Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

October 04, 2006

For Release: Immediate
Press Contact:
Wendy Gibson
Catherine Jimenez

State Parks Unveils new Patings At Crown Point Historic Site

Artist Charles Hawley Lends Three Paintings Featuring French and Indian War Figures

(ALBANY, NY, October 4, 2006) New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Bernadette Castro today announced the loan of three paintings by North Country artist Charles E. Hawley to the state for display at Crown Point State Historic Site along Lake Champlain in Crown Point, Essex County. The works being loaned depict three key figures in the French and Indian War.

Charles E. Hawley

"We are grateful for the incredible generosity of Charles Hawley and his family that will provide for the public display of these remarkable works for the benefit of our visitors to Crown Point State Historic Site," said Commissioner Castro. "With the addition of the three paintings, we will be able to build on Governor Pataki's longstanding commitment to enhancing the visitor experience and offering expanded historic interpretation of the rich military heritage found throughout the Adirondack region."

The paintings are being unveiled at a reception with the artist and his family on Saturday, October 7, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. at Crown Point. The public is invited.

Each painting features a military figure from the French and Indian War and will be used for historic interpretation at the Crown Point Site. Depicted are: Major Robert Rogers standing on what is now Rogers Rock, Lake George; the Marquis de Montcalm at Fort William Henry; and Chief King Hendrick, a Mohawk Chief and British ally at the lake's edge.

"Charles Hawley's paintings are a perfect addition to the Crown Point State Historic Site," said Senator Betty Little. "This is a very generous offer and I join Commissioner Castro in thanking Charles for lending these paintings. This is a great place to showcase and share Charles' passion and talent."

Charles Hawley resides in Lake George and was a member of the Lake George Park Commission for 28 years. He also served as council member and supervisor of the Town of Lake George, as a member and chair of the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional planning Board, and as a trustee of the Lake George Historical Association.

"As the French and Indian War commemorations continue, it is gratifying to see the fine details that have been incorporated into the regional celebration of our eighteenth century heritage," said Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward. "The paintings so generously loaned by Charles Hawley to the Crown Point Historic Site bring us the humanity in those individuals whose dedication and commitment shaped our country. The current upgrade of the fire detection and security systems, as well as the dedication of the bird conservation center, is evidence of our commitment to preserve this important symbol of our culture and the beautiful resources of the eastern Adirondack region."

The ruins of Fort St. Frederic, of the British Crown Point fort, and surrounding lands were acquired by the State of New York in 1910. At the 380-acre waterfront site, visitors can see the ruins of the original 18th-century structures and in the Visitor Center, view exhibits that interpret the French, British, and American chapters of Crown Point's history.

Long before the American Revolution, the British and the French both claimed Crown Point in the struggle for a North American empire. Four failed campaigns to oust the French between 1755 and 1758 were mounted by the British. It was not until 1759, however, that the abandoned French Fort St. Frederic was taken over by the British. The British immediately began construction of their own massive Crown Point fort. This extremely ambitious fortification complex contributed to the British conquest of Canada, the last French stronghold, and control of Lake Champlain as a communication highway.

In 1775, at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the colonists captured the fort and secured sorely needed cannons and heavy ordnance. Crown Point was occupied by General John Burgoyne's army in 1777 after the American evacuation to Mount Independence and remained under British control until the end of the war.

Along with the paintings, also being installed at the Historic Site is an updated and upgraded security and fire detection system. And last week Governor George E. Pataki designated a Bird Conservation Area at Crown Point consisting of 234 acres that feature a bird banding station where 97 species - more than 13,400 birds - have been banded. Crown Point, open May-October welcomes more than 55,000 visitors each year.

For more information regarding Crown Point or other State Parks properties or programs, please call (518) 486-1868 or visit the state parks website,