(Fort William Henry is on Canada Street in Lake
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.
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.
Take Route 149 west to Rt. 9. Turn right at the intersection &
proceed north into Lake George Village. The entrance will be on your
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
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
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
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
|The French came...
The Indians came...
The British came...
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
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
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!
FORT WILLIAM HENRY ... The Siege & Massacre
FORT WILLIAM HENRY ... Digging for Clues