One of the most unusual lighthouses in the United States is the Crown Point Lighthouse on Lake Champlain in Crown Point, New York. Today the amazing structure is more commonly known as the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse, in honor of Samuel Champlain, the famous explorer who discovered the
gigantic 440 square mile lake.
When the first lighthouse was established here in 1858 it was erected along the same lines as Windmill Point and Isle La Motte lights, also on Lake Champlain.
In the early 1900s it was decided that an appropriate memorial be established to honor the famous explorer and the site of the lighthouse was chosen.
At that time, for all practical purposes, the old lighthouse was demolished and the new elaborate memorial lighthouse was built up and around the site. When the memorial was completed in 1912 a light shinned from the tower. However, after 14 years it was replaced by a light on a skeleton pole. Upon completion of the Crown Point Memorial Bridge, the erector style beacon was removed and moved to the grounds of Windmill Point Lighthouse.
Although the old tower remained as a tourist attraction, over the years it began to show it age and a decision was made in 1995 to restore the lighthouse as part of the 2009 Quadricentennial Celebration. The restoration was long; taking over two years to complete. The lighthouse was rededicated on Sept 19, 2009 at ceremonies that were attended by the French Ambassador to the United States and many other dignitaries.
Taking a family vacation to the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse will be a learning experience that is rich in American history. And, while you’re at it there are many other historic sites worth visiting on Lake Champlain
such as Vermont’s Lake Champlain Memorial Museum and the Shelburne Museum, site of the Colchester Reef Lighthouse, and my personal favorite, New York’s Fort Ticonderoga.
This story appeared in the
March 2010 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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