Fort Ticonderoga - Exploring America's Most Historic Landscape

Monday, June 1, 2015

Over the past 13 months since the inception of this blog, John and I have explored some interesting places - places we may not have explored had it not been for the purpose of sharing them in this blog.  Time and time again, I am astounded at the wealth of tourist attractions we are lucky enough to have, right here in our own corner of the state.  So often we look beyond our boundaries when it comes to adventure, often overlooking our own state's attractions and landmarks.  Today's post features one such landmark....Fort Ticonderoga.

I will admit that when John suggested this one, I wasn't all that enthusiastic.  It's no secret I am not a history buff but since John graciously accompanies me to gift shops and gardens, I figured it was only fair that he get to choose a venue on occasion.  So last Friday we headed north on what would turn out to be a wonderful experience.  If you need some added incentive, Fort Ticonderoga features a huge Colonial Revival garden which will be the subject of my next post.  It was the garden that convinced me to visit!  I hope that by the end of this post you will be encouraged to check out Fort Ticonderoga soon!

Fort Ticonderoga is located on a narrow waterway between Lake George and Lake Champlain.  Originally built by the French and named Fort Carillon, construction began in 1755 and continued for four years.  This was the site of the French & Indian War and the American Revolution as well as other battles in between.  The fort is the site of 250 years of American history.  Rather than bog you down with detail, you can read the fort's historical timeline using this link:  http://www.fortticonderoga.org/history-and-collections/timeline
In 1785 the fort became the property of NYS and in 1803 ownership was transferred jointly to Union and Columbia colleges. In 1820 the fort and its 546 acres were purchased by New York merchant William Ferris Pell who began the preservation of this site.    The fort opened as a museum in 1909 and was one of the first museums of it's kind, even before Colonial Williamsburg.  In 1960 Fort Ticonderoga was named one of the first national historic landmarks.
Don't forget to click on any photo to view in a larger format!

When you visit Fort Ticonderoga, you will be transported back in time and will experience a little of what life was like for the soldiers who were stationed there.  You will be greeted and educated by folks in costume re-enacting life as it was back in the 1700's.... building fires for cooking, sewing real shoes, making clothing, and more.  Each will narrate their job and for a moment you might even forget it is not actually that period in time.  The guides we encountered were all friendly and knowledgeable and eager to share their stories and the history of the fort.  One gentlemen actually spends his days making and repairing shoes that all the costumed staff wear - all done using materials and techniques of the time!
During these modern times of electronics, fast food and online shopping, it's good to be reminded of a time when life was not about instant gratification.  It's also good to be reminded that the freedom we appreciate today came at a price, and visiting a place like Fort Ticonderoga reminds us that soldiers have been paying that price for many years.
 
 Not all of the artifacts here are original to the wars that took place here.  Some have been acquired from various sources and are housed here.

 
 
 

There's a lot to see at Fort Ticonderoga.  Aside from the grounds, the fort houses a state of the art museum which displays original uniforms, collections of weapons and artifacts and beautiful artwork.  When you finish exploring the grounds, stop in the America's Fort Cafe for a delicious lunch.  I wasn't expecting much from a museum cafe so I was pleasantly surprised with the delicious, freshly prepared lunch we were served.  I ordered a BLT which came on freshly toasted and grilled sourdough bread with a side of kettle chips.  John ordered a tuna melt which was also served on homemade, grilled sourdough and was outstanding.  My only disappointment was that we were too full for dessert and had to pass up the homemade pies and strawberry shortcake! The museum store is full of beautiful gifts and souvenirs for the kids and adults.  You'll want to browse a while!

Fort Ticonderoga is open daily from now until November.  Please check their website (link below) for hours and special weekly events and demonstrations.  Aside from the fact that this is located in the breathtakingly beautiful Adirondacks, on the shores of Lake Champlain, this is a wonderful place for young and old alike to get acquainted with the history of our country.  Plan a visit soon.  You won't be disappointed.   Thanks for coming along and come back soon when I give you a tour of the King's Garden - where I promise you'll experience a little garden envy.

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