Press-Republican

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July 26, 2009

Fort Ti observes 100th anniversary

TICONDEROGA — President William Howard Taft came to Fort Ticonderoga in 1909 to celebrate the start of its rebuilding as a national historic treasure.

One-hundred years later, the top public official present was State Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro).

"It's an honor to be at a place that is so steeped in history," Sayward told those at the 100th anniversary ceremony this weekend.

A crowd gathered on the fort's parade ground to listen to speakers talk about the fort's history.

Ticonderoga Town Supervisor Robert C. Dedrick said the community and the fort have a good relationship.

"The entire town wants to acknowledge and help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fort Ticonderoga. It was opened to the public in 1909 with President Taft attending."

Much of our nation's history 250 years ago was centered around the fort, Dedrick said.

"There's a tremendous history here. Volumes of what happened in our history happened here."

A shoreline marker on the Fort Ticonderoga property is believed to be where Samuel de Champlain came ashore during his 1609 mission of exploration on the lake that now bears his name.

The fort rededicated the Champlain marker over the weekend, with Fort Ticonderoga Board of Trustees President Peter S. Paine noting that Taft and the ambassadors of France and Great Britain were present for the 1909 event.

State Quadricentennial Commission Vice-Chair Celine Paquette of Champlain said it's believed Samuel de Champlain set foot on the fort peninsula around July 30, 1609.

"We in the U.S. can claim Champlain as one of our own and honor him as the first European to visit these shores. He followed difficult trails through darks woods. He was a steady, persistent man who never gave up."

The Champlain historic marker was placed by the State Historical Society in 1932, on the front lawn of The Pavilion, just east of the fort itself.

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