1731 fort "rediscovered" at Lake Champlain Bridge site

ADDISON-An archaeological "rediscovery" has been announced at the Chimney Point site of the proposed Lake Champlain Bridge. It is uncertain if the announced rediscovery will affect plans for the new bridge to replace the 1920s span that was demolished in December 2009.

Scientists have found the foundation of a small 1731 French fort near a standing pier of the old bridge on the Vermont shore at Chimney Point in Addison.

"It's a hugely exciting find, one of the great and exciting finds of a lifetime really," Elsa Gilbertson, administrator for the Chimney Point State Historic Site, told news reporters March 14.

The palisaded log fort stood between 1731 until 1759.

An 18th century map shows the fort exactly where it was found. In 1929, bridge workers saw the old fort's stone foundation about a foot and a half from the bridge pier on the Vermont shore.

According to the French National Archives, the fort was a square 125 feet on a side. As many as 30 soldiers may have manned the lakeshore redoubt.

Archaeologists also found evidence of a nearby redware pottery factory that lasted until the late 1790.

According to news reports, a 9,000-year-old spear point was also uncovered at the site in December.

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