Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fort Ticonderoga, New York

Visited 11 Jul 2012 - Fort Ticonderoga (1755-1796) was started during the French & Indian War by the French as Fort Carillon. The British captured it in 1759 and renamed it Fort Ticonderoga. During the Revolutionary War, the Patriots captured it in 1775 and the British retook it in 1777. The British abandoned the fort later in 1777 and the Americans reoccupied it until 1796. 
South Wall, Entrance, Battery and Enlisted Barracks
South Wall, Entrance, Battery and Enlisted Barracks
The fort was abandoned for over a hundred years and deteriorated into a ruin. The private owners began a multi-generational restoration project at the beginning of the 20th century and that has continued under the Fort Ticonderoga Association, a not-for-profit educational institution. This is now one of the best restored forts in America in a beautiful setting on Lake Champlain. The restoration process has been in motion for decades and considering that it started with a pile of rubble, the result is awesome. 
Ethan Allen Demanding the Surrender of the Fort
Ethan Allen Demanding the Surrender of the Fort


So much American history swirled around this place that you can almost feel it. The surprise capture of the fort by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War set the stage for driving the British out of Boston and New England. 


Restored Officer's Barracks
Restored Officer's Barracks




As you enter the fort interior, the restored officer's quarters is on the left, the Queen's storehouse is on the right and the enlisted barracks is behind you. The enlisted barracks has some period rooms on the lower level and the entrance to the museum on the upper level. The museum has great collections of period arms and artifacts.


West Demi-Lune
West Demi-Lune






The upper level of the outer walls has a number of mounted display cannons and two of the four bastions  are also filled with mounted display cannons and mortars.


Wooden bridges connect the upper level to the two outer defense demi-lunes that are also fully armed with display cannons and mortars. I've never seen this many cannons and mortars emplaced in a period fort.



South Battery and Flag Bastion
South Battery and Flag Bastion
Outside the wall on the south side is the south battery and the small flag bastion. The south battery also has two large 13" mortars on display on the left side in addition to the impressive row of British cannon in the battery emplacements.





South Battery 13" Mortars
South Battery 13" Mortars
It takes a couple of hours to take in everything at the main fort site and you will want to spend some time browsing through the gift shop and talking to the folks manning the information booth.


Demonstrations and staff in period costumes were scattered throughout the grounds. Tours are offered at specific times but you will want to explore on your own even if you take the guided tour. Plan for 3-4 hours at the main site. But wait there's more...


Adjacent to the main fort are the Kings Garden and the old Pell Estate buildings. Don't miss these. The Pell Estate is falling apart and one would hope that it will be saved to preserve the important role of the Pell Family in the restoration of Fort Ticonderoga.
Old Pell Estate
Old Pell Estate


The only thing left to do was to exit the park but even this is full of history. On the way out you pass through the French lines that were established to hold off the British attack on the fort in 1758. Some 5,000 French soldiers held off 17,000 British forces in the fierce Battle of Carillton. The exit road from the park is lined with monuments, memorials and historic sites and you should allow some time to explore them, they will greatly expand your knowledge. You exit the site through the impressive back gate. But wait there's more...


Black Watch Memorial
Black Watch Memorial
As you exit the park, keep going into town and continue up to the top of Mount Defiance. Mount Defiance overlooks Fort Ticonderoga and offers a wonderful view of the fort and Lake Champlain. It is also the site of gun batteries that played an important role in the fort history. The road to the top is narrow and a bit rough but make sure you go all the way up, my Malibu made it just fine.
The View from Mount Defiance
The View from Mount Defiance
If you have time you should also see the other historic fortifications in the area that include Fort William Henry, Mount Independence, Fort Crown Point and Fort St. Frederic.


For more information and pictures see the Fort Ticonderoga page on FortWiki.com.

1 comment:

  1. You did a great job on the blog my dear.
    It was a very good reconstruction and one of my favorites as well. So much history and a beautiful setting on Lake Champlain.
    Amy

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