Mo & Terry Smedley


Part VII - Fort Ticonderoga, Lake George, Saratoga Battlefield

On our last tour days, we visited Fort Ticonderoga, cruised Lake George on a century-old vessel, and toured the revolutionary war battlefields at Saratoga. 

We had been told that Columbus Day marked the traditional "end of leaf season".  That proved to be absolutely true in Lake George - the town was almost vacant, and nearly every store was closed.  It was a remarkable change from the relatively crowded scenes just a few days earlier.

We said our good-byes to most of our group at the Albany Amtrak station.  About ten of the tour members will be training with us to Chicago this evening, so we're spending the afternoon with them at the station while waiting for our train.

Fort Ticonderoga changed hands numerous times.  It was originally built by the French in the 1750s, then bouncing between British and American control during the American Revolution. Over 100 cannons arm the Fort's perimeter... ...which overlooks and guards Lake Champlain. A demonstration of Revolutionary War-era clothing and shoe construction.
More cannons... ...and more cannons aimed in every conceivable direction. The parade grounds in the interior of the Fort.  This represents a 180 degree view. This model of the Fort clearly shows its layout.
I noticed these interesting defects in the windows... ...which create interesting visual effects when looking from the inside. Powder horns had elaborate decoration.  This one is clearly labeled for the October 11, 1776 battle of Valcour Island, with then General Benedict Arnold. After touring the Fort, we drove through the town of Ticonderoga and explored this delightful city park.
Elwin LeFevre and Terry at the covered bridge in Ticonderoga. Ticonderoga. A lunch stop at the Algonquin Restaurant, on Lake George just North of the town of Lake George. The end of the fall "leaf season" is typically marked by Columbus Day, and the town of Lake George is nearly vacant today.   This picture also shows some nice fall colors along Main Street!
So sad....even Ben & Jerry's was closed today.  If you look closely (just below the ice cream cone), you can see Mo's disappointed expression reflected in the shop window. I found this campaign brochure in a coffee shop in Lake George.  Dad will know why I thought it was interesting. The m/v Mohican on Lake George.  This vessel was originally built (as a steamer) in 1907.  It was converted to diesel power in 1945.   In 1966, the vessel's wood and fabric superstructure was replaced with steel. Mo is reading her Kindle on the deck of the Mohican as we sail up the lake.
Nice fall colors on the lake.  Today's overcast skies mute the colors quite a bit. The Sagamore Hotel, originally built in 1883.  It is the last of the "Grand Hotels" that dotted the shores of Lake George in the early 1900s. Cruising on Lake George Vibrant colors at a City Park in Lake George.
At the Saratoga Visitor's Center, the (British) Trophy Cannons surrendered here are engraved with "Surrendered by the Convention of Saratoga, 1777" Saratoga marked the first time in history that the British Army had surrendered in battle.  The British defeat here allowed the fledgling United States to gain allies in France, Spain, and The Netherlands. I thoroughly enjoyed this sign on a soda vending machine outside the Saratoga Visitor's Center.  Carl is explaining the logistics of one of the battles at Saratoga.  We're at the location where American troops lined up at Bemis Heights overlooking the Hudson River, to secure the route the British intended to take on their march to Albany.
Another view from Bemis Heights.  The American fortifications forced the British to engage here, rather than continue on to Albany. The battlefield markers (blue) indicate where the American lines were formed... ...and the red ones show where the British troops (Redcoats) lined up.  This location is particularly significant - at the far end of this line is the opening in the British lines through which Benedict Arnold rallied the American troops.  This charge by Arnold was the beginning of the end of the British engagement at Saratoga. Interesting....all I remember from my US History is that Benedict Arnold was a notorious traitor.  I had forgotten, or perhaps never learned, that before his act of high treason, he led the American forces to victory on one of the most significant battles of the Revolutionary War.  This monument honors his contribution here.  The boot is symbolic of the wound that Arnold received during the battle.
The inscription reads "In memory of the "most brilliant soldier" of the
Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot the sally port of BORGOYNES GREAT WESTERN REDOUBT 7th October, 1777 winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General".   In accepted military tradition, (the traitor) Arnold's name is never mentioned anywhere on this monument to his contribution to the Revolutionary War.