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Potsdam couple adapts classic board game to include community landmarks

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POTSDAM — A village couple has created a local twist on a classic board game.

Wesley J. and Marie A. Matthie are selling handmade copies of Historic Potsdam-Opoly, which replaces the properties on the classic Monopoly game board with historic village locations.

Each copy is made using poster board, markers and craft supplies, and sells for $15.

Mrs. Matthie came up with the idea one night while the couple played a short-lived “Potsdamopoly” game marketed in the 1990s. She wanted to create a similar game, but use historic Potsdam buildings rather than modern landmarks.

“I thought we should make another version, a historic one,” she said.

Mr. Matthie makes each board and the cards himself, a process that takes three to four days per game. He researched its locations at the village museum.

“These shoe shops, the buildings don’t even exist anymore,” he said, gesturing to a series of spaces on the board. Some of the locations are from the distant past, others are more recent.

“It’s a lot of hours and a lot of research,” Mr. Matthie said.

Illustration is sparse. A picture of the original Potsdam museum is used on the box and the board, but the spaces themselves are blank.

Mr. Matthie said he hopes the game will encourage players to learn more about their town’s history. He checked on any potential copyright issues with Hasbro, owners of Monopoly, and said he can sell his game without worry.

Mrs. Matthie is credited as creator of the game, Mr. Matthie is its designer.

“She puts the idea down and I put the paper down and bring it to life,” he said.

The couple has sold seven copies so far.

Mr. Mathie hopes the game becomes popular. He has ideas for other historic Monopoly knockoffs using other locations in St. Lawrence County.

“It’s a business, starting from the bottom and climbing up the stairway,” he said.

The game can be ordered by phone at 261-4653 or by visiting the Matthies’ home at 31 Market St., Apt 3.

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