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Schumer: New Exhibit Highlighting 18th Century Artillery Will Help Attract More Tourists To This Important American Landmark 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced a critical federal grant being awarded to the Fort, in the amount of $150,000. Schumer said this federal grant will help pay for a new exhibit highlighting the fort’s extensive collection of 18th century artillery, which will help “revolutionize” the tourist experience and boost attendance to this jewel of a destination.

“With this federal grant, the Fort Ticonderoga Museum will be able to bring their exhibits – new and old – to life. It will also allow the museum to support good-paying jobs in Essex County and bring in more tourists looking to learn about that Fort’s rich history,” said Schumer. “Once the exhibits are complete, guests will be able to marvel at the exquisite artifacts from hundreds of years ago in an interactive and innovative way. I was delighted to have helped secure this funding for the museum and I cannot wait to see the finished product.”

Schumer explained that, with these federal funds, the Fort Ticonderoga Museum will be able to bring its extensive 18th Century artillery collection to the forefront for the more than 70,000 guests who visit the museum annually. The collection will now include a new exhibit, which will feature a comprehensive collection of artillery and will provide descriptions of the weapons and their role in colonial wars in North America in the 1700s, including at Ft. Ticonderoga. The new exhibit will also include the re-installation of the permanent artillery collection along the fort’s wall, an interactive activity space, a new mobile application, a symposium featuring world-renowned scholars and the publication of an exhibition catalogue.

Schumer said this critical funding, which he fought to secure, was allocated through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The IMLS grant will allow the museum to overhaul a number of its exhibits and specifically install this new exhibit entitled, “The Last Argument of Kings: the Art and Science of 18th-Century Artillery”. The new exhibit is set to open in 2016 and will allow the museum to serve as host to a scholarly symposium in 2017. Schumer said, collectively, these additions represent a major overhaul of the museum’s activities and therefore will boost Essex County’s tourism industry and draw in many new visitors. The museum also previously received a $170,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which will bring its collective federal grant allocation to more than $300,000 in only two weeks.

Schumer said this funding will finally allow the Fort Ticonderoga Museum to overhaul its exhibits, and allow it to bring in more visitors and continue as a major source of economic growth in Essex County and throughout the North Country. Schumer said the museum hosts tens of thousands of visitors on an annual basis, contributes $9 million in economic growth for the region and supports 120 jobs. This federal funding will allow it to continue to support as well as expand upon those activities.

“Fort Ticonderoga's artillery collection is internationally recognized as the largest and most significant of its kind in North America,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “This incredible collection has been set dressing to the reconstructed fort since the early 20th century. Now because of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant, we can place the artillery center stage where it belongs. The new exhibit 'Last Argument of Kings' will reveal the story of these complex weapons through exploring the creation, use, and after lives of these remarkable objects.”

In 1755, French settlers in North America began building the fort, which was then named “Fort Carillon.” Located between the Hudson River Valley and the St. Lawrence River Valley, the fort served a strategic purpose as the intersection of major trade routes and saw more fighting during the French and Indian War than any other post. In 1759, British forces defeated the French and overtook the fort, which is when they renamed it “Fort Ticonderoga.” It then continued to play an important role in future years, namely the American Revolutionary War. The fort was eventually captured by Continental troops in 1775. It fell into British hands in 1777, only months before the colonists turned the tide of the war at Battles of Saratoga.  In the decades that followed the American Revolutionary War, the fort fell into decay until it was restored by private owners in the early 20th Century. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1969. It now serves as a private museum and research center.