Chimney Point, Vermont
Chimney Point is an unincorporated community
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

 in the town of Addison
Addison, Vermont
Addison is a town in Addison County, Vermont, United States. It was founded October 14, 1761. The population was 1,393 at the 2000 census.-History:Addison was chartered on October 14, 1761...

 in Addison County
Addison County, Vermont
Addison County is a county located in the U.S. state of Vermont. In 2010, the population was 36,821. Its shire town is Middlebury.-Geography:...

, Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It lies across Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is a natural, freshwater lake in North America, located mainly within the borders of the United States but partially situated across the Canada—United States border in the Canadian province of Quebec.The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of...

 from Crown Point
Crown Point, New York
Crown Point is a town in Essex County, New York, USA. The population was 2,119 at the 2000 census. The name of the town is a direct translation of the original French name, "Point au Chevalure."...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. French
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 settlers established the community of Hocquart near modern-day Chimney Point in 1730. This first settlement in Vermont grew to a considerable size before its inhabitants were driven out by the English. The community is the location of Chimney Point State Historic Park.

In 1749 it was visited by Pehr Kalm
Pehr Kalm
Pehr Kalm was a Swedish-Finnish explorer, botanist, naturalist, and agricultural economist. He was one of most important apostles of Carl Linnaeus...

, who wrote:
"I found quite a settlement, a stone wind-mill and fort in one, with five or six small cannon mounted; the whole enclosed by embankments. Within the enclosure was a neat church, and through the settlement well cultivated gardens, with some good fruit, as apples, plums, currants, etc...these settlements were extended north on the lake some four miles; the remains of old cellars and gardens still to be seen show a more thickly settled street than occupies it now."


Chimney Point on Lake Champlain in Vermont is one of the earliest, mostly intensely settled, and most strategic sites in the Champlain Valley, with human habitation going back as far as 7,500 years. At Chimney Point State Historic Park, exhibits and special events present the story of the three early cultures in the Chimney Point area — Native American, French colonial, and early American.

Beginning nearly 7,500 years ago, Native Americans regularly camped, hunted, and fished in the Chimney Point area. During what is called the Archaic period (7,000 - 1,000 B.C.), temperatures rose after the glaciers melted and caused the vegetation and types of animals to change significantly. Tools left behind by the first inhabitants show they adapted to the changing climate and moved with the seasons to hunt, fish, and gather food. They made spear throwers and stone spear points for hunting animals, and stone tools for cutting, scraping, and working wood and other stone.

In 1609, Frenchman Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain , "The Father of New France", was a French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608....

 became the first European to explore this region and the lake that bears his name, traveling at least as far south as the Chimney Point area. In 1690, the British governor of New York sent Captain Jacobus de Warm from Albany to watch the French on Lake Champlain. At what would later be called Chimney Point, de Warm built a small stone defense that he, 12 English, and 20 Mohawks occupied for about a month.

In 1731, the French decided to firmly establish their presence on Lake Champlain and block the lake route from the British colonies to Canada by building a fort at the strategic narrows between Chimney Point and Crown Point, New York. The French called this area Pointe à la Chevelure or Crown Point. Crown referring to the top of a person's head (rather than to the monarchy). Their fort was a wooden stockade of posts, a fort de pieux, on top of the bluff at Chimney Point. About 100 feet (30.5 m) by 100 feet (30.5 m) in size, it had chambers for the commandant, chaplain, and the guard, and a kitchen, bakery, and storehouse. Twenty soldiers garrisoned it the first winter and it could hold up to thirty men. This was the first permanent French settlement in the Champlain valley.

The struggle for control in the new world intensified during the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 (1754-1763). In the summer of 1759, as British Major General Jeffrey Amherst and his army closed in, the French retreated northward to Canada, blowing up Fort St. Frédéric and burning their houses. All that remained of the houses were the chimneys and a new name—Chimney Point.

In the mid-1780s, the main, two-story section of the Chimney Point tavern was likely constructed. In 1791, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison visited Chimney Point, and the tavern.

In 1966, the State of Vermont bought the Chimney Point property to protect it from private development. In 1971, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 for its long and significant history. Chimney Point is one of the oldest taverns in Vermont and has one of the most intact early tap rooms, as well as an intact rural post office.

Chimney Point State Historic Park

The park had 2,962 visitors in 2009 during the 99 days it was open during the summer months.


From June 14 to October 11, 2:00-4:00 PM., the park hosts Sunday Afternoon Specials. These events include playing period games and hands-on activities such as making ancient stone tools or throwing an atlatl
An atlatl or spear-thrower is a tool that uses leverage to achieve greater velocity in dart-throwing.It consists of a shaft with a cup or a spur at the end that supports and propels the butt of the dart. The atlatl is held in one hand, gripped near the end farthest from the cup...


The park hosts the annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship. An atlatl is a prehistoric spear launcher used for hunting game. On the Friday before the Championship, a workshop is open to teach modern and traditional techniques of atlatl and dart construction, flint knapping, hafting stone points, and cordage making.


Chimney Point is located at geographical coordinates 44° 2′ 10″ North, 73° 25′ 5″ West (44.035980, -73.418159).

External links

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