2016 was so last month! It’s time to turn the page and experience all that 2017 has to offer. Whether you are making summer plans to visit the Lake George/Adirondack area or you are just interested in everything at Fort Ticonderoga, here are the top 17 things we are looking forward to this year:
We can’t help it. We know we may be a bit biased, but we think Fort Ticonderoga is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Our sweeping vistas of Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Adirondack Mountains combined with views of Lake Champlain make for a picture perfect day – every day!
- A new year – a new experience!
It’s true, most historic sites give the same old, same old experience every year. Why visit more than once? Well, we have the solution for that! Every year is a new experience at Fort Ticonderoga thanks to our rich history and talented staff!
2017 is 1757: Have you heard of the book, “Last of the Mohicans?” Discover the real story of 1757. Imagine Fort Carillon (later named Ticonderoga) filled inside and out with French soldiers, native warriors, and cannon preparing to take the fight for New France all the way up Lake George.
- Get out of the classroom and onto our 2000 acre learning campus.
Teachers, it’s time to plan an unforgettable day for your students! Whether they participate in the National History Day competition, take part in our immersive field trip programs, or discover the importance of the Lake Champlain/Hudson corridor aboard the boat M/V Carillon, our team is ready to help you plan a day that will go down in the history books! Remember, Fort Ticonderoga isn’t just for students–we have some great learning opportunities for teachers too!
- It’s a blast – literally!
New in 2017 – ah, we mean 1757 – is an artillery park. Blast back into the past every day (beginning May 6th) at 2pm for an artillery demonstration like none you have ever seen. Artillerymen’s work was half art and half science, carefully measuring powder, wadding, and iron cannon balls, to make powerful, perfectly-aimed shots. In 1757 how did French Artillerymen take their guns over mountains and lakes to batter British forts? Prepare to find out!
- Don’t wait until summer!
Winter is one of our favorite times to explore Fort Ticonderoga. Join us for exciting winter programs including the upcoming 1757 Battle on Snowshoes Reenactment on January 21st. Step inside the beautiful Mars Education Center during our Fort Fever Series programs or participate in one of our unique historic trades programs led by our talented museum staff.
- Get a handle on this!
Have you ever wanted to handle a genuine 18th-century firearm from Fort Ticonderoga’s museum collections? Now is your chance! Book your special program with Curator Matthew Keagle in the highly acclaimed “Beyond Bullet’s and Blades” program offered weekly in July and August. Book your 90 minute behind-the-scene experience soon as it quick to sell out!
7. The King’s Garden – do we need to say more?
One of our very favorite places at Fort Ticonderoga is the magnificent King’s Garden. The walled colonial revival flower garden designed by Marian Cruger Coffin, takes your breath away with its fragrance and vibrant colors. Be sure to capture the beauty of the “Young Diana” statue by Anna Hyatt Huntington which graces the reflecting pool in the center of the garden. Also, check out our latest plantings as our horticulture team continues to refine the garden’s plan dating to the 1920s. Explore the discovery gardens outside the walls which always delight children of all ages including the Children’s Garden, the Garrison Garden, the farm to table garden, and more! This a perfect location to have a picnic lunch from our yummy America’s Fort Café featuring nothing else but fresh produce from the garden!
8. SO. MUCH. STUFF.
Did you know that only about 2% of Fort Ticonderoga’s museum collection is on display? We have a lot of stuff! Our museum collection is considered one of the most comprehensive military collections from the long 18th century in North America. Our hard working collections management staff spend their time organizing and caring for the collections. They enter all the information in our database in order to make the information more accessible for everyone. From fine art, to the premier 18th century and early 19th century uniform collection, to the largest collection of 18th-century artillery in the western hemisphere, our museum collection’s team is excited to make big strides in 2017 in the cataloging of our collection.
9. Ah, lake days!
Have you ever wanted to take a boat ride on Lake Champlain? Discover what it was like for the great armies of the 18th century as they traveled this strategic waterway to conquer North America.! Take a 90 minute boat tour aboard the M/V Carillon and enjoy the views while your guide entertains with stories of our epic past. We love being on the lake and hope you will join us! Be sure to book your evening cruises, field trips and special charters too!
10. An Opportunity to Make an Impact.
We love working at Fort Ticonderoga. Everyday our team makes an impact and serves our mission of preservation and education. You can become part of our mission too! Join our membership program and enjoy FREE Admission, become a volunteer to learn a new skill and meet great people, or make a tax-free donation. All proceeds go 100% to educational work.
11. What’s App with that?
Fort Ticonderoga will take a giant leap into the 21st century in 2017 when we unveil a mobile application! Explore the incredible history of our artillery collection that sits majestically on the fort walls. Let the app take you into the Mars Education Center to explore our major exhibition “Last Argument of Kings.” Be sure to finish to check out the Artillery Laboratory located on the second floor of the Mars Education Center. Kids (and kids at heart) love the artillery pinball!
This project is funded in part by a major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grant # MA-30-16-0178-16.
12. We will come to you!
One of our absolute favorite things to share the history of Fort Ticonderoga and its importance in the founding of our nation. Our dedicated education and interpretive staff members travel to schools in New York, Vermont, and beyond to engage youth in a multi-disciplined hands-on program that provokes thought and yes, is fun!
13. America’s earliest preservation effort.
We are so proud of our history! Did you know that in 1820 William Ferris Pell acquired the Fort Ticonderoga’s land and with that launched America’s earliest private preservation effort? Pell built a home called the Pavilion on the fort property in 1826. The house, later to become a hotel in the second half of the 19th century, is an important architectural treasure and one that encapsulates Ticonderoga’s epic story literally in its beams. Thanks to dendrochronology, we now know that beams in the house date to the 1690s, 18th century, 19th century and 20th century when our museum founders restored the house. Today, plans are set for the future adaptive reuse of the home and work is underway to raise funds to complete the project in by remarkable structure!
40% of Fort Ticonderoga’s land is farm land today. The site’s agricultural history dates back to pre-European contact. The story continues today, and as part of that, is our very unique 6 acre Heroic Maze! Every year the maze has a new design shaped in the likeness of the fort. Explore this life-size puzzle while tackling questions related to Fort Ticonderoga’s story. You may want to brush up on your history by taking a tour before you try to conquer the maze. Also be sure to include Maze by Moonlight on your late fall calendar.
- Mount Defiance.
Speaking of amazing – we never tire of the stunning views from Mount Defiance and we love sharing our beauty with you! Your daily pass to Fort Ticonderoga includes the Mount Defiance experience. Whether you pack a lunch and enjoy the breathtaking views of the historic landscape or join our 4pm tour offered daily May – October, this is one Fort Ticonderoga experience you won’t want to miss!
- But I’m still thinking about lake days!
It’s January and we are all having dreams of warm days on beautiful Lake George. Admit it! Well, if you just can’t peal yourself away from the lake during the day, we have a solution for you! Check out our awesome and always exciting evening programs. Get the whole family or all of your friends to visit Fort Ticonderoga when the crowds aren’t here to experience the site in a whole new and fun way. “Guns by Night” is our favorite evening program, but also be sure to check out other new and exciting programs!
- We know we are the best at special events!
Not to brag, but… we know that we put on the best special events out there. Imagine getting swept up into a battle surrounding you on all sides with horses galloping around as commanding officers drive their troops into conflict telling a very specific Ticonderoga story. A Fort Ticonderoga special event experience is unforgettable. From re-enactments and living history weekends, to other special events – every year our crowds get bigger and our events never disappoint!