Following the French retreat from Crown Point in 1759, General Amherst embarked upon an ambitious plan to secure the area for Britain. An elaborate system of fortifications was begun on the Point; at times as many as 3,000 soldiers and artisans were engaged in the construction of Fort Crown Point, three smaller forts (called redoubts), several blockhouses, storehouses, gardens, and military roads. A village grew up close to the fort walls, with a tavern, store, apothecary shop, and the homes of soldiers' families and retired officers. When control of Canada passed to Britain at the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, construction ceased, leaving one barracks building unfinished.
In April 1773, a chimney fire spread from the soldiers' barracks to the log walls of the fort, resulting in the explosion of the powder magazine and the virtual destruction of the main fort. Troop strength was gradually reduced until only a tiny garrison remained to surrender the fort to American rebel troops commanded by Seth Warner in May 1775.