Stone monument denotes Jimmy Carter’s Capital Region ties
ROTTERDAM – It was inside apartment 7 of building 471 of a military housing complex in Rotterdam where Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter made their home from October 1952 until October 1953.
A crumbling stone monument with a faded bronze plaque sitting in the middle of a parking lot denotes the historic dwelling.
“I’m one of the older residents, one of the longer residents and I really enjoyed seeing this (monument) and every time someone goes in here they go, ‘What’s the stone for?’ And I say, ‘Let’s go out and read it,'” said Laura Casey, a 14-year resident of the former military housing complex once inhabited by the Carters.
“I didn’t even know this (monument) was here until one day my daughter told me,” said Shane Succombe, ” I actually looked at it, read it and I said that’s really impressive.”
In the early 50s Jimmy Carter was a full lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, studying nuclear physics at nearby Union College.
It was at that time when the Carter’s received word that Jimmy’s father had died back in Plains, Georgia. It was at that time when the Carter’s decided to leave a promising Naval career behind and return to Georgia to run the family’s peanut farming operation.
“It’s very cool,” proclaimed Marietta Carr, Librarian at the Schenectady County Historical Society, “It shows that Schenectady was a part of so many peoples’ lives in ways that we don’t always expect.”
On President’s Day, folks were remembering the former president who, while at a crossroads in his life, changed direction, and made history in their community.
“I don’t have a lot of memories as a kid, but as an adult, I know he did a lot for homeless people,” Succombe said.
“President Carter was the first person I ever voted for back in ’76,” Casey recalled, “When he won, I felt like I was part of history and got an average, ordinary, relatable man in office.”
Casey says she has approached area political leaders about repairing the Carter Monument. She’s still waiting for results.