An Epic Time Line of the Past
The events that occurred at Fort Ticonderoga helped shape the nations of North America and changed world history. This time line represents the major events in Ticonderoga's epic past.
- 1609 On an expedition of discovery, Samuel de Champlain and his Algonquin allies battled a band of Iroquois on the Ticonderoga peninsula. The same year, Henry Hudson was the first to explore the Hudson River as far north as Albany.
- 1642 Father Isaac Jogues passed over the Ticonderoga peninsula, a prisoner of the Mohawks. Four years later, Jogues passed through Ticonderoga again on his way to his martyrdom.
- 1666 The first French regular army troops sent to Nouvelle France, régiment Carignan-Salières, threatened Iroquois settlements in the Mohawk Valley. The regiment camped on the Ticonderoga peninsula on its way south.
- 1690 War between England and France spilled over into the New World, as British Colonials launched an unsuccessful invasion of New France. In 1691, Major Peter Schuyler led an expedition of English and Dutch colonists against the French fort at La Prairie near Montréal, stopping at Ticonderoga on the way north.
- 1709 Fort Anne was constructed by the British colonists to protect supply lines for the Queen Anne’s War invasion of New France.
- 1731 The French constructed a fort at Chimney Point and then in 1734 built Fort Saint Frédéric at Crown Point, in a concerted effort to control and settle the Champlain Valley.
The French & Indian War
- 1755 As the British pushed north into traditionally French territory, Governor-General Vaudreuil in Québec anticipated attack on French settlements in the Champlain valley. He ordered Michel Chartier de Lotbinière to construct a fort south of Fort St. Frédéric (Crown Point) that would cover the portage between Lakes George and Champlain. Construction of Fort Carillon began in the fall, and continued for the next four years.
- 1756 On the sandy plain below the Heights, French and Canadian troops develop “le Jardin du Roi,” or un jardin potager, designed to feed the summer garrison charged with constructing the new fort, Carillon.
- 1757 French General Montcalm used the new Fort Carillon as the base from which he launched his attack on Fort William Henry.
- 1758 Robert Rogers fought the Battle on Snowshoes near Trout Brook south of Ticonderoga. In July, General Abercromby led an army of 17,000 British and Colonial troops against a small French force of 3,700 entrenched at Fort Carillon. Abercromby lost the battle and nearly 2000 men, a third of whom were members of the 42nd Regiment of Foot, the Highlanders, or the “Black Watch” Regiment.
- 1759 General Jeffrey Amherst laid siege to Fort Carillon. Losses elsewhere in New France had left the garrison ill-equipped, so the French abandoned the fort after blowing up the powder magazine. Amherst repaired the fort and renamed it Ticonderoga, and then began construction of a British war fleet and a major new fortress at Crown Point. Later that year, Montcalm lost Québec to General Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham.
- 1763 End of the Seven Years’ War. France had lost Canada to Great Britain. Settlers from New England began to settle the “Hampshire Grants,” now Vermont.
- 1773 A disastrous fire at the new British fort at Crown Point made the dilapidated fort at Ticonderoga again the center of British operations on Lake Champlain.
The American Revolution
- 1775 At the outbreak of the Revolution, Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold both realized that Fort Ticonderoga made an easy target for the American rebels. With a small band of Green Mountain Boys, they captured the Fort from the British in an early morning raid on May 10th, only three weeks after Lexington and Concord. This was “America’s first victory” in the Revolution.
- 1775-6 Colonel Henry Knox transported more than 60 tons of military supplies including 59 artillery pieces from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston. Ticonderoga’s cannon were placed on Dorchester Heights which had a commanding view of Boston. The threat of these guns forced the British to evacuate Boston on March 17, 1776 and the Continental Army entered Boston the next day.
- 1776 Benedict Arnold organized the construction of the first American navy to thwart a British invasion from Canada. The fleet was built at Whitehall, and outfitted at Ticonderoga. The British defeated the American navy at the Battle of Valcour Island in October, but decided that Fort Ticonderoga was too strong for their forces to tackle so late in the year. The Americans further strengthened their position at Ticonderoga by fortifying Mount Independence, on the east shore of Lake Champlain.
- 1776-7 The former French military gardens continue to serve as the garden for the American army at Ticonderoga that constitutes the third-largest urban concentration of people in North America at the time. The American garrison builds numerous shoreline defenses against the threatening British fleets.
- 1777 General Burgoyne led a large army of British and German troops south from Canada, intent on taking Albany, and splitting off New England from the other colonies. By hauling cannon up Mount Defiance, Burgoyne forced the Americans to abandon Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. Two months later, Col. John Brown captured British outposts surrounding Ticonderoga in a surprise raid that coincided with the first battle at Saratoga, where Burgoyne finally met his defeat.
From Fort to Museum
- 1785 Fort became the property of the State of New York.
- 1803 Ownership of the site was transferred jointly to Union and Columbia colleges.
- 1820 the fort and its 546-acre garrison grounds were purchased by successful New York merchant William Ferris Pell who began the legacy of the Pell family’s preservation of the site.
- 1839 the Pell's summer home, the Pavilion, began to be used as a hotel, a function it fulfilled until the early 20th century.
- 1909 the Pell family began the restoration of the fort and the creation of the museum.
- 1931 Stephen H.P. Pell created the Fort Ticonderoga Association to manage the site in perpetuity
- 1960 Restored Fort Ticonderoga was named one of the first National Historic Landmarks.
- 1972 this museum was one of the first 26 accredited by the American Association of Museums (now the American Alliance of Museums).