In the 18th century, Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain was a French stronghold guarding the narrow water highway connecting New France with Britain’s American colonies. At the end of the French and Indian War, the fort was in the hands of the British. On May 10, 1775, Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and the Green Mountain boys captured the fort from the British in an early morning raid. It was considered the first American victory of the Revolution.
Today this historic site is maintained by the Fort Ticonderoga Association, which was established in 1909 by the Pell family, who owned the property. As part of an ongoing restoration program, the Stark Mountain workshop rebuilt and replaced the round and square-topped solid white oak casement windows and heavy plank doors on the King’s Warehouse. The original building, which was used for storing gun powder, was destroyed by the French in 1759. It was reconstructed in 2008 and rededicated as the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. The workshop is now making replacement windows for the Soldiers’ Barracks.
The restoration of the Mars Center was based on extensive historical research by the architect, Andrew Wright of Tonetti Associates of New York, and consulting historians. The contractor was Bread Loaf Corporation, under Project Manager Paul Wyncoop. For historical accuracy, it was important to ensure the correct placement of the recreated door and window hardware. Old glass, found on the property, was incorporated whenever possible. Surfaces were painted with historically accurate colors and linseed oil-based paints from Europe.
The rough white oak destined to become the windows.
A square topped door.
View from the battlements over Lake Champlain.