DECLARE YOUR INDEPENDENCE THIS YEAR AT FORT TICONDEROGA!

Never before seen: Fort Ticonderoga displays an original Society of the Cincinnati Gold Eagle Medal

 Weeklong celebration includes tours, patriotic concerts, and world-class museum exhibits; FREE second-day admission!

Declare your Independence this year at Fort Ticonderoga with special events and programming during a weeklong celebration of the Independence Day holiday from June 30-July 6. New this year: A second day exploring Fort Ticonderoga is now included with the standard price of admission!

Visitors will experience the American Revolution on the very ground the fight for liberty occurred with museum staff and costumed interpreters recreating and exploring the events of the year 1777. Guests will follow the footsteps of the Continental Army and see first-hand the struggle for freedom.

For the first time ever, Fort Ticonderoga will display an original Society of the Cincinnati Gold Eagle Medal beginning on July 4 (and remain on display until October 31, 2018). An extremely rare and important symbol of the American Revolution, this particular medal, one of only two known to exist, was owned by Captain Douglass Richard from New London, Connecticut.  Captain Douglass served for the duration of the war and was an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati alongside George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and founder Henry Knox.

“We are so excited to display a rare piece of American history for Independence Day which allows our visitors an even more enriching experience and understanding of the nation’s military heritage,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “Independence Day week at Fort Ticonderoga promises to be an unforgettable experience from the waters of Lake Champlain, the summit of Mount Defiance, and of course inside Fort Ticonderoga, site of America’s first Revolutionary War victory.”

Advance reservations are required for the following two special events which WILL SELL OUT:

Ticonderoga Guns By NightJuly 5 Only! 

Gates open at 7:30 pm. Tour begins at 8:00 pm at the Log House Welcome Center.

Experience the flash of musketry and roar of cannon fire by night in this unique 90-minute tour and demonstration of 18th-century guns, big and small!  Explore the workings of the firelocks and cannons that armed the many garrisons of Fort Ticonderoga and influenced and shaped the importance of this strategic citadel. Learn how these great guns were used to attack and defend Fort Ticonderoga during the French & Indian War and made it such an important prize in the American Revolution. The tour concludes with a dramatic nighttime demonstration of weapons that you will not see anywhere else!

Carillon Boat Cruises 

Get a front row seat for the siege of Ticonderoga during this week-long Independence Day celebration! Between floating bridges, flotillas of bateaux, and a whole British naval fleet, the fight for Ticonderoga played out on Lake Champlain and across the hills that surround it. Don’t miss this unparalleled chance to get a new perspective on the fight for independence on one of the most historic waterways in America.

DAILY ACTIVITIES DURING INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEK INCLUDED WITH ADMISSION:

Key to the Continent Tours

Could Ticonderoga have been held by the Continental Army in 1777? Was its loss a disaster or a prudent retreat? Create your own answers to questions that have enthralled officers and armchair generals alike for 241 years. Explore how two decades of military occupation culminated with rich cultures and characters at Ticonderoga in 1777.

Musket Demonstrations

American soldiers, behind a wall of earth, steeled their nerves to hold their ground as the British Army landed to attack in 1777. See how an army of farmers and tradesmen used their muskets & bayonets to hold back British & German soldiers.

Garden Marches 

Follow the Fifes & Drums of Fort Ticonderoga down to the King’s Garden. Enjoy your favorite 18th-century tunes and marches with this corps as your musical guide.

Guided Tours of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum

Exhibitions staff will lead you on a guided tour of this remarkable museum’s highlights. Begun more than a century ago, the Fort Ticonderoga museum has North America’s largest and most important collection of 18th-century military material and cultural objects. Get the scoop on the most significant, rare, and interesting pieces in the collection.

Breaking Ground: A Tour of the Historic Gardens

From military garrison gardens to a secluded colonial revival commemorative spectacle of color and light, explore one of the oldest cultivated landscapes in America. Discover the layers of horticultural history of the Ticonderoga peninsula.

Fife and Drum Concerts

From the earliest patriotic songs which inspired a nation, to the everyday duties and marches that regulated army life, listen to the fifes and drums of the American defenders of Ticonderoga. See the massed fifers and drummers of the many regiments who were charged with holding the British Army at bay.

“A Return of Arms”

As the British Army’s siege tightened around American held Ticonderoga, brand new muskets delivered to the Americans fresh from France were too valuable to leave crated up inside the fort. See these vital arms from a secret ally exchanged for the worn out arms brought by American soldiers to Ticonderoga.

Cannon Demonstrations

Watch a cannon and its crew in their element, holding the British Army back with shot, fired from the earthen walls of a redoubt. Explore how the science of gunnery and field fortification were applied in the defense of Ticonderoga in July, 1777.

Mount Defiance: Witness to History Tours 

Oh the stories this graceful hill overlooking Fort Ticonderoga could tell! As Fort Ticonderoga relives 1777, discover the unique tactical role of Mount Defiance in the story of this decisive campaign fought for our independence.

Call (518) 585-2821 for pricing & advanced reservations or purchase.
Visit www.fortticonderoga.org for event details and tickets.

Fort Ticonderoga: America’s Fort™

Welcoming visitors since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks surviving in America. As the premier place to learn more about our nation’s earliest years and America’s military heritage, Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 75,000 visitors each year with an economic impact of more than $12 million annually and offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year, and is open for daily visitation May through October. Fort Ticonderoga is supported in part through generous donations and with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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

Photo Credit: Fort Ticonderoga

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ONE OF THE RAREST AND MOST HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT OBJECTS FROM THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION – AN ORIGINAL SOCIETY OF THE CINCINNATI GOLD EAGLE MEDAL – ON DISPLAY AT FORT TICONDEROGA

Revolutionary War medal is one of two surviving examples produced in 1783 for officers of the Continental Army; hereditary organization continues to this day

Public exhibition begins July 4 to coincide with Independence Day celebrations

Fort Ticonderoga today announced the public display of one of the rarest and most important objects from the nation’s founding – an original Society of the Cincinnati gold eagle medal.

The priceless Revolutionary War medal is one of two surviving examples produced in Paris in 1783 for purchase by officers of the Continental Army. The medal, which has never been viewed publicly, is on generous loan to Fort Ticonderoga from the Robert Nittolo Collection, the largest and most important private collection of 18th-century militaria in North America.

“The value of the medal is not only in its extreme rarity, but in its cultural and historical significance to the founding principles of the United States of America,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “We are excited to share such an important piece of American history with our guests. The exhibition including this rare medal is emblematic of the breadth and importance of Fort Ticonderoga’s museum collections and as a place to explore the origins of our nation’s rich military culture.”

The Society of the Cincinnati was founded by officers of the Continental Army in 1783. To signify membership in this exclusive organization, medals were commissioned by Pierre Charles L’Enfant (who is best known as the designer of the street plan of Washington D.C.) This medal is one of 140 made by the Jewelers Duval and Francastel in Paris, to be sold to members of the society when L’Enfant returned to America in 1784.

This particular medal was owned by Captain Richard Douglass from New London, Connecticut. He was one of the Connecticut men that marched to Massachusetts upon learning of the engagements at Lexington and Concord in 1775. Douglass was one of the few soldiers to serve in the Continental Army for the duration of the war. He saw action in a number of battles and witnessed the British surrender at Yorktown before returning home in 1784.

Captain Douglass was an original member of the Society along with other notable patriots including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Society founder Henry Knox – who has a direct tie to Fort Ticonderoga. Knox traveled to the fort in the winter of 1775 to retrieve seized British artillery and transport them to Boston. His actions helped end the siege of the city in early 1776.

The exhibition featuring the original Society of the Cincinnati gold eagle medal and other rare Fort Ticonderoga museum collections explores how the Society of Cincinnati was established to ensure that their sacrifices in the service of the cause of Independence would not be forgotten. Public viewing begins on July 4 and continues until October 31, 2018.

The Society of the Cincinnati is the nation’s oldest patriotic organization and remains active to this day. More information: societyofthecincinnati.org

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

Photo credit: ©Fort Ticonderoga/Photographer Miranda Peters (12-2017)

High Resolution photo can be downloaded by clicking: Fort Ticonderoga – Cincinnati Medal

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Fort Ticonderoga Author Series Features Book on Naval History of Lake Champlain

Fort Ticonderoga’s 2018 Author Series begins on Sunday, June 24 with additional programs scheduled for August 5, and September 9. The Fort Ticonderoga Author Series features authors of recent books related the history of Fort Ticonderoga and the surrounding region. This year’s topics include the naval history of Lake Champlain, General Israel Putnam, and the 1755 Battle of Lake George. All Author Series Programs take place at 2:00 pm in the Mars Education Center and are followed by a book signing with the author. The program is included in the cost of admission and is free for Members of Fort Ticonderoga and Ticonderoga Ambassador Pass holders.

2018 Author Series Schedule:

June 24:

Author Michael Laramie talks about his book By Wind and Iron: Naval Campaigns in the Champlain Valley, 1665-1815. In By Wind and Iron: Naval Campaigns in the Champlain Valley, 1665–1815, Laramie details the maritime history of this region from the first French fortifications along the Richelieu River in the late seventeenth century through the tremendous American victory over the British at the Battle of Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain in 1814.

August 5:

Author Robert Hubbard talks about his book Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution. A colorful figure of 18th-century America, Israel Putnam (1718–1790) played a key role in both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. In 1758, while serving with the storied Rogers’ Rangers, he barely escaped being burned alive by Mohawk warriors. He later commanded a force of 500 men who were shipwrecked off the coast of Cuba, and reportedly gave the command “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

September 9:

Author William Griffith talks about his book The Battle of Lake George: England’s First Triumph in the French and Indian War. In the early morning of September 8, 1755, a force of French Regulars, Canadians and Indians crouched unseen in a ravine south of Lake George. Under the command of French general Jean-Armand, Baron de Dieskau, the men ambushed the approaching British forces, sparking a bloody conflict for control of the lake and its access to New York’s interior. Against all odds, British commander William Johnson rallied his men through the barrage of enemy fire to send the French retreating north to Ticonderoga. The stage was set for one of the most contested regions throughout the rest of the conflict.

For more information on programs and events at Fort Ticonderoga, call 518-585-2821 or visit www.fortticonderoga.org.

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

Photo: Copyright Fort Ticonderoga, Photo Credit Carl Heilman II.

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Celebrate the Scot in You!

Fort Ticonderoga Presents Lively Scots Day Event June 16Scots Day performance

Fort Ticonderoga will present the Eleventh Annual Scots Day on Saturday, June 16. The celebration of Scottish history, heritage and culture runs from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Tour the Scottish Clan tents to discover more about your own Scottish connection and explore centuries of stories, based on Scottish soldiers in the British Army, through a military timeline offered throughout the day. Also, be sure to check out Border Collie demonstrations, special tours, Carillon boat cruises, pipe band performances, and march to the Carillon Battlefield for a remembrance service. To learn more about the event, participating vendors and clans, and the full schedule, visit www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821.

“The 42nd Highland Regiment, also known as the Black Watch, played a crucial role at Ticonderoga during the Battle of Carillon on July 8, 1758” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga’s President and CEO. “The regiment suffered over 50% casualties during the failed British assault on the French Lines at Ticonderoga during the French & Indian War. Ticonderoga continued to be an important part of the regiment’s history. During its involvement in the Iraq War, the Black Watch Regiment’s base near Basra was called ‘Ticonderoga.’”

Special Memorial Ceremony
A special memorial ceremony honoring the 42nd Highland Regiment, also known as the Scots Day Ceremony Black Watch, will take place at the Scottish Cairn on the Carillon Battlefield located at Fort Ticonderoga. The procession to the Cairn will begin at 11:20 am. The Memorial Ceremony will take place at 11:30 am and will remember the incredible bravery and discipline of the Black Watch against insurmountable odds at the 1758 Battle of Carillon.

The Rare Royal Highland Emigrant Camp Color Flag Presentation
As the highlight of the 1781: A War Not Yet Won exhibit in the Mars Education Center, this presentation led by Curator Matthew Keagle will focus on the fascinating story of the Royal Highland Emigrants and the rare example of their camp color, on display for 2018. This program and the flag conservation was made possible, in part, by the Essex County Arts Council’s Cultural Assistance Program Grant with funding provided by Essex County and a 2018 Making of Nations Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership.

Bagpipe Performances

Hear the sounds of Scottish bagpipe music throughout the day as the Leatherstocking District Pipe Band perform lively concerts on the fort’s historic Parade Ground.

Border Collie DemonstrationsBorder Collie Demos
Join Jim McRae of Green Acres Farm and his Border Collies at 12:00 pm and 1:45 pm as they demonstrate sheep herding. See these real working dogs show their skills to move herds of sheep from pasture to pasture!

Black Watch Military Living History Programs!

Discover the history of the Black Watch Regiment through living history programs presented throughout the day. Highlighted programs include a living history timeline of the Regiment. The re-enacting group depicts its history from the 18th century through the early 21st century, with various members representing different significant points in the unit’s history. Learn about the incredible bravery and discipline of the Black Watch against insurmountable odds at the 1758 Battle of Carillon.

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

Photo: Celebrate the Scot in you Saturday, June 16, 2018 at Fort Ticonderoga with special programs and ongoing activities.

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FORT TICONDEROGA OBSERVES MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND WITH DISPLAY OF RARE REVOLUTIONARY WAR OBJECTS, HISTORY-THEMED BOAT TOURS, AND CEREMONY HONORING AMERICA’S SOLDIERS

Achieving Independence: Ticonderoga and Philadelphia pop-up exhibit explores relationship between two iconic locations; objects include rare surviving British uniform, original copy of Baron von Steuben’s drill manual, and howitzer that is one of the earliest known examples of “US” being used on American-made artillery

Fort Ticonderoga today announced a special museum exhibit and programming for Memorial Day Weekend that honors the service of the Armed Forces of the United States on the very ground where many American soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of freedom.

The “Achieving Independence: Ticonderoga and Philadelphia” pop-up exhibit explores the relationship between the two iconic locations during the country’s founding.

Lieutenant Jacob Schieffelin’s Uniform Coat Fort Ticonderoga/ photographer Gavin Ashworth, 2017

Lieutenant Jacob Schieffelin’s Uniform Coat. Fort Ticonderoga/ photographer Gavin Ashworth, 2017

Objects on display include a rare surviving uniform worn by a German-American Loyalist Officer that served with the British during the Revolution; an original copy of Baron von Steuben’s drill manual – the first drill manual for the army of the United States, and a Philadelphia made howitzer that is one of the earliest known examples of “US” being used on American-made artillery. Weapons, maps, portraits, and journals will also be part of the pop-up exhibit.

“The hallowed grounds of Fort Ticonderoga provide the ideal backdrop for one of the country’s most poignant Memorial Day experiences,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “From witnessing the Continental Army prepare to defend Fort Ticonderoga to solemn remembrances and rare and interesting objects from the country’s founding – we will be providing unforgettable experiences at a place where many American soldiers fought and died for their country.”

The story of the American Army in 1777, rebuilding itself and digging in at Ticonderoga to defend liberty will be highlighted throughout the weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday narrated boat tours aboard the Carillon retrace the movements of American Sailors on Lake Champlain in 1777. Join Fort Ticonderoga on Monday to remember the sacrifices of American Soldiers during a solemn ceremony at 11:00 AM.

Additional Memorial Day weekend activities and programs include daily tours in the fort, King’s Garden, and museum exhibition spaces; historic trades programs; ongoing soldiers’ life programs; weapons demonstrations; the Mount Defiance experience; and the Battlefield hiking trail.

A 10 percent general admissions discount will be given to active duty military members with proof of service for this special weekend event. For more information, visit our calendar at www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821.

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

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Basics of Bats!

Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulturist in Residence

bat

Bats are important to ecological systems worldwide, their role. In our temperate region, they consume huge amounts of insects—up to their body weight in one night. A favorite food in this country is the corn earworm moth, which damages many commercial crops, from cotton to corn, artichokes to tomatoes and watermelons. One estimate is that bats save more than $3.7 billion in crop damage and reduced pesticide usage, in turn helping the environment.

From the tropical rain forests to deserts, bats pollinate a wide variety of crops and plants from bananas to peaches, carob to agave. They also help to disperse seeds, particularly in areas cleared of their rain forests for lumber. This has earned them the nickname “farmers of the tropics.”

That is the good news.  The not so good news is that bat numbers are declining globally. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists 26 species as an imminent risk of extinction, 51 other species endangered, and 954 bat species vulnerable. Most of the reasons relate to human activity, a large reason being loss of forest habitat, particularly tropical rain forests.

In some Asian countries, bats are hunted for food or folk medicine. In Latin America and other areas, they are killed due to misplaced fears and inaccurate myths (such as them being vampires). As wind, energy and turbines have increased, so have their impact on bats. However, new technology has been developed and proven effective in keeping them away from turbines. Pesticides have killed off many of the insects they feed upon, and contaminated insects eaten by bats have killed many. Most recently in North America, the white nose syndrome disease has killed over 5.7 million bats.

Here are ten amazing bat facts to give you a better appreciation of this mammal:

  1. They have super hearing, using “echolocation” or reflected sound waves, similar to dolphins, to locate objects. Their “sonar” system makes high frequency sounds that bounce off objects, returning to them as an echo.
  2. Many have good night vision, so the phrase “blind as a bat” is not true.
  3. Some bats have an internal “compass” that uses the earth’s magnetic field to navigate.
  4. Some bats have “heat vision,” using specialized nose sensors to locate prey.
  5. Some desert bats are resistant to the most venomous scorpion stings.
  6. Bats are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flying, due to their webbed wings. Some bats can fly up to 60 miles per hour.
  7. They are the second largest group of mammals, only surpassed in species by rodents.
  8. Most bats only give birth to one “pup” at a time, which makes them vulnerable to losses and is one reason for declining numbers. Yet this makes sense since a pup can weigh up to one-third the mother’s weight. In the human context, imagine giving birth to a 40-pound baby.
  9. Bats are some of the most diverse animals on earth, their faces alone varying tremendously.
  10. Many bats sing as much as songbirds, with tunes similar and often more complex including rhythm, elaborate structures, and even rules for how they combine phrases.

Bat species can be placed into two groups—colonial bats that live in colonies, often around buildings, and solitary bats that typically live singly in tree foliage or under bark. Two species are most commonly found in much of our country, the little brown and big brown bats.  Virtually all species in North America eat insects, and in huge amounts and all types including mosquitoes. The little brown bat on a good night can consume one-third of its body weight in only a half an hour.

Although bats mate in fall and spring, young are only born from May through July. The pups are ready to fly away within three weeks. Mothers do not live in nests, but all manner of protected places such as in buildings, behind chimneys, under bridges, in caves or tree hollows, and similar locations.

About the time of the first frost, bats start preparing for winter. Some species migrate short distances, others migrate 1,000 miles. Most species in North America hibernate, perhaps from October until May, flying about some during warm winter spells.

Sometimes bats can get inside buildings. You can learn how to deal with bat problems at the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management (www.icwdm.org). It is important to keep in mind that healthy bats do not normally attack humans, even if chased. There are some great tips on how to deal with such a situation, as well as what to do if you find an injured bat, from Barry’s Vermont Bat Center (www.vermontbatcenter.org). This site also has useful information on bat houses and links to sources and websites with plans to build your own.

bat house

Bat houses are flattened wood boxes, open on the bottom, with single or multiple roosting chambers with a height of 12 feet or more off the ground. The location (on buildings is best, but poles can be used), orientation (generally toward the east, away from prevailing winds and away from nearby trees), and color (black to absorb heat in cold climates) are all important considerations.

By learning the facts about bats—how they are useful and not dangerous, and what they need for habitats, you can help them to survive in your own landscape and locale. You will have many fewer insects with them around.  Check out more details on them, bat houses, and how to help bats globally from Bat Conservation International (www.batcon.org).

Photo Credits: Vermont Bat Center and Vermont Fish and Wildlife

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Benedict Arnold Returns to Fort Ticonderoga: Extremely Rare Lock of Infamous Traitor’s Hair on Public Display for First Time in Decades for Opening Weekend’s “No Quarter” Reenactment of “America’s First Victory”

Benedict Arnold is returning to Fort Ticonderoga for Opening Weekend May 5-6 through the dramatic two-day reenactment of “America’s First Victory” and the first public display in decades of locks of his and first wife Margaret’s hair.

The “No Quarter” event vividly recreates the capture of Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775, putting visitors in the middle of the country’s first military victory. The phrase “No Quarter” was the battle cry used by the Americans and is equivalent to “No Mercy” or “Take no Prisoners.”British Soldiers

Throughout the weekend, visitors will explore the real-life events from the perspectives of both the British Garrison and the Green Mountain Boys and come face-to-face with the historical characters including Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold.

A special pop-up exhibit on display opening weekend ONLY features rare objects from both men. In addition to the Arnold family hair locks, the public can read the actual letter from Ethan Allen dated May 12, 1775 informing the Connecticut governor of the capture of Fort Ticonderoga and the British Garrison. Both objects speak to the depth and importance of the Fort Ticonderoga museum collections.

“The ability to enhance living history with rare objects ranging from the everyday soldier to the Founding Fathers – to the fascinating and notorious Benedict Arnold – is what makes Fort Ticonderoga best-in-class for its cultural heritage and an international tourist destination,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga president and CEO. “With ‘No Quarter’ activities happening on both sides of Lake Champlain that immerse visitors in all aspects of the battle, Opening Weekend 2018 at Fort Ticonderoga promises to be one of our most elaborate and memorable events ever.”

Benedict Arnold's Hair

Copyright Fort Ticonderoga. Photo Credit Gavin Ashworth.

Benedict & Margaret Arnold Locks of Hair

Recently rediscovered among the museum’s collection of 80,000 military heritage objects, the locks of hair were acquired by Fort Ticonderoga from a direct family descendant in 1952. They were preserved by Benedict and Margaret Arnold’s youngest son Henry and were sent from London in 1801, the year of Benedict’s death. Margaret died in 1775 while Benedict was serving the American cause in the Champlain Valley. He learned of her passing following the capture of Fort Ticonderoga.

Ethan Allen Letter May 12, 1775

Ethan Allen’s letter to Governor Jonathan Trumbull informed the Governor of America’s first victory of the Revolutionary War. Allen’s men took Ticonderoga under the official authority of the colony of Connecticut, where Trumbull served as governor. Allen’s letter clearly shows his understanding of the capture in the context of an already expanding war. The British prisoners would be useful bargaining chips to exchange for Americans from Massachusetts and Rhode Island held in British captivity. He acknowledges the capture of Skenesborough (now Whitehall, NY) and Crown Point giving the rebels control of virtually all of the southern half of Lake Champlain. He also acknowledges the need to control the lake and the expectation of more battles to come.  Signing off as “At Present Commander of Ticonderoga” Allen no-where mentions Benedict Arnold who shared command with him on the night of the fort’s capture.

“No Quarter”

Two Camps & Two Perspectives

The “No Quarter” event will feature two camps just as it was historically. The British will be in garrison at Fort Ticonderoga beginning Saturday, May 5, and will be part of Fort Ticonderoga’s special living history programming. Throughout the weekend, visitors will experience the daily lives of the British soldiers and their families with activities such as cooking, laundry, and guard duty. Tours will highlight the moment in time when the 26th Regiment of Foot was responsible for protecting Fort Ticonderoga, the lonely frontier outpost.

Soldiers Rowing in BateauAcross Lake Champlain, the Green Mountain Boys, led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold will have a temporary camp located in Shoreham, Vermont. Beginning at noon, Fort Ticonderoga interpretive staff and re-enactors will recreate the march down to Lake Champlain along the original route in 1775. Bateaux will be awaiting them for their journey across the lake to Ticonderoga. Saturday evening, on the New York side of Lake Champlain, these re-enactors will march their way down the shore making their final approach to assault Fort Ticonderoga.

The Surprise Attack!Nighttime Battle Reenactment

Witness the alarm of the British Garrison at Ticonderoga as the American surprise attack dramatically unfolds.  Watch as the Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold rush into the fort with war cries and screams of “No Quarter!” Listen as British Officers try to buy time and reason with the American rebels. See the tension between Revolutionaries Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold as they each try to assert control. What will happen to the soon to become British prisoners of war? See for yourself in this stunning recreation of America’s first victory at the very place where it happened 243 years ago. Gates open at 7pm (last ticket sold at 8:15pm) and the reenactment will begin at 8:30pm.

The Aftermath

Sunday, May 6, visitors will step into the newly captured, American-held Fort Ticonderoga. See the fate of the British Guards who unwittingly arrived the day after the American capture of the fort and meet the Green Mountain Boys who overnight became Revolutionaries. From weapons demonstrations to tours, programs will highlight how Fort Ticonderoga went from a sleepy old British outpost, to the center of a new theatre in the War for Independence.

To learn more about this exciting two-day living history event and re-enactment, visit www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821.

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

Posted in Books, Collections, Education, Exhibits, Family Fun in the Adirondacks, Family programs, Fort Ticonderoga, Horticulture, King's Garden, Landscape, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, Living History Event, Museums, Natural History, Programs, Public Programs, Scouts, Special Events, Students, Tourist Destination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Benedict Arnold Returns to Fort Ticonderoga: Extremely Rare Lock of Infamous Traitor’s Hair on Public Display for First Time in Decades for Opening Weekend’s “No Quarter” Reenactment of “America’s First Victory”

3-Ways to Run Better Events

Tell Your Story

battle reenactment at night at Fort Ticonderoga

A lot of work goes into any event. Make the most impact with that event by telling a real story specific in a site’s history.

The best living history events for visitors and participants are those that tell one of the unique stories within a site’s history. After decades of living history events, generic Revolutionary War reenactments are too common and do not draw the interest they once did. No event should try to bite off the whole Revolutionary War, Colonial America, or etc.  Broad generalities inevitably result in an attempt to explain huge topics which force the use of such seemingly innocuous terms as, “Continental Soldier,” “Camp Follower,” or “Colonial Craftsman.” These broad generalizations miss the incredible diversity of the unique stories and people in any given place and moment.  Not only are these generic stories and portrayals so broad as to be false, they miss the core opportunity within a living history event. Any site worth preserving and worth highlighting within a special event has at least one great story to tell. A special event, which has the potential to draw some of the biggest crowds of the year, is a great opportunity to tell a signature story. Telling a site’s unique story not only helps set a site a part from others, it also serves to help mobilize public interest, to answer, the “so what?” about the place whether on a local, regional, or national scale.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

To achieve the storytelling and awareness building potential of a living history event requires communication. This communication is two-fold: to reach a site’s potential audience; to help coordinate participants to be engaged partners. Press and social media outlets have the potential to create a lot of interest about an event, but the message itself is also important. While a living history event should tell site-specific history, the broader message should not lose sight of wider conflicts or periods. At the same time, generic Colonial or Revolutionary War events do not have the impact they once did; audiences meet exaggerated proclamations of an event’s significance with more skepticism than anything.  Not every battle can be the turning point of the Revolutionary War; messaging about an event has to be honest. Inspiring potential visitors with real significance and context requires drawing upon the best of historians’ tools. Personal letters, journals, and even objects intimately tied to a moment can serve to entice visitors with the great story a living history event can tell.

interpretive staff communicating during an event

Communication with participants before, during, and after an event is vital. This should go beyond practical details for the event and include historical background, clothing guidelines, and talking points for discussion with visitors.

For an event to tell the great story it advertises, participants need to know the story too. The basic communication of setting expectations for participants and explaining the goals of an event as a whole is vital, but often missed.  In the run-up to a successful event, participants should be engaged with the great story they will help tell. Documentary sources, especially diaries from different perspectives, hold vital background information to send to participants beforehand. Documents alone won’t cut it; participants in an event can’t answer visitors’ questions with long recitations of diaries or journals. Brief articles and blogs provide useful, synthesized content to convey an understanding of events to guests. Illustrated guidelines for clothing and equipment are great tools to help participants correctly set the scene, but they are only as powerful as the explanations for these guidelines. Having the correct coat or gown is not nearly as important as the understanding of why they are correct. The preparation and coordination of participants can’t end with email attachments. Site or event leadership must make the time to engage participants when they arrive at an event or site. Clear communication of schedules, campsites, facilities, etc. are just the beginning. Orientation tours and specialty talks about an event specifically for participants before an event can help answer grand questions about historical significance down to where visitors can find restrooms. No site would send its employees to engage visitors without support and training. To have a great event, participants cannot be exceptions to this rule.

The Battle is Just the Beginning…

visitors gathered together during an event

While reenactment battles can draw a crowd, they are really just the start of great programs for visitors. The programs the capture aspects of daily life are often the most engaging and memorable parts of events for guests.

All too often reenactment battles are the end goal of a living history event. Guns, smoke, and flashes of rushing lines of soldiers in advance certainly have the potential to capture the imagination of visitors. Yet, events often end their programming with a battle, effectively quitting right when they have an audience ready for more. Rather than an end in itself, battle reenactments should be planned as programming tools within the broader story of an event. Even when a battle reenactment is choreographed and executed well, it is still just the beginning. The programming before and after a battle reenactment is equally important as the reenactment itself and presents an opportunity to engage visitors. Site leaders and event planners have to think creatively about what these programs look like. Visitors come with their own diverse backgrounds and interests, which may be very different from military or colonial history. Demonstrations of boiling laundry en masse or the mechanics of simple machines used to move heavy cannon might be more engaging to visitors than the firing of guns. The personal stories of real people who lived at the time or within a given place may be the most memorable part to guests. When an event is envisioned as an opportunity to tell a story, all programs and aspects are important and impactful. Creative event and site-specific programs in all their forms have the potential to engage visitors, fulfilling interests far beyond military history. These opportunities can only be fully realized if at the core of an event, there is a great story and this story is woven throughout the event for visitors and participants alike.

Experience it for Yourself!

Join Fort Ticonderoga on May 5-6, 2018 as we kick-off Campaign and daily visitation season with the No Quarter Living History and Battle Reenactment Event! For more information on Fort Ticonderoga events, visit www.fortticonderoga.org.

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SPEND THE DAY AT FORT TICONDEROGA! CAMPAIGN SEASON & DAILY VISITATION BEGINS MAY 5, 2018

Experience history at Fort Ticonderoga on land and water beginning on Saturday, May 5! The world-renowned military landmark, museum, and family destination encourages visitors to build their perfect adventure in America’s most historic landscape. As a premier historic site, Fort Ticonderoga offers an unmatched glimpse into the past.

“Fort Ticonderoga is a must-see destination that tells the complex story of our nation’s military heritage and its role in the founding of the United States,” said Beth Hill, President and CEO. “The Fort Ticonderoga experience offers opportunity to explore history in a multifaceted way through engaging daily living history programs and demonstrations, marching to the beat of fifes and drums on the same grounds as our nation’s first soldiers, touring beautiful gardens, or examining our many exquisite collections.”

At Fort Ticonderoga, experience the blend of history and natural beauty like nowhere else. New in 2018, discover the British campaign to control the strategic waters on Lake Champlain in 1781 as the American Revolution raged on. Explore this story and Ticonderoga’s many other epic chapters through new programs and museum exhibits, layers of history throughout breathtaking gardens, daily boat tours aboard the Carillon, soldiers’ life programs, Mount Defiance, hands-on family activities, the Carillon Battlefield hiking trail, and more!

Other experiences include living history events, special tours and behind-the-scenes programs, battle reenactments, workshops, and seminars. Fort Ticonderoga interpretive staff offer world-class experiences that help visitors get a realistic look at daily military life. Through maritime trades and boat building to the care of animals and production of clothing, a visit to Fort Ticonderoga connects soldiers’ daily activities with broader themes of military campaigns, control over North America, and ultimately the founding of our nation.

Visit www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821 for more information.

Fort Ticonderoga is open for daily visitation May 5 through October 31, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., rain or shine. Special events and programs are offered throughout the year.

General admission tickets can be purchased online at www.fortticonderoga.org or on site at the admissions booth upon entry. Admission tickets allow visitors to buy one day admission and visit the next day for free. Members of Fort Ticonderoga and Ticonderoga Resident Ambassador Pass holders receive free general admission. Combination tickets for admission and Carillon boat cruises are also available.

Fort Ticonderoga: America’s Fort™

Welcoming visitors since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks surviving in America. As the premier place to learn more about our nation’s earliest years and America’s military heritage, Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 75,000 visitors each year with an economic impact of more than $12 million annually and offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year, and is open for daily visitation May through October. Fort Ticonderoga is supported in part through generous donations and with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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

Photo copyright Fort Ticonderoga. Photo Credit Carl Heilman II.

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Fort Ticonderoga Launches ‘Institutional Legacy Initiative’ to Preserve First-Person Accounts From Visitors and Employees Spanning the 20th Century

 

group of women visiting Fort TiconderogaFort Ticonderoga today announced the launch of the Institutional Legacy Initiative, an oral history project to document first-person accounts of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum and the Pavilion, the summer home of the Pells – Fort Ticonderoga’s museum founders – which was built in 1826 and is a National Historic Landmark. The initiative will collect and record the stories of individuals who worked for the Pell family, the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, or visited the Pavilion as family or guests from 1909-1987.

“The Institutional Legacy Initiative provides an opportunity to capture first-hand insights into relationships, culture, decisions, and policy that shaped life at the Pavilion and work at the Fort Ticonderoga Museum,” said Tabitha Hubbard, Project Manager of the Institutional Legacy Initiative at Fort Ticonderoga. “The resulting recordings will reveal information about life and work at the Pavilion and the Fort Ticonderoga Museum between 1909 and 1987. The Institutional Legacy Initiative will add an additional layer to the already rich story of Ticonderoga through never-before-documented stories.”

In December, Fort Ticonderoga received a $2.4 million Arts & Cultural Facilities Improvement grant from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and Empire State Development (ESD) for the Pavilion restoration and adaptive re-use project. This grant required a $2.4 million match and harnessed individual major donor and foundation support. Fundraising efforts are still underway for the $6 million project.

“The Pavilion restoration project will save a national treasure while allowing the Fort Ticonderoga Museum to expand as a national cultural destination,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “Among the plans for the restored Pavilion is dedicated exhibit space to tell the story of 200 years of preservation and restoration efforts across the site, and highlight the rich decorative and fine arts collection.  Additional uses will include meeting space, catering and teaching kitchen, and visitor amenities.”

The oral histories collected through the Institutional Legacy Initiative will be recorded, preserved, and made accessible for generations to come. Selections from these oral histories may be featured in future exhibitions and educational programming. For more information about the Institutional Legacy Initiative, contact Project Manager, Tabitha Hubbard, at collections@fort-ticonderoga.org.

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

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga has recently launched the Institutional Legacy Initiative, an oral history project to document the institutional history of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum and the Pavilion, an 1826 National Historic Landmark. Photo: Events like this 1935 wedding in the Kings Garden illustrate how one celebration involves many different people and many different memories of the site itself.  Credit: Fort Ticonderoga Museum

Posted in Collections, Education, Fort Ticonderoga, Fort Ticonderoga Staff, Grant, Horticulture, King's Garden, Landscape, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, Museums, Researchers, Tourist Destination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fort Ticonderoga Launches ‘Institutional Legacy Initiative’ to Preserve First-Person Accounts From Visitors and Employees Spanning the 20th Century