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Historic site to welcome encampment

CROWN POINT - Crown Point State Historic Site will host a British, French and Indian war encampment Aug. 14 and 15.

No vast battles, only skirmishes, were fought at Crown Point in the 1700s, so four tactical weapons demonstrations are scheduled for the public to view during the encampment weekend. The "battles" will take place between at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on both Saturday and on Sunday.

Guests at the encampment will be able to see, hear, walk among, and interact with the many volunteers who will spend the weekend portraying the various people of Crown Point.

"Visitors will want to bring a camera," said Tom Hughes, site manager. "Sutlers (vendors) will show and sell their replica 18th century wares all weekend, rain or shine. West Addison General Store staff will cook on-site, selling sandwich lunches to guests. Crown Point Bread Company will sell gourmet baked goods inside a festive tent.

"Crown Point offers a unique backdrop for the event, both geographically and historically," Hughes said. "Before the 1730s, 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 even a fortified and wind-powered grist mill. A quarter-century later, when the British arrived, they added an even larger fortress at Crown Point. The limestone ruins of both the French-built fort and of the earthen walls and stone barracks of the British fort, located on a point of land that juts into Lake Champlain, still offer an inspiring location that has remained largely unchanged since a devastating fire burned the British fort in 1773, only two years before the start of the Revolutionary War."

The ruins are among the very few remaining examples of pre-Revolutionary military construction in the United States and both fort ruins have been individually designated as registered National Historic Landmarks by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

This is the 250th anniversary of the events of 1760. In August of that year, as part of a three-pronged British attack against Montreal, the last French stronghold of New France, Brigadier General William Haviland led a force north from Crown Point. The French military surrendered Montreal on Sept. 8. This British capture of Montreal ended hostilities in the Champlain Valley and led to a period of English settlement.

For more information about the site or about its Friends Group, contact Crown Point State Historic Site at 597-4666 or go online at www.nysparks.com.

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