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By James P. Millard
The Crown Point/Chimney Point peninsulas on Lake Champlain are some of the most historic places in the area. Long recognized as places of strategic importance on this waterway through the wilderness, each side of the lake was inhabited and fortified from earliest times. Chimney Point was the site of Fort de Pieux, a simple wooden stockade built by the French; and is now the site of a historic brick tavern owned by the State of Vermont and operated as Chimney Point Historic Site.
Opposite Chimney Point, across the great steel bridge, is Crown Point. This historic location was the site of an important French fort, St. Frederic; and an enormous British Fortress, known simply as 'His Majesty's Fort at Crown Point'. It was not known as Fort Crown Point, nor was it called Fort Amherst, as some early sources claim. The Crown Point peninsula played a critical role in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. The ruins there are maintained by the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The park is known as Crown Point State Historic Site. The park includes the ruins of both fortresses, a number of important redoubts, and the beautiful Champlain Memorial Lighthouse on the site of the earlier Grenadier's Redoubt.
Any visit to the historic lakes should include a trip to this remarkably historic and beautiful site.
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Aerial photograph courtesy of Doug and Mark Harwood. Click HERE to learn more about the photographers.
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James P. Millard
Post Office Box 262
South Hero, Vermont 05486-0262
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