Make History with Your Dad on Father’s Day at Fort Ticonderoga

Dad and daughter in Founding FashionIt’s that time of year when we celebrate how great every Dad is and how much they mean to us. There are a number of traditional and typical gifts that a majority of Dads will receive throughout the years; socks, a tie with a quirky cartoon design, a book or perhaps a garden tool. Whilst these are very much appreciated (as it is the thought that counts!), there’s no better gift than spending quality time with dad on his day.

Whether you see your Dad every day or perhaps only on occasion, take the opportunity this year on Father’s Day to whisk him away to Fort Ticonderoga, located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains.  Here are five reasons why a day at Fort Ticonderoga with dad is a perfect gift for Father’s Day:

  1. Rent a canoe and spend quality time enjoying the serene beauty of mornings at Fort Ticonderoga. Work together as you practice paddling techniques on the La Chute River, connecting Lake Champlain and Lake George, and see who can spot the most fish while you explore America’s most historic landscape!
  2. Rest your arms and witness 18th-century arms! Experience Dad w kids in tailors shopone of Fort Ticonderoga’s musket demonstrations and imagine what it was like in 1756 to guard the unfinished earth, stone, and log walls of Fort Carillon. Witness these professional French soldiers as they kept a cool head to load, aim, and fire muskets to hold this strategic ground. Be sure to check out our stunning weapons collection in the Bullets & Blades exhibit!
  3. Take Dad out for a nice Father’s Day lunch at America’s Fort Café. Savor fresh salads from Fort Ticonderoga’s King’s Garden and enjoy a wide variety of sandwiches and daily specials all while taking in the beautiful views of Lake Champlain, Mount Defiance, and the Green Mountains of Vermont. Don’t forget to treat Dad to a slice of our homemade pie!
  4. Step into the Tailor’s Shop on the Second Floor of the Officer’s Barracks to see what goes into clothing a soldier in New France. Try on your very own soldiers’ coats and take a photo to capture your experience! Then head over to our Founding Fashion exhibit to see the oldest known American made military uniform.
  5. Rack your brains and complete Fort Ticonderoga’s Scavenger Hunt. Explore the site and see who can find the answer to more questions! You should be able to find all of the answers in the museum exhibits, on signs, and by asking the soldiers and civilians from 1756 that you encounter.

Spend the day and make history with Dad at Fort Ticonderoga. Remember to show your appreciation for your fathers, father figures, and male mentors this Sunday on Father’s Day while you learn about our nation’s forefathers and their fight for independence!

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Celebrate Independence at Fort Ticonderoga! Special Living History Event July 3-5 Highlights America’s Greatest Triumph in 1776

 

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Rob Johnson, Black Sky Entertainment

Join Fort Ticonderoga for a three-day celebration this Independence Day weekend to commemorate America’s greatest triumph in 1776.  Walk in the marching steps of newly formed Continental soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga in 1776 as historic interpreters demonstrate weapons of independence and explain the daily military duties of soldiers garrisoning the Fort. Explore family programs that highlight the fight for independence and listen to patriotic performances by Fort Ticonderoga’s Fifes and Drum Corps. Come celebrate freedom by exploring one of the greatest triumphs of 1776 as you discover the stories of the men who helped transform America by overcoming tremendous odds to build the American Northern Army in the fight for liberty. Be in the moment as America began to take shape at Fort Ticonderoga!  Admission to this special holiday living history weekend, July 3-5, is included in a general admission ticket. Visit www.FortTiconderoga.org for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821.

Meet the soldiers of the Northern Department of the Continental Army and their hive of military preparations at Ticonderoga in 1776 throughout the weekend. See artificers in action in the shoe maker’s and tailor’s shops busily working to resupply soldiers with clothing, shoes, and equipment. Discover how these soldiers prepare their cannons, ammunition, and themselves to meet the British army. See rations cooked, logs hewn, and the Fort’s 1776 restoration in action. Experience the raw power of oxen as these thousand-pound animals pull lumber for 18th-century soldiers’ huts.

“1776 was a year of rebuilding the Northern Army as part of building a new nation,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation. “While the Continental Congress discussed the finer points of declaring independence in Philadelphia, the shattered remnants of the Continental Army which had come so close to capturing Quebec trickled back down to Fort Ticonderoga. Frost bitten, starving, and decimated by smallpox, these soldiers began building up bulwarks and America’s first navy to defend their new nation. A new Continental Army emerged reinforced by soldiers from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York, to guard Fort Ticonderoga.”

While the declaration itself was signed July 4th, news of the document and the patriotic sentiment it carried would not reach the Northern Army at Fort Ticonderoga until July 28th. The new fortifications of Rattlesnake Hill were christened on Mount Defiance to mark the occasion of the first reading of the Declaration to these soldiers.

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Experience the Flash of Guns by Night at Fort Ticonderoga: Exciting Evening Program Returns for the 2015 Season

 

Guns by NightJoin Fort Ticonderoga for the return of its exciting evening program presented on Thursday evenings at 8:00 pm in July and August. This unique 90-minute tour and demonstration of 18th-century guns is your chance to experience the flash of musketry and roar of cannon fire by night. Your whole family can explore the workings of the firelocks and cannons that armed the many garrisons of Fort Ticonderoga and influenced and shaped the strategic significance of this important frontier citadel. The cost of this family adventure is $35 per person; advanced registration is required.

“Learn how these great guns were used to attack and defend the Fort during the French and Indian War and made it such an important prize in the American Revolution,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation. “Guns by Night concludes with a dramatic nighttime demonstration of weapons that you will not see anywhere else!”

In addition to the Guns by Night tour, visitors can immerse themselves in the epic history and incredible natural beauty at Fort Ticonderoga with several other richly informative and entertaining guided specialty tours this summer. Enlist in the Continental Army in the To Act as One United Body tour; discover the Sunsets and Secrets in the 1826 Historic Pavilion house tour; examine and handle original 18th-century weapons during the Beyond Bullets and Blades tour; and discover the first hammer blows of French soldiers in the Beneath Fortress Walls tour. Advanced reservations are required. To learn more about our specialty tours call 518-585-2821 or click here.

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Flag Day

American Flag flies over Fort Ticonderoga

American Flag flies over Fort Ticonderoga

Today, June 14th, is Flag Day. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed a resolution “That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”

By the time news of this new resolution reached the Northern Army, it had already abandoned Fort Ticonderoga to British forces under General John Burgoyne on July 5, 1777. Hence, this new flag did not fly over Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution.

An earlier flag, known by several names, including the Grand Union Flag, Cambridge Flag, or Continental Colors, did fly over the walls of the Fort while occupied by the Northern Army of the Continental forces in 1776 and 1777. This flag featured thirteen red and white stripes and the British Union in the upper left hand corner–a symbol of thirteen colonies united in efforts to defend their rights, but not yet ready to declare independence. This flag was first raised over General Washington’s camp in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on January 1, 1776, and continued to be used by the Continental forces after independence until the resolution of June 14, 1777.

Today, the flag of the United States flutters over the walls of Fort Ticonderoga daily. It represents the culmination of the struggle for liberty and independence that began here at Ticonderoga with America’s First Victory in May 1775.

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Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator Matthew Keagle Presents Research in Brussels, Belgium

 

Curator-Matt(Ticonderoga NY) Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator Matthew Keagle will be presenting at a conference today, hosted by the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History in Brussels, Belgium. The conference, “From Battlefield to Drawing Room: Textile and (Military) Fashion around 1815,” coincides with the bicentennial of the battle of Waterloo. It will bring together curators, conservators, scholars, and researchers from major military museums, universities, and art museums across Europe.

Matthew Keagle will be the only North American presenter. His paper, entitled “Echoes of Independence? American Military Dress from the War of Independence to the War of 1812,” will address the evolution of military uniforms in the United States, and their significance to the development of American society in the critical period of the nation’s birth. To help illustrate this, examples of uniforms from Fort Ticonderoga’s extensive collection of Revolutionary and Federal era clothing will highlight not only the diversity of American military dress, but the strength of Fort Ticonderoga’s collections.

“Not only is this a chance to share research and ideas, it is an opportunity to put Fort Ticonderoga back into an international conversation. When the museum was founded in the early 20th century, the directors and curators corresponded with their colleagues in Europe; we hope to continue that dialogue across the Atlantic into the second century of the museum’s existence.”

Fort Ticonderoga holds one of North America’s premier collections of 18th-century military material culture. The exhibits contain thousands of objects and tell thousands of stories, narrating the history of Fort Ticonderoga from the military culture of the 18th century to the reconstruction of the fort in the 20th century.

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Go Beneath Fortress Walls at Fort Ticonderoga: Exciting New Tour Guides Visitors underneath the stone walls of Fort Ticonderoga

 

IMG_2824Join Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections, Matthew Keagle, for a unique opportunity to go underneath the stone walls of Fort Ticonderoga, off limits to the general public. Experience an in-depth exploration of Fort Ticonderoga’s hidden past to see remarkably preserved evidence of the Fort’s original structures, and discover how the Fort was built, and re-built, and how these spaces now support the modern museum. Beneath Fortress Walls begins at 5 pm near the Guest Services Desk in the Log House Welcome Center. Tours take place every other Wednesday July through August. The cost of this specialty adventure is $35 per person.

“Over 250 years ago French soldiers dug, chiseled, and blasted their way into the very rock of the Ticonderoga peninsula to create a fortress to defend New France,” said Matthew Keagle, Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections. “Within just a few decades from those first hammer blows, New France had fallen, a new nation was created, and Fort Ticonderoga had fallen into ruin. When it was restored in the early 1900s, much of what remained from the original fort was entombed beneath the reconstructed walls. This tour will go underneath and inside the fort to visit these areas, and uncover the handiwork of French masons and soldiers who toiled here two centuries ago.”

In addition to the Beneath Fortress Walls tour, visitors can immerse themselves in the epic history and incredible natural beauty at Fort Ticonderoga with several other richly informative and entertaining guided specialty tours this summer. Thrill at the power of artillery during the Guns by Night tour; enlist in the Continental Army in the To Act as One United Body tour; examine and handle original 18th-century weapons during the Beyond Bullets and Blades tour; and discover the Sunsets and Secrets in the 1826 Historic Pavilion house tour. Advanced reservations are required. To learn more about our specialty tours call 518-585-2821 or click here.

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Registration Now Open for Annual Fort Ticonderoga Seminar on the American Revolution

 

James Kirby Martin 3

James Kirby Martin, from the University of Houston, is one of nine presenters at Fort Ticonderoga’s Twelfth Annual Seminar on the American Revolution September 25-27, 2015.

Registration is now open for the Twelfth Annual Fort Ticonderoga Seminar on the American Revolution September 25-27, 2015. This annual seminar focuses on the military, political, and social history of the War for American Independence (1775-1783), bringing together a panel of distinguished historians from around the country and beyond. The Seminar takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center and is open to the public; pre-registration is required.

Begun in 2004, the Seminar on the American Revolution has become a noted venue for presenters, featuring 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 Revolution. Speakers include:

  • Joseph M. Adelman, professor of history at Framingham State University, “News of the Killing Stamp: Information Networks and the Stamp Act Crisis.”
  • Stephen Brumwell, author of George Washington: Gentleman Warrior, “George Washington at War.”
  • Michael Harris, author of Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777, “General John Sullivan and the Battle of Brandywine.
  • James Kirby Martin, Cullen University Professor of History at the University of Houston, and Mark Edward Lender, Emeritus Professor of History at Kean University, “Celebrating ‘A Respectable Army’: George Washington and the Making of the Continental Military Establishment.”
  • John Nagy, scholar in residence at Saint Francis University, “The Most Dangerous Spy in American History: Dr. Benjamin Church.”
  • Bruce M. Venter, author of The Battle of Hubbardton, “The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Guard Action that Saved the Northern Army.
  • Philip D. Weaver, independent historian, “The 2nd New-York Provincial Battalion (1775): On Additional Continental Service.”
  • William M. Welsh, president of the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond, “Washington’s Lieutenants: The Generals of the Continental Army.”
  • Marko Zlatich, Library of the Society of the Cincinnati, “George Washington: The Soldier in the Blue and Buff Uniform.”

The Seminar also features a presentation by Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections Matthew Keagle. Keagle will give a presentation “Whose Brunswickers? A Visual and Material Mystery.” Follow the trail of a series of watercolors thought to depict Brunswick soldiers from the American Revolution. An analysis of these images reveals a complex story of the international soldier trade of the 18th century, friendships forged through the American War, and ultimately the re-discovery of material culture that sheds light on the uniforms of Britain’s German Auxiliaries.

Registration for the Seminar is now open at $155 ($130 for those registering by July 15); additional discounts available for members of Fort Ticonderoga. Registration forms can be downloaded from Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fortticonderoga.org under the “Education” tab by selecting “Workshops and Seminars” on the drop down menu. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Fort Ticonderoga at 518-585-2821.

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Discover Sunsets and Secrets at Fort Ticonderoga: Exciting New Tour Guides Visitors Through One of America’s Most Historic Houses

Join Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections for a rare look inside the building where the preservation of Fort Ticonderoga began. Step inside the Pavilion, currently closed to the general public, to learn about the men and women who saved Ticonderoga from destruction and made their home on the shores of Lake Champlain. Explore the stories of the building from the 19th and 20th centuries as the sun sets over the lake, and discover how modern science combined with old-fashioned historical research has helped to shed light on the building’s secrets. Sunsets and Secrets begins at 5 pm near the Guest Service Desk in the Log House Welcome Center. Tours take place every other Wednesday July through August. The cost of this specialty adventure is $35 per person.

Pavilion 2014“Walk in the footsteps of Robert Todd Lincoln, President William Howard Taft, and hundreds of others who have visited the Pavilion over almost two centuries,” said Matthew Keagle, Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections. “This is a rare chance to step inside the oldest intact structure remaining on the garrison grounds, off limits for almost 30 years and only just now starting to give up the secrets of its construction and use.”

The Pavilion was built as a summer home in 1826 by William Ferris Pell.  He and his family occupied the home through the 1830s.  By the early 1840s, 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 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 through 1987. 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.

In addition to the Sunsets and Secrets tour, visitors can immerse themselves in the epic history and incredible natural beauty at Fort Ticonderoga with several other richly informative and entertaining guided specialty tours this summer. Thrill at the power of artillery during the Guns by Night tour; enlist in the Continental Army in the To Act as One United Body tour; examine and handle original 18th-century weapons during the Beyond Bullets and Blades tour; and discover the first hammer blows of French soldiers in the Beneath Fortress Walls tour. Advanced reservations are required. To learn more about our specialty tours call 518-585-2821 or click here.

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Enlist in the Continental Army at Fort Ticonderoga: New Family-Friendly Program Immerses Visitors in the Life of Revolutionary War Soldiers

IMG_0227 - CopyJoin Fort Ticonderoga for a new and exciting evening program presented on Tuesday evenings in July and August. To Act as One United Body is your chance to enlist in the Continental Army. Your whole family can join together as new recruits to see what it was like to be a soldier at Ticonderoga in 1775 at the dawn of the American Revolution. Raise your hand to affirm your allegiance to the 13 United States of America, and your journey will begin. The cost of this family adventure is $35 per person; advanced registration is required.

“In this program, guests are immersed in the daily routine of the Continental soldiers garrisoning Fort Ticonderoga in the weeks after the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold in 1775,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation. “Participants form a platoon of soldiers, learning teamwork and discipline as they undergo a typical day in the life of soldiers. Guests learn about the training used to prepare soldiers to meet a powerful enemy, what soldiers ate, where they slept, and experience the confusion of battle.”

To Act as oneDuring your participation, you will witness the power and use of 18th-century guns during the musket demonstration and practice formation tactics. Be prepared to march! The soldiers’ experience comes to life as participants explore key aspects of the American Revolution. This program is a strong cooperative activity and is great for families and groups.

In addition to the To Act as One United Body tour, visitors can immerse themselves in the epic history and incredible natural beauty at Fort Ticonderoga with several other richly informative and entertaining guided specialty tours this summer. Thrill at the power of artillery during the Guns by Night tour; discover the Sunsets and Secrets in the 1826 Historic Pavilion house tour; examine and handle original 18th-century weapons during the Beyond Bullets and Blades tour; and discover the first hammer blows of French soldiers in the Beneath Fortress Walls tour. Advanced reservations are required. To learn more about our specialty tours call 518-585-2821 or click here.

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Fort Ticonderoga Outreach Programs Have Big Impact on Regional Schools

 

JudyThanks to generous support from several foundations, Fort Ticonderoga served over 850 students in classrooms throughout the Adirondacks and in western Vermont during the current school year. The “Soldier’s Life at Fort Ticonderoga” program made up the majority of the programs.

“This program provides students with a tangible, hands-on, minds-on experience of history,” said Judy Contompasis, School and Youth Programs Coordinator at Fort Ticonderoga. “Students are encouraged to think critically about the lives of soldiers during the American Revolution and determine the logistics required to supply the army at Fort Ticonderoga. Students discover how the geography of Ticonderoga influenced the history of North America.”

The programs featured both an educator and a historical interpreter going into fourth grade classrooms. In total, 869 students were served in 22 different schools throughout the region. Fort Ticonderoga staff logged over 1,800 miles during the year traveling to schools.

“Thank you for coordinating ‘The Soldier’s Life at Fort Ticonderoga’ presentation for the fourth graders,” said fourth grade teacher Shari O’Bryan from Ticonderoga Elementary School. “They really enjoyed the information and seeing all of the items that soldiers used long ago. It was a great start for our study of the wars fought in New York State.”

outreachShoshana, a fourth grade student from Weybridge Elementary School in Vermont wrote: “Thank you for the compelling presentation that you gave us. I was interested in the soldier’s strategies and how logically the rivers and locations fit together with the battle and soldiers…. When you were talking about conquering Canada, I now want to do more research on that topic. Thank you for giving me more opportunities to learn about history, and to study more.”

Generous grant support covered the costs of these in-classroom programs. Programs within the Adirondack Park were supported by the Lake Placid Education Foundation while programs in Vermont’s Addison County received support from the Walter Cerf Community Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation. In addition, the Essex Community Fund of the Adirondack Foundation funded a program for Willsboro Central School.

Teachers interested in booking a program for the coming 2015-16 school year are invited to call Judy Contompasis at 518-585-6370 to place their name on a waiting list pending anticipated funding. The programs are offered late October 2015 through mid April 2016 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. To learn more about education programs from Fort Ticonderoga, visit www.FortTiconderoga.org and select the “Education” tab on the menu.

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