(click to enlarge)
The Pliny Moore House,
Village of Champlain
Revolutionary War veteran Pliny Moore (1759-1822)
settled Champlain after being awarded land by the
During the War of
1812, the border became a revolving door for the
American and British armies and militias.
In November of
1812, American General Henry Dearborn used
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
A British major. — The
following gasconading notice was sent out to judge
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
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.
(click to enlarge)
Moore Stone Farm House and Murray’s Raid,
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.
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
(click to enlarge)
Dewey's Tavern, Town of Champlain
(War of 1812)
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
(click to enlarge)
Town of Champlain in the War of 1812 (panel at
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
(click to enlarge)
Champlain Monument in the Village of Champlain,
(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.
LE 4 JUILLET, 1907. À LA MÉMOIRE DE
SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN
PAR LES FRANCO-AMÉRICANS.
SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN,
NÉ À BROUAGE,
DÉCOUVREUR DU LAC CHAMPLAIN, 6 JUILLET, 1609.
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
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,
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
(click to enlarge)
au Fer Historic Site, Town of Champlain
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
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
BURGOYNE’S CAMPAIGN TO
ALSO NEAR HERE AT SCALES POINT WAS
FRIENDS OF CHAMPLAIN
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.
Blue and Yellow Historic Markers in the Town of