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National Historic Landmark FORT ST. FREDERIC
New York

Location: Essex County, junction of N.Y. 8 and U.S. 9N, Crown Point Reservation.

Ownership and Administration. State of New York; Department of Conservation.

Significance. This fort symbolizes the bitter struggle between France and England for mastery of North America. The French built it in 1731 to guard Lake Champlain—the key to the defense of Canada. It served in this capacity for the next 28 years, after which it was of vital importance to the British in defending the Hudson Valley and the northern colonies. Originally, it had high 18-foot-thick walls of limestone, quarried about one-half mile away. The eastern side of the four-story fort had a high watchtower that had thick walls and was equipped with a number of cannon. The fort was served by a battery of 62 guns. It was about 300 feet square and had four bastions; three were diamond-shaped, and the fourth, on the northwest, quadrangular shaped. The fort included a small church and stone quarters for officers and troops.

Some years after the fort's construction, the French erected a second fort, Carillon, 12 miles to the south to further protect the Lake Champlain approach to Canada. In 1759, British forces under Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Amherst captured Carillon and renamed it Ticonderoga. It later figured prominently in the War for Independence. At the time of Amherst's invasion, the French abandoned and destroyed Fort St. Frederic. The British did not rebuild it, but erected a new fort about 200 yards away and named it Crown Point, or Amherst.

Present Appearance. Though fragmentary, the ruins of Fort St. Frederic, consisting of walls and earthworks, make possible a mental recreation of the original stone fort. Nearby in the picturesque setting are the ruins of Fort Amherst. Chimney Point, on the opposite shore of Lake Champlain, sheltered a French settlement that was contemporary with Fort St. Frederic. An adjacent museum contains a number of relics that were found in and near the forts. [52]

NHL Designation: 10/09/60

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Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005