The grand opening of the Road to the Battle of Bennington will also introduce an interpretive driving tour featuring a Lakes to Locks Passage mobile application.
The festivities to mark this mix of history and technology begin at 11 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Canal Corp Parking area at Fort Miller near Champlain Canal Lock 6, on the east side of US Route 4 in the Town of Fort Edward. At that time, representatives from a number of regional partnerships and organizations – including the Washington County Historical Society, Lakes to Locks Passage, New York State Parks, and the Historic Hudson-Hoosic Partnership – will unveil a three-panel interpretive trail kiosk and the Road to the Battle of Bennington mobile app.
The driving tour highlights the story of Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum, who led a detachment from General John Burgoyne¹s army toward Bennington. It was a desperate bid to secure horses, provisions and Loyalist support. The force was defeated by rebel forces at the Battle of Bennington, or Walloomsac, helping to set the stage for the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga, the turning point in the Revolutionary War.
The kiosk, which marks the beginning point of the Interpretive Trail, includes panels depicting the Col. Baum trail, General Burgoyne¹s march toward Saratoga and an overview of the Fort Miller area as it was during the Revolutionary War.
Following the opening ceremonies, visitors can then join a bus tour or travel in their own vehicles along the interpretive route, to the Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site, where guided tours by costumed interpreters will further enhance the story of Lieutenant Baum¹s ill-fated journey. Lunch at the Battlefield is included in the bus tour.
The cost is $25, and reservations and payment for this should be sent ASAP to the Washington County Historical Society, c/o Kay Tomasi, P.O. Box 573, Salem, NY 12865. Visitors who travel in their own vehicles, may also purchase the lunch. The cost for the lunch alone is $10.
In-depth research has established Baum¹s historic route, which meanders through the beautiful hills of Washington and Rensselaer counties. Grant money from the Historic Hudson-Hoosic Rivers Partnership and donations from the Washington County Historical Society and Stewart¹s Shops have helped to underwrite the cost of the project. Lakes to Locks Passage was responsible for compiling the information, gleaned from a number of documentary sources, and it also provided the necessary technological skills to make the project possible.
Additional interpretive trails will be available on the Lakes to Locks Passage mobile app in the near future.
For additional information, contact Kay Tomasi at 518-854-7274.
Illustration: F.C. Yohn, The Battle of Bennington; Courtesy of the Chapman Historical Museum