A Trip to Fort Ticonderoga

Posted 4/17/24

A Trip to Fort Ticonderoga

A couple of weeks ago I took a drive up to Fort Ticonderoga to do some research. I hadn’t been there since 2014, so I was looking forward to getting up there …

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A Trip to Fort Ticonderoga


A couple of weeks ago I took a drive up to Fort Ticonderoga to do some research. I hadn’t been there since 2014, so I was looking forward to getting up there again. I had lined up some time to look at their archaeological collections, a lot of which had been cataloged and organized since the last time I was up for a visit.

It’s not a bad drive from my house, and it’s pretty nice once you get into New Hampshire and Vermont. The best part (for me) is driving up from Skeensborough, New York and getting nearer to the fort. As you approach, you can see the fort on the peninsula off to your right which is a pretty impressive sight!

I arrived late in the morning and was shown some of the recently cataloged material by curator Dr. Mattew Keagle and archaeologist Margaret Staudter. Quite frankly, I was blown away at the work that had been done by these folks. I’ve been doing a study of British musket balls, and I was guided to twelve trays of musket balls all organized by caliber. While the finds don’t have any pinpointed provenience, they all came from the fort, so they were usable for my study. I spent a few hours measuring and weighing many lead balls. This may sound boring to some people, but it was fantastic for me and the work I was doing. We also looked at the largest collection of 18th century iron entrenching tools that survive. Examples of every type of shovel and spade, hoes, and axes, which were all in shelving units and cataloged by type and country. There are some great examples of British tools with broad arrow markings denoting government ownership.

The collection of gun parts was also staggering, all organized by country and gun type. I am lucky enough to see many original complete arms between work and my personal studies, but it was amazing to see the parts knowing these arms had been carried by soldiers serving at the fort.

The next day I was up early and adding the musket ball data to my spreadsheet for the British musket ball study. Then we met out on the earthworks at the site and walked them for most of the day. I had never walked in many of the areas we walked that day before and it was so cool to see how intact the works are. They had been built by the French during the French & Indian War and rebuilt and used by the Americans during their occupation of the area during the Revolution.

That night we went back to the hotel for dinner and a few cocktails. I reviewed some of my photos and thought about what we had seen over the past few days. It was an absolutely wonderful trip and if you get a chance, go up and see the fort, walk around, check out the museum, and soak it in. It’s a great piece of our early history and well worth visiting!


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