September 10, 2010

Fort Ti holding big season finale

Staff Writer

TICONDEROGA — Vast British and American armies will struggle for the future of America at Fort Ticonderoga's big Revolutionary War Encampment this weekend.

From 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, more than 600 military re-enactors plan to bring the American Revolutionary War experience to life.

A battle takes place each day at 2 p.m. and is based on an encounter between advanced British and American forces during Gen. John Burgoyne's successful capture of the fort by the British in July 1777.

Visitors will be able to purchase wares from period vendors, view the pageantry of arms, enlist with the Continental soldiers for a bounty and participate in a 10:30 a.m. Sunday Anglican divine service in the fort.

Fort Ticonderoga Executive Director Beth Hill said this is the fort's end-of-the-season event.

"This event will bring to life the hardship, hope and victory that defined Fort Ticonderoga's history in the American Revolution," she said in a news release.

"It will be an unparalleled opportunity for visitors to be immersed in a place and time that defined America."

Highlighted programs throughout the weekend will include presentations on "Potent Potables: Drink and Sutling in the American Revolution," cooper demonstrations, building field fortifications, daily life of camp followers and field surgery. The historic capture of Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775, by Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and the Green Mountain Boys marked America's first victory of the American Revolution.

Fort Ticonderoga remained a strategic stronghold and key to the continent throughout the early years of the war.

In 1777, British forces under Burgoyne successfully recaptured Fort Ticonderoga, forcing American troops to abandon the fort and Mount Independence across Lake Champlain. "Fort Ticonderoga was a major part of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution," Hill noted. "During the 18th century, Fort Ticonderoga was attacked six times in 20 years, holding three times and falling three times."

The fort charges $15 for adults, $13.50 for those 60 and older, $7 for children from 7 through 12. Children under 6 and residents of Ticonderoga and the surrounding communities are admitted free of charge.

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