Re-enactors upset with Fort Ti

To the Times of Ti:

Is the Times of Ti now controlled by Fort Ticonderoga or is it just starved for stories?

Referring to weeks July 30 and Aug. 6 where articles were run about Fort Ti hosting teacher workshops and how much it helps the local economy with quotes and statistics from Beth Hill.

Well, my question is this: If 80 teacher programs add $100,000 to local spending, then how much do 1,000-1,500 re-enactors pour into the local economy?

Since 1991 I have had the privilege of helping administer the Fort Ti French and Indian war re-enactments along with Jon Soule, George Bray and many other fine people. We started in 1991 with about 300 (re-enactors), then steadily climbed averaging 1,000 per year. The largest gathering was the 2008 state-sponsored, state-funded signature event which drew over 2,000 re-enactors.

Second to that was the “Death of Lord Howe” event which Holly, Cliff and myself put on by and for the town of Ticonderoga. We were assisted by Supervisor Mike Connery, Bob Dedrick, Keith Dolbeck, Dan Crossman, Jeff Cook and many, many other unselfish and dedicated people which succeeded in drawing 1,650 re-enactors from the U.S., Canada, France, Britain and even New Zealand to what remains the largest re-enactment/trek ever done in the U.S. It went off without a hitch and drew thousands and thousands of public spectators.

All of that has changed now that Beth Hill and her “politically correct” staff has made the re-enactment community feel unwelcome. Re-enactors who have given selflessly of themselves for the promotion of history, without even receiving a cup of coffee from the fort for their work and sacrifice, will not be back. They will simply go to Fort Niagara, Fort LaPresentation, Fort #4 and Crown Point where they are welcome and where the general public can still see and enjoy the roar of cannons, screams of Indians, skirl of bagpipes and formations of massed musketry.

Gary Guido was right on the mark when he stated the fort policy and thinking need a definite adjustment change. Otherwise, the Ticonderoga business will suffer and with the recent departure of Lowe’s, Ticonderoga cannot simply afford that.

Bob Bearor

Schroon Lake

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