Built in 1755 by the French, who named it Carillon, Fort Ticonderoga has played a strategic and critical role in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. The greatest French victory of the French and Indian War--the Battle of Carillon, July 8, 1758--occured when a small French force, lead by Montcalm, repelled a massive British attack and devastated the 42nd Highland "Black Watch" regiment.
In 1759, the fort fell into British hands when General Jeffery Amherst led a powerful assault on Carillon; the French garrison withdrew after blowing up the powder magazine. Thereafter the fort was named Fort Ticonderoga. In a surprise, pre-dawn raid on May 10, 1775, Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen, and the Green Mountain Boys captured the British controlled fort giving America its first victory in the struggle for independence. In July of 1777, General Burgoyne reclaimed the Fort for the British in a strategic win when he placed cannons on nearby Mt. Defiance.
Reconstruction on the Fort you see today began in 1908; it was first opened to the public in July 1909. On-site interpreters in period costumes explain their roles and what life was like at the Fort. A fife-and-drum corps marches and plays, cannons fire and there are musket demonstrations. An outstanding museum displays thousands of artifacts from two 18th century wars and exhibits explain the military history of Lake Champlain and Lake George. Educational programs and daily historical talks.
Bookstore, gift shop, and restaurant. Special Events: 18th century encampments and reenactments, living-history events and lectures. Three historic gardens on the Fort property span the history of the Garrison Grounds. The Garrison Garden and Native American Garden are both re-creations of subsistence gardens using heirloom seeds and plants of the period. The King's Garden is a restored 1920s Colonial Revival walled garden. Self-guided tours are aided by on-site interpreters.
Visitors to the Fort can also visit nearby Mount Defiance, site of Burgoyne's threatened artillery attack on the Americans. From the village of Ticonderoga, a narrow road climbs to the top of Mount Defiance for great views of the Champlain Valley and Fort Ticonderoga. Covered picnic shelter on the summit.
Open: Early May-Late Oct, daily, 9am-5pm. Admission Fee.