Ticonderoga resident Josey Ezzo is dressed as the wife of a lieutenant who served at Fort St. Frédéric (Crown Point) in the 1740s. She is the bi-lingual lead history interpreter at Crown Point State Historic Site. Next to her, Crown Point’s historic site manager Tom Hughes wears a replica uniform for an officer of Les Compagnies Franches de la Marine serving in “Nouvelle France.” Crown Point’s museum staff will interpret for guests the clothing of the local 1740s French military men and of their wives and children on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 21.
High fashion will be on display during the annual Festival of Nations / Fête des Nations at the Crown Point State Historic Site.
The Festival of Nations is a three-day event, Sept. 20-22, offered jointly by New York State’s Crown Point State Historic Site and the Vermont’s Chimney Point Historic Site. The two sites are separated by the Lake Champlain Bridge.
“On the first day of the festival, atlatl-making workshop participants will learn how people hunted before the invention of the bow and arrow,” said Tom Hughes, Crown Point site manager.
The workshop will be at Chimney Point State Historic Site Friday, Sept. 20. Pre-registration is required. The workshop is the first day of the annual three-day Northeast Open Atlatl Championship held on the grounds of Chimney Point on Sept. 20-22.
Crown Point State Historic Site will participate in the Festival of Nations Saturday, Sept. 21, with a fashion statement.
“That afternoon museum staff will dress in clothing that was carefully researched and reproduced to authentically portray what a French soldier, officer and officer’s wife would be wearing at Fort St. Frédéric in the 1740s,” Hughes said.
Visitors can get into the fashion of the period, too. Starting at 12:30 p.m. visiting families can pretend to wear Colonial era garb as they pose behind two-dimensional painted scenes showing one boy and one girl dressed for the 1700s.
“Guests will want to bring a camera,” Hughes said.
The French military units that manned Fort St. Frédéric at Crown Point for a quarter century (1734-1759) were known as Les Compagnies Franches de la Marine, “independent naval companies.” The French military used their naval forces to defend their colonial New France military posts, such as Québec, Montréal, Chambly, Fort St. Frédéric, and eventually Carillon, because they were located overseas, far from France itself.
“Crown Point has a unique historical importance, both geographically and archeologically,” Hughes said. “Before the 1730s, Woodlands Indians camped on the peninsula. In 1734, the French military built an impressive stronghold here, Fort St. Frédéric, with its tall limestone tower and even a fortified and wind-powered grist mill. A quarter-century later, when the British arrived, they added an even larger fort complex at Crown Point. The limestone ruins of both the French-built fort and of the earthen walls and limestone barracks of the British fort are located on an extra-ordinary scenic point of land that juts into the wide open lake, beside the Lake Champlain Bridge.”
For information about the site or the Festival of Nations contact the site’s museum at 597-3666 or go online at www.nysparks.com.