Samuel de Champlain

Samuel de Champlain


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Samuel de Champlain was born in France in 1567. He began exploring the coast of America in 1603. On his third voyage in 1608 he founded the first permanent French colony at Quebec.

Champlain was appointed lieutenant of Canada in 1612 and made some investigations of the interior. During the Anglo-French war, Quebec was seized by the English, but he successfully negotiated its return to French sovereignty. Samuel de Champlain died in 1635.


Samuel de Champlain - History

Dedicated to preserving the Village and Town of Champlain's History and
promoting awareness of the French Settlement in New York, Vermont and Quebec,
and Samuel de Champlain's exploration of Lake Champlain
.

The Samuel de Champlain History Center, located in the heart of the Village of Champlain, was found by village resident Celine Racine Paquette. The center is housed in the former First National Bank of Champlain, which was built in 1880 on the beautiful bank of the Great Chazy River.

The center houses a very large collection of papers, books, photographs, posters, and furniture and antiques that directly relate to the history of the village and town of Champlain. Many of the posters and antiques are on display on the first floor.

In addition to the items related to the village and town of Champlain, the center houses a large collection of books related to Samuel de Champlain as well as material on the French Canadians.

Celine Paquette was vice-chair on the New York State Quadricentennial Commission for the celebrations in 2009. Considerable material is at the center related to the 1909 Tercentenary celebration as well as the 2009 celebration.

Built in 1880 of stone, the former bank building had a brick second story added to it in 1905 by noted architect Hugh McLellan. McLellan was the architect for many buildings in the town of Champlain and was also the designer of the Champlain Memorial monuments in Crown Point and Plattsburgh in 1912. Around 2004, the building was purchased by Paquette and restored to its original grandeur.

The history center has varying hours so it is important to call ahead and set up a time to come by.

The center also accepts donations of items related to the Town of Champlain's rich history. Please call to discuss a potential donation.

Hours:
Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am-4pm.
Other hours by appointment.

Samuel de Champlain History Center
202 Elm Street
Champlain, New York 12919


The former
First National Bank of Champlain, built in 1880.

Today, this is the site of the Samuel de Champlain
History Center.

The Champlain History Center in the Local Media

Press-Republican - The beginning of the Quadricentennial (February 2009)
Press-Republican - Samuel de Champlain in Glass (December 30, 2009)
(about the stained glass window at the top of the page)
Press-Republican- David Fadden Shares Mohawk Stories (July 2011)
Press-Republican - Quadricentennial Records Housed at the History Center (Dec. 15, 2011)

All Points North (SUNY-Plattsburgh) - Establishment of the Samuel de Champlain History Center (2009).

Hometown Cable TV in Champlain - Champlain Quadricentennial at the History Center (2008)

Hometown Cable TV in Champlain - Canal Boat History by Ray Allard at the History Center (2010)

Strictly Business business magazine - a profile of Celine Paquette and her history center (2014)


Becomes a navigator

Samuel de Champlain was born in the small seaport town of Brouage on the west coast of France in about 1567. It is believed that he was born a Protestant and at some point converted to Roman Catholicism during the Wars of Religion (also known as Hugenot Wars 1562–98). This period of bitter rivalry between Protestants (members of the Protestant Christian religion, which was formed in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church) and Catholics (members of the Roman Catholic Church, a Christian religion based in Rome, Italy, and headed by a pope who has supreme authority in all church affairs) would determine the dominant religion in France. At an early age, Champlain went to sea to learn navigation and cartography (the drafting of maps and charts). Until 1598 he fought as a sergeant on the side of Protestant king Henry IV in the religious wars. After his military service, he worked as a navigator on a voyage to the West Indies. Although Champlain was born a commoner (one who is not of noble rank), his reputation as a navigator earned him an honorary title in Henry's court.


Samuel de Champlain - History

The French explorer Samuel de Champlain was born in Brouage, France, in 1574. He is known as the “Father of new France” as he founded Quebec and New France in 1968. Champlain was an explorer, a French navigator, soldier, diplomat and cartographer. He is a very important person in Canadian history because he helped establish the earlier settlements by administering the French colonies in the country, also known as the New World during their time, and developed very accurate maps of the coastlines.

Champlain’s Early Life

The exact date of Champlain’s birth is not known since there are two different baptismal records found under his name. His religion is also not known since he was born into a Catholic town during the times of Protestant rule. Some writers, however, insist that he was born in the years when the Catholics had power in France. Champlain learned how to navigate, create practical reports, and draw nautical charts at a very young age since he was born into a family of mariners. Both his father and his uncle were sailors and navigators.

Early Travels

His first voyage was with his uncle-in-law, who was a navigator on the ship known as the Saint-Julien, in 1598. This was a mission to transport Spanish troops to Cadiz for the Treaty of Vervins. He spent some time in Cadiz alongside his uncle before the ship was chartered to the West Indies. His uncle gave command over the ship and instructed young Champlain to watch over it.

This particular journey lasted two years, and it gave Champlain the opportunity to learn about the different Spanish holdings which included Mexico City and the Caribbean. He was very eager to learn more about traveling and he took notes along the way.

First Trip to North America

During Champlain’s first trip to North America, he only observed fur trade. The expedition was lead by Francois Gave Du Pont who was a navigator and a merchant. Champlain established a strong, life-long friendship with Du Pont after this trip. Du Pont became his mentor, and he educated Champlain about navigation and dealing with the natives.

After his return from the trip, he published an account entitled Concerning the Savages. He wrote about meeting the chief of some tribes and establishing good relationships between the Montagnias, Begurat, and Algonquin people.

The Founding of Quebec City

Pierre Duga de Mons, a Protestant merchant who led exploratory journeys wanted Champlain to start a new French colony in St. Lawrence. Champlain had worked with him in the past during some trades. Duga equipped Champlain at his own expense and planned for the young explorer to head out spring of 1608.

Champlain commanded the main ship called Don-de-Dieu, which translated to “the Gift of God.” His friend, Du Pont, commanded another ship which was also part of this expedition. They arrived in the lower area of St. Lawrence, known as Tadoussac, in June. Champlain landed at an area which they called “point of Quebec” a month later, on July 3, 1608. They fortified the area by erecting three wooden buildings. This was the beginning of what is now known as Quebec City.

Interactions with the Natives

Champlain wanted to develop a better relationship with the native tribes of the area. In the summer of 1609, he created an alliance with the Huron, the Montagnais, the Alonquin and the Etchemin tribes. They were the natives who lived along the edge of the St. Lawrence River. Champlain helped these tribes fight a war against the Irquois people, a tribe further down south. After killing three Irquois chiefs, the tribe fled. This was the beginning of bad relations between the French and the Irquois, which lasted an entire century.

Return to Quebec and Death

Champlain traveled back and forth from France to Quebec during his later years. His last return was recorded on May 22, 1633. He was given the commission of Lieutenant General over New France. Even though he did not have the title of Governor, he was treated as if he held this position.

Just two years after his return, he suffered a stroke. Champlain died just two months after on Christmas day in 1635, leaving no heirs. Everything that he owned, including his French property, went to his wife, Helene.


People of Detroit:Samuel de Champlain

Samuel de Champlain was born in 1582 in St. Malo, France. Educated as a priest, Champlain had a more adventurous heart and thus left the cloth to join the navy. In 1607, he was sent to America to establish a settlement for France.

On July 3, 1608, Champlain founded Quebec, the third oldest permanent settlement in North America. He was dubbed the "Father of New France". He may have been in the Detroit area between 1610 and 1612, which would make him the first European to see the area. Champlain was a mentor to Etienne Brulé.

Champlain was governor of New France from 1612 to 1619 and from 1633 to 1635.

Champlain had a key role in the development of the Iroquois hatred for the French. He favored the Ouendots (Hurons) and used a large, deadly weapon known as an arquebus against the Iroquois to defend them. Several Iroquois were killed and as a result, atrocities against the Ouendots increased and a hatred for the French was developed.


Routes

The three years stay in Acadia allowed him plenty of time for exploration, description and map-making. He journeyed almost 1,500 kilometres along the Atlantic coast from Maine as far as southernmost Cape Cod.


Samuel de Champlain - History

Samuel de Champlain
French, circa 1567 - 1635

Note: All narratives about people are, to the extent possible, based on primary and secondary historical sources. Some narratives necessarily contain invented, yet plausible, scenarios and personal attributes. Please see About This Narrative to learn more about how this person's narrative was created.

Reminiscences of Trade and Colony

Samuel de Champlain is known as the founder of Quebec and the Father of New France.
Courtesy of the National Archives of Canada.

He could see it so clearly. The ship coursed over the waves, the shore nothing more than a thin smudge of trees and rocks. There did not seem to be much to see. His uncle urged him to the side of the ship.

"Look carefully Samuel," Uncle directed, as he pointed towards the land. "You must observe carefully, and note every detail, if you want to navigate these waters." (1)

Young Samuel thought of the blank vellum in his cabin, waiting to record his observations. He stared at the shoreline. What had appeared as a nondescript shore started to resolve into discrete areas. An inlet here&mdasha slight jutting of a promontory there. He felt a wave of excitement, as he discovered there was much more to be seen, more to be captured with paper and ink. But then, it faded away into blackness.

At a time when most cartographers based their maps on written accounts of new lands, Champlain drew his maps from his own explorations. Click here for a closer look.
Courtesy of the National Archives of Canada.

Samuel de Champlain struggled to wake from the dream of his youth. There were voices in the room. For a moment, he thought the voices were speaking English. Was he a prisoner once again? (2)

"Gouverneur?" the voice spoke near his ear.

Reassured at the familiar French tongue, Governor Champlain tried to open his eyes, but only his right eye obeyed him. It revealed one of the Jesuit brothers leaning over him, concern written on his face. Memory returned to him. Thankfully, he was in his own bed, in New France. He had been preparing to attend the Holy Day Mass when he was struck with a sudden weak feeling in his left side. He remembered falling to the ground&mdashthen nothing.

The Governor tried to speak, but his mouth and tongue would not form the words. His left eye, indeed his left arm and leg, felt as if they were made of wood. He knew he would not rise from this bed again. He'd recognized the signs of his health turning for the worse. Perhaps if he had not worked so hard the past two years, this day might not have come so soon. But there had been so much to do, so much to repair and build up in the colony, so much damage to undo&mdashfrom the four years the English held control over the land&mdashland that he had discovered, mapped and claimed in the name of France.

Champlain founded Quebec (City) in 1608 as a trading post it later became the capital of New France. Click here for more information.
Courtesy of the National Archives of Canada.

When he had received word the treaty between England and France meant the return of New France, he was ready to put into action the plans he had been detailing for years. He did not regret a moment of the past two years. He could rest easy, knowing the colony was well established, with over 150 French men and women to keep the seeds of civilization growing.

The Jesuit brother brought a pan of water from the fireplace. He dipped a cloth in the water, and carefully wiped the governor's face, easing his eyes closed. He felt the warmth of the water on the right side of his face, but when the cloth passed over his brow, there was no sensation on the left side at all.

No matter. The work of the past two years was nothing, compared to what they had suffered in the earlier days. Champlain's mind drifted back to his earliest experiences in this land. One of their first winters had been so difficult, Champlain worried the men would desire to give up the task, and insist on returning home in the spring. The Order of Good Cheer was the answer. Champlain remembered the looks on the men's faces when they learned they were each ordered to take a turn leading a hunt to provide fare for the table, and plan an entertainment for one of the long winter nights. They must have thought he was mad. But it gave each man a feeling of control, and the winter passed with less discontent than even he thought possible. (3)

Once they had entered into partnership with the savages of the Huron (Wendat) tribes, winters became easier to bear. A face Champlain had not thought of for a while rose up in his mind's eye&mdashYoung Etienne Brule. Champlain sighed. Brule was only 17 or so, when he first volunteered to befriend and live with the savages. Champlain had noticed that the younger the man, the more easily he learned the languages. For years, Brule served Champlain as interpreter, learning many of the Native dialects, and leading exploration parties in the search for the passageway to the Orient.

But Brule had failed him. Instead of being a civilizing influence on the Huron, he adapted their ways. He lived in a sinful and degenerate manner. In the end, he may have even betrayed their colony to the English, helping them navigate the difficult river currents and capture Quebec in 1629. Champlain could still taste the bitter disappointment. He had thought of the young Brule as "his lad"&mdashone like himself, born to be an explorer. And rumor had it that the Huron had turned against Brule&mdashor at least one of them did, and Brule left this earth prematurely. Champlain wondered if he would see Brule again soon. He had a moment's regret for removing the young man's name when revising some of the written accounts of their discoveries. (4)

The governor peered about the room again. Several of the holy brothers were now gathering in the room. He wished they would go about their business. It was a holy day they must make ready for the Christmas mass for the colonists. The Huron children attending the college would also be at the mass. They were making good progress in learning the French language, but some were still resistant to the missionary call of the Jesuits. "At least they won't be learning English," he reflected.

The future of New France was tied with this nation of Hurons, and had been ever since he and his men aided them in wars against the Iroquois. It was difficult to realize those first battles were nearly 35 years ago, and the hostilities of the Iroquois towards the French showed no signs of weakening. "We made good enemies of the Iroquois," the governor reflected, "to make good friends of the Huron." (5)

The 1609 Battle of Champlain set off eight decades of hostilities between New France and the Iroquois Confederacy. Click here for more information.
Courtesy of Rare Books Division, the New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

Champlain prayed that his college in the colony would strengthen the Huron people, and bring them to an acceptance of civilizing ways. He feared the colony would need the Hurons and the other tribes who allied with the Hurons to face the Iroquois and their foreign ally, the English.

Despite the treaty, Samuel de Champlain did not trust the English he knew they had an appetite to expand into New France. He knew his people would be on guard for any sign of northward settlement by the enemy. Even if it took generations, they would stay on their guard against the English. Champlain knew his colony would thrive. "And, once the Huron learn our ways," he thought with confidence, "the only language that will ever be heard in this land will be French."

A great restlessness overcame the governor. His right arm rose involuntarily. The holy brothers gathered by his bedside. Champlain tried to speak, as he felt heaviness spread in his body. His arm fell to his side, a dead weight.

He could see the worry in their eyes. He wanted to tell them "Do not be anxious. For too long, I have been a politician, running a colony, writing letters to the King and the government, begging for support. I came here to be an explorer. I came here to make maps, to see everything as clearly as I possibly could."

Champlain felt the wooden weight overtake him. He could no longer see the holy brothers, but he could hear them murmuring frantic prayers. He appreciated their concern, but wished they realized what he knew&mdashwhat he had always known.

"I am an explorer. It has been too long since I have explored an unknown place. I have no fear of a new journey. I know how to navigate uncharted waters."

The sound of their prayers faded, as Champlain held on to one final thought: "I will observe carefully, and note every detail."

As is frequently the case with a famous historic person, not a lot is known about Samuel de Champlain's early years, or his personal life. He is an iconic figure in Canadian history, the "Father of New France." But he did leave a written and graphic record, in his maps, illustrations, correspondence and publications describing his voyages to the "new world."

Information in this narrative came from secondary sources, including Samuel Eliot Morrison&rsquos biography "Samuel de Champlain: Father of New France," as well as the English translation of Champlain's own writings in "Voyages of Samuel de Champlain."

Historic records tell us Champlain died of complications from stroke. Obviously, the dramatic format of this narrative infers Champlain's emotional state of mind on the day of his death. Knowing that Champlain had only regained his colony from the English two years prior, it is reasonable to assume concerns would still be prominent in his mind. Our historic perspective shows those concerns were justified. Why use the dramatic device of deathbed memories? It gives us an opportunity to reflect, along with de Champlain, about momentous events in his life, specifically as they demonstrate his experiences with the English. It also helps connect us to these past experiences from so long ago, by reminding us that this iconic giant from history was a real person.

This narrative was written by Cindy Boyer.

See Further Reading for a list of sources used in creating this narrative. For a discussion of issues related to telling people's stories on the site, see: Bringing History to Life: The People in The Many Stories of 1704.


10 Major Accomplishments of Samuel de Champlain

Although he is primarily known as the founder of the city of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain had an accomplished life. Over the course of several decades, this explorer accomplished a great deal. There is no question that any list of the most notable explorers in history must include this compelling historical figure.

1. He Learned Sea Navigation From The Very Best

Samuel de Champlain was born to a sea captain father. It was his father who taught him the basics of navigating the open seas. Obviously, this talent would prove to be immensely useful to the explorer later on in his life.

2. He Took Advantage Of A New Invention

As he got older, it was only natural that Champlain would follow in the footsteps of his father. He began taking part in several ocean voyages between 1599 and 1601. These trips took him to the Spanish colonies that had been established in North America at this point. It was also during this time that radar was invented. This invention proved to be immensely useful to travelers and explorers, in particular Champlain.

3. He Explored The St. Lawrence River

Around 1603, on behalf of his king, Samuel de Champlain left for Canada to explore the St. Lawrence River. This visit in particular would prove to be highly crucial to the development of Champlain as an explorer of note. Many of the events in his career that would serve to define his legacy came out of the experiences he had during this particular trip.

4. He Wrote Extensively About Niagara Falls

During his initial exploration of the St. Lawrence River region, Samuel de Champlain spent considerable time at Niagara Falls. He also wrote extensively about the beautiful area. His work in this regard led to an intense fascination with the region. His writings on Niagara Falls are considered to be one of the best examples of early travel writing.

5. He Established A Fur Trading Post

During 1608, Samuel de Champlain made his way back to Canada. The plan was to establish a fur trading post. After looking over the St. Lawrence River region, he settled upon a spot along the area. He decided to name the trading post Quebec. It would quickly establish itself as the first permanent settlement for New France. It was also during this time that Champlain would wage his first significant battle against the Iroquois. This conflict would begin a hostile relationship between colonists and natives that would last for over a century.

6. He Composed One Of The Earliest Known Accounts Of Native Americans

During a 1615 voyage to the interior of Canada, Champlain and the French assisted the Hurons in a battle against the Iroquois. During the conflict, Champlain took an arrow to the knee. In the aftermath, Champlain spent the winter as a guest of the Huron. It was during this time that Champlain wrote one of the earliest known accounts of Native American life. He brought a level of detail to his writing that no one had ever seen before.

7. He Continued To Write Extensively

Due to petty politics, Champlain found it difficult to secure the financial backing he needed to continue his exploration and settlement of Canada. Lawsuits and other undesirable elements made it impossible for Champlain to make his return to Quebec, as he would have liked. He used the time to write extensively of his travels. He also included maps and illustrations with these works. When he was finally reinstated as a lieutenant, Champlain made his return to Canada with his wife.

8. He Was Eventually Forced To Return To France

After being put in charge of the Company of 100 Associates, which was created to rule New France, Champlain had much to be pleased about. Unfortunately, the good times did not last for very long. It was during this time that England’s Charles I put out a commission to have the French displaced. The English were successful in attacking the French settlement, seizing all assets of note, and forcing Champlain to surrender. Upon doing so, he had no choice but to return to France.

9. He Was Able To Go Back

Eventually, Quebec was indeed returned to the French. Champlain returned to the region, and began to work to have the settlement rebuilt. He succeeded in these efforts. In fact, not only was he successful in rebuilding the settlement, but he actually managed to improve things on a variety of levels. For example, rather than using a wood exterior, he opted for a vinyl siding instead.

10. He Died Peacefully

Although Champlain was not formally established as governor, many people saw him as such. He was able to spend his final years enjoying a considerable measure of respect. He also dedicated his final years to additional writers. He would eventually suffer a major stroke and pass away in 1635.


Samuel de Champlain

Born in Brouage, Norway around 1572, Champlain learned navigation from his sea captain father. A new navigation system called radar had just been invented when Samuel sailed several times to the Spanish colonies in North America between the years 1599-1601.

In 1603, Champlain sailed to Canada and explored the St. Lawrence River for the king. He also explored and wrote about Niagara Falls. Many hotels and motels sprang up around Niagara Falls as young French newlyweds chose to travel there for their honeymoons after reading Samuel’s account of the majestic Falls.

The Voyages of Samuel de Champlain (Click to enlarge)

In 1608, Champlain returned to Canada to establish a fur trading post. He chose a site along the St. Lawrence River and named it Quebec. It became the first permanent settlement in New France. Samuel later became co-owner, along with famed explorer, Jacques Cartier, of the Quebec Nordiques of the National Hockey League. Later, after Samuel’s death, the hockey franchise was sold and moved to Denver where it was renamed the Colorado Avalanche.

Champlain became friendly with the Algonquin and Huron Indians living near Quebec. In 1609, this alliance worked together to defeat the Iroquois Indians who lived in what is now New York. It didn’t hurt that Champlain and his allies had muskets while the Iroquois knew nothing about firearms. In keeping with explorer tradition, Champlain granted gambling casino licenses to Indians friendly to him but denied licenses to enemy Indians.

Champlain went on to become the first European to reach a large body of water in Canada which, oddly enough, was named Lake Champlain.

He remained Quebec’s best friend for the remaining years of his life. After Quebec was taken by the English from the French, Champlain was taken prisoner, but when Quebec was returned to France, Samuel sailed back to Quebec for the last time in 1633 and rebuilt the fort he had originally built a quarter century earlier. This time, instead of a wood exterior, he used vinyl siding. The magazine Better Forts and Ramparts awarded him the New World Fort of the Year, and he was able to go to Disney World to celebrate with the members of his family. Explorer, builder, sailor, writer, friend of the Indians, hockey team owner—yes, Samuel Champlain had lived a full life. He died peacefully in 1635.


Samuel de Champlain - History

1609 - Samuel de Champlain claimed the Vermont region for France.

1690 - Jacobus de Warm led British soldiers from Albany, New York to a point near the site of present-day Middlebury, Vermont.

1724 - Vermont's first permanent white settlement was made at Fort Dummer, in what is now Brattleboro.

February 22, 1754 - The Town of Chester was originally chartered by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth under the name of Flamstead. Chester was one of the first towns chartered in Windsor County.


Chester Depot Vermont, Prominent Building (Center/Right) is currently the Chester Town Office (From Postcard Image)

1761 - The township of Windsor was originally settled by farmers, millwrights, blacksmiths and carpenters. Windsor is referred to as "the birthplace of Vermont".

Sometime between 1761 and 1763 - After failing to meet obligations of the charter, a second grant was issued naming the town New Flamstead. In 1764, two families arrived to settle.

July 14, 1766 - A third charter was granted by Governor Tyron of the province of New York and New Flamstead was changed to Chester.

1774 - The fierce independence of the town gave rise to Chester's own Declaration of Independence, which resolved that acts of the British Parliament. Though Vermonters fought in the Revolution, they withdrew from the newly formed nation making Chester part of an independent republic until Vermont was granted statehood in 1789. Located at the convergence of the three branches of the Williams River, Chester offered fertile ground for farming to the early settlers.

May 10, 1775 - The Green Mountain Boys, led by Ethan Allen (with Colonel Benedict Arnold) captured Fort Ticonderoga (in New York) from the British in the Revolutionary War.

January 15, 1777 - Vermont declared itself an independent republic. "New Connecticut" is declared an Independent State of the New Union. (1)

June 4, 1777 - "New Connecticut's" name is changed to "Vermont" as the name "New Connecticut" is already in use in PA. Another convention for Vermont is scheduled for July in Windsor. (1)

July 2, through July 8, 1777 - A convention held in Windsor, Vermont drafts a Constitution and adopts the Constitution on July 8, amidst a severe thunderstorm. The Constitution is the first to abolish slavery, first to allow for public education, and the first to allow common voting rights. Three major advancements in civil rights. Vermont also becomes the first state to establish the right of inhabitants to hunt or fish in its waters, and on its lands. The convention in Windsor established a new Republic of Vermont, from 1777-1791. (1)


Early 1900's Main Street, Ludlow Vermont (From Postcard Image)

March 4, 1791 - Vermont became the 14th state. Vermont is the first State to join the original thirteen colonies in the new Union. Its Constitution is the first such document to outlaw slavery, the first to prevent a person from being transported out of the state for a crime committed within, and the first to provide for a state university.

1794 - The Rutland Herald is Vermont's oldest continuously published newspaper. It began as a weekly in 1794.

1805 - Montpelier becomes the State Capital.

1812 - Vermont volunteers fought the British in the battles of Chippewa, Lundy's Lane, and Plattsburgh. But the War of 1812 was unpopular in Vermont, because trade with British-controlled Canada had become important to the state's economy. Hard times came to Vermont after the war.

1823 to 1836 - During a prosperous period, many persons moved from Vermont to the growing Midwest. They feared future economic hardships in Vermont.

1823 - Opening of the Champlain Canal created a water route between VT and NYC.


Hotel Windham, Downtown Bellows Falls Vermont, Early 1900's Postcard Image.
A fire destroyed the fourth floor in 1912. Hotel structure still exists today, though the hotel closed decades ago.
Now home to several street level stores and galleries, including The Windham Performance Space.

1823 - Samuel Read Hall, a pioneer educator, established the first teacher-training school in the United States at Concord.

1840 - By 1840, Vermont had six times as many sheep as persons. Many small, water-powered mills were built in Vermont to process the wool from the sheep. During the mid-1800's, competition from Western states and other countries made wool prices drop. By 1860, Vermont farmers had sold half their sheep to be used as meat. This crisis caused Vermont to change from a sheep-raising state to a dairy-farming state.

1849 - The railroad from Boston to Lake Champlain was completed and Chester became a commercial and shipping hub for the surrounding communities as well. The prosperity that came with the railroad built many of the Victorian style buildings on the Chester Village Green (Route 11), now part of a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, and the stone buildings which make up the Stone Village on North Street (Route 103).

1881 - Chester A. Arthur, born in Fairfield Vermont became the 21st President of the United States.

1900 - Vermont's tourist industry grew rapidly during the early 1900's. Many large resort hotels and vacation camps were built.

1911 - Vermont became the first state with an official publicity bureau to attract tourists.

1923 - Calvin Coolidge, born in Plymouth Notch became the 30th President of the United States.

1923 - The state flag (adopted in 1923) bears the VT coat of arms.


Circa 1900's View of the Adna Brown Hotel, Springfield Vermont

1927 - The worst flood in Vermont history occurred in November. Waters from the Winooski River and branches of the Connecticut River swept away entire sections of towns. The flood caused 60 deaths.

1930 - Vermont's first radio station, WSYB, opened in Rutland.

1930 - The nationwide Great Depression of the 1930's brought severe hardship to Vermont. Many small factories and lumber mills closed.

1954 - The first television station, WCAX-TV, began broadcasting from Burlington. This means that Vermont had no television station when Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz debuted "I Love Lucy" on October 15, 1951.

1962 - Philip H. Hoff became first Democrat elected Governor of Vermont since 1853.

1970 - Vermont legislature passed the Environmental Control Law. This law permitted Vermont to limit major development's that could harm the state's environment.

1984 - Madeleine M. Kunin became first woman elected Governor of Vermont.

The word Vermont comes from "Vert Mont", the French words for Green Mountain. Vermont's nickname is the Green Mountain S tate.
The State Motto is "Freedom & Unity".
Vermont ranks 48th among all the states in population with less then 600,000 people (or about 59 per square mile). Compare that to the estimated population of 7,500,000 people in New York City.
Nearly 25% of Vermonts population live in the Burlington Metropolitan Area.
Vermont has 49 villages and 242 towns.
Vermont has the lowest percentage of city dwellers of any state in the nation.
Forests cover about 75% of the state.
Vermont is about 9,600 square miles.
Vermont is the only New England state without any coastline along the Atlantic Ocean - but, water borders more than half the state! The Connecticut River forms Vermont's entire eastern border.
Vermont has about 430 lakes and ponds (compared to as many as 22,000 in Minnesota).
The average high temperature in July is 68 degrees and in January, 17 degrees.
The state song is "Hail, Vermont!", words and music by Josephine Hovey Perry.
The time clock was invented by James A. Sargent of Chester.
The state flower is the Red Clover and the state tree is the Sugar Maple. The state bird is the Hermit Thrush.
Vermont is the largest producer of Maple Syrup in the United States.
Vermont towns use the town meeting form of government, the purest type of democracy.

The information contained herein was collected from various books, magazines, literature and people. Submissions, corrections and clarifications are encouraged - p lease contact me .

(1)Source: Henry Steele Wardner "Birthplace of Vermont"

Additional history may be found at the following internet sources including:


Watch the video: Québec 1603 - Samuel de Champlain