Preserving Fort Ticonderoga for the Future

The Fort Ticonderoga Association preserves Fort Ticonderoga

In 1785 Fort Ticonderoga became the property of the State of New York. Ownership of the site was transferred jointly to Union and Columbia colleges in 1803. In 1820 the fort and its 546-acre garrison grounds were purchased by successful New York merchant William Ferris Pell who began the legacy of the Pell family’s preservation of the site. In 1909 the Pell family began the restoration of the fort and the creation of the museum.

The Association also preserves the Pavilion. This structure is located on the shore of Lake Champlain below the fort. Capitalizing on the fort and its historic landscape, William Ferris Pell built a lakeside summer residence, the Pavilion, five hundred yards below the fort's ruins on the site of the former garrison garden and developed extensive “pleasure grounds” which - with the fort - became principal attractions for this country’s first generation of “heritage tourists.” The Pavilion served as a summer residence for William Ferris Pell and his family.  By May of 1839 it was converted to use as a hotel, a function it served until 1900.

At the same time that Pell’s great-grandson, Stephen H.P. Pell, began the restoration of Fort Ticonderoga in 1909, his wife, Sarah G.T. Pell, undertook the restoration of the Pavilion and the King’s Garden. The King’s Garden, a walled formal garden, was restored by an uncommon pair of women pioneers: the wealthy suffragist and preservationist, Sarah Pell, working with the first academically-trained American woman to work as a landscape architect, Marian Cruger Coffin. Today their King’s Garden has been named “a masterwork American garden” by The Garden Conservancy.