Whitehall

Whitehall, at the intersection of Lake Champlain and the Champlain Canal, commands a historically significant shipping and transportation corridor as well as a place in American history. Whitehall's history is interpreted at the Skenesborough Museum, located along the canal in the center of Whitehall.

French and Indian War veteran Philip Skene established Skenesborough, a vast 56,000-acre empire at the head of Lake Champlain, in 1759. Skene, a committed Loyalist, was in England petitioning the King to designate Skenesborough a Crown Colony when the Revolutionary War broke out. Skene's sawmills and the harbor and shipyards of his settlement were commandeered by the Americans to build the first American military fleet over the summer of 1776. The War of 1812 was fought farther north on Lake Champlain, however, the shipyards of Whitehall supplied ships for the American fleet. After the Battle of Plattsburgh, the boats were scuttled in Whitehall harbor. Today, Whitehall is considered the birthplace of the American Navy.

The local economy depended on the waterways. Boat building in the local shipyards brought skilled tradesmen and artisans to the village during the eighteenth century. Throughout the nineteenth century, goods-laden boats from Pennsylvania and New York City coming up the canal passed boats coming down the lake from Montreal and Burlington. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries brought silk mills to Whitehall, where abundant water powered mills helped produce finished silk ribbon and cloth that was sent on to urban markets by canal boat, lake sloop, or rail.

Up until the advent of the motor car, local steamboats provided passenger and freight service to businesses, farms, summer homes, and hotels along the Whitehall Narrows. For example, the small steamer, Eloise, had a regular, daily route from Whitehall to Ticonderoga around 1900 until sometime around 1910. The service was run by the “Gentle Giant” Captain John V. Mock, who towered over 6 feet and held his 300-plus pounds with authority. The steamer left Ticonderoga at 7:30 am and stopped at: Benson Landing, Pulpit Rock, Dresden, Cold Springs, Hotel Narrows of Dresden, Ottenburg Landing, Chubbs Dock, and Lakeside Club House, arriving at Whitehall by 10:40 am.

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Latitude: 43.5556231 Longitude: -73.4037234 Elevation: 157 ft
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Andrew Alberti

Area Transportation

Amtrak

More than 140 years ago, the Delaware & Hudson began service through Upstate New York. Today, Amtrak's Adirondack carries on the nostalgic and romantic service from the Hudson Valley through the Champlain Valley to Montreal, showcasing the history and scenic beauty of the region along the way. Station service is available in Whitehall at the corner of Main Street and Saunders Street.

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Contact Information

Town of Dresden
518-499-1813
518-499-2763 (Fax)
1 Lillians Way
Clemons, NY 12819 US
Town of Hampton
518-282-9830
518-282-9042 (Fax)
2629 State Route 22A
P.O. Box 125
Hampton, NY 12837 US
Town of Putnam
518-547-8317
15 Putnam Center Rd
Putnam Station, NY 12861 US
Town of Whitehall
518-499-1535
58 Skenesborough Dr.
Whitehall, NY 12887 US
Village of Whitehall
518-499-0871
1 Saunders St.
Whitehall, NY 12887 US
Rose Blood - Town of Putnam Historian
518-547-8452
US
John Mead - Town of Hampton Historian
518-747-0174
18 Pearl St.
Hudson Falls, NY 12839 US
Agnes Peterson - Town of Dresden Historian
P.O. Box 1B
Clemons, NY 12819 US
Carol Senecal - Town of Whitehall Historian
518-499-1801
327 Buckley Rd.
Whitehall, NY 12887 US

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