The New York Crown Point Lighthouse is a well recognized structure. It is easily recognized by locals and tourists from all over the world. The Crown Point Lighthouse is located on Lake Champlain at Crown Point. It is the only lighthouse that has been converted from a lighthouse to a memorial. The memorial is for lake-explorer Samuel de Champlain.
In 1737, a windmill was first built on the same location by the French as a part of the historic Fort St Fredrick. When the French relinquished the area, the windmill was blown up and the British built a strong point on the same foundations to make their base.
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After the Revolutionary War, when peace was established and shipping increased on the Lake, locals requested Congress for a lighthouse to prevent schooners from dragging up on the rocks. Naval Lieutenant C.T. Platt was commissioned to create the lighthouse at Windmill Point, VT and Crown Point. The lighthouse was then built on the area and it was a 55-foot octagonal limestone tower that was connected to a Cape Cod style cottage for the lighthouse keeper.
The tower had trapezoidal windows and a fifth-order Fresnel lens with a white light. The lighthouse worked for 50 years before it was decommissioned and handed over to the State of New York for upkeep. In 1609, the lighthouse was converted into a memorial for Champlain who was the first to explore the Lake Champlain region. The lighthouse was converted over to the memorial by adding eight Doric columns to the outside of the lighthouse. The tower is now maintained by New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation. Currently, the tower and the grounds are undergoing restoration for the quadric-centennial celebrations of Champlain’s historic discovery of the lake.
The lighthouse is a very popular landmark in the city and tourists from all over the world visit it frequently. There is a camping ground and State Park located close to the lighthouse and it is open to the public. The lighthouse has been a frequent attraction for visitors due to the picturesque lake located close by and artists have immortalized the beautiful lighthouse in drawings and sculptures. One of the most popular reproductions has been by local folk artist Jim Shore. The lighthouse and its unique architecture and the beautiful river have been reproduced with vibrant colors and quilting designs by the artist and it is a beautiful collectible.