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I received your book and it is a delight. It's so meticulous. Thank you for this memento ... Madeleine Stowe

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GETTING THERE!

(Fort William Henry is on Canada Street in Lake George, NY)

FROM ALBANY:
Take the Northway (I-87) north to exit 21. At the stop sign, turn right, then left at the light (Rt. 9) Continue on for approx. 3/4 mile and the entrance is on your right.

FROM MONTREAL:
Take the Northway (I-87) south to exit 21 and turn left at the stop sign. Drive under the Northway and turn left at the light (Rt. 9). Continue for approx. 3/4 mile and the entrance is on your right.

FROM VERMONT:
Take Route 149 west to Rt. 9. Turn right at the intersection & proceed north into Lake George Village. The entrance will be on your right.

 

 

ABOUT YOUR VISIT!

Fort William Henry is open 7 days a week May-mid-October

10AM-5PM - Off season beginning in May
9AM-10PM - mid-June - Labor Day

* Every night, in season, from 7-8PM, a special storytelling program takes place!

* Living history tours of the Fort, including: musket firing exhibition, musket ball molding demonstration, a grenadier bomb-toss demonstration, & a cannon firing exhibition!

* 1936-version showings of The Last of the Mohicans!


FROM THE RAMPARTS ... The Third Dispatch

 

 

A series of on-going reports from Tim Cordell, with the expressed approval of the folks at Fort William Henry! Your on-the-scene , AND behind-the-scene, companion!

The ice is out of Lake George and the weather has become more spring like. We are in a drought but the heavy late snow melt is keeping the lake at a proper level. Trout and salmon are up in shallow water feeding on spawning smelt and the fishing is good. I have some information now on events and venues that might be of interest to all of you in "Mohicanland."

Bob Bearor is a writer, trekker and reenactor whose books on Rogers' Rangers and the controversies about actual battle sites have been very successful. Now Bob has put together a spectacular event commemorating the death of Lord Howe who was killed during the initial stages of the attack on Ft. Carillon (Ticonderoga) by Abercrombie's army in 1758. The battle will take place just south of Ticonderoga on Friday, June 22nd at 3:30 p.m. - exactly at the time and place that it originally happened. On Thursday, June 21st the British forces will depart from Fort William Henry in a flotilla consisting of period bateaux and whaleboats proceeding as far north as Silver Bay by nightfall. At the same time, the French and Indian forces will ascend Mount Pele - just outside of Ticonderoga. The next day the British forces will continue up the lake to Ticonderoga and engage the French as they descend the mountain at precisely 3:30 p.m. Provisions for what is expected to be a large audience are being made by the town of Ticonderoga including shuttle busses from parking areas, etc. 

"Nothing like this has ever been done in the 243 years since the original battle. It will be the largest reenactment event in North America with groups from the U.S. Canada and Europe. We are expecting over a thousand reenactors and participants," Mr. Bearor was quoted as saying.

I personally think that it's amazing how the F&I period has taken hold of the imaginations of so many in recent years. The Last of the Mohicans movie has played a part in the new awareness, I'm sure. Lake George village boasts a newly renovated and reorganized Lake George Historical Association. It's based in the center of the village just north of Montcalm's cannon emplacements (Shepherd Park) in the old Court House. The staff is serious and excited about making visitors very, very welcome. It is a must see place for anyone interested in the F&I wars and there is no admission fee - just walk in!

Fort William Henry will be adding daytime storytelling this summer. The evening storytelling will continue as it has been featured in past years. Guided tours run every hour. The Fort curator, Jerry Bradfield, tells me that this year the emphasis will be in displaying and featuring Museum artifacts. The Fort management wants to make its priceless collection more accessible including never before seen relics of the recent archaeological digs in the courtyard and immediate vicinity of the Fort.

I personally never tire of being at Fort William Henry. From this special ground, I am observing and experiencing some of what the garrison felt and that is crucial to my interpretation of the period and what went on here. As a post script, there will be archaeology in the area this summer but I want to be sure of my sources before I report.
My warmest regards to all, Tim Cordell ... May 13, 2001

Special dispatch from Fort William Henry...Mid-May

Lake George Village is a peaceful place and has been for over 200 years. Yesterday, however, we were once again reminded that this small area was a major battle site in the 18th century. Quoting the Post Star newspaper..."Construction workers performing routine maintenance on a gas main were sent scrambling Wednesday morning when a human skull rolled out of a dirt bank and into the pit where they were working". Parts of a torso and a leg bone were found a short time later. The body was 3 feet under a sidewalk directly across from the Fort William Henry complex near the corner of Mohican and Canada streets. Archaeologist Dr. David Starbuck was called in and made an initial identification of the skeleton as that of a young, robust white male who had probably died of disease as no scalping marks or other trauma were evident. The remains would have been buried 230- 250 years ago and were presumed to be either a French, British or Colonial soldier of the 1755-1760 period or a Revolutionary War soldier. This incident reminds me that although I deal with the local 18th century in almost romantic terms, the reality is grim indeed.
Regards, Tim Cordell, May 17, 2001

 

Obituary - 05/24/01
A gravesite service for an unknown 18th century soldier whose remains were unearthed last week will take place Saturday, May 26th at the Fort William Henry Military Cemetery.
Full military honors will be conveyed. Pall bearers will be Robert Flacke, President of Fort William Henry and Louis Tessier, Lake George Supervisor.
Tim Cordell

 

The French came...
The Indians came...
The British came...
Now...

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! - June 3, 2001

I remember being scared. It seems that all of my life the fear of the Russians bombing us was real. From one crisis to another we had to consider the threat and worry about it. I remember the air raid drills in first grade and I remember that whenever the fire station siren would sound that it could be a Russian air raid rather than a fire. I remember Sputnik and the Cuban missile nightmare. The Russians even played their confrontational games with us in the Gulf of Tonkin with their destroyers and spy ships. Through all of those years I had never met a Russian and for all of those years I disliked Russians. Russians had always, always been a threat to me, my family and my country.

On a warm evening last summer I had set-up and began my talk in the courtyard of Fort William Henry. My "set-up" consists of my musket and various accoutrements on a stand. It's all part of my presentation. Fifteen minutes into my talk I felt a presence behind me and noticed that my audience was becoming distracted. After excusing myself I turned and noticed a group of people handling my artifacts-one man was hefting my musket! "Please don't touch" I said in a low voice. "Is yours?" one of them asked. "Yes, please come around front here and I'll tell you about it" I replied. "Russians" I thought to myself. I could tell by their heavy accent. 

Everything settled down and I finished my talk. The audience dispersed. The Russians, however, hung back. I faced them and invited them to inspect my belt axe, powder horn and I let them all-men & women try the big musket. They were so eager to learn, were obviously having fun and I warmed to them quickly. One of the men was their spokesman and he asked "What is this place?" as he gestured at the courtyard and ramparts. "Have you ever heard of the French & Indian War?" I asked. "No" he replied. I said "This is the war where Britain won Canada from the French and it took place twenty years before our Revolution." The word "Revolution" perked them up as I figured it would. "Ah your Revolution, we know your Revolution!" The spokesman brightened. I could see that they still had no knowledge of the French and Indian War so I asked, "Have you heard of The Last Of The Mohicans?" Again, there was a lot of negative gesturing. "Follow me," I ordered as I led them into the west barracks where there is the famous movie poster on display - the one with Daniel Day Lewis surging forward with his knife. "Da, Da, Da" "Yes, Yes, Yes" they all shouted. I pointed to the poster. "That," I said, "happened right here," as I gestured all around. The Russians were very animated and delighted that what they were experiencing made sense to them since they had all seen the movie. Thank you LOTM!.

I was curious about them and they told me where in Russia they were from-they even admitted to the tough times back home. Before we parted I said, "You know, for years I didn't like Russians. The bomb and all, you people scared us." "We didn't like you!" one of them said. "You made us afraid also." "Well", I said, "that's all changed now isn't it?" The Russian  spokesman looked at me and smiled. "Da, all changed, we are very much your friends."

Visits to Lake George by Russian tourists has increased dramatically in the past three years. They are pleasant, enthusiastic and friendly people. I'd like to invite visitors to Lake George Village this summer to visit me at Fort William Henry (most evenings) and on Friday evenings on the Beach Road to see and hear our Celtic band "Mason & Company"... Please step up and say hello!

Warmest Regards, Tim

THE FORT DISPATCHES:

ON THE SCENE AT FORT WILLIAM HENRY

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... FIRST DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... SECOND DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... FOURTH DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... FIFTH DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... SIXTH DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... SEVENTH DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... EIGHTH DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... NINTH DISPATCH

LAKE GEORGE/FORT AREA MAP

See a relic from the bottom of Lake George!

CONTACT:

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SEE ALSO:

FORT WILLIAM HENRY ... The Siege & Massacre

FORT WILLIAM HENRY ... Digging for Clues

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