At the outset of the American Revolution just a half-company of British soldiers manned the Fort. On May 10, 1775, Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, and the Green Mountain Boys crossed Lake Champlain from Vermont under cover of darkness. At dawn they surprised the sleeping garrison and overwhelmed them, making Fort Ticonderoga America's first victory of the Revolutionary War. From then until July 1777, Fort Ticonderoga served as an important staging area for the American army while invading Canada, outfitting America's first navy, and fortifying Mount Independence in Vermont, and building extensive defensive works within a 10-mile radius. In addition, the Fort was where vessels for America's first navy were rigged and fitted out. This fleet, under the command of Benedict Arnold, fought the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain in 1776. Although the American fleet was utterly defeated, the fight stalled the British on their march south. In July 1777 the British commander, General Burgoyne, managed to place cannon on Mount Defiance and forced the Fort's American garrison commanded by General Arthur St. Clair to evacuate the Fort on July 6th. One more attempt by the Americans retake the Fort failed in September 1777. This was the last major military action to take place at Ticonderoga.
In 1820, William Ferris Pell purchased the ruins of the Fort and the surrounding "garrison grounds" to preserve it for posterity. In 1826 he built The Pavilion first as a home, and later turned it into a hotel to serve the growing number of tourists who came to see the Fort ruins. In 1908 Stephen and Sarah Gibbs Thompson Pell began restoration of Fort Ticonderoga and in 1909 it was opened to the public with President Taft in attendance. In 1931 Fort Ticonderoga was designated a not-for-profit educational historic site managed by the Fort Ticonderoga Association.
Fort Ticonderoga is a private not-for-profit educational historic site administered by the Fort Ticonderoga Association.