The French fort at Ticonderoga was well situated to defend against a British attack from the south or west. But during the Revolution, the anticipated British attack was from the north – and the “old French fort” was ill-suited for that defensive duty. The American command decided to fortify a high peninsula directly opposite on the Vermont shore. Aided by military engineer Jeduthan Baldwin, they constructed in 1776 a series of fortifications and support structures linked to Fort Ticonderoga by a floating bridge. Work was well underway when momentous news arrived from Philadelphia: “These United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and independent States.” The news had taken a little more than two weeks. The jubilant troops renamed the new fort “Fort Independence.” The next year, when British guns on Mount Defiance rendered Mount Independence indefensible as well, the Americans abandoned both the post and enormous quantities of supplies. German troops then occupied Mount Independence. In 1910, the Pell family acquired the north end of the Mount and began its preservation. Fort Ticonderoga has cared for the Mount since the early 1950s.
Mount Independence Today
The Fort Ticonderoga Association and the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation have joint stewardship of the Mount. The Mount is open to the public and has an extensive system of walking trails and interpretive signage.