Ticonderoga was once known as the home of fine horses. Some of the finest matched teams that were driven by the wealthy men of New York were raised in this village.
The stock farms located in the vicinity were the homes of some noted sires. The celebrated stallion Ethan Allen was born at Cliff Seat in 1849 and his noted son Daniel Lambert is known to every horseman in the land. Among the well known brood mares were Mary A., Rose Medium, Kate Jackson, and Cecil.
These horses of superior blood came from old stock valued for size, endurance and power; owned by our farmers in the early 1800s and from new stock known for speed, docility and beauty which were of Morgan blood.
The Felton horse was the first horse of the Black Hawk (Morgan) blood prominent in Ticonderoga. He was owned by Franklin Felton and a picture of him was used for the famous equestrian statue of General Jackson at the national Capital.
The Ticonderoga Trotting Association was organized in 1868. This group of racing enthusiasts was greatly concerned about the gambling, drinking, dishonesty and rowdiness associated with racing and wanted to eliminate these problems. In the early 1900s another group was formed called the Ticonderoga Driving Club. They participated in races on the ice at Hague, Ticonderoga, Crown Point and Port Henry.
In 1902 Mr. G.H.Huber of New York City opened his hotel known as the Blue House at Addison Junction. He built a half mile track, a grandstand and a stable to hold 30-40 horses. For the first decade this project flourished with Zeb Martin then Mason Porter as managers. The barn burned in 1912 and soon after, Fort Ticonderoga acquired the property.
Other tracks in the area were at the Old Fair Ground at Mount Hope, the Leonard Densmore Farm at south Ti, the Deal Cove Farm on Kirby Point, the Wicker Farm at the foot of Chilson, the Charles Baldwin Farm at the base of Cook's Mountain, the Claymore Farm at Streetroad and the Porter Farm on Route 9N.
In addition, the Dugway to the fort was used for exercise and training.
No record of The Ticonderoga Driving Club can be found after 1922 when they participated in a race on the ice at Hague. To assess the reason for the disappearance of the draft and driving horse from our economy is easy. The progress of their decline is in exact ratio to the development of gasoline power on the farm and road.
This series of articles is compliments of Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, located in the 1888 building at the entrance of Bicentennial Park.