Annual Flowers from the King’s Garden: Blue Salvias

Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulturist in Residence

SalviasOne of the annual flowers that Marian Kruger Coffin used in her 1920 design of the King’s Garden was salvia or flowering sage.  Of the over 900 herbaceous species of salvias worldwide, she used a couple—the mealycup sage (Salvia farinacea) and the azure or blue sage (Salvia azurea), sometimes seen too as pitcher sage.  Both are great garden annuals, still found in commerce today, and both provide blue flowers unlike the salvias known to most gardeners.  These will tolerate part shade, but prefer full sun for best bloom.

Although blue sage is typically grown as an annual flower, it is listed as hardy into southern Minnesota and warmer parts of our region (USDA zone 5, or minimum average winter temperature of -10 to -20 Fahrenheit).  It is native to the central and southern states, often found in prairies on somewhat dry soils.  The flowers in late summer into fall attract bees and butterflies seeking their nectar.  Growing three feet or more high, interplant them closely (one foot or so apart) with other annuals or grasses to keep these salvias from flopping over.  Cutting plants back by half in late spring will make them more bushy and less prone to flopping.  Otherwise, it is an easy-to-grow flower.

Mealycup sage is so named for the “mealy” or felty hairs on the flowering stems and outer parts (calyces) of the flowers.  It is grown as an annual flower in northern gardens, as a tender perennial elsewhere, and only as a perennial in warmer climates such as its native Texas and Mexico.  The flower spikes are one and one-half to three feet high, on square and branching stems (the square stems are a clue it is in the mint family).  The blue flowers cover the top four to eight inches of these stems, from early summer into fall.  They have an upper hood over a lower tip.  Cutting flower stalks off after bloom will promote new flowering stems sooner.

mealycup sage butterfly salviasMealycup sage is showy in mass on their own, or mixed into borders and containers to add a vertical accent and the less common blue color—a great contrast to most other colors.  They’re attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Use them also as a cut or dried flower.  Mealycup sage is easy to grow, too, having few problems, usually resistant to deer and rabbits, and tolerant of poor soils and some drought.  Plant these upright annuals one foot or less apart.

While Marian Coffin only specified the species of the mealycup sage, and it is still available, there are several cultivars (cultivated varieties) you may find.  Two of these—Blue Bedder and Rhea—are planned for the King’s Garden in 2016.  Blue Bedder salvia has darker violet blue flowers than the species, while Rhea (shown in the photo) has similar dark flowers but is more compact—only about one foot or so high.

Victoria is perhaps the most popular mealycup sage cultivar, with similar flowers to Rhea only perhaps not quite as dark, and on larger plants with indigo blue stems. It has been around a while, winning the Fleuroselect award in 1978.  As good or even better in some locations and years than Victoria, taller with more stems, is the similar older German cultivar Gruppenblau (“group blue”, from Johnny’s Seeds).  Evolution also is compact with good branching and deep violet-purple flowers, and won top awards in both the European Fleuroselect (2002) and All-America Selections (2006) flower trial programs.

Strata is an older cultivar, similar in height to Victoria (18 inches or so high), only with clear blue and white (outer calyx) flowers.  It also won a Fleuroselect award (1996). Similar in height, only with sapphire blue flowers is the Fleuroselect winner (2008) Fairy Queen.  White spots on the flowers resemble fairy dust.  Argent is an older  cultivar with all white flowers, and is less commonly found now.  A newer selection with stems in dark blue, sky blue, and white is Cathedral Blue.

Indigo Spires resembles Victoria only is taller (three feet or more in hot climates), and has richer deep blue flowers.  It is a hybrid of mealycup sage supposedly with a Mexican native salvia (longispicata), found in 1979 at the Huntington Botanical Garden in San Marino, California. The patented Mystic Spires is another similar hybrid, only shorter.

Look for some of these blue mealycup salvias in your favorite garden retailer this spring, as well as the first two in the King’s Garden this summer.  If you’re ordering seeds to start your own (which is a good way to ensure you’ll have them), plan on sowing seeds indoors about 8 to 10 weeks before planting outside after the last frost.

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Experience Fort Ticonderoga on the Eve of the American Revolution during the “1775 British Garrison” Living History Event

26th-foot-eventExperience Fort Ticonderoga on the eve of the American Revolution as British soldiers and their families live in this peacetime fort on the frontier at Fort Ticonderoga’s upcoming event, “1775 British Garrison,” on Saturday March 19, from 10 am – 4 pm. In this one-day living history event, visitors will discover British garrison life in March 1775, two months before Ticonderoga would be thrust into war once more.

What was it like to be a British soldier, soldier’s wife, or child at Ticonderoga? Discover how the British Army was both prepared and unprepared to fight for control of Ticonderoga – the key to the continent. Tours highlighting Ticonderoga’s defining role in the Revolutionary War will be presented throughout the day. Admission to the “1775 British Garrison” event is $10 per person and payable at the gate. Members of Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga Resident Ambassador Pass holders, and children 4 years and under are free. For more details call 518-585-2821.

“Twelve of Fort Ticonderoga’s twenty-two years of military service were at peace, keeping a watch over Lake Champlain,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation. “This event will bring to life the stories of soldiers guarding this epic fort. Guests will have the opportunity to witness soldiering in peacetime as they learn about the men of the 26th foot and their wives and families who made their homes inside the crumbling walls of the old Fort. From blanket coats, to fur caps and mittens, discover the special clothing and equipment for service in Canada and along Lake Champlain. This event is an opportunity to tour through the reconstructed Fort Ticonderoga of today and see what made this fortification so vulnerable to capture by the Green Mountain Boys in May of 1775.”

Click here to view the Visitor Schedule

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Straight Outta Woolwich

A sampling of the range of works in Fort Ticonderoga’s library, the title pages of Christoph Friedrichs von Geisler’s Neue, Curieuse und vollksommene Artillerie, Dresden, 1718, and Marchel Blondel’s L’Art de Jetter les Bombes, Paris, 1683. (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

A sampling of the range of works in Fort Ticonderoga’s library, the title pages of Christoph Friedrichs von Geisler’s Neue, Curieuse und vollksommene Artillerie, Dresden, 1718, and Marchel Blondel’s L’Art de Jetter les Bombes, Paris, 1683. (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

To kick off the 2016 season, Fort Ticonderoga will open a new exhibit, “The Last Argument of Kings: The Art and Science of Artillery in the 18th Century.”  This project is supported in part by a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and involves a re-contextualization of Fort Ticonderoga’s massive collection of early modern artillery. This means a lot of reading! Fortunately, Fort Ticonderoga’s library is well stocked with artillery manuals, treatises, and handbooks, thanks to the foresight of the museum’s founders in the 20th century who built a rich collection of period literature on the art of war. The collection contains works on artillery, bombs, and mines reaching back into the 17th century through the middle of the 19th century (including a confederate ordnance manual from 1863). These books span the period when smoothbore artillery was the king of the battlefield, when it was quite literally “the last argument of Kings.”

The Fort Ticonderoga Museum’s earliest works on artillery were almost exclusively published in French, out of Paris, Amsterdam, and the Hague; the most important being Surirey de Saint Remy’s three volume Memoires d’Artillerie, of which the library holds two editions (1697 and 1745). Christoph Friedrichs von Geisler’s Neue, Curieuse und vollksommene Artillerie, published in Dresden in 1718 is one example of a German edition of the time. Few books were written on the subject in Great Britain until the second half of the 18th century, introducing a problem for monolingual English speakers. Granted there were some of the Continental volumes that were translated into English, such as the 1746 English edition of A Treatise of Artillery by the Frenchman Guillaume Le Blond, part of a larger series on the art of war.

Muller Title Page Treatise of Artillery

Title page of the 1779 Philadelphia edition of John Muller’s Treatise of Artillery showing Colonel Jeduthan Baldwin’s inscription. (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

This changed, in part, thanks to John Muller, an English mathematician and engineer that served as chief master of the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. Muller was especially dedicated to the technical training of artillery officers. The French and Germans had been receiving technical training for some time and it eventually developed in Britain. Muller generated a wealth of new works and translations on artillery, fortification, siegecraft, and mathematics from the 1730s through the 1750s. Although some works in English were published between the middle of the 17th century and middle of the 18th century, the field was dominated by foreign translations. Muller’s 1757 Treatise of Artillery stands out as an original English work on the subject. Most 18th and early 19th century writers in English consider it the first volume in their own language.

What may be somewhat more important was the impact of the Treatise on the artillery arm of the young American forces during the Revolutionary War. Muller’s broader work on “Mathematicks,” Fortification, and Artillery in seven volumes was just one of four military-specific works that Henry Knox stocked in his London Bookstore prior to the outbreak of war. Responding to a query from John Adams in 1776, Knox specifically recommended that American officers should read Muller’s Treatise. Knox’s regard for Muller’s work was reinforced by its use at the short-lived artillery academy at Pluckemin, New Jersey over the winter encampment of 1778-1779. Muller’s Treatise was in fact the first artillery-specific volume to be printed in the United States.

American printing on military topics was dominated by manuals of arms and treatises on the management of infantry. It wasn’t until 1779 that Muller’s Treatise of Artillery was added to this output by the Philadelphia printers, Styner and Cist. This printing was due in some part to its centrality as a text on the art and practice of artillery that was accessible to Anglophone Americans. The Philadelphia edition was appropriately dedicated (taking up a whole page) to George Washington, Henry Knox, and the officers of the Continental Artillery. The importance of the work is also underscored by the re-use of plates nearly identical to Muller’s work in American artillery manuals printed in the 1790s, of which the museum holds a number of copies. Muller’s text dominated American military thought until nearly the turn of the 19th century as the modern theory and practice of the successful French artillery.

Plates Artillery of the US

The continuing influence of Muller’s work in America. Above, An 8 Inch Howitz Carriage as it appears in the 1779 Philadelphia edition of Muller’s Treatise, virtually a copy of the London printing, below, An 8 Inch Howitz Carriage printed in William Stevens, System for the Discipline of the Artillery of the United States of America, New York, 1797. (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

The Fort Ticonderoga Museum holds a copy of the 1779 Philadelphia edition of Muller’s Treatise. The engravings depict artillery carriages and related vehicles which are accurately reproduced from the London original. These have been invaluable as a resource for our exhibition and interpretive departments to recreate the material culture of Anglo-American artillery during the Revolution. Hand written above the title in dark ink is the word “Northampton 1841.” The name of the owner evidently written above has been torn away. This inscription was added after an earlier owner’s name was crossed out. Partially obscured through the tear in the paper but still visible is the name “Colo Jeduthan Baldwin, Engineer.”

Jeduthan Baldwin was the chief engineer at Ticonderoga and Mount Independence between 1776 and 1777. He prepared the defenses that made the camp into an impregnable fortress and compelled the General Carleton’s British force to withdraw in the fall of 1776. Like many Yankees, Baldwin was no newcomer to Ticonderoga; he had served at Fort William Henry in 1755 and 1756 as the captain of a company from his native Massachusetts and accompanied Amherst’s final campaign to take Ticonderoga in 1759.

Uniform coat of the Boston Independent Company of Cadets, 1772-1774, worn by Jeduthan Baldwin’s cousin Cyrus Baldwin’s prior to the Revolution. (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

Uniform coat of the Boston Independent Company of Cadets, 1772-1774, worn by Jeduthan Baldwin’s cousin Cyrus Baldwin’s prior to the Revolution. (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

Close to the beginning of the Revolution, Baldwin was involved as an engineer preparing the works around Boston until its evacuation by the British when he was finally sent to Ticonderoga. Baldwin remained in the Engineer Corps through the evacuation of Ticonderoga in 1777, thus he may have purchased the edition of Muller’s Treatise during a visit to Philadelphia in 1780, as it post-dates his service here. The volume confirms the American consumption of English artillery literature by officers of the Continental army.

It might be added that the Baldwin family contributed mightily to the American cause. Jeduthan served nearly the entire war, retiring in 1782. His brother Isaac had been killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. His cousin Loammi Baldwin was given command as Colonel of a regiment of Massachusetts men designated as the 26th Continental Regiment that served during the New York campaign and crossed the Delaware prior to the attack on Trenton, New Jersey under Washington’s command. Loammi is also the namesake of the Baldwin apple which he propagated. Loammi’s brother Cyrus, another cousin of Jeduthan, was the owner of the only surviving Boston Company of Cadet’s uniform, now part of Fort Ticonderoga’s collections and perhaps the oldest surviving American made military uniform in existence. The Baldwins testify to the depth of service and sacrifice one family was capable of during the tumultuous period the American Revolution, which is well represented and preserved in the Fort Ticonderoga Museum’s collection.

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Fort Fever Series Explores the Uniforms of Artillerymen at Ticonderoga

Fort FeverFort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” continues on Sunday, March 13, at 2:00 p.m. with “Gunners, Bombardiers, & Matrosses: Uniforms of Artillerymen at Ticonderoga” presented by Senior Director of Interpretation Stuart Lilie. The cost is $10 per person and will be collected at the door. The program is free for Members of Fort Ticonderoga.

Explore the various Corps of Artillery that have manned the cannons at Fort Ticonderoga. Follow the similarities between artillery uniforms and adaptations to the seasonal extremes of weather in the North Country. In a branch of service where technical information and skills were shared internationally, see what uniform distinctions represented in organizational and cultural differences.

Stuart Lilie is the Senior Director of Interpretation at Fort Ticonderoga. He oversees major areas of guest experience and operations including military programs, historic trades, heritage breeds, horticulture, and maritime. Lilie is a leader in the museum and interpretive fields and is a nationally recognized expert in 18th-century saddlery. Lilie has a degree in History from the College of William and Mary and has led Fort Ticonderoga’s Interpretive Department since 2011, where he developed a revolutionary approach to historic interpretation. Under Lilie’s leadership, Fort Ticonderoga has been recognized for its strong commitment to program excellence.

A final “Fort Fever Series” program on building 18th-century redoubts is scheduled for April 10.  The complete schedule of winter and early spring workshops and seminars is available here.

The “Fort Fever Series” is just one of several programs taking place at Fort Ticonderoga this winter and early spring. The living history event “1775 British Garrison Weekend” takes place March 12. The Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium will be held on April 9. You can learn more about all of these programs by visiting Fort Ticonderoga’s calendar. Some programs require advance registration.

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Fort Ticonderoga Offers Scholarships for the War College of the Seven Years’ War

Teacher Scholarships

David Preston, author of the award-winning book “Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution” is one of the featured speakers at Fort Ticonderoga’s Twenty-First Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 20-22, 2016.

Fort Ticonderoga offers four middle or high school teachers the opportunity to attend the Twenty-First Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 20-22, 2016, on scholarships. This annual conference focuses on the French & Indian War in North America (1754-1763), bringing together a panel of distinguished historians from across the United States and beyond. The War College takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center and is open to the public; pre-registration is required. The scholarships are available for educators who are first-time attendees at the War College.

Begun in 1996, the War College of the Seven Years’ War has become the premier seminar on the French & Indian War in the United States. It features a mix of new and established scholars in an informal setting for a weekend of presentations related to the military, social, and cultural history of the French & Indian War. Since 2001, Fort Ticonderoga has provided scholarships for 64 teachers from across the country to attend the War College, and a total of 123 teacher scholarships to attend seminars and conferences at Fort Ticonderoga.

Teachers interested in applying for a scholarship to attend this year’s War College should download an application at www.fortticonderoga.org by clicking on “Education” and selecting “Educators” on the drop down menu. Applications are due by March 15. Successful applicants will receive free registration, two box lunches, and an opportunity to dine with the War College speakers at a private dinner on the Saturday of the War College. Contact Rich Strum, Director of Education, at rstrum@fort-ticonderoga.org if you have questions.

Non-teachers can register to attend the War College as well. The cost is $130 if registering before March 15; $155 after that date. There are discounts for Members of Fort Ticonderoga. Registration forms can be downloaded from Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fortticonderoga.org by clicking on “Education” and selecting “Workshops and Seminars” on the drop down menu. Printed copies are available by calling (518) 585-2821.

 

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Washington’s Birthday 2016

Washington web sizedToday marks the 284th birthday of George Washington. At the time of his death in 1799 he was lauded as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countryman” by Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee. As a warrior and a statesman, Washington was held in the highest esteem.

Washington’s military career stretched from the French & Indian War in 1754 through his relinquishing of command of the Continental Army in December 1783. Throughout the early years of the Revolution Ticonderoga Washington was concerned with the defenses at Ticonderoga.

As an example, Washington writes from New York to General Philip Schuyler on June 9, 1776:

It is not in my power to spare any more men from hence, either for the communication, or to assist in repairing Ticonderoga. The detachments already gone to Canada have weakened the forces necessary for the defence of this place, considering its importance more, perhaps, than policy will justify. . . .

I esteem it a matter of importance not only to fortify and secure Ticonderoga, but every other post on the communication; and that you should garrison them with men under judicious and spirited officers, to be fixed there, who might be called to account for misconduct, which is difficult to do where they are shifting and changing continually, and who would esteem it their indispensable duty to carry on and maintain the works against any surprises or attacks tha may be attempted. I have written to Congress to appoint Engineers, if they can fix upon proper persons for the office. If you know of any, you had better employ them. I am confident Congress will allow them the usual pay.

General Washington finally visited Fort Ticonderoga in July 1783 while awaiting the official cessation of hostilities with Great Britain. On July 16, 1783, Washington wrote the President of Congress that:

Finding myself in most disagreeable circumstances here, anxiously expecting the Definitive Treaty without command and with little else to do than to be teazed with troublesome Applications and fruitless demands…I have resolved to wear away a little time in Performing a Tour to the Northward as far north as Tyconderoga and Crown Point and perhaps as far up the Mohawk River as Fort Schuyler. I shall leave this place on Friday next and shall probably be gone about two weeks.

Washington also wrote to General Philip Schuyler the previous day:

I have always entertained a great desire to see the northern part of this State before I return to the Southward. The present irksome interval while we are waiting for the definitive Treaty affords an opportunity of gratifying this inclusion. We shall set out by water on 18 July.

It would be his only visit to Ticonderoga, though it was a place frequently on his mind in the early years of the Revolution from 1775 to 1777.

What little we know about Washington’s actual visit comes from the Journal of Count Francesco dal Verme, an Italian from Milan who traveled with Washington. Washington’s party of 39 people, including 18 armed soldiers, traveled the length of Lake George on July 22, spending the night at the Lake George landing “under the tents.” Of Lake George, dal Verme noted:

 Not one house did we see during the entire day, but we did sight about seventy islands and rocks all covered with very fine trees.

Washington’s party visited Ticonderoga on July 23 before continuing to Crown Point. More interested in the rattlesnake the party encountered, dal Verme only discusses what was left of the extensive defenses in one sentence and attributes them all to the English rather than the Continental army.

Breakfasted on fish. Had two boats transported overland (2 miles) to place on Lake Champlain. Went ashore to see Ticonderoga where there are remnants of the English defenses of the War of 1754. We killed a snake here nine feet long and four inches in diameter called a Ratel-snake, which has a link of concentric horn rings–in this case six inches long–on the tail with which it makes a great noise. 

Washington’s travels took him as far north as Crown Point and then as far up the Mohawk River as Fort Schuyler (Fort Stanwix). Washington was back with the army at New Windsor two weeks later. The Treaty of Paris ending the war was signed in September and by late November Washington entered New York City as the British army evacuated the city.

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Area Students to Compete at North Country History Day

North Country History Day at Fort Ticonderoga March 5, 2016Thirty students from across the North Country will compete in the regional New York State History Day contest held at Fort Ticonderoga on Saturday, March 5, 2016. Students placing first and second in their categories will advance to the New York State History Day Contest in Cooperstown on April 18.

“Each year two million students all across the country participate in the National History Day program,” noted Rich Strum, Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Education and North Country History Day Regional Coordinator. “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.”

This year’s National History Day theme is “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.” Student projects can focus on any aspect of American or World history, but must make a connection to the theme.

Recent research shows that students who participate in the National History Day program consistently outperform their peers in state standardized tests, not only in social studies but in science and math as well. Students learn valuable research and critical-thinking skills essential to success in today’s business world.

Members of the public are invited to view student projects from 12 pm – 2 pm. Student-created performances run from 12 pm – 1 pm and exhibits are open from 1 pm – 2 pm. The public can also attend the Awards Ceremony at 2 pm.

North Country History Day takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga and has been coordinated by Fort Ticonderoga since 2008. To learn more about North Country History Day and how students can participate, visit www.fortticonderoga.org, click on the “Education” tab and select “Students.”

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Support Fort Ticonderoga at the 22nd Annual Ticonderoga Ball

A Fundraising Event at the Union League Club in New York on Friday, March 4

Ticonderoga BallSpend an elegant evening at the Union League Club in New York City celebrating Fort Ticonderoga’s history and future. The Ticonderoga Ball will be held on Friday, March 4, 2016 beginning at 7 pm. Music, dancing, a silent auction and a lavish dinner make for a festive black-tie evening benefiting Fort Ticonderoga. Individual tickets are $350 and junior tickets are $215 (30 years old and under); Reservations are required.

“The Ticonderoga Ball is Fort Ticonderoga’s largest fundraising event of the year, “said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO.  “The event, set in the elegant and historic setting of New York’s Union League Club, brings together Fort Ticonderoga supporters from across the United States to celebrate Fort Ticonderoga’s epic history, current programs, and future plans. The Ticonderoga Ball’s theme this year is inspired by Fort Ticonderoga’s 2016 annual focus on the year 1777. That was the year that British and American troops vied for control of Ticonderoga, with the British cannon ultimately compelling the American army to evacuate. Support for this event makes possible Fort Ticonderoga’s educational programs, exhibitions, gardens, and all other preservation and restoration efforts.”

The Ticonderoga Ball attracts more than 170 people each year who attend in support of Fort Ticonderoga’s mission of preservation and education. The Event Honoree for the 22nd Annual Ball is Phebe Thorne, longtime Fort Ticonderoga supporter and enthusiastic advocate of Fort Ticonderoga’s mission. The night begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 7 pm; followed by an elegant dinner at 8 pm. A live auction and dancing complete the night. Dance music will be provided by the Lester Lanin Orchestra, known for their unique, homogenized music with lively patina. For more information or to receive an invitation, please contact Martha Strum at 518-585-2821 or by emailing mstrum@fort-ticonderoga.org.

Fort Ticonderoga is an independent non-profit educational organization.  All proceeds for the Ticonderoga Ball support Fort Ticonderoga’s mission to ensure that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices, and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history.

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

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

Fort Fever

Image of Benedict Arnold from the Fort Ticonderoga Collection

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

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

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

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

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Designing the Future for Fort Ticonderoga’s Pavilion

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

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

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

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

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

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

History of the Pavilion:

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

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

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