Posted on 13 June 2008.
Despite hot, humid, and stormy weather, the Grand Opening of the Fort Plain Free Library’s newly repaired/restored/and renovated quarters held on Sunday, June 8, was an unqualified success. Those in attendance viewed the first of many displays of Clinton Liberal Institute artifacts and memorabilia prepared by board member Eileen Chambers. Quite a few confessed that they had no idea that this co-ed preparatory military boarding school attended by the likes of Simon Lake, inventor of the submarine, had been located in Fort Plain at the end of the 19th century. In addition, they were able to view a Power Point presentation featuring some of the many photographs and postcards donated to the library by local historian Myron Saltsman. The images depicted the Old Erie Canal in Fort Plain and provided a wealth of easily understood information about the engineering marvel that made the village a prosperous commercial and transportation hub.
Visitors also commented on the new herb and perennial garden in keeping with the period of the house designed and planted by Sherri Byrne, owner of The Herb Cupboard. The garden will grow and change over the years adding to the attractiveness of the exterior. Also unveiled was a large landscape painted by local artist Joanne Resch that graces the Willett Street entrance to the building and welcomes residents and visitors alike to the facility and the community. The painting depicts the Mohawk River, Abeel’s Island, a packet boat traveling the Canal, and emphasizes the natural beauty of the area. Finally, all enjoyed a lovely assortment of snacks and refreshments prepared by library patron Donna Ahrens. For those who missed the Grand Opening, feel free to stop in during regular library hours for a tour of the facility. For pictures of the event, visit Fort Plain’s Flickr site.