Benjamin Warner’s Knapsack

In 1928 Fort Ticonderoga was given the honor of ensuring the preservation of an object that was once commonplace in the American Revolutionary War army, but that today may be a one-of-a-kind object.  It is a soldier’s knapsack.  This worn artifact may be the only extant example of a knapsack issued to Continental troops in the early years of the American Revolution. It belonged to Benjamin Warner (1757-1846) of New Haven, Connecticut. Warner enlisted on May 8, 1775 in Col. David Wooster’s 1st Connecticut Regiment serving at Roxbury, MA. In the fall of that year Warner volunteered for the march to Quebec serving in Col. Samuel Wyllys’ 2nd Connecticut Regiment. Benjamin Warner served in his local state militia in 1776 until he was called to arms on August 6, 1776 and sent to New York where he was present for the Battle of Long Island. He again served in the militia during the summer and fall of 1777. His final service occurred in 1780 when he was drafted into Col. John Lamb’s 2nd Continental Artillery Regiment on July 20 and served most of his time at Orangetown, New Jersey. After the Revolution Benjamin Warner settled in Ticonderoga where he spent the remainder of his life.

Benjamin Warner's knapsack.

Benjamin Warner’s knapsack.

The body of Warner’s knapsack is composed of one large pocket and a flap that originally held a second pocket of similar size. The knapsack originally had two leather shoulder straps with which to carry it on a person’s back and three narrow leather straps to secure the flap. Evidence for the three closure straps can be seen on the bottom edge of the flap.

Although Warner’s knapsack is an amazing object, the knapsack held much deeper meaning to him and he wanted to ensure that it survived as a reminder of the liberty that America achieved with the War for Independence.  In 1837 Benjamin Warner penned a short note instructing how the knapsack should be preserved.  The note reads:

 

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Benjamin Warner’s handwritten note instructing his descendants to preserve his Revolutionary War knapsack.

“This Napsack I caryd Through the War of the Revolution to achieve the American Independence I Transmit it to my olest sone Benjamin Warner Jr. with directions to keep it and transmit it to his oldest sone and so on to the latest posterity and whilst one shred of it shall remain never surrender you libertys to a foren envador or an aspiring demegog. Benjamin Warner Ticonderoga March 27, 1837″

These are remarkable words.  The sentiment that Warner conveys in his note is even more meaningful because of his personal connection helping the United States earn its freedom.  With this charge to preserve his knapsack “whilst one shred of it shall remain” comes great responsibility.  Fort Ticonderoga’s mission is “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” and it is the same sentiment that I believe Benjamin Warner was conveying to the future in 1837.

Benjamin Warner’s knapsack and handwritten note is featured in Fort Ticonderoga’s newest exhibit, Founding Fashion located in the exhibition gallery on the lower level of the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center.

Blog post by Christopher D. Fox, Curator

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Celebrate the Scot in You! Fort Ticonderoga Presents Lively Scots Day Event June 14

If you have plans to visit the Lake George – Lake Champlain region this June, mark your calendars for a lively Scots Day event at Fort Ticonderoga on Saturday, June 14th from 9:30 am – 5 pm! Celebrate Scottish heritage and culture surrounded by America’s most beautiful and historic landscape at Fort Ticonderoga!.

Tour the Scottish Clan tents and vendors to discover more about your own connection to Scottish culture, and explore the stories of centuries of Scottish soldiers in the British Army through a military timeline offered throughout the day.

Daily activities also include Border Collie demonstrations and Pipe performances presented throughout the day. Experience all of this within the beautiful stone walls of Fort Ticonderoga surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Adirondack – Lake Champlain region!

America’s Fort Cafe, overlooking Lake Champlain, will feature special Scottish fare for the special event and a beer tent will offer sales of regional and festive beers for those over 21 years of age.

Admission to Scots Day is included in a Fort Ticonderoga’s general admission ticket. To learn more about the event, participating vendors and clans, and the full schedule visit www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821

Events Details:

Scots Day is June 14th at Fort Ticonderoga!

Scots Day is June 14th at Fort Ticonderoga!

Special Memorial Ceremony
A special memorial ceremony honoring the 42nd Highland Regiment, also known as the Black Watch, will take place at the Scottish Cairn on the Carillon Battlefield located at Fort Ticonderoga. The procession to the Cairn will begin at 11 am at the Log House Welcome Center. The Memorial Ceremony will take place at 11:30 am and will remember the incredible bravery and discipline of the Black Watch against insurmountable odds at the 1758 Battle of Carillon. The Battle of Carillon was the bloodiest day of the French and Indian War and had the largest number of casualties in any one battle until the American Civil War.

Bagpipe Performances
Hear the sounds of Scottish bagpipe music throughout the day as the Plattsburgh Police Pipes and Drums and The King’s Highlanders perform lively concerts on the Fort’s historic Parade Ground.

Participating Scottish Clans
Clan Buchanan
Clan Campbell
Clan Forbes
Clan Hamilton
Clan MacPherson
Clan MacIntyre
Clan Murray
Clan Rose

Participating Organizations
St. Andrew’s Society of the Adirondacks
St. Andrew’s Society of Albany
The Color Guard of the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington

Black Watch Military Living History Programs
Discover the history of the Black Watch Regiment through living history programs presented throughout the day by members of a Black Watch re-enactor unit from Montreal. Highlighted programs include a living history time-line of the Regiment. The re-enacting group depicts its history from the 18th century through the early 21st century, with various members representing different significant points in the unit’s history. Learn about the incredible bravery and discipline of the Black Watch against insurmountable odds at the 1758 Battle of Carillon.

The 42nd Highland Regiment, also known as the Black Watch, played a crucial role at Ticonderoga during the Battle of Carillon on July 8, 1758. The regiment suffered over 50% casualties during the failed British assault on the French Lines at Ticonderoga during the French & Indian War. Ticonderoga continued to be an important part of the regiment’s history. During its involvement in the Iraq War, the Black Watch Regiment’s base near Basra was called “Ticonderoga.”

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EXPERIENCE FORT TICONDEROGA! 2014 Season Begins Saturday, May 10

Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga opens for the 2014 season on Saturday, May 10, and will offer new programs, living history weekends, special events, exhibits, gardens, the Carillon Battlefield hiking trail, canoe rentals, and the new Mount Defiance experience. Guests will immerse themselves in nearly 2000 acres of exquisite landscape at Fort Ticonderoga to discover one of North America’s most epic stories of defiance, hope, and independence.

Recognized as a top destination in the Adirondacks by USA News Travel, Fort Ticonderoga connects all guests to a place and time that defined a continent, a nation, and its continued legacy.

“Fort Ticonderoga is a family destination and a center of learning. A visit is an interactive, multi-disciplined experience,” said Beth Hill, President and CEO. “It’s exploring the beautiful gardens, finding adventure in our events, marching with the Fife and Drum Corps, and learning about a historic trade. It’s a walk through the restored Fort, a stroll overlooking Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont, and an afternoon in our exhibit galleries exploring our premier collections.”

Fort Ticonderoga staff will portray Captain John Lacey's company of the Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion this year.

Fort Ticonderoga staff will portray Captain John Lacey’s company of the Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion this year.

2014 Highlights:
Experience 1776 this year! Guests to Fort Ticonderoga will be immersed in the year 1776 when rebellion became revolution. Fort Ticonderoga’s interpretive staff will bring this dramatic and successful year at Ticonderoga to life as they portray Captain John Lacey’s company of the Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion. A variety of daily soldier’s activities, tours, musket demos and special family programming will immerse guests in the story of this remarkable year of independence.

Step into the shoe maker’s shop and tailor’s shop to explore how Fort Ticonderoga served as a major supply depot producing shoes and clothing for the thousands of soldiers camped at Ticonderoga. With needle and thread or awl and bristle discover what kinds of supplies were needed to build the army to secure liberty.

Daily tours, Soldier’s Life programs, family hands-on activities, and Fife & Drum Corps performances launch guests on an adventure in time where they will discover the life at Fort Ticonderoga in 1776.

Fort Ticonderoga’s newest exhibit “Founding Fashion: The Diversity of Regularity in 18th- Century Military Clothing” highlights the most impressive 18th-century military clothing collection in America. Utilizing the most important elements of the museum’s clothing, art, and archeological collections, the exhibit will explore what military clothing is and how European military fashion and global commerce influenced American martial appearance through the American Revolution. Additional museum exhibits showing in 2014 include Bullets & Blades: The Weapons of America’s Colonial Wars and Revolution and “It Would Make a Heart of Stone Melt: Sickness, Injury, and Medicine at Fort Ticonderoga.”

Recreation activities will highlight Fort Ticonderoga’s rich historic landscape in 2014! A new family scavenger hunt will be part of the hiking trail winding around Carillon Battlefield. The trail offers guests an unparalleled opportunity to explore epic history and natural beauty and the canoe rental program provides a unique perspective of the Fort’s history from the stunning waters of Lake Champlain.

Discover Mount Defiance! A visit to this breathtaking summit is a great way to begin or end your day at Fort Ticonderoga.

Discover Mount Defiance! A visit to this breathtaking summit is a great way to begin or end your day at Fort Ticonderoga.

Visit Mount Defiance to witness a birds-eye view of Fort Ticonderoga’s epic military landscape and discover how this summit shaped America’s history! Mount Defiance: Witness to History Tour is offered daily at 4pm.

The beautiful King’s Garden, one of North America’s oldest gardens and the largest public garden in the Adirondack-Lake Champlain region, will open on May 24 and offer many new garden-related programs for children and adults as well as daily tours. Guest will roll up their sleeves and dig into Fort Ticonderoga’s centuries of horticulture in the formal garden along with the Discovery Gardens – the Garrison Garden, Children’s Garden, and Three Sisters Garden. Program opportunities include Hands-on Horticulture presentations in July and August which offer active discovery and enjoyment for all ages. New this year, guests can celebrate their special day with a King’s Garden Birthday Party. A new interactive 18th-century American Garrison Garden will bring this vibrant, living garden space to life and highlight the vital vocation of gardening that was an important part of soldiers’ duties at Fort Ticonderoga.

Explore a variety of programs and family-friendly activities in the King's Garden

Explore a variety of programs and family-friendly activities in the King’s Garden

The Heroic Maze: A Corn Maze Adventure, the popular Fort family activity, will continue in its fourth year. Guests will find new clues connected to Fort Ticonderoga’s history while they explore a newly designed six-acre corn maze. NEW FOR 2014! “Engineer a Fort” Maze Quest. Hidden in the maze are 8 stations each representing a component of an 18th-century fort. Players are given a Quest Card to collect a stamp from each station. It takes perseverance and skill to find all the objects and is great fun for all ages. The corn maze opens August 15 and is included with general admission.

Hours and Admission:
Fort Ticonderoga is open daily from May 10 through November 2, 2014 from 9:30 am until 5 pm. General admission to Fort Ticonderoga, an independent non-profit organization, is $17.50 for adults, $15.00 for those 65 and over; and $8 for children 5 through 12. Children 4 and under are admitted free of charge. Friends of Fort Ticonderoga and Ticonderoga Resident Ambassador Pass holders are also admitted free.

Fort Ticonderoga offers more than one hundred exciting and unique events and programs this season! Visit www.FortTiconderoga.org for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821. Funding for the 2014 season is provided in part by Amtrak. Visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/directions for a special 2 for 1 Amtrak offer!

Explore Fort Ticonderoga More

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“Friendship & Flowers” in the King’s Garden

The planting season kicks off with a new event in the King’s Garden, Friendship & Flowers.  A week before the garden’s official opening, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the first blooms of the season such as lilacs, columbine, late-flowering bulbs, and more.  The tranquil setting of the historic walled garden is made lively by numerous song birds heralding the spring season.  This event is a spin-off from our traditional plant sale, offering a relaxed setting and the opportunity to visit with fellow gardeners.  Guests will enjoy a continental breakfast and take home a selection of plants from the King’s Garden and local growers.  Goodie bags for all plus door prizes add to the excitement.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaster Gardener Diane O’Connor will present her program “Language of Flowers”, highlighting the Victorian tradition of florigraphy – using flowers to send covert messages.  The tradition dates back thousands of years, yet became wildly popular during the 19th century when a soaring interest in botany and the publication of numerous editions of flower language books coincided.  Hundreds of versions in print, flowers having multiple meanings, and the positioning within a bouquet changing a flower’s meaning added to both confusion and intrigue.  Diane will unravel the secrets of this by-gone messaging system in a 30-minute talk held on the central lawn of the garden.

A tour of the formal garden and the Discovery Gardens with Director of Horticulture, Heidi Karkoski, highlights what’s new in the garden this season.  Plant selection, new theme areas and design concepts will be discussed on this guided stroll through the gardens.

“Friendship & Flowers” takes place from 9:30 AM – Noon on Saturday, May 17th.  Tickets are $20 and are limited to just fifty guests.  Advance reservations are required.  Phone (518) 585-2821 or email nancy@fort-ticonderoga.org for details.

 

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Building Carpentry into 1776 Soldiers’ Life Programs

Far from battle, the soldiers' story at Fort Ticonderoga is often one of hard labor, such as felling trees to provide lumber for military construction.

Far from battle, the soldiers’ story at Fort Ticonderoga is often one of hard labor, such as felling trees to provide lumber for military construction.

Along with the excitement of portraying 1776 and the Fourth Pennsylvania battalion as they served at Ticonderoga in that year, the Department of Interpretation is excited about expanding its soldiers’ life programs into carpentry. Over the past few years, the modern need of equipping staff with time-specific clothing and footwear has spurred on the historic trades programs of tailoring and shoemaking. As living history programs continue to expand in and around the Fort, the need for wooden items as small as shelving and pipe boxes, or projects as large as soldiers’ huts have made period carpentry the next goal.

The growth of carpentry as part of soldiers programs is also part of telling the story of 1776.  Often we imagine that the fight for independence in terms of notable battles. No doubt the men of the Fourth Pennsylvania battalion had similar visions of their service when they first enlisted in early 1776. The reality of military life was more mechanical than martial.

The fatigue partys for the future are to begin work at 6 o clock & have their breakfast before they begin…They will be dismiss’d at twelve o clock for dinner till one o clock then work till seven.

Colonel Anthony Wayne, July 30th 1776

This two-man cross cut saw   cuts remarkably fast, sectioning felled trees into manageable logs, strategically cut for an intended size of post or board.

This two-man cross cut saw cuts remarkably fast, sectioning felled trees into manageable logs, strategically cut for an intended size of post or board.

 

The Northern Continental Army’s construction projects—such as extensive earthworks, bridges, soldiers’ huts and barracks, and a whole naval fleet—all required carpentry skills. In 2014 the Department of Interpretation will be able to hint at the labor of these soldiers and the massive scale of the army’s construction in 1776. For soldiers’ carpentry programming the Fort has been acquiring tools for the last two years, slowly building its stock of hand-forged reproduction tools. The slow approach has allowed for a focus on details. With a massive collection of hand-tools recovered archaeologically during the reconstruction of the Fort, there are ample examples of the diverse types of tools and different national styles therein: French, English, and American. Where ever possible, the interpretive staff has not only commissioned reproductions of axes, hammers, saws, and the like, but actually been a part of building them. This gives staff the ability to talk about their work with a perspective that goes all the way to forging out the tools of their trade. As winter slowly turns to spring, and the Fort’s opening in May approaches, the Department of Interpretation is putting this stock of tools to work, building the soldiers’ carpentry program right before visitors’ eyes.

The technical challenge and skill of simply producing lumber is almost as interesting as what is built from it. Moving a 400+ pound log puts practical applied science and teamwork on display for visitors, just as much as its historical context.

The technical challenge and skill of simply producing lumber is almost as interesting as what is built from it. Moving a 400+ pound log puts practical applied science and teamwork on display for visitors, just as much as its historical context.

Large projects, such as soldiers’ huts, require more than merely hand tools. Winter events have provided the opportunity to put tools to work, building the frames and equipment needed to tackle larger projects. Rather than purchasing timber, Fort staff have been carefully selecting trees with which make our own lumber by hand. In this winter’s living history events the entire process of creating lumber has been on display for visitors. A thick blanket of snow hasn’t stopped Fort staff and volunteers from felling trees with hand-forged axes based on examples in the Fort’s collection. Snow hasn’t stopped visitors from lending a hand, taking their turn sawing trees into sections with our five-foot long two-man cross cut saw. With a keen eye and careful cuts, these recreated soldiers have hewn these logs down into square beams inside the Fort itself.

Careful work with an ax shapes round logs down to square straight beams. These beams will mortised together as part of the frame for a pit saw which will allow for logs to be ripped into boards as part of soldiers' life programming.

Careful work with an ax shapes round logs down to square straight beams. These beams will mortised together as part of the frame for a pit saw which will allow for logs to be ripped into boards as part of soldiers’ life programming.

No program is stronger than its foundation. Hand-hewn beams, felled by hand, with hand-forged tools will be built into a frame to support a pit-saw and a sled for oxen to move logs and beams. The pit saw will allow the Fort’s recreated soldiers to hand-saw boards for building projects. Even with a sawmill at the falls of the LaChute river, which the Continental army ran nearly continuously in 1776, soldiers were still detailed to saw boards by hand. For special events the real, modern need to move sectioned logs will be accomplished by oxen as in 1776, with soldiers serving as drovers.  In 1776 Chief Engineer Colonel Jeduthan Baldwin hired professional carpenters to teach soldiers as well as work themselves. Today, great thanks goes to the carpenters of Colonial Williamsburg and Eric Schatzel Forgeworks, for their guidance and help in developing soldiers carpentry in 2014. Carpentry at Fort Ticonderoga, like other trades—tailoring and shoemaking—is more than just tools and projects, it’s about stories. There is today’s story of recreating the trade and slowly building up the tools, equipment, and know-how to do neat work for the Fort. There is yesterday’s story of 1776 and building a fortified army camp around this Old French Fort. Hopefully, the two stories parallel each other closely enough that soldiers’ carpentry will provide moments for staff and visitors that are “living history.”

All aspects of soldiers' lives, relied on teamwork whether fighting, cooking, or surviving a campaign. Soldiers' carpentry is no exception and provide an exciting project with which to tell the much bigger story of 1776, one chop at a time.

All aspects of soldiers’ lives relied on teamwork whether fighting, cooking, or surviving a campaign. Soldiers’ carpentry is no exception and provide an exciting project with which to tell the much bigger story of 1776, one chop at a time.

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Fort Ticonderoga Awards Teacher Scholarships

Fort Ticonderoga is pleased to announce the recipients of teacher scholarships to attend the Nineteenth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 16-18, 2014. They are:

• Bryan Crowe, Amsterdam High School, Amsterdam, New York
• Nancy Spagnola, Amsterdam High School, Amsterdam, New York
• Charleen Vasilevsky, Somers Middle School, Somers, New York

Since 2001, Fort Ticonderoga has provided 115 scholarships for teachers to attend its seminars and conferences at no cost, including 63 scholarships to attend the War College of the Seven Years’ War. Teachers from 14 states and two Canadian provinces have been awarded War College scholarships over the past 13 years. These scholarships are made possible by the generous support of War College patrons.

The War College of Seven Years’ War focuses on the French & Indian War in North America (1754-1763), bringing together a panel of distinguished historians from around the country and beyond. The War College takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center and is open to the public; pre-registration is required. Space is limited. Those who are interested should register early. A War College brochure and registration form can be downloaded here.

Fort Ticonderoga also offers teacher scholarships for the Eleventh Annual Fort Ticonderoga Seminar on the American Revolution (September 19-21). Brochures and teacher scholarship applications are both available here. Teacher Scholarship applications for the September seminar are due August 15th.

Rich Strum
Director of Education

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View of the Ruins of Ticonderoga Forts on Lake Champlain

The earliest known published image of Fort Ticonderoga's ruins.

The earliest-known published image of Fort Ticonderoga’s ruins.

The earliest-known published image of the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga is View of the Ruins of Ticonderoga Forts on Lake Champlain, a line engraving by Gideon Fairman after a sketch by Hugh Reinagle published in Analectic Magazine, Philadelphia, vol. II, no. 4 (April 1818), frontispiece, opp. p. 273.  Artist Hugh Reinagle (ca. 1788-1834) probably visited the Champlain Valley in the summer of 1815 to make sketches for his monumental painting [and print] celebrating the American Navy’s defeat of British at the Battle of Plattsburgh, September 11, 1814. During this trip he likely visited the ruins and produced several sketches of Fort Ticonderoga. One of his images became the basis for this engraving produced by Gideon Fairman (1774-1827) and published in April 1818. The engraving accompanied an article reflecting on the history and significance of the Fort noting:

“the beauty of the situation, and curiosity, excited by a recollection of the events on Lake Champlain, now peacefully navigated by the steamboat, which carries passengers at a very moderate rate, contribute to attract the resort of numerous travelers in the summer season, and to attach something more than an ordinary interest to the scene represented.”

Like so many 19th-century images of Fort Ticonderoga, the details of the Fort’s ruins are a bit more dramatically rendered then they actually were.  Interestingly, however, there appears on the shore below the fort a small rectangular structure representing a stone storehouse constructed by the French army in 1756 which existed on that spot until the early 1850s.  The steamboat on the lake is a reminder that already in 1818, Lake Champlain was an active transportation corridor with a dock below Fort Ticonderoga’s ruins that served as the place where travellers made the short overland treck to the steamers on Lake George.

Blog post by Christopher D. Fox, Curator, Fort Ticonderoga.

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New Featured Annual: Bupleurum

There’s always something new in the gardens at Fort Ticonderoga. The Discovery Gardens located just outside the walled formal garden are the perfect place to experiment with plants that are not the usual garden center fare.  One example is Bupleurum, commonly called Thoroughwax or Hare’s ear.  It’s striking chartreuse flower color is reminiscent of Lady’s mantle.

240px-Illustration_Bupleurum_rotundifolium0[1]According to our supplier, Fedco Seeds,

“Though not well known outside of Dutch flower auctions where it commands a price similar to roses, this unique plant with yellowish flowers and round leaves gets attention from dried-flower growers. Its well-branched 2′ stems air-dry perfectly, retaining their green color and looking like they had been dried in glycerin. Because each stem fans out, an individual stem provides backdrop for an entire arrangement, either fresh or dried.” (Green Gold Bupleurum, Bupleurum griffithii, aka B. rotundifolium )

Sounds like a winner. Check with us at King’s Garden this season to see this interesting annual for yourself!

Heidi teRiele Karkoski
Director of Horticulture

 

 

 

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Area Students Advance to New York State History Day

What a great day! Thirty middle and high school students from the North Country won top prizes at North Country History Day on Saturday, March 8th, at Fort Ticonderoga’s Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. These students will advance to compete at New York State History Day in Cooperstown on April 28th.

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Judges review student exhibits during North Country History Day March 8th.

Not only was it exciting to see student projects, but it was great to see students from throughout the region sharing with each other their common interest in history and what history can teach us about ourselves. Each and every student participant invested a great deal of time and energy in historical research and creating compelling projects reflecting this year’s theme of Rights and Responsibilities in History.

Junior Division (Grades 6-8) North Country Regional winners include:

  • Grace Sayward and Aileen Crain, from a home school group in Champlain, New York, took first place in the Group Performance category with their performance “Mill Girls of Lowell.” Amanda Ennis and Samantha Boyea, from Greenwich Central School, took second place with their performance “Carson’s Controversy.”

    Francis Kneussle's Junior Individual Exhibit on "The Feudal System."

    Francis Kneussle’s Junior Individual Exhibit on “The Feudal System.”

  • Francis Kneussle, from Peru Middle School, took first place in the Individual Exhibit category with his exhibit “The Feudal System: A Hierarchy of Power and Privilege.” Michael Casey, from Greenwich Central School, took second place with his exhibit “The Slave Amendments: How They Gave the Slaves Rights.”
  • Talandra Hurlburt and Brooke Lauzon, from St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga, took first place in the Group Exhibit category with their exhibit “Rights and Responsibilities of Athens and Greece.” Sophie Bryant and Samantha Staples, from Moriah Central School, took second place with their exhibit “Rights and Responsibilities of the Roman Empire.”
  • Ben Caito and Liam Sayward, from a home school group in Champlain, New York, took first place in the Group Web Site Category with their web site “Maximilien Robespierre’s Changing Position on the Right-to-Life vs. Thomas Paine’s Unchanging Commitment.”

Senior Division (Grades 9-12) North Country Regional winners include:

  • Janelle Williams, from Greenwich Central School, took first place in the Historical Paper category with her paper “Sacco and Vanzetti: A Case of Immigrant Rights.” Christopher VanDerwerker, from Greenwich Central School, took second place with his paper “Rights and Responsibilities during the Philippine-American War.”
  • Jamie Vogt and Taylor Morse, from Peru High School, took first place in the Group Documentary category with their documentary “No More Miss America!”
  • Jarron Boyle, Tanner Conley, and Tanner Whalen, from Moriah Central School, took first place in the Group Performance category with their performance “Abortion Debate.”
  • Karla Hayes, from Moriah Central School, took first place in the Individual Exhibit category with her exhibit “Human Trafficking: Rights and Responsibilities of Mankind.”
  • Ethan Depo and Darcy Smith, from Peru High School, took first place in the Group Exhibit category with their exhibit “The Brady Bill: A Stepping Stone for Gun Control.” Christina Lashway, Alexandra Lashway, Nick Manfred, Alice Cochran, and Shonna Provoncha took second place for their exhibit “Nuclear Energy: Advance without Imperilment.”
  • Dylan Scozzafava, Jonathan Brassard, Kyle Gifaldi, Cole Gaddor, and Thomas Yakalis, from Moriah Central School, took first place in the Group Website category with their web site “Arms: Rights or Responsibilities.”

A special prize for the best use of primary sources, sponsored by the “Ticonderoga, the First 250 Years” Committee, was awarded to Grace Sayward and Aileen Crain, from a home school group in Champlain, New York, for their Group Performance “Mill Girls of Lowell.”

Participating schools included Greenwich Central School, Moriah Central School, Peru High School, Peru Middle School, and St. Mary’s School (Ticonderoga) as well as home school students from the Champlain, New York area. A total of 66 students with 36 entries participated in North Country Regional History Day.

National History Day is the nation’s leading program for history education in schools. The program annually engages 2 million people in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. Students research history topics of their choice related to an annual theme and create exhibits, documentaries, performances, research papers, and website designs. They may enter in competition at the regional, state, and national level. Participants include students in grades 6-8 in the Junior Division and grades 9-12 in the Senior Division. National History Day also provides educational services to students and teachers, including a summer internship program, curricular materials, internet resources, and annual teacher workshops and training institutes. Fort Ticonderoga hosts teacher workshops about History Day each fall in the North Country and Regional Coordinator Rich Strum is available to meet with teachers at their schools to introduce the program. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal in 2011, “Students who participate in National History Day—actually a year-long program that gets students in grades 6-12 doing historical research—consistently outperform their peers on state standardized tests, not only in social studies but in science and math as well.”

Teachers and students from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and Warren counties interested in participating in North Country History Day during the 2014-15 school year should go to our History Day web page.

Rich Strum, Director of Education

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Delving Into the Year 1776 with Educators

I am looking forward to this summer when we have a number of opportunities for educators to spend in-depth time at Fort Ticonderoga exploring various topics. We are now accepting applications from teachers to participate in the 2014 Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute July 13-17, 2014. The focus of this year’s institute is “1776 at Ticonderoga” and will accommodate 14 teachers for a week-long exploration of the critical year of Independence as it unfolded at Fort Ticonderoga. Applications are due April 15th.

2013 Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute participants pose on Mount Defiance at the beginning of their week.

2013 Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute participants pose on Mount Defiance at the beginning of their week.

The Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute is a great addition to our annual programs for educators. This important program builds on the success of our first teacher institute in 2013 and our on-going experience with the National Endowment for the Humanities teacher workshops we’ve hosted.

Fort Ticonderoga is thrilled to offer this unique opportunity for a small group of teachers to spend a week digging into the wealth of documents, objects, and material culture related to a specific year at Fort Ticonderoga. Full-time classroom teachers and school librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously-affiliated schools are eligible to apply. Our growing partnership with the College of St. Joseph in Vermont gives participating teachers the opportunity to earn three graduate credits upon completion of the designated project. Fort Ticonderoga offers this week-long experience with limited out-of-pocket costs for teachers.

During the course of the week, teachers will work with author and historian James L. Nelson. They will explore topics related to the failed invasion of Canada and the subsequent retreat to Ticonderoga, the structure of the Continental Army, the construction and manning of a fleet to protect Lake Champlain, and how the events of 1776 at Ticonderoga helped lay the groundwork for a stunning American victory at Saratoga the following year.

Rowing a Bateau

Educators in a past Teacher Institute crew the Fort’s 30-foot bateau.

Teachers will work with original documents in the Fort Ticonderoga collection. Tim Potts, Past President of the New York State Council for the Social Studies, will interact with teachers throughout the week, leading them through pedagogical activities applicable in the classroom.

Several immersive experiences will allow teachers a greater appreciation of the day to day work of Continental soldiers that served at Ticonderoga in 1776. Teahers will become the crew of a 30-foot bateau on Lake Champlain, take part in wood-working activities, and cook a meal in an 18th-century field kitchen.

Interested teachers can learn more by visiting Fort Ticonderoga’s website at this link.

Rich Strum
Director of Education

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