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Book illustrates Ogdensburg’s past, present buildings

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In Ogdensburg author David E. Martin’s world, old might as well be new because old is better than new.

Mr. Martin’s scope on this perspective is defined by the photographs in his book, “Ogdensburg Through Time” (Fonthill Media), a 96-page, full-color, illustrated record of many of Ogdensburg’s most venerable and remembered businesses, bridges, grand residences, churches and public buildings.

“It has the old image and what it looks like today,” Mr. Martin said.

They were familiar sites then and are familiar sites now.

There is the U.S. Post Office on State Street. There is Helen Hall Memorial, now Ogdensburg Free Academy, also on State Street. There is also Bowers Brothers Monuments, now Dillingham, Jones & Cissel Insurance, located at 403 Ford St., the Crescent Hotel at Crescent and Greene streets, now a small park, and the Knights of Pythias Home, Route 68, now United Helpers Nursing Home.

There are 96 images in all in the book and Mr. Martin soon realized he had only scratched the surface of what was available to be culled from various historical and private collections, including his own.

“At first, I thought it could be done overnight,” he said. “But these are all places that people remember so well.”

Some old landmarks are gone forever, never replaced by a new building.

“There could have been a parking lot book,” Mr. Martin said.

The 70-year-old author admitted that writing and photographing “Ogdensburg Through Time” left him feeling nostalgic for old Ogdensburg.

But then, Mr. Martin added, he has always felt that way.

“I liked the way that it looked then,” he said.

“Ogdensburg Through Time” is on sale for $20 per copy, tax included, at the Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce office at Bridge Plaza.

Mr. Martin will sign copies of the book at Ogdensburg Public Library, 312 Washington St., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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