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Fort Ticonderoga

A Brief History: Located in upstate New York sits Fort Ticonderoga. The fortification was named after the peninsula which it is located on. It was constructed by the French with the name Fort Carillon between 1755 and 1757 during the French and Indian (Seven Years) War. The site controlled the river alongside the mouth of the La Chute River in the 3.5 miles between Lake Champlain and Lake George; and was strategically placed to oversee trade routes between the British-controlled Hudson River Valley and the French-controlled Saint Lawrence River Valley.

In 1758, at the Battle of Carillon 4000 French soldiers led by General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and the Chevalier de Levis successfully held off an attacking force of 16,000 British regulars and militia who were under the command of Major General Abercrombie. In 1759 British forces returned and the French defenders abandoned the fort. After capturing Fort Carillon the British renamed it Fort Ticonderoga.

The fort regained importance with the outbreak of the Revolutionary War in 1775. One month after fighting began a small force led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured the fort from the British. Colonel Henry Knox transported artillery from Fort Ticonderoga down to Boston and used to fortify Dorchester Heights. This helped to break up the British siege of Boston. In 1776 Fort Ticonderoga was the staging point for the attempted invasion of Quebec. Forces led by Generals Philip Schuyler and Richard Montgomery attempted to capture Quebec City across the New York-Canada border. British reinforcements pushed the colonial troops back to Fort Ticonderoga. During the Saratoga campaign of 1777 British forces commanded by General John Burgoyne captured the fort when American General Arthur St. Clair ordered his men to abandon it without putting up a fight. Once General Burgoyne’s forces at Saratoga were forced to surrender the fort was abandoned by the British. After the war was over people who lived in the area stripped usable items off the fortification. The Pell family purchased the property in 1820 as a summer home. However, once railroads were constructed in the area he switched the purpose of the property to building a tourist base. In 1909 the Pell family restored the fort and opened it to the public. The fort has been managed by the Fort Ticonderoga Association since 1931 after its refurbishment.

Haunted History: Fort Ticonderoga is reported to be patrolled by soldiers of the spiritual realm. Many people, including employees report seeing apparitions dressed in colonial era military uniforms. There are those who claim to have heard the sounds of horse hoof-beats, voices, and footsteps throughout the property. An investigation from The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) for the show Ghost Hunters turned up a number of possible EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon), and an unexplained illumination. If you’re in the upstate New York area and looking to explore some history, or maybe meet an 18th century soldier check out Fort Ticonderoga.

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