CROWNPOINT-Where, in the Lake Champlain region, was the richest trove of artillery pieces at the time of the outbreak of the Revolutionary War? Professional military and naval historian Joe Thatcher invites Lake Champlain region residents to "Learn about the cannon from Crown Point which most histories forget."
Starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, Thatcher will present a free public lecture inside the museum auditorium at the Crown Point State Historic Site on "The (many!) Cannon From Crown Point."
As the long-time supervising curator for the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites, Thatcher tracked the movements - over the centuries - of many artillery pieces. His presentation falls precisely on the 236th anniversary of the liberation of more than 100 British-held artillery pieces at Crown Point by the Green Mountain Boys militia, led by Capt. Seth Warner. Those cannon from the French and Indian War-period would soon be put to use during the War for American Independence.
With this National Historic Preservation Month program on May 12, Crown Point jump-starts the May 14 - 15 statewide Heritage Weekend celebration.
Seasonal staff will return to service at the site on Saturday, May 14, to provide history interpretation in the museum and in both fort ruins at Crown Point. Summer open hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. The museum contains an audio-visual presentation and an exhibition, both installed in 2009. This exhibit features four different original artillery pieces from the 1700s.
Crown Point occupies a key location, both geographically and historically. Before the 1730s, Woodland Indians camped on the peninsula. In 1734, the French military built an impressive stronghold here, Fort St. Fr d ric, with its tall limestone tower and its artillery-fortified windmill. A quarter-century later, when the British arrived, they built a vast fort at Crown Point, starting in 1759. The limestone ruins of both the French-built fort and of the earthen walls and stone barracks of the British fort have remained largely unchanged since a devastating fire burned the British fort in April 1773, just two years before the start of the War for American Independence.
Crown Point State Historic Site encompasses two registered national historic landmarks and is operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The site is located beside the north end of Bridge Road / Route 185 on the Crown Point peninsula.