Yes, it’s true. Spring is finally here! The morning routine of layering up, strapping on our boots, and warming up our cars is officially a practice of the past. Although winter is making an attempt to linger here in the Adirondacks, it won’t be long before our quiet woods are greeted with the return of the first migratory songbirds, like the red-winged blackbirds and song sparrows. The ice fishing tents on Lake Champlain will be replaced by boats and jet skis, and Fort Ticonderoga will at last be open for the season! It’s important to keep in mind that although Fort Ticonderoga is open for daily operation May through October, there is no such thing as an “off-season”. There are a remarkable number of opportunities to take advantage of during the winter and spring at this museum campus. Already there have been three Winter Workshops, three Fort Fevers and two Living History Events! Let’s not forget the elegant Ti Ball and student-driven North Country History Day!
Alike to winter, there’s nothing lackluster about spring at Fort Ticonderoga. If some of you just can’t wait until May 9th for the campus to officially open, here is a list of the opportunities you can take advantage of prior to daily operation:
Winter Workshop Series: Women’s Clothing Accessories (April 11 – April 12)
This is a continuation of a series of workshops that began at the start of winter’s arrival. Join Jenna Schnitzer to learn about patterning, materials and construction for 18th-century women’s clothing accessories. Perfect your portrayal with mitts, caps, bonnets, and pockets. Discover interesting details of these garments as well as how to build and wear your own. This is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the “behind-the-scenes” aspects of the 18th century and learn the fine-tuning of its reproduction in the present.
For more information, get in touch with Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation, Stuart Lilie, at SLilie@fort-ticonderoga.org. Advanced registration is required.
Fourth Annual Garden and Landscape Symposium (April 18)
This is a true sign of spring. Whether you’re an advanced gardener or just getting started, this program will bring out the “green thumb connoisseur” in everyone. Fort Ticonderoga’s Fourth Annual Garden and Landscape Symposium will have four speakers, all with specific expertise related to gardening in northern climates. Speakers and sessions include:
- “The Healing Garden: Traditional Medicinals for Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” by Nancy Scarzello
- “Save the Monarchs! Native Plants for Native Pollinators” by Emily DeBolt
- “A Favorite Place of Resort for Strangers: The King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga” by Lucinda Brockway
- “Getting Control of Your Perennial Garden” by Amy Ivy
- Panel Discussion with all the speakers facilitated by Master Gardener Diane O’Connor
This one-day program focuses on practical, easy-to-implement strategies for expanding and improving your garden or landscape. The programs are offered in an informal setting that encourages interaction between speakers and attendees. I can assure you that you’ll leave the day with the information you need to make a backyard disaster into a beauty show!
Fort Fever Series: Cameron Green, Assistant Director of Interpretation – “A Layered Legacy” (April 19)
After you’ve received a plethora of gardening advice at the Fourth Annual Garden and Landscape Symposium, stick around for another day and discover the continuing story of Ticonderoga. After the guns had ceased firing, see how the flowering of agriculture, tourism, and hospitality emerged, as told through the King’s Garden. Join Assistant Director of Interpretation, Cameron Green, to get a sneak peak of all the new ground being broken for the 2015 season, as well as some of the great structures and stories recently uncovered.
Beyond Bullets and Blades (May 6)
How heavy are the muskets, swords, and bayonets that decided the wars of the 18th century? Have you ever wondered how they were made? Beyond Bullets and Blades is a unique experience; an opportunity to go beyond the exhibition case to examine and handle original 18th-century weapons with the supervision and knowledge of Fort Ticonderoga’s expert staff. The firearms of the 18th century were built by hand, but not the products of quaint blacksmith shops. Industrial methods were used to produce weapons by the thousands to equip soldiers across the globe. Learn how artisans in Europe and America transformed iron, brass, and wood into the weapons that decided empires and revolutions. Feel the bulk and imagine what it was like for the soldiers of the 18th century to carry these very weapons into Battle.
This specialty program is limited to 5 participants but is offered every Wednesday May – August to keep up with the demand! See calendar for specific dates of occurrence.
Opening Season Starts with a Bang…and a Bateau!
“BEFORE LONG WE WOULD HAVE REINFORCEMENTS” FRENCH SOLDIERS RETURN TO REBUILD CARILLON (May 9 – May 10)
Join us for this exciting living history event and be part of Fort Ticonderoga’s 2015 opening weekend! Watch by the shoreline as French soldiers return by bateaux from winter quarters at posts down Lake Champlain in the spring of 1756. Meet the Languedoc soldiers, Canadian Troupe de la Marine, and native warriors left behind to guard this advanced post over a harrowing winter. See construction on the French fort of Carillon begin in earnest with French soldiers from the Languedoc regiment and Canadian Troupe de la Marine and milice. See the rush to get work under way with the threat of an English attack looming. Discover more about the plan and building of this famous French fort.
This two-day event is packed full of excitement for all, and marks the official beginning of the 2015 season. After your participation in all of the above, you’ll never want to leave. So, here is the full calendar of events to get you going for the warmer temperatures!
We look forward to seeing you at Fort Ticonderoga soon!