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Gathering Around the Table

old menuFrom the clambake in 1908 that led to the first restoration of the Pavilion and founding of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum to weddings in the King’s Garden, many memories of the Pavilion revolve around food.

We plan to continue this tradition into the future by incorporating a large catering kitchen into the adaptive reuse and restoration of the building, prompting a search through the archive to locate menus and recipes that tell us about the foods and drinks enjoyed at the Pavilion over the past two hundred years.

Searching through the historic inventories of the Pavilion has yielded references to objects used for serving food and entertaining guests, services for tea and coffee, punch bowls, plates, glassware, and silverware abound. However, only the wall to wall inventory conducted in 1994 mention cookbooks and handwritten recipes found on shelves in the kitchen that were packed up and moved into storage with the rest of the Pavilion Collection. These cookbooks include handwritten annotations and recipes flagged with scraps of paper or turned down corners. Some of the most popular are the types of dishes perfectly suited for afternoon tea on hot summer days like chilled soups, deviled eggs, tea sandwiches, and the classic fruit suspended in jello.


The Pavilion is perfectly suited for afternoon tea. Whether taken in the King’s Garden among beautiful flowers or in the gazebo closer to the shore of Lake Champlain to take full advantage of the breeze, afternoon tea is an enduring tradition at the Pavilion.

In addition to visiting family and friends, museum co-founder Sarah Pell served tea to President Taft in 1909 and the National Women’s Party in 1924. Sarah’s daughter-in-law Pyrma Pell and her husband, museum director John Pell maintained the tradition of lavish afternoon tea until John’s death in 1987.

Since then, events around the Pavilion have been limited by the facilities (or lack thereof) available. However, the restoration and adaptive reuse of the Pavilion will include the amenities necessary for everything from weddings to picnic lunches and afternoon teas. We look forward to continuing the legacy of bringing people together with food and celebrations once the restoration is complete.

To contribute to the restoration of the Pavilion, click here.