The CPRA website is in the process of being updated for 2012 and we should have the new Calendar and Newsletter posted soon. We have already launched a completely new section on the website this year titled The Road Builders . Featured biographies of the people who played a crucial role in the construction of the Crown Point military road will appear in this new section of our website.
CPRA Vice President Barry Griffith has served as the catalyst for adding this type of “enhanced” content to our website. Barry’s great interest in Lt. John Small and his diligent research on Small’s fascinating military career provided the Association with an expose’ that simply had to be published in some form. Indeed, in posting Barry’s story of John Small as the website admin/editor, I have personally gained a much broader perspective on why the military road was constructed and why the Crown Point Road was of such importance in the military strategy of prominent historical figures such as Lieutenant (later Major General) John Small.
John Small’s recommendations for improvements to the initial route of the Crown Point Road were based on his personal, and sometimes laborious, travels along the road. He was evidently a diligent planner and he enlisted those most experienced in road building, including a highly qualified military surveyor, to accompany him as he scouted potential routes in order to improve the Crown Point Road. His observations and recommendations were described in detail to his commanding officer Jeffrey Amherst and, by means of these dispatches which remain as part of the historical record today, John Small’s important role in the construction of the old military road is documented.
For me, John Small’s communique’s lead me on a journey through the hills and woodlands of Vermont where my ancestors settled, and to which I was born. I too have traveled on snowshoes through these same hills in impossibly deep snow and I have felt the cold winter in much the same way.
There is an entire book to be written on the exploits of John Small. He led a seemingly charmed life for a career military officer in the British Army extending way beyond the near total devastation of the Black Watch Regiment of which he was a member during the first Battle of Ticonderoga. His story could well have ended there indeed.
The stories of the many others who played a critical role in the construction of the old military road need to be told as well, and my sense is that we will all gain a greater level of understanding regarding the rich history of the Crown Point Road through the Featured Biographies coming soon to “The Road Builders” at www.crownpointroad.org
Jim Purdy (Admin.)