in memoriam

Carlton E. Stickney

A Special Video About Carl

The following remembrances are taken from various emails and other resources since Carl's death on January 28, 2022.

Lenore writes:

"A World Without Carl"

Most of my 7+ decades of life has been a world without Carl. It wasn't until a few years ago that I met this man, seemingly older than I, quiet, and somewhat unassuming. At Board meetings he would sit in the back, and with other members, who I came to find out, had also been around SLCHA for a l-o-n-g time, would smile and nod as all the ideas and issues were bandied about.

Occasionally, Carl spoke up, but not usually; always with a clever smile, a wince, or some other fleeting expression that came to his face, clearly expressing a reaction to an item that was brought up or a comment made. You just knew there were opinions and reflections twinkling behind those clear blue eyes.

For the past two years, Carl, Roger (my husband,) and I have spent many hours and days together. Working to create digital exhibits of spinning wheels, early lighting fixtures or other historical artifacts curated by Carl at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, we were physically and socially in close proximity for many hours at a time. With all the knowledge and attention to detail that he possessed, he was a quiet person, no bravado there. Roger and I enjoyed the gentle conviviality and satisfaction of working with a person who was dedicated to the art of recording history.

I cherish the time we had with Carl and unpretentiously take this opportunity to call him a friend. He was a gentleman and a gentle man, and I will sadly miss this world without Carl.

Roger writes:

Carl Stickney was a polymath; he had many feathers in his hat. He was a craftsman who could repair a broken yarn winder or spinning wheel while keeping detailed notes on cultural artifacts including patent dates, numbers, and any innovations that made them unique. Carl's library covered all aspects of cultural development and his knowledge of the history and development of St. Lawrence County culture was vast. He was able to explain, in detail, the evolutions of textile tools, how home lighting fuels improved, and the way iron tools were made.

I enjoyed working closely with Carl on several digitization projects and gained in my appreciation of the impact of the Industrial Revolution on daily life. Carl was fun to know and work with. It is needless to say he is missed.

Bryan writes:

Truly a great loss to the local history community. I don't know when I first met Carlton. It seems like he has just always been there. He was so dedicated to telling local history in every way, through artifacts, legends and stories. He was always willing and ready to help with anything historical. I remember when we found a trove of antique lighting in the attic of the De Kalb Meetinghouse during restoration. He volunteered to meet me at my office and go through the discoveries. He was like a little kid in a candy store handling the candle sconces and whale oil lamp parts. He knew so much about every item. He will be missed.

Pat writes:

Carlton Stickney has been a personal friend and part of the St. Lawrence County Historical Association “family” for many years now. He touched many lives and will be greatly missed, but there are wonderful memories and even a few photos and videos to remind us of happier times.

Over all those years, I can think of few events or programs which took place without Carlton's presence. I don't think he ever missed a Brown Bag lunch, whether just supporting the presenter or taking an active part himself. A rather reluctant public speaker, once he started sharing his knowledge of antiques or people and places from our history, Carlton kept an audience very much involved.

Carlton often greeted and welcomed visitors to programs in the Gallery, gave tours of the house, again sharing that knowledge of everything from the beautiful Badlam piano and the beehive oven in the dining room to the smallest kitchen tools. Many of the items in the house came from his own collections and donations.

Major events like the annual Antique Show and Civil War weekend benefited from Carlton's help from organization to help during the event and follow up cleanup.

One of Carlton's shining moments came every year for the Holiday Open House when he helped decorate with trees, greens, decorations and always, a special display from his own special collections. Every year, folks looked for and enjoyed things like his tole collections, candle sticks, Victorian tree ornaments, children's toys and a special favorite, a collection of mercury glass.

Thank you for those and many more special memories old friend.

Rob writes:

Very sad, he was a good man and extremely knowledgeable. I had learned a lot from our conversations over the last few weeks. Even as I have been reviewing things I see he had his hands in everything the Associations had done over last few decades so his presence and guidance will be sorely missed.

Nancy writes:

It is with a heavy, sad heart that I tell you of the death of Carlton Stickney. He was a wonderful man and a dedicated Historian. His wealth of knowledge will leave a large hole. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Mark writes:

This is such shocking, saddening news. Carl has been a friend for so long, I can't even remember when we met. He was fully invested in local history, a trait for which I admired him greatly. His knowledge of many subjects always a source of inspiration.

Emily writes:

What a loss for SLCHA.... Carl was so knowledgeable about the history of St. Lawrence County and the organization. I'll miss his presence and advice on the personnel committee and at board meetings.

Kathy writes:

So sorry to hear this. I never had a chance to spend time with him but always heard his name over the past years. It sounds like he was a wonderful and dedicated historian. My prayers go out to his family and friends.

Linda writes:

I saw the news yesterday about Carlton and am very saddened! I have known him since... June 1995. He mentored me in many ways and so enjoyed all his displays that he would tirelessly set up in the museum. Carlton will be missed by many and hopefully we can all put a Quarterly magazine dedicated to him... He contributed his life to our North Country History and to all historians in SLC.

Carrie and Tom write:

Oh no! That's indeed sad news. He was a great guy to talk to and to listen to. He'll be missed. :(