Tag Archives: French And Indian War

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).

Lessons From the French and Indian War Commission


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In the past decade, the New York State Legislature desired to create three anniversary commemoration commissions. The Commissions were necessary to bring together persons qualified by experience to coordinate and facilitate commemorations and activities.

In 2002 and 2004, the Hudson – Fulton- Champlain Quadricentennial Commission, and the French and Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration Commission (FIW) were created. In the past three years, three bills to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 (1812) with a Commission have been vetoed by Governors Patterson and Andrew Cuomo.* Continue reading

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.

Lake George Shipwrecks and Sunken History


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A new book, Lake George Shipwrecks and Sunken History, was published this spring by The History Press. Written by Joseph W. Zarzynski and Bob Benway, the book is a collection their columns previously published in the Lake George Mirror along with additional material. Zarzynski and Benway helped establish Bateaux Below, which works to preserve shipwreck sites in Lake George.

The depths of Lake George hold an incredible world of shipwrecks and lost history. Zarzynski and archeological diver Bob Benway present the most intriguing discoveries among more than two hundred known shipwreck sites. Entombed are remnants of Lake George’s important naval heritage, such as the 1758 Land Tortoise radeau, considered America’s oldest intact warship. Other wrecks include the steam yacht Ellide, and excursion boat Scioto, and the first Minne-Ha-Ha (including some new findings). Additional stories include an explanation behind the 1926 disappearance of two hunters, John J. Eden and L. D. Greene, of Middletown, and pieces on the lake’s logging history and marine railways.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

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.

Fort Ticonderoga Highlights Role of 1759 Indian Agent


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Visitors to Fort Ticonderoga this summer will be able to explore the role of an Indian agent in 1759 as part of a new program entitled “Within Humane Bounds.” The program will be offered from 2 pm – 5 pm, Sunday through Thursday through October 20, 2011.

An historic interpreter representing an Indian agent of Sir William Johnson’s Northern Indian Department who supplied and coordinated with Mohawk warriors in 1759 brings this nuanced history to life. The program includes an impressive display of representative trade goods including leggings, shirts, powder horns and weapons that were that were needed to secure Mohawk support to the British army. Visitors will learn about the role the agent played in maintaining the bonds of alliance as well as being an important source for practical trade goods utilized in the native villages including agricultural tools and cutlery.

Native American allies in the French & Indian War were key players for both the French and British armies. Accordingly, both sides had extensive networks of agents and traders to try to forge those alliances and coordinate native warriors. Beyond the backing of the British crown, and a large supply of trade goods, Indian agents also had to use personal connections to fulfill their positions. Their fluency in languages, knowledge of local customs, as well as their own personal bonds of kinship within tribes were all essential in securing native alliances. These bonds were very often tested during these times of war, as Indian agents walked a fine line between encouraging native military support while keeping these warriors acting, “Within Humane Bounds”. Sir William Johnson’s directive to his Indian agents was to use the inherent skills of natives in woodland warfare, while keeping them acting within the moral morays of European warfare. Indeed, 1759 through the work of Indian Agents, the Mohawk allies had a reputation among the British army for discipline as admirable as their martial skill.

“Within Humane Bounds” program is part of Fort Ticonderoga’s broader interpretive emphasis this season which brings to life the year 1759. Costumed historic interpreters portraying members of Abijah Williard’s Massachusetts Provincial Regiment recreate 1759 through daily programs and historic trades demonstrations.

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s Historic Interpreter, Joseph Privott, portrays an Indian Agent of Sir William Johnson’s Northern Indian Department at Fort Ticonderoga as part of the “Within Humane Bounds” Program.

Ogdensburg Founder’s Day Weekend July 23-24


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Ogdensburg, in St. Lawrence County, will play host to it’s annual Founder’s Day celebration, French and Indian War reenactment, and colonial trade fair on Saturday, July 23 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday, July 24 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

More than 250 years ago the roar of cannon fire echoed over the St. Lawrence River on the now peaceful stretch between Ogdensburg, New York and Prescott, Ontario. The final battle of the French and Indian War – the battle that truly led to the French losing Canada to the English – was fought here in August 1760.

Founder’s Day Weekend is the annual commemoration of Ogdensburg’s French colonial history and the Battle of the Thousand Islands. Lighthouse Point features a military re-enactment and colonial trade fair. As many as 500 participants from the U.S. and Canada, dressed in 18th-century clothes, will establish an encampment of white canvass tents.

French and English naval contingents will moor their historically accurate small boats along the shore and bivouac there. The crews will race on Saturday morning, but Saturday and Sunday afternoon the boats with bow guns and muskets in battle on the river. The skirmishing on the water leads into the land battle. Across the width of Lighthouse Point, the opposing forces and their Native allies will maneuver.

Civilian life of the colonies will also be represented as women and children, pipers, dancers, artisans, traditional tradesmen and women, and sutlers, the merchants that followed the armies, set up their shops to furnish just about anything a re-enactor, or 21st-century tourist, could want.

The re-enactment of the Battle of the Thousand Islands and the colonial trade fair are adjacent to the archaeological remains of Fort de la Présentation, built by the French in 1749. When the tide of war turned in favor of the English, the French vacated the fort in early 1759 and continued the construction of Fort Lévis downriver on Île Royal, now Chimney Island. La Présentation was a wooden stockade; Lévis was a substantial fortification.

The 1760 Battle of the Thousand Islands began with the capture of the French corvette L’Outauaise by a swarm of English row galleys off abandoned Fort de la Présentation. The battle continued with the successful, weeklong siege of Fort Lévis. The English pressed on to accept the capitulation of Montreal.

For more than a decade, the annual Founder’s Day Weekend has honored the shared history of Canada and the United States. Here, where the Oswegatchie River flows into the St. Lawrence, the Fort La Présentation Association plans to rebuild the historic fort as a high-quality, tourist attraction.

Admission: Adults $8; Children 7 to 12 $2; children 6 and under free.

More information is available online or by calling the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce at 1-877-228-7810.

Photo courtesy Sandy Goss, Eagle Bay Media.

Fort Ticonderoga to Recreate 1759 British Capture


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Re-enactors portraying French and British soldiers of the Seven Year’s War, also known as the French and Indian War, will converge upon Fort Ticonderoga this Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26 to recreate the tumultuous and chaotic events by which General Amherst’s British army captured the vital Fort. Visitors will experience the life of British soldiers and besieged French soldiers recreated around them, with all the sights and sounds they would have encountered at Fort Ticonderoga in the summer of 1759.

The modern recreation of this clash for empire will feature a variety of demonstrations and events. Highlights of the weekend include: a battle each day featuring re-enactors recreating events of the siege as reported in the diary of a private in Willard’s Regiment of Massachusetts Provincials, who was part of the British force attacking the Fort; artillery and musket demonstrations; a talk by author Russ Bellico on his book, Empires in the Mountains; 18th-century music performed on period instruments by musician Robert Mouland; a rousing game of 18th-century cricket; and historic merchants to give visitors an immersive experience in the inevitable victory for the British forces. In addition to these special events, visitors to Fort Ticonderoga on June 25 and 26 can also enjoy the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts and militaria and the King’s Garden; admission to this reenactment weekend is included in the price of general admission to the Fort.

During the Seven Year’s War the great rivalry between France and Britain played out in their American colonies. The summer of 1759 saw General Amherst, commander and chief of all British forces in North America, moving to take the French Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) from the rear guard of soldiers posted there. Amherst moved his massive force of 11,000 to siege lines previously held by the French outside the Fort. The tiny French contingent of 400 pounded the British line with artillery for four days, in a futile attempt to stave off the inevitable. Finally, with their defeat in sight, the French spiked the cannons in the Fort, rendering them useless, and lit a fuse in the powder magazine, which exploded with destructive force. The French force retreated by boat to Fort St. Frederic in the north, also known as Crown Point. Out of the rubble of the old Fort Carillon rose the new Fort Ticonderoga as the British forces immediately moved in to begin reconstructing the fortifications.

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s Historic Interpreters Portray Massachusetts Provincial Soldiers in 1759. Courtesy Fort Ticonderoga.

Program on Crown Point Cannon Offered


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Where, in the Lake Champlain region, was the richest trove of artillery pieces at the time of the outbreak of the Revolutionary War? Most published histories, including those used in the classroom, overlook the largest British fort ever built in North America – Crown Point. At 7:00 pm, May 12th, artillery expert Joseph M. Thatcher will present a free public lecture inside the museum auditorium at the Crown Point State Historic Site on the little-known but fascinating topic of “The Cannon From Crown Point.”

As the long-time Supervising Curator for the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites, Thatcher tracked the movements – over the centuries – of artillery pieces. His presentation falls precisely on the 236th anniversary of the liberation (by the Green Mountain Boys militia, led by Captain Seth Warner) of more than 100 British-held artillery pieces at Crown Point. Those cannon from the French and Indian War-period would soon be put to use during the War for American Independence.

Crown Point seasonal staff will return to service at the site on Saturday, May 14, to provide history interpretation in the museum and in both fort ruins at Crown Point. Summer open hours are 9:30 – 5:00, Thursdays through Mondays. The museum contains an audio-visual presentation and exhibition, both installed in 2009, that features four different original artillery pieces from the 1700s.

Crown Point occupies a key location, both geographically and historically. Before the 1730s, Woodland Indians camped on the peninsula. In 1734, the French military built an impressive stronghold here, Fort St. Frédéric, with its tall limestone tower and its artillery-fortified windmill. A quarter-century later, when the British arrived, they built a vast fort at Crown Point, starting in 1759. The limestone ruins of both the French-built fort and of the earthen walls and stone barracks of the British fort have remained largely unchanged since a devastating fire burned the British fort in April 1773, just two years before the start of the War for American Independence.

New York’s Historic Military Maps Event


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On Friday, May 6, 2011, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor, NY, opens for the spring season with a special exhibit of New York’s Historic Military Maps from 1750 to 1820. At 6:30 pm that evening living history re-enactor Randy Patten will share his collection of historic maps, accouterments and artifacts from the French and Indian War.

Patten says, “These maps provide a fascinating look into America’s history as it occurred in New York State. Several show the local Northern New York area as well as all of New York state and parts of Canada and Pennsylvania, plus the waterways that people traveled to establish settlements and forts in such places as Oswego and Youngstown.”


Over the past 30 years, Patten has traveled to the Library of Congress and as far as Great Britain to obtain color copies of original maps, including some from the collection of King George III. Patten describes the hand-drawn maps as “works of art.”

The presentation by the retired New York State Trooper will include a look at French and Indian War artifacts, a British broadsword from a man-of-war used in the War of 1812, and a lesson on historic musket safety.

The exhibit of more than 50 historic maps will be on display Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5 pm at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center through June 26, 2011. The Center is located at 401 W. Main Street. Day admission is $4. Evening program admission is $5.

For more information on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway, visit www.seawaytrail.com or call 315-646-1000.

Seven Years’ War College Teacher Scholarships


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Fort Ticonderoga is has announced the winners of teacher scholarships to attend the Sixteenth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 20-22, 2011. They are: Wendy Bergeron, of Winnacunnet High School, Hampton, New Hampshire; Steven Hammerman, Falcon Cove Middle School, Weston, Florida; Judd Kramarcik, Commack Road Elementary School, Islip, New York; and Bill Sullivan, Northwestern Regional High School, Winsted, Connecticut.

Fort Ticonderoga’s teacher scholarships are supported by generous War College patrons and have been awarded to 53 teachers since 2001. Teacher scholarships are also offered for the annual Fort Ticonderoga Seminar on the American Revolution, held this year September 23-25, 2011. The seminar brochure and teacher scholarship application form are both available on the fort website at www.fort-ticonderoga.org by selecting the “Education Program” tab and then clicking on “Revolutionary War Seminar.”

Photo: Fifteenth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War, May 2010.

Lake Champlain: An Illustrated History


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The eastern edge of the Adirondack Park stretches into the middle of Lake Champlain, that great river-lake 120 miles long, four times the size of Lake George. Standing between the states of New York and Vermont, it’s the largest body of water in the Adirondacks, one that connects Whitehall and (via the Champlain Canal and Hudson River) New York City to Quebec’s Richelieu River and the St. Lawrence River.

Two routes inland from the Atlantic Ocean that have had a historic impact on the entire North County, New York and Vermont. The book Lake Champlain: An Illustrated History celebrates what is unquestionably America’s most historic lake. Continue reading

Fort Ticonderoga Presents Material Matters Workshop


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Fort Ticonderoga presents the next “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” Winter Weekend Workshop on Saturday, February 26th. This workshop, focusing on the Revolutionary War era, takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required.

Designed for those who want a deeper understanding of the everyday objects that help tell the story of life during the 18th century, this workshop is a part of a series examining the material culture of the 18th century as it relates to Fort Ticonderoga’s role in the 18th-century contests for North America.

The February 26th workshop features William Hettinger, an expert on 18th-century jewelry; Jenna Schnitzer, who will speak on 18th-century women’s clothing; Chris Fox, the Fort’s Curator of Collections, whose presentation focuses on 18th-century lighting devices; and Eric Schnitzer, from Saratoga National Historical Park, who will discuss the use of artworks when researching 18th-century material culture. The workshop concludes with an opportunity for participants to examine examples of 18th-century artifacts with the panel of experts.

The cost for the day-long workshop is $35 and includes morning refreshments and lunch. To register, contact Rich Strum at 518-585-6370 or you can download a registration form at www.Fort-Ticonderoga.org and select “Adult Programs” under the “Education Programs” button.

Fort Ticonderoga Receives Program Grant


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Fort Ticonderoga has been awarded a grant in the amount of $15,000 by the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust of Saratoga Springs, NY. The funds will support an expanded interpretive program entitled “These Worthy Fellows are Second to None in Courage” highlighting the daily lives of the soldiers garrisoned at Fort Ticonderoga.

The funding support from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust will help support interpretive staff and the purchase of interpretive clothing, weapons, accoutrement and tools. The Fort’s expanded programming will further bring to life the Fort’s social and military history as well as the material culture of the 18th century soldiers who served at Fort Ticonderoga.

Beth Hill, Executive Director, said the generous grant provided by Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust will “support a significant initiative at Fort Ticonderoga that invests in the visitor’s experience, serves the heart of our mission and meets a national need.” As part of an institutional-wide assessment, Fort Ticonderoga has identified the need for more interpretive opportunities that engage visitors through expanded living history programs.

According to a recent national study, 83% of U.S. adults failed when tested on the beliefs, freedoms and liberties established during the American Revolution. A goal of the Fort’s interpretive initiative is to address in part the historical amnesia identified in the report. Fort Ticonderoga, often called “America’s Fort,” tells the story of how the blood spilled in the name of empire during the French and Indian War became part of the same story of the blood spilled in the name of liberty during the American Revolution.

Photo: Interpreters portray Loyalist militia at Fort Ticonderoga.

New NY Military History: Empires in the Mountains


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Meeting Russell Bellico, as I did briefly several years ago, you’d think you were in the presence of an old sea captain spending his retirement in the softer wind and spray of Lake George. You’d be surprised to know that he spent 35 years in the economics department at Westfield State College in Massachusetts.

You’d be glad to hear that Bellico spent his time away from Westfield at Lake George, where as a summer resident he invested himself in local history. He has spent over three decades photographing shipwrecks and historic sites on Lake George and Lake Champlain. He served as a consultant on the National Park Service’s Champlain Valley Heritage Corridor, a trustee of the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance, and a board member of Bateaux Below, the organization founded by the archaeological team (which included Bellico) that documented the 1758 radeau Land Tortoise which lies underwater at the southern end of Lake George.

Bellico is the author of a score or more articles and five books on the maritime and military history of Lake George and Lake Champlain published by Purple Mountain Press. His first two projects were Chronicles of Lake George (1995) and Chronicles of Lake Champlain (1999). Both were aptly subtitled Journeys in War and Peace, as they were mostly drawn from primary sources by diaries, journals, and other early first hand accounts.
His third major effort, Sails and Steam in the Mountains: A Maritime and Military History of Lake George and Lake Champlain, earned a place as the go-to resource on the region’s maritime history.

His interest in boots on the ground history has no doubt contributed to some of Bellico’s most unique contributions to the region’s history – his careful looks at what remains. For example, Bellico weaves together histories of not just the events (through archaeology, primary sources, and first hand accounts) but of what remains of those events on the landscape.

Bellico’s latest effort, Empires in the Mountains: French and Indian War Campaigns and Forts in the Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Hudson River Corridor, is the fruit of three decades of the author’s work to understand the military and maritime importance of the region. His first volume to focus entirely on the campaigns and forts of the Great Warpath during the French & Indian War (1754-1763), Empires in the Mountains covers the epic battles of the war in the lake valleys, as well as the building of the fortresses and battleships in Northern New York’s wilderness.

And true to his authoritative and thorough style, Bellico explores this history with one eye toward what happened after those great events of 350 years ago. He reviews the history of the abandonment, the excavations, and the exploitation of French and Indian War sites from Bloody Pond (which Bellico seems to suggest may in fact be correctly marked on Route 9 south of Lake George) and Fort Gage (bulldozed by a local developer avoiding APA oversight) to the more popular spots like Fort Ticonderoga, Fort Edward, Fort William Henry, and Fort George.

It’s that concluding epilogue, “Forts Revisited” that is perhaps the most valuable chapter of the book for local historians, and those interested in how we remember, and exploit, local history. For that chapter alone, this book belongs on the shelf of those interested in local history, regardless of your particular interest in the French and Indian War.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

Ogdensburg’s Lighthouse Point Makes Historic Register


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The Fort La Présentation Association’s historic Fort de la Présentation property on Lighthouse Point, already listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places, will soon join the seven Ogdensburg sites recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office has helped move the Fort Association’s application forward, and her office reports the Fort historic site on Lighthouse Point should be on the Federal Register soon.

“Fort de la Présentation, one of the historic jewels in New York State, once played a vital role in the formation of our nation. Once fully restored, the Fort has the potential to attract thousands of tourists, which will help stimulate the region’s economy through new development and job creation,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “As New York’s first Senator from Upstate in nearly 40 years, I am proud to support the restoration of this beautiful, historic site. Thanks to the work of the Fort La Présentation Association, New Yorkers will soon be able to enjoy this landmark restored to its former glory.”

“The Fort Association is grateful to Senator Gillibrand for her staunch backing of the Fort Project and the assistance of her office to have the Fort’s location listed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with Ogdensburg’s registered heritage sites,” said Barbara O’Keefe, President of the Fort La Présentation Association. “Becoming an acknowledged member of this distinguished group will positively impact our work toward building our Interpretive Center. The recognized historical importance of our property gives us credibility among potential donors as we continue planning to build Fort de la Présentation.”

From the mid-18th century to the early 19th century the fort at the mouth of Oswegatchie River, under French, British and American flags, influenced the development of Ogdensburg and its role in the history of the United States.

“In addition to honoring the City’s place in American, Canadian, and Native histories, placement of these lands on the National Register of Historic Places positions the Fort La Présentation Association to use the site to continue to play an important role contributing to the development of historic tourism and local hospitality businesses, as well as the overall growth of our local economy,” said Ogdensburg City Manager Arthur J. Sciorra.

The Acker and Evans Law Office, New York State Armory, Ogdensburg Armory, Oswegatchie Pumping Station, U.S. Customs House, U.S. Post Office, and Library Park Historic District have met the criteria to be worthy of federal recognition and preservation because of their links to American history.

Until the building of the Interpretive Center and Fort de la Présentation, the interpreted site on Lighthouse Point will attract tourists who would not usually venture this way and indicate to residents the significance of their community’s history.

Study: Ogdensburg History Event Offers Local Boost


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Between $250,000 and $500,000 was injected into the regional economy by the Fort La Présentation Association’s Founder’s Day Weekend, July 16-18, 2010, according to Association President Barbara O’Keefe. The financial impact was made by the 3,000 visitors and 700 re-enactors who came to Ogdensburg to commemorate the last Battle of the French and Indian War.

In an exit survey conducted Friday, Saturday and Sunday, visitors were asked to estimate their expenditures related to the event in terms of transportation, meals and beverages, accommodation, and all other expenses.

Harold G. Needham, a consultant to the Fort La Présentation Association, designed the survey, analyzed the data and wrote the report. He took a very conservative approach. Needham disregarded the high-end estimates of the dollar value in each expenditure range selected by respondents; he also disregarded estimates exceeding 50 percent of the dollar range selected by respondents in each expenditure category.

“I deliberately undervalued event organizers’ estimates of numbers of visitors and gave a zero value to the estimates of people who didn’t respond to the economic impact questions in the survey,” Needham said. “I believe my estimated range of total expenditures errs, if at all, in underestimating the economic impact of the event.”

As to the infusion of visitors’ cash Needham wrote, “While most of this would have been spent in the immediate area, some of it impacted on the economy elsewhere in the state and nation, and a very small part in adjacent areas of Canada.”

The survey did not ask about money spent on groceries, but found from $75,000 to $150,000 was spent on meals and beverages and $31,000 to $63,000 on accommodation. Visitors’ transportation expenses infused between $68,000 and $136,000 and from $77,000 to $154,000 flowed into all other expenses.

“As the Founder’s Day Weekend re-enactment and colonial trade fair has grown over the years, we have assumed a significant amount of money is spent locally by the visitors and re-enactors,” said Barbara O’Keefe, President of the Fort La Présentation Association. “We decided this year, when we hosted New York State’s final 250th anniversary commemoration of the French and Indian War, would be a good opportunity to gauge the potential economic impact of this tourist-focused event, and we have been pleasantly surprised.”

This is the second survey conducted for the Fort Association to get a profile of the visitors and their responses to Founder’s Day Weekend activities. However, this is the first look at what the weekend can pump into the economy.

“We know people spent money getting here. Some traveled lengthy distances to get to our re-enactment and colonial trade fair, and some who were here to visit family took in the event,” said O’Keefe. “Regardless, local motels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and other business saw trade directly linked to Founder’s Day Weekend, and we are very pleased to have helped contribute to their bottom lines.”

Re-enactors and others who brought the mid-18th century to life put their dollars into the local economy. They arrived in Ogdensburg one, two or more days before the Friday opening and some did not leave until Monday.

In addition, St. Lawrence County and the City of Ogdensburg benefit from their share of the sales tax collected by local merchants.

As of the end of September 2010, the financial statements of the Fort La Présentation Association indicate almost $59,000 had been spent in the local economy on the event. When bills yet to be received are paid, the total will rise to at least $60,000, giving the event a total economic impact of between $300,000 and $550,000

“The major events hosted by the Fort translate into enough additional business for our restaurant that we can do improvements that we otherwise could not afford,” said Deb Janson, owner of the Freight House Restaurant. “The Fort brings in the additional customer base that establishments like ours really need to move ahead.”

Of the visitors to Founder’s Day Weekend, 61.7 percent live in St. Lawrence County and another 18.9 percent elsewhere in New York State; 11.7 percent came from other U.S. states and 7.6 percent from Canada.

Fort Ticonderoga Hosts Garrison Ghost Tours


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Discover the unexplained past at Fort Ticonderoga during evening Garrison Ghost Tours, Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 22 and 23 and Oct. 29 and 30. The lantern-lit tours, offered from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., will highlight Fort Ticonderoga’s haunted history and recount stories featured on Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters.

Garrison Ghost Tours, led by costumed historic interpreters carrying lanterns, allow guests to enter areas of the Fort where unexplained events have occurred. The forty-five minute walking tour in and around the Fort offers historical context to the many ghostly stories that are part of Fort Ticonderoga’s epic history. The evening tours allow guests to experience the magic of Fort Ticonderoga at night. Guests can also take their own self-guided walk to the historic American Cemetery where a costumed interpreter will share the many stories related to its interesting past.

Fort Ticonderoga has a long and often violent history. Constructed in 1755, the Fort was the scene of the bloodiest day of battle in American history prior to the Civil War when on July 8, 1758 nearly 2,000 British and Provincial soldiers were killed or wounded during a day-long battle attempting to capture the Fort from the French army. During the American Revolution nearly twenty years later thousands of American soldiers died of sickness while defending the United States from British invasion from the north.

Tickets for the Garrison Ghost Tours are $10 each and reservations are required. Call 518-585-2821 for reservations. No exchanges and refunds allowed. The Garrison Ghost Tours are a rain or shine event. Beverages and concessions are available for purchase. Garrison Ghost Tour dinner packages are available through Best Western Ticonderoga Inn & Suites. Visit www.fort-ticonderoga.org for package details.

Photo: Twilight at Fort Ticonderoga

A Fort Edward French & Indian War Encampment


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Two full days of free family entertainment and education are being offered at Rogers Island Visitors Center in Fort Edward this weekend, September 25 and 26. French and Indian War reenactors from across the Northeast will establish an authentic period encampment on Rogers Island along the Hudson River.

Visitors can see how the men prepared for battle, learn what the women did in the military camps, and browse through the sutlers’ tents and see the merchandise that was offered in the military camps. Enjoy the smells as meals are prepared over open camp fires and listen to stories of 18th century camp life. At the 2:00 PM military tactical each day you will hear the musket fire as troops are ambushed by the French beyond the fort and watch as the British and provincial soldiers, along with their Native American allies, hurry to their defense. With the dredging now completed around the Island four period bateau will be launched in the river and joining in the battle.

“The End of the Campaign Reenactment” is this Saturday and Sunday, September 25 and 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rogers Island Visitors Center, Route 197 (just off Route 4) in the Village of Fort Edward. Free admission. For more information call 518-747-3693.

Archeology to be Focus Of Mount Independence Hike


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The mysteries of Mount Independence’s past will be revealed in the annual archeology hike into history at the historic site in Orwell, Vermont. Archaeologist Allen Hathaway will lead the hike on Sunday, September 5 at 2:00 p.m. and share his extensive knowledge about what archeology can and has revealed about the original inhabitants of the Mount; the American Revolution; and even the earlier French and Indian War. Continue reading