Monthly Archives: May 2007

Senneville Fort

In the colonial era, the french had to fortify their surroundings to prevent attacks from the Iroquois and from the Americans. In Seneville the first fortified structure that appeared was in the form of a windmill that was also used as a watchtower, this was first built in late 1686 and was constructed with thick walls, loopholes allowing muskets to be fired out from the fortification, and a system at the top to pour hot liquids onto attackers. This mill was then burnt down by the Iroquois in 1691, nine years later it was fixed up and used again.

Fort senneville was a French fort built around the same time that the mill was repaired located on the property of Jacques Le Ber and Charles Le Moyne it was used as a fur trading post and also as a safehouse for the local population. The one storey high structure was constructed in stone, which was not a common thing for forts and had a width of 75 feet. In 1725, when bigger profits could be made in the western fur trade the Fort could no longer make any profit and was used by the farmers and mill operators that lived on the land. With attack threats coming from the Iroquois, the building was used from 1747 to 1748 as a military defence post . The Fort was then uninhabited for a while and in 1774 Jean-Baptiste-Jérémie Testard de Montigny, the owner of the land at the time, repaired the house in hopes of living there and running a small store. In 1776 The castle was briefly occupied by american troops after the Battle of the Cedars and was then burned down by the orders of General Benedict Arnold as the troops retreated south, since then the castle remained abandonned.

In 1865 the property was purchased byJohn Joseph Caldwell Abbott and in 1898 Sir Edward Seabourne Clouston purchased the property from Abbott’s Estate. It is presently owned by the four great grandchildren of Sir Clouston. On November 20th 2003, the Minister of Culture recognized its historical value and classified it as a Historical and Archeological Site

Images of the Mill:

Senneville Water Tower
Images of the Fort:
senneville fort
Image taken from:Hudson historical society