Chipmunks in the Garden

By Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulturalist in Residence

If you’re like me, or the gardener’s in the King’s Garden, you’ve experienced a banner year for chipmunks in the garden.  I’ve been lucky—they’ve merely uprooted new plants and seedlings.  In the King’s Garden they’ve not only done this, but climbed flower stalks to end buds of lilies and other perennials!

chipmunk

Photo courtesy of Sharon Flaherty

Chipmunks may be cute to many, especially if they’re not damaging gardens or aren’t present in large numbers.  Otherwise, they can be a serious nuisance.  Knowing a few facts about chipmunks may help prevent them from eating or relocating spring bulbs you may plant this fall, damaging young plants, or even causing more serious structural damage.

I find it amazing that chipmunk burrows may extend 20 to 30 feet.  There is no soil around the openings because chipmunks carry it away from the burrows in their cheek pouches and scatter it away from the openings.  The burrows are complex, usually with chambers for nesting, food storage, side pockets, and escape tunnels.

Usually there are two generations of chipmunks born per year, with two to five in early spring and again in late summer.  So if your landscape seems to have many, this is why.  They may range over about a half-acre, but only defend about 50 feet around their burrow opening.

Chipmunks gather and store food, often seeds, throughout the year.  If you have seen clumps of sunflowers coming up in flower pots or the lawn, or small bulbs blooming far away from where you planted them, you can thank a chipmunk!   This is one of their purposes in natural woodlands– to sow seeds for forest regeneration.  Although chipmunks mainly eat seeds, berries, nuts, insects and mushrooms on the ground, they also can climb trees to gather these or to prey on young birds and bird eggs.

Chipmunks do not hibernate during fall and winter as woodchucks do, but remain rather inactive, subsisting on their stored food.  You may see them active on warm, sunny days.  In addition to their damage in gardens, chipmunks can cause structural damage from burrowing under stairs, retention walls, or foundations. They may kill flowers from burrowing under them.

Exclusion can be used to keep chipmunks from buildings and some flower beds.  Fill openings at building foundations, fill and caulk openings, or use one-quarter inch mesh hardware cloth.  Cover annual flower beds with this hardware cloth, at least a foot past the edges.  You can cover the wire lightly with soil to hide it.

Where bulbs may be damaged, if planting a whole bed, first dig out all the soil.  Then line the bed with similar hardware cloth before refilling and planting.  Cover the top with the mesh cloth until spring when the bulbs emerge.  If planting bulbs in individual holes, place some sharply crushed stones or shells in each hole before refilling.  This will help deter their digging.  Such products often can be found, just for this purpose, at feed and garden stores.

Habitat modification may lessen chipmunk damage.  Try not to continuously connect, through vegetation and plantings, wooded areas with garden beds and homes.  Such areas, wood piles, and debris provide protection for them, plus their openings are hard to find under such cover.

Spilled bird seed from feeders is a common attractant for chipmunks, as around my own home.  Place bird feeders 15 to 30 feet from buildings or gardens.  Keeping grass cut short around such areas will provide little cover for them and encourage them to burrow elsewhere.

Taste repellents, such as those for squirrels, can be used for chipmunks too and may be a good first line of defense.  These can be used on bulbs, seeds, and foliage not meant for human consumption.  These need to be reapplied, can be expensive over time, and generally don’t provide complete control.

Trapping is an effective means of control around homes and gardens.  Common rat snap-traps are used by some.  If using these, place boards or a box over, with small opening for the chipmunk, to prevent children, pets, birds or other non-target wildlife from getting caught.  I like to put an upturned, large clay pot over such—they’re more attractive in gardens (just don’t leave them out over winter or the clay will get wet and crack when frozen).

Many prefer to use a live-catch wire mesh trap, then transport them several miles away so they don’t return. While relocating chipmunks is not illegal in Vermont (as is the relocation of most larger wildlife), it is in some states.  This generally is not recommended, though, as they may not adapt well or even survive in a new site.  Another alternative for live-trapped chipmunks is to humanely euthanize them.  If relocating to a property other than your own, make sure you have the landowner’s permission.  In New York state it is illegal to relocate animals to a property other than where they were caught (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/81531.html).

If using traps, a variety of baits can be used including peanut butter, seeds, raisins, or breakfast grains.  Place traps in areas, and along routes, where the chipmunks are seen.  You may want to fix the traps open a couple days to condition the chipmunks to them, before setting.  Check traps often to remove captured chipmunks and to release non-target animals such as birds from live traps.

If chipmunks are in your garden and landscape, and aren’t a big problem, start with exclusion and deterrents from your flowers and vegetables.  If they’ve become a serious nuisance, and you seem overrun with them, then you may need to resort to traps.  Learn more about chipmunk biology and controls, as well as many other wildlife problems, from publications from Penn State Extension (extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/wildlife).

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All that Glitters is not Gold

By Matthew Keagle, Curator

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Plate 89, Vol. II, Surirey de St. Remy, Memoires d’Artillerie, third edition, 1745. The text for this plate indicates it would take four men working five days to saw such a large gun in half! Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum.

Quite often it is bronze. Bronze, an alloy of roughly 90% copper and 10% tin (although exact alloys in the 18th century varied), was one of the two primary materials used to cast artillery in the early modern period. The task took considerable technical skill. Gun founders had to be able to manipulate thousands of pounds of molten metal into hollow molds to cast cannon that could then withstand the enormous pressure of many pounds of exploding gunpowder packed behind solid iron projectiles.Gun founders in the period were sought after tradesmen. Many used their technical skill across national borders. For example, Swiss founders regularly worked in France and Spain, while Dutch founders, trained by Swiss, worked in England.

This cannon, named “El Poderoso” or “the powerful,” is the largest gun in Fort Ticonderoga’s collection and weighs 6510 pounds.

The gun founder had to know the proportions of the alloy he was preparing for casting the cannon, just one part of the skill of his trade. Generally, raw copper and tin were added to the furnace to make bronze, however, many founders used condemned or captured cannon to recast into new pieces. Captured cannon could simply be turned against an enemy, but the different systems of artillery across Europe meant enemy cannon were not always that easily employed. For example, a Spanish 16-pounder did not fire the same sized shot as a French 16-pounder, since until the 1740s, they were based off of different systems of weight. The English didn’t even have a 16-pounder as part of their arsenal, meaning capture guns were useless unless captured with ammunition. Often the best use for captured cannon was to have them re-made into new ones.

Surirey de St. Remy’s Memoires d’Artillerie, first published in 1697, includes a plate depicting four men sawing a bronze 24-pounder cannon in half. A bronze 24-pounder, like two Spanish guns in Fort Ticonderoga’s collection, could weigh up to 6500 pounds – three and a quarter tons! Sawing such a massive piece in half was required to maneuver it into the furnace to be melted and re-made.

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The Left Trunnion of this Spanish 12-pounder cast in 1747 is engraved indicating it was made from old bronze, such as older condemned or captured cannon. The opposite trunnion is engraved with the weight of the gun. Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum.

At least one Spanish 12-pounder in Fort Ticonderoga’s collection bears the phrase “Bronzes Viexos” on the face of its left trunnion. This translates as old bronze, indicating that this particular gun was cast by melting down old cannon. This could be important information as virgin bronze was deemed to be stronger. One wonders what old cannon were sacrificed to the gun founders furnace to cast this cannon in 1747.

See this recast cannon, and our two massive 24-pounders, at special events all winter as they keep silent sentinel on Lake Champlain.

 

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Fort Ticonderoga Sponsors 2017 History Day: North Country Students Participate in National Program Shown to Boost School Performance and Job Skills

large_lorelei-leerkes-web-sizeNational History Day (NHD) is a year-long academic program for elementary and secondary school students focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression. NHD students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights, and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history. Fort Ticonderoga sponsors, administers, and coordinates History Day in six New York counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, St. Lawrence, and Warren. North Country History Day takes place on Saturday, March 4, 2017; however, students are encouraged to begin working on their projects now. This year’s theme is “Taking a Stand in History.”

Fort Ticonderoga has coordinated the regional competition and provided support for teachers and students throughout the school year since 2007. North Country teachers interested in learning more about History Day can contact Rich Strum, Director of Education at Fort Ticonderoga, at rstrum@fort-ticonderoga.org.

According to the first national evaluation of the widely used curricular program, students who participate in the National History Day perform better on high-stakes tests, are better writers, more confident and capable researchers, and have a more mature perspective on current events and civic engagement than their peers. Participants also show a greater ability to collaborate with peers, manage their time and persevere.

The full report, National History Day Works, is available at www.nhd.org/NHDWorks. Some of the important findings include:

  • NHD students outperform their non-NHD peers on state standardized tests, not only in social studies, but in reading, science and math as well.
  • NHD students are better writers.
  • NHD students are critical thinkers.
  • NHD students learn 21st Century skills.
  • NHD has a positive impact among students whose interests in academic subjects may wane in high school.

The study looked at performance assessments, surveys and standardized test scores to evaluate students’ research and writing skills, ability to interpret historical information, academic performance and interest in past and current events. Researchers then compared their evaluations of students who participated in National History Day (NHD) to their peers who did not participate in the program. The study, conducted at four sites around the country, found that on nearly every measure, NHD students’ scores or ratings were higher than their peers who did not participate in the program.

About National History Day

National History Day (NHD) is a year-long academic organization for elementary and secondary school students. Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates in a national competition each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park. Visit www.nhd.org.

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

Photo: A St. Mary’s School student talks with judges about her History Day project on Samuel de Champlain at North Country History Day in March 2016. Recent research shows that students participating in the National History Day program develop skills necessary for the work world.

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Fort Ticonderoga’s Living History Event on November 12th Highlights British Withdrawal in 1777: Explore the Complex Story from the British, German, Loyalist, and Native Perspectives

 

Join the German soldiers, who formed the core of the British garrison at Ticonderoga in late 1777, as they prepare to evacuate Ticonderoga, the “Gibraltar of the North” during an exciting living history event Saturday, November 12th from 10am – 4pm.

Be part of the action as Fort Ticonderoga portrays the British soldiers, loyalists, refugee families, and native allies at Ticonderoga in November 1777 who were cut off from the rest of the British line, short of food and supplies, and facing the inevitable decision to withdraw back to Canada following the surrender of British forces at Saratoga.

Programs and demonstrations highlight the weapons, tactics, and trades of the British garrison in the late fall of 1777. Tours will explore the decision to evacuate the soldiers back to Canada and the choice to destroy Ticonderoga in their wake to leave nov-12nothing useful for Continental forces.

A musket demonstration at 11am will provide military perspective from the loyalist forces. These soldiers, recruited from loyalist refugees, were the eyes and ears of British army along Lake Champlain. Whether New England fowlers, native trade guns, or old French Muskets, see the arms of the loyalists and discuss fighting for King and country without a home.

Another musket demonstration at 12:30pm will interpret the German Brunswick soldiers. German soldiers made up nearly half of the British Army in 1777.  Far from stiff and rigid, see how Brunswick soldiers used their muskets in defense and attack.  Thrill at the flash of weaponry and learn how European methods of fighting were adapted to the landscape of North America.

The event will also feature lectures on the myths of the “Hessians” in the American Revolution and explore the story of the soldiers from the Duchy of Brunswick who served at Ticonderoga.

Admission to the event is $10 for the general public and free to Fort Ticonderoga Members, Ambassador Pass Holders, and children age four and under. For the full event schedule, visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/events/fort-events/now-left-to-their-own-defense-german-and-british-soldiers-leave-ticonderoga-living-history-event/detail or call (518) 585-2821.

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

Photo: The “Now Left to their own Defense.” German and British Soldiers Leave Ticonderoga-Living History Event takes place on Saturday, November 12, 2016. Photo Credit: Fort Ticonderoga.

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Fort Ticonderoga presents Sixth Annual “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” Weekend Seminar

material-mattersFort Ticonderoga will host its Sixth Annual “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” Seminar Saturday November 5 and Sunday November 6. This weekend event focuses on the material culture of the 18th century and is intended for collectors, re-enactors, and people with a general interest in learning more about objects of the 18th century and what they can tell us about history.

A panel of material culture experts comes to Fort Ticonderoga for the weekend to share their knowledge of 18th-century material culture in a series of presentations. Designed for those who want a deeper understanding of the everyday objects that help tell the story of life and the contests for control of North America during the 18th century, the weekend’s informal approach enables attendees to interact with presenters and provides an opportunity to examine 18th-century objects up close.

Seminar topics include: “Heavy Metal History and Preservation” with Chris Sabick; “Faste Coloniaux: Military Pomp, Domestic Display, and State Power in the French Atlantic Empire” with Philippe Halbert; “Anglo-American Weaving Techniques of 18th-Century New England” with Justin Squizzero; and “Army Wives and Refugees: The Material Lives of Women with Burgoyne’s Army in 177” with Eliza West.

The Saturday session concludes with a lecture and concert that showcases the relationship between functional military tunes and songs, dances, and other pieces enjoyed by the English speaking world. “The Harmony of War: Popular Music Adapted for Military use During the American Revolution” will be performed by; Erick Lichack (fife, drum, and harpsichord), Eliza Vincz (vocals), and Joshua Mason (fife and classical flute).

“Material Matters” takes place in the Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga and is open by pre-registration only. The cost is $145 (Members of Fort Ticonderoga receive a discount, as do students and young museum professionals). Registration forms can be downloaded by visiting http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/workshop-seminars/material-matters. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Rich Strum, Director of Education, at (518) 585-6370.

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Explore Fort Ticonderoga’s Heroic Corn Maze at Night! October 28 & 29, 2016

maze-by-moonlight-resizedDiscover fall fun of historic proportions at Fort Ticonderoga’s Maze by Moonlight Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29. Navigate through the six-acres of towering corn stalks at night! Visitors will find clues connected to Fort Ticonderoga’s story as they make their way through the maze in the blanket of darkness. Will Fort Ticonderoga’s unexplained and ghostly past find you in the maze? Bring your flashlight and find out!

The maze, with a NEW 2016 design, featuring the shape of Fort Ticonderoga and the year 1777, is divided into two phases, giving guests the chance to gain confidence in the smaller maze before tackling the main maze. The average journey will take from twenty minutes for the first phase and up to an hour for the second phase.flashlight-nights

The cost of this fun fall nighttime experience is $10 per person; tickets are available at the door. Members of Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga Ambassador Pass Holders, and children age four and under are admitted free of charge. The admissions booth and the corn maze open at 7:00 pm; last ticket sold at 9:00 pm, the maze will close at 10:00 pm.

For more information, call (518) 585-2821 or visit www.fortticonderoga.org.

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

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s Maze by Moonlight takes place on October 28 & 29, 2016. Photo credit: Fort Ticonderoga.

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GIRL SCOUT DAY AT FORT TICONDEROGA OCTOBER 15, 2016!

Fort Ticonderoga joins forces with the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York to host Girl Scout Day on Saturday, October 15th from 9:30am-5:00pm. The scouts will participate in interactive and immersive programs, visit museum exhibitions, and explore the historic site, including the King’s Garden, Carillon Battlefield Hiking Trail, and the Heroic Corn Maze.

During this year’s Girl Scout Day, the scouts will discover the story of British and German troops at Ticonderoga during the year 1777. While interacting with these soldiers, scouts will learn what life was like at Ticonderoga during the American Revolution and will gain a deeper understanding of struggle for independence, the economy and trade in the 18th century, and daily life of the soldiers and their families that garrisoned Fort Ticonderoga.018

“Special guided tours and museum exhibitions will immerse the scouts in Fort Ticonderoga’s epic history, “said Rich Strum, Director of Education. “The visit will include the historic trades shops, where they will learn about key skills that were essential for keeping an army clothed, fed, and prepared.”

Weapons Demonstrations, Museum Exhibits, Historic Trades, & the King’s Garden!

Thrill at the flash of musketry and roar of cannon fire during weapons demonstrations; guided tours will highlight Fort Ticonderoga’s epic story in the 18th century; interactive programs in historic trades including shoe making, carpentry, and tailoring, will give the scouts an active understanding of the work required to maintain an army and fight the Revolution!

Special resizedprograms take place in the historic trades shops at 10:30am, 12:30pm, 1:00pm and 2:30pm. At noon, discover the process of feeding the troops as the mid-day meal is prepared.

Visit the King’s Garden to discover what was grown to feed the troops and dig into centuries of horticulture history! For the Girl Scouts artistically inclined, “Watercolors in the Garden” will be offered at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm.

The Heroic Corn Maze: A Corn Maze Adventure!

While in the King’s Garden area, be sure to explore a new 2016 design in the six-acre Heroic Maze, a corn maze designed in the shape of Fort Ticonderoga! Answer clues connected to Fort Ticonderoga’s history as you find your way through winding stalks of corn! The Heroic Corn Maze will be open from 10:00am-4:00pm.

To register your Girl Scout troop to participate, email Fort Ticonderoga’s Group Tour Coordinator at aa@fort-ticonderoga.org, or call the business office at (518) 585-2821.

The cost is $7 per scout; $14 for adult leaders and chaperones.

To learn more about programs for scout groups at Fort Ticonderoga, visit www.fortticonderoga.org and select the “Education” tab and select “Scouting” on the drop-down menu.

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

Photo: Girl Scout Day at Fort Ticonderoga takes place on October 15, 2016. Photo credit: Fort Ticonderoga.

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FORT TICONDEROGA’S VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED

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Fort Ticonderoga recently announced that Mary Ellen Ellithorpe (Em) of Putnam, NY, has received the 2016 Fort Ticonderoga Volunteer of the Year award in recognition of her dedicated service to Fort Ticonderoga. Em gave tirelessly of her time and energy this past summer implementing a survey with guests. Collecting hundreds of surveys, Em logged in nearly 30 hours as part of this project and other volunteer activity. Her smiling face and pleasant approach encouraged our visitors to share their thoughts on our exhibits and presentation of Ticonderoga’s big guns.

In addition to the survey, Em volunteered in other areas of operations including development, special events, and education. She plans to continue her volunteer work during the winter months in our Collection’s Department where she will assist in cataloging.

“Em’s support and assistance at Fort Ticonderoga has had a substantial impact on our organization,” said Beth Hill, President and CEO. “Her enthusiasm for Fort Ticonderoga’s mission and programs is contagious and enabled the surveying process to exceed our expectations. Through her work, we were able to track important data that will help drive our decisions for future exhibitions and related programs. We are very grateful to her for her service.”

Other volunteer recognition:

Papercut Award: Frank Schlamp for his unwavering volunteer support for collections and for creating an index for hundreds of pages of institutional scrapbooks, as well as his leadership in organizing and documenting our archeological collections.

Thompson-Pell Award: Carl Crego for his scholarship and organizing and processing the Thompson and Pell archives, and for his support in procuring archival supplies.

Q-Tip Award: Bonnie Sheeley for her determination, dedication, and donation of thousands of specialty Q-tips to clean the Ethan Allen statue using conservation appropriate methods.

Spreading the Beauty Award: Betty Rettig for her time in the King’s Garden cutting the beautiful flowers and creating splendid bouquets that welcome guests, and enhance our many events.

The Three MUSKETeers Award: Jim Beaty, Doug Chase, and Jim O’Toole who love Fort Ticonderoga, the guns, and always make a big booming effort to raise awareness and support.

The Volunteer of the Year Award along with several other volunteer related awards were presented at Fort Ticonderoga’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception on September 29th.

Fort Ticonderoga volunteers have given nearly 9,000 hours so far in 2016 in areas including interpretation, horticulture, education, development, collections, exhibitions, and buildings and grounds. New volunteers are welcome to apply to the program which offers numerous and enriching volunteer opportunities. Volunteer information and applications are available on Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fortticonderoga.org or by calling 518-585-2821.

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

Photo: Mary Ellen Ellithorpe (Em) of Putnam, NY, received the 2016 Fort Ticonderoga Volunteer of the Year award in recognition of her dedicated service to Fort Ticonderoga. Photographed (L-R) Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO; Em Ellithorpe, 2016 Volunteer of the Year; Matthew Keagle, Fort Ticonderoga Curator of Collections. Photo credit Fort Ticonderoga.

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THE FORT TICONDEROGA MUSEUM LAUNCHES PUBLICATION OF ACADEMIC JOURNAL

bulletinAfter a 15-year hiatus, The Bulletin of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum returns in print with an issue focused on “1777: The American Revolution on the Northern Frontier.” The Bulletin, published for over seventy years, helped the Fort Ticonderoga Museum achieve an international reputation for original scholarship and research. Today, the rebirth of the Bulletin complements Fort Ticonderoga’s scholarly work in restoration, interpretation, collections, and educational programming.  Copies are available for purchase at the Fort Ticonderoga Museum Store and online at www.fortticonderoga.org.

“It is with great honor and enthusiasm that Fort Ticonderoga re-launches The Bulletin of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO.  “Museum co-founder, Stephen H. P. Pell inaugurated the Bulletin in 1927, and after a 15-year hiatus his scholarly vision for our institution is once again being realized.  The journal will engage the next generation of scholars, museum professionals, educators, and history enthusiasts with new documentation that will continue to add depth to our understanding of our past, informed by our rich museum collections, research initiatives, and academic partnerships.”

The current issue relates to the Northern Campaign of 1777. Feature guest contributor for this production is Eric Schnitzer, Historian and Park Ranger at Saratoga National Historical Park. In his article “Cook’s and Latimer’s Connecticut Militia Battalions in the Northern Campaign of 1777,” Schnitzer explores the composition and contributions of these units to the ultimate success of the Continental efforts to stop British General John Burgoyne’s invasion from Canada.

Additional articles include: “Philip Skene of Skenesborough: Selected transcriptions of a local Loyalist” by Heather M. Haley. 2015 Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellow in Education, Heather Haley provides an overview of the Skene collection, a biographical overview of Philip Skene, and transcriptions of select documents in the collection; “French Canadian Laborers in the 1777 Norther Campaign” by Richard Tomczak. 2015 Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellow in Interpretation, Richard Tomczak delves into the French-Canadian Corvée system as adapted by Governor Guy Carleton and General John Burgoyne during the 1777 campaign; and  “The Curious Long Land Muskets of the British 53rd Regiment” by Bill Ahearn. Long-time collector Bill Ahearn explores the history of three muskets of the 53rd Regiment now in the collection of Fort Ticonderoga.

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

Photo: The Bulletin of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum returns in print with an issue focused on 1777. 

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Fort Ticonderoga Receives Prestigious National Grant

Fort Ticonderoga has been awarded a prestigious national grant of $147,006 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services: Museums for America for a fifteen-month project to inventory, catalog, assess conservation needs, and re-house thousands of internationally significant collection items. These objects will be moved from the unsuitable environment to a modern, climate-controlled, storage facility.

Some of the most important subsets of theimls-grant-image-pr archaeological collections included in this project are the 18th-century entrenching tools. Over 500 shovels, spades, billhooks, hammers, picks, and mattocks have been assembled as a result of Fort Ticonderoga’s restoration in the early 20th century, and chart the range of techniques used to fabricate structures in France, Britain, and North America. These tools represent the largest assemblage of 18th-century entrenching tools in the United States. As part of the grant project, professional conservators will visit the museum to produce a conservation assessment of this singular collection.

“The generous funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services: Museums for America (IMLS) grant will completely transform our collections program,” said Miranda Peters, Fort Ticonderoga Collections Manager. “This project will ensure the preservation, documentation, and physical control over the historically significant and irreplaceable archaeological objects that were discovered on-site in the early 20th century, along with early institutional records and collections that are currently housed in an unsuitable environment.”

The IMLS project will support Fort Ticonderoga’s experiential and learner-driven approach to preservation and programming by supporting several strategic plan long-range goals, including: developing a conservation and preservation plan for our archaeological collection, expanding exhibitions-focused and collections management staff, creating a long-term plan for appropriate storage in an updated storage facility, providing better storage, management, and accessibility to our renowned collections, and finally to update the information the museum has surrounding the collections and import it into museum collection management software.

This project will span from October 2016 through December 2017 and will support four temporary collections staff positions.

This was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant # MA-30-16-0178-16.

About IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.

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

Photo: Humble tools like picks and hoes were among the most important weapons soldiers used in the 18th century. They were used to build defenses to protect troops from attack. These tools are just a sample of the hundreds Fort Ticonderoga has in its collection. Photo credit: Fort Ticonderoga

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