John Larrabee established the first regular ferry here under a grant from the Vermont Legislature when the only business at the site was his tavern. In 1823, the year that the Champlain Canal opened, Larrabee and Samuel Holley built a store and a warehouse. A lively trade with the inland towns soon supported three stores, all supplied directly from Troy or Albany. Among the goods exported to the world from Larrabee's Point, Merino sheep commanded the highest prices. Shoreham farmers bred some of the most famous ewes in the country, shipping them to western ranchers from this dock, a practice that helped to undermine the Vermont wool industry.
Travelers could catch a "line boat" down the Lake, or a packet heading through the canal. On his way to Fort Ticonderoga in 1835, Nathaniel Hawthorne observed "the continual succession of travelers who spent an idle quarter of an hour in waiting for the ferry boat; affording me just enough time to make their acquaintance, penetrate their mysteries, and be rid of them without the risk of tediousness on either side."
The buildings clustered around this landing are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but hotels have all disappeared. There is no sign of the Lake House Hotel that offered lawn tennis, boating, bathing, fishing, and dancing in 1871.