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Clarkson Inn to Celebrate 25 Years in Potsdam with Open House

The Clarkson Inn in downtown Potsdam will celebrate 25 years as Potsdam’s premier lodging destination on September 15.

In honor of this very special occasion, the community is invited to an open house at the Clarkson Inn, One Main Street in Potsdam, on Friday, September 17, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Inn has seen many famous guests pass through its doors during its two-and-a-half decade history.

Some of the world’s greatest scientists, including seven Nobel Prize winners, have stayed at the Inn while visiting Clarkson University.

Adam Sandler traversed the hallways, signing autographs. Dennis Miller donned a wig and glasses to maintain his anonymity. Actor and Clarkson alumnus, M. Emmet Walsh, known for his cantankerous personality, legend has it, told a desk clerk to "go smoke a beer and drink a cigar."

Other well-known guests have included Renee Fleming, the Manhattan Transfer, Judy Collins, Goo Goo Dolls, Sidney Biddle Barrows, Bobby McFerrin, Harry Belafonte, Robert Vaughn, Bobcat Goldthwait, Adam West, Chubby Checker, George Carlin, the Harlem Globetrotters, Pauly Shore, and scores of professional hockey players.

During the Ice Storm of 1998, Clarkson Inn hosted many local residents whose homes were without power and Niagara Mohawk employees that operated three shifts per day for several weeks to restore power lines in the North Country.

Local personalities have enjoyed the Inn, as well. Helen Snell Cheel loved to sit in the breakfast room and visit with the staff while she enjoyed her Danish. The late renowned conductor Brock McElheran and wife Jane enjoyed breakfast with their friends for many years. Late Clarkson alumnus Ernie Richmond ’42 and wife Connie came to visit at least twice a year and regaled everyone with their stories of Clarkson past.

Many Clarkson University alumni spent their honeymoons at the Inn and return to celebrate their anniversaries.

And, of course, the Inn’s staff has watched as parents returned to visit their sons and daughters over their four years at the local colleges and universities. In fact, six of the Inn’s staff have more than 20 years of service.

While now a well-known destination for business travelers, tourists and visitors to local colleges and universities, the Inn was stalled on the drawing board of the Potsdam Urban Renewal Agency in the mid-1980s, when Clarkson was invited to join the project to assure its successful completion. Clarkson’s Alumni Council and Board of Trustees guided the project through its fall 1984 groundbreaking and to successful completion in fall 1985.

Today the Clarkson Inn is operated by J.R. Weston, Inc., a for-profit, tax-paying subsidiary of Clarkson University. Profits from J.R.Weston’s provide scholarships to Clarkson students.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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