Crown Point The new Lake Champlain Bridge has become a tourism attraction in itself.
Looking to capitalize on the popularity of the new span, local historians will offer programs that traverse the bridge on foot with a narrative of the region’s history.
“Would you like to know more about the history of what one sees while walking on the sidewalks of the new Lake Champlain Bridge connecting New York and Vermont?” asked Tom Hughes, manager of the Crown Point State Historic Site.
“Over the centuries, this crossing has been used by Woodlands Indians, the French, the British and Americans,” he said. “The narrow channel passage for water vessels and the peninsulas, or points, on the east and west sides made this one of the most strategic military locations along Lake Champlain, throughout the 1700s especially.”
Elsa Gilbertson, manager of the Chimney Point Historic Site in Vermont, will join Hughes to lead an excursion Sunday, July 29, at 1 p.m. Interested people can meet at the Crown Point State Historic Site museum. The cost is $5 for adults. Children age 14 and younger will be free.
Other tours are planned for Aug. 25, starting at Chimney Point, and Sept. 30 starting at Crown Point.
For more information call the Crown Point State Historic Site at 597-3666 or the Chimney Point Historic Site at 802-759-2412.
The old Lake Champlain Bridge, which served the region eight decades, was immediately closed Oct. 16, 2009, when state transportation officials, without warning, declared it unsafe.
The bridge served about 3,000 vehicles a day, meaning people who used the bridge daily to reach their jobs, health care facilities, grocery stores and other necessities were forced to take detours lasting up to four hours. The closing led to the closure of businesses on both sides of the lake and crippled tourism.