The Crown Point lighthouse was erected in 1858, just south of the ruins of an old French Fort St, Frederic. The latter was constructed in 1734 to protect French land claims against British encroachment from the south. After the French were convinced to abandon their North America colonies at the conclusion of the Seven Years War or the French and Indian War, depending on what side of the Atlantic Ocean you’re standing on, the British built a bigger and altogether nicer fort just to the north. That fort changed hands several times during the American Revolution and later during the War of 1812. By the mid-Nineteenth Century, warfare with British Canada seemed a remote possibility. With increased commerce however, Crown Point become a favorite place for ships to run aground. Hence the lighthouse. Forts, lighthouse and eventually a Lake Champlain Bridge were all constructed here for a simple enough reason—the lake narrows quite a bit. To commemorate Samuel de Champlain’s 1609 exploration of the region, the original lighthouse was stripped of its brick skin and the granite exterior seen here, with eight Doric columns, were added. The light continued in use until 1926. During tourist season one can still climb the vertiginous spiral stone staircase to the top for a nice north and south view of the lake.