Valcour Bay Research Project Collection

Caption: Raising the Exploded Cannon from the gunboat New York. Valcour Bay Research Project Collection, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Collection Summary

  • Dates: 1776
  • Size: 209 artifacts and associated conservation records; 71 pencil drawings; several field note booklets; 200+ born-digital photographs and videos;
  • Media: paper; drafting film; photographs; video tapes; sonar readings; archaeologically recovered material (wood; iron; copper; lead; leather)
  • Languages: English
  • Subjects: American War of Independence
  • Related Publications: Valcour Bay Research Project: 1999-2004 Results from the Archaeological Investigation of a Revolutionary War Battlefield in Lake Champlain, Clinton County, New York (Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 2007); Lake Champlain Underwater Cultural Resources Lake Survey (Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 1996-2003); Valcour Bay Magnetometer Survey (Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 2008).
  • Access and Use: Some materials in the Valcour Bay Research Project Collection are extremely fragile and should be handled with care.

Scope and Content

The Valcour Bay Research Project Collection consists of the assembled archaeological research files and excavated artifacts from the Valcour Bay Research Project fieldwork (1999-2004) and the Valcour Bay Magnetometer Survey (2007). The collection contains 209 artifacts of various media, as well as thousands of field notes, drawings, inkings, photographs, and video recordings of the site and artifacts recovered. Artifacts of note include an exploded cannon from the gunboat New York; a flint lock musket; a leather shoe; and a powder charge scoop, along with several hundred pieces of various types of ammunition. Recovered archaeological artifacts were conserved in-house at the Museum.

Together these materials tell some of the still-emerging story of the Battle of Valcour Bay, which occurred on October 11, 1776. The violence was part of the larger Battle of Lake Champlain, a three-day event beginning at Valcour Bay and ending with the burning and sinking of the remaining American fleet at Arnold’s Bay on October 13, 1776.

During excavations from 1999 to 2004, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s dive team located evidence from the site where Lorenzo Hagglund raised the Philadelphia in 1935, as well as artifact scatter resulting from the explosion of a cannon on board the gunboat New York. In 2007, the team returned to the site to complete a remote sensing magnetometer survey, the results of which are included in this collection. These two projects systemically mapped some of the submerged Valcour Bay battlefield, although additional sections of the battlefield merit further study.

Citation Recommendation

Valcour Bay Research Project Collection, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT.


American War of Independence; Archaeology; Valcour Bay; Lorenzo Hagglund; New York; Philadelphia; Museum-generated research; Museum-conserved artifacts

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