At 7pm tonight, October 24th, at the Vergennes Opera House, is the film premiere of “Champlain - the Lake Between” by filmmaker Caro Thompson. Samuel de Champlain seems to be quite a celebrity these days here in Vermont but also in Quebec and in New York State. 400 years ago, when he traveled these regions, he probably did not imagine he would be so popular centuries later… As Quebec celebrates the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec city by Samuel de Champlain and as New York and Vermont prepare to celebrate the anniversary of the discovery of Lake Champlain by the French explorer next year, a lot is being written and discussed on this subject: conferences, movies and documentaries, books…
Tonight, Caro Thompson explores Samuel de Champlain’s legacy, the relationships between Natives and Europeans (the fur trade was essential to both the French and the Natives) and the history of the military forts (Lake Champlain was indeed a very strategic region at the time of New France). “The lake between” is the name native Americans had given to the lake… There will be a discussion with the filmmaker and reception. The documentary will also be broadcasted on Vermont Public Television, with a broadcast premiere on December 3, 2008, at 8pm.
More information at: Vergennes Opera House – Film premiere of “Champlain – The Lake Between”
In the past few weeks, there have been other events of interests, a recent conference in Vergennes on first contacts between Europeans and Natives, a presentation at Champlain College by the historian Willard Sterne Randall, TV programs on Quebec television, articles in Quebec newspapers and the New York Times… but if you missed them, you still have a chance to be part of this discovery experience.
Here are a few events to watch for:
- October 30 in Albany, Pulitzer prize winner David Hackett Fischer is presenting his new book: “Champlain’s Dream”. A superb book!
Details at: “Champlain’s Dream” – Book presentation
- July 2-5, 2009: Champlain College is organizing an international symposium called: “When the French were here”.
Details at: Champlain College – “When the French were here” – Conference
- And right here at Travel-Vermont.net, we are organizing a summer 2009 historic tour “When this land was called New France…” … 6 days of historic exploration of this beautiful region (Quebec, Vermont and New York State)… Samuel de Champlain’s explorations, the way French settlers lived here, the forts and military actions… in English or in French… In partnership with Ipswich Tours and History Traveler, the official travel organization of the History Channel, and one of the events of the Quadricentennial of Lake Champlain.
More details at: “When this land was called New France“.
- Middlebury College’s professor Christopher Shaw has canoed the path taken by Samuel de Champlain this summer.
Read his September 26 article in the New York Times: Champlain’s Shores
- In the Boston Globe, March 9, 2008: “Champlain was here” … on the exploration of the coast of New England, all the way down to Cape Cod
- In the Times Argus, March 16, 2008: “A bold arrival, an obscure end for French in Vermont”
- “Champlain names his lake”, a presentation by historian Willard Sterne Randall, from the Champlain College will air soon on Channel17 TownMeeting in streaming video. Check: Town Meeting Digital Television Conversion
- You can already see a presentation he did on Jacques Cartier and French explorers at: “Jacques Cartier and fool’s gold”
- The documentary “Facing Champlain, A Work in 3 Dimensions” by award-winning Quebec filmmaker Jean-François Pouliot can be seen at the Centre d’interprétation de Place-Royale in Quebec city
Details at: Centre d’interprétation de Place-Royale
- Map of Samuel de Champlain’s voyages
- Lake Champlain… New France
Thanks for reading us this month!
This blog posting has been moved to: http://christineseclecticlife.com/map-of-champlains-travels/
This blog posting has been moved to http://christineseclecticlife.com/lake-champlain-french/
This is our new Friday feature! Every week, we’ll put your knowledge of Vermont to the test. And we hope you’ll have fun with it. We’ll keep track of the number of right answers you each get and on July 4th, 2009, Independence Day but also the day when (most) people believe that Samuel de Champlain discovered Lake Champlain - that’s another story - we will announce the winner. The prize? A mug with the logo of our cute cow!
So, here are the clues for our first weekly quiz:
- This building is in the western part of the state, not far from Lake Champlain,
- It is actually at the corner of the road which leads to one of Vermont State Historic Sites,
- We are not experts in stone, but it seems made of limestone,
- The building is dated 1829,
- And for a bonus point… the 4 side-by-side windows are giving us a clue about its past use and indicates that it has been renovated in the 1920s or 1930s. Such windows can be seen on a number of buildings throughout the state - when you learn to watch for them - most of them now converted to other uses. So… what was the previous function of this building?
And now… good luck to all of you! The answer will be shared in our next Weekly Quiz.
Click here to log in your answer as a Comment!
The French Heritage Days starts on Friday night, July 11, from 6 to 9PM, in Vergennes, with the Veillée, a traditional French Canadian supper and traditional music and dance with the Club Carrefour, from Quebec. That should be so much fun! Everything we dream of for a traditional French Canadian supper is on the menu for sure… “French onion soup, pea soup, tourtiere (traditional meat pie), chicken pie, sheppard pie, apple pie, blueberry pie, tarte au sucre (sugar pie)”… that was the list Marguerite, the organizer of the event gave me… Carbs count? You got to forget about those for one night for sure!… afterall, the hard-working farmers in the harsh winters of Quebec really needed these calories… but it should be delicious…
Then, on Saturday July 12th, a number of events and activities are taking place in various Vergennes locations to be enjoyed by the whole family: reenactors of French soldiers, French Voyager, Comte de Vergennes, and Samuel de Champlain, fencing demonstrations, story tellers, waiter’s race, etc. … and lots of music (fiddle and accordion)!
As you can see, Samuel de Champlain is already a star this year at the French Heritage Days, even though the 400th anniversary celebration of his discovery of Lake Champlain is only next year: there will be a lecture by Julie Dowd, “They Walked with Champlain” at the library and a Samuel de Champlain historical interpretation at the bandstand.
And last but not least, the Vermont French Canadian Genealogical Society will be there to help you trace back your French-Canadian ancestors, if your name happens to be Sénécal, Gagné or Gagnon! And on that subject, I need to open a little parenthesis for those of you interested in tracing back your ancestors to France. I came accross this France Guide website yesterday, which has a free ancestry search tool to just do that: simply type your name and it will give you the names of French ancestors who came to North-America! You can click here to access the free ancestry search tool. Nice, no?
Well, to conclude… we have not attended this event before, so we don’t know how well attended it is and what its ”quality” is, but we’ll be there on Saturday for sure (too bad we cannot make it Friday night!).
What we know though is that it seems to attract more people every year and it has also been chosen as the “signature event” of the summer celebrations for the 400th anniversary of Lake Champlain next year.
So, if you drop by, make sure to tell us what you thought!
Schedule for the French Heritage Days in Vermont - July 11-12, 2008