September 11, 2017, marks the 203rd anniversary of the Battle of Plattsburgh. The official 2017 commemoration of the battle ended Sunday. To mark the event, a quiz appeared here last week, mostly addressing Commodore Thomas Macdonough’s role in the victory on Lake Champlain.
There were two battles at Plattsburgh however, one on the bay and one on land. This week’s quiz covers the land battle and related subjects. See if you can answer a few, and learn a few fun facts in the bargain. » Continue Reading.
On Sept. 29 University of Vermont (UVM) Extension, Lake Champlain Sea Grant and the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District will host a Lake Champlain Watershed Deicing Conference.
This free, day-long educational event will be held from 8 am to 5 pm at the Dudley H. Davis Center on the UVM campus in Burlington. Although open to everyone, it specifically targets municipal road maintenance staff, private winter maintenance contractors and elected officials, businesses and nonprofits tasked with decision-making or public education about deicing roads, driveways, sidewalks or parking lots in local communities. » Continue Reading.
My family has always enjoyed going to one of the numerous historical re-enactments offered around the Adirondacks. It gives us an opportunity to be a part of history and to learn about the past. It’s a chance to experience a moment in time that helped shape our country. The annual Crown Point French and Indian War Reenactment is part of a two-day festival held at the Crown Point State Historic site on August 12-13 bringing visitors into a temporary 18th century encampment overlooking beautiful Lake Champlain.
French, British, and Native American reenactors will be setup around the Crown Point State Historic Site ruins. There are two historic fortifications at the Crown Point location, Fort Frederic and Crown Point. Fort Frederic was built by the French around 1734 and used as the main base to raid neighboring British settlements throughout New England. As a result, the British military spent years trying to overtake the fort. In 1759, the British troops were finally successful and began the building of their own fort, “His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point.” Though there was never just one battle at Crown Point, the area was the center for almost 20 skirmishes. » Continue Reading.
A recreational water path that extends along the Lake Champlain shoreline between Rouses Point and Whitehall, the Lake Champlain Blueway Trail is a guide for paddlers of more than 90 points of interests — such as parks, wildlife viewing spots, geological curiosities, historic sites, museums, and campgrounds.
The online travel guide weaves historical information, recreational opportunities, paddling tips, boat launches, docking, and marinas. » Continue Reading.
Champlain Area Trails will formally open the newest addition to the CATS trail network on Sunday, June 25 in Willsboro, with a hike starting at 1 pm. All are invited to celebrate the grand opening of the “High Point Trail” which goes to the highest point on Willsboro Point.
The High Point Trail is on the property of Marsha and Bill Harbison, who developed the trail and have opened it to the public for hiking. CATS completed trail work, marked the trail, and created a small parking area trailhead. » Continue Reading.
The Fort Ticonderoga’s 60-foot Carillon is providing boat tours with views of the lake, surrounding mountains and the fort itself, while also crossing some of the most archaeologically rich waters in North America.
The 90-minute archaeological tour, available daily Tuesday through Sunday, features the story of Fort Ticonderoga and places the fort into a larger context as part of the imperial struggle for the continent in the 18th century.
“From shipwrecks to a massive bridge that the Americans built in 1776, Lake Champlain holds defining stories of America’s past,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO, in an announcement sent to the press. Hill says the Carillon has become one of the most popular attractions at Fort Ticonderoga. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) is recruiting citizens interested in water quality to serve as cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae) monitors for Lake Champlain and select inland Vermont lakes. LCC will host training sessions in early June for new and returning monitors. The program provides critical data on where and when algae blooms are happening and is relied on by health, environmental and recreation agencies to keep people informed about lake conditions.
LCC initiated the citizen-based near-shore monitoring program in 2003 and has steadily expanded the network of trained volunteers and monitoring sites every year. During the 2016 season LCC monitors submit nearly 1,200 reports from over 100 sites on Lake Champlain and several inland lakes. The focus of the cyanobacteria monitoring program is to raise awareness of the issue, build a database of information on bloom frequency, and identify and publicize potential health hazards. » Continue Reading.
The Clinton County Historical Association (CCHA) will host a presentation by Art Cohn on the histories of the gunboats Spitfire and Philadelphia, I and II, on Tuesday, June 6, at 6:30 pm. Cohn, Senior Advisor & Director Emeritus of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, will give his presentation at the Old Base Memorial Chapel, on the Oval, in the City of Plattsburgh.
In October, 1776, British forces were committed to taking back control of strategic Lake Champlain and to that end, engaged an American fleet under the command of General Benedict Arnold, in a three day naval contest. In the course of the first days, during the Battle of Valcour Island, the gunboat Philadelphia sank one hour after darkness and caused the fighting to stop. That night, in an attempt to gain the safety of Fort Ticonderoga, Commodore Arnold escaped past a British blockade, but in the night had to abandon two weakened gunboats. One of these gunboats, the Spitfire, sank into the deep, dark waters of Lake Champlain. » Continue Reading.
For years, biologists have been working to improve conditions for the native fish in Lake Champlain. Among other things, they have removed old dams to help spawning salmon migrate up rivers and have reduced the population of sea lampreys that prey on salmon and lake trout.
Now scientists are trying to fully understand how salmon are impacted by alewives, an invasive species that has become a main source of food for salmon, a keystone predator that eats smaller fish.
Alewives were first discovered in Lake Champlain’s Missisquoi Bay, in Vermont, in 2003. Since then, they have grown in number and replaced native rainbow smelt as the main forage fish for predators in the lake, and they are likely here to stay. » Continue Reading.
The Open Space Institute has purchased a 618-acre parcel along Lake Champlain, including 4,000 feet of shoreline, and plans to sell it to the state to be added to the forever-wild Forest Preserve.
The property lies across from Schuyler Island, an undeveloped island already in the Forest Preserve, according to the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine.
OSI bought the land, which includes Trembleau Mountain, from the Gellert family for $500,000. It offers views of the High Peaks, Lake Champlain, and the Green Mountains of Vermont. The Department of Environmental Conservation plans to create trails after the state acquires the property.
Lakes to Locks Passage has completed the third in the series of Waterways of War guidebooks. Waterways of War: The Turning Point of the American Revolution focuses on the 1777 northern campaign of British General John Burgoyne. The book is also the centerpiece of a broader initiative to develop the Turning Point Trail, a narrated driving tour from Plattsburgh to Albany. » Continue Reading.
On Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, Fort Ticonderoga will remember the service of the armed forces of the United States on the very grounds where so many American soldiers fought and sacrificed. Attendees learn about the story of the American Army in 1776, rebuilding itself and digging in at Ticonderoga to defend liberty during living history programs throughout the weekend.
A full line-up of activities and programs offered throughout the weekend include daily tours in the fort, King’s Garden, and museum exhibition spaces; historic trades programs; ongoing soldiers’ life programs; weapons demonstrations; the Mount Defiance experience; and the Battlefield hiking trail. » Continue Reading.
The Ticonderoga Historical Society has been awarded a $5,000 Corridor of Commerce Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership. The grant will fund the creation of a website and student writing competition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of steamboat operations in the Champlain Valley and surrounding area.
While the specific website content is under development, it’s expected to include archival materials that provide students and other viewers with a record of the travels and culture of steamboats as well as related vessels and operators that interacted with steamboats. » Continue Reading.
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