- Island History
...and its crucial role in United States and Canadian History
Lake Champlain is big...it's the country's largest bucket of natural mountain water. That would be almost 7 trillion gallons, by the way. In the winter it becomes New England's largest ice cube.
But bigger still is the pivotal role it played in America's struggle for Independence. We sell a number of books that capture those times and stories so vividly, and if you would like to go straight to them, click here. Otherwise, follow along on this page and we can tell you a lot about the history of the lake and the islands we call home.
The early lake was shared by Indian neighbors...none too friendly neighbors either!
The Hero Islands...and where they got their names
Thomas Jefferson paid a leisurely visit to Vermont and Lake Champlain in the summer of 1791. Mr. Jefferson's connections to Vermont are tentative, yet he heads our list of heroes at the Hero's Welcome General Store, for at considerable personal risk, he wrote the most important single page document in history, The Declaration of Independence. He also had the most astounding resume you will ever see, Click here, and we'll show it to you.
Benedict Arnold spent over a year fighting the British upon or near Lake Champlain. Some historians, including Sir Winston Churchill, believe that his audacity and valor here did much to secure America's Revolutionary War victory. George Washington considered him to be his best field commander...that is, until he "turned coat" and went over to the side of the English. There is no doubt about his daring, and heroism on the lake in 1776. In school, we learned only of Arnold as America's most famous traitor. We want to tell you... the rest of the story!