Posts Tagged ‘Ticonderoga’

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Park Perspectives: On The Fort Ticonderoga Ferry

ti-ferrywebYou can measure time a number of ways aboard the Fort Ticonderoga ferry. The voyage from shore to shore of the Lake Champlain Narrows takes seven and a half minutes. Set your watch. Seven and a half minutes across, seven and a half minutes back.

Or you can free your mind to roam as you chug across the waterway. Let the Civics, Fiestas, and 4-by-4’s on the deck dissolve in your imagination and be replaced by rustic passengers in the rowboats and canoes that plied the crossing when ferry service began in 1759. Or picture those that crowded onto the sailing scow that went into service in 1800. This is the grand sweep of time through the generations, played out under the gaze of colonial Fort Ticonderoga, which played key roles in the formation of this country. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fort Ticonderoga Recreating 1758 Battle of Carillon

Montcalm's Cross 2Fort Ticonderoga will hold a two-day battle re-enactment highlighting the 1758 Battle of Carillon when the British amassed the largest army in North American history to date, but was stunningly defeated by a French army a quarter of its size. The event takes place Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, 9:30am to 5 pm.

Highlighted programming featured throughout the weekend brings to life the story of the French soldiers that protected their lines of defense against all odds as British and Provincial soldiers attempted to drive the French from the rocky peninsula and fortress of Carillon, later named Ticonderoga. Recreated French and British armies will maneuver across Fort Ticonderoga’s historic landscape during re-enactments at 1:30 pm each day. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fort Ticonderoga’s Garden and Landscape Symposium

nardozzi-0016aThe King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga is presenting its second Garden and Landscape Symposium: “Enhancing Life through Gardening” on Saturday, April 13. The day-long symposium, geared for both beginning and experienced gardeners, provides insights from garden experts who live and garden in upstate New York and Vermont. This springtime event takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center and is open by pre-registration only.

The walled King’s Garden was originally designed in 1921 by leading landscape architect Marian Coffin. The formal elements – a reflecting pool, manicured lawn and hedges, and brick walls and walkways – are softened by a profusion of annuals and perennials, carefully arranged by color and form. Heirloom flowers and modern cultivars are used to recreate the historic planting scheme. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

“The Noble Train Begins” at Fort Ticonderoga

Discover the story of Henry Knox’s noble train of artillery at Fort Ticonderoga’s upcoming living history event, Saturday, December 1, from 10 am – 4 pm.  The event will feature a program highlighting Henry Knox’s arrival to Fort Ticonderoga and recreate the beginning of the epic feat that ultimately forced the British evacuation from Boston on March 17, 1776.

“Visitors to the ‘The Noble Train Begins’ living history event will meet Henry Knox, the unassuming Boston book seller whose physical and mental might was first tested with the epic feat of moving more than 14 mortars, 43 cannon, and other artillery to Boston in the winter of 1776,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Interpretation. “See man and horse power in action as the artillery is selected for the journey. Meet the soldiers left to guard this frontier outpost as the first winter of the Revolutionary War takes hold.”
» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fort Ticonderoga’s Chocolate Covered History Symposium

A weekend-long celebration of chocolate, wine, and spirits, will be held October 12-13 at Fort Ticonderoga’s “Chocolate Covered History” Symposium. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the origins of chocolate and its role in the 18th century military history of Fort Ticonderoga.

The weekend event combines wines, spirits, chocolate, and history and includes a Veuve Clicquot Champagne and dessert reception, full day symposium, and gala dinner. Breakout sessions will provide opportunities to taste various foods prepared using American Heritage Chocolate, an authentic colonial chocolate recipe made only from ingredients available in the 18th century, made by Mars Chocolate. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Ethel Dale’s ‘Most Perfectly Formed Legs’

It’s not often that a person is the focus of a sculptor’s attention. In the mid-1920s, a North Country woman found herself in just that position. The sculptor’s name was Pompeo Coppini, a noted artist who won several awards and whose works were featured from coast to coast. Many of his 128 principal creations are prominent in the state of Texas, including The Spirit of Sacrifice, the large monument at the Alamo, honoring those who died within the fort’s walls. It has been viewed by millions.

Coppini sculpted many historical figures of great accomplishment, including Robert E. Lee, Woodrow Wilson, Stonewall Jackson, Sam Houston, and George Washington. Add to that list Mrs. Ethel Dale, chosen as a sculpture subject for her great achievement in the field of … well, doing nothing.

Mrs. Dale’s family was living in Ticonderoga when she was born in 1895 as Cecille Dukett, daughter of Clayton and Lena Dukett. (The spelling of the family name in the media varied: most common were Ducat and Dukett.) A few years later, they moved to Crown Point. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Living History At Fort Ticonderoga This Weekend

Visitors can explore the Continental Army’s first major initiative during the Revolutionary War at Fort Ticonderoga’s upcoming living history weekend “Onward to Canada: Reinforcements Head North to Join the Attack on St. John.” The September 1-2 event will recreate how the American army prepared to invade Canada in the fall of 1775.

Special programming offered throughout the weekend will recreate a unique and busy moment in Fort Ticonderoga’s history when the “Old French Fort” served as hub of activity for the fledging American Army and a launching point for an invasion into Canada. Programs will highlight close-order marching; the issuing of muskets, supplies, and clothing to the troops; special tours, weapons demonstrations; and regimental training exercises. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Adirondack Media History: The Old Bait and Switch

When modern media is used to brand a product, it routinely addresses the subject matter directly, trying to draw attention immediately to the product. The advertisements found in old newspapers sometimes achieved the same goal in quite different fashion, using unusual or outrageous lines in large print to trick the reader. The blaring lead demands attention, and is followed quickly with odd or unexpected segues to information on a product. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sorbet: A Summertime Blueberry Treat

For the past few weeks I just simply have not been in the mood for cooking. It has been hot and sunny, and sitting in the kitchen and standing over a stove – much less turning on the oven –  holds about zero appeal. A lot of salads have been hitting the table, as we’ve had a bumper crop of lettuce this year. Herbs have also been plentiful, which makes for fun experimentation with different types of dressings.

Mostly I have been spending a lot of time outdoors with friends and family, bringing along a variety of Oscar’s ready-made salads, smoked meats and cheeses for picnicking. Ready-made has held a lot more appeal than actually whipping up my own potato salad or  barbeque after a long hard day of relaxing. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Secrets Beneath the Walls of Fort Ticonderoga Tours

Have you ever wondered what lies beneath Fort Ticonderoga’s stone walls? Fort Ticonderoga’s curator, Christopher Fox, will lead explorations of Fort Ticonderoga’s hidden past to see remarkably preserved evidence of the Fort’s original structures and catch a glimpse at some of the systems that keeps the Fort running today.

This special behind-the-scenes tour will take visitors into five areas of the Fort not accessible to the general public. In these areas visitors will see original French stone foundations of barracks buildings and cavernous spaces beneath the parapet walls preserving clues to how the Fort was built over 250 years ago and then preserved over the last century.

This hour and a half tour is scheduled at 1:00 pm each Thursday in July and August. Space is limited, advanced reservations are recommended or tickets, as available, can be purchased on the day of the tour at the Guest Services Desk in the Log House Welcome Center. Price is $35 per person with regular general admission. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

APA Mtg: Ti Meat Processor, Master Plan, Local Land Use

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting at its Headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15, 2012. The meeting will be webcast live (click webcasting from the contents list).

The meeting will include presentations highlighting the 40th Anniversary of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and recreational use statistics. On Friday, the board will determine approvability for a Ticonderoga meat processing facility and the Local Government Services Committee will hear a status report on local land use controls in the Park and review implemented APA-approved Local Land Use Programs. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chilson’s Antique and Classic Firefighting Equipment Show

Chilson Volunteer Fire Department will celebrate hold its second antique  and classic firefighting equipment show at the department’s annual barbecue.  The event, which is open to the public, takes place on  Saturday, July 14th at the department’s headquarters, 60 Putts Pond Road in Ticonderoga. Festivities begin at noon and the barbecue will be served beginning at 2:00 p.m. The barbecue – a summer tradition for the Ticonderoga-Chilson community – includes chicken and all the fixins, as well as an afternoon of music, entertainment and fun for the whole family.

Last year’s event sold out, with more than 350 in attendance and a good showing of classic trucks; this year organizers expect even more antique and classic fire trucks, as the show is catching on with area departments and collectors.  Antique and classic fire trucks from around the region will compete for trophies. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Fort Ti Exhibit Features Weapons Collections

Fort Ticonderoga has unveiled its newest exhibit, Bullets & Blades: The Weapons of America’s Colonial Wars and Revolution. The exhibit highlights over 150 of the museum’s most important weapons and is a comprehensive and expanded reinterpretation of its world renowned historic arms collection.

Divided into seven sections and including a wide variety of muskets, pistols, swords and powder horns (some of which are one of only two or three of their types known), the exhibit explores the weapons used in America from the early 1600s through the end of the American Revolution. The exhibit is included in Fort Ticonderoga’s general admission price and will be on display throughout the 2012 season. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Fort Offers Ti Residents Free Ambassador Pass

Fort Ticonderoga is inviting Ticonderoga residents to receive a special Ambassador Pass for the 2012 season. The special pass gives Ticonderoga residents free admission to the Fort, special exhibits, interpretive programs, author series, re-enactments, King’s Garden, Discovery Gardens, the Heroic Corn Maze, and more.

Ticonderoga residents should resent their valid drivers license or other form of identification as proof of residency. Children under 18 years are eligible for free admission with their parent’s pass.

Ticonderoga resident and Fort Ticonderoga Association Board member Anne McDonald said “Ticonderoga residents have such pride in Fort Ticonderoga’s history – our community’s story. We are excited to have the opportunity to build a strong Ambassador program that connects the Fort and area residents in our effort to build a bright future for one of America’s most significant historic sites and in turn help revitalize our community’s economy through destination tourism.”

The 2012 Ambassador Pass includes:

● Free General Admission to Fort Ticonderoga

● Free admission to the King’s Garden and Discovery Gardens

● Free admission to Fort Ticonderoga’s Heroic Corn Maze

● Free Admission to special programs such as the Author Series and Re-enactments

● Updates and invitations on Fort Ticonderoga

Contact Fort Ticonderoga’s business office at 518-585-2821, or visit their website to download the Ambassador Pass form, or e-mail info@fortticonderoga.org.

The Fort welcomes everyone to join the Friends of Fort Ticonderoga. Friends Memberships begin at $20 and give many benefits including free admission to Fort Ticonderoga, free or discounted admission to selected events, programs, and trips throughout the year, and the subscriptions to Fort Ticonderoga’s Haversack.

In 2012 Fort Ticonderoga will unveil its new weapons exhibit Bullets & Blades: The Weapons of America’s Colonial Wars and Revolution, numerous new programs, and major special events.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Johnny Hayes: A Ticonderoga Musical Legend

In late 1935, young Ticonderoga saxophonist Johnny Hayes sat in during a performance by a traveling orchestra from Boston. His performance so impressed the band leader that a permanent position was offered. Hayes had recently completed a summer stint at The Deer’s Head Inn (Elizabethtown), followed by a tour of central and northern New York cities with his own band.

He accepted the offer and began traveling with the orchestra within two weeks. It was the first step in a journey that would link him with many all-time greats of the Big Band Era.

By 1940, Hayes was appearing regularly on radio and in major dance halls as first saxophone with Van Alexander’s Orchestra. Swing magazine called him a key component of the band’s great sound. Alexander worked with a number of orchestras during his career and is regarded historically as one of the great music arrangers.

In mid-1940, Hayes signed with Buddy Rogers of movie fame (Rogers was also husband of actress Mary Pickford), playing first sax on a nationwide tour. In 1941, he joined another high-profile band of the day, Shep Fields and His New Music.

Johnny next hooked up with bandleader Hal McIntyre, an original member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. When Hal set out on his own, his close friend Miller provided financial support for McIntyre’s new musical group, for which Johnny Hayes played tenor sax. For two years running (1942–43), Billboard magazine selected McIntyre’s band as “the most promising new orchestra.”

The band performed in movies (watch the first ten seconds for their name, and further to hear them play), on the radio, at dance halls, and at all the top venues across the country. Their weekly gig, broadcast from New York City’s Commodore Hotel, was a big hit, receiving high praise in Billboard, Swing, and the columns of top music critics.

Johnny routinely performed the band’s tenor sax solos. (Many of McIntyre’s recordings, made with Hayes as a band member, have recently been offered on CD.) Hayes played with McIntyre into the late 1940s, but also appeared periodically with many other of the era’s greats.

Besides a few recordings with the Ziggy Elfman Band (star trumpet player for Tommy Dorsey), Billy May, and Tex Beneke (with Eydie Gorme singing), he played with the legendary Les Brown and the Band of Renown. Brown’s band was linked to Bob Hope’s performances for 50 years, including 18 USO tours. Hayes played with them in 1944 and on other occasions, leaving no doubt about his musical capabilities in the eyes of his peers.

In the late 1940s, he also played and toured with Skitch Henderson, another orchestra leader who became a show-biz legend (among his credits, Henderson was the original bandleader on The Tonight Show, which starred Steve Allen).

For all his success, perhaps the greatest accomplishment of Johnny Hayes’ musical life occurred before his orchestra career began. He was born in Ticonderoga in 1918, the son of attorney Richard Hayes and his wife, Lillian. At the age of three, his musical fate was nearly foiled by an accident: Johnny fell on a broken bottle, badly cutting his hand and severing a tendon. After an emergency trip to the hospital, the healing went just fine.

A signature moment in Hayes’ life came in March 1929, when Leonard Allerton of Catskill, New York, was hired to oversee the music program at Ticonderoga High School. Two years later, under his tutelage, 13-year-old Johnny Hayes was playing first clarinet for the Purple and White. He later turned his attention to the saxophone, and in 1933, in the New York State Music Contest at Syracuse, Johnny took fifth place among twelve contestants.

In his senior year (1935), hoping to earn another berth in the state finals, Hayes competed in the preliminaries at Massena, finishing first in Division Two for clarinet and first in Division One for saxophone.

At Syracuse, after facing off against 47 other boys and girls, he finished tied for second in the saxophone category. Landing in the top five made him eligible for the national championships in Madison, Wisconsin, but traveling that far was a pipe dream for most small-town folks struggling through the Great Depression.

Hayes had received financial support from the community for the Syracuse trip, and Leonard Allerton had raised Ticonderoga’s music program to a high level of performance, something the town was quite proud of. Everyone banded together once again, and with Ticonderoga businessmen leading the way, enough money was raised to send Johnny on his way.

Pre-performance jitters on the day of competition were normal, and were certainly capable of causing a sub-par performance. As if that weren’t enough, Johnny’s accompanist from the University of Wisconsin had failed to appear due to a flat tire while en route.

Disheartened, he was faced with going solo or withdrawing. Since he was the last scheduled performer of 42 in his division, Johnny delayed the decision as long as possible.

With three minutes to spare, his accompanist arrived. There was no time to prepare, so Johnny took to the stage and played “Emily,” the same tune that had earned him second place in Syracuse and a trip to Wisconsin for the National Music Contest.

Imagine the reaction in Ticonderoga that night when Johnny Hayes was voted the nation’s number one high school saxophonist. Best in the country!

Far lesser accomplishments (even a single tackle in a football game, for cryin’ out loud) will often find today’s youth strutting around, pounding their chests, and celebrating their self-perceived greatness. Where’s my star? Look at what I just did! Ain’t I great?

In comparison, you have to love old-time, small-town America. After besting the top musicians in the entire United States, Johnny Hayes, saxophonist extraordinaire, returned home with a wonderful comment: “I feel swell.”

In the days when humility was a virtue, other folks took care of bragging about you or honoring your accomplishments, and that’s what Ticonderoga did. Johnny’s success was mentioned in the county newspapers, and a school assembly was held, citing his achievement and crediting Johnny, Mr. Allerton, and the school community for the fine results of their cumulative efforts.

Best of all, at least from my perspective, was the celebration held on the evening of his return. Johnny was greeted by the entire school band, decked out in the new uniforms of the Purple and White. Placing Hayes at the lead, they marched him through the streets of Ti in a fine display of hometown pride.

At one point, the procession halted on the corner of Montcalm and Champlain. Requesting a solo, the crowd was treated to Johnny’s rendition of “Home Sweet Home.”

Pound your chest all you want, but it doesn’t get any better than that.

Photos: Advertisement for the State Theater in Ticonderoga, featuring a movie with the Hal McIntyre Orchestra, and mentioning Ti’s own Johnny Hayes.

Lawrence Gooley has authored ten books and dozens of articles on the North Country’s past. He and his partner, Jill McKee, founded Bloated Toe Enterprises in 2004. Expanding their services in 2008, they have produced 19 titles to date, and are now offering web design. For information on book publishing, visit Bloated Toe Publishing.



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