The Champlain Valley was bitterly fought over during the American Revolution and again during the War of 1812. The latter featuring a British attack on Plattsburgh, NY, and even a few shells sent off in the direction of the still fledgling Burlington, Vermont. After the 1814 Treaty of Ghent, it was decided to fortify Lake Champlain close to the border. A nice spot was chosen, a little island near Rouse’s Point, and construction on a swell little fort began. Alas, just as they were nearing completion, a surveying error was discovered, one placing the fort north of the 45th parallel. How embarrassing! The fort, now known as Fort Blunder, was surrendered to British Canada.
The Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 jiggered the border just a bit, giving Fort Blunder back to the U.S. Two year later, construction began on an improved Fort Montgomery, named in honor of General Richard Montgomery, who was killed while invading Canada back in 1775. Obsolete by the end of the Civil War, it was sold in auction by the U.S. government in 1926, having never fired a shot in anger. Canada became independent from Great Britain in 1868, and the two countries now share the world’s longest unfortified border. Most of the stonework was removed and used for fill during the construction of the Rouse’s Point Bridge that now crosses Lake Champlain. Various attempts have been made to cede the fort to the state of New York or to sell it. It actually received an eBay bid of $5,000,310, but that sale was never completed. You can still buy it; asking price is $2,950,000.
However, what is left of the fort is structurally…um, how can I say the? About to fall down. Like any day now. I had to sign a legal release for the privilege of a tour back in 2007. No giant blocks of limestone fell that day.