Ticonderoga The historic replica French sawmill project has entered a new phase as more archeological digs took place recently.
A crew from Landmark Archeology, Altamont, spent four days digging sample pits to uncover possible artifacts at the site. Not unexpectedly, they encountered a great deal of graphite along with rubble from the fill that was put in the area back in the 1970s. The report on any significant historic findings is due this fall. At that time it will be determined whether another round of archeology is needed.
The mill will be constructed on the site of the old American Graphite Company, famous for the lead in Ticonderoga Pencils, adjacent to the new Legacy Park. The replica will use power from the falls to saw logs in the traditional manner of the mid-1700s. The aims of the project are to attract tourism to the downtown, to create jobs and to sell the timber to be used by artisans and for use in historic buildings.
Reconstruction of the 18th-century French sawmill has been under consideration at various times in the past but was identified as a viable center-piece to the Destination Master Plan by the Ticonderoga Quality Destination (TQD), the Economic Development Committee and town officials.
The funding for TQD came from Essex County Tourism Council. Ticonderoga was one of five communities that benefitted from the studies and co-operative plans to revitalize tourism. PRIDE has been instrumental in securing funding for the initial phases of the project and will help identify additional funding as the project moves forward.