Castles of Potsdam donate Clarkson family tools to university
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 5:56 am

Clarkson Dean of Admission Brian T. Grant, right, accepts the gifts from John and Sondra Castle.

POTSDAM -- John and Sondra Castle of Potsdam have donated to Clarkson University two antique shovels and a drill that once belonged to Emilie Clarkson Moore, the niece of Thomas S. Clarkson, for whom the school is named.

The implements were once used at Moore’s childhood home, known as Holcroft House, now part of the Clarkson hill campus. Emilie, born in 1863, was the daughter of Ann Mary and T. Streatfeild Clarkson. Ann Mary was a sister of Thomas S. Clarkson. Emilie married William Moore in 1901.

“As an adult, Emilie had a home in Potsdam and the tools were likely brought over to the house from the hill,” explained John Castle. “One shovel is stamped ‘Holcroft’ and the other has the initials ‘TC’ etched into the handle.”

Holcroft House was given to Clarkson College of Technology in 1927 and today houses Clarkson’s student admissions offices.

The shovels and drill will remain on display on the first floor of Holcroft, close to where they were used.

“We’re thankful to the Castles for these visual reminders of daily life in the 19th and early 20th centuries,” said Dean of Admissions Brian Grant. “They help bring the history of the Clarkson family to life and keep us connected to our past.”

“It’s important to remain connected to our roots,” added John Castle. “These tools passed to Emilie and then down through my family. Now it’s time to return them to Holcroft House.”

The Castles' son, Christopher, graduated from Clarkson in 1990.