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Fort Blunder: The Anti-Canadian Fort in Canada

The War of 1812 saw America and Great Britain clash once again over restrictions on sea trade and want of each other’s land.

Back then, Canada was a British territory, and America was worried about an invasion from above. After several attempted incursions on both sides, America decided to build a fort up in Lake Champlain to help them defend the country and keep watch for any more intrusions. 

The US planned to make an octagonal fort with walls higher than 30 feet,  which would be located at the very top of the country. So they started assembling the commanding stone fort. But, $275,000 and two years later, they stopped when they realized they had made a big mistake…

What do you do when your Anti-Canadian fort is built a mile out in Canada? 

Well, if you’re the US, you abandon construction. America immediately left the site. Nearby residents took stones from the unfinished fort to fix up their houses, but the fort remained largely untouched for 30 years.

Then, 24 years later in 1842, Britain and America decided to meet to discuss several border issues. One such issue was the fort.

“So… Can we have it?”

“Have… what?”

“The Canadian Territory where we built our Anti-Canadian Fort.”

“You know what? Fine.”

Britain agreed to give America the area around Fort Blunder in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, and the US immediately restarted construction. They named the fort “Fort Montgomery”, after a general who died in an earlier invasion of Canada. (The nerve.) 

There were a couple scares of a Canadian invasion during the renewed development of Fort Montgomery, but they didn’t end up happening, and when the builders finally finished, the government realized how outdated the fort was. The guns were taken down, and it was abandoned again. A section of the stones making it up were demolished and used to make a bridge over Lake Champlain.

Since then, the fort has been privately owned by various families. In 1999, the current owners tried to sell it on eBay, and the deal fell through. But given the fort’s history, is that really so strange?

It’s still for sale. You can buy it, if you want.

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