Behind-the-Scenes in Collections! There & Back Again: The Ella Ferris Pell Collection

Anna Faherty, Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellow, reading one of Ella’s travel diaries from the 1870s.

This year has taken an in-depth focus on the women of Fort Ticonderoga. Costumed interpreters discuss women’s importance and their roles at Ticonderoga in the 18th century every day for our guests. Sarah Gibbs Thompson Pell, Museum co-founder and advocate for suffrage and equal rights, is highlighted in a new exhibit at the Mars Education Center (http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/museum-exhibit/Sarah-Pell), where several of her pieces from her collection are on display. This summer, the Museum’s Collections Department has also been working on a project that rediscovers a famous female from our past–Ella Ferris Pell.

Ella Ferris Pell was the niece of William Ferris Pell, who bought the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga in 1820. She was born on January 18, 1846 in St. Louis, Missouri, and trained as an artist with William Rimmer at Cooper Union School of Design for Women in New York City, graduating in 1870. After school, she traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East with her sister and brother-in-law, Evie A. and Charles H. Todd. She visited France, Austria, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, and many other countries between the years of 1872-1878.  In the 1880s, she studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts des Champs Elysées in Paris. She returned to New York from Paris in 1892 and was listed in various artist directories as a painter, sculptor, illustrator, and teacher throughout the 1890s and early 1900s. During this time, she created works for reproduction by lithographer and printer Louis Prang.  In 1897, she illustrated Through the Invisible, by Paul Tyner, a supernatural love story with Eastern philosophical influence, which included reincarnation as a primary theme. Pell was known to use similar themes of the spiritual and mystic and aspects of orientalism in her art. During her lifetime, she was respected as an artist and displayed many paintings in galleries in New York as well as in the salons of Europe. Ella Ferris Pell died in 1922 in Beacon, NY, and is buried in the nearby town of Fishkill, NY next to her sister Evie.

Anna and Collections Department team member, Tabitha Hubbard, helped preserve many of the paintings by re-framing and backing those that needed more support in order to be exhibited. Preserving exhibit pieces requires specific conditions such as light and humidity regulation, and providing acid-free supports for the backs of fragile artworks which might otherwise be warped from improper storage and hanging.

In the last few years, more interest in her works was generated by a 2000-2001 exhibit at the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, “Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: Orientalism in America 1870-1930.” The exhibit showcased Pell’s painting Interior of the Sybil, that depicts the inside of a stateroom on the Dahabeah Sybil, the boat which Ella rode during her journey down the Nile in 1874.  This painting is part of Fort Ticonderoga’s Museum Collection, and can be viewed in our Thompson-Pell Research Center as a part of There and Back Again: The Ella Ferris Pell Collection, an open storage exhibit featuring 43 pieces of Ella’s works.

The exhibit was created by Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellow Anna Faherty. In addition to the exhibit, Faherty also cataloged and created a finding aid for Ella’s archival collection. The collection includes Ella’s travel diaries from her trip to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East between 1872-1878. The diaries refer to many paintings and sketches made by Ella and her sister Evie while abroad, and reference specific events, which influenced their art and lives. The object collection includes about 60 paintings, 43 of which are included in the exhibit. The paintings depict various scenes of Ella Pell’s life, both abroad and here, in upstate New York, between the 1870s and 1920s. Anna is studying a dual Master’s degree in History and Archives Management at Simmons College in Boston, MA. “The Edward W. Pell Fellowship has been a great opportunity for me to expand my resume as an archivist, to handle object collections, and to create my first exhibit.” says Anna. “I have spent lots of time with Ella’s collection, and am glad that everyone will now have the chance to appreciate her work as I do!”

Researchers using the Thompson Pell Research Center may make an appointment with Curator, Matthew Keagle, to examine the archival collection or to see the exhibit. For more information about appointments, check out: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/history-and-collections/research.

If you are interested in learning more about the Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowship, please visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/university-partnerships/graduate-fellowships

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Fort Ticonderoga Awards Peter S. Paine, Jr. the Marquis de Montcalm Award for His Monumental Leadership

Fort Ticonderoga recently awarded Peter S. Paine, Jr. the Marquis de Montcalm Award. The award is Fort Ticonderoga’s highest honor and was given in recognition of Paine’s years of leadership and monumental service to the museum.  The award was presented at Fort Ticonderoga’s Annual Summer Gala held at Fort Ticonderoga on August 12th. Paine was presented the award and given a reproduction of a Chevalier of the Order of Saint Louis, a prestigious French medal given to the Marquis de Montcalm in 1757.

“Peter is a force of nature. He exudes competence and inspires confidence in others,” said the Fort Ticonderoga Association Board Chairman, Sanford W. Morhouse.  “Peter took the helm during Fort Ticonderoga’s darkest hour in 2008. Under his leadership, he put the organization’s finances in order, preserved the museum’s priceless collections, completed the construction of the Mars Education Center, brought order to governance, attracted new and talented Board members, and hired Beth Hill, the President and CEO.”

Paine, a lifelong resident of Willsboro and New York, was elected as a Member of the Fort Ticonderoga Association (later named National Council) in 1990. He served several terms on the Board of Trustees, was elected Chairman of the Board in 2008 and served in that role until January 1, 2013. Since that time, Paine has served as a Trustee Emeritus.

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

Photo: Featured left to right: Beth L. Hill, President & CEO of Fort Ticonderoga; Sanford Morhouse, Fort Ticonderoga Association Board Chairman; Peter S. Paine, Jr., Fort Ticonderoga Trustee Emeritus and award recipient, and Anthony Pell, Fort Ticonderoga Trustee Emeritus. Photo credit: Fort Ticonderoga.

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Fort Ticonderoga Presents Brown’s Raid 1777 Battle Re-enactment September 9-10, 2017

Join Fort Ticonderoga for an exciting two-day battle re-enactment highlighting the epic 1777 Brown’s Raid! 240 years later, follow this real-life action adventure, as patriot Colonel John Brown will lead a surprise attack against British troops garrisoning Fort Ticonderoga on Saturday and Sunday, September 9-10, from 9:30am- 5pm.

Highlighted programming throughout the weekend brings to life the American raid on Ticonderoga in their attempt to recapture this strategic fortification. Explore the Royal Navy’s role in the attack and experience the battle from a completely new angle on Lake Champlain aboard tour boat, Carillon. Meet the larger-than-life characters that undertook this daring raid during special programs in the British-held fort and the American camps. Atop Mount Defiance, meet the guard of Rangers who had attacked British-held Fort Ticonderoga with their own cannon. Follow the American raid on Ticonderoga as it unfolds across the landscape and explore the mechanics and weapons of this daring attack through living history demonstrations.

This major battle re-enactment and living history weekend will recreate what has become known as Brown’s Raid. Fort Ticonderoga will bring to life the little-known 1777 action adventure story pulled straight from the pages of Fort Ticonderoga’s history. During the dramatic event, Fort Ticonderoga’s guests will witness first-hand the high stakes mission undertaken by Colonel John Brown and his patriot militia. The Brown’s Raid battle re-enactment will take place each day at 1:30 pm when the raiders will rush forward against the British held lines, overlooking Fort Ticonderoga.

“Brown’s Raid will be an epic weekend of immersive programming and demonstrations. Military activities demonstrations of artillery firing; inspection of troops; and musket drill and firing,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “Fort Ticonderoga guests can experience the event on the water aboard the tour boat, Carillon, or step into the moment in 1777 in the American camp and British fort to be an eyewitness to the command discussions and decisions during this must-experience weekend event.”

Admission to Brown’s Raid is included in a Fort Ticonderoga general admission ticket.

For the full event schedule and to learn more about the event.

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

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga presents Brown’s Raid: 1777 Battle Re-enactment on September 9-10, 2017.  Photo credit Drifting Focus. Copyright Fort Ticonderoga.

Posted in Boat Tours, Collections, Education, Exhibits, Family Fun in the Adirondacks, Family programs, Horticulture, King's Garden, Landscape, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, Museums, Programs, Public Programs, Special Events, Tourist Destination, Waterway Tours | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fort Ticonderoga Presents Brown’s Raid 1777 Battle Re-enactment September 9-10, 2017

Homeschool Day at Fort Ticonderoga: September 8, 2017

 

Fort Ticonderoga will host Homeschool Day for homeschool students and their parents on Friday, September 8, 2017 from 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Homeschool families 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. Other special opportunities will also be available during the “To Act as One United Body” program and aboard the Carillon tour boat.

Special this year, Homeschool Day will feature the story of 1757 as participants step into Fort Carillon (later named Ticonderoga) bustling with activity with French soldiers and cannon preparing to take the fight for New France all the way up Lake George to British-held territory. Practice first hand in the artillery laboratory. Learn the epic history of Fort Carillon during guided tours. Embark on a 90-minute narrated boat cruise aboard the Carillon for an in-depth waterway perspective at 10:30a.m.

Programs for homeschool groups take place in the historic trades shops at 10:40a.m., 12:40p.m., and 2:30p.m. A program at 12:00p.m. illustrates the process of feeding the troops as the mid-day meal is prepared. Students in grades 6-12 can learn about how to be a part of the National History Day program at 1:30p.m.

For a unique and immersive experience, practice drills and formations of American soldiers at Ticonderoga during the Revolutionary War and observe a musket demonstration during the “To Act as One United Body” program, which begins at 12:30p.m.

Other highlighted activities feature the Battlayers of horticulture during programs in the King’s Garden. Become inspired with the surrounding beauty and participate in the activity “Watercolors in the Garden” from 11:00a.m.-1:00p.m. Find your way through towering stalks of corn in the new 2017 Heroic Corn Maze design.

To view the schedule, visit www.fortticonderoga.org and select Students under the Education tab. To register your homeschool students to participate, contact Fort Ticonderoga’s School and Youth Programs Coordinator at bmccormick@fort-ticonderoga.org or (518) 585-6370. The cost is $6 per student, one free parent per family. Additional adults pay the group rate of $14.

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

Photo:  Families from last year’s Homeschool Day participating in the “To Act as One United Body” program. This year’s Homeschool Day takes place on Friday, September 8, 2017. Pre-registration is required by contacting Fort Ticonderoga’s School and Youth Programs Coordinator at bmccormick@fort-ticonderoga.org or (518) 585-6370.

Posted in Boat Tours, Collections, Education, Exhibits, Family Fun in the Adirondacks, Family programs, Homeschool, Horticulture, King's Garden, Landscape, Life Long Learning, Living History & Material Culture, Museums, Natural History, Programs, Public Programs, Students, Waterway Tours | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Homeschool Day at Fort Ticonderoga: September 8, 2017

3 Tips for Better Conversations with Visitors

After all the work that goes into a great living history portrayal–long nights of sewing, hours of driving to be at an incredible historic site–meaningful conversations with visitors make it all worthwhile. You have said, “Hello,” and you have sparked their interest. Here are three ways to make this conversation count.

Be Present

Enjoy the simplicity of great period moments. Don’t over-analyze these moments as you explain the neat things you are doing.

Whether cooking mess, cleaning a musket, or merely resewing a button on your shirt, so often these activities have drawn a visitor or a crowd. In explaining what you are doing, you do not have to be a historic person or a character. It is 2017; you have a smartphone and you know where the bathroom is. It is totally OK to be a completely modern person who happens to be dressed up in period clothing and is doing something from the period. Often visitors assume you are going to portray a character. Politely breaking this assumption may allow for a more engaging conversation, freeing you to discuss current surroundings and layers of history between the time you are portraying and the current moment. Conversely, you do not have to overanalyze your modernity. It is complicated and unnecessary to introduce yourself as a modern person portraying…X…Y, or…whatever you might be. Instead, just be present, in the moment of what you are doing. We all strive for those neat period moments in living history, and this can extend to conversations with visitors too. If you are slicing up beef to go into the camp kettle, that is what you’re doing right now in 2017 and what you would have been doing back at the time of your portrayal. Enjoy the elegant simplicity of these period moments and explain them in the present tense so that you can better capture what is the magic of living history.

Avoid Jargon

Carefully defining period terms is important to convey the period perspectives of people who might be very different from visitors.

In portraying a different period or people, new words from their vocabulary are inevitable. Historians and linguists alike study peoples’ vocabularies, dissecting the meanings of words to gain incredible insights into their perceptions of their world. Period words can be powerful bridges to the past, but quite often, they are foreign to visitors. It is easy to start throwing around terminology while visitors begin to smile, nod, and begin slowly backing away. Likewise, it is easy to start using shortcuts, well-worn phrases that seem insightful, but really leave visitors in the dark. Phrases like, “linear warfare,” or “rank & file system,” sound okay, but lack the much deeper understanding of the period.  Carefully using and defining period words is both essential and a great opportunity. This requires a real period understanding of an object or concept. Explain this period understanding, comparing and contrasting this with modern ideas of the same. These discussions, bridging peoples and ideas of the past with modern visitors, is the fundamental goal of living history interpretation and is a powerful goal in its own right.

Listening is just as important as talking to visitors. A conversation with visitors should have two sides.

It is Not About You

Well…sometimes it is. You are dressed in period clothes; people will want to know why. In as much as you are comfortable, feel free to briefly explain why you do what you do in living history. However, every conversation has at least two sides to it and the visitor is two-thirds of any good conversation. Just as spatially, you have to leave room for visitors, leave room in the conversation for visitors as well. Right, wrong, or in-between, visitors need the space to explain their understandings of the history you are portraying. Even if they are completely off the mark, respectfully listen. They have made the effort to come to your museum or event, so make the time to hear them out before responding to their thoughts. Often as you are speaking or immediately after, visitors—especially young visitors–will want to explain their understanding of what you describe. Visitors’ work to understand and articulate period concepts is good and healthy, and can be encouraged through questions too. You do not need to have all the answers, nor should you.  Reading visitors to best engage them in conversation with explanations, questions, and active listening is challenging and a skill that takes years to learn. Ultimately, this skill is vital. Talking about history is not about you, it is about the visitor and fostering their interest and understanding.

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Fourteenth Annual Fort Ticonderoga Seminar on the American Revolution: September 22-24, 2017

Fort Ticonderoga presents the Fourteenth Annual Seminar on the American Revolution September 22-24, 2017. This weekend seminar focuses on the military, political, and social history of the American War for Independence. The Seminar takes place in the Mars Education Center and is open to the public; pre-registration is required.

Beginning in 2004, the Seminar on the American Revolution has become a noted national venue for presenters, featuring a mix of new and established scholars highlighting a variety of topics on the war for American Independence. This year’s speakers include:

  • Michael Alkey, a retired director of the New York State Military Museum, “Ballston Raid of 1780: Military Operation and/or Time to Settle Old Scores.”
  • Todd Braisted, an Honorary Vice President of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada, “Grand Forage 1778.”
  • Don N. Hagist, editor of Journal of the American Revolution, “Sparing the Lash: A Quantitative Study of Corporal Punishment and Its Effect on British Soldiers’ Careers.”
  • Ricardo A. Herrera, associate professor of military history at the School of Advanced Military Studies, US Army Command and General Staff College, “Feeding Valley Forge.”
  • William P. Tatum III, Dutchess County (NY) Historian, “An Example or two of death is necessary: The British Military Justice Process during the American Revolution.”
  • Richard Tomczak, a PhD candidate at Stony Brook University, “To be ordered upon corvees: French Canadian Laborers in the American Revolution, 1774-1778.”
  • Joseph W. Zarzynski, maritime archeologist with the Rhode Island Marien Archeology Project, “Behold the Cerberus the Atlantic plough—The History and Archeology of the HMS Cerberus.”
  • Matthew Zembo, an associate professor of history and military history at Hudson Valley Community College, “The Battle of Fort Anne: In Consequence of this Action Fort Anne was Burnt and Abandoned.”

The Seminar features a presentation by Fort Ticonderoga’s Vice President of Public History and Operations, Stuart Lilie. Lilie is a nationally recognized leader in public history and material culture. His presentation “Those Marked O are Old-Men of the 26th Foot at Ticonderoga” examines the 26th Foot’s service in America and how this regiment formed a guard for Ticonderoga. He explores Captain William Delaplace’s guard and its place in the community on Lake Champlain in the months prior to the outbreak of the Revolution.

Also featured during the Seminar is Matthew Keagle, Curator of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum. Keagle is a leading authority on 18th-century military history and material culture and has presented his research throughout the Atlantic World. His presentation “More than Red and White: Franco-British Reform and Military Dress in the late Ancien Regime” will explore the permeability of Franco-British relations and the international character of military dress by the period of the American Revolution.

If you register before August 15th, registration will be $110 for Fort Ticonderoga Members and $130 for the general public. Registration for the Seminar after August 15th is $155 per person, $135 for Fort Ticonderoga Members. Registration forms can be downloaded from Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fort-ticonderoga.org under the “Education” tab by selecting “Workshops and Seminars” on the drop down menu. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting the Fort at 518-585-2821.

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

Photo: Detail, A View of the Old French Fort, Redoubts, and Batteries at Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain, Henry Rudyard, 1777. (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, photo Gavin Ashworth).

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New Perspectives on the Last Argument of Kings: A Ticonderoga Seminar on 18th-Century Artillery, August 5-6, 2017

Fort Ticonderoga presents “New Perspectives on the Last Argument of Kings: A Ticonderoga Seminar on 18th-Century Artillery,” August 5-6, 2017, in the Mars Education Center. This special weekend symposium features visiting scholars and members of the Ticonderoga Curatorial and Interpretation Departments exploring the various aspects of 18th-century artillery in the Atlantic World.

This special symposium complements the award winning exhibit “The Last Argument of Kings: The Art and Science of 18th-Century Artillery” which runs through October 29 in the Mars Education Center Gallery. Both the Symposium and exhibition were funded in part by a prestigious federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Featured presenters from the Fort Ticonderoga Curatorial and Interpretation Departments include: Stuart Lilie, Vice President of Public History and Operations, with “Artillery at This Post—Three Case Studies of Artillery at Ticonderoga,” Matthew Keagle, Fort Ticonderoga’s Museum Curator, with “Lost in Boston: The Artillery of Carillon/Ticonderoga” and “Pell’s Citadel: The Ticonderoga Artillery Collection,” and Nicholas Spadone, Assistant Director of Interpretation, with “Green Wood and Wet Paint: American Traveling Carriages at Ticonderoga.”

Other presenters include:

  • Christopher Bryant, an independent researcher and dealer of historical portraits and artifacts, “Ultima Ratio Regum- A Pair of Vallere 4-Pounders at Yorktown and Beyond.”
  • Richard Colton, a retired Historian at Springfield Armory National Historic Site, “The American Foundry-Springfield Arsenal, Massachusetts, 1782-1800: Assuring Independence.”
  • Andrew De Lisle, a wheelwright and carriage-maker, “If you are satisfied with the methods the workers have found… then so am I: Reproduction as a method of understanding Eighteenth-century Artillery.”
  • Eric Schnitzer, Park Ranger/Historian at Saratoga National Park, “Pack Horses, Grasshoppers, and Butterflies reconsidered: British light 3-pounders of the 1770s.”
  • Robert A. Selig, an independent historian and consultant, “The Politics of Arming America or: Why are there still more than 50 Vallere 4-pound cannon in the United States but only 3 in all of Europe?”
  • Christopher Waters, an archeologist and a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Syracuse University, “When the King’s Last Argument is but a whimper: Artillery Deployment in Antigua’s Colonial Fortifications.”

Registration for the Seminar is $155 per person, $135 for Fort Ticonderoga Members. Registration forms can be downloaded from the fort’s website at www.fort-ticonderoga.org under the “Education” tab by selecting “Workshops and Seminars” on the drop down menu. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting the Fort at 518-585-2821.

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

Photo: New Perspectives on the Last Argument of Kings: A Ticonderoga Seminar on the 18th-Century Artillery will take place August 5-6, 2017 in the Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga.

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fort ticonderoga’s heroic corn maze adventure opens august 12 with a new 2017 design!

Photo Credit: Carl Heilman II

What activity combines solving puzzles and testing your knowledge of history with fresh air, sunshine, and over two miles of winding trails? Fort Ticonderoga’s Heroic Maze: A Corm Maze Adventure! Beginning August 12, bring the family along to test your navigational skills among towering stalks of corn in Fort Ticonderoga’s six-acre corn maze located near the King’s Garden. The Heroic Maze is included in the Fort Ticonderoga’s general admission price and will be open daily August 12 – August 28 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (last entry at 4:30 pm). The maze will be open on weekends only, starting September 1 through October 15. It is also open Labor Day (September 4) and Columbus Day (October 9). Call 518-585-2821 to ask about group rates and availability, or visit www.fortticonderoga.org for corn maze details.

 

The maze, with a new 2017 design featuring the shape of Fort Ticonderoga and the year 1757, is divided into two phases, giving guests the chance to gain confidence in the smaller maze before tackling the main maze. The average journey will take from twenty minutes for the first phase and up to an hour for the second phase. Hidden in the maze are eight stations, each representing a component of an 18th –century fort. Players are given a Quest Card to collect a stamp from each section. It takes perseverance and skill to find all of the objects. The Heroic Maze is great fun for all ages!

Back by Popular Demand:

Fort Ticonderoga’s youngest guests will have a chance to explore the Heroic Maze in the Kiddie Maze, a short maze designed for our youngest visitors, giving a fun introduction to corn mazes! This maze has twists and turns, but no dead ends. With adult supervision, this maze is recommended for children up to age four.

Experience the Maze at night! Maze by Moonlight:

Explore the 6-acre corn maze using your flashlight as a guide and under the light of the full moon! The mysteries of the night surround you as you search for hidden stations in the maze to complete our “Engineer a Fort” Maze Quest! The Maze by Moonlight event takes place on Friday October 27-Saturday October 28, 2017. The cost is $10 per person; tickets are available at the door. Admissions booth/maze opens at 7:00 pm; last ticket sold at 9:00 pm, the maze closes at 10 pm.

Group Visitors:

School field trips and other group tours will have the fun opportunity to learn about Fort Ticonderoga’s dramatic story, while building teamwork skills as part of this interactive, interdisciplinary quest! In September and October, the Heroic Corn Maze will be open for group visits on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Group tours require advanced registration and can be done by calling (518) 585-1023 or emailing rwiktorko@fort-ticonderoga.org.

Fort Ticonderoga developed the Heroic Maze with a professional maze design company from Utah that used computer software to translate intricate designs onto the landscape, creating a fun and exciting quest.

The agricultural history at Fort Ticonderoga dates to 1756, when the French built the Garrison Gardens below the walls of the Fort. The agricultural story continues today with nearly 40% of Fort Ticonderoga’s landscape in agricultural use. In addition, a strong horticulture program brings the use of landscape to life in the formal Colonial Revival Garden, working Garrison Garden, and other Discovery Gardens.

The Heroic Maze: A Corn Maze Adventure! is funded in part by generous support from McDonalds of Ticonderoga.

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

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s Heroic Maze: A Corn Maze Adventure! opens on August 12, 2017 with a NEW design! Photo Credit: Fort Ticonderoga.

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Summer family fun at fort Ticonderoga July-August: featuring a new line-up of programs!

Bring the whole family to experience Fort Ticonderoga on land and water this summer! Throughout July and August, Fort Ticonderoga offers a new line-up of fun, active, and hands-on programs that will be sure to excite and delight the whole family! Take a guided tour and explore the beautiful and historic grounds of Fort Ticonderoga, become a Gunner’s Apprentice and help soldiers with their daily duties, climb aboard the tour boat, Carillon, to experience the history on the waters of Lake Champlain, join a Cannon Crew and practice the steps to successfully load and fire a cannon, journey down to the King’s Garden, roll up your sleeves, and join the garden program to learn about the different types of produce used at the fort.

Specially designed tours just for families are offered at 10:40 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. to get an overview of the variety of exciting things to do during a visit. Fort Ticonderoga is filled with adventure as you step back into 1757, a time at which the French held the fort when it was called “Carillon.”

Become a Gunner’s Apprentice by helping the soldiers and civilians stationed at Fort Carillon as they go about their daily activities. Stop by the camp kitchen to discover what each meal consisted of and why. Visit the shoemakers on the first floor of the Officer’s Barracks to learn what goes into keeping an army marching in good footwear. Adventure upstairs to the Tailor Shop and feel the different types of fabrics used in their clothing and try on different French uniforms! Journey down to the carpentry yard and help the soldiers on fatigue duty as they construct gabions and fascines to support these fortifications.

Climb aboard the Carillon, a 1920s replica tour boat, and learn about the most archaeologically rich waters in North America. The 90-minute narrated tour available daily Tuesday through Sunday brings Ticonderoga’s epic story to life surrounded by the beauty of Lake Champlain and the mountains of Vermont. Pack a lunch or order lunch to-go from America’s Fort Café, relax, and enjoy the ride!

Join a Cannon Crew at 3:30 p.m. and practice the steps needed to successfully load and fire cannons at Fort Ticonderoga. During this kid-friendly program, understand how every small detail is part of the teamwork of a successful shot. (Cannons will not be fired during this program).

Roll up your sleeves and adventure down to the King’s Garden, help soldiers with weeding, and learn what kind of vegetables were grown and used for meals in 1757. Talk with the soldiers about their rations and the challenges of feeding an army of 8,000 people.

In addition to these activities, pass through the Log House Welcome Center, pick up a trail guide at the Guest Service Desk, and take a family hike on the Carillon Battlefield to explore where empires clashed to decide the destiny of North America. Rent canoes, make use of our Waterway Trail Guide (also located at the Guest Service Desk), and travel the shoreline of Lake Champlain and the mouth of the La Chute River nearby In August, take the time to adventure through the Heroic Corn Maze to look for history clues among towering stalks of corn connected to our epic story. With the yearly-changing design, the corn maze makes for a perfect annual family adventure! The Maze is open August 12 -28 from 10 am – 5 pm daily (Last entry 4:30), September 1 – October 28, 2017 10 am – 5 pm (Last entry 4:30 pm) Saturdays & Sundays only and Thursdays & Fridays for group reservations only. It is also open Labor Day (Monday, September 4, 2017) and Columbus Day (Monday, October 9, 2017).

These interactive activities will inspire creativity and make history come alive! Fort Ticonderoga also hosts living history events, re-enactments, and other family fun events such as the Heritage, Harvest, and Horse Festival on September 30, 2017. For more information on family visits and activities, call (518) 585-2821 or visit www.fortticonderoga.org.

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

Photo: Photo Credit: Fort Ticonderoga. Family Programs resume July through August.

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CELEBRATE AMERICA WITH PATRIOTIC MUSIC AT FORT TICONDEROGA’S FIFE & DRUM CORPS MUSTER JULY 29TH

Experience martial music at its best at Fort Ticonderoga on July 29 during the Fife and Drum Corps Muster! From the American Revolution, to modern commemoration, learn about the practical purpose of fifes and drums. Enjoy the stirring rhythms and tunes of these classic marches and camp songs throughout the day. A special evening Twilight Fife & Drum Corps Concert will be presented at 7:00 p.m. on the fort parade ground.

“The Fife and Drum Corps Muster highlights the role Fife and Drum music has played in the commemoration of American history. The Fife and Drum Corps gained increased popularity during the American bicentennial celebrations,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “In 18th-century military life, fifes and drums served as one of the primary modes of battlefield communication and camp regulation.”

Fort Ticonderoga formed its first Fife and Drum Corps in 1926, on the eve of the 150th anniversary celebration of American Independence. The Corps performed at Fort Ticonderoga each summer until the beginning of World War II. When the World’s Fair came to New York City in 1939, the Fife and Drum Corps was a featured performance on May 10th, Fort Ticonderoga Day, celebrating the 164th anniversary of the capture of the Fort by Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, and the Green Mountain Boys.

In 1973, in preparation for the bicentennial, Fort Ticonderoga revived the Fife and Drum Corps to perform daily during the museum campus’ summer season. The Fife and Drum Corps has performed every year since, and has been a featured performance at many major public events, including the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games, the Christening of the US Navy Guided Missile Cruiser USS Ticonderoga CG-47, and several Evacuation Day parades in Boston, Massachusetts.

Today the Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps is comprised of Ticonderoga area High School students who are paid employees of Fort Ticonderoga, an independent, not-for-profit educational organization and museum. The Fife and Drum Corps is part of Fort Ticonderoga’s Interpretive Department whose focus brings to life Fort Ticonderoga’s history through daily interpretive programs, historic trades, special events, and museum educational outreach.

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

Photo: Photo Credit: Fort Ticonderoga. Join Fort Ticonderoga July 29, 2017 for the Fife and Drum Corps Muster. A special evening Twilight Fife and Drum Corps Concert will be presented at 7:00 p.m. on the fort parade ground. 

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