Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stone, Cannons and Lake Champlain

Last June 2008, my friend, Virginia Czaja , and I took a trip from Florida, to New Hampshire and back, visiting friends, relatives and just sightseeing. On the way, we picked up another friend, Elizabeth Mathna, and introduced her to our way of traveling. . . free and easy.

One of the highlights of our stop at Fort Ticonderoga along Lake Champlain in upper state New York. I have to say it was extremely interesting and we three came away with new respect for the fort.

Fort Ticonderoga (originally named Fort Carillon) was first constructed by the French in 1755 during the French and Indian War. In 1759 General Burgoyne and the British Army took it over and didn't see any more fighting again until the Revolutionary War in 1775 when the Green Mountain Boys attacked the fort led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold. In 1777 John Brown and 500 men recaptured the fort.

After 1781, the fort fell into disrepair, stripped of stones, metal, and woodwork. In 1816, William F. Peel purchased the fort and his family began the restoration. By 1909, the fort was opened to the public and is now a tourist attraction and museum, owned by the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

What I loved about the trip to the fort is that people dressed in period costumes. One young man demonstrated the fife for us. There were many tunes the fifer played, each one having a special signal for the troops such as charge, retreat, call to arms, rest, set cadence, and others. Along with the drums, a fife could be heard 3 miles away over artillery fire, alerting the soldiers to the commands.

We also attended a Black Powder Flintlock Musket firing demonstration and watched a man make a wheel barrel from several blocks of wood with the aid of a few hand tools. Tours are always available.

If you ever get an opportunity to visit this fort, it is definitely worth the stop. The rooms are open with so much history to see, it will take you back to the 1700's. The visitor's center is very much a part of the facade with its lovely lunch counter and the museum is a great place to pick up souveniers of by-gone days.

Come see America at its best. Also pick up a book and enjoy a read. My two releases, JOURNEY TO TRACER'S POINT and WINDS OF CHANGE will take you back into the mid-1800's when people searched for a better life.

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