CROWN POINT - The region's Champlain quadricentennial celebration will conclude at the Crown Point State Historic Site and Campground.
The New York State Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission will mark the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's discovery of the lake that bears his name in ceremonies Saturday, Sept. 19, beginning at 4 p.m.
The event, which concludes a year-long celebration in the Champlain Valley, will include the re-dedication of the renovated Champlain Memorial lighthouse at 7:45 p.m.
It will conclude with a fireworks display over Lake Champlain.
Throughout the day there will be performances and presentations by Martin Sexton, The U.S. Merchant Marine Corps Band, Piers Faccini, Justin Jones and the Driving Rain, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer, Stephanie Wrembel, Bear Tracks, Tim Jennings and LeAnne Ponder, Darren Bonaparte and a screening of the soon-to-be-released documentary Dead Reckoning.
Admission is free that day.
As part of the quadricentennial events, the Crown Point Post Office will offer a special pictorial cancellation, "Quadricentennial Champlain Celebration."
Designed by Kama Ingleston, a Crown Point resident, the cancellation depicts the Crown Point Memorial Lighthouse. It will be available 9 a.m. to noon at the gift shop tent next to the lighthouse. It will also be available for 30 days after the event by mailing a stamped, self-addressed envelop to the Crown Point post office and in-person at the post office.
For more information contact Postmaster Ann Curran.
On Sunday, Sept. 20, filmmaker Caro Thompson will introduce a one-hour showing of her Emmy Award-winning documentary, Champlain: The Lake Between, at 1 p.m. in the museum auditorium. It will be followed by a discussion.
That weekend will also feature the annual Festival of Nations Sept. 17 - 19 at the Crown Point State Historic Site.
The Festival of Nations celebrates the cultural heritage of the nations which, during the 1700s, left a lasting imprint on the Lake Champlain Valley: Canada, France, Great Britain, Native American Indian tribes, and the United States.
Included are elements of national heritage including music, crafts, food, dance, games, family activities, clothing, folk life, and customs.
Friday, Sept. 18, special programming for visiting school groups will be offered at Crown Point State Historic Site and aboard the Lois McClure replica schooner which will be docked at Crown Point Reservation Campground's renovated steamboat dock. That morning, "Samuel Champlain" (portrayed by Don Thompson) will twice present, under a large tent at the New York State historic site, an educational program about his life and his excursion on Lake Champlain 400 years ago. And vocalist and instrumentalist Linda Russell will perform, in a covered pavilion at the New York State historic site, two morning concerts of authentic music familiar to Lake Champlain inhabitants during the 1700s.
The public festival is co-hosted by Chimney Point (Vt.) State Historic Site, Crown Point Reservation Campground, and Crown Point State Historic Site.
The Crown Point State Historic Site provides visitors with a glimpse at life in the Champlain Valley 250 years ago.
The site is home to two former 18th Century forts, the French Fort St. Frederic and the British Fort Crown Point, as well as a museum and visitors center.
The historic site museum is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday and closed on Tuesday. Admission fee is $3 for people ages 12-61, $1 for those ages 5-11 and $2 for those age 62 and older.
A $5-per-vehicle fee is collected at the entrance 9 a.m. - 5p.m. weekends and holidays.
Construction of Fort St. Frederic was complete by 1734. It included a four-story high tower, commander's quarters, canon, a powder magazine, bakery and other buildings surrounded by an outer stone parapet wall that was nearly square and had six corner bastions covering about an acre. It was the base of three major French operations until July 1, 1759, when the British forced its 200-man garrison to blow up the tower and retreat.
The British did not build a new fort on top of the French ruins. Instead they took three years to construct a new fort, Fort Crown Point, adjacent. A stone and timber fortress, the new fort was a half mile in circumference and shaped like a pentagon. The parade ground covered six acres and contained three stone, two-story barracks, a guard house and an armory. The 40-foot high outer wall was 22-feet thick of timber and limestone, making it Britain's greatest military installation in North America.
Fort Crown Point was the launching point for British forces that brought about the surrender of Montreal in 1760. The fort was destroyed April 23, 1775, when a fire ignited the powder magazine and its 100 barrels of powder causing a huge explosion.
Americans captured the remains of the fort May 11, 1775, and its 111 canon. They transported 29 of the canon overland to Boston to lift the British siege.
For more information, contact Crown Point State Historic Site call 597-4666 or visit www.nysparks.com