Tag Archives: Fort Ticonderoga

John Warren: Why Fort Ann’s Battle Hill is Significant


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On Saturday an event in Fort Ann, Washington County will highlight Battle Hill, the site of the Revolutionary War Battle of Fort Anne. A company has plans to mine the battlefield, where an estimated 100 to 200 men were killed, wounded, or captured, and a group of local historians and volunteers has come together to oppose the plan. You can read more about the mining threat to the battlefield and the planned event here, but I thought a look at the importance of the Battle of Fort Anne was worth a look.

The story of Fort Anne’s Battle Hill really begins about 30 miles north at Fort Ticonderoga. Continue reading

Henry Knox Lecture at Fort Ticonderoga


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Fort Ticonderoga’s new “Fort Fever Series” concludes for the season on Sunday, April 22, at 2 pm., with “Henry Knox: Beyond the Noble Train of Artillery” presented by Director of Education Rich Strum. The cost is $10 per person and will be collected at the door; free for members of the Friends of Fort Ticonderoga.

Best known at Fort Ticonderoga for his Herculean feat in transporting 59 pieces of artillery from Ticonderoga to Cambridge during the winter of 1775-76, Knox went on to become one of George Washington’s most trusted officers.

Learn about Knox’s early life, when he was forced to begin work at the age of nine to help support his family. A bookseller in Boston in the years leading up to the Revolution, Knox conversed with customers who would fall on opposing sides in the coming war.

After a distinguished military career, Knox continued to help shape the young country, serving as Secretary at War through most of the 1780s. He remained in that position during the first year’s of Washington’s presidency, before retiring to Maine.

The program takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. Doors open at 1:30 pm for the program.

In the coming months, the Fort Fever Series will be replaced by the Fort Ticonderoga Author Series, which returns for the third year. The first program in this series will be on Sunday, June 3, with Eliot Cohen, author of “Conquered into Liberty.” The Fort Fever Series is one of several new education initiatives in 2012. You can learn more about upcoming education programs at Fort Ticonderoga by visiting the Fort’s website and selecting the “Explore and Learn” button.

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga Artillery (provided).

Fort Ti to Host Conference on Lake George, Champlain


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Fort Ticonderoga will a conference on Lake George and Lake Champlain on August 11-12, 2012 that will explore the history, geography, culture, ecology, and current issues related to the Lake George and Lake Champlain region.

The conference will include sessions exploring the 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century history of Lake George-Lake Champlain region, examining the works of 19th- and 20th-century photographers, and detailing current issues of concern related to the ecological well-being of these two important lakes.

Programs include a history strand looking at the 1758 “Sunken Fleet” in Lake George by noted underwater archaeologist Joseph Zarzynski and the Steamer Ticonderoga that sailed on Lake Champlain from 1906-1953 by Curator Chip Stulen from Shelburne Museum. Chapman Museum Director Timothy Weidner will discuss the works of Seneca Ray Stoddard related to Lake Champlain while photographer Mark Bowie talks about the photographic works of his grandfather Richard Dean of Dean Color.

SUNY Plattsburgh geologist David Franzi will talk about how the glaciers of the last ice age formed today’s Lake Champlain Basin. Meg Modley, from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, provides an update on the current battle against invasive species in both lakes, and Emily DeBolt from the Lake George Association, talks about lake-friendly landscaping techniques.

Fort Ticonderoga recently received a grant from the South Lake Champlain Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation to support the conference and has also received programming support from the Lake George Association.

Registration for the conference is now open. A downloadable conference brochure is available online.

You can also receive a printed version by contacting Rich Strum, Director of Education, at Fort Ticonderoga, at rstrum@fort-ticonderoga.org or at 518-585-6370.

Amtrak and Fort Ticonderoga Partner in 2012


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For the first time, Fort Ticonderoga and America’s National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) have partnered to connect people traveling between New York City and Montreal to one of the nation’s oldest and most significant historic sites, Fort Ticonderoga. Amtrak will offer one free companion rail fare with the purchase of one regular adult rail fare, on the state-supported Adirondack line to and from Fort Ticonderoga, New York, beginning April 1, 2012 through October 31, 2012.

“The partnership with Amtrak will enable Fort Ticonderoga to reach a broader destination market from New York City to Montreal,” according to Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga Executive Director. “Fort Ticonderoga is very fortunate to have an Amtrak stop on our property. Our epic story combined with the Fort’s immersive programs and beautiful landscape makes Fort Ticonderoga an exciting destination experience.”

Customers simply need to purchase tickets a minimum of 3 days in advance and enter discount code V430. The Northbound Adirondack operates daily between New York City and Montreal, departing New York Penn Station at 8:15 am arriving in Ticonderoga at 1:17 pm. The Southbound Adirondack departs Montreal at 9:30 am, arriving in Ticonderoga at 2:33 pm.

Fort Ticonderoga opens for the 103rd season on Friday, May 18 and will offer new programs, events, exhibits, gardens and a six-acre corn maze designed in the shape of the Fort. Fort Ticonderoga is open daily from May 18 through October 18, 2012 from 9:30 am until 5 pm.

The Battle on Snowshoes Event at Fort Ticonderoga


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A living history event at Fort Ticonderoga highlighting Major Robert Rogers and the Battle of Snowshoes will be held on Saturday, March 10 from 10 am – 4 pm. Visitors will be able to encounter the French Garrison in the middle of winter inside Fort Ticonderoga and tour through opposing pickets of British rangers and French soldiers adapted to frontier, winter warfare. At 1 pm on Saturday, visitors will experience the hectic tree to tree fighting in a recreated battle during which the rangers make a stand against superior numbers, only to retreat through the deep woods.

Visitors will be invited to tour Fort Ticonderoga as it appeared in the winter of 1758, meet the French and Indians who overwhelmed Roger’s experienced woodsmen, and see how native and French soldiers survived the deep winter at this remote military post. More adventurous visitors can take a hike led by a historic interpreter through the opposed pickets of soldiers in the deep woods. In these tours visitors can see how rangers kept a vigilant watch for subtle signs that might reveal their ferocious enemy.

“The Battle on Snowshoes event recreates the savage fight between Robert Roger’s rangers, and a mixed French force of regular soldiers, milice, and allied native warriors on March 13, 1758,” said Stuart Lilie, Director of Interpretation at Fort Ticonderoga. “This event is designed to be a rich experience for both participants and visitors alike.”

Re-enactors portraying French soldiers and native allies will live inside the period furnished barracks rooms of Fort Ticonderoga. They will recreate the winter garrison for Fort Carillon, as it was known until 1759. Just as in the March of 1758 these re-enactors will sortie out from the Fort to meet and overwhelm Roger’s men.

Major Robert Rogers force of both volunteers from the 27th foot, and his own rangers headed out on an extended scout from Fort Edward along Lake George, following an attack on a similar patrol from Captain Israel Putnam’s Connecticut rangers. Hiking on snowshoes due to the three feet of snow, the tracks of Roger’s force were spotted on its march up the west side of Lake George. Near the north end of Lake George, Major Rogers, advanced scouts spotted their French counterparts. Rogers and his Rangers took up positions in a ravine, setting his force in ambuscade to await whatever French patrol would come to meet him.

The French patrol that met Roger’s men proved far larger than he imagined, and in this Battle on Snowshoes, the rangers’ ambush was itself surrounded and overwhelmed. In deep woods on deep snow, the rangers were forced to retreat with heavy casualties as the French regulars, malice, and natives pressed home their attack. Despite stands along the way, this retreat quickly became chaotic as rangers, Roger’s included, ran for their lives from superior numbers of French.

Illustration from Gary S Zaboly‘s “A True Ranger: The Life and Many Wars of Major Robert Rogers” (Garden City Park, NY: Royal Blockhouse, 2004).

A Chat With Fort Ticonderoga’s Rich Strum


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Rich Strum is the Director of Education at Fort Ticonderoga. For the past 13 years, Strum has responsible for all the educational activities at the Fort (including the 2,000 acres of landscape). His focus includes school programs, family programs, youth group (scouts) programs, seminars and conferences, workshops, college and university partnerships, and lecture programs.

Fort Ticonderoga, America’s Fort, is a private not-for-profit historic site and museum along Lake Champlain that presents the struggles, sacrifices, and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history.

New York History
had the opportunity to do an email interview with Strum about his work at Fort Ticonderoga.

NYH: What is a challenge you face in your job?
RS: I think like all non-profits, the biggest challenge is maximizing limited resources to produce quality programs.

NYH: Tell us about the projects you’ve been working on this past year?
RS: Fort Ticonderoga has a strong reputation for hosting quality seminars and conferences. Our War College of the Seven Years’ War is entering its 17th year and the Seminar on the American Revolution is in its 9th year. In 2012, we’ve added three new seminar programs that reach out to new audiences: “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” is geared for collectors and others with an interest in 18th-century material culture. The First Annual “Garden & Landscape Symposium” complements our King’s Garden and reaches out to regional home gardeners. The “Conference on Lake George and Lake Champlain” takes a holistic view of these lakes, exploring the history, geography, culture, ecology, and current issues related to the region.

We are also expanding our scouting programs, building on our successful school programs to develop scout-specific opportunities on-site.

Probably the biggest undertaking in the past year was hosting an National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops program for school teachers. In July 2011, we held two week-long workshops for a total of 80 teachers from around the country. The focus was “The American Revolution on the Northern Frontier: Fort Ticonderoga and the Road to Saratoga,” looking at the first three years of the Revolution (1775-77). Thanks to a grant from NEH, we were able to bring scholars from across the country to spend a week with teachers talking about aspects of the Revolution. It was a great opportunity for me to work with some prominent national scholars, including William Fowler (Northeastern University), Holly Mayer (Duquesne University), and James Kirby Martin (University of Houston).

NYH: What is the primary constituency you serve?
RS: Most people think “students” when they hear Director of Education, but teachers and adult learners are probably a bigger part of my work. In many ways, every visitor setting foot onsite is my constituency, either directly, or through cooperation with the Collections, Interpretation, and Landscape departments.

NYH: What tools (traditional and digital) do you currently use to work with your constituency (whether it is teachers or docents, etc.)?
RS: We are blessed to have a fantastic collection of artifacts and documents as well as a historic landscape. Digital technology can still present some challenges as we still are beyond the reach of Broadband technology at the Fort itself. Over the past year, we’ve been better about embracing social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and we’ve revamped our website. I find Constant Contact especially useful in reaching both broad and specific audiences.

NYH: If you could do anything in the online or physical world to better serve your constituency, what would it be?
RS: As part of a much larger long-term goal, we need a visitor orientation center. Currently, visitors are thrust into the landscape with little orientation. In the more immediate future, solving the Broadband challenge would open up a number of opportunities for sharing our programs with those who can’t attend on-site.

NYH would like to thank Rich Strum for taking the time to answer our questions. Fort Ticonderoga offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for students including the highly acclaimed National History Day program held on March 10 at the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga. A new line-up of field trip experiences await students in 2012 including the new “To Act as One United Body” program where students will experience the basics of being a soldier fighting for the Continental Army. For more information on student activities at Fort Ticonderoga visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/learn/students or call 518-585-2821to schedule a visit.

If you are or know of a museum educator who would be willing to answer a few questions about their work, please contact kelleherseanp@gmail.com.

Sean Kelleher is served as a member of the New Hampshire Council for the Social Studies Executive Board and was the Director of the Washington County Fair Farm Museum.

Lecture: Lake Champlain as Battleground, 1609-1815


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The Lake Champlain Basin Program will be hosting John Krueger, City Historian of Plattsburgh and executive director of the Kent-Delord House, for a presentation titled The Lake as Battleground: 1609-1815 on Thursday, March 1st at 6:30 p.m. in the LCBP office in Grand Isle, Vermont. This program is part of the LCBP’s Love the Lake speaker series.

John Krueger began promoting Lake Champlain’s history as a guide at Fort Ticonderoga in 1970. His talk will focus on Lake Champlain as a corridor for warfare, beginning with Samuel de Champlain’s exploration and the conflict of European powers for control of the corridor.
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17th Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War


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Registration is now open for Fort Ticonderoga’s Seventeenth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 18-20, 2012. This annual seminar focuses on the French & Indian War in North America (1754-1763), bringing together a panel of distinguished historians from around the country and beyond. The War College takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center and is open to the public; pre-registration is required.

2012 Speakers include:

DeWitt Bailey, British author and 18th-century arms expert, on British weapons of the war.

Maria Alessandra Bollettino, Framingham State University, on slave revolts in the British Caribbean during the war.

Earl John Chapman, Canadian author and historian, on the experiences of James Thompson, a sergeant in the 78th Highlanders.

Christopher D. Fox, Fort Ticonderoga, on Colonel Abijah Willard’s Massachusetts Provincials in 1759.

Jean-François Lozier, Canadian Museum of Civilization, on the use of paints and cosmetics among Natives and Europeans.

Paul W. Mapp, College of William & Mary, on the role the vast western lands played in the battle for empire.

William P. Tatum III, David Library of the American Revolution, on the British military justice system, using ten courts-martial at Ticonderoga in 1759 as case studies.

Len Travers, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, on the “Lost Patrol of 1756” on Lake George.

The weekend begins Friday evening with a presentation by Ticonderoga Town Historian William G. Dolback on “Historic Ticonderoga in Pictures.” Dolback is also President of the Ticonderoga Historical Society and leading local efforts to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first settler in Ticonderoga in 1764.

Begun in 1996, the War College of the Seven Years’ War has become one of the premier seminars on the French & Indian War in the country. It features a mix of new and established scholars in an informal setting for a weekend of presentations related to the military, social, and cultural history of the French & Indian War.

Early Bird Registration for the War College is now open at $120 for the weekend ($100 for members of the Friends of Fort Ticonderoga). Registration forms can be downloaded from the Fort’s website under the “Explore and Learn” tab by selecting “Life Long Learning” on the drop down menu and then clicking on the War College. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Rich Strum, Director of Education, at 518-585-6370.

Photo courtesy Sandy Goss, Eagle Bay Media.

Fort Ti Offers Garden & Landscape Symposium


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The King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga is presenting its first Garden & Landscape Symposium, “Planting the Seeds of Knowledge for Home Gardeners,” on Saturday, April 14. This new annually planned day-long symposium, geared for both beginning and experienced gardeners, provides helpful insights from garden experts who live and garden in upstate New York and Vermont. This springtime event takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center and is open by pre-registration only.

This one-day program focuses on practical, easy-to-implement strategies for expanding and improving your garden or landscape. The programs are offered in an informal setting that encourages interaction between speakers and attendees. Speakers include:

Emily DeBolt, owner of Fiddlehead Creek Native Plant Nursery in Hartford, New York, “Go Native! An Introduction to Gardening with Native Plants”

Amy Ivy, Cornell Cooperative Extension, “Home Composting Made Easy”

Heidi teRiele Karkoski, Curator of Landscape at Fort Ticonderoga, “The King’s Garden 2012: A Sneak Peek.”

Sarah Kingsley-Richards, Vermont Master Gardener, “What is Wrong with My Plant? Diagnosing Common Pests and Diseases in Garden Plants”

Leonard Perry, instructor and researcher at the University of Vermont, “Perennials: New Introductions & Underused Favorites”

Nancy Wotton Scarzello, herbalist and educator, “The Gourmet Garden: Culinary Herbs & Edible Flowers”

Registration for the Garden & Landscape Symposium is now open. The cost for the day-long symposium, which includes a box lunch, is $75 ($65 for members of the Friends of Fort Ticonderoga). A brochure with the complete schedule and a registration form is available on Fort Ticonderoga’s website by selecting “Explore and Learn” and choosing “Life Long Learning” on the drop-down menu. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Rich Strum, Director of Education, at 518-585-6370.

Fort Ti Material Culture Seminar This Weekend


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Fort Ticonderoga will host its Second Annual “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” Seminar the weekend of January 28 & 29, 2012. This weekend event focuses on the material culture of the 18th century and is intended for collectors, re-enactors, and people with a general interest in learning more about objects of the 18th century and what they can tell us about history. “Material Matters” takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga and is open by pre-registration only.

A panel of material culture experts from the United States and Canada come to Fort Ticonderoga for the weekend to share their knowledge of 18th-century material culture in a series of presentations. Designed for those who want a deeper understanding of the everyday objects that help tell the story of life and the contests for control of North America during the 18th century, the weekend’s informal approach enables attendees to interact with presenters and provides an opportunity to examine 18th-century objects up close.

Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections Chris Fox will discuss the archeological remains of clothing and sewing-related artifacts in the Fort’s collection found during the Fort’s restoration in the early 20th century.

Joel Anderson, Artificer Program Supervisor at Fort Ticonderoga, will discuss the challenges of supplying the Northern Department of the Continental Army during the year 1776.

Matthew Keagle, a scholar of 18th-century Atlantic material culture, will talk about grenadier caps used by various 18th-century armies and their cultural significance.

David Ledoyen, a heritage presentation coordinator from Montreal, will explore 18th-century surgeons’ instruments and the evolution of surgeons as a profession in New France.

Stuart Lilie, Director of Interpretation at Fort Ticonderoga, will discuss equestrian saddlery and horse furniture. Lilie is a saddler specializing in 18th- and early 19th-century saddlery.

Sarah Woodyard, an apprentice in millinery at Colonial Williamsburg, will talk about 18th-century undergarments.

Registration for “Material Matters” is now open. A brochure with the complete schedule and a registration form is available on Fort Ticonderoga’s website by selecting “Explore and Learn” and choosing “Life Long Learning” on the drop-down menu. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Rich Strum, Director of Education, at 518-585-6370. The cost for the weekend is $120 ($100 for members of the Friends of Fort Ticonderoga).

Photo: Speaker Henry Cooke (left) and Curator of Collections Chris Fox (right) examine an original 18th-century coat during a “Material Matters” session last winter.

Fort Ticonderoga Grows Interpretive Department


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While other history sites around the state continue to face cutbacks and layoffs, Fort Ticonderoga seems to have turned a corner with it’s own economic struggles. The private not-for-profit historic site and museum o Lake Champlain is growing with two new additions to its year-round Interpretive Department staff. Joel Anderson, Artificer Supervisor, and Joseph Privott, Military Programs Supervisor, began their new positions at Fort Ticonderoga on January 3.

Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Interpretation, said “These two individuals bring practical 18th century period knowledge to Fort Ticonderoga’s strategic drive to bring day to day historic details to life at Fort Ticonderoga, one of America’s oldest and most significant historic sites in North America.” He noted their “Skills and leadership allow the Fort to create living history programs and events for visitors that are exciting and interesting. Equally important, the Interpretive Department is able to emphasize Fort Ticonderoga’s commitment to excellence and historical accuracy as we portray those soldiers who struggled and died on this ground.”

Joel Anderson comes to Fort Ticonderoga with twelve years living history experience, both as a re-enactor and museum profession. Joel has previously worked for Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark located in Charleston, SC, specializing in livestock, carriages, and military programming. In his own business, Anderson Tailoring, Joel hand-stitched, custom-fit Revolutionary War uniforms and civilian clothing. Joel studied at East Tennessee State University, pursuing his musical skills. An avid equestrian, researcher, and eighteenth century mechanic, Joel has already contributed a great deal to Fort Ticonderoga’s living history programs in 2011. Serving as Artificer Supervisor, Joel will lead the development of the Fort’s historic trade program in 2012 including shoemaking and military tailoring.

Joseph Privott, who studied at Lees-McCrae College, brings his own living history experience in re-enacting and museums. Joseph’s mechanical skills include fields diverse as blacksmithing, artillery, woodwork, and Native American crafts. The creator of an online database about Southeastern Native Americans in the 18th century, Joseph brought his extensive background in Native American material culture to his portrayal of a 1759 British Indian agent at the Fort in 2011. Previously a docent with the Southern Appalachian Historical Association and a volunteer at Fort Dobbs State Historic Site, Joseph’s commitment to educational excellence in living history programs at Fort Ticonderoga has already made its mark.

The two new year-round positions expand Fort Ticonderoga’s capacity to offer events throughout the year and increased school programming. These positions will also provide the cadre of leadership for an enlarged staff of costumed interpreters in the 2012 visitor season. Beth Hill, Executive Director, said “The addition of Joel Anderson and Joseph Privott to Fort Ticonderoga’s full-time staff represents an important step in Fort Ticonderoga reclaiming its place as the premier eighteenth century military site in North America.”

Photo: Joel Anderson, Artificer Supervisor, (left) and Joseph Privott, Military Supervisor, (right).

Fort Ticonderoga Adds Winter Lecture Series


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Fort Ticonderoga is introducing a Fort Fever Series of Sunday afternoon programs running from January through April. Presented by Fort Ticonderoga staff, the programs cost $10 each and are free for Members of the Friends of Fort Ticonderoga.

The program begins with a “Winter Landscape Snowshoe Trek” led by Curator of Landscape Heidi Karkoski on January 22. Explore the Fort Ticonderoga grounds and learn how to identify trees based on their winter (leaf-less) characteristics. Bring your own snowshoes (or hiking boots if conditions require).

On February 12, Curator of Collections Chris Fox will give attendees the chance to examine several original 18th-cenutry weapons from the Fort’s extensive collection in a program titled “The Roar of Musketry and the Cracking of Rifles: An Introduction to the Weapons of the 18th Century.”

In “Native Americans and the Patriot Cause” on March 25, Director of Interpretation Stuart Lilie will discuss the roles of Native groups that sided with the colonists during the American Revolution.

On April 22, Director of Education Rich Strum will talk about “Henry Knox: Beyond the Noble Train of Artillery.” Learn about the fascinating life of Henry Knox, from his first job in a book shop at age nine through his Revolutionary War career to his role as the nation’s first Secretary of War.

The Fort Fever Series is one of several new education initiatives at Fort Ticonderoga in 2012. You can learn more about these new programs, including Material Matters Seminar, the Garden & Landscape Symposium, and the Conference on Lake George & Lake Champlain, by visiting the Fort’s website at www.Fort-Ticonderoga.org and selecting the “Explore and Learn” button.

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga volunteer BR Delaney portrays a North East Woodland Native at a recent Fort Ticonderoga event (courtesy George Jones).

Fort Ticonderoga to Assess Repair Options


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A grant for $20,320 was recently awarded to the Fort Ticonderoga Association, a private not-for-profit organization, as part of the recent announcement by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The grant to Fort Ticonderoga, through the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, will fund a structural condition evaluation for Fort Ticonderoga in 2012 that will be used to make long-range decisions regarding the fort and its walls. This evaluation will establish the structural priorities for Fort Ticonderoga and identify options for repair.

The grant project is part of a larger Fort Ticonderoga planning initiative being prepared by PGAV Destinations. Phase 1 of this plan is expected to be complete in early 2012.

Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga Executive Director, said “a clear analysis of the structural needs of the Fort and its walls is one of our highest priorities at this time. The state grant allows for us to include this evaluation as we plan for a vibrant future for one of America’s greatest treasures. It will help us best preserve the Fort while reaching our greatest potential as a major destination in New York.”

The stabilization and preservation of Fort Ticonderoga’s walls has been an ongoing project since it was built by the French in 1755. In particular, water infiltration and the winter freeze thaw cycle have caused damage to the walls. In recent years, sections of the walls have been successfully repaired using modern masonry and drainage techniques.

Photo: Deteriorated walls at Fort Ticonderoga (Courtesy John Warren).

Fort Ticonderoga Acquires 1759 Powder Horn


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Fort Ticonderoga’s collection is strengthened by a recent donation of an engraved powder horn made in 1759. The horn is inscribed “JOSEPH STAB HIS POWDER HORNE 1759.” Joseph Stab’s identity thus far remains silent. A search of available records for the military campaigns of 1759 has not yet revealed who he was.

Stab’s powder horn is nicely engraved with a variety of scenes and images. Directly above his name is a hunting scene depicting a horseman and three hounds chasing a deer. Another part of the horn is engraved with what appears to be Indians in trees shooting at game. A variety of birds, trees and deer are depicted over much of the remainder of the horn along with depictions of sailing ships one of which is identified as “Sloop Oswego.” The British Navy sloop Oswego was constructed on Lake Ontario in 1755 and captured (burned) by the French on August 14, 1756 at the end of the siege of Fort Oswego. Was the sloop depicted on Stab’s horn as a memory of service in a previous military campaign? Further research may reveal the answer.

Powder horns were regularly issued to American provincial and British regular soldiers in the French & Indian War for carrying bulk gunpowder. Unlike what is commonly seen in the movies, soldiers generally did not load their muskets directly from a horn. The horn was a container in which to carry bulk gunpowder to later be used in making paper cartridges. Many soldiers had their horns engraved perhaps as a way of commemorating their military service. Although there is little direct information that survives regarding the process of engraving a powder horn, it appears from scant evidence that most horns were engraved by a only a handful of men, perhaps individuals with known artistic or engraving skills, serving as fellow soldiers in the army. Some powder horns have poetic phrases reflecting upon specific events and military campaigns; others are inscribed with only the owner’s name and date. Many powder horns have maps or floral or naturalistic scenes engraved on their surfaces. Each horn, however it is decorated is a unique record of a person’s military experience.

Fort Ticonderoga’s collection of 18th-century military objects is celebrated as one of the best of its type in the world. The collection of engraved powder horns numbers about seventy-five pieces spanning the French & Indian War and American Revolution. According to Chris Fox, Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections, “Each powder horn is unique and has a story to tell.”

Dozens of engraved powder horns are exhibited in the museum each season and many will be featured in the museum’s newest exhibit Bullets & Blades: The Weapons of America’s Colonial Wars and Revolution opening May 2012.

18th Cent Holiday Traditions at Fort Ticonderoga


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Visitors to Fort Ticonderoga can explore 18th-century holiday traditions at Fort Ti’s “Hot Chocolate at Cold Fort” event. Participants can visit with historic interpreters portraying Continental soldiers from Pennsylvania in 1776 and experience how very different Christmas at that time was compared to our modern holiday traditions. Learn about Saint Crispin’s Day from a shoemaker at the Fort and experience the simple holiday pleasures the frontier garrison enjoyed. Taste a sample of hot chocolate based on a recipe from the 18th-century and experience a celebration at Fort Ticonderoga in 1776 Saturday, December 3, 10 am – 4 pm. Regular admission rates apply. Ticonderoga residents are free.

Much of Ticonderoga’s 1776-1777 winter garrison was composed of soldiers of the 4th Pennsylvania battalion. The soldiers were from the vicinity of Chester, Pennsylvania. In large part they were Quaker or Anglican. For the few Anglicans among these men, Christmas was an occasion for a feast, but not an extraordinary one. For the Quakers, who largely rejected Anglican traditions, Christmas was a day like any other. However, just as today’s American troops serving in foreign lands seek comfort in simple pleasures during the holidays, the 4th Pennsylvania battalion soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga heartily enjoyed basic comforts that reminded them of home.

By the end of November 1776, Ticonderoga was covered by winter’s first blanket of snow. The 3,500 men remained to garrison Fort Ticonderoga, Mount Hope, and Mount Independence under the command of Colonel Anthony Wayne watched wearily as Massachusetts and New York militia troops departed for home at the end of their terms of enlistment. Other Continental troops departed to join General Washington in the milder winter climate of New Jersey. Settling in for a long winter guarding Lake Champlain from attack, Colonel Wayne moved the men of his 4th Pennsylvania battalion into the sparse comforts of the Fort’s stone barracks.

To learn more about Hot Chocolate at a Cold Fort visit www.FortTiconderoga.org or call 518-585-2821. This holiday experience at Fort Ticonderoga is part of the Second Annual North Country Christmas week-long celebration, November 28 – December 4. For details on the North Country Christmas visit www.ticonderogany.com.

Fort Ticonderoga Offers 2nd Material Culture Seminar


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Fort Ticonderoga will host its Second Annual “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” seminar the weekend of January 28 & 29, 2012. This weekend program focuses on the material culture of the 18th century and is intended for collectors, re-enactors, and people with a general interest in learning more about objects of the 18th century and what they can tell us about history. “Material Matters” takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga and is open by pre-registration only.

A panel of material culture experts from the United States and Canada come to Fort Ticonderoga for the weekend to share their knowledge of 18th-century material culture in a series of presentations. Designed for those who want a deeper understanding of the everyday objects that help tell the story of life and the contests for control of North America during the 18th century, the weekend’s informal approach enables attendees to interact with presenters and provides an opportunity to examine 18th-century objects up close.

o Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections Chris Fox will discuss the archeological remains of clothing and sewing-related artifacts in the Fort’s collection found during the Fort’s restoration in the early 20th century.

o Matthew Keagle, a scholar of 18th-century Atlantic material culture, will talk about grenadier caps used by various 18th-century armies and their cultural significance.

o David Ledoyen, a heritage presentation coordinator from Montreal, will explore 18th-century surgeons’ instruments and the evolution of surgeons as a profession in New France.

o Stuart Lilie, Director of Interpretation at Fort Ticonderoga, will discuss equestrian saddlery and horse furniture. Lilie is a saddler specializing in 18th- and early 19th-century saddlery.

o Sarah Woodyard, an apprentice in millinery at Colonial Williamsburg, will talks about 18th-century undergarments.

Registration for “Material Matters” is now open. A brochure with the complete schedule and a registration form is available on Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fort-ticonderoga.org by selecting “Explore and Learn” and choosing “Life Long Learning” on the drop-down menu. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Rich Strum, Director of Education, at 518-585-6370. The cost for the weekend is $120 ($100 for members of the Friends of Fort Ticonderoga).

Photo: Speaker Henry Cooke (left) and Curator of Collections Chris Fox (right) examine an original 18th-century coat during a “Material Matters” session last winter.

Fort Ticonderoga, Champlain College Collaborate


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Fort Ticonderoga and Champlain College are entering the second year of a growing collaboration, utilizing the needs of a non-profit institution while providing students at the Vermont institution with real-world experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.

“Talk about an effective engagement for student success! By employing a real-world competitive agency model, students are truly motivated to succeed,” said Nancy Kerr, Media Communication Program Director at Champlain College. Kerr’s senior-level students are currently working on a public relations project for Fort Ticonderoga.

The students are working with Lauren Grimaldi, from Brawn Media, on developing a viral social media campaign for the Fort. “With the increasing use of online campaigns as an effective marketing strategy,” Grimaldi said, “we gave them the challenge to create a viral campaign for the Fort. Working with the students at Champlain College has been a great learning experience on both ends.”

Champlain College senior Alisha Durgin, speaking of the project this semester, said “Overall, the research we did was very informative and even surprising. Just actually doing the research and collecting the results on our own was a great learning experience.” A final product from the group of students is due in December.

During the Spring 2011 Semester, students from one of Elaine Young’s marketing courses worked with Fort Ticonderoga and staff from Brawn Media developing potential marketing efforts for the Fort’s temporary exhibition “The Art of War: Ticonderoga as Experience through the Eyes of America’s Great Artists.”

Dr. Young, Assistant Dean in Champlain College’s Division of Business, noted that “The opportunity to have students work with an organization provides enhanced learning outcomes through real world application. It’s a hallmark of a Champlain education and wouldn’t be successful without true partnerships with mission-driven organizations such as Fort Ticonderoga.”

Young continued, “Senior marketing majors were able to work closely with Fort Ti to help them plan for a major event. They learned the intricacies of working with a client with specific needs and had the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the success of the event for Fort Ti. You can’t get this kind of experience and learning in a classroom setting by itself. It is an excellent way for students to fully link theory to practice and they were able to make meaningful connections which will stay with them as they enter their careers.”

Nancy Kerr concurs, relating that students “come away with valuable skills and knowledge to make the transition to a work environment. Working with Fort Ticonderoga this semester, the Champlain College students in the Public Relations Campaign Development class are enthusiastically working to help promote Fort Ticonderoga to the public, while gaining valuable professional skills. What could be better?”

The Champlain College collaboration is just an example of a growing role Fort Ticonderoga envisions for college and university partnerships that utilize Fort Ticonderoga as a “learning campus” for both undergraduate and graduate students in multiple disciplines, not just history and historic site administration.

Photo: Nancy Kerr, Media Communications Program Director at Champlain College, has students working the Fort Ticonderoga this semester.

NYU Grad Students Partner with Fort Ticonderoga


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Graduate students from New York University’s (NYU) Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sport’s Management are partnering with Fort Ticonderoga as part of their work in a Cultural Heritage Tourism class. The students are developing a concept for the Fort Ticonderoga’s learning campus as part of the Fort’s Comprehensive Plan. The partnership was initiated by Mike Konzen, Principal of PGAV Destinations, and Board member for the Friends of The Tisch Center – Hospitality and Tourism. PGAV Destinations is developing Fort Ticonderoga’s Comprehensive Plan. The first phase of the plan is expected to be complete in December 2011.

As part of the project the students and their professor, Dr. Sharr Prohaska, visited Fort Ticonderoga on October 14 – 15 to learn about the Fort’s history, programs, marketing plan, partnerships, and educational opportunities as a year-round learning campus.

The class project will focus on the opportunities related to learning experiences connected with the Fort’s developing historic trades program, and museum studies, as well as other areas such as land and water management, horticulture, and geology.

Dr. Prohaska said the visit was “A wonderful educational experience in a new world of discovery for the students who are from several countries including Uzbekistan, China, and the United States.” The students expressed that the visit made clear the magnitude of opportunities available at Fort Ticonderoga to develop as major destination and year-round learning campus. Dr. Prohaska concluded “The potential is endless as it is such an American treasure.”

Fort Ticonderoga’s Executive Director, Beth Hill, emphasized that the project is an example of what the multi-disciplined learning campus can include. According to Hill, Fort Ticonderoga in many ways has already begun the development of the concept through its university partnerships, seminars, and workshops. “The learning campus offers us the opportunity to widen our audience and broaden the season to offer year-round experiences at one of North America’s most significant and beautiful historic sites.”

Photo: Graduate Students from New York University and Dr. Prohaska at Fort Ticonderoga.

Continentals, British Skirmish at Fort Ticonderoga


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British and American Armies will once again fight for control of Fort Ticonderoga during the Struggle for Liberty re-enactment, Saturday-Sunday, September 10-11, 9:30 am – 5 pm each day. Experience a court martial proceeding, thrill at cannon demonstrations, and be part of the story as visitors are immersed in a skirmish each day, following the commands of the Continental Officers leading on horseback. Visitors can purchase wares from period merchants and worship in an 18th-century Divine Service, Sunday morning at 9:30 am. The ‘Struggle for Liberty’ reenactment September 10 and 11 focuses on the fall of 1776 at Fort Ticonderoga.

Throughout the weekend, Fort Ticonderoga will be alive with re-enactor portraying the Continental Army in 1776 camped in and around the fort walls. Visitors can experience the life of the fast moving soldiers and loyalists of the British advanced guard in their camp adjacent to the beautiful King’s Garden, the site of Fort Ticonderoga’s 18th-century Garrison Garden. Visitors will be immersed along side the staff of the Continental Army as they send patrols of men to find the advancing British Army. Continental officers will discuss the American strategy in 1776, as visitors explore the immense efforts to rebuild the American Army.

Highlighted daily events for September 10 and 11include:

10 am inspection of troops

10:30 am British and American patrols deployed

11 am (Saturday only) Author, James Nelson, presents “With Fire & Sword, Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution”

11:30 am Artillery Demonstration

12 pm British Court Martial

1:30 pm Skirmish

3 pm Northern Army Program

3:30 pm Musket Demonstration

4 pm (Saturday only) Sutler for the Army

9:30 am (Sunday only) Divine Service on the fort parade ground

11:30 am (Sunday only) Author, Williard Stearne Randall, presents “Ethan Allen, a Life”

Fort Ticonderoga’s story in 1776 is often overlooked. While 1775 featured Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold’s capture of this Fort, and 1777 saw General Burgoyne seize Ticonderoga once more, 1776 was a major rebuilding year for the Continental Army at Fort Ticonderoga. In order to block the British advance down Lake Champlain towards Albany, the Continental Army posted as many as 15,000 soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Independence across the lake. This was the largest American garrison of the fort during the American Revolution.

The Struggle for Liberty event is made possible by funding support from Glens Falls National Bank.

Photo: Historic Interpreter, Joel Anderson, is deployed on patrol as part of the Struggle of Liberty Re-enactment.

New Fort Ticonderoga Tour Highlights Artillery


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Fort Ticonderoga’s newest tour “The Usefulness of those fine Cannon” highlights the museums extensive 18th-century artillery collection. The walking tour takes visitors through the armament history of Fort Ticonderoga and is presented as part of the daily schedule for the remainder of the 2011 season.

The tour provides a window into the events where Fort Ticonderoga’s heavy cannons played such a large part in General Montgomery’s siege of Quebec, General Benedict Arnold’s navy, and Henry Knox’s epic efforts to haul these guns to Boston to force a British withdrawal in 1776. With three artillery pieces original to these events in Fort Ticonderoga’s collection, and many others nearly identical to the historic pieces, the tour of the Fort’s cannons allows visitors to experience Fort Ticonderoga’s important place in American history.



Fort Ticonderoga is home to one of America’s largest collections of 18th-century military material culture. The weapons collection is composed of over one thousand muskets, bayonets, pistols, swords and pole arms representing most of the major types of weapons used in the colonial wars and struggle for American Independence. The museum’s collection of 18th-century artillery is considered the largest collection of its type in the western hemisphere.

The special tour is included in the admission price. Visit www.fortitonderoga.org for calendar details or call 518-585-2821.

Fort Ticonderoga offers programs, historic interpretation and tours, garden tours, demonstrations and exhibits daily from 9:30 am – 5 pm, May 20 – October 20. A full schedule and information on events can be found at www.Fort-Ticonderoga.org or phone (518) 585-2821. Fort Ticonderoga is located at 100 Fort Ti Road Ticonderoga, New York.

Photo: Artillery at Fort Ticonderoga. Photo by John Warren.