Fort Ticonderoga

Though located in New York, Fort Ticonderoga played an important role in the development and settling of Vermont. Samuel de Champlain, the person for whom Lake Champlain is named, discovered the area that would later become Vermont. Around the same time, another explorer came to the Vermont area by way of the Hudson River, whose name also comes from that of its explorer. For decades, the land that would eventually become Vermont stood as a buffer between these two countries, both unsure about laying claim to the land.

The French built Fort Carillon right on the southern tip of Lake Champlain. It was built in a star shape so anyone within the fort had a clear shot at potential invaders. The walls were built tall and strong; the French had full confidence in Fort Carillon's impregnability.

The fort's strength would be tested in 1758 when British forces attacked the fort. The French successfully repelled them, but Britain's second attack the following year proved too much for the French to handle. The British captured Fort Carillon, renaming it Fort Ticonderoga. The British continued north and eventually captured Quebec City.
With the French out of the way, competition between New Hampshire and New York to claim the land known today as Vermont intensified. As the colonies' inhabitants grew more and more malcontent with how the British were treating them, Fort Ticonderoga would become a target for revolutionary forces.

The original 100 cannons the French brought to Fort Ticonderoga were still there. Revolutionaries lacked the firepower to kick out Britain from Boston, so they set their sights on those cannons. A group of 87 militiamen captured the fort in one night and carried the cannons toward the coast.

Fort Ticonderoga would fall into the hands of the British once more during the Revolutionary War before remaining in the hands of the Americans up to the present day.

What remains is a near perfectly preserved fort rich with history. It's a unique and important part of America's story and played a key part in the settlement of Vermont and in its journey to statehood. Relics from the French-Indian war as well as the Revolutionary War are stored in the second floor museum that is open to the public. If you get a chance to visit, don't miss it. It's only a short ferry ride across the lake!