who seemed to have a fondness for CC, or else she wanted to send us to Siberia.  Actually, I don't remember it being unbearably cold.  Was the cafeteria in your basement? {I don't remember; I ate across route 9 - SB,III}  If so, you were in Clinton (which was the only large dorm without porches.)  I have two editions of the 'Champlainer', the newspaper, both falling apart and fragile.  It was fun to dig them out and reread them. Bus fare to NYC was $6.80!"

Rich is fond of both Bach and the Bard; "both interests were stimulated at CC.  Dr. Kovalcik, the debate coach, introduced me to Shakespeare, and also how to hit the bars the night before a debate tourney; and some of the songs we sang in the chorus were by Bach."

¹ - Correction:  "Champlain became SUNY in 1950, not 1948.  The last was the date on the stationery's shield/logo.  CC was the first liberal arts college in SUNY and Gov. Dewey made a speech on that occasion in our gym (was there a bowling alley in its basement?)"  {O.K., folks; was there?}

² - The Barracks postcards are at this URL but you might also want to see cards of old Plattsburgh itself.

On 22 Jul 2003 I received this (excerpted): "My mother, Marie Timmerman, attended Champlain for at least one year, 1947-1948, and possibly longer.  She passed away quite a few years ago, and although she didn't often speak of her 'college years', I could always tell that she felt they were an important point in her life.  I'm not quite sure if she ever ever finished, or got a degree."  Can anyone fill in the details?

Marie's daughter sent some preliminary digital photos; hopefully she'll get better at this or even be able to scan the documents (especially the map!).  Here are lovely Marie, herself, the cover of "The Student Handbook 1947-1948", the Campus Map from the centerfold of that handbook, the "Fall Festival 1947" dance card, a dance card for "November Fifteenth / Nineteen Hundred Forty-seven / Music by Gene Krupa" {!}, an invitation to the Second Annual Winter Week End, February 20, 21, 22 (1948), and a group picture at Winter Week End with Marie in the center and her sister, Kathryn, to her left:

Marie T

Student Handbook 47-48

Campus Map

Fall Festival 47

Dance Card/Gene Krupa

Wint Week End Inv

Wint Week End group
(photos courtesy of M. Timmerman's daughter - all rights reserved;
cropped but without losing any background features)

Can anyone give us more information about any of these events or who else is in the group photo?

An alum wants to know if anyone has heard from/about Jessica Dennerstein, who was at CC from '48 through '50 and stayed with Janna Coulapides and others in Hudson Hall; we do not have her on our list of alumnae.

John Cassavetes (1929-1989), noted actor, director, and author, attended Mohawk College in 1948 (its last year) and then went to Champlain in 1949.  Noted Cassavetes scholar Ray Carney of Boston University has a major Website on the subject at http://people.bu.edu/rcarney/cassavetes/.

Cassavetes mentioned professors lecturing over loudspeakers to 200 students at a time.  He hated that!  However, he liked one teacher, a history teacher named Williams who made him like history because he (Williams) was so passionate about it and made it so interesting.

A researcher is looking into Cassavetes' days in Utica and Plattsburgh and would appreciate hearing from anyone who remembers Cassavetes at either school (let me know, please).

Howie Ross, on the '52 wrestling team, got in touch in June 2006 and reminded me that Lario's was the Greek soda fountain and confectioners downtown (at the corner of Margaret and Bridge Streets, as I had already noted on the preceding page - ah, memory!).  What a long chat we had on 14 Jun 2006!!

This page is about the CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE
that was in Plattsburgh, New York.

{Save yourself a lot of embarrassment}

Don't even think of it!
(especially if you don't even know the meaning of the word "defunct"!)

[If you still insist on applying, click here.]

If you think this admonition and the one at the top of the page are a gag, think again!
I have had a steady trickle of requests for application forms - really, truly.
[See further admonition on the main page.]

Be sure to visit the main Champlain College page, the Continuation Page 1, and the Continuation Page 2, as well.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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