September 23, 2017 – Crown Point, NY
Map: Crown Point State Historic Site web map
Trailhead parking: 21 Grandview Drive Crown Point, NY 12928
Crown Point State Historic Site is the location of the ruins of two fortifications from the colonial wars between the British and French.
Fort Saint-Frédéric was constructed between 1734 and 1737 by the French on Lake Champlain. It stood for 25 years, to secure the region against British colonization and control the lake. Although the British did target the fort twice during the French and Indian War, it was the French themselves that destroyed it, as they retreated before the advancing 10,000 man British army led by General Jeffery Amherst.
All that remains of this once mighty fort, with 12 ft. thick walls, is the foundation it was built on.
In 1759, the British took control of Crown Point and rather than rehabilitate the ruins of the French Fort Saint-Frédéric, General Amherst embarked on the construction of an enormous earthen fort. They immediately began construction of new fortifications that they called “His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point.” Enclosing over seven acres, this was the largest British stronghold ever constructed North America.
In 1775, at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the American colonists captured the fort and secured sorely needed cannons and heavy ordnance. The ruins of the officers’ barracks are still standing today.
The larger soldiers’ barracks stands perpendicular to the officers’ barracks.
The fireplaces and chimneys are still intact in the two story structure.
Visitors are free to roam the grounds and explore the preserved ruins of these forts and tour the museum, when it is open. The museum was closed when I visited.
The site offers access to the historic Crown Point Pier, the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse, the walking paths on either side of the newly constructed Lake Champlain Bridge and fantastic views of Lake Champlain.
A very cool site to visit and I highly recommend it. I was surprised there were so few people here on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in September. When we were done touring the grounds, we walked across the street to see the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse.
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