Crown Point will celebrate 225 years as a township in 2013 with the publication of a historic guide book. Contributing to the book were, from left, Joan Hunsdon, NSDAR, town historian and Penfield Homestead Museum board president; Kama Ingleston, book editor and Penfield trustee; Margaret Scuderi, Regent of the Ticonderoga Chapter NSDAR; Gayle Gallant, Vice Regent of the Ticonderoga Chapter NSDAR; and Robert Spring, local artist and Penfield trustee.
Crown Point will celebrate 225 years as a township in 2013 with the publication of a historic guide book.
“We hope that this booklet will get into the hands of long time Crown Point natives, visitors to the Champlain Valley and new residents to our community,” said Kama Ingleston, who edited the book. “When you shine a light on the history of one town you encourage people to investigate history as a whole and that’s good for everyone.”
Crown Point became an incorporated town March 23, 1788. To mark the anniversary the Penfield Homestead Museum has published the “Historic Guide to Crown Point, New York – Celebrating 225 Years – 1788 – 2013.”
The 40-page book took a year to produce and is sponsored by the Ticonderoga Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, The Gabriel Fund, White Church III Association and the Honey Bee Fund of Essex.
“The history of Crown Point is much, much older than 1788,” Ingleston noted. “Fort St. Frederic was built and occupied by the French in the 1730s and many historians believe that Samuel de Champlain fought the battle with Iroquois in July 1609 on this peninsula.”
Crown Point was one of the first towns in the North Country, Joan Hunsdon, Crown Point town historian, said.
“The state of New York was very busy in 1788,” she said. “In March of that year the whole state was officially divided into towns and Crown Point was one of four — Champlain, Plattsburgh, Willsboro and Crown Point — in the Clinton County. Essex County did not come to be until 1799, over 10 years later.”
The historic guide is contains facts, information on people, photos, sketches, maps and a timeline of Crown Point history.
Printed in full color by Crown Point Telephone Corporation, the guide will be available at Penfield Homestead Museum and at selected area sites throughout the year..
Robert Spring, a Crown Point artist, contributed to the book.
“An important part of the booklet is the extraordinary artwork of Penfield Homestead Museum trustee and local artist Robert Spring,” Ingleston said. “Bob was so generous with his time and talent and this historic guide would not be the same without Bob’s three dozen color sketches.
“Crown Point Telephone also generously donated the use of their copyrighted map of Crown Point,” she added. “A Honey Bee Fund Grant was also instrumental in the initial research phase of the project.”
The first half of the guide contains photographs from the Penfield Homestead Museum archives.
“Some folks will recognize the people and places, but many younger people will get an important history lesson about Crown Point,” Hunsdon said.
The second half consists of seven self-guided tours in the community — The Point, The Park, The Main Street, The Factoryville, The Gabriel and The Ironville. There is a listing of important sites and a map with Spring’s sketches highlighting the location of each site.
“Another very important part of the historic guide is the inclusion of pages on the Israel Putnam Monument and Benjamin Warner and four other Soldiers of ’76 who are interred in Crown Point,” Gayle Gallant, NSDAR member and vice regent of the Ticonderoga Chapter, said. “The Daughters of the American Revolution has as part of its mission to preserve American history. This historic guide to Crown Point will not only preserve, but put history in people’s hands.”
The book also includes a section on Crown Point’s role in the Civil War.
“It is hoped that the inclusion of a page on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War will encourage people to find out about their Civil War era ancestors,” Ingleston said. “Penfield has lots of information on Civil War soldiers, horses, regiment, battles and, of course, the ironclad USS Monitor. Crown Point Iron Company provided the iron ore for the plating and bolts for the ship. Monitor Bay Park on Lake Champlain, the site of the town offices, is named after the famous Civil War battleship.”
The Adirondack Architectural Heritage has sponsored a “Monitor Tour” the past two years, featuring locations in Crown Point that tell the story of the Crown Point Iron Company and the iron ore that built the ironclad.
Penfield Homestead Museum is located in the Crown Point hamlet of Ironville. It is the “Birthplace of the Electrical Age.” An electromagnet, invented by Joseph Henry in 1831, was used to recharge the iron ore separator of the forges of Penfield & Taft Company. The museum is chartered by the New York State Department of Education and a not-for-profit corporation. All donations are tax deductible.
The museum is open to the public on weekends from June through October and for special tours by appointment. The museum archive is open for research by appointment through-out the year. For information call 597-3804 or go online at www.penfieldmuseum.org.