"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

August 27, 2012

Aug. 26 - Crown Point, NY

History Lesson
Crown Point - Anchorage

Our destination today was Crown Point. It is at the narrowest part of Lake Champlain and for that reason it is full of history. An important spot first to the Indians and then the French, British and American armies...a place fought for centuries ago.

Fort St. Frédéric was the first fortress built on this point in the 1730s, by the French. British forces targeted it twice during the Frenchand Indian War before the French destroyed it in the summer of 1759. That same year the British began to build Fort Crown Point, close to the same location as the earlier French fort. Built to secure the region against the French, it was the largest earthen fortress built in the United States.

The Fort was never directly assaulted. Completed after the threat of French invasion had ended, it was used largely for staging. In May 1775 the Americans captured the fort and its 111 cannons, which they moved to Boston to use against the British. The Fort was then used as a staging ground by Benedict Arnold's navy on Lake Champlain during the Revolutionary War. After the destruction of that navy in 1776 during the Battle of Valcour Island, the Fort was abandoned to the British in 1777, and abandoned for good in 1780.

We not only had two forts to learn about today...we also learned about the Crown Point Lighthouse (also known as the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse). First built in 1858, it was redesigned and restored in 1909 for the tricentennial of Samuel de Champlain's discovery of the lake. Today the lighthouse serves as a navigational beacon and as a monument to the exploration of Lake Champlain.

Port Henry, New York

Fort St. Frédéric
Fort Crown Point - looking out over Lake Champlain
Crown Point Lighthouse 
 
Views from the top of the light house

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