Northern Tier Recreation Trail
The 5 mile – or so trail starts at the Village of Champlain at Bill Earl Park, follows Elm Street in the Village of Champlain where it turns left and becomes a trail through the fields crossing Paquette Boulevard and heading toward Northeastern Clinton Middle/High School. The trail crosses Route 276 continuing as a cinder path until it reaches Prospect Street and is a shared surface with the road. It ends at Rouses Point Elementary School.
This Trail is for non-motorized use only.
It allows residents and visitors to walk, run, bike or roll safely from one village to the other.
- Partially paved
- Wheel Chair Accessible
- Stroller Accessible
- Take I-87 exit 42 to Route 11
- Head East on Route 11 to the intersection with Route 9
- Turn left and follow Route 9 just past the Champlain Village Office (1104 US 9)
- Turn right onto Elm Street Bridge
- Take immediate right onto River Street, Bill Earl Park
We are a region rich in history
Champlain History Center
The Champlain History Center is located in the center of the Village of Champlain adjacent to the bridge over the Great Chazy River. The Center offers exhibit space on the first floor that chronicles Champlain's current and former industries, celebrations and people. This includes the Sheridan Iron Works, the Champlain Telephone Company, the Bredenberg Ski Factory and the canal boat industry.
The second floor houses a conference room, map room and reference book collection. The Center's books cover many topics related to the Village and Town of Champlain, Clinton County, the Lake Champlain region and the Adirondacks. There are also many genealogical books containing the names of local families.
The military room is dedicated to chronicling the military history of the town of Champlain, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, WWI, WWII and after. It contains many plaques and memorabilia related to the American Legion, VFW and private donations. The town was originally founded by Revolutionary War soldiers who fought in New York State militias. It was also occupied numerous times by both the American and British armies during the War of 1812.
The Franco-American Room houses the Franco-American collection of books. The books detail the experiences of Franco-Americans in northern New York and New England. There are also many books on the history of Quebec and Canada. The center contains a mix of rare and recently published books.
Monument to Samuel de Champlain
A bronze monument dedicated in 1907 to the famous French explorer Samuel de Champlain, the first one in the United States. In 1609 he became the first European to explore this region and first to traverse the inland waterway, which was named Lake Champlain in his honor.
The Dewey Family Cemetery
The Dewey family cemetery, described to be about one acre in size, is south of the Dewey house and across from the school. The cemetery likely contains the remains of the Dewey, Hamilton, Odell, Newell, Kingsley, Moore and Twiss families. American soldiers serving in the War of 1812 who died after the LaColle stone mill siege of March 1814 were buried here. Tradition states that British soldiers who were wounded in the Battle of Plattsburgh were cared for at the tavern, and when they died, they were buried in the cemetery. Here is video about the Dewey Family Cemetary:
Dodge Memorial Library
Dr. Lyndhurst C. Dodge was born in West Chazy on 20 March 1841 to Dr. Daniel Dodge and his wife Judith Gates Dodge.
At the age of seven his father moved the family to Rouses Point where he practiced medicine for the next three years. The family resided on Champlain Street where Lyndhurst attended school at the stone house. The family moved back to West Chazy in 1850 leaving their eldest son, Dr. Daniel G. Dodge (1826-1877) to continue the practice. His residence and office were located on Lake Street.
Lyndhurst began to teach school at about the age of sixteen, teaching successfully until the spring of 1859 when he entered Albany Medical College, graduating in 1862. Now 21 years of age, he accepted an appointment on the medical staff of the U.S. Army and became an assistant until the Civil War ended, emerging a highly respected surgeon and diagnostician. His father has died while he was at the front so he returned to West Chazy.
While he was away his brother Daniel had built a successful and extensive practice in Rouses Point where he invited Lyndhurst to assist him. The younger Dr. Dodge accepted and, at this point (1868) became a permanent resident of the lakeside village where he stayed for the remainder of his life. Daniel accepted a political appointment with the State of New York and left the large practice and community responsibilities to Lyndhurst who served three terms as President of the village between 1880 and 1900. His army experience made him a leading surgeon; none knew better when to operate and when not to. His skill with fractures, dislocations and amputations was badly needed in an area where farm and railroad accidents were numerous. He gave up his practice in 1901 due to poor health, and passed away in 1904.
In Lyndhurst's will he bequeathed $10,000 ($6,000 for building and $4,000 for books) to the people of Rouses Point to establish a free public library. He stipulated that they should vote whether to accept this gift or not. by a vote of 45 to 53 the residents of Rouses Point accepted the bequest and the responsibility of supporting the library.
James Collopy, James Driscoll, T. M. Leonard, J. R. Myers, and Frank Pardy serving as the first board of trustees, chose the site and hired John B. Poirier to construct one of the finest buildings in the village, a building that has stood the test of time for over 110 years.
The Rouses Point Dodge Memorial Library opened on 30 January 1907 with an annual budget of $300. Miss Sarah E. Hammond was the first librarian followed by Miss Mary Spear who filled the position for the next 22 years. Since that cold day in January 1907, the people of Rouses Point have continued to enjoy the quality books, DVDs, audiobooks, online resources, and programs that the Library has to offer.
Adapted from 2008 Historical Calendar written by former Village Historian Donna Racine and printed by Border Press
Fort Montgomery on Lake Champlain is the second of two American forts built at the northernmost point of the American part of the lake: a first, unnamed fort built on the same site in 1816 and Fort Montgomery built in 1844.
Construction had begun on the first fort at this location, an octagonal structure with 30-foot-high (9.1 m) walls, in 1816 to protect against an attack from British Canada such as that which led to the Battle of Plattsburgh in 1814. In July 1817, President James Monroe visited the incomplete fortification and the adjacent military reservation known locally as "the commons". However, due to an earlier surveying error it was later found that this first fort was inadvertently built on the Canadian side of the border, resulting in its sometimes being better known as "Fort Blunder".
When a new survey discovered that the 45th parallel was actually located some 3⁄4 mile (1.2 km) south, effectively placing the fort in Canada, all construction on this first fort stopped and the site was abandoned. Much of its material was scavenged by the locals for use in their own homes and public buildings.
No evidence has come to light that this first fort was ever named, with most contemporary documents simply referring to it as the "works", "fortification", or "battery" at Rouse's Point. It is often mistakenly referred to as Fort Montgomery. The site of the first fort was listed on the National Register of Historic Places under the name "Fort Montgomery" in 1977.
Point au Fer
For many years, Point au Fer wasn’t where people lived, but where they fought. The small peninsula, the former battleground for American and British soldiers, is nestled along Lake Champlain on the eastern side of the town of Champlain that currently contains under 100 residents.
Over the course of 200 years, the land served many different purposes. Local history buff David Patrick recently released a new calendar, “A History of Point au Fer,” focusing on the area’s hectic past. “Point au Fer is surely the most historic location in all of Clinton County,” said Patrick. “No other location has seen so many notable events occur.” Patrick’s research, obtained primarily through the SUNY Plattsburgh Feinberg Library, goes back to 1760 during the French and Indian War in June 1760 when the area’s first European conflict occurred.
During that time, Major Robert Rogers — leader and founder of the military group called “Roger’s Rangers” — was ordered to destroy the French military posts along the Richelieu River in Canada. Patrick said the land remained vacant, for the most part, until 1774 when the British built a garrison called the “White House,” which frequently switched back and forth between the American and British armies during the Revolutionary War.
After the war ended in 1783, the British still occupied Point au Fer, along with land in Champlain and Chazy. During this time, the British tried to limit American settlement by ordering all men living up to 10 miles south of the Canadian border to join Canada’s military and follow Quebec laws. The residents not living within that range were asked to leave. “This caused terrible anxiety among the people of Champlain,” said Patrick.
Tired of living in fear, Champlain and Chazy residents went to the highest man in power during this time: President George Washington. Although Washington couldn’t make the journey to the North Country, he sent a convoy, Major John Doughty, on a secret mission to find the issues and report back to the actual White House. The British left in 1796.
The area was surveyed in 1805 by William Beaumont and auctioned off in 1809.
During the War of 1812, the site was used as a lookout post by the American army.
Over the next several years, the site served many different purposes, such as a farming community and summer camp.
Now, it’s a residential community and the theme for Patrick’s 2017 calendar, his 15th in a series.
“The area has no trace of any event that happened back then,” he said. “That’s why I make these calendars — to inform people on what’s been long forgotten within the town.”
Credit: The Sun Community News
Rouses Point History & Welcome Center
The Village of Rouses Point and the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society restored the historic 1889 Romanesque brick and stone train station building (the former D & H Railroad Station). The Village of Rouses Point purchased the former D & H Railroad Station from the Delaware and Hudson Railway in 2002 for $5,000. The restored building was renamed the Rouses Point History and Welcome Center. Restoration was made possible from $832,500 federal stimulus funding; $95,000 secured by Rep. John McHugh; fundraising and donations by several residents, businesses and organizations; various grants awarded to the Village of Rouses Point; a $35,000 donation by the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society and many hours of volunteer labor.