Project moves ahead

TICONDEROGA - The initial step of the Ticonderoga sawmill project is complete, although actual construction of the replica 18th Century French business may be years away.

The phase 1 archeological study of the proposed site has been completed, Ti Supervisor Deb Malaney said. It discovered items that will require further archeological study.

"It's a long process," Malaney said of the project. "After the archeological studies we can start searching for funding. The actual construction is several years off."

The centerpiece of the new Ticonderoga Quality Destination Plan is a replica sawmill that officials hope will become a tourist attraction.

A French sawmill sat on the north side of the LaChute River near the falls in 1758, Malaney said. Plans call for it to be reconstructed with grant money.

"It will be a wonderful project, if we can do it," Malaney said. "It would be a tourist attraction, an educational facility and would produce a local product."

The sawmill project is a priority of the Ticonderoga Quality Destination Plan, Malaney said. The plan has been formed by a group of local volunteers and a professional consultant. It includes 11 actions designed to boost local business through tourism.

The sawmill will be operational, making specialized items for sale, Malaney explained. She said authentic 18th Century items such as posts and beams are in high demand.

The set up will be similar to the authentic 18th Century sawmill operations in Taylor, N.H., and Sturbridge Village, Mass.

The town of Ticonderoga will own and operate the planned sawmill, although Malaney stressed it will be constructed with grant money and will be self-sufficient once built. No local tax money will be used for the project, she said.

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