CHAMPLAIN - The lives of soldiers who died fighting in the Revolutionary War were among those honored as the town of Champlain hosted a special Memorial Day ceremony.
The eyes of many were on historic Point au Fer last Monday as the town hosted a ceremony at a new memorial site on Point au Fer Road. The main focus of the event was the rededication of a bronze plaque originally donated by the Saranac chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
According to master of ceremonies Christopher Trombley, the history of the plaque dates back to 1929, when local farmer John Arnold Scales worked with the local DAR chapter to see the unmarked graves of fallen soldiers at Point au Fer were given proper recognition.
The plaque was dedicated in an impressive ceremony attended by several hundred people the following year, though eventually was displaced.
"Over the years, changes occurred at Point au Fer and the bronze tablet was removed from its boulder and brought to the town of Champlain offices where it was stored and eventually restored," Trombley explained. "As part of the town of Champlain's Quadricentennial activities, it was decided this year we would work to replace the boulder and relocate this plaque."
Through the generosity of Dan and Anne Rochester, who donated the land, the town was able to acquire the site where the official memorial to the Battle of Point au Fer stands today.
Trombley credited the hard work of town highway superintendent Allen Racine and his crew along with the efforts of the town's Quadricentennial committee for the development of the site. He further thanked Woodmen of the World Lodge 462 for donating a new flagpole and flag which were installed at the site.
Soldier's final resting place
During the ceremony, the bones of an unknown soldier were laid to rest at the base of the new Point au Fer Monument in a burial overseen by representatives from both American and Canadian military service organizations. The remains were discovered by Scales who found them while digging on his property.