History of Lake Champlain
The Hero Islands
...How they got their names
Just as the Revolutionary War began, Ethan Allen, leader of his beloved Green Mountain Boys, was caught by the British and sent to England in chains. It's a shame that he missed out on almost the entire fight, for to hear him tell the tale, he was a prominent hero in the battle!
From his prison cell across the Atlantic, Allen came up with the idea of petitioning the still Independent Republic of Vermont to grant "the boys", the two largest islands in Lake Champlain. With modesty, he asked that they be named The Two Heroes, in honor of his brother Ira, and himself. The petition was granted in October, 1779.
Various petitions followed, in the colorful spelling of the time. Here is an example!
Wharas there is a Large tract of Land the Just Property of this State-in Pertickler there is in this State two large Islands lying in the Lake Champlain betwine Crounpint & Cannaday South line whare it Crosis the Lake Champlain the fust Grate South island.....
And we're worried about the current state of our schools!
Only a handful of settlers moved in as there were no bridges to the mainland.
After the war ended, the first survey was completed in 1784. By 1790, in the first ever U.S. Census, 65 men and boys, plus 57 women were counted on the North Hero Island. Progress has been made, for in the next 207 years, about 433 additional year-round residents have moved in.