Girl Scout Day at Fort Ticonderoga!

Fort Ticonderoga joins forces with the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York to host Girl Scout Day on Saturday, October 14 from 9:30am-5:00pm. The scouts will participate in interactive and immersive programs, visit museum exhibitions, and explore the historic site, including the King’s Garden, Carillon Battlefield Hiking Trail, and the Heroic Corn Maze. Continue reading

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A Memento of Arnold’s Treason

John Andre’s Pocketbook Inv. # 4368. Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, photo credit Gavin Ashworth.

On the morning of September 23, 1780, north of Tarrytown, New York, a party of armed Americans waylaid a rider on horseback heading south towards New York City. They unwittingly had uncovered the most infamous treason in American history. Forcing their captive to strip, they found hidden papers in his stockings that incriminated General Benedict Arnold, the hero of Ticonderoga, Québec, Valcour Island, Danbury, and Saratoga. The rider was Major John André, an accomplished and convivial British officer, who had just negotiated with Arnold to give up the critical American position at West Point, where he commanded. Caught dressed as a civilian, without his uniform, André was hanged by the Continental Army as a spy. Arnold’s treason remains one of the most traumatic events of the Revolution. While Arnold’s exact motives continue to be scrutinized to this day, his name lingers on as a byword for treason. Continue reading

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George Washington and Henry Knox Featured in Free Teacher Workshop Presented by Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Vernon

Fort Ticonderoga, in partnership with Mount Vernon, invites regional teachers to attend a free one-day teacher workshop focused on George Washington and Henry Knox on Friday, October 13, 2017. The workshop will take place in the Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and includes lunch and coffee. Continue reading

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Fort Ticonderoga Receives Award from Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services for New York

Collections Manager, Miranda Peters arranges early 20th c. glass plate photo negatives on a light box for study. The museum maintains a large collection of 20th c. archival materials in addition to the vast 18th c. collection.

The Fort Ticonderoga Museum has been selected to receive a Preservation Survey through the Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services for New York (DHPSNY) Planning and Assessment Services. The purpose of this Preservation Survey is to review the museum’s preservation needs concerning the environment (temperature, relative humidity, pollution, and light), housekeeping, pest control, fire protection, security, disaster preparedness, storage, handling, exhibition, treatment, and preservation planning, especially as they relate to the Museum’s renowned archival collection.

“The generous support from the Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services for New York (DHPSNY) will ensure that the museum continues to meet our mission of preservation,” said Fort Ticonderoga Collections Manager, Miranda Peters. “As stewards of these remarkable collections, we want to formally assess our current practices and collections spaces so that we may better plan for the future. DHPSNY’s support through the Preservation Survey will help us meet that objective.”

From the library and archives to the object collections, Fort Ticonderoga’s collection touches on nearly all major categories of material related to the American Revolution and early colonial conflicts. The library contains over 13,000 volumes focusing on the military history of northeastern North America and New France during the 18th century. Another focal point of the rare book collection is the collection of original 17th, 18th, and early 19th-century military manuals. The museum’s collection of 18th-century English and American newspapers and literary magazines includes comprehensive runs of The London Magazine and Annual Register covering the Seven Years’ War and American War for Independence in their entirety.

Registrar, Margaret Staudter and Collections Manager, Miranda Peters, re-house a 19th c. painting of Ethan Allen taking the fort in 1775 in museum storage.

The archival collections consist of thousands of manuscripts, diaries, orderly books, maps, and photographs.  The manuscript collection includes correspondence of both officers and common soldiers who served at Fort Ticonderoga in the 18th century. Thirty journals and orderly books contain first-hand accounts and day-to-day orders of an army at Fort Ticonderoga and the Lake George/Champlain valleys during the Seven Years’ War and War for American Independence.  Dozens of original maps, hundreds of engraved portraits and hundreds of historic photographs provide a visual link to the past. The museum’s collection of maps documents change in the landscape from the 1690s to the mid-19th century.  Engraved portraits bring researchers face-to-face with the key figures involved in the conflicts for North America.  The photographic collections document the preservation and reconstruction of Fort Ticonderoga from the mid-19th to the 21st century.

The DHPSNY staff will meet with Fort Ticonderoga Museum staff to complete the Preservation Survey in fall 2017.

About Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services for New York (DHPSNY)

A statewide program of the New York State Archives and New York State Library, Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services for New York (DHPSNY) provides free planning and education services to support the vast network of repositories such as archives, libraries, historical societies, museums, and other institutions that safeguard and ensure access to New York’s historical records and unique library research materials.

DHPSNY is a collaboration between two long-running New York programs dedicated to service and support for archival and library research collections throughout the State: the New York State Archives Documentary Heritage Program and the New York State Library Conservation/Preservation Program. DHPSNY is a program of the New York State Education Department, with services provided by the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts.

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

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Celebrate Fall at Fort Ticonderoga’s Heritage, Harvest, & Horse Festival on September 30!

Join Fort Ticonderoga to celebrate the sights, sounds, and tastes of fall on Saturday, September 30.  Bring the whole family to the Heritage, Harvest & Horse Festival for a full day of autumn fun, set in the midst of the King’s Garden heirloom apple trees and the beautiful Adirondack landscape!

Experience the power and thunder of hooves through demonstrations of equestrian sports and military programs; take part in family-fun activities including horse-drawn wagon rides and heritage games; take a guided tour of the historic gardens; meet animals from the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge; delight your taste buds with Adirondack beer and wines; explore the lively and colorful harvest market; get lost in the six-acre corn maze; enjoy centuries of stories from the water on a Carillon boat cruise; and explore the fall splendor at Fort Ticonderoga’s on Lake Champlain nestled between the Adirondack and Green Mountains.

“Localvore” Food, Beer and Wine Tastings, Live Music, Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides and More!

Festival featured activities include: live music; Horse-drawn wagon rides; delicious “localvore” food including homemade jams, jellies, and pies; Adirondack beer and wines; the Annual Vegetable, Seed, and Plant Sale; a Harvest Market featuring locally grown and made products including; perennials and produce, maple syrup, honey, apple products, and more!

Children Activities

Kids of all ages will love the festival fall activities including face painting, creating a customized leaf book, sack races, colonial kids’ games, pumpkin painting, animal masks, natural dying, book reading in the teahouse, corn crafts, and other hands-on activities.

Animals!

Say hello to friendly goats and alpacas, watch the heavy hauling power of working oxen, and follow the cry of the foxhunting Green Mountain Hounds.

Carillon Boat Cruise at 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm

A boat tour aboard Fort Ticonderoga’s 60-foot Carillon not only provides visitors with breathtaking lake views of commanding mountains and the majestic fort, it also crosses some of the most archaeologically rich waters in North America. This 60-foot, 35-passenger vessel will offer a special tour around the Ticonderoga Peninsula at 1:00 pm and again at 3:30 pm. In 90 minutes, you can enjoy centuries of stories that floated across Lake Champlain. To make your reservation, call (518) 585-2821.

Heroic Corn Maze: A Corn Maze Adventure!

The day will not be complete without a visit to Fort Ticonderoga’s highly acclaimed Heroic Corn Maze: A Corn Maze Adventure!, where visitors explore the six-acre corn maze, with a new design for the 2017 season! Guests are able to find their way through the maze by selecting the correct answers to clues connected to Fort Ticonderoga’s history!

Admission to the Heritage, Harvest & Horse Festival is included with a Fort Ticonderoga general admission ticket. Fort Ticonderoga is open from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm daily. For a complete event schedule, please visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/events/fort-events/heritage-harvest-horse-festival/detail.

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

Photo Credit: Fort Ticonderoga

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Fort Ticonderoga Recognizes Long-Standing Employees

Fort Ticonderoga recently recognized several staff members for their long-time service and dedication to Fort Ticonderoga’s dual mission of education and preservation. Staff recognized include: Michael Edson, Robert Bartlett, Claire Bartlett, Stephen Teer, Catherine Burke, Richard Strum, Dorcey Crammond, Kenneth Olcott, Martha Strum, Earl Harrington, Debra Jordan, Carol Stanley, and the late John Hurlburt, who is sorely missed by the Fort Ticonderoga staff and our community. Each employee received a certificate in his or her honor with a slideshow presentation at a staff reception in the Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga.

“Fort Ticonderoga greatly appreciates all employees and their dedication to the remarkable work underway, “said Beth Hill, President and CEO. “We are especially thrilled to thank our long-standing employees for their commitment to our educational work and guest experience. The employees recognized have contributed substantially to Fort Ticonderoga over the years with their time and talent.”

Fort Ticonderoga employs approximately 80 employees including 20 full-time year-round employees and supports 151 jobs in the Ticonderoga region with its economic impact of $12 million annually.

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

Photo Credit: Richard Timberlake

 

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Fort Ticonderoga Acquires Rare Muskets from the British 53rd Regiment of Foot

Fort Ticonderoga has recently acquired three British muskets that last served at Fort Ticonderoga 240 years ago. Three muskets carried by the 53rd Regiment of Foot are a part of one of the most exciting moments of the Revolutionary history of Ticonderoga and are rare examples of British military firearms from the Revolutionary War.

“The muskets are all marked with a series of numbers and letters that indicate their use with the 53rd Regiment beyond any doubt, even indicating the company and soldier they were carried by. Such information allows the Fort Ticonderoga Museum to say with confidence that these muskets have come back where they saw action 240 years ago,” said Matthew Keagle, Fort Ticonderoga’s Museum Curator. “A single such survivor is rare, for three weapons to emerge is almost unprecedented. The important history of these weapons has been acknowledged through their past loan to the museum, now they will permanently be joining the collection where they will be on display for visitors every day.”

In addition to their legacy at Ticonderoga, these muskets are also important examples of British military long arms from the late 18th century. Noted arms researcher Bill Ahearn first identified these as a unique pattern of weapon, produced in Ireland specifically for the 53rd Regiment. Although similar in their overall appearance, the exact proportions and details of these weapons make them distinct from any other British military weapon from the period.

About the 53rd Regiment of Foot:

General John Burgoyne’s British and German army captured Fort Ticonderoga in July of 1777. By August, the garrison consisted of Germans of the Brunswick Regiment Prinz Friedrich and the British 53rd Regiment of Foot, and then later were spread out across Mount Independence in Vermont all the way to the modern town of Ticonderoga, the head of Lake George, and the summit of Mount Defiance. An American raid on September 18 caught them off guard and succeeded in capturing four companies of the 53rd, Mount Defiance and its artillery, and freed American prisoners of war held by the British. Despite these initial successes, they were not prepared for a formal siege and after four days, the Americans withdrew, leaving the fort in British hands until early November.

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

Photo Credit: Fort Ticonderoga

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Fort Ticonderoga Generates More than $12 Million Economic Impact for Ticonderoga Region

Fort Ticonderoga, a not-for-profit educational organization and major cultural destination, announced today that it generates a total of $12.1 million annually in economic impact.  The total includes visitor spending from tourists; spending by the Fort Ticonderoga Association in its daily operations; the indirect and induced impacts created by labor income as it flows into the regional economy; and tax revenue generated by that spending.

In 2016, the Fort Ticonderoga Association of Ticonderoga, NY commissioned Magellan Strategy Group to perform an economic impact study analyzing Fort Ticonderoga’s impact upon the surrounding region. The report utilized data provided by guests visiting Fort Ticonderoga utilized the highly regarded IMPLAN software. The study employed a conservative approach to measuring guest spending that evaluated only those expenditures that occurred as a result of visiting Fort Ticonderoga.

The economic impact announcement made today at Fort Ticonderoga’s Mars Education Center was celebrated by regional and state officials, as well as local and regional business leaders, regional non-profit leaders, and tourism representatives. Featured speakers at the major announcement included New York Assemblyman Dan Stec and James McKenna, President and CEO of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.  Also in attendance was Joe Giordano, Ticonderoga Town Supervisor; Matthew Courtright, Executive Director of the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce; Sanford W. Morhouse, Fort Ticonderoga Association Chairman of the Board; and Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga Association President and CEO.

“We are very fortunate to have Fort Ticonderoga within our beautiful Adirondack Park,” said Dan Stec, New York State Assembly, District 114. “Promoting significant economic development initiatives along with providing important educational opportunities to residents and visitors alike will have a long term benefit for our Adirondack Communities.”

“Our research shows that a combination of heritage and culture, and unique, authentic experiences appeal to the younger generation of traveler, and Fort Ticonderoga’s programming and expanded product offerings more than meet that criteria,” said James McKenna, president of ROOST. “Fort Ticonderoga contributes significant economic impact to the region, but more importantly, the staff and board have uniquely positioned the institution for long-term sustainability. This will catapult the region into the future, providing ever-changing experiences that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world.”

“This report quantifies what we already know to be true,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “Fort Ticonderoga’s iconic story and mission of education and preservation translate into real and substantial economic impact confirming Fort Ticonderoga’s place in the present and more importantly, in the region’s economic future. Fort Ticonderoga is a major statewide and regional asset with transformative plans for the years ahead.”

Report Details:

Impact Upon Jobs:

  • Visitor spending by the over 75,000 annual Fort Ticonderoga guests while in the region generates a substantial direct economic impact- over $6.7 million annually.
  • Guest spending and Fort Ticonderoga’s operations support 151 regional jobs, representing $6.3 million in labor income that flows into the regional economy.

Impact Upon Tax Revenue:

  • Over $2.5 million in annual tax revenue generated to federal, state and regional governments.
  • $1.1 million in state and local taxes and an additional $1.4 million in federal taxes.
  • The state and regional revenue reduces the annual tax burden for every local household in Essex County, NY by an estimated $73.28.

Impact Upon Tourism:

  • 85% of guests say that Fort Ticonderoga is the primary reason for visiting the Ticonderoga area.
  • 75% of Fort Ticonderoga’s 75,000 guests visited the area for the first time in 2016.

Impact Upon Lodging:

  • 54% of Fort Ticonderoga guests spent at least one night in regional commercial lodging (hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, rental cabins, etc.) specifically as a part of their Fort Ticonderoga visit.
  • 24% of Fort Ticonderoga guests spent the night in commercial lodging in and around the town of Ticonderoga.
  • Average stay by Fort Ticonderoga guests in commercial lodging on their visit is 2 nights.
  • One-quarter of Fort Ticonderoga guests stayed 3 or more nights in commercial lodging.

Economic Impact of the Spending by Fort Ticonderoga Guests:

  • Total spending per guest associated with a visit to Fort Ticonderoga is $89.24 including food and beverage, lodging, gas/auto, retail, and entertainment.

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

Photo: Credit Carl Heilman; Copyright Fort Ticonderoga

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Top Late-Season Flowers

Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulturist in Residence

A question I have often received over the years is “what can I plant for late season color?” The problem, I realized, is that many gardeners buy their flowers early in the season, so have predominantly early-summer blooms. When I started at North Country garden, I was always busy early in the season, finally getting somewhat caught up by August, so I went to nurseries then to buy perennials. Getting ones in bloom, my garden was mainly late-season bloomers.  Therefore, I eventually started making a point to go shopping earlier in the season and to focus on flowers for earlier blooms. Check out local nurseries now to see what they have in bloom, or shop now online. Ideally, just make sure to get perennials in the ground by the end of September, preferably by mid-month, to make sure they have some time to be rooted before the ground gets cold enough to stop root growth.

On a recent visit to the King’s Garden (which has a stunning display, thanks to Rose, Garden Foreman, and her team), four flowers particularly stood out to me for their show or unique growth—two annuals and two perennials.

Salvia

Salvia ‘Lady in Red’ has been one of my favorites for some years (it was an All-American Selections winner in 1992), and this year lined the walk on either side as you entered the King’s Garden through the gate on the fort side from the maple allee. This red-flowered salvia reaches 2 feet or slightly taller, and has red flowers through the season. It is different from the common saliva most know (Salvia splendens), being a different species (Salvia coccinea)—the species name meaning “red.” It will grow with some blooms in part shade, but has best flowering in full sun. It can tolerate dry soils once established, and does not like wet soils.

The spikes, up to a foot long on ‘Lady in Red,’ of small red flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies—hence another common name of ‘Hummingbird Sage.’   Goldfinches and other small birds like the seeds.  There is a newer series of similar salvia—the ‘Summer Jewel’ series, but I find ‘Lady in Red’ is as good, or often better with more flowers, than ‘Summer Jewel Red’ (a 2011 All-America Selection). The species is native to sandy areas such as in coastal plains, through southern states west to Texas and Mexico. It is often called ‘Texas Sage.’

Nasturtium

A second annual flower that is found spilling out onto a walk in the King’s Garden, near the Pavilion, is nasturtium.  For many, including myself, this has been a great year for this vining or trailing flower. There are several cultivars (cultivated varieties) of this flower, some spreading (Tropaeolum majus) and vining and others more bushy (T. minus). This flower has been around for many years, and was a main flower used by the artist Claude Monet at his home in Giverny, France on each side of the main allee (giverny-impression.com/nasturtiums). They love to hang, so they are best seen growing on berms or raised pots and containers, such as window boxes. A great example of this can be seen each spring at the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston, where they start them almost a year prior at the April opening, where they hang up to 20 feet down from window boxes for a few weeks of blooms (www.gardnermuseum.org/experience/courtyard/nasturtiums).

Nasturtiums prefer full sun for best flowering, but will grow in part shade. They prefer soils that are cool and moist, but not soggy. They have round leaves an inch or more wide, held on long leaf stalks. The attractive flowers are on inch or more wide, with five flaring flower parts, and come in several colors. Flowers are popular as an edible plant part, especially to decorate salads, with a peppery flavor. They are high in vitamins A, C (10 times that of lettuce), and D.

Trailing cultivars you may find include the ‘Jewel of Africa’ mix with flowers in yellow, red, cream and pink. ‘Moonlight’ has pale yellow flowers, while ‘Apricot Twist’ has double flowers in apricot-orange, splashed with red.  Bushy, semi- to non-trailing cultivars include the popular ‘Empress of India’ with bright scarlet flower—a nice contrast to the blue-green leaves. ‘Peach Melba’ has cream flowers with a raspberry red center, ‘Strawberries and Cream’ has pale yellow flowers with splashes of red, while the ‘Whirlybird Mix’ has semi-double flowers in cream, salmon, gold, and cherry-rose.  Look through seed catalogs this winter to find many others, which can be easily started at home from seeds next April.

Waxy Bells

A couple of less common perennial flowers in the King’s Garden stand out during the end of summer each year. Inside the walled garden on the more shady, southeast side, you will find ‘Waxy Bells,’ or yellow wax bells (Kirengeshoma palmata), named for its yellow waxy bell-shaped flowers that are drooping in clusters.  The scientific name comes from the Japanese for yellow (ki), lotus blossom (renge), and hat (shoma). The species name refers to the palmate (palm-shaped) leaves, similar to a maple. ‘Waxy Bells’ is native to Japan, Korea and northeast China.

Plants get three to four feet high, and a bit less wide. They need part shade-to-shade, and moist soils.  Hardy to USDA zone 5 (-10 to -20 degrees minimum in winter on average), they have a nice protected setting within the King’s Garden wall, which also gets some temperature moderation from the lake nearby.

Cup Plant

The other perennial that many visitors notice and inquire about in late summer is the ‘Cup Plant’ (Silphium perfoliatum). This you will find growing outside of the walled garden, in the children’s garden in full sun. This native of eastern North America is generally six to eight feet high, and three feet or more wide. The yellow, daisy-like flowers mean it is in the composite or aster family like the sunflowers. Similar to these, they are attractive to butterflies and birds (for the seeds).  Flowers are held on top on long stalks in clusters, above the large leaves, which come together around the square (in cross section) stems to form a cup. These cups are the plant’s means of collecting rainwater. It grows best in moist to wet soils, but is quite adaptable. The stems, when cut, exude a gummy sap.  This gives rise to another common name of ‘Cup Rosinweed.’ If you have a prairie planting or one of native plants, or back of a border with plenty of room, consider this quite hardy, USDA zone 3 perennial (surviving to -30 degrees F in the winter).

Happy gardening and be sure to come visit our late season blossoms in the King’s Garden!

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Abigail May’s Visit to Ticonderoga in July 1800

Late last month, we hosted the Fifth Annual Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute. This year’s Institute titled “Last of the Mohicans: Early American History and Literature” used the novel The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper to explore themes related to the French siege and capture of Fort William Henry in August 1757.

While the majority of the week focused on the history of the 1757 French campaign against Fort William Henry, we spent the last day and a half of the Institute focusing on the early 19th-century history of Ticonderoga at the time Cooper wrote his classic novel. The Last of the Mohicans was published in 1826—the fiftieth anniversary of American independence. It was also the year William Ferris Pell built the Pavilion here on the Ticonderoga peninsula.

Over 75,000 visitors make the trek to Fort Ticonderoga each year from all fifty states and from numerous other countries. Visitors have been touring the Ticonderoga peninsula, soaking in the history and scenic beauty, since the end of the American Revolution. In fact, we often think of George Washington as the first tourist to visit Fort Ticonderoga. His visit came in July 1783. Future presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison also visited the Ticonderoga peninsula, traveling north from Philadelphia in the spring of 1791.

This needlework of the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga is dated 1801, the year following Abigail May’s visit to Fort Ticonderoga (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum. Photo by Gavin Ashworth)

During the first quarter of the 19th century, visiting Ticonderoga as a part of the “Northern Tour” was firmly established. One of the earliest records of a visit to Ticonderoga by someone on this “Northern Tour” comes from Abigail May, who visited in July 1800.

Abigail May was from Boston and 24 years old in the summer of 1800. She, along with her mother and a younger brother, traveled to Ballston Spa in May 1800 in search of a cure for an undisclosed malady in the natural springs there. In mid-July, another guest at the Aldridge House at Ballston Spa invited Abigail to accompany a number of other guests on a trip to Lake George. In the days before trains, steamboats, and even improved roads, the journey proved difficult and challenging.

“Ruins of Fort Ticonderoga, New York” based on a painting by Thomas Cole, 1831 (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

The caravan of travelers departed from Ballston Spa in a combination of two- and four-wheeled carriages, with at least two gentlemen traveling on horseback. After a quick stop in Saratoga Springs, the group continued to present-day Schuylerville, “2 miles from the spot where General Burgoyne surrender’d.” The overnight accommodations were in a “house that did not promise much… Our room communicated with the one occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Bowers—indeed the partition was so thin we could hear even a whisper…we three Girls had two beds in this room.”

The following day, the group crossed the Hudson by ferry and continued to Sandy Hill (modern day Hudson Falls). From there, they rode “through a wild interesting country, to Queensbury, on the banks of Lake George—the first view of this Lake is most noble—A long sweep of mountains, extending as far as the eye can reach embosoming this smooth tranquil piece of water….”

Overnight accommodations here “had very much the appearance of a gaol—we however had a good dinner of Bass and Perch.” The next morning seven members of the party traversed the length of Lake George in a boat with four oarsmen. After rowing fourteen miles, the party stopped “and had a fire kindled, fish caught, and cook’d, which with our cold provision gave us an excellent dinner.”

The boat arrived at Ticonderoga at the north end of Lake George at eight o’clock that evening “hungry, tired, sleepy and wet.” Following a night in a rustic inn where the entire party had to share one room, they boarded a “wagon to cross to Lake Champlain…. Our driver a smart shrewd young man satisfied our curiosity as to “what’s that” and “what’s this”—the old French war was described, and we were shown vestiges of that calamity, but how shall I convey any idea to you of the delight I experienced, when the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga, and Lake Champlain appear’d in view—never in my life did I see such a prospect—our waggoner stop’d—to the right and in front of us, lay the Lake smooth and tranquil—its banks romantically sloping to its verge—and in a much higher state of cultivation than the borders of Lake George—a distant range of blue almost indistinct mountains, in the back ground, on our left lay the ruins, much more magnificent  then I supposed existed in our new country, built of stone, and the stone alone remaining—wood, glass, all devour’d by the insatiable monster—but the chimnies are intire, the walls of the houses, and peaks of the roof—the windows and door frames—the ramparts, fortifications yet remain—but overgrown with nettles and weeds, such a scene of desolation I never beheld—we alighted, I paced over the stones awe struck—this, said our guide was the house of the commanding officer.”

“Carillon and the Ruins of Ticonderoga” c. 1840 (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

May commented “Our guide though he knew a great deal—but I wish’d he knew more, I wanted to know every particular, of a spot that interested my feelings so much—but could obtain very imperfect information.”

The party dined at the inn on the peninsula run by Mrs. Charles Hay, the mother of the party’s guide around the ruins of the fort. At four o’clock in the afternoon, the party returned by wagon to Lake George and again headed south. Abigail May arrived back at Ballston Spa two days later.

Thankfully, getting to Ticonderoga is not so arduous today. We look forward to seeing you at Ticonderoga in the near future!

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