Champlain Legacy Park - Ticonderoga, Monument Commemoration


Champlain Legacy Park - Ticonderoga, Monument Commemoration


On July 25, 2009 the Samuel de Champlain Legacy Monument, a 9-foot monument to French explorer Samuel de Champlain, was dedicated at the newly created Monument Park, a four-acre area opposite Bicentennial Park in Ticonderoga. The monument depicts Champlain and Indian allies stepping out of a canoe at the LaChute Falls. It was the only new legacy monument created for the Quadricentennial in the New York, Vermont or Quebec regions. Town Historian William Dolback, Town Supervisor Bob Dedrick, and many others had been planning for the project for ten years. The townspeople chose a granite monument, carved by Barre, Vermont sculptor, George Kurjanowicz. Kurjanowicz worked for a solid twenty-three days to create the monument. In an interview, the sculptor explained that the granite is adorned with very fine etching with the seams on the canoe drawn using a diamond honing pad, and the symbols on the canoe sandblasted onto the flat stone.

The dedication featured a re-enactment of Samuel de Champlain and his Indian guides paddling their canoe up the LaChute River in July 1609. Actor Michael Blakeley portrayed Champlain and Native American re-enactor Wesley Dikeman was his chief guide. They landed the birch bark canoe near the Lower Falls on the LaChute River and then guided visitors up the hill to the see the new monument. Among the dedication speakers, Stephen Pell Dechame and Craig Lonergan described Champlain's life and voyage on the lake that now bears his name. Readings from Champlain's journals in French and English were presented by Gabriel and Ami Laliberte of Quebec. In his journal, Champlain writes: "The savages told me that these mountains were thickly settled, and that it was there that we were to find their enemies, but that it was necessary to pass a falls in order to go there, which I saw afterward, when we should enter another lake about nine or 10 leagues long," describing the portage at the LaChute Falls between Lake Champlain and Lake George.

Collection Items

Commissioners Margaret Gibbs and Celine Racine Paquette
Commissioners Margaret Gibbs and Celine Racine Paquette in front of Champlain Monument

Commissioner Celine Racine Paquette
Commissioner Celine Racine Paquette delivering speech

Reenactors at monument park, standing in front of the new Samuel de Champlain monument

Reenactors at Monument Park
Reenactors at Monument Park, standing [in front of] the new Samuel de Champlain monument.

Reenactor at Champlain Monument, Ticonderoga
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