Oct 14, 2008 — Next year, marks the 400th Anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's exploration of the valley that now bears his name. After the voyage, the region saw bloody warfare and burgeoning international trade for more than 250 years. Then, in the calm that preceded the Civil War, military officers called for the construction of a lighthouse at Crown Point, NY. It's a critical spot where Lake Champlain narrows. The structure has taken on a life and historical significance far beyond its original intent. In 1909, thousands of people, including President William Taft and other heads of state, converged on Crown Point to celebrate the Champlain expedition's 300th Anniversary. The state Department of Environmental Conservation spent months refurbishing the lighthouse in hopes of staging another grand event next year. Chuck Vandrei is New York's historic preservation officer. He gave Jonathan Brown a tour of what is now known as the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse.