CROWN POINT - Inactive for several years, the Friends of Crown Point State Historic Site is reorganizing.
"Several people are eager to re-organize and re-invigorate the non-profit organization," Tom Hughes, site manager, said. "Everyone that wishes to join this friends group will be able to do so this year. Former members and new members will be equally welcome."
A meeting of the Friends will be held Saturday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the historic site.
Interested people and those wishing to attend are asked to contact Hughes via Email at Thomas.Hughes@oprhp.state.ny.us or through mail at Crown Point State Historic Site, 21 Grandview Drive, Crown Point 12928-2852.
Hughes said the April 10 meeting will provide an update on the historic site, set a date for trustee elections, consider organizational goals and priorities, discuss membership benefits and kick-off a membership recruitment effort.
Friends of Crown Point State Historic Site, Inc. was incorporated by the Regents of the State of New York in 1985.
In past years, the Friends group, working with site management, provided support for the benefit of the site's mission to preserve its history and to serve the visiting public.
Active members receive free admission to the site's museum and they are eligible both to vote at the annual business meeting and also to hold office on the Friends' board of trustees.
"The stated purposes of this group are to support the improvement and development of the site; to conduct educational programs, services, and activities in keeping with the nature of the site; to assist in fund raising activities so that objects, equipment and supplies may be purchased for the site; and to promote, conserve, develop, and interpret the site for the benefit of the public and posterity," Hughes said.
The site manager said people can join the Friends to have fun, to keep active, to meet people, to be a good neighbor, to gain skills and experience, to make a difference by helping others and to put talents or skills to good use.
"History buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike enjoy Crown Point," he said.
Hughes said 2009 was a banner year for the site.
"Physical changes included an impressive new video, a large and highly-detailed new 3-D model with a sound-and-light show, an improved new exhibit, improved parking, improved outdoor interpretive signs, a new kiosk, and new paths," he said. "Last year's French and Indian War 250th anniversary, Champlain Quadricentennial and even the bridge demolition publicity have raised the profile and public awareness of this site."
In 2010, Crown Point State Historic Site will celebrate the 100th anniversary.
"Crown Point is a unique location, both geographically and historically," Hughes said. "Before 1734, 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 fortified windmill. A quarter-century later, when the British arrived, they built a larger fortress 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, located on a scenic point of land that juts into Lake Champlain, have remained largely unchanged since a devastating fire burned the British fort in 1773, two years before the start of the War for American Independence.
The 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. Crown Point site information is available online at www.nysparks.state.ny.us