People from all over the northeast begin gathering today at the Chimney Point State Historic Site on Lake Champlain in Addison, Vermont, for this weekend’s annual Open Atlatl Championship. The event is back at Chimney Point after two years at Mount Independence, due to the site’s closure during the Lake Champlain Bridge construction project.
The atlatl is the ancient tool used the world over before the bow and arrow to effectively project darts and spears for hunting. During the bridge project archeology work, a number of projectile points were found here, indicating the atlatl was used historically on the very location of this championship, now in its 17th year.
The event is a highlight of September’s Vermont Archaeology Month and is part of the Festival of Nations with the Crown Point, New York, State Historic Site. Come watch or participate in this unusual and interesting event. Competitors range from enthusiasts interested in trying their hand to some of the best in the country. Admission includes the museum with the 2012 exhibit on bridge archeological findings, new exhibits on the 1929 bridge, and shop with books and other items on the area’s Native American, French, and early American history. $3.00 for adults, free for children under 15.
The weekend at Chimney Point features:
Friday, September 21: atlatl workshop with Robert Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl, $65 fee includes materials and instruction, pre-registration required, noon to 5 pm. Berg teaches all over the United States and Europe. Call 802-759-2412 to pre-register.
Saturday, September 22: atlatl competition, from 10:30 until contestants have finished. $5.00 fee for competitors. Girls, boys, women, and men’s categories. All skills and abilities welcome. International Standards Accuracy Competition first, then shooting at painted animal targets to test accuracy, and lastly distance. Demonstrations of Woodland pottery making with Charlie Paquin and atlatl, flintknapping, cordage making and more with Thunderbird atlatl.
Sunday, September 23: small International Standards Accuracy Competition at 10:00, followed by master coaching (approx. 11:00 am). Flintknapping workshop with Charlie Paquin from 10:00 to 3:00—limited slots to participate, pre-registration required, observers welcome.
Saturday afternoon at Crown Point (518-597-4666) offers at the stone outdoor pavilion:
1:30 – 2:30: Va-et-Vient live acoustic concert with Vermont musicians Carol Reed, Suzanne Germain, and George Dunne.
2:30: Clinton Community College Professor David Graham speaks on the French heritage of the United States, particularly New York. Graham was project manager for the second edition of the 2012 book J’aime New York. Book signing follows talk.
The Chimney Point State Historic Site presents the history of the region’s three earliest cultures—Native American, French Colonial, and early American. The site was used by Native Americans for thousands of years, was the location of the 1731 French fort, and the museum is in the c.1785 tavern building. It is located at 8149 VT Route 17W in Addison at the foot of the new Lake Champlain Bridge. The site is open 9:30 to 5:00, Wednesdays through Sundays, with the last day of the season being Columbus Day, October 8. Call 802-759-2412 for information.