Chimney Point to offer new hands-on programs

ADDISON — At the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison, site interpreter Karl Crannell on Saturday, June 15, will offer the first of three hands-on monthly third Saturday programs, “Blast from the Past: How They Made It in New France.” The program runs between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. June’s program looks at the French soldiers who served at the French fort at Chimney Point in the 1730s and their clothing.
The French soldiers were issued a white coat as part of their annual clothing allowance. Before they could wear their new coats, they had to be fitted by a tailor. The previous year’s dirty and threadbare coat was mended and turned, which means taking the coat apart and reassembling it with the clean side of the cloth facing out. The new coat was worn only on special occasions, while the old coat became part of the soldier’s everyday dress.
Using a completely cut-apart coat, Crannell will demonstrate the techniques used by 18th-century tailors to transform an ill-fitting coat into something a French soldier would be proud to wear. Visitors will be invited to try their hand at hand-sewing and some might be asked to try on parts of the coat to see how it fits. Crannell also will discuss some of the recent archaeological findings and what they tell us about the long and important French history at Chimney Point.
The July 20 program will focus on military engineering.
The Chimney Point State Historic Site is located at 8149 VT Route 17, at the foot of the new Lake Champlain Bridge. It presents the history of the three earliest cultures here — Native American, French Colonial, and early American. Call 802-759-2412 for information. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children under 15. The site is open Wednesdays through Sundays and Monday holidays through Oct.14, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For information about Vermont’s State-Owned Historic Sites, visit: http://historicsites.vermont.gov. Join the Vermont State Historic Sites conversation on Facebook.

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