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French baron tours Fort Ticonderoga

TICONDEROGA Walking in an ancestors footsteps can be inspiring, but filling those boots is another challenge altogether.

Fort Ticonderoga was honored that Georges Savarin, Baron de Marestan, Marquis de Montcalm, ably accepted that challenge and retraced his illustrious forbearers route Aug. 12.

The occasion of the barons visit was the 250th anniversary of the surrender of the British forces under General Monro at Fort William Henry in Lake George. Portrayed by Charles Vandrei, DEC Preservation Officer, Monro accepted the terms of the capitulation agreement on the lawn of Fort William Henry Aug. 11 with 60 reenactors in attendance. The troops represented all the factions of the original ceremony including Indians aligned with the British and those fighting for France, French and British soldiers and Canadian and Colonial regulars.

On Sunday the Baron traveled north on the Lake George Steamboat Companys M/V Mohican surveying the newest addition to the realm of King Louis XV.

With Nick Westbrook, director of Fort Ticonderoga, and members of the New York State 250th French & Indian War Commemoration Commission, he inspected the grounds and the French lines built by his conquering forces in 1757.

The visit became solemn as he stood at Montcalm Cross and at the Scottish Cairn erected to honor the Black Watch Forces his troops inflicted such horrific casualties on.

After reviewing the Fife & Drum Corps on the parade grounds, the baron, along with his wife and Andre Gousse, his French interpreter, also reviewed the new French lines being built in time to coincide with the French and Indian War Encampment taking place at Fort Ticonderoga from June 27 through July 8, 2008.

Commission member Tom Nesbitt, who arranged the Surrender weekend, said that everything had gone according to plan.

The baron was impressed with the authenticity and commitment we showed and has already accepted the invitation for next years event, Nesbitt said.

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