State Route 74 (New York–Vermont)

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Route 74

NY 74 and VT 74 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NYSDOT and VTrans
Length33.713 mi (54.256 km)
20.45 mi in New York[1]
13.263 mi in Vermont[2]
HistoryNY 74 designated NY 73 in 1930;[3] renumbered to NY 74 on July 1, 1972[4]
VT 74 assigned 1954[5]
Major junctions
West end I-87 in Schroon, NY
Major intersections
East end VT 30 in Cornwall, VT
CountryUnited States
StatesNew York, Vermont
CountiesEssex (NY), Addison (VT)
Highway system
NY 73NY NY 75
VT 73AVT VT 78
VT F-8VT F-9 VT F-10

New York State Route 74 (NY 74) and Vermont Route 74 (VT 74) are state highways in the northeastern United States, connected by one of the last remaining cable ferries in North America. Together they extend for 34 miles (55 km) through Essex County, New York, and Addison County, Vermont. NY 74 begins at exit 28 off Interstate 87 (I-87) in the hamlet of Severance in the Adirondack Mountains region of the northern part of New York State. It extends 20.44 miles (32.89 km) to the western shore of Lake Champlain in Ticonderoga. There, the seasonal Fort Ticonderoga–Larrabees Point Ferry carries cars across the state border into Vermont, where VT 74 starts at the lake's eastern shore and terminates 13.26 miles (21.34 km) later at a junction with VT 30 in the town of Cornwall.

The ferry connecting the two highways, predating both NY 74 and VT 74, began operation in 1759 on an informal basis. The ferry operation was formalized at the close of the 18th century and upgraded to a cable system in 1946.

Due to extensive changes in designations in both states during the 20th century, the entire length of the present highway consists of renamed segments from other highways. The New York portion of the cross-state Route 74 west of Ticonderoga was designated as part of NY 73 in the 1930 renumbering of state highways in New York, while the Vermont section carried several different designations from the 1920s to the late 1930s, when it became solely part of Vermont Route F-9. NY 73 was extended east to Lake Champlain in the 1950s—replacing New York State Route 347—and VT F-9 was split into VT 73 and VT 74 shortly afterward. The Schroon–Ticonderoga highway was redesignated as NY 74 on July 1, 1972 after NY 73 was cut back to its current eastern terminus in Elizabethtown.

Route description

NY 74

NY 74 originates at exit 28 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87) in the town of Schroon. The starting interchange is close to local landmark Severance Hill, which reaches an elevation of 1,600 feet (490 m). NY 74 intersects the north–south U.S. Route 9 (US 9) shortly after the northbound ramps of the Adirondack Northway. It then meets Stowell Road just before crossing the Schroon River. The highway meets a few local road intersections just south of Goosebury Hill before encountering Paradox Lake. NY 74 runs mostly parallel to the lake and intersects with a local campground entrance road as it continues eastward from Schroon.[6]

Ground-level view of a road and an associated road sign. More roadsigns and an overhead bridge are visible in the distance.
The western terminus of NY 74 at I-87. The end sign, however, is located at US 9.

Cotters Pond is a small landmark located beyond a few mountains and hills on the southern side of NY 74 near the end of Paradox Lake. Cotters Pond, by state law, is a water body that cannot be used for baitfishing; this was designated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.[7] Shortly afterward, NY 74 passes Bumbo Pond and enters the hamlet of Paradox. After leaving Paradox, NY 74 turns to the southeast along the base of Skiff Mountain. The highway then approaches a creek that flows into Eagle Lake. NY 74 crosses over Eagle Lake and runs along the base of Eagle Cliff and the shores of the lake. After leaving Eagle Lake, the highway intersects with County Route 2 (CR 2), the first numbered highway that NY 74 encounters after US 9.[6]

This stretch of NY 74 skirts the base of Keeney Mountain, which peaks at 1,400 feet (430 m). NY 74 then intersects with CR 56, which parallels the main route to the south. CR 56 merges back with NY 74, which leaves the mountainous region for the hamlet of Ticonderoga. NY 74 intersects with NY 9N and NY 22 in the hamlet; the latter of the two highways becomes concurrent with NY 74. NY 22 and NY 74 continue to the east, heading around the outskirts of Ticonderoga. NY 74 intersects with CR 49 before NY 74 turns to the southeast. NY 22 and NY 74 head southward toward the center of Ticonderoga. At the intersection with Montcalm Street, NY 74 turns eastward off NY 22, which heads southward for Washington County.[6]

A road curving to the left with a car on it and a sign warning of a steep grade. It is descending toward a lower area with some buildings and another stretch of road. In the distance is a line of mountains.
View towards Vermont as NY 74 descends to Ticonderoga

NY 74 crosses local roads as it continues eastward toward Lake Champlain. The highway passes the entrance to Fort Ticonderoga and the Ticonderoga Amtrak station. The New York portion of NY 74 terminates at a ferry landing by Lake Champlain at the state border.[6]

Fort Ticonderoga–Larrabees Point Ferry

The Fort Ticonderoga–Larrabees Point Ferry is the oldest and southernmost ferry on Lake Champlain.[8] Its cable system consists of two 1.1-inch (2.8 cm) steel cables in parallel alignment.[9] The current ferry barge, in operation since 1959, is powered by a sixteen-ton tugboat built in 1979 that can hold up to 18 cars.[8] The seasonal ferry route is half a mile long and operates from May through October.[9][10] The seven-minute passage operates during daylight hours.[8]

VT 74

After crossing the state line via the Fort Ticonderoga–Larrabees Point Ferry, VT 74 begins its track into Vermont. The highway heads a short distance to the north, passing a thinly populated area in Shoreham, as intermittent forest yields to fields and farmlands. After 0.49 miles (790 m) from the border, VT 74 intersects with VT 73 before encountering Barnum Hill Road. Near the Barnum Hill intersection, VT 74 passes developed areas and bends more toward the north. VT 74 then turns to the northeast at Smith Street and enters a patch of forest. Afterward VT 74 climbs a hill and intersects with Harrington Hill Road where it turns northward once again.[11]

Ground-level view of a road with two green and white roadsigns. A church is visible on the left.
Signs at the southern end of VT 74's concurrency with VT 22A

Fields and forests surround this thinly populated stretch of highway. At the intersection with Blue Harbor Road, VT 74 turns to the east and heads toward downtown Shoreham. Within central Shoreham, VT 74 is known as Main Street and has a short concurrency with VT 22A. As VT 74 leaves the densely populated portion of Shoreham, the concurrency ends and VT 74 takes an eastward turn toward Cornwall.[11]

As VT 74 returns to the rural countryside it bends toward the northeast for most of the distance to Cornwall. Through this stretch the highway winds through forests and occasional farmland. VT 74 straightens at an intersection with Bates Road. A connector road called North Palmer Road merges with VT 74 shortly afterward. VT 74 winds again for a stretch and straightens a second time near the intersection with Elmendorf Road as it continues toward Cornwall, intersecting with several township highways and approaching increasingly residential areas. At Clark Road in Cornwall, VT 74 turns to the northeast once again, passing through more forests before terminating at VT 30 in Cornwall.[11]

Early history

The Ticonderoga and Schroon Turnpike began north of Schroon and headed east through Paradox to the western edge of Lake Champlain at Ticonderoga. The turnpike connected to other long-distance roads at each end.
The predecessor of NY 79 and surrounding region, detail from an 1839 map of New York State

Schroon and its early highways

Settlers of European descent began to populate the region near modern Schroon around 1797. The area's first municipality was the town of Crown Point, which originally included considerable portions of thinly populated land that later developed into separate townships. The first of these divisions occurred on March 20, 1804 with the establishment of the town of Schroon. Minerva split from Crown Point in March 1817, before another municipal reorganization in 1840 implemented further reductions to the land area of Crown Point. During this period two thoroughfares served the area that correspond to parts of modern NY 74 and US 9. One of these old state roads traversed the route covered by the current alignment of NY 74 from Schroon to Ticonderoga.[12]

The entire length of NY 74 from Ticonderoga to Schroon covers the route that the Ticonderoga and Schroon Turnpike Road Company (chartered in April 1832[13]) was to toll. Two toll gates were to be erected specifically for use on the highway, and the charter allowed for additional toll gates at a spacing of approximately one for every ten miles of completed highway. The turnpike management was to raise funds by selling 600 shares valued at $25 (equivalent to $763 in 2023[14]) each. $20,000 (equivalent to $671,813 in 2023[15]) was also set aside for properties along the highway.[16] Beyond its charter, there is no further mention of the company in New York state law;[17] therefore, it's possible that the company folded before the completion of a turnpike.

Designation history

Designations from 1913 to the 1930s

A relatively small steel bridge seen from the side.
A truss bridge on NY 74 in Essex County

In 1913, the New York State Legislature designated most of modern NY 74 as Route 22-b, an unsigned legislative route. It ran for 17.06 miles (27.46 km) from Route 22 (now US 9) in Schroon to the western edge of the then-village of Ticonderoga.[18][19] On March 1, 1921, Route 22-b became part of Route 48, a new route created as part of a partial renumbering of New York's legislative route system.[20] In 1924, when state highways were first publicly signed with route numbers, the highway from Schroon to Ticonderoga remained unnumbered.[21] During the 1930 renumbering of state highways in New York, the segment of modern NY 74 between US 9 in Schroon and NY 22 in Ticonderoga was designated as part of NY 73,[3] a route extending from NY 28N in Tahawus to Ticonderoga. NY 73 followed the Blue Ridge Road from Tahawus to North Hudson and had an overlap with US 9 from North Hudson to Schroon.[22]

The portion of NY 73 between Tahawus and North Hudson was removed from the state highway system c. 1936. As a result, NY 73 was truncated to a new western terminus at US 9 in Schroon, eliminating the concurrency with US 9.[23][24]

The Blue Ridge Road is now designated as CR 84 from NY 28N in Tawahus to the Adirondack Northway in North Hudson,[25] and as NY 910K, a short unsigned reference route, from the Northway to US 9.[26]

On the Vermont side, the road connecting Larrabees Point to the main north–south highways in the area was designated as VT F-9 by 1926. VT F-9 began at the ferry landing at Larrabees Point and continued northeast to Shoreham Center, where it briefly overlapped with then-VT 30A (modern VT 22A). Past VT 30A, VT F-9 continued east along what are now town highways through Whiting to Leicester, where it ended at a junction with US 7. At the time, modern VT 74 between Shoreham and Cornwall centers was known as VT F-9A while what is now VT 73 from Larrabees Point to Brown Lane north of the town center of Orwell was part of VT F-10A.[27]

Changes from 1933 onward

By 1933, the highway linking NY 22 in Ticonderoga to the ferry for Larrabees Point became part of NY 8.[28] NY 8 was realigned c. 1934 to follow NY 22 north from Ticonderoga to Crown Point, where it left NY 22 to follow NY 347 (modern NY 185) to the Lake Champlain Bridge. The NY 347 designation was reassigned to NY 8's former routing between NY 22 and the ferry landing east of Ticonderoga.[28][29]

Ground-level view of a road with a series of signs visible on the right side.
VT 74 departing from the Larabees Point ferry landing

VT F-9, meanwhile, was extended southward to Orwell over VT F-10A by 1938. Like VT F-10A, it initially bypassed Orwell to the north on Brown Lane;[30] however, it was realigned in the late 1930s to follow modern VT 73 into Orwell. Around the same time, VT F-9 was realigned east of Shoreham to follow VT F-9A northeast to Cornwall. The VT F-9A designation was eliminated while the former routing of VT F-9 between Shoreham and Leicester became unnumbered.[30][31] In November 1952, New York extended NY 73 east to the ferry landing by way of NY 347 and Wicker and Montcalm Streets.[32] Vermont renumbered the Larrabees Point–Orwell section of VT F-9 to VT 73 in 1954 in order to match the New York route number. At the same time, the Larrabees Point–Cornwall section of VT F-9 was renumbered by Vermont to VT 74.[5]

NY 73 was truncated to its current eastern terminus in Underwood on July 1, 1972, eliminating a lengthy overlap with US 9, while its former routing from Schroon to Lake Champlain was renumbered to NY 74, matching the other Vermont route number that ends in Larrabees Point. The already existing NY 74 in Chautauqua County (in the Jamestown area) was renumbered to NY 474 as a result.[4] The opening of the Adirondack Northway in 1967 also resulted in a slight shift of the western terminus of NY 74 from US 9 to I-87.[33] By 1981, NY 74 was rerouted to follow its current alignment around the northeastern edge of Ticonderoga, on a concurrency with NY 22.[34] The highway has remained the same since that date.[35]

The New York State Department of Transportation has announced a project to repave NY 74 from Chilson to Paradox. The project is in preliminary development, with construction is expected to begin in early 2013 and reach completion about a year later. Funding will come from state sources and run an estimated cost of $8.6 million.[36]

Ferry history

According to its website, the ferry operated informally from 1759 and in an organized way from 1799.[8] The earliest ferries are believed to have been rowboats or canoes; "a double-ended sailing scow was in service by 1800. This vessel was about 30 feet (9.1 m) long, with a mainsail that would swing completely around the mast to provide a simple means of reversing course."[9]

Ferry size continued to increase with traffic until the system upgraded to a cable guidance system in 1946.[9] John S. Larrabee of Vermont established the first regular ferry at the location in the late 18th century.[37] The Vermont State Legislature approved a franchise for a ferry from Larrabees Point to Ticonderoga in 1907, to the Shoreham and Ticonderoga Ferry Company.[38] The New York State Legislature granted the ferry a franchise in 1918.[39]

Major intersections

New YorkEssexSchroon0.000.00 I-87 – Plattsburgh, Montreal, AlbanyWestern terminus, exit 28 on I-87
0.170.27 US 9 – Schroon Lake, North Hudson, Elizabethtown
NY 9N (Wicker Street) / NY 22 north – Ticonderoga, Crown Point
Western end of NY 22 concurrency
NY 22 south (Mountain Road) – Whitehall
Eastern end of NY 22 concurrency
Lake Champlain20.45
Fort Ticonderoga–Larrabees Point Ferry
New YorkVermont state line
VT 73 east – Orwell, Brandon
Western terminus of VT 73
VT 22A south – Orwell, Fair Haven
Western end of VT 22A concurrency
VT 22A north – Bridport, Vergennes
Eastern end of VT 22A concurrency
Cornwall13.26321.345 VT 30 – Middlebury, WhitingEastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ a b New York State Department of Transportation (July 22, 2015). 2014 Traffic Data Report for New York State (PDF). Albany: New York State Department of Transportation. p. 225. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 5, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Policy, Planning and Intermodal Development Division Traffic Research Unit (May 2013). 2012 (Route Log) AADTs for State Highways (PDF). Vermont Agency of Transportation. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Dickinson, Leon A. (January 12, 1930). "New Signs for State Highways". The New York Times. p. 136.
  4. ^ a b Galloway, William G.; Herr, Charles A. (June 30, 1972). Official Description of Touring Routes in New York State. State of New York Department of Transportation. pp. 1–2.
  5. ^ a b "3 Addison County Route Numbers Will Be Changed". The Burlington Free Press. August 20, 1953. p. 9. Archived from the original on May 3, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018 – via
  6. ^ a b c d Google (January 30, 2008). "Overview Map of NY 74" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  7. ^ New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (2009). "Special Fishing Regulations for Essex County". New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Archived from the original on April 20, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d Peden, James A. (2008). "Ticonderoga Ferry". Middlebury Networks. Archived from the original on August 14, 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
  9. ^ a b c d Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce (2008). "Fort Ticonderoga Ferry". Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on June 23, 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
  10. ^ Google (August 27, 2008). "Fort Ticonderoga–Larrabees Point Fry @43.854016, −73.385363" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
  11. ^ a b c Google (August 26, 2008). "Overview Map of VT 74" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
  12. ^ Smith, H. P. (1885). The History of Essex County. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason and Company. OCLC 3826904.[page needed]
  13. ^ New York State Senate (1832). Journal of the Senate of the State of New-York, at Their Fifty-Fifth Session. E. Croswell. p. 312. Retrieved August 27, 2008 – via Internet Archive.
  14. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  15. ^ Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2023). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved November 30, 2023. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the MeasuringWorth series.
  16. ^ New York State Legislature (1832). Laws of the State of New York Passed at the Sessions of the Legislature. Legislative Bill Drafting Commission. pp. 520–521. Retrieved August 24, 2008 – via Google Books.
  17. ^ York (State), New (1920). Official Index to the Unconsolidated Laws: Being the Special, Private and Local Statutes of the State of New York from February 1, 1778, to December 31, 1919. J.B. Lyon Company, printers.
  18. ^ New York State Legislature (1918). "Tables of Laws and Codes Amended or Repealed". Laws of the State of New York Passed at the One Hundred and Forty-First Session of the Legislature. Albany, NY: J. B. Lyon Company. p. 72. Retrieved July 31, 2009 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ New York State Department of Highways (1920). Report of the State Commissioner of Highways. Albany, NY: J. B. Lyon Company. p. 533. Retrieved July 31, 2009 – via Internet Archive.
  20. ^ New York State Legislature (1921). "Tables of Laws and Codes Amended or Repealed". Laws of the State of New York passed at the One Hundred and Forty-Fourth Session of the Legislature. Albany, NY: J. B. Lyon Company. pp. 42, 60, 71–72. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2010 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ "New York's Main Highways Designated by Numbers". The New York Times. December 21, 1924. p. XX9.
  22. ^ Road Map of New York (Map). Cartography by General Drafting. Standard Oil Company of New York. 1930.[full citation needed]
  23. ^ Road Map & Historical Guide: New York (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Sun Oil Company. 1935.[full citation needed]
  24. ^ New York State Map (Map). Cartography by General Drafting Inc. Esso. 1936.[full citation needed]
  25. ^ Google (August 26, 2008). "Overview Map of Essex CR 84" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
  26. ^ New York State Department of Transportation (January 2012). Official Description of Highway Touring Routes, Bicycling Touring Routes, Scenic Byways, & Commemorative/Memorial Designations in New York State (PDF). Albany: New York State Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 29, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  27. ^ Bureau of Public Roads; Vermont State Highway Department (1927). Report of a Survey of Transportation on the State Highways of Vermont (PDF). pp. 68, 83–84. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  28. ^ a b Texaco Road Map: New England (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Texas Oil Company. 1932.[full citation needed]
  29. ^ Road Map of New York (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Texas Oil Company. 1934.[full citation needed]
  30. ^ a b Thibodeau, William A. (1938). The ALA Green Book (1938–39 ed.). Automobile Legal Association.[page needed]
  31. ^ New York Info-Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Gulf Oil Company. 1940.[full citation needed]
  32. ^ "Route 73 Extended to Include 347 Out of Ti". The Lake Placid News. November 28, 1952. p. 1. Archived from the original on May 3, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  33. ^ Metcalfe, Ann Breen (2008). "Presenting the winner of Adirondack Life's profile–writing contest 2007". Adirondack Life. Archived from the original on June 22, 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2008.
  34. ^ I Love New York Tourism Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. State of New York. 1981.[full citation needed]
  35. ^ New York State Department of Transportation (1992). Ticonderoga Digital Raster Quadrangle (Map). 1:24,000. Albany: New York State Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2010.
  36. ^ New York State Department of Transportation (2008). "Route 74 from Chilson to Paradox". New York State Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2008.
  37. ^ Smith, H.P. (1886). History of Addison County, Vermont. D. Mason & Co., Publishers. Chapter 32. Archived from the original on March 24, 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
  38. ^ Mr. Alexander, from the committee on elections (1907). Journal of the House of the State of Vermont. Vermont General Assembly. p. 207. Retrieved August 26, 2008 – via Google Books.
  39. ^ New York State Legislative Bill Drafting Commission (1918). Laws of the State of New York. Albany: State of New York. p. 288. ISSN 0892-287X. OCLC 1644271. Retrieved August 27, 2008 – via Google Books.

External links