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.

Posted in 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, Special Events, Students History, Tourist Destination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 3-Ways to Run Better Events

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.

Posted in Boat Tours, Collections, Education, Exhibits, Family Fun in the Adirondacks, Family programs, Fife & Drum, Fife & Drum Corps, Fort Ticonderoga, Fort Ticonderoga Staff, Horticulture, King's Garden, Landscape, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, Living History Event, Museums, Natural History, Programs, Public Programs, Scouts, Seminars, Special Events, Students, Students History, Teacher History Workshops, Tourist Destination, Waterway Tours | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on SPEND THE DAY AT FORT TICONDEROGA! CAMPAIGN SEASON & DAILY VISITATION BEGINS MAY 5, 2018

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

Fort Ticonderoga Receives Grant to Support Conservation and Display of Emigrants Flag

Rare Emigrants Flag part of Fort Ticonderoga Collection with support from grantThe Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership has recently awarded Fort Ticonderoga a grant to support the conservation of the Camp Colors of the Royal Highland Emigrants flag. This grant along with other generous donor support allows Fort Ticonderoga to care for and proudly display one of the rarest of Revolutionary War artifacts. Only two British flags of this kind survive from the 18th century and Fort Ticonderoga’s example is the only one in the United States.

“Flags from the Revolutionary War are exceedingly rare,” said Matthew Keagle, Fort Ticonderoga Curator. “Records indicate that hundreds were shipped across the Atlantic each year during the Revolutionary War to British troops in North America, but very few survived. This particular flag in the Fort Ticonderoga collection was carried by the Royal Highland Emigrants, a regiment of British loyalists that served in Canada during the Revolutionary War.”

The Royal Highland Emigrants Camp Color flag will be the highlight of a new exhibit 1781: A War Not Yet Won located in the Mars Education Center and will focus on the British operations and occupation of Ticonderoga in 1781, a fascinating, but rarely discussed period of Ticonderoga’s history. Thousands of visitors will be able to view this important artifact daily in 2018, and it will be a feature of our Annual Scots Day celebration with a special Curator’s talk about the flag and its significance for all of North America.

Fort Ticonderoga’s Campaign of 1781 and daily visitation runs from May 5-October 31, 2018. Visitors will participate in guided tours, weapons demonstrations, historic trades activities, soldiers’ life programs, and can take part in special behind-the-scene tours, Carillon boat cruises on Lake Champlain, and so much more! For more information, visit www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821.

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

Photo: Funding for this project came from a 2018 Making of Nations Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership. The Emigrants flag will be on display in 2018 for thousands of visitors to enjoy. Fort Ticonderoga’s Campaign of 1781 runs from May 5-October 31, 2018, where guests visit daily from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm. Photo Credit: Royal Highland Emigrants Camp Color, 1777-1783. Great Britain wool, oil paint. Fort Ticonderoga Museum 1928.1.

Posted in Collections, Education, Exhibits, Fort Ticonderoga, Grant, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, Museums, Public Programs, Tourist Destination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fort Ticonderoga Receives Grant to Support Conservation and Display of Emigrants Flag

“Somewhere in France: Stephen Pell’s Great War” at the next Fort Fever Series Program April 15th 

Stephen H.P. Pell portraitFort Ticonderoga’s 2018 “Fort Fever Series” concludes on Sunday, April 15 at 2:00 pm with “Somewhere in France: Stephen Pell’s Great War” presented by Matthew Keagle, Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator. During this program, follow Stephen Pell from his passage across the Atlantic, through his first glimpse of combat, to the injury that ended his military service. The Fort Ticonderoga Museum will be mounting an exciting NEW exhibit this year to explore the impact of World War I on Ticonderoga. During this presentation, get a sneak peek at the contents of the exhibit, plus additional never-before-seen images.

“Stephen’s service took him across a wide swath of France and made him a witness to critical campaigns of the War,” said Matthew Keagle, Curator at Fort Ticonderoga. “Thanks to his own extensive letters as well as other men in his section, we can reconstruct a vivid picture of life at the front for an American volunteer in one of the most decorated units of the First World War.”

For many years Stephen Pell’s service as an ambulance driver in France has been a footnote in the story of Fort Ticonderoga’s restoration. To commemorate the centennial of the First World War, Keagle has undertaken extensive new research into Stephen Pell’s wartime experience. Aided by the cataloging of Stephen’s own collection of letters and photographs, the museum has a much clearer picture of his experience “somewhere in France” between 1917 and 1918.

A major new exhibit at the Mars Education Center opening in May 2018 focuses on “Great Wars: Ticonderoga and World War I.” This new exhibit will explore the lives of the Pell family and Ticonderoga from 1914-1919, as well as the important links between the Seven Years War and World War I. The exhibit will feature paintings, photographs, weapons, uniforms, and other artifacts, many rediscovered, newly restored, and on display for the first time.

Tickets for the Fort Fever program are $12 per person and can be purchased upon arrival; Fort Ticonderoga Members and Ticonderoga Ambassador Pass holders are admitted free of cost. The program will take place in the Mars Education Center.

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

Photo: Corporal Stephen Pell, S.S.U. 646, 1918. Fort Ticonderoga Museum, 7002.2. 

Posted in Collections, Education, Exhibits, Fort Ticonderoga, Fort Ticonderoga Staff, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, Museums, Programs, Public Programs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Somewhere in France: Stephen Pell’s Great War” at the next Fort Fever Series Program April 15th 

 “The Great Wars” focus of Annual History Conference for Educators at Fort Ticonderoga this May

Arial view of Fort Ticonderoga

“The Great Wars: The French & Indian War and the First World War” will be the focus of the Tenth Annual History Conference for Educators to be held on Friday, May 18, 2018 at Fort Ticonderoga. Sessions focused on the French & Indian War (known as the Seven Years’ War in Europe) and World War I will answer the question on how global conflict affects local communities. Participants will learn about the scope and impact of “Great Wars” on society in general through the study of primary accounts.

“This conference explores the similarities and differences between the French & Indian War (1754-1763) and the First World War (1914-1918), both major global conflicts that started with seemingly minor incidents,” said Rich Strum, Director of Academic Programs at Fort Ticonderoga. “The conference introduces participants to a variety of techniques and methodologies for incorporating primary source documents into the curriculum, including Social Studies labs, case studies, and close reading of documents, to foster critical thinking in the classroom.”

This year’s conference coincides with the opening of a major new exhibition “Great Wars: Ticonderoga and World War I” that will forge connections between the core stories of Fort Ticonderoga in the 18th century with the centennial of the First World War. The exhibit will utilize artifacts, documents, and photographs never before displayed.

Pre-registration to attend the conference is required. The cost is $45 per person. Registration forms can be downloaded from Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fortticonderoga.org under the “Education” tab by selecting “Educators” on the drop down menu. You can learn about other opportunities for educators at Fort Ticonderoga in 2018 on the same page.

The Annual History Conference is one of numerous opportunities for continuing education at Fort Ticonderoga in 2018. You can learn more about these programs, including the Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War and the Seminar on the American Revolution, by visiting Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fortticonderoga.org and selecting “Education.”

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

Photo: Registration is open for Fort Ticonderoga’s Tenth Annual History Conference for Educators on May 18, 2018. This year’s conference focuses on the French & Indian War and World War I as examples of global conflicts. Photo copyright Fort Ticonderoga; Photo credit Carl Heilman II.

Posted in Books, Collections, Education, Exhibits, Fort Ticonderoga, Fort Ticonderoga Staff, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, Programs, Public Programs, Special Events, Teacher History Workshops, Tourist Destination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on  “The Great Wars” focus of Annual History Conference for Educators at Fort Ticonderoga this May

Largest and Best Stall Fed Cattle

a team of oxen with their skilled teamster.

Oxen are incredibly strong and can be very precise in moving sleds and vehicles. A skilled teamster or driver can get both of these qualities out of a team.

When we go shopping online today, we take for granted a whole network of planes, trains, and automobiles that can deliver whatever we order fast. Such convenience would have been miraculous in the early months of 1776. Colonel Benedict Arnold commanded about 1200 soldiers outside of Quebec, each in desperate need of food and basic supplies. Back in the fall of 1775, a fleet of large and small boats embarked from Ticonderoga down Lake Champlain with food coming from New England and New York. However, when the Lake froze solid enough, it turned into a road.

Teams of oxen pulled the majority of the sleds down the ice road North into Canada in the early winter of 1776. General Philip Schuyler, who commanded the Northern Department of the Continental Army from Albany, wrote to Walter Livingston to expedite the movement of supplies to Quebec on February 24, 1776:

By a litter just received from General Wooster, I find that there will be a Scarcity of provisions in Canada for our Troops, and he presses me to send him immediately what is at Tyconderoga. I have accordingly ordered 400 Barrels of pork to be sent on; the expense of which will amount to a very considerable sum, and yet that Quantity will not be sufficient to last until the Lake are passable by Water. I therefore propose that you should immediately purchase 100 or 150 of the largest and best Stall fed Cattle you can procure but as these cannot be sent on without carrying with the necessary forage to serve them on their Journey.

General Philip Schuyler continued his letter to Walter Livingston with details on how to equip this oxen train of supplies into Canada. Schuyler understood that this venture required proper sleds, good drivers, and cattle, as well as enough feed to keep them healthy.  If any piece of this oxen train was absent, it could cut the lifeline for American soldiers in Canada.

I propose that you should purchase ox sleds or any others in the Country that are shod with Wood;  one to every four Oxen, which would suffice to carry their Forrage and four Barrels of pork, or more from Fort George—If you can get the sleds, forage and Chains you will immediately purchase the Oxen and send them on, hiring Drivers to bring them to this Place, from whence I will cause Soldier’s to go with them to Montreal…You’ll observe that all the Oxen must be shod And this should be done by the people from whom you purchase them.

Three oxen grazing on green grass.

In the summertime, working cattle could graze on fresh grass.  During winter months pre-cut hay stored in barns would be dished out to hungry oxen.

Just as vehicles do not run without fuel, oxen could not pull without feed. In the midst of a food shortage for soldiers, Schuyler made sure to note, “Forrage and four Barrels of pork,” on each sled. Just like supply trucks laden with extra cans of fuel for the journey, oxen might not reach the American Army in Canada withoupacking their food as well.  During summer months, Oxen could graze on pastures for much of their feed. Additional feed would be given to oxen or cattle inside stalls within their barns. At the same time farmers cut their hay fields, raking, turning, and drying the hay in the sun before it was bundled and stored in large barns. To an army reliant on oxen for transportation in the winter of 1776, this hay was as vital as the barrels of salted pork they hauled. General Philip Schuyler wrote to his cousin, Assistant Deputy Quarter Master General Harmanus Schuyler on March 4, 1776 about protecting this vital resource:

I hope the Hay is particularly taken Care of and that you have applied to the commissary officer for a Centinel Night and Day upon it—If the Hay is wasted all our Operation are at an End.

A large wood yolk, used to secure a pair of cattle together.

The large wood yoke served the purpose of securing the pair of cattle together while giving them a comfortable mechanism to pull with. The iron rings from oxen yokes have been found archaeologically at Ticonderoga.

With great waterways frozen solid, teams of oxen and the tools and supplies to keep them driving but were vital to the Northern Continental Army in the winter of 1776. On a road of ice, oxen could pull heavy loads as fast as their drivers could walk with them. Oxen were footed on uneven and rough terrain, and were not fussy about the feed they were given. Two hundred and forty-two years ago, you would have seen Ticonderoga hustling and bustling with massive cattle ready to execute the resupply of a struggling American Army.

Join Fort Ticonderoga on March 24, 2018 and see the army logistics in action as cattle haul materials around the site during our Ordered to Join the Northern Army in Canada living history event!

Posted in Education, Exhibits, Family Fun in the Adirondacks, Family programs, Fort Ticonderoga, Fort Ticonderoga Staff, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, Living History Event, Museums, Programs, Public Programs, Tourist Destination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Largest and Best Stall Fed Cattle

Regional Students to Advance to New York State History Day

Students with certificates from Fort Ticonderoga's 2018 History Day

Thirty-nine middle and high school students from the North Country with seventeen projects won top prizes at North Country History Day that took place on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Fort Ticonderoga. These students will advance to compete at New York State History Day in Cooperstown on April 23, 2018.

“The National History Day program develops a passion for history,” said Rich Strum, Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Academic Programs and North Country’s Regional Coordinator for New York State History Day. “History Day provides students with an opportunity to explore a topic which interests them while relating to an annual theme. This year’s theme was ‘Conflict and Compromise in History’ and projects spanned centuries of topics from the Salem Witch Trials to World War One.”

The top two projects in each category won the right to represent the North Country at New York State History Day. Winners at the state level go on to compete in National History Day in Maryland in June. Over the past eight years, two North Country projects have advanced to the national contest.

National History Day is the nation’s leading program for history education in schools. The program annually engages 2 million people in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Teachers and students from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, St. Lawrence, and Warren counties interested in participating in North Country History Day during the 2018-2019 school year should contact Rich Strum at rstrum@fort-ticonderoga.org or (518) 585-6370. Next year’s theme is “Triumph and Tragedy in History.”

Junior Division (Grades 6-8) North Country Regional winners include:

  • Maggie Sorensen, from North Country Home Schoolers, placed first in the Historical Paper category with her paper “The Boston Tea Party: Conflict over Representation.”
  • Allison Carvel, from Gouverneur Middle School, placed second in the Historical Paper category with her paper “The Crucible of Salem.”
  • Cole Siebels and Carter Therett, from Gouverneur Middle School, placed first in the Group Documentary category with their documentary “The Pacific War.”
  • Garrett Beebe, Madeline Lender, and Robert O’Neil, from St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga, placed second in the Group Documentary category with their documentary “Operation Paper Clip.”
  • Madelynne Hay Spano and Caitlyn Storie, from Gouverneur Middle School, placed first in the Group Performance category with their performance “The Conflict and Compromise: Galileo.”
  • Emma Hicks, Grace Mashaw, Janay Smith, and Felicia Tallon, from Gouverneur Middle School, placed second in the Group Performance category with their performance “American Revolution Drama.”
  • Kathryn Moran, from St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga, placed first in the Individual Exhibit category with her exhibit “The Connecticut Compromise.”
  • Riley Seaman, from Gouverneur Middle School, placed second in the Individual Exhibit category with her exhibit “The Salem Witch Trials: Sarah Good.”
  • Ava Bartholomew, Mariah Manning, and Elizabeth Riutta, from Gouverneur Middle School, placed first in the Group Exhibit category with their exhibit “Compromise of 1850.”
  • Addison Conklin, Randi Griffith, and Rikki Griffith, from Gouverneur Middle School, placed second in the Group Exhibit category with their exhibit “The Greensboro Sit-Ins.”
  • Maya Bartleson, from Gouverneur Middle School, placed first in the Individual Website category with her website “The 54th Massachusetts Regiment.”
  • Alex Clancy, from Gouverneur Middle School, placed second in the Individual Website category with his website “Mary Tudor the First: Queen ‘Bloody’ Mary.”
  • Ashton Bowman, William Riutta, and Gunner Simmons, from Gouverneur Middle School, placed first in the Group Website category with their website “How Men Stood Up for Women.”

Senior Division (Grades 9-12) North Country Regional winners include:

  • Grace Sayward and Liam Sayward, from North Country Home Schoolers, placed first in the Group Performance category with their performance “The War over Grapes.”
  • Sarah Anderson, Dyani Bryant, Jonathan Gibbs, Joshua Winter, and Mackenzie Peters, from Moriah Central School, placed first in the Group Exhibit category for their exhibit “Power or Equality? How a Compromise let to the End of Reconstruction.”
  • Jaiden Varmette, Taylor Brassard, Madeline Cochran, Karen King, and Malika Saleem, from Moriah Central School, placed second in the Group Exhibit category for their exhibit “Newsies: An Overview.”
  • Clayton Wilhelm, a home school student from Glens Falls, placed first in the Individual Website category with his website “Marathon—With Conflict Comes Compromise.”

Two special prizes were also awarded:

  • For outstanding use of primary sources for an individual project, sponsored by New York State Archives and the New York State Archives Partnership: Riley Seaman, from Gouverneur Middle School, for her exhibit “The Salem Witch Trials: Sarah Good.”
  • For an outstanding junior level project demonstrating the theme “Conflict and Compromise in History,” sponsored by the Adirondack Torch Club: Lily McNulty, Hannah Porter, and Eliza Strum, from Ticonderoga Middle School, for their exhibit “The Newsboys Strike of 1899.”

Participating schools included Gouverneur Middle School, Moriah Central School, St. Mary’s School (Ticonderoga), and Ticonderoga Middle School, as well as home school students from North Country Home Schoolers in Clinton County and Home School students from Warren County.

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

Photo: Caitlyn Storie, Addison Conklin, and Rikki Griffith were among the students from Gouverneur Middle School who participated in North Country History Day at Fort Ticonderoga on March 3, 2018. 

Posted in Artworks, Books, Education, Exhibits, Fort Ticonderoga, Homeschool, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, National History Day, Programs, Special Award, Students, Students History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Regional Students to Advance to New York State History Day

Ordered to Join the Northern Army in Canada Living History Event at Fort Ticonderoga March 24

Reenactors in FormationJoin Fort Ticonderoga for a one-day living history event Saturday, March 24, 2018 to meet new recruits and veteran troops from New York as they prepare to join the ongoing Continental Army campaign against Canada in the spring of 1776. Living history demonstrations throughout the day feature the weapons, tactics, trades, and people needed for fighting and surviving in the Continental Army’s Northern Department. For more information, call 518-585-2821 or visit www.fortticonderoga.org.

Highlighted programming throughout the day brings to life the struggle to keep an American army alive in March of 1776. Meet the reinforcements headed for northern forts and Canada as they drill to defend Ticonderoga as a vital and strategic link in the military supply chain. Walk alongside powerful oxen as they haul logs miles from the woods surrounding Ticonderoga. Listen as leather heels strike the ground as soldiers march in step and see artillery artificers cast and cut metal to make cannon ammunition. Watch the carpenters, drafted from among soldiers, hard at work as they turn logs and lumber into crates, sleds, and beams.

“This living history event will highlight the story of the struggle for liberty in the first full year of the war for American Independence,” said Beth Hill, President & CEO. “Our commitment to bringing the dramatic and real story of our past to life through unforgettable programs such as the Ordered to Join the Northern Army in Canada living history event is an opportunity to share with our visitors the importance of Ticonderoga in the founding of America.”

Admission to the event is $12 for the general public and free to Fort Ticonderoga Members, Ambassador Pass holders, and children age four and under.

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

Photo: Join Fort Ticonderoga on Saturday, March 24 for the Ordered the Join the Northern Army in Canada living history event from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Photo credit Fort Ticonderoga.

Posted in Collections, Education, Exhibits, Family Fun in the Adirondacks, Family programs, Fort Ticonderoga, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, Living History Event, Museums, Programs, Public Programs, Tourist Destination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ordered to Join the Northern Army in Canada Living History Event at Fort Ticonderoga March 24