Whenever I set foot on the grounds of Fort Ticonderoga I feel a distinct sense of privilege. I am clearly aware I am treading on the same sacred soil as America’s first patriots and I know that, if not for their sacrifice, my life today may not be so blessed. I also feel indebted to the Pell family; some of America’s first preservationists. With gratitude to their vision and effort in preserving this American treasure, beginning over a century ago, I am permitted the unique experience of visiting the Fort and its environs today.
Fort Ticonderoga sets on an exquisite piece of geography. Over 2000 acres rest on a strategic peninsula extending into Lake Champlain. During the warmer weather months, it is easy to become captivated, even distracted, by the phenomenal scenic beauty here.The greens of the landscape against the backdrop of mountains, surrounded by the bright blue of skies and water paint a very inviting, picturesque and welcoming atmosphere.
Winter can be a contrast. For me, a visit during the winter months creates an even deeper respect for those original patriots. In the absence of living vegetation, the rigors of the landscape are exposed to a greater degree. Sight distance is enhanced and reveals the harsher contours of the surrounding Adirondack and Green Mountains. The frozen lake surface is not nearly so welcoming and the Fort’s stone exterior, coupled with the frigid iron of the canon, do not encourage touch. Though it remains incredibly scenic, some of nature’s challenges that confronted our early patriots become more apparent. How did they ever manage!?
Thanks to Fort Ticonderoga’s special Winter Quarters programs you can discover answers to the many questions that spring to mind. If you have only been a warm weather visitor now you can witness the dramatic contrast created by the seasons for yourself. It truly is a unique and compelling experience to see the Fort in the winter. You need to discover it for yourself.
Fort Ticonderoga recently announced a new schedule of programs during its 2020 Winter Quarters season.Through April, visitors will be immersed in exciting living history events, engaging seminars, specialty programs, and behind-the-scenes VIP Tours. Mark your calendars for Fort Ticonderoga's Living History Events that are held from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Feb. 15, 2020: 1775 British Garrison Event
Highlighted programming throughout the day brings to life the experience of soldiers in the 26th Regiment of Foot and their families who made their homes in this frontier fort.
March 14, 2020: Proceed to Canada with all Possible Expedition
Discover how veterans from 1775 and new recruits assembled hastily at Ticonderoga to face an American military crisis. Explore the logistics of an army in winter as supplies arrive by horse and oxen while soldiers prepare cannon to be hauled north to Canada.
Fort Fever Series 2pm-3:30pm:
This popular series features programs led by Fort Ticonderoga museum staff who will share their latest research and cutting-edge discoveries. All programs are held on Sundays at 2:00 p.m. in the Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga. Admission is $10/person at the door, free admission offered to Fort Ticonderoga Members and Ambassador Pass holders.
Feb. 9, 2020: First in War, First in Peace, George Washington’s 1783 Visit to Ticonderoga and the end of the American Revolution
Join Fort Ticonderoga Curator Matthew Keagle to explore the forgotten conclusion of the Revolutionary War in the north.
March 8, 2020: Discovering Women in Fort Ticonderoga’s Collections
During Women’s History Month, join Museum Registrar and Site Archeologist Margaret Staudter for a survey of objects owned and used by both famous and unknown women in Fort Ticonderoga’s collections. Many of these objects have recently been cataloged and photographed.
April 5, 2020: Fitted with Great Exactness: The Life and Importance of Clothing to the British Soldier in the Era of the American Revolution
Join Fort Ticonderoga Artificer Tailor Joseph Zea to explore the great efforts that were required to ensure that clothing was made, individually fit, well-maintained and then remade, all for the purpose of ensuring a proper “soldier like” appearance.
Behind-the-Scenes VIP Opportunities
This exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience provides a unique behind-the-scenes look at Fort Ticonderoga's world-class collections. Highlights include clothing, weapons, and personal possessions of soldiers from across the Atlantic. Learn how objects tell amazing stories of the past and how Fort Ticonderoga contextualizes its rich collection. This program takes place in the Thompson Pell Research Center. In addition to the 3-hour program, return the following day to take part in a Winter Quarters living history event, included in the cost. Advanced reservations are required by calling 518-585-1023. To learn more, visit www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821.
Private Group Visits
Groups of 15 or more are invited to schedule a visit and have the entire site to themselves and a dedicated historic interpreter for their tour during Winter Quarters. This opportunity includes scout and school overnight experiences! Pre-registration is required by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 518-585-1023.
For more information on Fort Ticonderoga events, visit www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821.
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