Fort Ticonderoga is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $10,000 grant by Mars Chocolate North America, which will support the research and living history programming presented to visitors at Fort Ticonderoga in 2016. The grant funded project entitled 1777: A Bittersweet Year will focus on research, a new exhibition, and living history programs and highlight how chocolate was used by armies and the various cultures that held Ticonderoga during the year 1777. The grant funding will allow research into Fort Ticonderoga’s vast archival holdings which will uncover new information to help determine the specific quantities of chocolate and other provisions sent by American forces to Ticonderoga, that later fell into British and German hands. This research will be translated into living history programming and exhibition content, showing that chocolate was adopted by a wide range of peoples across the Atlantic world.
During the 2016 season, soldiers’ life camp cooking demonstrations will compare the rations, cookware, and cuisine of these diverse soldiers, examining how chocolate was used and possibly adapted as it passed through the hands of different armies and cultures that held Ticonderoga during the bittersweet year of 1777. Using chocolate as an important ingredient in the diet of soldiers, camp cooking programs provide the perfect venue for the real historical use of this complicated commodity. In addition, an engaging and visually rich new museum exhibition opening in May 2016 will highlight chocolate’s important place among the vast stockpile of ammunition and provisions housed in Ticonderoga. The exhibition will include the laundry list of provisions that were such a central element of the 1777 campaign, along with artifacts recovered on the site that directly relate to their consumption.
“We are extremely grateful to Mars Chocolate North America for this grant and their enthusiasm for this important project,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “Fort Ticonderoga is the only site in the world that tells a new story each year through dynamic historical interpretation, exhibitions, and educational programs. In 2016 we have the unparalleled opportunity to bring chocolate history to life with our focus on 1777. Supplied throughout that spring with extraordinary quantities of foodstuffs and armaments, American fortunes plummeted as the under-strength garrison at Ticonderoga lost their stockpiles, and nearly their necks, to the rapidly advancing British army. At the heart of the story is chocolate, which sustained the Americans that withdrew from Ticonderoga that July, and fortified the European troops that took their place in the great fortress complex.”
The 2015 Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant was awarded to three institutions across the US and Canada innovating in the areas of research and chocolate programming. Fort Ticonderoga was acknowledged at the 12th Annual banquet dinner of the Colonial Chocolate Society held at The National Archives, in Washington, DC. The Colonial Chocolate Society is a group whose mission is to further the study of chocolate’s rich history and its impact on past and present culture in the Americas.
“At Mars, we believe passionately in uncovering and sharing chocolate’s unique role in our heritage,” said Gail Broadright, Director of Mars Sponsorships. “This year’s grant winners are thought leaders in the areas of discovery and interpretation and we are excited to partner with them to bring more chocolate stories to life for their visitors.”
Fort Ticonderoga is a world renowned cultural destination, historic site, and museum that educates and inspires while creating jobs and generating revenue. The 2015 Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant funding will enable the Fort Ticonderoga Museum to bring a new and innovative facet of historical interpretation to its visitors, and thus strengthen its mission to ensure that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history.
About American Heritage® Chocolate:
In 2003, Mars Incorporated undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. A group from Mars led a multi-disciplinary team of more than 115 experts from around the globe who accessed over 200 archives, libraries, museums and private collections to reveal chocolate’s origin and history in the Americas. “CHOCOLATE: History, Culture, and Heritage,” has contributions from 45 authors, including researchers, culinary chefs, food scientists and historians from leading historic institutions, and was published in 2009 by Wiley. Out of this research project, the American Heritage Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by Mars Chocolate North America to help educate consumers about the history of our nation through the engaging story of one of our most beloved foods…chocolate! Fashioned off an ingredient list from 1750, American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic historic chocolate made from ingredients available in the 18th Century. The recipe represents a true taste of chocolate the way our ancestors would have enjoyed it. The product line celebrates chocolate’s important role in the lives of Americans during the 18th century. Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, American Heritage Chocolate comes in four unique formats: chocolate sticks, chocolate bites, chocolate baking/grating blocks, and finely grated chocolate drink mix. American Heritage Chocolate is sold exclusively at over 160 fine gift shops at historic sites, museums and historic inns across the USA and Canada. For a complete listing or to purchase online, please visit our website at www.americanheritagechocolate.com. Learn more about American Heritage Chocolate at Facebook.com/AmericanHeritageChocolate, on Twitter @Choc_History and NOW on Pinterest @ChocHistory.
About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.
About Fort Ticonderoga: America’s Fort TM
The Fort Ticonderoga Association is an independent not-for-profit educational organization which serves its mission to ensure that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices, and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history. It serves this mission by preserving and enhancing its historic structures, collections, gardens and landscapes; and educating the public as it learns about the history of Fort Ticonderoga. Welcoming visitors since 1909, it preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched 18th-century earthworks surviving in America. Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 72,000 visitors each year. Fort Ticonderoga 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 accredited by the American Association of Museums and pursues its vision to be the premier cultural destination in North America. Visit www.FortTiconderoga.org for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821. Fort Ticonderoga is located at 100 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga, New York.
America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.