Oral History - Mimi VanDeusen

Dublin Core


Oral History - Mimi VanDeusen


Clip from oral history interview with Mimi VanDeusen (SUNY Potsdam Alumna, Curator of the Potsdam Public Museum and Village of Potsdam Historian), interviewed by Christine Schrauth on November 8, 2012.


VanDeusen, Mimi. Interviewee.
Schrauth, Christine. Interviewer.


SUNY Potsdam. College Archives & Special Collections.


November 8, 2012


The oral history was conducted as a part of SUNY Potsdam's Fall 2012 "Oral History" course (ANTH 364/HIST 450).





Oral History Item Type Metadata


Schrauth, Christine


VanDeusen, Mimi


Potsdam Public Museum (Potsdam, New York)


[Transcript of clip]

MV: They had a campus school that went with SUNY Potsdam, SUNY or State Teachers College, whatever it was called at the time. So they had a teaching school and that was across, that was on Main Street behind Snell Hall, Old Snell Hall.
CS: Oh, okay.
MV: Right across the street where we are here. So, that still stands. It’s actually the second rendition of it. At one point it was condemned and torn down. When Congdon was there, it was called Congdon Campus School and Congdon was the principal and the head of the school. They had an inspector come. We just read this online. We found this historical document about it. So, Potsdam was a teaching college and so, they had a practice school. It was called a practice school so all the students would get a chance to teach there. So, Congdon was in charge of this, Dr. Congdon, Some state inspectors came for the annual inspection of the building and it was a sandstone building and they found these great flaws in the building and said, and they vacated it right then and there that day they closed the school and made everyone go home. School was closed. I can’t remember the year.
CS: Uh huh.
MV: And Congdon, I mean like everyone was just freaked out. So, Congdon had a lot of political connections. This just seems so unreal, but he went to the Legislature. I think Snell, our local Bert Snell was part of Congress at the time. And he went and he said “We have to tear down this school. We have to put up a new school. This needs to happen right away.” Within so many months they had it torn down and rebuilt. I mean you could never get anything, and the legislature passed it and gave money for it. And he begged money for it from the state and federal. It was quite incredible.


2 minutes : 3 seconds

Time Summary

00:00-02:08 Introduction and biographical information
02:09-03:49 First memories of SUNY Potsdam, Helen Hosmer, mental health clinic in Merritt Hall, campus construction
03:50-06:16 Typical week as a child, nursery school, ballet classes
06:17-09:52 Downtown, watching college girls and their crazy clothes, Soda Fountain, Clarkson boys harassing kids riding bikes
09:53-12:15 Composition of “State” student body
12:16-22:41 Lawrence Avenue Elementary school, Congdon Campus School, condemnation and rebuilding of Campus School, Campus School’s yearly musical
22:42-27:33 Clarkson Hill, University ski slope, Woodstock Lodge, Clarkson’s secret tunnel
27:34-34:49 Cold winters in 1960s, “Pot Hole” as nickname for Potsdam, ice sculptures, Ice Carnival
34:50-39:23 Christmas tree lighting, Cranes students and village singers trying to out-sing each other
39:24-42:47 The Dairy Bar
42:48-49:09 Zoonie Boonie Riot
49:10-51:09 High School years, cutting school to hang out at Crumb Library, first job at Carroll’s Hamburger joint with radical students from SUNY Potsdam
51:10-56:19 Exposure to political thought, radical intellectuals at SUNY Potsdam,
56:20-60:44 Time at SUNY Potsdam as a student
60:45-62:48 Jean Pierre Rampal plays entire concert in sock feet
62:49-64:08 Reflection on being a parent in a college town
64:09-66:46 Working at the Dilly Wagon
66:47-69:23 Final Comments and signing release forms



VanDeusen, Mimi. Interviewee. Schrauth, Christine. Interviewer., “Oral History - Mimi VanDeusen,” SUNY Potsdam College Archives & Special Collections Digital Collections, accessed June 24, 2024, https://omeka.potsdam.edu/items/show/25.