Restoring a building the size of the Pavilion is a complex project whether the work is being done today or in the early 1900s. When museum co-founders Stephen and Sarah Pell began the first restoration, they intended it to be completed in time for the Champlain Tercentenary Celebration in July of 1909. The building was completed in time, but entertaining President Taft, British and French Ambassadors, and the Governor of New York required more than paper plates. Furniture was rushed from their home on Long Island up to Ticonderoga to make sure that the Pavilion would be ready to receive the President and his entourage for refreshments following an inspection of the work being done up at the fort, and it arrived just in time.
Given the transportation difficulties in the early 20th century, it is easy to imagine that shipping the contents of entire rooms was an exception rather than the rule in the days before next day delivery and Amazon Prime. However, inventories of the Pavilion and the Pell’s house in New York City reveal that important pieces of furniture, silver, and china made the journey between Manhattan and Ticonderoga on an annual basis. These objects came from around the world and remain the core of the Pavilion collection. We are excited to share these stories when the current Pavilion restoration is complete.
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.