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History of Lake Champlain

The Hero Islands

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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.