OGDENSBURG — Ogdensburg City Historian Julie Madlin is expanding her self-guided walking tours through the historic district of Ogdensburg to Caroline Street.
“It’s a five-year plan,” Ms. Madlin said.
Her tour is based mostly inside the Library Park National Historic District. Already signs can be seen at the site of historic buildings, or were historic buildings used to stand along State Street. The signs are adorned with QR codes that allow people to use smart phones to access extensive information about each site, including, in many cases, videos about the subject.
Ms. Madlin works with Laura Lee Roethel of River Rate Designs to produce the signs and is just about ready to get the seven signs designated for Caroline Street printed.
She hopes to have the signs placed by the end of December and will conduct a tour of the new signs in the summer of 2020.
“Ogdensburg is a very walkable city,” Ms. Madlin said. But she acknowledged that it is not as much fun in the winter months.
At her last guided tour, in September, Ms. Madlin said she had more than 50 people take a walk with her.
“There’s a lot of great architecture in Ogdensburg,” she said. “If you can get people to slow down, they really enjoy it.”
One of the highlights of the building on the tour, which is soon to have its own sign, is 412 Caroline St. — the Knap Mansion.
It’s an Italianate style home that is over 5,000 square feet. It was home to the Knap and Hasbrouck families.
Mary Hasbrouck, who died in 1952, was the great-granddaughter of Louis Hasbrouck, who was the first clerk of St. Lawrence County and a member of the New York State Senate. Her father, also named Louis Hasbrouck, served as assistant district attorney and was a founder of “The Boy’s Journal” newspaper, which later became the Republican Journal. Ms. Hasbrouck was a librarian for the Ogdensburg Public Library and an educator. She also served on the Board of Education for many years.
The house was built for Mary Averell Knap, widow of Thomas Knap, in 1865. Her daughter Emeline Knap married Louis Hasbrouck Jr. and resided in the home until her death in 1911. She was one of the founders of the Society of United Helpers, which was an organization that cared for orphans and the elderly.
Later residents included Franklin Little and his wife Janet, who moved to Ogdensburg in 1928. Mr. Little was the owner of the Ogdensburg Republican Journal.
The money for the project came from a $4,500 grant from Northern New York Community Foundation.