Plattsburgh has had a City Court since 1902. Before that, Plattsburgh
was a Village with a "Recorder's Court" for criminal and
civil cases. The old docket books have been kept in very good
condition all these years in the City Court Chambers. Murders,
hangings in Plattsburgh and other crime in North Country history
can be found at the New
York Correction History Society website. Information about
notable judges from the North Country can be found at The Historical
Society of the Courts of the State of New York. Look for
Court of Appeals Judges Samuel Hand and Henry T. Kellogg, or
Judge Reuben H. Walworth, who presided over the Peggy
Facto murder trial in 1825 and later was the last Chancellor of the State
of New York.
Home of City Court
On January 1, 2002, the Plattsburgh City Court Judge position
changed from part-time to full-time. Penelope D. Clute was appointed Plattsburgh's first
full-time judge. Mark J. Rogers continued as the part-time
Acting City Court Judge, handling cases when Judge Clute is unavailable
to do so. Effective January 3, 2012, Judge Rogers became the full time Judge, and John F. Niles became the part time Judge.
Plattsburgh City Court has been held in the City Hall since 1927.
On February 17, 2004 we moved into a beautiful building which
was built in 1896 as a Barracks for the US Army Post in Plattsburgh.
Soldiers who lived here fought in Cuba in the Spanish American
War in 1898 and in the Philippines in 1899. President McKinley
visited the Plattsburgh Barracks when he spent the summers of
1897 and 1898 at the Hotel Champlain in Cliff Haven. President
Taft reviewed the troops here in 1909 as part of the Tercentenary
Celebrations of the Discovery of Lake Champlain.
There were Civilian Military Training Camps, including the Businessmen's
Training Camps, here in 1915 and 1916. Teddy Roosevelt visited
in August 1915. The movement for civilian military preparedness
became known as "The Plattsburgh Idea", and led to
the establishment of ROTC [Reserve Officer Training Corps]. The Plattsburgh City Court Lobby displays a permanent exhibit of photographs and text on
Plattsburgh Barracks continued as an Army Post until the mid-1940's.
During 1944, it was turned over to the US Navy and became Camp
MacDonough for a Navy Officers Training Camp. This was followed
by the US Army Air Force Convalescent Hospital in 1945.
From 1946-1953 the buildings on the US Oval were used by the
State of New York for Champlain College. To meet the needs of
returning World War II veterans, the state established five Associated
Colleges of Upper New York (ACUNY), including Champlain College
at the former Plattsburgh Army Barracks. In 1950, the ACUNY colleges
became part of the SUNY system.
By 1953, the Champlain College enrollment had dropped considerably,
and the US Government was interested in taking the property back
for an Air Force Base. The Plattsburgh Air Force Base was active
from 1954 until its closure in 1995.
The United States Congress approved money to build Plattsburgh
Barracks in 1893. The first barracks was completed in 1894, and
two others in 1896.
What else was happening in 1893?
- Coca Cola trademark was registered.
- Thomas Edison filed for a patent on the first
- The zipper was patented.
- The Wright Brothers began to repair and sell
bicycles - it was 10 years before their first flight!
- The first American horseless carriage [car]
was built - the Duryea.
- Colorado became the 3rd state to give women
the right to vote. Wyoming was 1st and Utah 2nd.