Chimney Point VT State Historic Site

The Chimney Point State Historic Site is located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain at the foot of the 2011 Lake Champlain Bridge, one of the most dramatic gateways to Vermont. The site explores the history of the area’s three earliest cultures, the Native American, French Colonial, and early American history, and the site itself through the artifacts left behind. The museum is in the historic c.1785 tavern building, which has a sweeping porch with beautiful views of the lake, the bridge, and the Crown Point, NY, State Historic Site. There are permanent and special exhibits, programs for school groups, a variety of lively events, including the popular annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship, and it is a beautiful location for picnics. Boaters also enjoy the Chimney Point access, with a new ramp opening up in 2013. Also new in 2013 is a short walking trail with interpretive signs on the history of the site, the historic 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge, and down near the lake a pier that was saved from the old bridge (the largest salvaged piece of the bridge). Recent archaeological and historic research has confirmed Chimney Point is one of the most strategic and historically significant locations on Lake Champlain. It has seen every layer of human habitation, since the first people came here nearly 9,000 years ago. Visitors can imagine the millennia of Native Americans fishing, hunting, camping, meeting, and trading here on the bluff or sandy beach. After the first European came in 1609, this place was important for interactions between the Native peoples and Europeans. In 1690 the English used it to watch for their French enemies on Lake Champlain. In 1731 the French took a stand here by building a fort to keep the English out of the lake and blocking their easy access to Canada. This was a frontier of New France, with the first long term French settlement in the region. This site saw much military activity during the French and Indian War and American Revolution. And after the Revolution, the tavern was built, welcoming visitors ever since.

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