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Fit for a Feast

Siding boards in the Pavilion dining room. This image shows one of these siding boards in the dining room with an adult’s hand for scale, showing the size of these 19th-century boards.

An intimate setting for family and friends, the dining room in the Pavilion took shape during the building’s tenure as a hotel. When Stephen and Sarah Pell chose to restore the Pavilion as their summer residence in 1909, they chose to retain the dining room even while they reversed many of the other changes made to the structure since William Ferris Pell’s death in 1840. Sarah Pell also made it her mission to return as many of the objects that originally decorated the Pavilion to pride of place, including furniture and family portraits. The room saw a few different shifts in trends of interior design, and reflected the work of renowned interior designer Sister Parish for the last two decades of its use but certain objects remained constant, especially the portrait of William Ferris Pell on the western wall hanging over the sideboard he used during his time in the Pavilion.

However, the artwork is not the only important thing about the walls. In the current stage of restoration and adaptive reuse of the Pavilion, the team stripped back layers of paint, plaster, and lath to expose the studs and siding boards beneath. Unlike many modern homes with sheetrock mounted to a framework of two-by-four’s, walls in the Pavilion were constructed with boards of Eastern hemlock and White pine, many measuring over eighteen inches wide.

Stay tuned here and on Fort Ticonderoga’s Facebook page for updates on the restoration of the Pavilion, new discoveries, and more from Fort Ticonderoga every week.