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Colonial history to come alive at Crown Point

27th Inniskilling Regiment of Foot (Photo provided)

CROWN POINT — The public will have two opportunities to learn more about French and English military history at the Crown Point State Historic Site over the next three weeks as this location on the New York side of the bridge will host living history events Sept. 25-26 and Oct. 9-10.

The historic site is the location of two forts — Fort St. Frederic, built by the French, and His Majesty’s Fort at Crown Point, built by the British. This strategic location on Lake Champlain played an important role in the French and Indian War (1754-1763) and through the Revolutionary War.

On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25 and 26, the site will host Live from Fort St Frederic! Visitors will be able to explore French heritage, traditions and military history of the 1730s with the help of Les Guerriers du Fort de La Presentation. Living historians will discuss and demonstrate skills related to the fur trade, indigenous/French relations, midwifery and medicine, and military and civilian life in the 18th century.

The French finished building Fort St. Frederic in 1737 “as a bastion of French power and influence in the Champlain Valley; a key location to control trade, transportation, and military maneuvers in North America,” the historic site states in a press release. The fort and surrounding land on the New York and Vermont sides of the lake were home to hundreds of French soldiers and settlers on the frontier of New France.

The hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Guided walking tours of Fort St. Frederic offered at noon and 2 p.m. both days.

The Lake Champlain bridge and the ruins of Fort St. Frederic are seen here at Crown Point. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9 and 10, the British military encampment will feature the 27th Inniskilling Regiment of Foot. The 27th will perform the manual of arms, drill and demonstrate the weapons and tactics used by armies during the war. Cooking demonstrations and other displays of period life will be on hand for visitors to enjoy.

Camp will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Each day, a talk, “Life of a British Solder,” will be presented at 11 a.m., military drill and musket demonstrations will be held in camp each day at 1 p.m., and guided walking tours offered at noon and 2 p.m.

The 27th, or Inniskilling Regiment of Foot, recreates the lives of British soldiers and their families fighting the French and their indigenous allies during the French and Indian war. The Inniskilling fought in nearly every major campaign of the war in North America. The recreated 27th Regiment portrays the regiment as they would appear in 1758 during the campaign against Fort Ticonderoga.

The 27th regiment of Foot is headquartered in Salem, New York, and has members in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and Quebec.

Both forts are located next to the new Lake Champlain bridge from New York to Vermont, which replaced the 1929 bridge when it opened on Nov. 7, 2011. The French built Fort St. Frederic between 1734 and 1737 and destroyed it in 1759 during the French and Indian War after British troops captured Fort Carillon to the south (renaming it Fort Ticonderoga). The British then built a larger fort, His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point. During the Revolutionary War, Green Mountain Boys captured the fort from the British on May 12, 1775. Benedict Arnold used it as a staging area for the fledgling American navy and was abandoned in 1777. The British abandoned the fort in 1780.

French reenactors (Photo provided)

New York state acquired the property in 1910.