Historical society

On Oct. 8, 1897, the organizational meeting for the Ticonderoga Historical Society was held. This group was initially concerned with the deterioration of the fort ruins and wished to preserve them.

The constitution for the new society was adopted Oct. 26 of the same year. W.T.Bryan was elected president, Mrs. H.R. Burleigh and Mrs. J. Cook were elected vice presidents., F.B.Richards Corresponding Sec., Fred Higgins Recording sec., and P.W.Barry treasurer at a meeting at the Burleigh residence. For several years meetings were held at different locations in town: The Weed Opera House, The G.A.R.Rooms, The Masonic Hall, and the Union Opera house.

A membership drive was held. W.T.Bryan, president in 1902 lead the group as they tried to get a bill passed in the US Congress to cause the government to purchase the fort to preserve the historic grounds as a national park. This proved to be futile, and in 1908 they were active in the Pell family purchase of the site. This same year a huge clambake was held on the fort grounds and the society found a new interest that of spreading historical knowledge of Ticonderoga.

The president at this time was W.A.E.Cummins. Membership was $1 a year and there were nearly 50 members. In 1909 the 12-year-old society prepared charts of historical events of the area to place in school rooms; and organized a field day with games and a basket picnic at the fort to celebrate the erection of a 14-foot white cross on the grounds between the old french lines and the fort.

In 1911, they participated in another dedication, that of the Lord Howe Tablet marking the spot where Lord Howe was killed.

The group had permanent headquarters in The Drake Block, but met monthly at the Black Watch Library. Numerous events, exhibits and historic papers have been presented throughout the years including an exhibit of 19th century lighting in1910, beginning a long series of special exhibits held annually in July and August. In 1910 and again in 1933, New York State Historical Society annual meetings were held in Ticonderoga, and in 1920 the group became members.

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