Crown Point is a large peninsula strategically commanding the narrow passage of the southwestern portion of Lake CHAMPLAIN in upper New York State. It was initially the site of Fort Saint-Frédéric, built by the French in 1731 to defend French territory from English colonial invasion. The fort served as an important base for operations in the Lake Champlain area during the SEVEN YEARS' WAR and resisted several English attempts at capture during this conflict. As New France began to collapse toward the end of the war, Fort Saint-Frédéric was abandoned and burned before English troops could reach the site in 1759. The British occupied the site and began the construction of the more impressive Fort Crown Point. In 1773 the fort was still incomplete and was badly damaged during a fire that broke out in one of the dry timber buildings.
Colonial rebels occupied the fort at the beginning of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION but British and Loyalist forces under General John BURGOYNE captured it in 1777, prior to his surrender at the Battle of Saratoga. The site continued in British hands and served as a base for Loyalists, who launched raids against frontier farms and settlements that were supplying the rebel army. The site was largely abandoned in 1781 as the war wound down.
Crown Point was purchased by New York State in 1910 and is now a historic site.