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Early Vermont Heritage

By Linda Tancs

Native American, French colonial and early Vermont heritage converge at Chimney Point on Lake Champlain in Vermont. One of the earliest, most intensely settled and most strategic sites in the Champlain Valley, human habitation dates back to Indian encampments over 9,000 years ago. In 1731, a French fort was built there, followed 10 years later by a French settlement to support the soldiers across the lake at Fort St. Frederic. When the British encroached, the story goes that everything was burned to the ground, leaving only chimneys (hence, the name). The original two-story tavern was built after the Revolutionary War. Now a museum open during the summer season, it offers archaeological discoveries, the earliest surviving tavern tap room on the lake and a 1905 post office. Visitors can cross the nearby Lake Champlain Bridge on foot and enjoy the interpretive trail on both sides.

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