The Future of Champlain


            Hugh McLellan published a short editorial about the future of Champlain in a September 1931 publication for the annual Champlain Community Exhibit.  The editorial had been written by Hiram M. Mott and published in the February 17, 1882, edition of The Champlain Interview & Rouses Point Star.  In 1882, there was concern that Champlain was in a state of economic decay which the author tried to rebuff. 

    By March of 1931, the same sentiment prevailed as the nation was in the middle of the Great Depression and Champlain's First National Bank had just failed (depositors later received 50% of their savings back; the Rouses Point bank also failed at this time and depositors received 62% of their money).  Hugh re-published this article in September to try and inspire Champlain’s townspeople.  Today, three-quarters of a century later, the article can still be a source of inspiration.










A Timely Plea for






Printed at the Moorsfield Press for the Community Exhibit.









            TOO MANY people undertake to assume that Champlain is dead, as a place of business and of social importance.  Some of these have honestly judged it by its condition during the years of widespread financial distress; some have perhaps hardly given us due credit because of their greater interest in other towns; while many of our own people are actually responsible for a good share of whatever reputation for dullness their town suffers at home and abroad.


            To those who believe Champlain is dead, we say, look at the map; look at her soil and natural resources; consider her manifest advantages of location and wealth.  Very few townships in the country can surpass it for farming, and our farmers as a class enjoy more than the average of success and of wealth.  It is by nature a wealthy town.  The river gives our western and central portion facilities for manufacturing and for commerce.  The lake gives the eastern part unsurpassed facilities for trade, while the railroads extending in four directions give us all the best communication with all the world, affording competition to the principal points, and thus by water and rail we can easily and cheaply reach the most distant points.  Then, too, we have buildings here and at the Point that could be secured for manufacturing on most advantageous terms.  Help can be got here at as low wages as anywhere in the country, and raw material as cheaply also.  There is also much unemployed water power in town.  Thus with all these advantages we think it is a town that may well invite people, and capital, and enterprise from abroad.


            What more is wanted?  Herein comes our people's responsibility.  It is necessary, first, that they awake to a lively interest in the advent of enterprise.  People don't generally come where they are not wanted.  If our community would but keep on the lookout for men of activity who want a location, take some interest in their coming and offer them a cordial welcome, holding out simply favorable business opportunities, we think our town would soon show a marked change, and that all these advantages would be largely improved.  If no one among us wants to or can embark in manufacturing, surely we can all do much to induce outsiders to come here for the purpose.


            But this brings us to another thing.  We are not all sufficiently jealous of the reputation of our town.  Too many of us delight to denounce the place of our residence and its people for their real or fancied deficiencies, forgetting that in thus doing we do as much as anyone to justify our own remarks.  Show us a person who improves every opportunity to berate his town and we will show you one of the least in that place as to making it a desirable locality.  There is much to praise in Champlain, and it becomes us rather to show forth its advantages than to be proclaiming its deficiencies that may perhaps result from the negligence of some of its people with golden opportunities.  To be loyal to our neighborhood and advocate its claims wherein we are able, to do all we can to promote its welfare and to be worthy to share in its praise, to favor good, intellectual schools and spiritual churches, to make the place attractive to population and enterprise, — this should be the aim of the good citizen who desires an approving conscience and appreciative neighbors.


            These remarks are not meant for any particular part of our town.  They will apply to Rouses Point as well as to our own village.  We should all rejoice in the prosperity of either place, and heartily desire the activity of both.  For there is no reason why there should be the least jealousy between them.


            Will this renewal of activity come about?  We hope so, and in fact we believe it will.  Considerable time may or may not be required for it.  A few years ago lumber brought life here and now it must be something else.  Chance may favor us, but most of all, the immediate future of Champlain depends upon the minds and the hearts — which may or may not get other hands to help — and upon the disposition entirely, of its present inhabitants.  With faith and works there can be no doubt of success.




            Although our villages have materially improved during the past fifty years, the above article, written by Mr. Hiram M. Mott, as an editorial in “The Champlain Interview & Rouses Point Star” of February 17th, 1882, expresses sentiments which are quite in keeping with the disjointed times through which we are now passing.





Nine hundred copies of this Editorial, of which twenty-five are on large paper and numbered, were printed in September, 1931.  The eighteenth production of the Moorsfield Press.

                    Future of Champlain by H.M. Mott

The Future of Champlain by H.M. Mott
The Future of Champlain by H.M. Mott
The Future of Champlain by H.M. Mott

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