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Chimney Point

The Chimney Point State Historic Site was established in 1991 as a museum on property purchased by the State of Vermont in 1966 from Mary Barnes. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain at the foot of the Lake Champlain Bridge, Chimney Point explores the history of the area’s three earliest cultures—the Native American, French Colonial, and early American by showcasing the artifacts each left behind. Enjoy the sweeping porch of the c. 1785 tavern with beautiful views of the lake, seasonal and permanent exhibits, programs for school groups, and a variety of interactive events including the annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship. The grounds of Chimney Point include a picnic area near the lake, a dock for lake access, and outdoor interpretive signs along a path connected by the sidewalks across the Lake Champlain Bridge to paths at Crown Point, New York. 

Recent archaeological and historic research has confirmed Chimney Point is one of the most strategic and historically significant locations on Lake Champlain. It has seen every period of human habitation, since the first people arrived nearly 9,000 years ago. Visitors can imagine the millennia of Native Americans fishing, hunting, camping, meeting, and trading here on the bluff or sandy beach. After the first Europeans came in 1609, this site was important for interactions between the Native peoples and Europeans. In 1690, the English watched for the French enemies navigating Lake Champlain. The French took a stand here in 1731, building a fort to keep the English off the lake and blocking easy access to Canada. This was the frontier of New France and the start of long-term French settlement in the region. The site also saw significant military activity during the French and Indian War and American Revolution. Following the Revolution, in c. 1785, the tavern was built and has welcomed visitors ever since.  

View the remarkable diversity of wildlife observed at the Chimney Point State Historic Site in this stunning series of photographs by Site Administrator Elsa Gilbertson.