National Geographic : 1970 Jul
blue-and-white spinnaker for hours on end. New crewman Bob L'Hommedieu, a sum mer resident of the Vermont lakeshore, took us into Otter Creek. So narrow the yawl had to enter under power, the stream nonetheless held an entire U. S. fleet in the War of 1812. Its commander, Thomas Macdonough, as sembled his ships and built new ones at Ver gennes, far up the dark waterway. Fearing the British might bottle him up, he fortified Otter Creek's mouth and also, Vermonters told us, secretly dug an escape canal across a marsh to Kellog Bay. However, his dugway was never needed; when the British ships appeared and met gunfire from shore, they soon withdrew. A few months later, the American men-of war towed out of the creek, their yards trimmed fore-and-aft to clear the overhanging 24 trees. Once in the lake, they swept it clear of the enemy in a battle off Plattsburgh. Sailing on northward, we paused to visit a unique village at Shelburne, Vermont. Mr. and Mrs. J. Watson Webb, who established the Shelburne Museum in 1947, scoured the countryside for authentic houses, barns, stores, and churches. They disassembled them, brought them to the site, and put them back together to form a typical New England town of the 18th and 19th centuries.* When we returned to White Mist in the Shelburne Harbor Marina, we were invited to join a search for yet another kind of an tique. A uniformed officer introduced himself as Trooper Walter J. Hornberger, assistant diving officer of the New York State Police. *See "From Sword to Scythe in Champlain Country," by Ethel A. Starbird, GEOGRAPHIC, August 1967.