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Chimney Point State Historic Site

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c. 1784, c. 1823. Western terminus of VT 125 and 17, Chimney Point
  • (Photograph by Curtis B. Johnson, C. B. Johnson Photography)

Chimney Point State Site takes its name from the ruins of a French settlement that occupied this prominent point overlooking Lake Champlain in the 1730s. Strategically located above a ferry landing at the end of the Crown Point Military Road, settler Benjamin Paine's tavern also served as a post office and accommodated the early sessions of the Addison County court under Judge John Strong (see AD2). In 1823 Asahel Barnes expanded the original Georgian-plan, wood-frame tavern with an ell and wrapped it in a Federal brick shell. Sweeping Stick Style verandas were added later in the century, perhaps with the tavern's conversion in 1890 into the St. Frederick Inn (named for the ruins of the French Fort St. Frederic across the lake), which also saw the outfitting of its “historic” bar room, billed as a place where Ethan Allen drank.

In 1929 the states of New York and Vermont replaced the ferry crossing with a twenty-nine-hundred-foot bridge designed by engineers Spofford and Thorndike for the American Bridge Company. Conceived for aesthetics and economy, it rose majestically in a slow arc above the lake on Warren deck trusses to a channel-span, bowstring-arch through truss at its apex. In the 1930s this new gateway to western Vermont drew motor tourists to the lakeshore of Addison County, evident in the tourist cabins that still occupy lakeside stretches of state highways 17 and 125 north and south of the bridge. The deteriorating bridge was demolished in 2009 and was replaced by a modified network tied-arch bridge in 2011.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Chimney Point State Historic Site", [Addison, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 107-107.

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