For my birthday, Hubby wisked me away to upstate New York for a long weekend. Now, I’m a fan of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but I have to say…the Adirondacks are wonderful, beautiful and WAY bigger than my beloved Whites.
Hubby and I are both geeks so the entire weekend was a historic pilgrimage.
First stop: Fort Ticonderoga
I knew about Fort Ty because of its role in Henry Knox’s cannon drag to Dorchester Heights and Ethan Allen’s “In the Name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress…” It was a hot, humid day but the reconstructed barrack buildings were naturally cool. The Fort is situated along a strategic (and beautiful) point on Lake Champlain. My only disappointment was the interpretive material in the Fort. It’s dated and disorganized. In three different places there was info about Henry Knox but in only one of these spots did it mention Dorchester Heights by name. I did watch a video about the Fort but it was mostly about the military history of the Fort (lots of “flanks” and “movements” language. Kinda a snore, actually). There were plenty of costumed interpreters and some young lasses dressed as lads came out to perform on their fifes. (Do boys play fifes anymore?) Hubs and I spent nearly two hours walking around and reading everything. (Yea, we’re that geeky.)
Second stop: Crown Point
I didn’t know much about this fort but Hubby is a big French and Indian War fan. He visited this place years before and was eager for me to see it. I must admit…I liked it better than Fort Ty. The place is a ruin and was lightly visited the day we were there which just added to the quiet and calm. It was a British fort whose heyday was during the American Revolution. There was a French fort, Fort Frederic, which was around during the French and Indian War. The French blew up their fort (the ruins are visible) when the Brits were threatening siege. The Brits took over the area and built Crown Point. Like Fort Ty, CP is also on Lake Champlain and the whole area is simply beautiful. Crown Point is a NY State Historic Park with a GREAT museum and a FANTASTIC 12 minute video that explains the history of the fort. A must visit for any history geek.
Third stop: John Brown’s Farm
Yes, THAT John Brown. Born in Connecticut, hung in Virginia, but lived a short while in New York. He only visited his farm in Lake Placid (yup…miracle on ice and all that) seven times but his wife/widow lived there and his body and those of his sons who were with him at Harper’s Ferry are interred on the property. This is another NY State Historic Park that receives drive-by tour buses (they rarely stop according to the interpreter) and is in the shadow of the Olympic High Jump (strange). We toured the home which is not large but for a $2 admission, worth the money. I’d say…if you are a Civil War/Abolitionist/African-American history geek, it’s worth the trip. You can see everything in less than 45 minutes.
In the midst of all this geekiness, we camped out in a B&B called the Tumble Inn located in Schroon Lake. If you think that Lake George is lovely but all the tacky tourist shops ruin the atmosphere, try Schroon Lake, about 20 minutes north of Lake George. The evening we arrived, there was an honest-to-goodness square dance on the town park along the lake. So Americana! The town of Schroon Lake has a tiny strip with a few restaraunts and shops. I totally recommend the place (and the B&B – GREAT BREAKFASTS!!!).
It was a lovely time and wouldn’t mind going back someday. Maybe by then Fort Ty will have done something about those interpretive signs. Check out more NY pics on my Flickr site.