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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Low Scots

Variety of Dutch musket side plates recovered from Fort Ticonderoga during restoration of the site in the 20th century. (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

The first of Fort Ticonderoga’s Fort Fever Series on January 10th examined the history of the Dutch contributions to the conflicts of the 18th century. Although the Dutch never sent troops or Naval personnel to North America (in fact they remained neutral during the Seven Years’ War), Dutch weapons armed thousands of American soldiers. Recoveries of Dutch musket parts at Fort Ticonderoga confirm the extensive usage of these weapons here during the French and Indian War and possibly the Revolution.

What many may not realize is the close connection between the Netherlands and Great Britain in the 18th century. The Dutch and British clashed in the 17th century as Britain rose as a commercial nation. The cessation of the three Anglo-Dutch wars of the 17th century brought about a warming of relations culminating in the Glorious Revolution. Following James II’s abdication, the Dutch William of Orange became England’s King William III.

Dutch weaponry was heavily represented in British arsenals, especially following William’s rise to the English throne. The Land Pattern series of Muskets, developed in the early 18th century, owed more than a little of their original design to Dutch weapons. Between 1706 and 1759 nearly 80,000 Dutch firearms were purchased by British agents, many of which were deemed sub-standard and shipped to the colonies to arm American provincials fighting the French and Indians in the 1750s.

Douglas Barrel.

Dutch Musket Barrel, c.1740 (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

Examples of Dutch muskets from this period represent a number of different patterns, often with significant variations from piece to piece. Some surviving Dutch muskets are engraved with the decidedly un-Dutch name “Douglas” along the top of the barrel. Two such weapons are in Fort Ticonderoga’s collection; one can be viewed in our “Bullets and Blades” exhibit.

The composition of the Dutch military may explain the origin of these engravings. Reforms in the 1590s meant that over half of the Dutch army consisted of hired foreigners. In addition to native troops, the Dutch relied particularly heavily on Germans from Saxe-Gotha, Salm, Hessen-Darmstadt, Baden, Löwensten-Wertheim, Mecklenberg-Schwerin, and Münster, as well as Wallons and Swiss. Most interesting though may be the Scotch Brigade. This brigade was composed of three regiments of Scots and had existed as a hired unit since 1570. Many nations had hired Scots –an independent kingdom until 1707 – to serve as auxiliaries. They wore red uniforms like British soldiers until 1783, while the rest of the Dutch forces wore blue.

The muskets marked Douglas may be decommissioned Dutch military weapons. Like many units, the regiments of the Scotch Brigade were known by the name of the colonels. In the Scotch Brigade these were names like Hamilton, Murray, Wood, Stewart and yes Douglas. General John (or occasionally Johann) Douglass commanded a regiment during the war of the Spanish Succession, which was disbanded in 1717. An additional regiment, raised in 1747 and disbanded in 1752, was commanded by the Earl of Drumlanrig, Henry Douglas. It is possible that these Douglas marked muskets were once carried by Scottish soldiers serving the United Provinces of the Netherlands.

Fort Ti Bizhub C454-20160126135334

Brigadier General Simon Fraser, Mezzotint, Scouter, Watson, 1778 (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

By way of a conclusion it may be worth noting that more than a few officers who gained notoriety in North America with the British military began their careers in the Dutch army. General James Murray who served as the Governor of Quebec following the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 had served in the Scotch Brigade as had Francis McLean who defended a British post on Penobscot Bay from an American expeditionary force that included Paul Revere in 1779. Henry Bouquet, who served admirably under General John Forbes in Pennsylvania in 1758 and during Pontiac’s War, had begun his career in a Swiss Regiment in Dutch service. Most important for the Champlain/Hudson Valley though, Simon Fraser the vaunted commander of Burgoyne’s Advanced Guard, killed at the Battle of Bemis Heights, who had served during the War of the Austrian Succession in the Scotch Brigade in Dutch service.

Matthew Keagle

Curator of Collections

 

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Fort Ticonderoga Launches New Graduate Fellowships

Graduate Fellowships

Fort Ticonderoga is seeking applicants for its 2016 Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowships designed for students seeking practical, hands-on internship experience at a historic site and museum with cutting-edge programs. The fellowships run from June 13 to August 12, 2016, and include internships in Education, Exhibitions, Horticulture, and Interpretation.

“These fellowships for graduate students in museum studies, museum education, public history, history, public horticulture, American studies, or military history offer an opportunity to work side by side with our dedicated team,” noted Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO Beth Hill. “The interns will focus their research and creative energy to support exhibitions and programs related to the year 1757 at Fort Ticonderoga.”

large_Matt-S.-with-Alec-in-Collections-Storage“While working individually with their project supervisors,” added Rich Strum, Director of Education, “interns will also meet and work together throughout the two-month experience. Interns will have an opportunity to work with Fort Ticonderoga’s professional staff as part of our team-approach to all major projects.”

Each year Fort Ticonderoga’s interpretation focuses on a specific year in the museum campus’ multi-layered history. This year’s fellows will help lay the ground work for exhibitions, programs, and educational initiatives to be offered to the public in 2017. Interns need to be self-motivated and able to work independently as well as contribute to a dedicated team to create and develop ground-breaking exhibitions and programs for a diverse audience.

Successful applicants for the two-month fellowship will receive a $2,500 stipend along with on-site housing. Graduate students and qualified undergraduates interested in learning more details and applying should visit Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fortticonderoga.org/education/university-partnerships. Individual fellowships are available in Education, Exhibitions, Horticulture, and Interpretation. Applications are due April 1, 2016.

large_In-the-archivesThe Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowships launched in 2015 with four graduate students from Stonybrook University, Texas State University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Western Michigan University. Projects completed by the 2015 fellows included researching and cataloging artillery-related artifacts and the design of hands-on components for the new exhibition “The Last Argument of Kings: The Art and Science of 18th-Century Artillery” which opens in May 2016. Another fellow conducted research and transcribed the Philip Skene Papers in the collection for use with the 2016 Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute focused on “British Perspectives on the American Revolution.” The Interpretation Fellow delved into the British use of Canadian Corvée during the 1777 invasion of New York. That ground-breaking research led to an invitation for Fellow Richard Tomczak to present his research at the 1st Conference of the European Labor History Network in Turin, Italy, in December 2015.

The Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowships at Fort Ticonderoga are made possible with the support from the Edward W. Pell Education Endowment at Fort Ticonderoga and several generous individual donors.

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Fort Ticonderoga as a “Learning Campus”

The term “campus” usually brings forth visions of sprawling college buildings clustered around a quad. There’s a constant bustle of activity as professors, undergraduates, and graduate scurry from place to place. Campuses promote education by providing an environment conducive to learning.

Learning Campus

Over the past six years, we’ve been looking at the Ticonderoga peninsula as a “learning campus.” This has been a deliberate attempt to think of the historic buildings, the expansive landscape, the gardens, and the Lake Champlain shoreline as learning resources, much like the science building and the library make up the components of a college campus. Our learning campus promotes our 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.”

Our mission says “learn from,” not “learn about.” This is intentional. History is not just to be studied in the past tense. It’s to be “learned from” in the present tense.

Learning from history is an on-going endeavor here at Fort Ticonderoga. This summer we are offering a number of opportunities for teachers from around the country to spend a week on our learning campus and immerse themselves in the rich history of the Ticonderoga peninsula.

NEH Teachers workshopWe are delighted to be offering two week-long NEH Landmarks of American History & Culture Workshops for School Teachers this summer. This is the fourth year we’ve successfully applied to host these workshops. In “The American Revolution on the Northern Frontier: Fort Ticonderoga and the Road to Saratoga,” teachers will delve into the early years of the American Revolution as they unfolded at Fort Ticonderoga and the surrounding region. They’ll have the opportunity to work with well-known scholars as they explore the roles of various groups in the Revolution.

Among the scholars is Holly Mayer, from Duquesne University, who will discuss the role of women during the Revolution with one week’s participants. Holly is the author of Belonging to the Army: Camp Followers and Community during the American Revolution, a landmark work in combating decades-old stereotypes. Holly’s current research involves the often overlooked Canadians who enlisted in the Continental Army during the invasion of Canada in 1775-76 and remained with the army after the invasion’s failure.

A complete listing of our NEH Visiting Scholars can be found on our website at this link: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/neh/staff-scholars. Through these NEH workshops we’ve developed some great long-term relationships with many of these scholars and I look forward to working with them this summer.

Participation in the NEH Landmarks Workshops is open through a competitive application process. The application window is now open—applications are due by March 1, 2016. You can learn more about the workshops and how to apply here: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/neh.

large_11542042101529857139890332136359328390890937nAlso for teachers this summer is our Fourth Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute. This year’s Institute focuses on “British Perspectives on the American Revolution.” A group of twelve teachers from across the country will spend one week learning about the American Revolution from the point of view of the British soldiers, the Loyalists, and the German allies. Teachers will also participate in a series of experiences designed to immerse them in the 18th-century history of Fort Ticonderoga. Teacher Institute participants will work with original documents and objects in our collection and spend time creating innovative projects incorporating multiple disciplines, including history, geography, ELA, math, and science. Developing an environment of collegiality, we hope to create a model learning experience for educators that will be replicated in their classrooms.

Like the NEH Landmarks Workshops, participation in the Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute is open through a competitive application process. We are accepting applications now; applications are due April 15, 2016. You can learn more here: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/educators/teacher-institute.

large_Cathrine-with-streaksWe also offer a unique learning experience for graduate students through the Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowships. We launched this program last summer with four students from Stonybrook University, Texas State University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Western Michigan University. These fellows spent two months working at Fort Ticonderoga, one each in Collections, Education, Exhibitions, and Interpretation. Each fellow helped lay the ground work for programs and exhibitions that will be part of our 2016 season focused on the year 1777.

This year’s fellowships will run from June 13-August 12, 2016. Fort Ticonderoga seeks graduate students in museum studies, museum education, public history, history, American studies, or military history. Interns will need to be self-motivated and able to work independently as well as contribute to a dedicated team to create and develop ground-breaking exhibitions and programs for a diverse audience. Qualified undergraduates are welcome to apply.

Each year Fort Ticonderoga’s interpretation focuses on a specific year in the site’s multi-layered history. Internships in 2016 will focus on the year 1757 in preparation for exhibitions, programs, and educational initiatives to be offered to the public in 2017. While the Horticulture Fellowship will also focus in part on 1757, the Horticulture Fellow’s focus will be broader.

large_Matt-S.-with-Alec-in-Collections-StorageInterns during the summer of 2016 will focus their research and creative energy to support exhibitions and programs related to the year 1757 at Fort Ticonderoga. While working individually with their project supervisors, interns will also meet and work together throughout the two month experience. They will have an opportunity to work with Fort Ticonderoga’s professional staff as part of our team-approach to all major projects. Professional development opportunities during the internships will include visits from outside scholars and field trips to related sites. In general, project-specific work will encompass about 50% of the intern’s time. The remaining half will be taken up with day-to-day tasks in their department, providing a wide-ranging experience working at a historic site.

Each Graduate Fellow will receive a $2,500 stipend plus housing. Fort Ticonderoga’s Black Watch House for Fellows is located within walking distance of both the Thompson-Pell Research Center and the main grounds of Fort Ticonderoga.

Know of a graduate student who might benefit from spending two months at Fort Ticonderoga this summer? Encourage them to check out the details at: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/university-partnerships.

This just begins to scratch the surface when it comes to using the Ticonderoga peninsula as a learning campus. Stay tuned!

Rich Strum

Director of Education

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Experience “Winter Family Fun Day: An 18th-Century Experience ” at Fort Ticonderoga!

Winter Family Fun DayJoin Fort Ticonderoga for its first “Winter Family Fun Day: An 18th-Century Experience” on Saturday, February 13 and enjoy a day of winter play with an 18th-century twist. Grab your gear to experience sledding, snowshoeing, and skating on the garrison grounds of Fort Ticonderoga. Tours and presentations will give visitors a chance to learn about the rich history of Ticonderoga in the winter. Warm up with a delicious cup of hot chocolate made from 18th-century ingredients and discover the tasty history of chocolate at Fort Ticonderoga in the 18th century. This unique family-fun event takes place from 10 am – 4 pm and costs $10 per person; Members of Fort Ticonderoga are free. For more information call 518-585-2821 or click here.

“Sledding, snowshoeing, and ice skating are fun recreational sports today, but were vital military activities in the winter campaigns in the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation. “This event is your chance to witness the epic scouts of Rogers’ Rangers trekking on several feet of snow with homemade snowshoes or skating miles along frozen Lake Champlain and Lake George. See how today’s toboggans descend from tools which carried the packs of native warriors, Canadians, and soldiers alike.”

Click here to view the Event Schedule!

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Registration Open for War College of the Seven Years’ War at Fort Ticonderoga

Registration is now open for Fort Ticonderoga’s Twenty-First Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 20-22, 2016. This annual seminar focuses on the French & Indian War in North America (1754-1763), bringing together a panel of distinguished historians from across the United States. The War College takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center and is open to the public; pre-registration is required.

Begun in 1996, the War College of the Seven Years’ War has become nationally recognized as the premier seminar on the French & Indian War (1754-1763), a conflict that spread across the globe and set the stage for the American Revolution. The War College 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. Speakers include:

  • Fort Ticonderoga's War College of the Seven Years' War featured speaker, David Preston

    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 War College of the Seven Years’ War.

    Carl J. Anderson, III, researcher and author, “John Goffe, Jacob Bayley, and the New Hampshire Regiment.”

  • Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, “Ursuline Nuns and the French & Indian War.”
  • Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College, “Publishing Terror: War and Communication on the New England Frontier.”
  • James M. McManus, independent historian, “Sir William Johnson: British Colonial Politics during the French & Indian War.”
  • John-Eric Nelson, independent historian, “‘No Real Dependence is to be Had’: Connecticut Provincials in the 1758 Campaign.”
  • David Preston, The Citadel, “Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution.”
  • Charles W. Thayer, independent historian, “The Engraved Powder Horn: origin and evolution of an indigenous American art form, 1746-1763.”
  • Tim Todish, author, “‘with intent to raise Commotions and Disturbances in the upper Countrys’: The Trial of Major Robert Rogers for Treason While Commandant of Fort Michilimackinac.”

The War College also features presentations by two Fort Ticonderoga Museum staff. Curator Matthew Keagle will give a presentation “Dieskau’s Grenadiers: Re-evaluating a key moment of the Battle of Lake George, 1755.” Keagle will examine traditional narratives of the second half of the Battle of Lake George and pose an alternative interpretation that challenges those narratives of the opening combat of the northern campaign of the French & Indian War.

Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation, Stuart Lilie, will delve into the role of artillery in the fighting at Ticonderoga in “‘Desirous of Getting Up More Artillery’: Cannons of the Campaigns at Carillon.”

Registration for the War College is now open at $145 ($120 for those registering by March 15); additional discounts available for Members of Fort Ticonderoga. Registration forms can be downloaded from Fort Ticonderoga’s website here. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Fort Ticonderoga at 518-585-2821.

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