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Area scene of "New France" archaeological digs

In 1743, King Louis XV of France granted a large tract of land or seigneury in the area of what is now Panton, Addison, and Bridport to Gilles Hocquart, the presiding officer of New France, to encourage settlement around the French fort at Chimney Point and Crown Point.

The land was divided into long narrow strips, each with lake frontage. By 1753 there were 21 French houses in this area.

Researcher are asking residents whether theyve found anything unusual while digging or roto-tilling, or if theyve observed any very old cellar holes or unexplained depressions in the ground, traces of very old roads leading to the lake, traces of old lot lines, or very old or unusual vegetation that might not expected in this area.

The study is part of a larger two year project, Lake Champlain Voyages of Discovery: Bringing History Home, being conducted by a partnership of the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison, Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Vermont Public Television in cooperation with film maker Caro Thompson and Broadwing Productions, and the Bixby Library.

In 2009 Vermont, New York, and Quebec will commemorate the Quadricentennial with various events centered around Lake Champlain, the surrounding land, and its people.

This project explores the little known but internationally significant time period and all the peoples in the Champlain Valley from just before 1609 to the Revolutionary War, and includes the archeology study, a one-hour television documentary to air on Vermont Public Television, a web site, and many public programs.

It is being funded by a $250,000 Partnership for a Nation of Learners leadership initiative grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

For more information, or if you have any information youd like to share, please contact Gilbertson at 802-759-2412 or by email at: chimneypoint@historicvermont.org or State Archeologist Giovanna Peebles 802-828-3050.

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