Wayside Panels and Historic Markers
in the Town of Champlain
(not a comprehensive list)




Panel for the Pliny Moore House in Champlain, New
                York
(click to enlarge)

pliny moore house in benson lossing book in 1864

pliny moore house today

The Pliny Moore House, Village of Champlain
(War of 1812)

 

In 1789, Revolutionary War veteran Pliny Moore (1759-1822) settled Champlain after being awarded land by the State of New York.  In 1801 he built a Federal-style frame house similar to the one standing today.  Moore was the first judge and postmaster of the town. 

 

During the War of 1812, the border became a revolving door for the American and British armies and militias.  Moore’s house played a key role in the military events and he actively communicated with the commanders on both sides of the conflict.

 

In November of 1812, American General Henry Dearborn used Moore’s house as his headquarters when his army camped nearby on their way to Lacolle, Quebec.  In a letter written a few months later, Moore described the situation at his house that autumn: “my House was like a large Hotell    all the principal Officers of the Army were in it…”

 

In October of 1813, British Major J. Perreault threatened Moore and the village inhabitants after an attack at the border.  His troops later pillaged the village.  In June of 1814, Colonel Benjamin Forsyth was killed on the road to Lacolle (NY Rt. 276).  Two months later, his death was avenged by the ambush of British Captain St. Valier Mailloux (Mahew) who had commanded the militia and Indians who killed Forsyth.  Mailloux died in the basement of Moore’s house.  In the spring of 1814, prisoner-of-war negotiations took place here and at Elias Dewey’s house (Dewey’s Tavern).
 

A British major. — The following gasconading notice was sent out to judge Moore, of Champlain, by major Perreault, who commands about sixty Canadians and indians at Odletown.  A few nights previous to the promulgation of this petty mandate, our militia had attacked a picket near the lines which so excited the ire of the British major, that he issued, without delay, the following “humane advertisement.”

                                        LA COLE, 10th October.

    “Citizens of Champlain!  — I am happy that humanity should still have so much power over me so as to inform you that should any of the militia of Champlain, be found hovering this side of the line, I will let loose upon your village and inhabitants, the Canadian and indian force under my command.  You are probably aware that it has been with greatest difficulty I have till now withheld them.  But your cowardly attack at midnight, of a small picket of ours, has torn asunder the veil which hid you from them — So beware!

          J. PERREAULT, major commanding ad. post.

    “P. S. Major Perreault would be obliged to the honorable judge Moore, to acquaint the citizens of Champlain of the tenor of the above humane advertisement.

========================

Pliny Moore’s house is shown in an 1829 painting.  The house burned down on April 27, 1912 and was rebuilt to the same exterior specifications.  The McLellan family lived in the house from 1883 to 1983 and were decedents of Pliny Moore.  Courtesy Clinton County Historical Association.

======================


Click to see Interactive Maps


North Countryman Newspaper Article


Panel for Pliny Moore Stone Farm House and Murrays
                Raid in Champlain
(click to enlarge)

pliny moore stone farm house today

pliny moore stone farm house and american and
              british campgrounds 1812-1814

The Pliny Moore Stone Farm House and Murray’s Raid,
Village of Champlain
(War of 1812)

 

In 1808, Pliny Moore built a stone farm house on the Great Northern Turnpike (part of today’s Prospect Street).  Today, this is the oldest house in the village. 

 

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, the citizens of Champlain were uneasy about incursions from Canada.  A Committee of Safety persuaded the army to build two blockhouses in nearby fields.  The structures were used by visiting New York and Vermont militia.

 

In the summer of 1813, British Colonel John Murray burned public property in Burlington, Plattsburgh, Swanton, Chazy and Champlain in what was called “Murray’s Raid”.  On the way back to Canada, a detachment of Murray’s troops rowed up the Great Chazy River and burned the two blockhouses. 

 

The armies of American General Henry Dearborn and James Wilkinson camped nearby.  During the summer of 1814, militia skirmished at the top of the hill, in the fields off upper Prospect Street as well as along the road to Lacolle, Quebec (NY Route 276) north of Dewey’s Tavern. 

 

In September of 1814, half of British General George Prevost’s army camped nearby and used the unoccupied house as a commissary.  Moore wrote: “None of the Officers have quartered at our House except a Commissary who occupies the Stone House as a Store.  —  several officers have put their beds in the House & lodged for a night all of whom have treated me civilly.”  It took this part of the British army 12 hours to march down this road and over the bridge on their way to Plattsburgh. 

 

CAPTION:   The stone farm house was given to Pliny’s daughter Matilda who married Rev. Abraham Brinkerhoff. By the 1840s, the house and farm were owned by Freeman and Bartlett Nye.  Donat Guay owned the farm in the early 1900s and sold it to the Racine family in 1942. In August of 1938, the NYS historic marker was dedicated by Oscar Bredenberg during Champlain Town’s 150th Anniversary.  Large photo courtesy Allen Racine and taken August 31, 1915.  Left and middle photos courtesy Special Collections, Feinberg Library, State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh.


Click to see Interactive Maps 



North Countryman Newspaper Article



Panel for Deweys Tavern in Champlain
(click to enlarge)

Dewey's Tavern today-Champlain, New York

Dewey's Tavern today, Champlain, NY

Dewey's tavern log cabin built in 1797

Dewey's Tavern, Town of Champlain
(War of 1812)


You are standing at one of the most important and historical crossroads in Clinton County.  In 1797, Elias Dewey arrived in Champlain and built this log cabin.  He lived in it for three years with his wife Lovisa and their children.  Today, the cabin is in remarkably good shape.  A closer look will reveal the building’s signs of workmanship: hand-hewed timbers with dovetailed corners. 

 

In 1800, Elias built his main residence adjacent to the log cabin.  Since this house was on the road between Albany and Montreal, it was expanded for use as a tavern. 

 

The house, cabin and surrounding fields were occupied by American and British soldiers during the War of 1812.  American General Wade Hampton camped here on his way to Odelltown in September of 1813.  Many skirmishes took place nearby. 

 

On August 31, 1814, the British army commanded by Sir George Prevost crossed the border.  The invading army’s left wing commanded by General Thomas Brisbane camped nearby.  On September 4, the army marched south and was defeated in the Battle of Plattsburgh on September 11.

 

Two prisoner-of-war treaties were negotiated here at the tavern on April 15 and July 16, 1814.  Although they were never formally ratified, the agreements were still honored. 

 

The Dewey Family Cemetery was in the field across from the school.  Injured American soldiers who fought at the Lacolle Stone Mill siege in March of 1814 were cared for and the dead buried here.  British soldiers may also be buried here.  The headstones were removed in 1909 by a farmer.   There is no trace of the cemetery today but the stones are now in Glenwood Cemetery in the Village of Champlain. 

 

Elias (1768-1854) and Lovisa (1773-1846) Dewey pose with a grandchild circa 1834.  The paintings were likely made by folk artist Ruth W. Shute (1803-1882) who painted many people in Clinton County.  Paintings courtesy Clinton County Historical Association.   


Recent views of the exterior of the 1797 log cabin show that the broad ax marks are still visible after more than 200 years.  The interior reveals the rickety staircase to the loft where the family would have slept.  Photos courtesy David Patrick.


Click to see Interactive Maps


Dewey's tavern log cabin built in 1797-az
                  marks on outside of buildingDewey's tavern log
                  cabin built in 1797; interior staircase


Dewey's tavern log cabin built in 1797; beamsDewey's tavern log
                  cabin built in 1797; wall and beams



town of champlain in the war ofd 1812-panel
(click to enlarge)
deweys tavern with two wayside historic panels
The Town of Champlain in the War of 1812 (panel at Dewey's Tavern)

     The Town of Champlain has a rich history related to the War of 1812.  As a town bordering Canada and Lake Champlain, it saw numerous incursions, occupations and skirmishes.  More military activity occurred here than in any other town in Clinton County. 
     The American army occupied Champlain three times before invading Canada.  In November of 1812, General Henry Dearborn used the Pliny Moore house as his headquarters before marching to Lacolle Mill with 5,000 troops.  In September of 1813, General Wade Hampton’s troops rowed up the Great Chazy River and camped at Dewey’s Tavern before marching to Odelltown.  And in March of 1814, General James Wilkinson’s 4,000 troops camped in Pliny Moore’s orchards on Prospect Street before fighting at the stone mill in Lacolle.  General George Izard’s 5,000 troops protected the village in the summer of 1814. 
     Many skirmishes and raids occurred around town. “Murray’s Raid” occurred on August 3, 1813.  In November of 1813, British Major J. Perreault and 1,000 militia pillaged the Village of Champlain after several previous incursions.  And in the summer of 1814, Lieut.-Col. Benjamin Forsyth’s Riflemen and Capt. St. Valier Mailloux’s militia and Indians had several skirmishes north of the village and along Route 276.  Both men were killed in separate ambushes in June and August.
      In August and September of 1814, 14,000 British soldiers under command of Sir George Prevost occupied the town before marching to Plattsburgh.  After the Battle of Plattsburgh on September 11, a brigade remained until September 25.
    Rouses Point was a landing site for Vermont militia crossing the lake.  In 1816, the building of “Fort Blunder” was commenced on Island Point.

Click to see Interactive Maps


Samuel
                de Champlain monument at St. Marys Church in Champlain
                New York-wayside panel
(click to enlarge)
Samuel de Champlain monument in Champlain, New
              York, dedicated 1907-David Patrick
Samuel de Champlain Monument in the Village of Champlain,
New York. 
(Quadricentennial Re-Dedication in 2009)


The first monument built in the United States to commemorate Samuel de Champlain was erected here in Champlain in 1907.

     Originally, the monument was to be placed at the intersection of Oak and Main Streets in front of the Champlain House.  However, when various Franco-American societies raised money for the project, the location for the monument was moved here to St. Mary’s Church.  The Rev. Father Alexis F.X. Chagnon was instrumental in leading the drive to erect the monument here.  Several Champlainers were part of this project and included Louis-Camille Lafontaine who was later appointed a commissioner for the 1909 Champlain Tercentenary celebrations.  Lafontaine had an important role in the building of this monument as well as the design of the Plattsburgh and Crown Point Champlain Memorials in 1912. 
 
     On July 4, 1907, 6,000 people attended the monument unveiling ceremonies that included a parade, speeches, dinners and fireworks.  On the church lawn were American and French flags with the mottoes, “Vive Champlain” and “Nous-Nous Souvenons”.  On August 8, 1959, during the 350th anniversary of Champlain’s exploration of Lake Champlain, the monument was re-dedicated during a day long celebration with as many as 10,000 visitors to the village.  On August 2, 2009, the monument was again re-dedicated as part of the Quadricentennial celebrations.

Slide 1

LE 4 JUILLET, 1907. À LA MÉMOIRE DE

SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN

PAR LES FRANCO-AMÉRICANS.

 

SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN,

NÉ À BROUAGE, FRANCE, EN 1567, FONDATEUR DE QUÉBEC, EN 1608.

DÉCOUVREUR DU LAC CHAMPLAIN, 6 JUILLET, 1609.

MORT À QUEBEC AN 1635.

 

HE VALUED THE SALVATION OF A SOUL MORE THAN THE

CONQUEST OF A KINGDOM.

 

BEHOLD: A FERVENT CHRISTIAN; AN INTREPID NAVIGATOR;

A MAN OF LETTERS AND THE DISCOVERER OF THE GEM

OF THE LAKES OF AMERICA.

 

LE SALUT D’UNE ÂME VAUT PLUS QUE LA CONQUÊTE D’UN ROYAUME.

 

SA MÉMOIRE EST UNE INSPIRATION QUI NOUS PORTE VERS LE VRAI,

LE BIEN ET LE BEAU!

 

COMME NOTRE PATRON, ST. JEAN BAPTISTE;

IL “PRÉPARA LES VOIES” SUR CE CONTINENT.

 

IL FÛT UN FERVENT CHRÉTIEN: UN INTREPIDE NAVIGATEUR:

UN SAVANT, ET LE DÉCOUVREUR DU PLUS BEAU LAC DE L’AMÉRIQUE.

 

 

North Countryman Newspaper Article

 

Point
                au Fer panel; point au fer historic site champlain, ny


Point au Fer historic site, Champlain, NY

Point au Fer Historic Site, Town of Champlain
(Quadricentennial in 2009) 
 
         
Prior to 1763, the northern half of Lake Champlain was controlled by the French.  On June 6, 1760, during the French and Indian War (1754-1763), British  Army major  Robert Rogers and his Rangers engaged the French near here at Scales Point and pushed them into Canada.  Britain was now in control of Point au Fer.
            In 1774, the British built a garrison known as the “White House”.  In May of 1775, a small American force gained control of the fort and in June of 1776 American General John Sullivan added an entrenchment around the fort (the creek at the corner) and a 12 foot tall wooden stockade that was lined with cannon.  It was during this time that Benjamin Franklin landed here on his way to Montreal.  Benedict Arnold, Charles Carroll and Ethan Allen also stopped here. 


            After the Battle of Valcour in October of 1776, the Americans lost control of Point au Fer.  Half of General John Burgoyne’s British army camped here in June of 1777 on their way to Saratoga where they were defeated.

 

            After the Revolutionary War, the British occupied the garrison for 20 more years.  British Captain John Steel used his gunboat “Maria” to patrol the lake off of Point au Fer.  He built a small garden at Stony Point that for 90 years was referred to as “Steel’s Garden”.  At the enactment of Jay’s Treaty on June 1, 1796, the British left Point au Fer and the United States. 


            In 1805, a French refugee burned down the fort.  American soldiers during the War of 1812 (1812-14) camped around the ruins while watching for British naval activities in the northern part of the lake. 


            In 1809, Point au Fer was surveyed into three lots and auctioned off by the State of New York.  In 1839, George Rochester bought some property at the tip of the Point from John Walker and his descendents still live in the area.  Around 1870, Richard Scales purchased Lot No. 2 and built his house on the ruins of the old garrison.  The cellar was made of the stonework of the fort.  The house is still standing today.


            The land within the White House’s stockade is probably the most historic site in all of Clinton County.  Except for the plow, the fields and forests around this site have remained largely untouched.  Few sites in Clinton County can attest to this.  Let this area remain sacred.




"The White House" historic marker on
              Point au Fer
This sign is about 400 feet north of the Point au Fer Historic Site park.  It stands in front of the Scales family house which was built on the ruins of the White House in the 1870s or 1880s.  The land around this plaque is some of the most historic lands in the county.  French, British and American soldiers camped here at different times from 1760 to 1796.  The grass behind the sign is part of the enclosure of the garrison which had tall cedar posts around it at one time.  The moat, now a small stream, is to the left of the sign by a few feet.  The sign was created by David Patrick. 


THE “WHITE HOUSE”

IN 1774, A TWO-STORY WHITE STONE

GARRISON WAS BUILT HERE BY THE BRITISH,

FORTIFIED BY AMERICAN GEN. JOHN SULLIVAN

WITH ENTRENCHMENT AND STOCKADE IN 1776

AND DESTROYED BY FIRE IN 1805.

BRITISH OCCUPATION 1774-1775 AND 1776-1796.

AMERICAN OCCUPATION MAY 1775-OCT. 1776.

ENCAMPMENT OF THE BRITISH ARMY JUNE 1777

DURING BURGOYNE’S CAMPAIGN TO SARATOGA.

ALSO NEAR HERE AT SCALES POINT WAS

ROGERS’ RANGERS BATTLE OF JUNE 6, 1760.

FRIENDS OF CHAMPLAIN

2009


The above Wayside Panels in the Town of Champlain were all created by David Patrick.  Final layout was done by a graphic artist. The White House blue and yellow marker also created by David. 

Other wayside panels and historic markers can be found at specific points in the town that were created by other people. Six of them were dedicated in the Village of Champlain in 1938 to celebrate the town's 150th anniversary.   


Wayside Panels in Clinton County related to the War of 1812 - Lake Champlain Basin Program.

All wayside panels were created with grants provided by the Lake Champlain Basin Program

Some grants were awarded to develop panels for the War of 1812 Interpretive Trail. 

Another grant was for the Quadricentennial celebrations in 2009.

Additional Blue and Yellow Historic Markers in the Town of Champlain
(not comprehensive)

site of first school in champlain
              where dr. william beaumont taught-oak street in champlain burying yard where forsyth was
              buried in 1814; oak street in champlainbirthplace of jehudi
              ashmun on oak street; village of champlain
champlain memorial at st marys
              church-350th anniversary in 1959
site of first saw mill built by
              pliny moore 1788; perrys mills road
st. josephs cemetery in
              coopersville
first school house in 1816;
              champlain st in rouses point
delaware and hudson railroad in
              rouses point; pratt streetezra thurber's house on
              lake street in rouses point






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