In 1730, the French erected a small wooden fort at Point a la Chevelure, now Chimney Point, Vermont, thereby taking control of territory claimed by Great Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). The following year, construction of Fort St. Fr?d?ric was begun on the western shore of the lake. Completed by 1737, the fort was garrisoned by about one hundred officers and men. For the next quarter-century, raiding parties originating from this post, such as the one which burned Saratoga in 1745, kept British frontier settlements in a constant state of alarm.
More than a military presence, Fort St. Fr?d?ric was an outpost of French culture in the Champlain Valley. Soldier-settlers cultivated farms on both shores of the lake, and the population steadily increased under the encouragement from the French government. The fort's chapel served soldier and civilian alike. Fort St. Fr?d?ric and its surrounding settlements, the first European community in the southern Champlain Valley, were hastily evacuated upon the advance of the British army in 1759.