Phone: 518-499-4435 • Whitehall, NY 12887
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Whitehall, NY - Birthplace of the U.S. Navy

In 1759, Whitehall was settled in a valley at the southern end of Lake Champlain. This colonial town was founded by British Army Captain Philip Skene, and was originally known as Skenesboro. Skenesboro became the first settlement on Lake Champlain and was a center of maritime trade. Captain Skene built saw mills, grist mills and an iron foundry, where trade can be documented from that time.

The Revolutionary War caused the capture of Skene's trading schooner and the building of a fleet by Benedict Arnold at this place. Because of the Revolutionary War actions, the New York State Legislature, in 1960, declared the legacy that names Whitehall as the Birthplace of the United States Navy. The Whitehall harbor also produced ships used for service by the U.S. Navy during the War of 1812.

Whitehall's themes of defense and transportation stress this communities part in history including the building of the first fleet for battle in 1776 and, since early historic times, the north-south transportation route from Canada to New York City.

The canal has been in use since 1819 and it brought prosperity to shippers of produce, iron ore and special products like ice and eels. Steel-powered packet boats carried passengers from Lake Champlain to Troy, New York in 24 hours by fast relays.

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Historic Whitehall Sign