Friday, October 11, 2013

A visit to Fort Ticondaroga

It was a misty morning last weekend, with a Fall crispness in the air, when we set off to the ferry at Charlotte to cross over into New York State.

The sweet village of Essex, on the other side of Lake Champlain, was nestled into the fall foliage, under the misty Adirondack mountains .

We drove through sleepy towns seemingly inhabited solely by corn dollies and banks of trees in full fall colour.

We stopped to buy a beautiful piece of stained glass, and screeched to a halt at the first signs of life we'd seen: a vintage car rally. Only Bruce was keen to stop and enter Tim-the-Toolman-Taylor Territory, but we were so glad we did. Photos can't really convey the fun of this, can't capture the 50s music, the smell of hot dogs, the muted conversation of the car owners, the sense of a rural community gathering on a cool Saturday morning.

Lizzy finds her perfect car!
Bruce plans his next vehicle

Our destination was Fort Ticondaroga at the southern end of Lake Champlain, on the borders of New York and Vermont. In some ways, the history of Vermont is encapsulated in the dramas enacted at this significant landmark.

The fort was originally built by the french in the mid 1700s, to stop the British from gaining military access to the lake. It was captured by the British  in the 1759 Battle of Ticonderoga, and in 1775, during a night raid, it was taken for the patriots by Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys (a legendary moment in Vermont history). Legend also tells of the canon from the fort being conveyed through the snow - a herculean task in the days when travel was only possible on horseback-  to a battle in Boston.

The fort - ruined by the British and locals when it became no longer strategically important - has been restored by its private owners and now operates as a trust, bringing the history of the period back to life.

1 comment:

  1. That vintage car rally looks wonderful (let me guess why that was Lizzy's favourite car ... ). Congratulations on the photographs of the family, too — they're excellent,even if Lizzy is wearing her Granddad's new hair ;^)