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Summer Guide: It’s time for historic clocks

NOT ONLY CAN you see antique clocks in the permanent collection at the Chimney Point Historic Site in Addison this summer, but if you head to the foot of the Lake Champlain Bridge on July 30 you can see clock and watch repair demonstration by Green Mountain Timekeepers Society members. Bring your own old timepieces and ask the experts how they work.
Independent photo/John S. McCright

ADDISON — Tick tock. It’s almost time to learn about your historic clock or pocket watch. 

On Sunday, July 30, from noon to 4 p.m., members of the Green Mountain Timekeepers Society will be back in residence at the Chimney Point State Historic Site porch to talk with visitors about historic time pieces.

The timekeepers will offer clock repair demonstrations throughout the afternoon. They invite people to bring their old pocket watches and clocks, or photographs of them, to show the experts.  Ask questions about the history of your timepieces, how they work, and how they can be repaired. 

This program is included in the admission to the historic site ($5 for adults, free for children under 15).

The Chimney Point State Historic Site is located at 8149 Route 17 in Addison, at the Vermont foot of the Lake Champlain Bridge. 

The Chimney Point State Historic Site explores the history of the area’s three earliest cultures — the Native American, French Colonial and early American — by showcasing the artifacts each left behind. Enjoy the sweeping porch of the 1785 tavern with beautiful views of the lake, as well as seasonal and permanent exhibits. The clock and watch showcase is one of a variety of interactive events. 

The grounds of Chimney Point include a picnic area near the lake, a dock for lake access, and outdoor interpretive signs along a path connected by the sidewalks across the Lake Champlain Bridge to paths at Crown Point, N.Y. 

Recent archaeological and historic research has confirmed Chimney Point is one of the most strategic and historically significant locations on Lake Champlain. It has seen every period of human habitation, since the first people arrived nearly 9,000 years ago. Visitors can imagine the millennia of Native Americans fishing, hunting, camping, meeting, and trading here on the bluff or sandy beach. 

SOME OF THE historic clocks at Chimney Point State Historic Site.
Independent photo/John S. McCright

After the first Europeans came in 1609, this site was important for interactions between the Native peoples and Europeans. In 1690, the English watched for the French enemies navigating Lake Champlain. The French took a stand here in 1731, building a fort to keep the English off the lake and blocking easy access to Canada. This was the frontier of New France and the start of long-term French settlement in the region. 

The site also saw significant military activity during the French and Indian War and American Revolution. 

Following the Revolution, the tavern was built and has welcomed visitors ever since. Among the visitors were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. 

Call the museum at 802-759-2412 for information. The site is regularly open Wednesday through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through to Oct. 8. 

For information about Vermont’s State-Owned Historic Sites, visit historicsites.vermont.gov.

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