Robert Fairchild and His Powder Horn

Powder horns are unique artifacts in that they have the ability to speak to a single person’s 18th-century military service unlike most other objects.  Muskets, swords, and other similar items, though important, are rarely able to connect people today nearly face-to-face with an individual person from the past.  What makes powder horns so interesting, and […]

Building the Giberne, Part 2

The red leather that gives the giberne its notable color in the 1757 watercolors is Russia leather, a hard-wearing upholstery leather. This leather was extremely popular through the 18th and 19th century due the preservative effects of the Russian birch tar used in its processing. A German treatise from 1807 advocated for the domestic German […]

Wild French Food in 1755

The past two years visitors often asked, “Did they hunt for their food?” in reference to the historical soldiers we portrayed at Fort Ticonderoga. For the men of Colonel Williard’s 1759Massachusettsprovincial regiment who we portrayed in 2011, the answer was a pretty definitive no. The one comical exception came from the diary of Private Lemuel […]

Encouraging a Passion for History

Earlier this week I travelled to Cooperstown to participate as a judge at New York State History Day. Sponsored by the New York State Historical Association, New York State History Day serves thousands of students in hundreds of school districts across the state. This year’s contest was the biggest ever, with over 400 students competing […]

King’s Garden Volunteers Welcome

  It’s always a pleasure to discover a plant growing in an unexpected place among purposefully placed plants in the garden.  These “volunteers” are nature’s gift to the gardener, the product of prolific re-seeders, birds or small mammals leaving seeds behind, or a gust of wind carrying seeds from outside the garden.  It is not uncommon […]

Building the Giberne, Part 1

One of the essential articles needed to portray soldiers of the Languedoc regiment at Ticonderoga in 1755 are cartridge pouches. These cartridge pouches or, ‘cartouches,’ were properly called, ‘gibernes,‘ for French regular army soldiers. Much like English cartridge pouches; these gibernes were carried slung on leather belts from the left shoulder, and hung down near […]

Ready, Set, Garden!

  The word “spring” conjures up many pictures – green grass, the arrival of migrating songbirds, warm sunshine, and of course, flowers!  Classics like tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths are starting to peek through the soil to color the landscape.  These bulbs are planted in the fall and are a great source of satisfaction for […]

Children’s Garden Offers Something For Everyone

  A plot that was once part of the vegetable and cutting gardens for the Pell summer home, and before that a soldier’s garden that helped feed 18th-century troops, is now utilized as our Children’s Garden. This 50×50 garden includes flowing internal pathways, topiaries, kid-sized chairs and thematic plantings to help children and adults learn […]

Maurice de Saxe and Canadian Clothing

While General Montcalm is the most famous and influential French officer in North America, on the continent of Europe, Marshall-General Maurice de Saxe was France’s most famous and successful officer during the middle of the 18th century. Like many officers in the French Army, he was of foreign birth, a son of the Elector of […]