Fort Ann is a town in Washington County, New York, United States. It is part of the Glens Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town population was 6,417 at the 2000 census. The name is derived indirectly from Queen Anne, and directly from a community in the town.
Fort Ann is located on the historic route linking the French and English colonies.
The area was the site of several forts built by various nations, from a small French fort called "The Pickets" near the south end of Lake Champlain in 1689, in the northwest area of the town, to a series of forts (including "Fort Schuyler" and "Queen's Fort') closer to where the village of Fort Ann stands today. The first of these was likely the Stone Fort, built by Englishman Fitz John Winthrop in 1692. The English expedition led by Francis Nicholson built Fort Schuyler, about a half-mile south of the present village, in 1709. (The old Champlain Canal passed through a part of the site.) Nicholson burned the fort when he and his army left, but he returned in 1711 and built the Queen's Fort, later renamed Fort Anne, at the same site. It fell into ruins during the English colonial period.
Fort Anne was rebuilt in 1757 by the English, during the French and Indian War. The fort was named Fort Anne (in honor of Princess Anne, eldest daughter of King George II). The 1777 Battle of Fort Anne occurred here during the Saratoga Campaign. The town was organized as Westfield in 1784, but was renamed Fort Ann – without the "e" – in 1808.
The early town
Part of the town was in the Artillery Patent of 1764, granted to 24 officers of the British army. Settlement of the town did not occur until 1775. The town was established as the "Town of Westfield" in 1786 and was renamed Fort Ann in 1808. Parts of the original town were used to form the later towns of Dresden (1806), Hartford (1793), and Putnam (1806).
The 19th Century
In 1820, the village of Fort Ann incorporated as a municipality within the town.
In 1823, the Champlain Canal was completed, linking the area to the outside world. Later the Delaware & Hudson Railroad established a depot at Fort Ann village.