Press-Republican

July 21, 2013

Crown Point marker to designate artillery trail

By LOHR McKINSTRY
Press-Republican

---- — CROWN POINT — Daughters of the American Revolution members from the mid-Hudson Valley visited Crown Point State Historic Site recently and decided to help fund a historic marker at the start of the artillery trail to Boston.

The group gave the Friends of Crown Point State Historic Site a $2,000 donation for the marker, to be set up at the beginning of the Revolutionary War rebel artillery trail that winds through four states.

Historic Site Manager Thomas Hughes said that while just about everyone knows 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 Fort Crown Point from British control.

But they needed a way to get those cannon over to defend Boston from the British.

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 1775 to move heavy cannon a great distance, patriots prepared for his arrival by selecting 29 of the 111 cannon at Crown Point to be hauled to Ticonderoga, where they would join 30 others picked from among those already there.

Upon arrival, troops serving under Knox undertook the 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 east 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 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,” Hughes said in a release.

While touring the museum at Crown Point State Historic Site, the DAR ladies discovered an opportunity to serve history and the public, Hughes said.

“They decided to fund a bronze artillery trail marker for Crown Point to mark the starting point of the trail.”

DAR Regent Denise Doring VanBuren told them the $2,000 contribution was for Friends of Crown Point State Historic Site to use to erect a historic marker “to complete the artillery trail by noting the capture at Crown Point of 111 artillery pieces.”

She said they were delighted to support the important work of telling that chapter in America’s story.

“We accept this very generous designated gift and are eager to use it to pay for a new bronze marker that, when erected at Crown Point, will at last complete the famous 1775-1776 artillery trail,” Friends President Mathew Anderson said in the release.

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com