Shortly after establishing Fort Carillon (later named Ticonderoga), the French Army began the construction of a series of ancillary structures, including the Smith’s Forge, to the south of the fort beginning in early 1756.
This area, known as the lower town, or the French Village, housed a number of proto-industrial structures that supported the military activities of the armies who garrisoned Ticonderoga in the 18th century.
Fort Ticonderoga has been awarded a $4,000 Technical Assistance Grant from the Preservation League of New York State for the first phase in the preservation and stabilization the remains of the forge.
“The standing masonry wall is one of the few unrestored and untouched 18th-century architectural features still standing on the site that has miraculously withstood the test of time, despite the winter freezing and thawing cycles and the encroachment of vegetation,” according to Margaret Staudter, Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Archaeology.
The Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program is a partnership between the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of New York State, made possible by NYSCA with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. The Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area has provided additional support for the projects within the National Heritage Area boundary. The TAG program supports arts centers, historic sites, music halls, theaters, libraries, and other cultural nonprofit or municipal entities that steward historic buildings throughout New York State.
“Now in its tenth year, the Technical Assistance Grant program has become a foundational part of the League’s offerings,” said Preservation League President, Jay DiLorenzo. “We have seen firsthand how these grants get preservation efforts off the ground, opening the door for bigger projects and further investment.”
Fort Ticonderoga is a major cultural destination, museum, and historic site visited by some 75,000 visitors each year with an estimated economic impact of more than $12 million annually. Fort Ticonderoga is open for daily visitation from May through October and special programs during Winter Quarters, November through April.
Since its founding in 1974, the Preservation League’s goal has been to preserve historic buildings, districts, and landscapes. The Preservation League of New York State invests in people and projects that champion the role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth, and the protection of historic buildings and landscapes. They lead advocacy, economic development, and education programs across the state.
Photo provided by the Fort Ticonderoga Association.