10 Sites to Visit for their History and their Views

The Adirondack Coast stretches across the western shores of Lake Champlain shouldered by New York's Adirondack Mountains and the Green Mountains of Vermont. This spectacular setting served as they backdrop for many historical events and happenings. Today, lakeside villages, charming hamlets and the historic city of Plattsburgh offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the rich history of a young American nation.

1. The Samuel de Champlain Monument


A bronze monument dedicated to the famous French geographer and explorer Samuel de Champlain, born in 1567 in Brouage, France and died in Quebec City, Canada in 1635 as Governor of "New France".  In 1609 he became the first European to explore this region and to behold our great forests and lofty mountains, and first to traverse this inland waterway. Following this visit the lake was  named Champlain in his honor.  This monument was dedicated on July 6, 1912 to the memory of Samuel de Champlain. 

2. Asgaard Farm & Dairy


Asgaard Farm and Dairy is the former home of artist, writer, adventurer and political activist Rockwell Kent (1882-1971).  Kent resided here from the 1920s until his death in 1971.  Asgaard not only served as the inspiration for many of Kent’s paintings, but was also a working dairy farm.   David Brunner and Rhonda Butler acquired the farm in 1988. After working several years to restore the land and buildings, they put the farm back into production in 2003 and you can now visit the farm to pick up freshly made cheese, as well as other hand made products. Rockwell Kent's paintings can now be viewed at the Rockwell Kent Gallery and Collection at SUNY Plattsburgh.

3. North Star Underground Railroad Museum


The North Star Underground Railroad Museum reveals the hidden history of the Champlain Line of the Underground Railroad with poignant exhibits that portray compelling stories of fugitives from slavery who passed through Northeastern New York and the Champlain Valley on their way to Québec and Ontario, Canada. The museum is located just a few steps away from Ausable Chasm, one of the Adirondack Coasts natural wonders.

4. Valcour Island and Bluff Point Lighthouse


Walking trails around Valcour island offer interpretive signage describing the events from the Revolutionary War including the first U.S. Naval Battle. Placed in service in 1874, the Bluff Point Lighthouse was one of the last lighthouses to be manned on the lake. It guided ships through the narrow passageway between the island and the New York shore for almost 60 years. Its fifth-order Fresnel lens was seen each evening from 1874 until 1930 when a steel tower was erected just south of the structure. In 2002 the lighthouse was reactivated when the light was removed from the steel tower and re-installed in the lighthouse.

5. Heart's Delight Farm - Miner Institute 


Heart's Delight Farm was developed on William Henry Miner's family homestead of 144 acres in Chazy, New York, beginning in 1903. By 1918, the farm had grown to 12,000 acres - 4,000 acres of tillable land, 2,000 acres of pasture and 6,000 acres of woodland. Within the cropland, 450 acres were devoted to growing corn and 600 acres to small grains (by dawson). There was a wide variety of animals on the farm including beef and dairy cattle, mules, draft horses, purebred horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, pheasants and brook trout. The farm employed 800 workers at that time and had its own dairy, box factory, ice house, natatorium, greenhouses and grist mill. 

6. The Kent DeLord House Museum


The Kent-Delord House was built in 1797 and was home to the Delord family between 1810 and 1913. Before the Battle of Plattsburgh, Henry and his family fled the house, which was then occupied by British officers from an artillery corps.  Dedicated at historic sites in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Gardens celebrate the two hundred years of peace and longstanding friendship between two countries that share the world's longest undefended border. You can visit the Adirondack Coast's Peace Garden at The Kent Delord House Museum.


7. Keese Homestead


The Keese Homestead  is located midway between Keeseville and Peru at the corner of Harkness Road and Union Road. The house was purchased by Richard Keese, Keeseville was named after him, in 1792, the present house was erected by Peter Keese, an abolitionist. The house was one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad in New York State before fugitive slaves made their way to Canada. The slaves would end up in New York City and then make their way to Albany, Troy, Glens Falls and then to Peru before heading to Champlain and crossing the border in Lacolle, Quebec. The Keese Homestead is a stop along the North Star Underground Railroad Mini Bus Tour.

8. Fort Montgomery  


Fort Montgomery was the scene of a fierce Revolutionary War battle for control of the Hudson River. Today sits the remains of the 14-acre fortification, perched on a cliff overlooking the magnificent Hudson. On October 6, 1777, British, Loyalist and Hessian forces attacked Fort Montgomery and nearby Fort Clinton. The defending American Patriots, outnumbered 3 to 1, fought desperately until driven out of their forts at the points of the enemy bayonets. More than half of the Patriot forces were killed, wounded or captured. 

9. Macdonough Monument 


Overlooking Plattsburgh Bay where the Battle was fought, this 135-ft. monument was built in 1926 to honor Commodore Macdonough's victory over the British fleet. The four sides of the monument represent the ships of his fleet: Saratoga, Ticonderoga, Preble and Eagle. On the interior walls, six interpretive panels greet visitors as they climb the 156 steps to the top where they will enjoy a 360-degree view of the battle grounds and surrounding countryside.

10. Babbie Rural & Farm Learning Museum


Babbie Rural & Farm Learning Museum depicts rural and farm life in the Champlain Valley and Adirondacks prior to the 1950’s. The Museum acquires, restors, displays and demonstrates how things were operated during that era. Visitors to the museum learn about New York's rural and farm life development from seeing horse drawn implements, gas engines, early tractors and other supporting tools in action.