See original documents in an exclusive display from the moments after independence was declared, and how citizens of the newly formed nation responded to these formative events.
Fort Ticonderoga will celebrate Independence Day with special events and programming during an extended holiday weekend, July 4-7, 2019. Experience the American Revolution on the very ground on which the fight for liberty occurred, with museum staff and costumed interpreters recreating and exploring the events of the year 1777. Guests will follow the footsteps of the Continental Army and see first-hand the struggle for freedom.
On display during this extended Independence weekend only, see two original documents from the summer of 1776 that provide a glimpse into perhaps the most important event in American history. The Declaration of Independence stands as one of history’s most significant documents, establishing the United States of America and providing a model for nations across the world to follow.
But how did the American soldiers stationed at the distant camp at Ticonderoga receive news that independence had been declared? See how John Trumbull, the son of the Governor of Connecticut and John Lacey, a Quaker Captain from Pennsylvania responded to news of independence. Their writings will be on display together for the first time to reveal the struggle the American military faced, not only in declaring independence, but winning it.
“We are so excited to display a rare piece of American history for Independence Day which allows our visitors an even more enriching experience and understanding of the nation’s military heritage,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga president and CEO. “The Independence Day celebration at Fort Ticonderoga promises to be an unforgettable experience from the waters of Lake Champlain, the summit of Mount Defiance, and of course inside Fort Ticonderoga, site of America’s first Revolutionary War victory.”
Advance reservations are required for the following two special events and are available for purchase at www.fortticonderoga.org. These programs will sell out:
Special Event: Ticonderoga Guns by Night, July 4 Only!
Gates open at 7:30pm Tour begins at 8:00pm at the Log House Welcome Center.
Experience the flash of musketry and roar of cannon fire by night in this unique 90-minute tour and demonstration of 18th-century guns, big and small! Explore the workings of the firelocks and cannons that armed the many garrisons of Fort Ticonderoga and influenced and shaped the importance of this strategic citadel. Learn how these great guns were used to attack and defend Fort Ticonderoga during the French & Indian War and made it such an important prize in the American Revolution. The tour concludes with a dramatic nighttime demonstration of weapons that you will not see anywhere else!
Special Event: Carillon Boat Cruises
Get a front row seat for the siege of Ticonderoga during this week-long Independence Day celebration! Between floating bridges, flotillas of bateaux, and a whole British naval fleet, the fight for Ticonderoga played out on Lake Champlain and across the hills that surround it. Don’t miss this unparalleled chance to get a new perspective on the fight for independence on one of the most historic waterways in America.
Daily activities during Independence Day extended week included with admission.
Search for Liberty: A Family Adventure!
This fun hands-on activity tasks the whole family with finding the tools and materials that equipped Continental Soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga. Whether helping tend the garden greens that kept soldiers well or examining the shoe leather that protected soldier’s feet on a long march, young and old can explore the details of daily life for soldiers together. Continental Dollars and the Quartermaster’s stamp await those who complete these vital tasks to secure liberty.
Key to the Continent Tours
Could Ticonderoga have been held by the Continental Army in 1777? Was its loss a disaster or a prudent retreat? Create your own answers to questions that have enthralled officers and armchair generals alike for 242 years. Explore how two decades of military occupation culminated with rich cultures and characters at Ticonderoga in 1777.
American soldiers, behind a wall of earth, steeled their nerves to hold their ground as the British Army landed to attack in 1777. See how an army of farmers and tradesmen used their muskets & bayonets to hold back British & German soldiers.
Follow the Fifes & Drums of Fort Ticonderoga down to the King’s Garden. Enjoy your favorite 18th-century tunes and marches with this group as your musical guide.
Guided Tours of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum
Exhibitions staff will lead you on a guided tour of this remarkable museum’s highlights. Begun more than a century ago, the Fort Ticonderoga museum has North America’s largest and most important collection of 18th-century military material and cultural objects. Get the scoop on the most significant, rare, and interesting pieces in the collection.
Breaking Ground: A Tour of the Historic Gardens
From military garrison gardens to a secluded colonial revival commemorative spectacle of color and light, explore one of the oldest cultivated landscapes in America. Discover the layers of horticultural history of the Ticonderoga peninsula.
Fife and Drum Concerts
From the earliest patriotic songs which inspired a nation, to the everyday duties and marches that regulated army life, listen to the fifes and drums of the American defenders of Ticonderoga. See the massed fifers and drummers of the many regiments who were charged with holding the British Army at bay.
“A Return of Arms”
As the British Army’s siege tightened around American-held Ticonderoga, brand new muskets delivered to the Americans fresh from France were too valuable to leave crated up inside the fort. See these vital arms from a secret ally exchanged for the worn-out arms brought by American soldiers to Ticonderoga.
Watch a cannon and its crew in their element, holding the British Army back with shot, fired from the earthen walls of a redoubt. Explore how the science of gunnery and field fortification were applied in the defense of Ticonderoga in July, 1777.
Mount Defiance: Witness to History Tours
Oh, the stories this graceful hill overlooking Fort Ticonderoga could tell! As Fort Ticonderoga relives 1777, discover the unique tactical role of Mount Defiance in the story of this decisive campaign fought for our independence.
About Fort Ticonderoga
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 a multi-day destination and 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.