While touring the museum at Crown Point State Historic Site in May, a group of members of the Daughters of the American Revolution from New York’s mid-Hudson Valley visited historic Crown Point on Lake Champlain.
They came to see the point from which Hudson Valley troops, commanded by Generals Richard Montgomery and Philip Schuyler, departed to invade British Canada, and found an opportunity to serve history by funding a bronze marker at the starting point of the so-called Knox Artillery Trail, but not at Ticonderoga – at Crown Point.
While many know that on May 10, 1775 Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen, and 83 Green Mountain Boys captured Ticonderoga and its 78 pieces of heavy artillery, few know that the very next day 100 Green Mountain Boys, led by Seth Warner, likewise liberated nearby Crown Point from British control. On May 15, Allen and Arnold arrived at Crown Point and ordered militiamen to inventory and salvage materials that survived a 1773 fire.
The greatest prize, 111 cannon (of which 65 were immediately usable), were inventoried at Crown Point, along with tons of cannon balls and musket balls. Twenty-nine of the 59 cannon transported from Lake Champlain to South Boston that winter originated at Crown Point. Shortly before Henry Knox arrived at Ticonderoga in December to move heavy cannon a great distance, patriots prepared for his arrival by selecting 29 cannon at Crown Point to be hauled to Ticonderoga where they would join 30 cannon picked from among those already there.
Upon arrival, troops serving under Henry Knox undertook the grueling task of moving the captured cannon. With a combination of barges, bateaux and oxen-driven sledges, the 59 artillery pieces, with a combined weight of 60 tons, were hauled from the forts on Lake Champlain southward and then eastward across the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts for the Continental army to use to put an end to the British naval blockade of Boston harbor.
So when one considers that very nearly half [49.15%] of the artillery pieces hauled from Lake Champlain forts to South Boston came from Crown Point, one realizes that the actual starting point of the historic artillery trail is Crown Point, even though there is no bronze marker placed there yet to declare that fact.
Photo: At a DAR-operated historic homestead in the mid-Hudson Valley, New York State Regent for the Daughters of the American Revolution Denise Doring VanBuren presents a $2,000 check to Tom Hughes, manager of Crown Point State Historic Site, who accepted the designated gift in June on behalf of the site’s friends group.