Potsdam's Clarkson Inn, at 25, hosting open house Sept. 17
Thursday, September 9, 2010 - 2:47 pm

POTSDAM -- The Clarkson Inn will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an open house on Sept. 17.

The community is invited the open house at the Inn, One Main Street, 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, among them Adam Sandler, and Dennis Miller, who donned a wig and glasses to maintain his anonymity. Actor and Clarkson alumnus M. Emmet Walsh, known for his cantankerous personality, reportedly told a desk clerk to “go smoke a beer and drink a cigar.”

Other well-known guests have included Renee Fleming, 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 who worked 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. And many Clarkson University alumni spent their honeymoons at the Inn and return to celebrate their anniversaries.

Six of the Inn's staff have more than 20 years of service.

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.