Fort Fever Series Explores Mixed Messages on the Command of the American Fleet on Lake Champlain in 1776

Fort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” continues on Sunday, February 21, at 2:00 p.m. with “Who’s in Charge Here?” presented by Director of Education Rich Strum. The cost is $10 per person and will be collected at the door. The program is free for Members of Fort Ticonderoga.

Fort Fever

Image of Benedict Arnold from the Fort Ticonderoga Collection

Following a disastrous invasion of Canada during the winter of 1775-76, the Continental Army desperately worked to protect the northern frontier from an expected British invasion from Canada in 1776. Learn about the steps taken to maintain control of the vital Lake Champlain corridor and explore the conflict over the command of the American fleet that developed. Following an overview of the conflict and its resolution, participants will examine documents related to the command of the fleet and discuss how such a debacle could happen.

Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Education, Rich Strum, serves as the Project Director for the museum’s NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers and the Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute. He is also the North Country Coordinator for New York State History Day.

Additional “Fort Fever Series” programs are scheduled for March 13 and April 10.  The complete schedule of winter and early spring programs is available at www.fortticonderoga.org by clicking on “Education” and selecting “Workshops and Seminars” on the drop down menu.

The “Fort Fever Series” is just one of several programs taking place at Fort Ticonderoga this winter and early spring. Clothing and Accoutrement Workshops are offered February 27 & 28. Fort Ticonderoga presents “Winter Family Fun Day: An 18th-Century Experience” on February 13. The living history event “1775 British Garrison Weekend” takes place on March 12. The Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium will be held on April 9. You can learn more about all of these programs by visiting www.fortticonderoga.org. Some programs require advance registration.

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Designing the Future for Fort Ticonderoga’s Pavilion

Grant from New York State Council on the Arts Lays the Foundation for the Restoration of the 1826 Historic Home

The PavilionThe design phase for Fort Ticonderoga’s Pavilion, 1826 historic home and later hotel, is underway thanks to a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and generous individual donor support. John G. Waite Associates, Architects PLLC, a leading consultant in the field of historic preservation architecture, has been hired to prepare schematic design and design development documents for the historic home located on Fort Ticonderoga property.  The documents will allow Fort Ticonderoga to move forward with the stabilization and complete restoration of this nationally significant building as part of their overall site master plan.

“Fort Ticonderoga is extremely pleased to begin this important project,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO.  “As one of the earliest summer homes and hotels in the region, the Pavilion is considered one of the most important historic structures in the Adirondacks. The Pavilion is a critical link spanning nearly two centuries of Fort Ticonderoga’s history encompassing the stories of landmark preservation, the birth of American tourism, and monumental restoration.”

Although much of the Pavilion’s early fabric remains, the building has been altered over the years and today is in poor condition because of decades of little or no maintenance. Interior features have deteriorated along with elements of the building’s exterior. Without stabilization and rehabilitation work, the building would be in jeopardy of being lost, making this project vital and timely.

A team of architects, architectural historians, and building conservators from John G. Waite Associates carried out a thorough investigation of the Pavilion in 2013-2014, to document and understand the current state of the building and identify the various phases of the building’s evolution.  Dendrochronology was conducted on timbers in the structure during that time and identified beams dating from the late 17th century, 18th century, and 19th century. The research provided the foundation for future plans of restoration and reuse.

Plans for the Pavilion’s reuse include meeting space, hospitality functions, administrative support, dining, and guest services. The Pavilion’s restoration is part of a larger multi-year capital initiative being undertaken by Fort Ticonderoga.

History of the Pavilion:

The Pavilion was built as a summer home in 1826 by William Ferris Pell.  He and his family occupied it through the1830s.  By 1840 the house had begun to be used as a hotel, its primary function through 1900.  As a hotel the house welcomed travelers passing through Ticonderoga while traveling by steamboat on Lake George and Lake Champlain.  The hotel is known to have accommodated such guests as Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln; the prominent French & Indian War historian, Francis Parkman; and prolific Adirondack photographer, Seneca Ray Stoddard.  When William Ferris Pell’s great-grandson, Stephen H.P. and his wife Sarah G.T. Pell began the restoration of Fort Ticonderoga in 1909, they simultaneously undertook the restoration of the Pavilion and used the house as a summer residence for many years.  After Stephen Pell’s death in 1950 his son John occupied the house until 1987.

The project is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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Low Scots

Variety of Dutch musket side plates recovered from Fort Ticonderoga during restoration of the site in the 20th century. (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

The first of Fort Ticonderoga’s Fort Fever Series on January 10th examined the history of the Dutch contributions to the conflicts of the 18th century. Although the Dutch never sent troops or Naval personnel to North America (in fact they remained neutral during the Seven Years’ War), Dutch weapons armed thousands of American soldiers. Recoveries of Dutch musket parts at Fort Ticonderoga confirm the extensive usage of these weapons here during the French and Indian War and possibly the Revolution.

What many may not realize is the close connection between the Netherlands and Great Britain in the 18th century. The Dutch and British clashed in the 17th century as Britain rose as a commercial nation. The cessation of the three Anglo-Dutch wars of the 17th century brought about a warming of relations culminating in the Glorious Revolution. Following James II’s abdication, the Dutch William of Orange became England’s King William III.

Dutch weaponry was heavily represented in British arsenals, especially following William’s rise to the English throne. The Land Pattern series of Muskets, developed in the early 18th century, owed more than a little of their original design to Dutch weapons. Between 1706 and 1759 nearly 80,000 Dutch firearms were purchased by British agents, many of which were deemed sub-standard and shipped to the colonies to arm American provincials fighting the French and Indians in the 1750s.

Douglas Barrel.

Dutch Musket Barrel, c.1740 (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

Examples of Dutch muskets from this period represent a number of different patterns, often with significant variations from piece to piece. Some surviving Dutch muskets are engraved with the decidedly un-Dutch name “Douglas” along the top of the barrel. Two such weapons are in Fort Ticonderoga’s collection; one can be viewed in our “Bullets and Blades” exhibit.

The composition of the Dutch military may explain the origin of these engravings. Reforms in the 1590s meant that over half of the Dutch army consisted of hired foreigners. In addition to native troops, the Dutch relied particularly heavily on Germans from Saxe-Gotha, Salm, Hessen-Darmstadt, Baden, Löwensten-Wertheim, Mecklenberg-Schwerin, and Münster, as well as Wallons and Swiss. Most interesting though may be the Scotch Brigade. This brigade was composed of three regiments of Scots and had existed as a hired unit since 1570. Many nations had hired Scots –an independent kingdom until 1707 – to serve as auxiliaries. They wore red uniforms like British soldiers until 1783, while the rest of the Dutch forces wore blue.

The muskets marked Douglas may be decommissioned Dutch military weapons. Like many units, the regiments of the Scotch Brigade were known by the name of the colonels. In the Scotch Brigade these were names like Hamilton, Murray, Wood, Stewart and yes Douglas. General John (or occasionally Johann) Douglass commanded a regiment during the war of the Spanish Succession, which was disbanded in 1717. An additional regiment, raised in 1747 and disbanded in 1752, was commanded by the Earl of Drumlanrig, Henry Douglas. It is possible that these Douglas marked muskets were once carried by Scottish soldiers serving the United Provinces of the Netherlands.

Fort Ti Bizhub C454-20160126135334

Brigadier General Simon Fraser, Mezzotint, Scouter, Watson, 1778 (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

By way of a conclusion it may be worth noting that more than a few officers who gained notoriety in North America with the British military began their careers in the Dutch army. General James Murray who served as the Governor of Quebec following the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 had served in the Scotch Brigade as had Francis McLean who defended a British post on Penobscot Bay from an American expeditionary force that included Paul Revere in 1779. Henry Bouquet, who served admirably under General John Forbes in Pennsylvania in 1758 and during Pontiac’s War, had begun his career in a Swiss Regiment in Dutch service. Most important for the Champlain/Hudson Valley though, Simon Fraser the vaunted commander of Burgoyne’s Advanced Guard, killed at the Battle of Bemis Heights, who had served during the War of the Austrian Succession in the Scotch Brigade in Dutch service.

Matthew Keagle

Curator of Collections

 

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Fort Ticonderoga Launches New Graduate Fellowships

Graduate Fellowships

Fort Ticonderoga is seeking applicants for its 2016 Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowships designed for students seeking practical, hands-on internship experience at a historic site and museum with cutting-edge programs. The fellowships run from June 13 to August 12, 2016, and include internships in Education, Exhibitions, Horticulture, and Interpretation.

“These fellowships for graduate students in museum studies, museum education, public history, history, public horticulture, American studies, or military history offer an opportunity to work side by side with our dedicated team,” noted Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO Beth Hill. “The interns will focus their research and creative energy to support exhibitions and programs related to the year 1757 at Fort Ticonderoga.”

large_Matt-S.-with-Alec-in-Collections-Storage“While working individually with their project supervisors,” added Rich Strum, Director of Education, “interns will also meet and work together throughout the two-month experience. Interns will have an opportunity to work with Fort Ticonderoga’s professional staff as part of our team-approach to all major projects.”

Each year Fort Ticonderoga’s interpretation focuses on a specific year in the museum campus’ multi-layered history. This year’s fellows will help lay the ground work for exhibitions, programs, and educational initiatives to be offered to the public in 2017. Interns need to be self-motivated and able to work independently as well as contribute to a dedicated team to create and develop ground-breaking exhibitions and programs for a diverse audience.

Successful applicants for the two-month fellowship will receive a $2,500 stipend along with on-site housing. Graduate students and qualified undergraduates interested in learning more details and applying should visit Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fortticonderoga.org/education/university-partnerships. Individual fellowships are available in Education, Exhibitions, Horticulture, and Interpretation. Applications are due April 1, 2016.

large_In-the-archivesThe Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowships launched in 2015 with four graduate students from Stonybrook University, Texas State University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Western Michigan University. Projects completed by the 2015 fellows included researching and cataloging artillery-related artifacts and the design of hands-on components for the new exhibition “The Last Argument of Kings: The Art and Science of 18th-Century Artillery” which opens in May 2016. Another fellow conducted research and transcribed the Philip Skene Papers in the collection for use with the 2016 Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute focused on “British Perspectives on the American Revolution.” The Interpretation Fellow delved into the British use of Canadian Corvée during the 1777 invasion of New York. That ground-breaking research led to an invitation for Fellow Richard Tomczak to present his research at the 1st Conference of the European Labor History Network in Turin, Italy, in December 2015.

The Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowships at Fort Ticonderoga are made possible with the support from the Edward W. Pell Education Endowment at Fort Ticonderoga and several generous individual donors.

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Fort Ticonderoga as a “Learning Campus”

The term “campus” usually brings forth visions of sprawling college buildings clustered around a quad. There’s a constant bustle of activity as professors, undergraduates, and graduate scurry from place to place. Campuses promote education by providing an environment conducive to learning.

Learning Campus

Over the past six years, we’ve been looking at the Ticonderoga peninsula as a “learning campus.” This has been a deliberate attempt to think of the historic buildings, the expansive landscape, the gardens, and the Lake Champlain shoreline as learning resources, much like the science building and the library make up the components of a college campus. Our learning campus promotes our mission to “ensure that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history.”

Our mission says “learn from,” not “learn about.” This is intentional. History is not just to be studied in the past tense. It’s to be “learned from” in the present tense.

Learning from history is an on-going endeavor here at Fort Ticonderoga. This summer we are offering a number of opportunities for teachers from around the country to spend a week on our learning campus and immerse themselves in the rich history of the Ticonderoga peninsula.

NEH Teachers workshopWe are delighted to be offering two week-long NEH Landmarks of American History & Culture Workshops for School Teachers this summer. This is the fourth year we’ve successfully applied to host these workshops. In “The American Revolution on the Northern Frontier: Fort Ticonderoga and the Road to Saratoga,” teachers will delve into the early years of the American Revolution as they unfolded at Fort Ticonderoga and the surrounding region. They’ll have the opportunity to work with well-known scholars as they explore the roles of various groups in the Revolution.

Among the scholars is Holly Mayer, from Duquesne University, who will discuss the role of women during the Revolution with one week’s participants. Holly is the author of Belonging to the Army: Camp Followers and Community during the American Revolution, a landmark work in combating decades-old stereotypes. Holly’s current research involves the often overlooked Canadians who enlisted in the Continental Army during the invasion of Canada in 1775-76 and remained with the army after the invasion’s failure.

A complete listing of our NEH Visiting Scholars can be found on our website at this link: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/neh/staff-scholars. Through these NEH workshops we’ve developed some great long-term relationships with many of these scholars and I look forward to working with them this summer.

Participation in the NEH Landmarks Workshops is open through a competitive application process. The application window is now open—applications are due by March 1, 2016. You can learn more about the workshops and how to apply here: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/neh.

large_11542042101529857139890332136359328390890937nAlso for teachers this summer is our Fourth Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute. This year’s Institute focuses on “British Perspectives on the American Revolution.” A group of twelve teachers from across the country will spend one week learning about the American Revolution from the point of view of the British soldiers, the Loyalists, and the German allies. Teachers will also participate in a series of experiences designed to immerse them in the 18th-century history of Fort Ticonderoga. Teacher Institute participants will work with original documents and objects in our collection and spend time creating innovative projects incorporating multiple disciplines, including history, geography, ELA, math, and science. Developing an environment of collegiality, we hope to create a model learning experience for educators that will be replicated in their classrooms.

Like the NEH Landmarks Workshops, participation in the Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute is open through a competitive application process. We are accepting applications now; applications are due April 15, 2016. You can learn more here: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/educators/teacher-institute.

large_Cathrine-with-streaksWe also offer a unique learning experience for graduate students through the Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowships. We launched this program last summer with four students from Stonybrook University, Texas State University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Western Michigan University. These fellows spent two months working at Fort Ticonderoga, one each in Collections, Education, Exhibitions, and Interpretation. Each fellow helped lay the ground work for programs and exhibitions that will be part of our 2016 season focused on the year 1777.

This year’s fellowships will run from June 13-August 12, 2016. Fort Ticonderoga seeks graduate students in museum studies, museum education, public history, history, American studies, or military history. Interns will need to be self-motivated and able to work independently as well as contribute to a dedicated team to create and develop ground-breaking exhibitions and programs for a diverse audience. Qualified undergraduates are welcome to apply.

Each year Fort Ticonderoga’s interpretation focuses on a specific year in the site’s multi-layered history. Internships in 2016 will focus on the year 1757 in preparation for exhibitions, programs, and educational initiatives to be offered to the public in 2017. While the Horticulture Fellowship will also focus in part on 1757, the Horticulture Fellow’s focus will be broader.

large_Matt-S.-with-Alec-in-Collections-StorageInterns during the summer of 2016 will focus their research and creative energy to support exhibitions and programs related to the year 1757 at Fort Ticonderoga. While working individually with their project supervisors, interns will also meet and work together throughout the two month experience. They will have an opportunity to work with Fort Ticonderoga’s professional staff as part of our team-approach to all major projects. Professional development opportunities during the internships will include visits from outside scholars and field trips to related sites. In general, project-specific work will encompass about 50% of the intern’s time. The remaining half will be taken up with day-to-day tasks in their department, providing a wide-ranging experience working at a historic site.

Each Graduate Fellow will receive a $2,500 stipend plus housing. Fort Ticonderoga’s Black Watch House for Fellows is located within walking distance of both the Thompson-Pell Research Center and the main grounds of Fort Ticonderoga.

Know of a graduate student who might benefit from spending two months at Fort Ticonderoga this summer? Encourage them to check out the details at: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/university-partnerships.

This just begins to scratch the surface when it comes to using the Ticonderoga peninsula as a learning campus. Stay tuned!

Rich Strum

Director of Education

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Experience “Winter Family Fun Day: An 18th-Century Experience ” at Fort Ticonderoga!

Winter Family Fun DayJoin Fort Ticonderoga for its first “Winter Family Fun Day: An 18th-Century Experience” on Saturday, February 13 and enjoy a day of winter play with an 18th-century twist. Grab your gear to experience sledding, snowshoeing, and skating on the garrison grounds of Fort Ticonderoga. Tours and presentations will give visitors a chance to learn about the rich history of Ticonderoga in the winter. Warm up with a delicious cup of hot chocolate made from 18th-century ingredients and discover the tasty history of chocolate at Fort Ticonderoga in the 18th century. This unique family-fun event takes place from 10 am – 4 pm and costs $10 per person; Members of Fort Ticonderoga are free. For more information call 518-585-2821 or click here.

“Sledding, snowshoeing, and ice skating are fun recreational sports today, but were vital military activities in the winter campaigns in the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation. “This event is your chance to witness the epic scouts of Rogers’ Rangers trekking on several feet of snow with homemade snowshoes or skating miles along frozen Lake Champlain and Lake George. See how today’s toboggans descend from tools which carried the packs of native warriors, Canadians, and soldiers alike.”

Click here to view the Event Schedule!

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Registration Open for War College of the Seven Years’ War at Fort Ticonderoga

Registration is now open for Fort Ticonderoga’s Twenty-First Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 20-22, 2016. This annual seminar focuses on the French & Indian War in North America (1754-1763), bringing together a panel of distinguished historians from across the United States. The War College takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center and is open to the public; pre-registration is required.

Begun in 1996, the War College of the Seven Years’ War has become nationally recognized as the premier seminar on the French & Indian War (1754-1763), a conflict that spread across the globe and set the stage for the American Revolution. The War College 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. Speakers include:

  • Fort Ticonderoga's War College of the Seven Years' War featured speaker, David Preston

    David Preston, author of the award-winning book Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution, is one of the featured speakers at Fort Ticonderoga’s War College of the Seven Years’ War.

    Carl J. Anderson, III, researcher and author, “John Goffe, Jacob Bayley, and the New Hampshire Regiment.”

  • Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, “Ursuline Nuns and the French & Indian War.”
  • Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College, “Publishing Terror: War and Communication on the New England Frontier.”
  • James M. McManus, independent historian, “Sir William Johnson: British Colonial Politics during the French & Indian War.”
  • John-Eric Nelson, independent historian, “‘No Real Dependence is to be Had’: Connecticut Provincials in the 1758 Campaign.”
  • David Preston, The Citadel, “Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution.”
  • Charles W. Thayer, independent historian, “The Engraved Powder Horn: origin and evolution of an indigenous American art form, 1746-1763.”
  • Tim Todish, author, “‘with intent to raise Commotions and Disturbances in the upper Countrys’: The Trial of Major Robert Rogers for Treason While Commandant of Fort Michilimackinac.”

The War College also features presentations by two Fort Ticonderoga Museum staff. Curator Matthew Keagle will give a presentation “Dieskau’s Grenadiers: Re-evaluating a key moment of the Battle of Lake George, 1755.” Keagle will examine traditional narratives of the second half of the Battle of Lake George and pose an alternative interpretation that challenges those narratives of the opening combat of the northern campaign of the French & Indian War.

Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation, Stuart Lilie, will delve into the role of artillery in the fighting at Ticonderoga in “‘Desirous of Getting Up More Artillery’: Cannons of the Campaigns at Carillon.”

Registration for the War College is now open at $145 ($120 for those registering by March 15); additional discounts available for Members of Fort Ticonderoga. Registration forms can be downloaded from Fort Ticonderoga’s website here. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Fort Ticonderoga at 518-585-2821.

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Fort Ticonderoga Presents Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium

King's Garden - Garden & Landscape SymposiumThe King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga presents the Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium on Saturday, April 9, 2016. This 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 northern New England. 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 presenters and attendees.

Garden & Landscape Symposium

Peter J. Hatch is the featured speaker at Fort Ticonderoga’s Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium April 9, 2016.

The featured speaker at this year’s symposium is Peter J. Hatch, long-time Director of Gardens and Grounds at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Hatch’s presentation “Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden” focuses on both Jefferson’s original 1,000-foot-long terraced vegetable garden as an experimental laboratory and how the 1984 restoration of that garden at Monticello continues to inspire the farm to table movement today. Hatch oversaw the care of the restored gardens at Monticello for 35 years. He is the author of four books on Monticello and its gardens.

Leonard Perry, Fort Ticonderoga’s new Horticulturist in Residence, will also speak at the symposium. Perry’s talk “Top Flowers and Vegetables for North Country Gardens” is based on Dr. Perry’s coordination of the All-America Selections flower display garden at Burlington’s Waterfront Park for over 20 years. He will also highlight the top ten vegetables from his online course on home vegetable growing. Dr. Perry is the author of The Fruit Gardener’s Bible, and served as the Extension Horticulture Specialist at the University of Vermont for 34 years.

King's Garden Aerial - Garden & Landscape SymposiumJudith Irven from Goshen, Vermont, will give a presentation on “A Sense of Place: Gardens that Celebrate the Natural Landscape.” She will explore how to evoke the imagery of the land in garden-making, including: the design of natural spaces, layered compositions, contrasts of sun and shade, the cycle of the seasons, using stone and wood in the garden, and the choice and arrangement of garden plants. Irven is a landscape designer, garden writer, and life-long gardener. She is a Vermont Certified Horticulturist and teaches Sustainable Home Landscaping for the Vermont Master Gardener program.

Sarah Salatino, from Full Circle Gardens in Essex, Vermont, will talk about “Planning Perennials for Pollinators.” With the alarming decline of butterfly and bee pollinators, Salatino shares how we can encourage and support pollinator populations with careful choices in what we plant in our gardens. Salatino’s nursery grows over 650 varieties of northern hardy perennials on site, including many native varieties.

Space for the Garden & Landscape Symposium is limited, so register early. The cost, including the day-long symposium and a lunch prepared by Libby’s Bakery Café, is $85 ($75 for members of Fort Ticonderoga). There is an Early Bird rate for registrations received by March 15: $75 ($65 for member of Fort Ticonderoga).

A brochure with the complete schedule and registration form is available here. A printed copy is also available upon request by calling 518-585-2821.

The Garden & Landscape Symposium is one of numerous opportunities for continuing education for the public at Fort Ticonderoga in 2016. You can learn more about these programs, including the annual War College of the Seven Years’ War and the Seminar on the American Revolution, by clicking here.

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Fort Ticonderoga Receives Grant from Mars Chocolate North America at Colonial Chocolate Society Meeting

Fort Ticonderoga Receiving Grant from Mars Chocolate North America at Colonial Chocolate Society Meeting

Fort Ticonderoga Receives Grant from Mars Chocolate North America at Colonial Chocolate Society Meeting

Fort Ticonderoga is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $10,000 grant by Mars Chocolate North America, which will support the research and living history programming presented to visitors at Fort Ticonderoga in 2016. The grant funded project entitled 1777: A Bittersweet Year will focus on research, a new exhibition, and living history programs and highlight how chocolate was used by armies and the various cultures that held Ticonderoga during the year 1777.  The grant funding will allow research into Fort Ticonderoga’s vast archival holdings which will uncover new information to help determine the specific quantities of chocolate and other provisions sent by American forces to Ticonderoga, that later fell into British and German hands. This research will be translated into living history programming and exhibition content, showing that chocolate was adopted by a wide range of peoples across the Atlantic world.

During the 2016 season, soldiers’ life camp cooking demonstrations will compare the rations, cookware, and cuisine of these diverse soldiers, examining how chocolate was used and possibly adapted as it passed through the hands of different armies and cultures that held Ticonderoga during the bittersweet year of 1777. Using chocolate as an important ingredient in the diet of soldiers, camp cooking programs provide the perfect venue for the real historical use of this complicated commodity. In addition, an engaging and visually rich new museum exhibition opening in May 2016 will highlight chocolate’s important place among the vast stockpile of ammunition and provisions housed in Ticonderoga. The exhibition will include the laundry list of provisions that were such a central element of the 1777 campaign, along with artifacts recovered on the site that directly relate to their consumption.

FT1_2224“We are extremely grateful to Mars Chocolate North America for this grant and their enthusiasm for this important project,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “Fort Ticonderoga is the only site in the world that tells a new story each year through dynamic historical interpretation, exhibitions, and educational programs. In 2016 we have the unparalleled opportunity to bring chocolate history to life with our focus on 1777. Supplied throughout that spring with extraordinary quantities of foodstuffs and armaments, American fortunes plummeted as the under-strength garrison at Ticonderoga lost their stockpiles, and nearly their necks, to the rapidly advancing British army. At the heart of the story is chocolate, which sustained the Americans that withdrew from Ticonderoga that July, and fortified the European troops that took their place in the great fortress complex.”

The 2015 Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant was awarded to three institutions across the US and Canada innovating in the areas of research and chocolate programming. Fort Ticonderoga was acknowledged at the 12th Annual banquet dinner of the Colonial Chocolate Society held at The National Archives, in Washington, DC. The Colonial Chocolate Society is a group whose mission is to further the study of chocolate’s rich history and its impact on past and present culture in the Americas.

“At Mars, we believe passionately in uncovering and sharing chocolate’s unique role in our heritage,” said Gail Broadright, Director of Mars Sponsorships. “This year’s grant winners are thought leaders in the areas of discovery and interpretation and we are excited to partner with them to bring more chocolate stories to life for their visitors.”

Fort Ticonderoga is a world renowned cultural destination, historic site, and museum that educates and inspires while creating jobs and generating revenue. The 2015 Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant funding will enable the Fort Ticonderoga Museum to bring a new and innovative facet of historical interpretation to its visitors, and thus strengthen its mission to ensure that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history.

 

About American Heritage® Chocolate:

In 2003, Mars Incorporated undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. A group from Mars led a multi-disciplinary team of more than 115 experts from around the globe who accessed over 200 archives, libraries, museums and private collections to reveal chocolate’s origin and history in the Americas. “CHOCOLATE: History, Culture, and Heritage,” has contributions from 45 authors, including researchers, culinary chefs, food scientists and historians from leading historic institutions, and was published in 2009 by Wiley. Out of this research project, the American Heritage Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by Mars Chocolate North America to help educate consumers about the history of our nation through the engaging story of one of our most beloved foods…chocolate! Fashioned off an ingredient list from 1750, American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic historic chocolate made from ingredients available in the 18th Century. The recipe represents a true taste of chocolate the way our ancestors would have enjoyed it. The product line celebrates chocolate’s important role in the lives of Americans during the 18th century. Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, American Heritage Chocolate comes in four unique formats: chocolate sticks, chocolate bites, chocolate baking/grating blocks, and finely grated chocolate drink mix. American Heritage Chocolate is sold exclusively at over 160 fine gift shops at historic sites, museums and historic inns across the USA and Canada. For a complete listing or to purchase online, please visit our website at www.americanheritagechocolate.com. Learn more about American Heritage Chocolate at Facebook.com/AmericanHeritageChocolate, on Twitter @Choc_History and NOW on Pinterest @ChocHistory.

 

About Mars, Incorporated

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

About Fort Ticonderoga: America’s Fort TM

The Fort Ticonderoga Association is an independent not-for-profit educational organization which serves its mission to ensure that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices, and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history. It serves this mission by preserving and enhancing its historic structures, collections, gardens and landscapes; and educating the public as it learns about the history of Fort Ticonderoga. Welcoming visitors since 1909, it preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched 18th-century earthworks surviving in America.  Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 72,000 visitors each year. Fort Ticonderoga offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year and is open for daily visitation May through October. Fort Ticonderoga is accredited by the American Association of Museums and pursues its vision to be the premier cultural destination in North America. Visit www.FortTiconderoga.org for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821. Fort Ticonderoga is located at 100 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga, New York.

America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

 

 

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Fort Fever Series at Fort Ticonderoga Explores Dutch Contributions to the American Revolution

Fort Fever Series at Fort Ticonderoga Explores Dutch Contributions to American RevolutionFort Ticonderoga’s 2016 “Fort Fever Series” begins on Sunday, January 10, at 2:00 pm with “Going Dutch: The Material Culture of America’s Unlikely Ally” presented by Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections, Matthew Keagle. The cost is $10 per person and will be collected at the door. The program is free for Members of Fort Ticonderoga.

“Going Dutch” will provide visitors with the opportunity to examine the traces of the Dutch connection to the wars that made America and explore the evidence of Dutch military contributions to the conflicts of the 18th century from Fort Ticonderoga’s collections.

“The United States was not the first Republic of the modern world. Preceding it by almost exactly two centuries, the Dutch had triumphed in their own bitter war of independence against the Spanish,” said Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator Matthew Keagle. “During the 18th century the Dutch were a small colonial power, but important transporters of goods as well as arms manufacturers. Dutch weapons armed many Americans through the French & Indian War and American Revolution, even before the Dutch finally entered the war against Great Britain in 1780.”

Additional “Fort Fever Series” programs are scheduled for February 21, March 13, and April 10.  The complete schedule of winter and early spring programs is available here.

The “Fort Fever Series” is just one of several programs taking place at Fort Ticonderoga this winter and early spring. Clothing and Accoutrement Workshops are offered January 16 & 17, January 30 & 31, and February 27 & 28. Fort Ticonderoga presents “Winter Family Fun Day: An 18th-Century Experience” on February 13. The living history event “1775 British Garrison Weekend” takes place March 12. The Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium will be held on April 9. You can learn more about all of these programs by clicking here. Some programs require advance registration.

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