Thursday, May 23, 2013

Crown Point, New York: Fort St. Frederic

The French and Indian War might be our least remembered conflict, since it is the oldest one on these shores and didn't involve the United States ... which wasn't a country at the time. However, there are plenty of historic sites in New York and Pennsylvania dedicated to preserving that conflict.

Such as place is the Crown Point State Historic Site. It is a plot of land on a peninsula at the southern end of Lake Champlain. Therefore, it was in a strong strategic position in the good old days.

In the 1750's, the British tried and failed to take Fort St. Frederic four different times. However, when events turned by 1759, the French simply left it and the British took over the space.

The British Army opted to build a new, bigger fort on higher ground overlooking the French location, which was right on the lake. Two of the main buildings are visible in the picture above, although they've taken a beating over the years. Part of the problem was an explosion in 1773. The Americans took control of the fort during the early stages of the Revolutionary War, but they later evacuated after taking some supplies.

The fort is on a great spot in terms of scenery, and it overlooks the new bridge to Vermont that was finished in 2011. The area does have a visitors center, and for a small fee tourists can see a short film about the history of the region that is quite well done. There are some items dug up from the 1700's on display as well, and a couple of state staffers are there to tell you all about the place. If you prefer, you can simply walk the grounds for free - there are murals to explain what happened.

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