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OSI Preserves Historic Hill Used by British to Capture Fort Ticonderoga in 1777

TICONDEROGA, NY (Oct. 11, 2018)— The Open Space Institute (OSI) and Fort Ticonderoga Association today announced the permanent protection of the eastern face of Mount Defiance, a key strategic battle site of the British during the Revolutionary War.

One of Fort Ticonderoga’s most important historic features, Mount Defiance is best known historically for its role in the British re-capture of Ticonderoga in 1777 from the American colonists. During the 1777 Siege of Fort Ticonderoga, the British army succeeded in positioning artillery on Mount Defiance, causing the Americans to withdraw from the fort without a fight.

The 46-acre Mount Defiance property was conserved thanks to a $46,000 grant from OSI that covered the purchase and related expenses. Mount Defiance is registered as part of the Fort Ticonderoga National Historic Landmark and features breathtaking views of Lake Champlain that look out over New York and Vermont.

“Fort Ticonderoga is one of New York’s most valuable historic resources, connecting families to a priceless heritage. OSI is proud to have helped protect this significant, storied, and visually stunning area,” said Kim Elliman, CEO and president of OSI.

“Fort Ticonderoga has a long history of land conservation and historic preservation dating back to 1820 when William Ferris Pell purchased the garrison grounds and placed a fence around the fort ruins marking the earliest act of preservation by a private individual in America,” said Beth L. Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “This recent acquisition is an important addition to our 2000-acre historic campus and will preserve the historic land and its natural beauty forever.”

Fort Ticonderoga was used by every army that occupied the fort, including the British, the American colonists, and the French, who originally built the fort in 1755 and used it during the French and Indian War. The American colonists’ capture of the fort in 1775 provided a morale boost and key artillery during the Siege of Boston, the following spring, until it was retaken by the British in 1777.

Welcoming visitors since 1909, the Fort Ticonderoga history museum preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks surviving in America.

Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 75,000 visitors each year with an economic impact of more than $12 million annually and offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year. It is open for daily visitation May through October. 

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