by Shannon Butler

So for those of you fellow history nerds out there, we wanted to take this week’s blog entry and do a bit of marketing, if you will, for our upcoming Local History Discussion Night. If you came out to our first evening it was mostly just us trying to figure out what we wanted our discussion nights to consist of. We listened to your suggestions and we have decided to start off each discussion night with a brief presentation on a part of our local history, followed by discussion and (it possible) sharing of memories. We put together a list of things you suggested we should focus on and for our next meeting we will take a special look at the history of Luckey, Platt, and Co. Just to get you interested in joining us for the discussion group, here is a little sneak peek…

The history of Poughkeepsie’s own department store has humble beginnings that go back to 1866. That’s when Charles Pinkney Luckey began his career as a dry goods clerk at a store that belonged to Isaac Dribble and Robert Slee. Young Luckey had to walk from the Samuel F. B. Morse where his father moved the family to work as a farmer, into the city for work, every day. By the time he was in his 30’s, he was made a partner in that business and the store’s name changed to Luckey, Vail, and Mandeville. But those last two names would soon drop off with the addition of a few new partners including a young man by the name of Edmund Platt.

Edmund Platt was born in Poughkeepsie and studied at the Dutchess County Academy. His father gave him $1000 when Edmund was 21 years old, so that he might be able to make something of himself. Edmund took that money and bought out Vail and Mandeville’s share of the store in 1869 changing the name of the business to Luckey and Platt. The “and Co.” portion was finally added in 1872 when Smith DeGarmo joined the team after working as a salesman in the firm for 2 years. With the firm fully formed, the store would see a period of growth which spanned for the next 50 years, until a sharp and rather sudden decline. But if you want to learn about that you’ll have to join us!

Thursday March 12th from 6:00pm-7:30pm

Please register