Fort Ticonderoga
Ticonderoga, New York
Visited 8.10.16

Visit the Fort Ticonderoga page here!
If Fort Ticonderoga isn't the Big Daddy of American starforts, it's certainly at least one of the Bigger Daddies. There are larger forts, but in the arena of titanic struggle in both the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War, Fort Ticonderoga has few peers.

Fortunately, the state of New York is aware of this, and has taken Fort Ticonderoga's place in American history seriously. The fort was acquired inn 1816 by a rich guy, William Pell, whose family restored it for posterity. In 1909 it was opened to the public, as the United States' first "Heritage Tourism" destination.

As seriously as New York State takes Fort Ticonderoga, there's still evidence of decay, mostly in the condition of some of the fort's crumbling exterior.

This probably has more to do with the enthusiastic but unschooled manner in which Pell's restoration effort spruced the fort up for visitors in the early 20th century than in any modern failing...but whatever, there are still several piles of fallen masonry at the foot of curtain walls, and when I visited at least, the entire northern face of the northeast bastion was bare concrete, hopefully awaiting the installation of a stone façade.

Next to the fort is the King's Garden and the Pavilion, Pell's residence until 1839, which his family opened as a luxury hotel for visitors to Fort Ticonderoga. I visited the fort in August, which is of course tourist season! There were plenty of other folks visiting when I was there, but the fort is big enough to swallow them, and I didn't feel jostled.

At least until I got into the fort's gift shop/restaurant. The gift shop had one of the widest arrays of cool starfort-related stuff that I'd ever experienced, and the restaurant was uninspired, but adequate. And air-conditioned!!!

Please click on any of the pictures on this page for its full-sized version, plus more tales from my experience at Fort Ticonderoga!